do what makes you happy. be with who makes you smile. laugh as much as you breathe. love as long as you live.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sacrifice in Service

My visiting teaching message this week was all about Elder Robert D. Hale's talk about sacrifice in service. Then turns out today that the talk was also the message shared in Relief Society! It was a wonderful lesson, where we talked about a few of the amazing examples of sacrifice we've seen (Christ, Abinadi, etc.) and also the small but important daily sacrifices we make and we see others make around us. It was great especially because of the experience Ray and I had this weekend:

It was our turn again to help clean the church on Saturday morning. I had neglected a lot of schoolwork this week and was far behind, and was also anxious to find some garage sales early Saturday morning to look for dining chairs. Because of these, I was not looking forward to serving the Lord and my fellow members of my ward by cleaning away my Saturday morning. I knew I was needed though, so I reluctantly drag myself out of bed at 7:15AM to go help clean. The work was light, and it went by quickly, I need not have grumbled about it.

After cleaning, we left and began searching for yard sale signs. While many people were out selling, no one had what we wanted. Ultimately we came to a garage full of furniture, but lacked any people around it. We saw four chairs, that we knew would perfectly match our table and had an 'X' style back like we had wanted. Ray got out of the car and went to look at them. They had '$20' stickers on them, so we approached the door of the home and timidly asked if they were going to be selling the items on the driveway. To our surprise, the man told us he was giving it away and anything we wanted was ours. We were so excited! We took the chairs gratefully, and also ended up renting a UHaul to bring home a gorgeous solid wood entertainment center. It was amazing.

As I thought about the events of yesterday during Relief Society today, I realized the Lord had provided for us what we needed, even though it was just a small, silly thing like the kitchen chairs we like. I'm so grateful my Heavenly Father always comes through for me and blesses me with the things I stand in need of, and occasionally with the things He knows I only desire and not require. It was a testament to me that when I put the Lord first, and agree to serve and sacrifice of my time, the Lord will not hesitate to pour out blessings upon my head. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Newly-Awesome-Stenciled-DIY Kitchen Table

So, Utah was great! Other than the allergies I had to battle the whole time (stupid Cottonwood trees) it was fantastic :D I didn't get to hit up all the foodie places I wanted to... lucky for me we're going back to Utah in only two short weeks for a wedding! Woot woot! Par-tay!

I had fun with friends and a super great time hanging out with my mom and unpacking her house and all our family memories. We had our big garage sale and sold everything she or I couldn't take. It was hard to let go of some of it, but I'm so excited for her and the adventures she will have in Germany!

Speaking of all the cool things I got to take. I got my old yearbooks, a rocking chair my mom got when she had me, and an old kitchen table that has been in our family for who knows how long. My earliest memory of this table, is sitting on it and carving pumpkins when I'm about five I think. I was so excited to get the table because I had just seen this blog: click here!

I knew what I had to do.

I looked and deliberated over stencils for a whole week and finally found one on Etsy that Ray and I both loved, and it was only $20 compared to most other stencils at around $50! So I scooped it up. Then I asked my father in law to come over and help me sand the table down with his cool power sanding tools. Plus he has endless knowledge on woodwork, I was so glad he was here to help! Here are some pictures of the transformation.

I almost missed the "before" picture, but I quickly stopped my sanding and hunted down my camera successfully!

Once it was finally sanded and smoothed to perfection, we were able to start stenciling! I'm lucky my FIL was there, I was a little overzealous on painting the stencil- he had to keep telling me to stop so I didn't push the paint through and make the pattern bleed around the edges.

Here it is post-stencil and pre-stain...

And here is the finished product! I love it :) I'm super pleased with how it turned out. Now all we need to do is find some chairs to go with the table so we can stop sitting in our newly acquired campfire chairs. They're so low when I sit at the table my chin nearly hits the table top each time I chew. Let the garage sale hunting commence!

P.S. In case you noticed, or didn't for that matter: Yes, I did sand this table in my apartment. Probably not my brightest idea as I will be vacuuming and wiping dust off of everything in my apartment for who knows how long. But- there was no outlet outside our apartment, I don't own an extension cord, and we were too excited to get started to go buy one. At the end of the day based on the results, I regret nothing :)