Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Completed Goal: Goal 99

Goal 99: Turn 30 and like it

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you're going to do and just go do it. In one bold stroke, you can transform today.

~ Marilyn Grey

This was tougher than I thought it would be, but I have to admit it got easier. I struggled with the idea of turning 30. I kept having all these thoughts about where I thought I'd be by now, and whether I was close enough or just really far off. The more I thought about it, I realized that it didn't matter. When had I put this "plan" together? College? High School?

Basically I had made some decisions about what my life should be without actually giving myself a chance to live any of it first. I don't know that I could have predicted where my life and my opportunities would have taken me when I was 16. I don't know that I could have predicted what the next 14 years would bring. I could barely predict what the next weekend was going to bring. But that's kinda how things are supposed to be at 16. Now I like to plan ahead a little bit. OK, a lotta bit.

So where did I think I'd be. First, I thought I'd be married. OK- check. I thought there might be a kiddo around. Not so check. I thought that I'd have some high-powered title. Not so much with the title, but a little but on the high-power. Not that I'm quite in the C-Suite yet, but I get to work on some pretty cool projects, and overall I'm excited to go to work. I think that rounds up to a check. I thought I'd have a house. Check- a big ole mortgage sized check and a stack of design magazines with pages dog-eared to prove it.

I came pretty close to everything on that list. And to top it off, I did some things that maybe I didn't expect.

I lived in London and worked for a theatre company for a summer in college. That's a dream come true right there. I've seen Paris at sunset and the hills of Ireland at sunrise. I've stood backstage for countless performances, both at work and for shows that I was actually in, though none of those happened outside of Illinois or Indiana. I tried out for American Idol. Didn't make it on TV, but that also means I didn't get made fun of on TV. That's a win. I've stood next to my best friends while they got married and had them stand next to me. I get to come home to a dog who acts like seeing me walk through the door is the best thing that happens to him all day. I've gotten to hear my parents say that they're proud of me and that they love me. I get to hear my husband say it every night.

All in all, the first 30 years have been pretty fantastic. Who knows what the next will bring? I don't. And really that's going to be part of the fun.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

International Women's Day

Apparently, today is International Women's Day. I didn't know that there was an International Women's Day until I saw it in a few emails today. Side note- I get a lot of email. Some of it's useful, most of it's not, but I'm willing to delete and glance through on the off chance that I get something useful. Like finding out about International Women's Day.

I'm not a crazy femi-nazi or anything, but I definitely believe that women deserve to be treated as equals to men. Note I didn't say identical. Equal is not identical. There are certain innate differences between the sexes, and I think that's a good thing. Evolution and genetics have made us that way. Rather than minimizing or working to eliminate our differences, I say we embrace and celebrate them. It's part of what makes us interesting and attracts us to each other.

I think it's good to have someone who's strengths compliment your weaknesses. For example; the big guy and I tend to score on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to introversion/extroversion. I'm super-introverted; give me a book and some music or a bottle of wine, and I'm set. The big guy is super-extroverted; you don't earn sales rep of the year for North America by being a wall-flower. He helps bring me out of my shell in situations where I might be shy at first, and I get to show him how relaxing a quiet night at home can be.

What's nice about this? We're a team. There are countless other ways that we compliment each other. Compliment, not complete. I'm a complete person on my own, as is he. By acknowledging that we need each other, we actually get a little stronger as a couple, and as people. We live in a place that makes this partnership possible. Our parents have set this example for us, our society encourages men to treat their wives well. But what about women who don't have that?

A while ago I finished, Reading Lolita in Tehran, and found myself being extremely grateful for something as arbitrary as the geography of my birth. There are so many places where women are taken for granted, where women are undervalued, under appreciated, and worse. I'm not naive enough to think that those same things don't happen here, but I am hopeful that our culture doesn't encourage it and that someday we'll have the courage to change it, for good.

I also found myself grateful for some not so arbitrary things.I'm grateful for the women in my family and my female friends. As I read the story, I was amazed at the way they came together and supported each other. That need for female companionship and that shared experience is universal, I think. We all need someone to talk to who gets our perspective right away. Someone who understands what it's like to be a woman and face the pressures that bombard us all every day. Someone who understands the unique trials and tests we face every time we walk out the door, turn on the TV, or open a magazine. I've been truly blessed to have some amazing women in my life. Whether it's over dinner and drinks, or across the Internet.

