Sunday, September 1, 2013

Hitting the Wall(s)

I don't know where to start with this post. So many things have happened at the house since we closed. It's constant chaos, a total mess.

Only one thing is for certain - I smile every time I walk in.

Yes, I smile. I smile through the chaos. I smile although it's a total mess and there are tools everywhere. I smile even though we currently cannot use any of the plumbing fixtures upstairs due to various stages of renovation in both kitchen & bathroom.

I smile because it's ours.

So, on to the projects! We've been highlighting them on our Facebook pages, but here we can go into a bit more detail about what we did in each room.

This is the easiest place to start because of the relative "done-ness" of the walls. As you might recall from the last post, there was wallpaper. A lot of wallpaper. Every room in the house had been papered multiple times over the years. Even the closets are papered. Seriously....the closets for Pete's sake!

Here's a groovy before picture for your viewing pleasure:
This is what we lovingly called "The Jungle Room" before the youngest decided it was to be his.

Now, that's a lot of wallpaper. A lot of wallpaper. By the time we got to the bedrooms we were pretty tired of stripping wallpaper. We decided not to. I know, I know!! Bad, bad, bad....but we had stripped so much wallpaper, we were starting to feel like archeologists.

On the bedrooms we sanded the seams and painted on a sealer. The sealer was a lot like watered down Elmer's Glue and smelled a lot like good old Formula 409 spray my mom used to use to clean. It didn't take long to feel really, really high in a small space while painting on the sealer.

After the sealer dried, we didn't go straight to painting as you would think. We decided to spray texture the walls in the house. I was pretty apprehensive about the spray texture. I was afraid it might look like cheap mobile home paneling or something. Bob's parents had their bathroom textured, so I looked at theirs, liked it and we said 'Go for it.'

Bob's brother had just textured his whole house, he had the equipment, so he did our too. HUGE THANK YOU!!!!

When he started spraying, it wasn't completely covering the wallpaper. It wasn't looking anything like his parents' bathroom. I had a minor panic attack. Or maybe a mid-minor panic attack. The doubt was setting in that we had done the wrong thing. Here's what I was looking at:

You can see through that, right? You can see why there was mild panic? And it wasn't just one room, we were doing this to the entire main floor.

But I trusted Mike when he said it would turn out great after we painted, so we soldiered on.

I am so glad we trusted him.

Here's the Jungle Room, after:

Wow - right? So clean, not a hint of crazy Jungle wallpaper anywhere.

I was just blown away by how good it looks. And I'll just say, I've been blown away a lot during this whole renovation.

So our whole main floor looks like this now. From this:

To this:

Again, blown away. (Ignore all the tape! The bathroom will get it's own separate entry later.)

More posts are coming - as I can fit them in between our work schedules. I see the end of this project soon. Then we're on to packing & moving...ugh.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Previously on Marjie's Magical Mystery Tour....

(Cue emotional, triumphant music & Oprah voice-over...)

"Marjie kicked cancer's ass. Her kids are happy and her guy is awesome. The End??? Not quite...stay tuned for another exciting episode!"

Yeah I could get Oprah to do a voice-over for me. Probably more like Gilbert Gottfried - Aflac fired him, so I'm sure he's available.

So anyway, the newest chapter in my life is that my guy and I decided to take the plunge and buy a house! Woo hoo! It's very exciting for us. It is something we have been talking about for a long time, but the timing wasn't right until RIGHT NOW. I admit, the timing issue was all me. He's been very patient, bless him. He spoils me, I love him.

Here it is:
Cute, right?

Now for the fun part. Not only did we BUY a house, we are renovating/remodeling a house. Wonderful house, good bones, lots of wallpaper.

Like, LOTS of wallpaper.

Gobs & gobs of wallpaper.

Even the closets were wallpapered.

I'm surprised the ceilings weren't papered - seriously.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.

Did I mention both bathrooms have pink tile?

Pink tile - everywhere??


And a white kitchen. WHITE!

I'm not even going to start on the basement. Probably because it's not that bad.

I've owned homes before. You buy them with the hope that you'll fix what you want to as you live there. I've never had much luck with that.

This time, we're fixing it before we move in. Great plan, right? Right...

Really, it is. I can't imagine doing this mess while we live there. Here's what it looks like now:

Cool, huh? Did I mention we haven't even owned the house for 4 days? My guy's parents & my parents have been a huge help. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't have gotten much done at all.

Since this cancer is in remission, this blog will turn into a 'home improvement' blog for us. You can join us on this crazy, but hopefully short journey.
We bought some products from Rust-Oleum that we'll be using to resurface tile & counter tops, painting cabinets & spray/texturing walls. Check back to see what we're up to, then decide if you're brave enough to try these in your home.

And while your at it, a brief prayer that we don't totally screw it all up would be appreciated.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

525,600 Minutes...

I love having an epiphany, don't you?

It dawned on me this past weekend that it had been 1 year since my journey with cancer began.

One year. Wow.

Now, technically, I wasn't diagnosed until April 5th, but the surgery which triggered all of the events was on February 25, 2011. A surgery and day that made all the difference.

So, a year? How do you measure a year? If you were the cast of RENT, you would do it in song.
525,600 Minutes

If you're me, strictly referring to the cancer journey:
  • 4 Surgeries
  • 8 Chemo treatments
  • 30 Radiation treatments
  • Too many blood draws & doctors appointments to count
What I also find interesting about my year, is that I had this epiphany while traveling to a conference for young women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Exactly a year later.


The best number was the smallest:
  • 1 more birthday for everyone I love.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Survivor's guilt - Merchandising edition

Had my 3-month check up this week - All Clear!! Woo hoo!!!!!

I've been lucky enough to go shopping lately, something I haven't been able to do in a while. And by shopping I mean, shopping for ME! Clothes for ME! As you Moms out there know, that's something that doesn't happen to often.

