Sunday, January 31, 2016

You Are Strong

Sometimes, you don't have a choice
To choose between being strong
Or not.

Sometimes, life deals you things
That force you to be strong
Because there is no other choice
To choose from.

Sometimes, being strong
Doesn't feel like being strong.

Sometimes, being strong
Means hiding from the world
In bed, with cookies.

Or getting out of bed
When that feels impossible
To do.

Sometimes, being strong
Is saying congratulations
Even when your heart is breaking
In two.

Or saying no
To yet another invitation
To a baby shower
Or birthday party.

Sometimes, being strong
Means sharing your story
Even when it hurts.

Sometimes, being strong
Is knowing when
To keep your mouth

Sometimes, being strong
Is holding a new baby.
Or not holding
A new baby.

Sometimes, being strong
Is reaching out
When you feel like
You are drowning.

Sometimes, being strong
Is trying again
And again
And again.

Even when you know
It might never happen.

Sometimes, being strong
Is making a decision
To stop.

Even when it hurts
To breathe,
You know it is time,
To say enough.

Sometimes, being strong
Looks like nothing more
Than everyday life.

But you know better.

Because today
You got out of bed,
You got dressed,
You fed your body,
You smiled,
You faced another day.

Because you are strong.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Five Things Friday

Time for another post! It's been way too long since I've popped in to say hello so I thought I would do so today. And I know how much you all love these random little Friday posts.

1. I cannot keep my bathroom clean. It is right below the bathrooms we are working on and dust and stuff is always falling down into it. It's really discouraging and makes me feel like such a slob, but I can't be bothered to clean it every 20 minutes. I'm much too lazy for that. And I realize that this picture doesn't look that bad, but it doesn't show the sawdust on the counter.

2. We got a new furnace installed last weekend and it's so new and shiny! Plus, it takes up less space than our last one so that is always a bonus. Our old one ran off of oil and wasn't working properly, so we burned through an entire tank of oil (which costs over $900 to fill!!) in less than two months. This new one is a high efficiency propane furnace so we are hoping to see some savings happen here shortly.

3. The previous owners left behind this hideous picture hanging above our front door and I've been too lazy to take it down. I hate it but there it stays, looking down on me every time I pass by.

4. I found this adorable new Adidas sweater/workout shirt thing at Value Village last week. It is brand new condition and only cost me $11.99! I am so excited about it and feel super cute. Nothing like finding high quality clothes for cheap. Sorry for the blurry picture, my iPhone doesn't take good photos.

5. I just whipped up a batch of vegan cookies (I'll post the recipe later, when I actually take the time to photograph the steps involved) and I'm super excited about them. They are so good! Especially straight from the freezer, which is basically the only way I eat them. I can also pretend that they are healthy for me, which is a total win. P.S. They are more appetizing than they look.

So that is my mini update from the week, super exciting right? I am planning to have a post up at some point next week showing you a bit of what my house currently looks like, so check back for that.

Anyone care to share some random tidbits from your life lately? I love hearing from you guys. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Good Bye Green Bathroom, Hello Mess!

Remember me? That girl who said she would faithfully blog about all the exciting house renos? Well here I am, fulfilling that promise with the first post on our first big house reno: the avocado green bathroom!

I almost forgot how incredibly green it was. Or what it was like to have a decent bathroom to use on the main floor. Ah, the good ol' days.

Seems like just yesterday that we were enjoying using our 70's bathroom and joking about how stylish it was. While in fact, we only really got to use it for a little over a week before we madly tore it apart. That's right, we didn't waste any time starting this project.

We started with taking down the walls that had to go and opened up the space a lot more. We plan to turn this one bathroom into two, an ensuite for the master bedroom and a powder room for guests. Because of these plans, we needed more space and chose to remove the closets from the bedroom and the linen closet from the hallway and combine it all together.

We felt really good about our first day of work and were excited to see how this project would unfold.

Our next attack involved removing the vanity, toilet and bathtub. The vanity and toilet weren't so bad, but the tub was a whole other story. Mostly because of the crazy old tiles that were glued on and could only come off by shattering them.

