33 years

Thirty three years ago today.

We said I do.

We celebrated with our family and friends.

It seems like a lifetime and sometimes it seems like a couple years ago.

I was a twenty year old girl with stars in her eyes.

I’m a fifty three year old girl still with stars in her eyes.

This past year our baby girl gave us our first grand baby. I watch as you love that baby boy with so much joy.

I watch you love with the same love you have shown me all these years.

It’s been a hard year full of loves and losses.

I forever feel safe and cared for. You make me better.

The years only get better.

I have loved you the last 33 years and will love you for the next 33 years.

We’ve got this.

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Since October

I haven’t had many “work” things to talk about.

Dad was my work buddy and when Dad couldn’t go to the garage, I didn’t want to go.

I still don’t want to go.

It was our place. Our fun place. I’ve made it out there a couple of times since December 30th but most days, I make excuses.

It’s too cold

There’s too many things to do inside.

Most days……I don’t want to.

It makes me sad.

Last week, our last project we worked on together was ready to be delivered.

She was a beautiful old dresser that had been handed down from parent to child. We had discussed what to do with her.

There was no hurry since she would be used in a bedroom that was still being repaired from Hurricane Irma.

That was good because hurry was not in our vocabulary. Dad had bad days and then really bad days. When I took on a job, it was always with the disclaimer, “there can’t be a time limit.”

So my friend and I discussed options and made a plan.

She didn’t want the majority of the wood to be painted.

She didn’t want the metal decorative pieces messed with. Never! I love those

She wanted the top piece removed if possible.

I love how with just a little elbow grease, paint and imagination, something forgotten can be turned into new and improved.

I didn’t take a final picture, but the side panels are painted too. Every other was painted gray like the front drawers.

It was still hard to get this beauty ready to go to it’s home without Dad. He loved the delivery part. Setting it up and making sure everything was perfect.

But we got it done. I had some help from the cutest guy I know.

Baby steps has been my motto. Lots and lots of baby steps.

Have a beautiful Thursday.

Charma

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The little details

I’m pretty good at the big picture.

Pictures swirl around in my head.

This little alcove in the kitchen used to be a hallway that led to 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. It’s hard to explain what it used to be, but it’s easy to explain what it is now.

To the left, the powder room

To the left, the pantry with the cutest red screen door.

All that to say, I’m not always good at the little things. I have finality paralysis. I’m scared to make a final decision because WHAT IF IT’S WRONG?

Take these corbels for instance.

I bought them at a garage sale way more than a year ago.

I love them.

They can be used in so many ways. How on earth do I decide?

They can be used as shelf brackets.

They can used to decorate your kitchen cabinets

They could be bookends

Or they could just sit on a table as decorations.

They are THAT cute.

However, one day as I walked through the kitchen.

BAM!

Let’s put the corbels, that are hiding in the garage, lost in the hoard. Between the end tables and the big metal letters………here!

Perfect.

Now if I could only figure out where to hang the family picture.

Love,

The girl who has had the flu for 6 days…….and shared it with the family.

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The Attic

If you don’t know about the attic, you can read about it here The Secret Room and here The attic and here It started with a hole in the ceiling and here The Attic update and now there is one more update to share.

I have wanted movie chairs in the movie room since day -45. Do you know how much those silly fancy chairs cost? It’s just plain ridiculous. It would be wonderful for all of our guests to have reclining, massage chairs with lit cup holders but……….well just no.

A few months ago, my sweet friend sent me a text that said “my friend is giving away these chairs.”

I heard “free chairs!!!” And immediately called to see when they could be picked up.

I didn’t talk to Steve before accepting them but instead scheduled a pick up.

I didn’t think about the size or the bases.

I didn’t think about having to take them apart before putting them in the truck.

I didn’t think about it taking three trips to get them all home

Those little details……..well shoot.

However……. it all worked out and look!!!

We took the bases all apart and made them fit in our space.

We ordered the same carpet as the floor and recovered the bases so they matched perfectly.

Now we have 7 chairs for our friends.

Lots of floor space for big pillows and blankets.

This wall….

I am designing a wall unit for this sweet little popcorn machine we found at a yard sale for $5!

I want a microwave and some cute baskets to hold all of our blankets and pillows.

I see Super Bowl LII right here in our very near future.

Have a great day!

Charma

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Lucy drove the Bride

Back in October we bought Lucy.

You can read about that day here The perfect Redhead

In December, we spoke to our friends about the upcoming wedding of their daughter. It was going to be outside on a beautiful piece of property. All I could think of was having Lucy carry the beautiful bride to the aisle.

Ok Charma not everyone is in love with your old truck.

What Bride would want to be hauled around in a loud pickup truck?

I ask anyways.

They said yes! We were so excited.

Lucy was such a gift to our family and we couldn’t wait to share her with others. Dad loved Lucy so much and when I shared we would be taking her to a wedding to carry the bride he was so happy.

So it was planned. We would bring Lucy to the wedding area on December 30th at 1pm.

Days prior, Dad became really sick and I contacted our friends.

“Now don’t you worry, Lucy will be there. I won’t be able to come to the wedding and I’m so disappointed but Steve will be there.”

Here she is all ready for the bride!

Now I don’t believe in coincidence.

Almost at the same time this beautiful couple began their lives together, my Dad took his final breath and met Jesus face to face.

