Friday, February 21, 2014

Thoughts from Assisting Living

With Mom sick again, I've been thinking a lot today and want to share some thoughts. First, let me say that none of what's coming is really about me. It's about you - you guys blessed to still have your mom or dad. And, it's about God and His goodness. 

Being on all three "sides" of this "parent" thing - as someone who was parented and someone who is a parent and someone who is now parenting their parent - life has a whole new perspective than it did back when my parents didn't do everything "right". Don't get me wrong, I was blessed, but let's face it, there is no "perfect home". When I crossed over from parented to parenting, I realized what a tough job it is, and I came to understand the importance of  forgiveness - giving it and asking for it.

 Healing is a beautiful thing and forgiveness is a gift we give each other and ourselves. Since Dad died 8 1/2 years ago, Mom's needed more support than before, but the last nine months have brought a total role reversal where she's needed help with everything, even the most basic hygiene. And, now, more than ever, I am so grateful for forgiveness and healing, for the ability to freely serve and love and for tenderness and gentleness - none of which I am capable of on my own; they are sweet gifts from a gracious God. 

If you are blessed to still have your mom or dad, please treasure every moment. Please exercise grace and seek restoration of damaged relationships. Please know that your kids, should you have them, are watching you. They see how you honor your parents, and they are learning how to honor you in the process.

 These moments I have with Mom are numbered. I don't know how many I have, but I want each one to be one I walk away from knowing Mom knows I love her. Your moments with your parents are numbered, too. You may be blessed to have many, many moments to come, or they could come to an unexpected end tomorrow. 

Please, please, please, forgive them, treasure them, love them, honor them. When you don't have the strength to do those things yourself, God and His goodness will enable you if you seek His strength. I love you, my friends! Be blessed!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Home, Sweet Home

The home that my husband and I have raised our kids in is the home I moved into with my mom and dad when I was 17 and a senior in high school. We moved here from Corpus Christi where I'd lived all the life I remembered. When I was in college, my dad's parents moved up the street from my mom and dad. Dave and I married in 1983, bought a house in the same neighborhood in 1985, and began our family in 1987. In early 1992, we sold our home and bought my mom and dad's after they moved in with my grandmother, Honey, to care for her. Dementia had stolen Granddad, and he could no longer live at home.

When we bought the house, we made cosmetic changes of paint, curtains, flooring, and carpet, but for the most part, it's remained the same all these years UNTIL NOW! We made the decision in May to make a wish list, and we found a wonderful couple to do the work. Over the next two months, we made changes that we LOVE. Until you come see us, enjoy the pictures. :)
Along the way, I'll share some of my sentimental treasures with you, too.

This is the view from the entryway. To the right are the stairs, and David's office is the loft area upstairs. The living room is to the left with the dining room adjacent and the breakfast room at the back of the house. We had all of the ceilings, walls, doors, and trim painted throughout the house. The red wall in the dining room had wallpaper, and it's GONE! :)

This picture is taken from the loft and shows the living room. Most of this furniture had been Honey and Granddad's. The framed and signed DeGrazia over the piano had been my mom and dad's.

It's kind of hard to see, but in the left corner of the dining room is a potbelly stove that had been in Granddad's home when he was growing up in the early 1900s.

The stair wall had also had the wallpaper like in the dining room. I originally thought about painting this wall the same red as in the dining room, but I was afraid it would really shrink the area if it were so dark. I like the lighter color, but it is darker than the other walls.

The mirror had been Honey's, and the hat had belonged to Granddad. The bench was from my great aunt and is from the early 1900s. It's made of apple wood and still has the original straw 'stuffing'. The quilt is a picture quilt I made of old family photos.

This picture is taken from the breakfast room entry into the dining room with the entry way in the background. This glass case had been Honey's and is filled with things from her home. The birds on top were my Mamaw's, my mom's mom, and David brought the jug to me from Tanzania.

The picture above is again taken from the breakfast room entry into the dining room.

The china cabinet is full of American Fostoria that I inherited from both Honey and Mamaw. I also bought some of it, and my brother has been great about tracking down serving pieces for me. Some of the pitchers on top also belonged to my grandmothers.

