I am celebrating my 20th anniversary today! I met my husband as he was getting ready to graduate from the police academy at the beginning of 1993. We married in 1996. We have 2 wonderful girls who are now adults. As we celebrate 20 years, I wanted to take some time to reflect on our marriage and how far we have come. It hasn't always been easy as we all know marriage is not a bowl of roses. But who wants a bowl of roses anyway? LOL! That would take away all the adventure that life throws at you. I have been asked what makes our marriage work. I don't have that one line answer to give someone inspiration. We are all different human beings with different wiring.
I'm not going to lie, being married to a cop is hard. At first, I wanted to blame him for never being home or blame the ongoing shift change, or the fact that I couldn't have a life or commit to any engagements because not only does his shift change but his off days have always been rotating. Plus I had to share the limited time off so he could help friends and family. I felt like a robot with a schedule for the night he was actually off. And let's be honest, when we are young- we are full of energy, selfish and think we know it all! Sacrifice was hard.
I could never commit to anything on a weekly basis. With 2 growing girls and their commitments plus my husbands crazy schedule, I worked and it was hard stuff. I felt alone and wondered if there would be anyone out there that would take me as a friend on my schedule only...lol! It was easier to have friends 20 years ago. Everyone wasn't so busy and it was still a time that relationships were important and I could call a friend to come over at a drop of a hat. We didn't have cell phones yet..lol! We didn't text and we were saving money for our first computer with that annoying start beep. But as years went by, people got busier and busier. We live, we grow, we learn. Have we always done it right? No! Have we had a perfect marriage? No! Have we been the best parents ever? No! Are there things we wish we can change about one another? Yes! But are we together after 20 years still loving each other? Yes!
What has made our marriage work? Sacrifice, love, commitment, unity, faith, and I can go on with those sentimental adjectives. My husband and I have always put him and I before our kids. Most parents today do not. Their kids are the center of their world. But my husband and I have "valued" time. We looked forward to off days. They were and are rare. If he wasn't picking up an extra shift while we were trying to buy our first house or sleeping because you don't really get off days on 3rd shift, we had limited days that could just be us. The little time we had together was quality time that was not taken for granted. I promise you, we love our girls as much as you love your kids but our girls knew that their parents came before them when we had the time. I always thought that without "Us" there wouldn't be "them" so "Us" will always come before "them." While our girls were growing this was all they knew. They have not lived with parents that worked 8-5 and could cuddle on the couch in the evening. I never promoted all the sports and extra circular. They could and did play a few to try them out but they never continued and honestly, I was happy...lol! I am not a fan of living just to run my kids to games and practices every single day of the week. We have better "life" opportunities we can enjoy rather than living like that. I am more of a free spirit and I still do not work off of a calendar. My husband is on task and keeps a calendar and he would prefer a schedule. I like the spur of the moment "let's go" kind of days. Even though our schedules were crazy and it seemed like the girls never saw us "together" much, they always felt the unity between us. When they asked me a question or wanted to do something, I would always tell them that I would talk to their dad first. I rarely talked to their dad first... lol! But they thought I did and that's what mattered. They never played us because they thought we were unified through his crazy schedule. Has my husband missed holidays or special days? Yes! As a young cop you don't get to have first pick. But I'm not sure that the girls even remember what he missed. My husband was good at taking off or switching a shift when it wasn't a busy holiday like Christmas. He was there for all the school plays and recitals. He was there for school meetings, He was there every year loading camping gear for their class trips, He was there when it was time to drive, He was there teaching them to clean their cars and change their oil. He was there taking his police dog to school to offer a demonstration, he was there taking them to school waiting to go to sleep after 3rd shift. So, if he missed a holiday, I don't think we remember because he has been there for all the stuff in between even if he never got to sleep yet. I decided to take teams to Mexico on mission trips for a span of 9 years. My husband would never go, but he was there at the fundraising events and supported me. We have never told each other "no" to any of our goals and dreams. We have always supported and encouraged each other to do whatever adventures we want to get into- within reason of course! We never blamed each other for our lives chosen but quietly appreciated what each other did rather than persecuting each other for what we couldn't do. We made sure a kiss and an I love you was said at each departure.
Now that we are all older....lol....we deal with rotating shifts, a police dog, 2 house dogs, a daughter in college and a daughter headed to her senior year in high school and I started my own business. You might think it is much easier now and I could have my own life and schedule. Think again... lol! My 18 yr old daughter has not grasped the driving concept. We are working on it but she has school and a job and I am her taxi. I am hopeful by the end of the summer this will be conquered!
