Thursday, May 19, 2011

Laundry Room Redo & Turning Our House Into a Library

Here are the photos of the latest Cirlot family projects.

We had a problem with our dryer last night that ended up being a laundry room remodel.  I thought you would enjoy seeing the progression of how our closet/laundry room has changed since we moved in a few years ago.

This is our master bedroom's closet before we moved in.  It was huge, but we needed a space for our washer and dryer.

With help from Bryan's dad and our friend JJ, Bryan made electrical and plumbing changes, tiled the floor, built a false wall, added closet doors, and built a wooden half-wall to enclose the utility cords, plumbing, and etc.

Here's our finished project after last night. Bryan had to redo the half-wall and redid it with beadboard.  We added shelving (love having scrap wood in our shop!), and we used leftover paint from another project to make the walls fun! 

Now, I am finally organized in here and all of our cleaning stuff is out of Abby's reach.
Here it is zoomed out, so you can see how our closet is now lined with bookcases for Bryan's library.  We used to have a double-sided closet, but about a month before Bryan resigned, the left side fell.  It turns out to be providence.  We both just got rid of half of our wardrobe and joined it together on the right side.  Who really wears that many outfits anyhow?
Abby and Aslan decided to model in this one.  You can see how all of the bookshelves are maxed out!

We moved a desk into the master bedroom, so it could be a quieter place to study.  We added a short bookshelf on this side too.  

More Bookshelves in the Living Room/Dining Room area.  I do like how colorful they are!
Abby's makeshift bookcase and reading area.  You can see her artwork displayed above with repurposed table mats.

So, that's it for now.  More projects are always being cooked up, so I'm sure you will see something new soon!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dyson is a Beast!

If you've been keeping up with my blog posts lately, you know that Abby has been diagnosed with a dust mite allergy.  Needless to say, I've been deep cleaning like crazy and really on top of keeping the dust away... or so I thought. 

I knew our vacuum, an old Eureka, was on its last leg, but I had no idea how bad it was until tonight.  I borrowed my mom's new multi-surface Dyson vacuum and vacuumed our "clean" floors to see what I would get.  I'm horrified and impressed by the results.  The photos speak for themselves.

I filled up the canister.  Yuck!

In case you didn't get how much dirt that was, I dumped it out on a full-sized paper plate.  It's a small mountain.
So... I guess we need a new vacuum, huh?

Maybe Dyson should hook me up for showing off their machine in this blog. *Hint, Hint*

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My Heart Tonight

Today, I celebrated my 3rd Mother's Day with Abby in my arms.  The joy she has brought into our lives has been immeasurable.  I watched some videos of her as a fat, chubby baby this morning, and I couldn't help but get teary eyed realizing how quickly she is growing up.  I am so blessed to be Abby's mommy.  I didn't know it was possible to love or fear for someone this much.  Thanks to her sassy little self, I have already started "highlighting" my grays away in my twenties, but she is worth every single silver strand.

However, Mother's Day doesn't just remind me of the kid we have.  I think about the two we have lost.  I wonder what it would be like to see their smiling faces or to learn what their favorite foods would be.  This Mother's Day has been especially good in some ways while especially tough in others.

You see, in 5 weeks, I would be delivering if we hadn't miscarried back in October.  Instead of being in the hospital that week, I will be teaching VBS.  It's not what I would have planned, but I believe what Scripture teaches is true.  God is good.  God is sovereign.  God's plans are for my ultimate good (Rom. 8:28-30).  I just don't get life sometimes, and I don't have to.  I can rest in what I do know.  That is enough for now.  It has to be.

In passing conversation today, several people asked if we were going to have more children.  I'll be 28 this October, so logically, it's time to have #2.  How do I answer something like that without making it awkward for both of us?  Can I just say, "I hope so?"

For all of you who have miscarried or lost children out there tonight, my heart goes out to you.  May you find comfort and joy in Jesus tonight.  Rest in His sovereignty.  Our Father is good, and He does not waste our pain.  When our hearts ache, let's just remember.  This world is not our home.  For those of us who know and love Jesus, we do have one to look forward to where death and grief will be no more.

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:3-4

Friday, May 6, 2011

Another Life Change

Since last night when we came home, I have been on a deep cleaning blitz.  I am not nearly finished but am already pooped.  Here's the deal. 