A few days ago, I received an email from the father of the bride. Here are a few of his words.

“Selfless….I’ve thought of this word a lot when I’ve thought of this day, this truck,  you and your family.

You guys were hurting and had every right to hold things close that day, to say “no” to commitments and everyone would have definitely understood that….  But you chose to bless me and my family.  Even though you guys were hurting you still poured into someone else and made their day special…. My day special…. My daughter’s day special.  Selfless.

The truck meant a lot to me….. It was more than a truck.   It was something a dad and his daughter enjoyed so another dad and daughter could enjoy…. Selfless.

I’ve thought many times about this day. I’m so sad that I missed it.

Dad would have been so mad at us if we had said no to his day. He loved Lucy. He would have wanted her to make someone else happy.

In this life, aren’t we supposed to be selfless? I cry buckets just thinking abut the joy of this day and how something so simple as an old truck made one old man and his baby girl so happy and how at the same time it made one younger man and his baby girl so happy.

Have a blessed Wednesday friends,

Charma

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Dear Jack

You turned 8 months old a couple weeks ago. Your family has been so busy and BB has had a hard time putting pen to paper.

You have grown so much the last month. Not only in size but in personality.

We celebrated with Christmas activities last month.

You visited Santa Claus at the downtown square with Mommy and Daddy and a lot of your family. We waited in line for over an hour and Santa was not your favorite.

We walked around the neighbor delivering sweet treats to our neighbors.

Christmas morning was fun!

After Christmas was hard and you didn’t really understand what was going on but we were so grateful for you. Some days you were the reason to smile. Babies make everything better

So many of our family and friends came to visit and you were the favorite. So much love in one house.

You are crawling now and sometimes you get stuck under the furniture

When Daddy has to go to school, Pops fills in for nighttime story.

And you enjoyed the football game

You are growing so fast and I’m happy and sad all at the same time. You are starting swim lessons soon and I can’t hardly wait to spend hours and hours in the pool with you this summer.

I could not love you more.

Love,

BB

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The Lessons I’ve Learned

Since the afternoon of Christmas Day 2017, life has been hard.

It has been heartbreaking sadness. It has been frustration and it has been just plain hard.

My Father, My Dad, My Daddy, My friend, My work partner left this earth and met Jesus on December 30th.

The week prior to his departure was probably the hardest week of my life and the weeks to follow have been rough. I don’t know how else to describe it but just rough.

Two memorial services, one at home in Florida and the other in Ohio for our north family and friends. We returned home from Ohio yesterday. Today, we start our new normal. As I reflect back on the last weeks I want to find positives. Even during the worst times of our lives, there has to be things to hold onto that were good or that we can learn from.

Lesson 1:

When people want to help, LET THEM.

Let them spend time with you. They wouldn’t do it if they didn’t want to. Let them feed you.We have had more food than we knew what to do with. We have frozen food, we have given food away, we have invited others to eat with us. Some people have the gift of cooking and it’s how they show their love. Open the door and let whoever wants to bless you in the front door. Let them serve you. If you are lucky enough to have people in your lives that want to be your arm holders, let them do it. I say all of this because I’ve had to let go. Let go of the guilt of people wanting to help. Accept that I am loved by so many and that one day I will have the opportunity to serve and love them like they have me.

Lesson 2:

Spend time with people. Don’t wait. Don’t make excuses.

Just do it.

It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can be outside on the porch, swinging as the sun goes down. It can be a last minute “let’s roast hot dogs over the fire for dinner” kind of night. It can be dominoes on a Friday night. It can be a phone call just because you were thinking of them.

Those cousins you rarely see.

The aunts and uncles that live in another state.

They are worth connecting with.

This past April I left my job. It was time for me to be close to home. To spend as much time with Dad as I could. Most days I would wait in my house till around 9 am. Dad would come through the door and he would either be in his Pj’s which meant it wasn’t a great day or he would show up in his work clothes which meant we were going to the garage. Either way was ok because no matter what, I was given the opportunity to be with him. I could have made more money, been able to go on fancy vacations or make a corporate name for myself but instead I was able to etch memories in my mind that will never go away.

Lesson 3:

Get your affairs in order. NOW.

I am so grateful to have been able to help Mom take care of things. But WOW people, it’s not easy. The paperwork and the calls that have to take place after someone passes away is staggering. My folks were super organized and knew where everything was so really I think my job was probably easier than normal.

Funeral planning? I had no clue

Estate documents? Gets yours and make your loved ones get them now. Please please trust me on this one.

It’s so much easier to think about it now than when you are grieving. Go to your loved ones and do it together. You won’t be sorry

Lesson 4:

This is the hardest one so far.

How many older people do you spend time with? They are not old, they are just older than you. One day you will be there.

I’ve watched as I have spent hours with Mom taking her here and there. There are older people who have no one. They are at the Dr’s office filling out the 18 pages of information alone and some are so confused. I have wondered how they handle difficult things such as the mountains of paperwork to handle when someone passes away. Some are completely alone and some just feel it. We, me included get busy in our everyday lives and forget.

I’m not sure what all this means for me but I will not forget this experience and I will figure out how to live my life without Dad.

I do know that I want to make a difference. Somehow by learning from my experiences even if that means walking this difficult road with someone else.

Happy Monday friends.

I’m going to go put on my work clothes. #newnormal

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