This post might end up being a little wordy but please read it all!!! I am normally a short and sweet and to the point kinda gal but there is a lot to tell and explain with this.And WARNING it might be all over the place too.
I don’t know where to start so I think I will go back to where it all began………
When I was growing up I was not normal. I wasn’t girly. I would sneak into my dad’s shed and get his tools. Then I would sit in the scrap wood pile and saw and hammer away. My first creations were “ducks” made out 2x4s. I think I was 5. When I was around the age of 10 I started a diary that I wrote in every single day until I got married. When I was 10 or 11 I started cutting pictures out of magazines (Mostly Better Homes and Gardens) and putting them in my journal. I would sketch out how I wanted my house and yard to look. And when I was 12 I wrote that I wanted to marry an architect so he could help me design my perfect house. I have always been aware of design, and I have always loved to create, paint, and build. When I was cutting out all of those pictures from Better Homes and Gardens as a kid I wanted to grow up and have my house in there. I have thought about it off and on for my whole life. I did end up marrying an architect, although I fell in love before I knew what his major was :) And I have had a blast decorating our tiny apartments and now our first home. I am not done decorating our home because money holds us back from completing everything at once. But I am happy with what I have dome so far.
Remember my bedroom??? The stenciled ceiling? Well, I got an email from the Senior Editor of Home Decorating and Remodeling at Better Homes and Gardens and she loved my bedroom. She showed it to the Editor in Chief who also loved it. They wanted to put it in an issue of Better homes and Gardens!
(Insert plea here) I am side tracking for a minute. I want to discuss a topic for a sec. As women we tend to down play other people’s success to make ourselves feel better. We all do it. I understand this feeling. Especially when I am in a point of my life when everything seems to be falling apart, it is hard to see someone who seems to be getting everything they want. It is REALLY hard when it is something I want too. Part of me is really happy for them but part of me can be jealous and even mad. I want you to celebrate this with me. That is why I included the story of my childhood. This would be a big thing for just about anyone, but it is EXTRA HUGE for me. Truly a dream come true. So please don’t say “Well, it is all the way in the BACK of the magazine.” or “My neighbor’s house is waaay more beautiful than hers.” “Why is she getting all this attention? It is not that great.”
Back to the story…..
The editor asked me to send her more pictures of my bedroom. I have a decent camera and I tried to get really awesome shots cause I figured these would be the ones in the magazine. I got another email from her talking about scheduling a photo shoot. Say whaaaaaaa??????? Yep. A full blown photo shoot of my bedroom with a professional photographer and a stylist for me (and the room). Aaaaaa! Crazy. It was scheduled for March 24th and it only gave me a couple weeks to prepare.
Enter left stage: Crazy woman. I have to admit I bit off more than I could chew. I made lists, I bought supplies, and I was determined to finish every half done project (Yikes! I had more than I realized) and even start some new ones. I am too embarrassed to show you my list. Three pages long, people!!!! And these were not small things. It looked really good on paper. I even made out a schedule. But my schedule didn’t account for 4 children. My list didn’t account for a husband who was MIA due to deadlines and overtime at work, and my schedule did not account for my many melt downs. I had to scale down my list from 3 pages to one. That was hard for me. Needs above wants. That is never fun.
I have never in my life pushed my self so hard. The only time I sat down was to go to the bathroom. I didn’t get very much sleep either. And there was lots of chocolate consumed. One day I woke up and ate it for breakfast. I figured it was kinda like a preemptive strike. I refinished my wood floors upstairs all by myself. (my hubby did help me move all the furniture out) We got new windows a while back and the window guys were not gentle when they ripped out the old ones. They left a lot of damage and did a poor job caulking. I added molding to cover the damage, re-caulked, and painted all the basement ones. I repainted all the molding around all the windows, door frames and baseboards. I pressure washed then primed (twice) and painted (twice) 2 sets of exterior stairs. I painted both sides of the kitchen door. I re-stained the inside of the front door. I did touch up paint on all the walls. I fixed TONS of little things that were broken which actually took most of my time. I cleaned out flower beds and added new top soil. I sanded down my dining room table and re-stained it and sealed it. I feel like I forgetting something….
All while this is going on I was trying to make things for the Silhouette giveaway, I had 2 TV appearances to prepare for, and I got a new big calling (aka job) at church. I was trying to sew a skirt for “point of view” too. Not to mention all the other MOM stuff like parent teacher conference. Throw in my period for good measure and you have One. Hot. Mess!!!!
Don’t get me wrong. I felt so blessed. I was thanking The Man Above every night for being so lucky. I could write a whole post on that alone. And maybe I will….
If you can believe it, I was also trying to work on my kitchen re-model (min- makeover on steroids) at the same time! I finally scrapped that with a few days to go.
My schedule, that had also been scrapped at this point, had said all the projects would be done with 3 days to spare so I could clean. Projects are messy. Projects times 100 are even messier. Everything that is normally in garage was in my house. Caulk guns, tarps, rollers, ladders, etc. There was dust everywhere. The cleaning in all reality would have taken a week. Seriously a WEEK. Do you know when I actually started the cleaning??? Mid morning on THE DAY THEY WERE COMING.
Panic. Fear. Gut ache. Hyperventilating. Sweating. Heart racing. Light headed. Stunned at my stupidity for waiting.
Enter: Best people ever!
I hate asking for help. I hate asking people with small children for help even more. I had one friend take my 4 year old to her house for the whole day. Thanks Melissa!!!! I had another friend run errands for me and make the chicken salad I had planned on making. She took my older kids after school as well. Thank you Chelcie!!!!! And my sister-in-law, niece, and mom came over to help with the last of the cleaning. Thanks Mindi, Bailee, and Mom!!!
I am totally humming “No Man Is An Island” from high school choir right now……
What would we do with out good people around us???
This was the hardest part of the journey for me. I am not only a control freak to the nth degree, but I am a clean freak as well. I had to let a lot of things go. I had to let perfection go. Even as I type this I am getting anxiety. I didn’t dust everything. The picture frames had layers and layers of dust. (And they looked at every one, by the way) So did the ceiling fan. My bathroom would have gotten a passing grade but was far from really clean. The old ugly fridge was still in my kitchen along with the new one. It stunk because it was unplugged and I didn’t clean it yet. I could go on and on. I prayed that they wouldn’t notice but I know they did. They get paid to notice the details. I got to the point where I had plastic totes and I was shoving all my crap in them and taking them to the garage. Dirty laundry got bagged up and thrown in there as well. There are currently 6 bags of laundry and six giant totes of crap in my garage. And I really don’t want to get them out :)
Not only was my house not all that I wanted, but I was a sweaty stinky mess. I hopped in the shower and got dressed a few minutes before they arrived. Yep. I answered the door for two swanky L.A. professionals looking like a drowned rat. No make up. Dripping wet. And flustered. This was Better Homes and freakin’ Gardens!!! I was disappointed that I was not prepared like I had wanted to be. It was not like I had envisioned in my mind. It was not even close to perfect.
I forgot to mention that the photographer and the stylist would be coming for 2 days. The day they flew in they wanted to come and see the room. They wanted to see the size and lighting and all that jazz. And they wanted to meet with me. They also unloaded most of their gear. The next day was to be the actually shoot.So I had lost out on first impressions but I had a second chance to clean a little better for the next day. I was up till 2 am. Not all was done, but it was better. So much for beauty sleep!
I am worn out! Writing this all down was like re-living it for me. All the emotion came back. That was a lot of info as well. I think I will insert a “To be continued…….” here.
The photo shoot details will post tomorrow :) There is a lot of info with that as well….
UPDATE: You can read part 2 HERE.