I have learned that it is Okay that I can't join this group, have nights to go out with friends, or even commit to an every Saturday or Sunday Church service. I have learned to learn on my own. I have learned to use my gifts and talents to help others. I have learned to be satisfied right where I am planted until the chapter needs to close. I have learned that when my chapter closes that I need to be patient until my husband can join me in my next chapter. I have learned that when he needs a break that he deserves that break!! I get bored easily. When I get bored, I am onto the next thing. My husband has always supported me and been there through all my "things."
He has been amazing over the years. I don't know how he can go to work and get called every name in the book and come home and shut it off. I couldn't do it. I couldn't do his sleep schedule. I don't think me or our girls can ever recall a time that we have ever been affected by the negative that he endures daily. He shuts it off at the door. What I admire is that his heart is always working for the good of others. Maybe that's why it is easier for him-The hope that the good will always trump all the bad in this world. I am thankful he is still coming home.
After 20 years, we are still loving and supporting each other through all of our chapters. We are getting ready to close a huge chapter and start a new one next year. We are prepping to sell our house that we had built 12 years ago. Remember when I said that I get bored easily? I'm a free spirit? I like to use my gifts and talents? Well... I'm tired of living in the city. I grew up in the country and the saying is true... You can't take the country out of the girl. I feel so closed in living here. I would love some land and a fixer upper!! My husband and I work so well together and this would be so much fun for us! I think he might become more of a free spirit...lol!
So..... here is to another 20 years of chapters opening and closing! I am so excited to grow old with my policeman. I still can't imagine my life without him. My life is better because of him. Our lives are different but I like being different. My heart is full.
Happy Anniversary to a policeman that I am honored to call my husband.
(he calls me Katherine)
Kitchen Makeover on a BUDGET!
My mother and father-in-law needed a kitchen update. Their kitchen was very dull, outdated and needed some love. However, who wants to spend money on new appliances, granite counters, wood floors and a tile back splash that all the TV shows provide? It's summer time, vacation time and the extra money is just not there. Did you know that you can update your kitchen without putting in all the expensive materials? Don't be afraid! Just dig right in!! If you want to change out appliances or add new counter tops, that can come later. You can make a huge change just by painting the cabinets, changing some decor and adding some really neat elements in your kitchen. I told them I wanted to give them a kitchen makeover. I knew they wanted to paint their cabinets and they just couldn't decide what to do. I asked them if there was anything I couldn't do. They gave me free reigns to do whatever I wanted!! That made this kitchen makeover even more fun! I am surprising them! They will have no idea until they return home. It truly killed me not to share my progress!
This is their Kitchen Before:
They live in an older home with the original cabinets. Do you see the phone still hanging on the wall? How about the gold hardware? This kitchen is small with limited cabinet and counter space. Do you notice how all the photo's have a yellow tint? This is not the camera. Their light on the ceiling has yellowed and causes a yellow tint in their kitchen. I could not wait to dig in! I could see that this would be a huge transformation! My husband was on board to help me make this happen in 4 days while they were out of town. I had some prep to do. I had 3 weeks to get all my ideas, thoughts and materials bought. I am blessed to have the Habitat Restore close to my house. I stopped in searching for cabinets that I could repurpose. I FOUND THEM!! I put them on hold for my husband to pick up the following day. These cabinets were ugly yellow and they smelled really bad on the inside. I saw potential!!
I decided on my cabinet color. The color will be Duck Egg Blue. I love Annie Sloan chalk paint and wax finish. I headed to the store 25 minutes away to purchase my cabinet paint. Meanwhile, I told my husband what I wanted to do so he could get started. I decided to screw 2 cabinets together, add 6 legs and a wood top with a braided trim for a hutch. The 3rd cabinet will hang on the wall in the center with floating shelves so it all will look like one unit in their kitchen. I had to get rid of their table in the corner taking up space and clutter. I like a clean space. I do not like clutter! Here is the process to make this happen:
I stained and sealed the board for the top, the 6 legs and the beaded trim. I wiped all the cabinets down inside and out. I spray painted the inside and all the shelves to freshen them up. I could not get the smell out of these cabinets even after painting them! I can't describe the smell other than old, musty, and I don't even know .... lol! It was just a very odd smell. I aired them out for 2 weeks and it was all good! I continued on.... I used the duck egg blue on the cabinets and let them dry well overnight. The next day I waxed them with clear. My husband added the bead trim at the bottom, attached the top of the two cabinets and a small crown on the upper cabinet that would hang on the wall. My in-laws use a paper towel holder and a paper plate holder daily. I needed to finish those so they would match. I decided a lobster would be good! HA! We spent 3 days finishing this piece for their kitchen. My husband made the floating shelves. I stained and sealed them.