Yesterday I'm at one of my favorite haunts, Old Navy, and come across a shirt on the sale rack. It says:

Then has a little Komen for the Cure ribbon on the bottom. And its not pink. So I throw it on the pile because of course, it's for BREAST CANCER!! Like, how can I NOT have this???

As I'm in the fitting room looking at the shirt I start to have mixed feelings -
I SHOULD buy the shirt, its for a good cause.
I DON'T want the shirt, cause it's not a great design (pretty boring!).
I SHOULD buy the shirt because of what I went through.
I DON'T want the shirt because of what I went through, and I have about 5 others that make the point for me already.

I put the shirt on the NOT buying pile. And the guilt goes on the Marjie pile. Ugh.

I want to do everything I can to support the cause, and support others, without being a walking billboard. Maybe the best way to fight this disease is to show it how we go back to being normal. We show others in the fight that normal will come back. Their hair will grow again. The laughter will return. And someday, in the not too distant future, they will go a full day without remembering that they had cancer.

Of course I'm still waiting for that day, but it's coming. I know it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feelin' Good

Howdy! It's been awhile!

I am truly feeling good. Though I been off of chemo for almost 4 months now, I am now feeling like my 'old self' - which is great! I have found myself working on projects that were completely ignored or done half-assed over the past 9 months. I have even cleaned out & reorganized closets!

And in all my regained energy, I have decided to take on a new endeavor - selling Avon. My mom is retiring from her Avon business and I will pick up where she left off. And since we are closing the BBC at the end of this week, Avon is my new 2nd job.

The end of the BBC is very bittersweet for me. Our shop has been a source of great pride for my mom & I. We love our customers & making new friends, but we have also been tethered to that building for almost 9 years. It will be quite strange for us to have Saturdays off. Mom & Dad are very much looking forward to being able to go to Colorado & visit grand babies! I'm looking forward to being able to say "yes!" when a friend asks me to do something on a weekend.

As we just celebrated Christmas and are now looking forward to a New Year, I hope you don't mind indulging me while I get kinda sentimental.

2011 was a hell of a year.  Period.  And while I am grateful for the experiences & lessons learned, I am more grateful to kiss 2011 goodbye.

2011 taught me many things:
* I am one tough chick.
* I look great bald.
* Help is never far away if you are humble enough to ask.
* Love and faith are the biggest healers there are.
* It's okay to cry - a lot.
* Prayer works.
* God truly works in mysterious ways.

I hesitate to make resolutions, because they seem to set a person up for failure. Instead, I wish for good health for my kids, my parents, myself, my extended family & all my friends. Good health is priceless. I wish to be of assistance to those who are going through health struggles of their own. I feel that I will be guided to those who need me.

Thank you is not enough to everyone who helped me, prayed for me, sent me cards & goodies, cooked for me, watched my kids or came over to visit me. I'm sure there are hundreds of other kindnesses that I failed to mention, but I am grateful for each and every one of them. I hope to be able to pay them all forward tenfold.

The Happiest of New Year's to you,

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

You love me, you really love me! Right?

So, here I am at home on a Wednesday afternoon. To what do I owe this pleasure?? 

I won the lottery!!  Puking kid. 

Welcome to reality folks.

After doing personal bookwork, because I DIDN'T win the lottery and still have to think about money, I decided to hit up my usual cyber-haunts: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Poker on Miniclip. You know what I decided after visiting these sites???  I'm friggin' popular!!

Okay, not really.

The internet & social media have done a fan-tab-ulous job of bloating our self-worth. 
We have 'friends' on Facebook!
Your friends 'like' your posts!
We have 'followers' on Pinterest or Twitter!
We can +1 ourselves on Google...(whatever the flip that means)

The coolest one is the 'followers.'   Think about it, it's like you have your own tribe or gang; people 'following' your every move. Awesome!

It is soooo awesome, that I tricked all of you friends & followers into reading about my pukey, feverish kid!  (insert evil laugh here.)

There's no moral to today's post. I'm just bored and I suck at poker. Good thing it's online funny-money poker, because seriously, I have NOT won the lottery. Yet.

BTW - Feeling great after my treatments were completed on Nov. 7th! Woot! Woot!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Spring & Opportunities

Can you feel it? favorite time of year.

It's cool, not cold. Nature's colors are striking. The smell of wood smoke and fall baking fills the air.

And that's all great, but right now I'm ready for personal spring.

Yes, ready for the re-birth of my body from the horrible cancer treatments of the last 6 months. My hair has finally pushed through the scalp and I have about a 1/4" of fuzz up there. My fingernails are slowly, slowly growing out, hiding the signs of chemo. My scars are becoming more invisible by the day. And soon, the redness of radiation burns will be a distant memory.

Women have problems with body image to start with, so the effects of cancer treatments are especially cruel to the fairer sex. We are conditioned to have good hair, smooth skin, flawless nails. All of that goes out the window. You really get to where you hate to look in the mirror. You get used to it, but you still hate it.

Yes, folks, my spring is coming.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. I've also come to appreciate some of side effects. I saved a ton of money on razors & shampoo this summer. I packed for a weekend get-away and only had to take a back-pack. When's the last time you packed that lightly? No hairbrush, no razor, no curling iron, no hair dryer. I could eat whatever I wanted this summer, doctor's orders. I caught up on my sleep - good drugs!

And most importantly, I've taken time to count my blessings.

Sure, I cursed, ranted, raved, cried & screamed. Sometimes it was all too much for one person to handle. But then I remembered it wasn't just me. God was with me. My family was with me. My friends were with me.

Maybe the cancer was my opportunity to see the blessings in my life? I think this scene sums it up pretty well.

Life is full of opportunities.