Sunday, August 19, 2012

Senior Year Starts in Two Days

This last 18 months has been pretty amazing. The baby and I have taken many trips, including college tours to University of SC, University of FL, University of NC, FSU, College of Charleston and University of N. Florida. We took some other fantastic trips and spent great times with friends and family. I have even found myself in a wonderful new relationship with an awesome man that my friends and family all like. He and I spent the last week on the shores of Ocean Isle Beach, NC with some of his friends, while the baby stayed behind for football practice. As we drove home yesterday, it dawned on me that this is it. Senior year starts on Tuesday and there's no turning back.

I posted a note on Facebook that says, "These kids grow up hella fast," in an effort to tone down my real feelings. It seems so cliche to ask, "Where did the time go?" but that is what I'm thinking. Seems like these last couple of years that we've been talking about colleges and SAT's and what she wants to be when she grows up and getting a driver's license, I have just passed through in a daze. I really haven't spent a lot of time thinking about her finally growing up and moving on. We get along so well, and I know that no matter where she goes, she'll never completely be gone, but we're in for a lot of changes. It seems like these last couple of years, she's been the one hugging me and wiping my tears rather than the other way around.

On Tuesday, she'll start her last year of school and in no time, we'll be shopping for prom dresses. How does a mom go from this:

First day of school Sept. 2000

First day of school Sept. 2000

To this: 

Maddie on the left with new friend, Aug. 2012
and keep her sanity? 

It's so bittersweet to watch her excitement for all the possibilities her life has to offer. She's been such a joy and is rarely unhappy. Tonight, two days before school, she is off with two friends to work on a summer assignment. The world, so to speak, is her oyster and while I'm thrilled for her, I can still remember when she was afraid to spend the night away from me. As she chomps at the bit to embark on her life as an adult, I know that all the efforts to protect her and shape her can sometimes mean nothing if this world wants to get hold of her. I pray that all the hours of pleading with God to guide my parenting and to teach me what I need to teach her have been enough. She has never belonged to me - she is His - I just pray that I've lived up to God's expectations. 

My dearest friend, my niece who is 2 years younger than me, became a grandmother for the first time yesterday. I know that in those hours that she stood by her daughter's side that she was completely overcome in the same way that I am today. Her oldest child, only seven years older than mine, is a beautiful wife and now mother of her own precious daughter. The world continues to turn, our family grows, and we give all the glory to God. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Bathroom makeover

Our little beach house has one bathroom. That's right - one. bathroom. And there's a teenage girl living here! The entire first floor of our house is painted in a khaki color by Benjamin Moore - Berkshire Beige, which works well with the tan and smokey blue accents in the living and dining room. The color was a bit dark though for the bathrom, and when I changed the shower curtain and towels to a pretty aqua color, it still seemed too dark. Additionally, as the towel bars were loose and kept threatening to pull out of the wall, I decided it was time to make a change. I enlisted the help of my favorite handyman who pointed out that it might not be as easy as I hoped!

Bathroom - before with towel rod, old color and some
paint color testing on the wall.

It's hard to see from the picture, but the towel bar is attached to a piece of chair molding that was hung at some point in the last thirty years. My handyman mentioned that the chair molding was probably put there because the wall was unable to hold the towel bar - and that was because the studs were not the proper distance from each other. He also was concerned about what we would find behind the molding since it appeared to be glued on and not nailed. At this point our goal was simply to remove the chair rail, paint the bathroom and then hang a shelf that I had purchased that would have towel hooks on it. This would take away the need to have a towel bar.

Here's what was behind the chair rail. 

After removing the chair rail and discovering that it covered holes made by past towel bars, we had to come up with another plan. We talked about bead board, but the bathroom has very little air circulation and can get extremely humid. This can cause normal wooden beadboard to warp or buckle. Handyman didn't want to use that. So as he checked out options, I was still checking out paint. I really liked a Benjamin Moore color - Pismo Dunes, which you can see in the center of the three test colors, but it was just as dark as what was already there. I settled for a color in between the two right test colors, also Benjamin Moore - Hot Spings Stone, with their "Super White" trim.

After - with new paint, paneling and shelf with towel hooks.

We decided to cover the bottom half of the wall with a composite beadboard and trim. This glued on, and then he used a few nails for security in the studded areas. He had to do this the day we left for vacation since he needed to brace it for over 24 hours to make sure the glue held. With only one bathroom, this needed to be done the morning we left town! He used caulk to cover the nail heads and they're almost invisible. The lighter paint color helped to give a little bit larger appearance of a very small bathroom. The shelf had to be placed a bit higher so that it didn't sit right on top of the wainscoting but the towel hooks are not too high since there are no small kids here. In keeping with my "beachy" decorating, I also love the towel hooks and think they add alot to the cottage-y feel.

Distressed shelf with towel hooks.

I purchased this shelf over a year ago - it was a colonial mustard color and had four wooden pegs instead of metal hooks. I followed instructions I found on Pretty Handy Girl's blog called "How to Age, Antique and Distress," that I had pinned to my "Projects" board on Pinterest months ago. I painted the shelf two coats of an aqua color - Peace River by Ace. I bought the 4.75 oz. tester and it was enough. Then I used the super white and painted two coats of that. Following the instructions from Pretty Handy Girl - we used the handheld power sander to make the paint look aged and worn. You can't see it well but the aqua shows through beautifully. Then, again following the instructions, we painted on a little oak stain and wiped it off immediately, to give the wood an aged look. I love the way it turned out - don't you? 

Here's a few more views of my bathroom makeover. What do you think?

Other than the paint change and the starfish-shaped dish
of seashells, this side stayed the same.

I added the large conch shell, the lantern and a few other
items to the top of the shelf.

"Near the sea, we forget to count the days."
By the way, I found the shower curtain on a sale endcap at Target about two years ago and have never seen it since! This gives my bathroom a one of a kind look! They didn't even have towels to match it, I had to get them at Macy's.