Now, I am sure you are wondering what I paid for this! All 3 cabinets at the Habitat Restore were $75. Annie Sloan Chalk paint is $36 for a qt. I used half a quart. The wax finish is $24 and I used half (So, $30 to finish. I will use the rest on their existing cabinets. The legs were $4 each and we attached 6 ($24) We spent $50 on the wood top, braided trim and floating shelves. $6 for the can of white spray paint for the inside of the cabinets. I used white Rustoleum. Total Cost: $185
My father in law was very kind to take off all the cabinet hardware for me! I Spray painted them with Rustoleum Oil bronze. $6 for updated hardware!!
Now we wait for them to go out of town.... The clock keeps ticking and I can't wait!!
They left!! We loaded up our cars with all the materials and began!! WOOHOO!! My daughter and husband began painting the walls sugar white. I started painting the cabinets. Remember the white pantry they had in their kitchen? I wanted to keep that. I painted it Duck Egg Blue but I bought new hardware. The walls and cabinets took 2 coats. This took all day. I worked for 11 hours today. My husband and daughter worked for 5 hours. She had to go to work! Jeff went home to cut out the shelves to put around the window.
We slept great and ready for day number 2!! This was the big day! I will just list everything we did today:
Waxed the pantry and cabinets-caulked around counter and window sill-hung upper cabinet on wall-hung floating shelves-placed hardware back on cabinets and pantry-tightened up some cabinets-added small shelves my husband cut and routered around window-hung up some decor- cleaned light above kitchen sink and I am sure I am missing some things... The biggest decision was "what do we do about lighting?" The previous owner put a drop ceiling in the kitchen... crazy huh? There is a long light on the ceiling that is covered in yellowed tinted plexi glass from pure oldness. The decision was made to go to Home Depot for a new light. That was an adventure taking the light down and adding the new one. HOLY COW! It made a HUGE difference. My vision came alive and now it was bright and clean in the kitchen!! We were tired. My hands hurt from waxing so after 8 hours we headed home for the day.
Day number 3 and it all came together!! I made a couple stops on the way. I got a few hooks for the wall, matching towels and wash cloths, a rug, and a little decor to help complete the kitchen. I had some glass jars at home so I wrapped some hemp around them to fill up with candy and scentsy bars for the shelves. They had a clock they bought for the "old kitchen" so I took it apart. I added a new background and painted the casing. Their wood trash bin would not work in the space I wanted it to go in so I had a wood trash can in my basement that was 20 years old and gross to be honest. I sanded my trash can down, re-stained it, and added new hardware. It's good as new! My father in law does not know this yet but I am going to ask him to seal it. He's pretty good at sealing!! That is the only thing we are asking him to do! I organized some of their cabinets. I added shelving paper and cleaned up their pile that was emptied into their dining room so we could start the remodel. The little table that was in the old kitchen went to the basement along with their ceiling light and trash can. My husband changed the way the fridge and freezer opened. Now it opens the right way!! It was time to clean up! I swept and added the final touches! My sister-in-law stopped by so I had her get two very small plants to put on the shelves in the kitchen. She put them in 2 glasses that were in their cabinet that they never used. After 3 days we are finished!! Are you ready to see it? Here we go!!
What do you think about my kitchen on a budget? I will break the cost down for you!
The wall cabinet unit as I stated before was $185- $6 for hardware paint- $15 for new pantry hardware - $60 for new ceiling light - 1 1/2 qts of duck egg blue to paint the pantry and cabinets-$48- 1 can of wax $24 - new hand sanitizer bottle-$3- whale tale hook $7 - Captains wheel hook $15 - Anchor vase with wheat decor on floor $35 - Little plants-$6 - Rug $17 - Placemat $5 - Shelving paper foam $4 - Towels and washcloths $10 - hardware for trash can $10 - wall paint- 1 gallon $40 - candy, bananas, apples - $15
We already had caulk, stain, sealer, wood glue, screws, nails, some wood, paint brushes and rollers, glass jars, 2 wall hangings and a trash can that we were happy to get out of our basement. The grand total was $505. If you want to include tax and maybe a couple things I forgot we can round up to $550 to give wiggle room for error. This is a great start to update your kitchen on a budget!!
Now it is time for the reveal!!
They loved it!! Woohoo!!!
Time to start the next project!