Today, and every day, I'm proud to know them. And I'm proud of the woman they're helping me become.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bathroom Saga: Day 7

Day 7 had us getting into the fun stuff for me- namely paint. There's finally some color in the room! Very light color, but color none the less.

We wanted to bring in the blue of our duvet cover in the master bedroom. You can see a good picture of it in this post. To do that, we decided to go with Olympic paint in Beachcomber (B56-1). It's the lightest on the color card it comes on. We knew that we had to go light with the blue, otherwise it would wind up feeling like we were stuck in a swimming pool. We're definitely OK with deep colors in a bathroom, as you can see in our guest bathroom, but we wanted something a bit more serene for this space. I'm not what anyone would consider a "morning person" so I need to kind of ease myself into the day.

These are the new shelves. Perfect for what we need to store in this room. It really wasn't much, so losing the space we did won't be a big change. It may actually be better for seeing what we have! I'm constantly forgetting if we have cold medicine. If the door is open, you actually can't see them.

I love the way the wall color plays off the tile.
It's very similar to the color scheme in the bathroom on page 108 of this month's issue of Traditional Home. I know that because when my issue came in I dog-eared the page so I could show it to my mom. Which meant that the next time she and I were on the phone I told her to grab her issue and turn to that page so she could see it. Yup, there we were talking on the phone flipping through Traditional Home together. Not a bad way to spend some time on a Wednesday night :-)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bathroom Saga: Day 6

Day 6 was the last of the tile installation. The shower is complete! We did the same accent tile here that we used around the tub.

I don't know what it is, but I love the look of white subway tile. I know it comes up a lot in various design blogs, but I think there's good reason for that. It's classic and it goes with so many different styles. We're going for a slightly more modern feel in this space, and it fits right in. With the right accents and the right color palette it would look equally appropriate in my mom's house which is much more traditional than ours.

 A close up of the tiles, and me attempting to get a cool angle with my camera. I should probably not be attempting to start a photography business any time soon.
 And the floor tile. We wanted something that would give us the look of marble, but definitely not in that price range. Enter a ceramic tile with a carrera-esque gray vein pattern.

 So much more light now. This corner was so dark before, it just felt closed off from the rest of the room. The whole thing was more like a series of cubbies. Now it feels like a cohesive, open space.

 We added a piece of trim to the half wall to mimic the one we have at the top of the stair case. It's identical. We do want to keep some flow throughout the house.
 This little cubby is what's left of the linen closet we removed to expand the shower. The brackets are for shelves. We'll have plenty of space for all the things that we need to store in the room. We were really using less space than this in the linen closet anyway, so it's not going to be a big adjustment.
I can't wait to show you what comes next :-)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bathroom Saga: Day 5

With all the changes we made to the structure of the bathroom, we had to fix the drywall.

Oh the glamour of construction.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Bathroom Saga: Day 4

Day 4 meant that all the prep work was worth it. We have tile! And we have a new counter. No more faux blue marble sea shell shaped sinks for us. It's just white. Totally simple, and very sleek.

 Subway tile around the tub with marble accent tiles.
 Close up of the tile. No grout yet.
 Subway tile in the shower. We're really starting to see the difference in the shower. So far, so great!
 Another tile close up.
 Here's the new faucet, out of the box an on the sink. Love the shape.
 A little more tile detail, from around the tub. We went with a brushed nickel band. Less expensive than tile, and it lends a nice industrial vibe to the whole thing. Keeping with our nod to steam punk style.
 Loki approves of the changes. And of all the new smells that seem to be happening. Very interesting stuff.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bathroom Saga: Day 3

Obviously, there's been a bit of a delay between the actual third day of the renovation and me posting. I got a little distracted by some schoolwork :-) Fortunately, no such distractions hit the guys doing the important work. Not that organizational behavior papers aren't important, but it has significantly less impact on my ability to shower in my own bathroom. Here are the pictures from Day 3.

That half wall is starting to take shape!
 Shower is ready for tile.
 More tile prep around the tub.
 And tile prep on the floor. Lots of prep work to be done, but all important to get done right.
 Then we did what we do best: we went shopping. New light fixtures from Lowe's for over the sinks.
 And new faucets. A little bit vintage, a little bit steam punk, a whole lotta great!

It's definitely getting there! What comes after all this tile prep- well, tile :-)