Dan was responsible for the tile removal while I wandered around pulling trim off the walls and removing extra nails/screws. Guess who had the easier job? I was totally keeping him company though.

Oh and remember that weirdly placed mirror in the bath from the above photo? It was put there because there were some broken tiles behind it and instead of fixing them, they just glued a giant mirror awkwardly into the shower. Nice eh?

And can I just take a moment to point out what colour the walls were originally?

GREEN! These people painted the walls green and then installed a green tub, toilet and sink! I couldn't get over the ugliness of it. But then I reminded myself that it was in style back then and they probably loved their nice pretty bathroom. And then I got to thinking about how 40 years down the road people will probably be thinking the same thing about our decorating. Funny thought, eh?

Once the drywall was all down and the tile was finally removed, we had the fun job of taking up the floor. And when I say we, I really mean Dan, because lets be honest, he's doing most of the work on this renovation.

The first layer of floor came up well, in nice big chunks that were easy to remove. The second layer? Not so much. Dan pretty much had to chisel away at it and shred it to be removed. We also discovered the original flooring, which I thought would have looked lovely with the rest of the green themed bathroom.

It was after the floor was up that we took time for a mini celebration, since we were officially finished the demolition part and could start the rebuild part! We did take lots of time to figure out the perfect layouts for our bathrooms though, before putting up walls.

This is the part where I kind of slacked off on picture taking. I feel like this is a common occurrence for me, but in my defense, not too much exciting has been going on. Once the walls were up, Dan did the minor electrical, installed the exhaust fans, put in the drains and started water piping. So all the little fiddly things that don't make for great pictures.

We are making progress though and I'm getting more and more excited to see the finished product. We are finally at the point where we can start dry walling and then I will get to taking more pictures again.

That is where I will leave off for now, since that is basically where we are at in the renos. We have chosen tile and paint colours and the exciting part is now beginning to happen. I will try not to leave you hanging for too too long, but no promises.

Anyone else done a full bathroom reno before? Anyone want to commiserate with me on the joys of living in a messy/dirty house?

Monday, January 11, 2016

Where The Chickens Sleep

This post is very much belated and for that I apologize. I had every intention of getting this up to you guys as soon as we were done building, but it just didn't happen. Life is crazy busy for us and throwing Christmas in the mix definitely didn't help. You probably didn't even notice though, right? Right? Just nod your head and smile.

Moving on. When we decided to sell our house and buy a new one, we were aware that we may not have been able to bring our chickens with us. Luckily for us, we found this place and there was lots of room for a hen house and run. We did run into a minor problem though... moving the chickens. I was super stressed about how we would get them from point A to point B, considering we had to be out of our house before noon and didn't know when we would get the key for the new place. Plus, there wasn't really any good spot to put them once we got to the new place. Fortunately for me, Dan was not stressed and took everything in stride. And so we packed up our hens in boxes the night before the move (they're easiest to catch when sleeping) and placed those boxes into the moving truck.

They weren't too pleased with being woken up and confined so, but they got over it. Or more like I didn't care too much, there were more important things to worry about. When we got to the new house, we put them in a sad little dilapidated shed and hoped they would survive long enough for us to build a new coop.

Seriously, this shed sucked. Two of the hens escaped the first morning which made us even more worried, since escaping hens means that there are lots of easy spots for predators to get in. We put up some plywood along the bottom, cut a window into one wall and hoped for the best.

But because of the horrible living arrangements for our precious egg laying hens, we wasted no time in getting a safer structure built. We chose our spot (to the right of the house in the backyard when looking at it from the front) and got to building!

We planned to move the swing set to make working there easier, but it is nicely cemented into the ground and wouldn't budge. So we inconveniently had to work around it.

The first day we got the base built and three of the stud walls ready to go up. I thought we had made great progress and assumed we'd be done the next day with plenty of time to spare. FYI, I was wrong.

I can't actually remember all that we did on what day, but the point is it took longer than I thought it would to get this little shed up. The frame went up quickly but then we had to build the roof and shingle it and such. A lot of details that I had overlooked in my estimation of time. Good thing I wasn't in charge of this project and Dan was leading us on.