The carnival glass set has a cool history. In the 1920s, Honey sold items door to door from a catalog to help her parents whose crops were struggling. Her grandmother, my great-great grandmother bought that carnival pitcher and glass set from her. Somehow, the great aunt from whom I got the apple bench had ended up with the carnival glass set. She gave it to me one year for Christmas when they came to celebrate with our family. Honey, who had been legally blind most of her life, could see well enough to recognize the set when I opened the gift. She was thrilled to see it again and for it to be mine.

Friday, December 31, 2010

The Family Room

The white wall used to have dark paneling. We had that taken down and had the beams across the ceiling painted as well. Love the difference it made in this room.

The white part of the bar used to extend out about 18 more inches and then had a half wall with spindles that made the bar enclosed. We cut that "L" off and are so happy with how it opened up this space.

Attie is in her favorite place in the house.

The four of us - David, Seth, me, and Sarah. :)

HE is what it's all about!

The Kitchen

The floor in the kitchen used to be saltillo tile, but we wanted the tile to be consistent through the breakfast room, kitchen, laundry room, and half bath. I thought I wanted wood, but Dave wanted tile. He was SO right! I love the tile.

In the next few weeks, we will be having new countertops and backsplash put in as well as the new stove top and venthood that is waiting in the garage. I will also have that raised end of the countertop cut off.

Across from the baker's rack is the bar. We had a half wall taken out that made the bar an enclosed area.

The Breakfast Room

This is the breakfast room. The icebox has an assortment of glassware and antique tins that were Honey's. The ironing board in the corner was Mamaw's, and my mom's twin sister painted it.

I know this is a weird place for the antique bank check filing cabinet, but . . . it used to be in the loft which is now Dave's office. I have many of my rubber stamps stored in it.

Dave's Office

This is Dave's office. He works at home - not always in his overalls (PRAISE GOD)! The area to the left of the white board used to have bi-fold doors that opened into our master bedroom. We wish we had made this change years ago!

He's a busy boy! He has two desk areas and computers. The chair on top of the armoire was Honey's and the wicker bottom was worn out. I used Granddad and Papaw's old neckties to weave a new seat. The wicker basket was made by Honey's grandfather, my great-great granddad.

Dave bought this elephant in Tanzania. I think it is beautiful.

Master Bathroom

The master bathroom used to have carpet and green vine wallpaper with a mauve ribbon border with flowers.

Love our bathroom now!

I had the mirrors over the vanity raised and framed. Love it!

Master Bedroom

The wall behind the bed used to have bi-fold doors that opened into the loft - the area that is now Dave's office. We are SO happy that we had the doors taken out and the wall closed.

The cedar chest at the foot of the bed was given to us by Honey and Granddad when we got married. My wedding dress and veil are inside along with special baby clothes.

The rocker was Honey's, and I reupholstered it all by myself! The door is into the master bathroom.

As you may have noticed, I collect Willow Tree angels and boxes. Dave brought this round box to me from Tanzania. Oh, and I won the lamp at Bunco. Good prize, huh?

This assortment has a few pieces Dave brought me from Amsterdam (the blue ones) and others that have been gifts from friends over the years. The white milk glass pieces had been Mamaw's. The flowers were actually from our wedding. My friend Peggy made all of the bouquets, and these were left over.

This is Dave's chest of drawers with a signed print that his mom's cousin Frank McCarthy did.

I love these books on his chest of drawers under the lamp. He's a good Daddy.

Sarah's room - Guest room

Sarah's room is the only room we didn't have the walls painted in. The ceiling, doors, and trim were done, but we had painted her room a couple of summers ago.

All of the furniture in this room except the bookcases and lamps had been Honey and Granddad's.

This little space is a place I find comfort in. It's like a little nest with a lot of the little treasures in one place.
The trucks on top of the left bookcase had been my Daddy's childhood toys.

Upstairs outside the hall bathroom

There is a nice little area outside the upstairs hall bathroom and the kids'/guests' rooms that used to have a little sitting area. After the redo, I put this antique desk that was Honey and Granddad's. The quilts were made by Honey and Mamaw, and the scrap rugs folded on the seat were made by Honey and some of her aunts. The wool 'stained glass' rug folded on the top of the scrap rugs was made by Dave's Gramma Peg.

My brother bought me the organ stool that is similar to one that Honey had that my brother now has.

Hall Bathroom

This is what the hall bathroom used to look like.

This is what it looks like now. So much better if I may say so myself!

Paula's Heart

Sharing life on the road less traveled