Happy New Year! I hope you had a joy-filled transition into 2015. My New Year’s Eve was WILD; I fell asleep at about 9:30 pm watching Honey I Shrunk the Kids with my 8 year-old. Good times.

I promised I’d update you on our DIY kitchen remodel. Before I do, let me just quote from AW Tozer (so this post can seem really spiritual):

“The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but never satisfy the longing of the heart.” 

I adore my new kitchen but I must confess this remodel has been one of nervous activity and I am SO OVER house projects. My first goal of 2015 is to take a DIY vacay. (Well, after I finish this storage unit I’m currently working on…AHH! Make it stop!)

My second (and more long term) goal– in the continued pursuit of living without toxic shame– is to spend this year more meaningfully. I’m rethinking how and where I spend my money, which books I read, the music I listen to, and the shows I watch. I want to make sure I’m being intentional with every choice.

That doesn’t mean I’m changing a ton in my life– I just want to say the best yes’s (as Lysa TerKeurst says) and make the most thoughtful decisions I can this year. In the reading arena, I picked up AW Tozer’s The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy again– great reads if you haven’t perused them before. I’m also reading Enrique’s Journey– which I’d HIGHLY recommend if you are at all interested social and immigration issues.

I’d love to know how you live meaningfully. Where do you shop for food? Do you support a ministry or organization? What about how you spend your time and invest in relationships? I think it’d be an ah-mah-zing year if we could share ideas with each other.

And now, without further ado, let me show you the nastiness that was our kitchen:

Step One: Purchase new appliances. This was our only major expense. We used some Christmas money and some savings. Previously we had mismatched appliances — black, white, and off white– and the microwave had gone to electronic heaven. I was fine with the appliances we had, don’t get me wrong; these are definitely first world problems. But it sure is nice having matching ones. We bought floor models at Lowe’s and saved some money that way.  

Step Two: Update the island. I don’t have  a  good before pic of the island, but trust me when I tell you it was an ugly green drywall. We had a friend install the bead board and the towel rack on the island. He did an awesome job. Both the bead board and the rack came from Lowe’s and were super affordable.  
Step Three: Never lay eyes on this box light monstrosity again. My original plan was to paint the trim around it to kind of camouflage it, but Kevin convinced me it was worth purchasing a new light. We had some rebate rewards from Menards (love me those rebates), so we cashed those in for a new light. Kevin installed it and patched up the ceiling while I danced on the box light’s grave.   
Miner’s light from Menards. 
Step Four: The painting began. Again, Kevin did it all! I should call this a HYHDI (have your husband do it) project instead of DIY, cause he rocked this kitchen like a BOSS! We covered all of the russet colored walls with Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. My mom painted our ceiling fan (which was an 80’s hunter green). She’s tiny, so she literally just stood on the table and painted on black Rustoleum spray paint with a brush. It was fun to watch and an inexpensive fix. She also spray painted some old island stools we’ve had for ten years but NEVER used before now. 
Step Five: Next we had to choose cabinet colors and begin prepping them for painting. I obsessed over these decisions incessantly for months–I’m like J Alfred Prufrock in these scenarios (and if you get that reference, let’s grab coffee). After some late night Pinterest and Houzz research, I played it safe with a neutral palette. I love that I can add pops of color as kitchen trends (and as my spazzy DIY moods) change. 
We had originally thought about getting new counter tops, but didn’t have the budget and it kind of defeated the whole affordable DIY idea. So the neutral palette also worked to incorporate our current counter top. We chose BM White for the cabinets and BM Coventry Gray for the island. Once again, my manly husband did all the prepping and painting, saving us a ton of money. 
And here she is: 
TA DA! I hate how in house pics no one ever has anything on their counters and the lighting is all perfect. (Cause that’s not how anyone with three children actually lives.) So if the clutter and imperfect lighting annoy you, you are more than welcome to come clean and light-design my house anytime you want. (Side note: this is REALLY clean for us.)
And I can’t forget Jango Fett, the fish, who added to our project as well: Jango Fett died; sad but also awfully convenient for me to gain some counter top space and get rid of the turquoise fish tank stand. RIP JF, you’ll be missed, but I’m also glad you chose to die when you did. Thanks buddy. If you’re a detail person, you may have also noticed we moved the DIY nightmare of a gray table into the new space. It was born to be a kitchen table! 
Admittedly, I’m probably high on paint fumes, but I’m so ecstatic and thankful!
I promise I’ll stop with the DIY updates…for now. 
Happy 2015! 

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