I very proudly shingled most of the roof myself and felt so good about my efforts once I was done. I had never really shingled before so this was a great feat for me. It also felt nice to be so helpful, since Dan could get a lot of other stuff done while I was shingling.

We kind of slacked off with the picture taking while finishing the coop, since we were so busy trying to get it done before the weekend was out.

We were super excited to find a big window and a door with a window for super cheap at a restore, they only cost us $38 and saved us lots of time (building a door isn't that easy). Plus, it adds lots of natural light in the coop for our girls.

The coop isn't officially done yet, but it's a nice safe place for the hens to sleep without the fear of them being eaten by a racoon. We built some quick roosts for them but still need to build some hen boxes and install their feeders.

Since the above pictures were taken that first weekend of our building spree, we have added the outside light, vents for air circulation and a small temporary outside run.

We plan to get hen boxes up sooner rather than later, since laying on the floor isn't going so well and we are now dealing with some egg eaters. But overall, the coop is working well and the hens are happy in it.

Come spring and warmer weather, we plan to tear down that small tin shed behind the run in the above picture and build a bigger and better run that is more secure (buried wire and wire over the top as well) and fun for the hens to be in. We've got plans!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Real Life

So you know how I promised you lots of renovation posts and talked about how exciting my blog was going to get once we moved? I lied. Turns out I'm not that good at blogging about renovations because I'm too busy sitting in the middle of them feeling sorry for myself. Seriously, I don't handle a messy/dirty house well. Especially when said house doesn't feel like home because nothing is unpacked because of all the renovations. Basically, I'm a bit of a grump lately.

Mess mess everywhere

Our only functioning bathroom
Like I said, my house is a mess and there is dirt and dust everywhere and there are a ton of cold drafts coming from all corners of the house and my mood is down in the dumps and real life just isn't fun sometimes. Our computer is beside a huge draft and so it is super cold to sit and type anything, hence the lack of blog posts. I also need to figure out how to get all the pictures off my phone and onto the computer so that I can actually share updates with you guys. <--- But it's too cold to sit at the computer for long.

Sad stockings

Christmas Eve dinner
 And if I'm being totally honest, I'm having a bit of a rough go of it emotionally. Everyday I feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over my head and I just feel sad and discouraged. This doesn't have much to do with house renovations and has a whole lot to do with me trying to deal with my infertility and choice to stop trying. I'm having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that I will never be pregnant and get to experience all that comes with that. My heart hurts and it is affecting my day to day life. I'm questioning a lot of things and just dealing with a whole whack of emotions, which takes up a lot of energy. 

So please be patient with me as I blog sporadically. I do plan on trying to get some bathroom and hen house update posts written soon and can hopefully share some house progress with you before the end of the month. I will also possibly be sharing more posts on my feelings and how incredibly hard it is to walk this road of infertility. All that to say, I have not really disappeared, I'm just trying to deal with this thing called life.

Friday, January 1, 2016

16 Goals for 2016

Here we are, entering another year! I can't believe how quickly 2015 flew by and I'm sure 2016 will be the same. It seems that the older I get, the faster time goes. Hopefully I will still be able to complete my new list of goals even if this new year does whip by like the previous ones. I found it harder to make my goals this year, probably because we are in a new house and unsure of everything we want to do to it and also because I keep adding another goal with each passing year. I may have to start going backwards or something soon...

1. Run my 4th 5k
2.  Read 35 books
3. Learn to knit a baby sweater
4. Renovate main floor of house
5. Journal at least 5 times a month
6. Take a photography class
7. Try 12 new recipes
8. Start one good habit a month
9. Build a big chicken run
10. Take a weekend getaway with Dan
11. Make a monthly budget
12. Reach goal weight of 117 lbs
13. Try container/raised bed vegetable gardening
14. Go to the gym at least 8 times a month
15. Complete a French exercise book
16. Find a new go to hairstyle

Wish me luck! And as always, if you want to share your goals here in the comment section, feel free! I love hearing from you guys.

(If you want to see previous years goal lists, check out these links: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015.)