Our cute toddler tot has had recurrent sinus infections since infancy, so we finally had her tested by a pediatric allergist yesterday morning.  After sticking our sweetpea 16 times with various potential allergens, we received a diagnosis.  Abby is allergic to dust mites!  Aaah!  In the past few years, I have become a fairly decent housekeeper, but dust always seems to get the best of me.  Of course, that would seem to be the one thing that matters most for my kid's health.  Great, huh?

The good news is she is not allergic to any of our pets (Bryan says that is bad news), but the frustrating part is that it is not easy to get rid of dust mites!  Here's what we have to do.

-Abby will now have to take allergy meds twice a day along with a nasal spray.
-She is on antibiotics for the next 20 days to clear up the current sinus infection that has been lingering for a while (I'm just relieved that she has been whiny lately for a reason.  I'm not a failure as a mom!).
-No more carpet- it needs to be replaced with laminate, wood, vinyl, or tile.
-No more upholstered furniture- it needs to be replaced with leather, vinyl, or wood.
-Frequent air filter changes
-Frequent sheet changes
-Plastic covered pillows and mattresses for Abby's room
-Limit the number of stuffed animals (only as many as you can wash every week in hot water)
-No more clutter or fabric decorations
-No more running the fan at night in Abby's room
-We have to get a dehumidifier to run all of the time where Abby sleeps since dust mites thrive in high humidity (explains why the humidifier was making her symptoms worse!)
-We need to keep our air below 70 (our summer electric bill won't be fun)
-I will have to vacuum frequently with a vacuum with a HEPA filter (guess it's good that we have a used vacuum salesman in our neighborhood).

Fun, Fun, Fun.  I must say... all of these changes (some of which we will have to make slowly as we get the funds for them) are worth it if Abby gets well and stays well. 

On a bright note, I can already see how God is providing for some of these needs.  A few weeks ago, a friend's dad who owns a flooring business contacted us and wanted to barter flooring labor for a website package.  One of the families that are church planting with us found boxes of laminate flooring that they had left over from doing their own house about 5 years ago.  What they gave us will get us started in changing out our flooring (starting with Abby's room). 

God's sovereignty and provision are pretty humbling.

Maybe I can find a furniture store that needs a website now. ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Three Churches

My heart is full right now as I type this.  In the past 48 hours, I have been part of three different churches that are close to my heart.  All are completely different, but all are serving God's purposes in their own context.  What an incredible opportunity it is to be able to experience such diversity during this time of thinking out what we feel like God wants our church plant to be!

On Saturday nights, we attend the Mosaic in Ocean Springs.  It is an attractional model church plant that meets in a local skating rink on the weekends.  I love the casual atmosphere and the way the pastor presents the Gospel in a clear and contextualized way every single week.  The worship services are my style of preference... very contemporary and well done.  Their children's program is fantastic.

On Sunday mornings, we attend Ridglea Heights in Escatawpa.  We became members there yesterday.  We spent our high school and college years as members here, so it is good to be back again.  The people are friendly and welcoming, and it has a "family" atmosphere that most churches wish they had.  It has a praise band that leads with a mixed blend of music.  Abby loves going to play with her cousins while we worship.  It's easy to  find a place to serve here, and it is harder to just "blend in" and "fade away" (which I think is a good thing).  People stay around after the services to chat, and the staff has to run people out when they are ready to go home.

On Sunday nights, we just started our Core Group meetings for the church plant.  We have been through a lot together, and suffering together binds people in a way that good times can't.  The affection and respect we have for each other as we gather is a beautiful thing, and I pray that those qualities only grow.  Gathering to worship with other believers who are "all in" is a unique and humbling experience.  How many times in your life do you get to do church with people who are willing to give up everything for Jesus?  Last night, we worshiped together, studied the Word together, dreamed together, prayed together, cried together, and laughed together.  The joys and fears we share must be a lot like the early church felt as they wondered how the Gospel was about to change their lives and rock their world.  We are praying big prayers together, and I am excited about what God will do.  Ironically, there were eleven of us who met together last night... exactly the same as the number of disciples that Jesus left in charge to change the world they knew.  Sobering, huh?

Keep praying for us.  We pray our journey is far from over.

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