Friday, February 10, 2012

Home Sweet Home

In the midst of all the things going on in the previous post, we've still be finding time to wrap up some (unnecessary but totally fun) projects around the condo.

Sofa Table
We had some left over money at Ikea, so we decided to pick up this sofa table for the back side of our sofa (hence why it's called a sofa table). Kyle got to put on his Ikea thinking cap one more time and put it together. Once it was put together, I immediatelty felt the need to start placing things in it/on it/near it. I found that the fabric boxes I got at Target fit perfectly (without a centimeter to spare) into the cubbies on the bottom. We put our wine in the third cubby, and our (small but growing) recipe book collection in the fourth cubby. I also found that the four salad bowls that were hogging room in my kitchen fit perfectly in the small cubbies above the big cubbies. Score!

Our sofa's new best friend.
For the top of the sofa table, I had a vision of frames. Kyle was a gem and picked out 5 "mismatching size" frames at Ikea. I was very impressed when he nailed the size selection I had in mind. I'd be wanting to somehow display the 5 solas in our home, and now we had the perfect place to do so!

I just printed them each on gray card stock
and then put them in the frames.

I told Kyle to "smile big" and that's the face he made - hee hee :)

K and S Letters
Remember this post from our honeymoon? We picked up two tiny printing press letters at Nasty Jack's Antique Shop in La Conner, although I didn't know what I would do with them. One of the frames I had picked up at Good Will had a thicker ledge on it, and it turns out the letters fit perfectly on the ledge!
I still secured them with wood glue, just in case.
Also, clearly it will look better when there's an actual
photo in the frame...

I'm still loving the coral/aqua contrast with the white. Maybe
someday we'll wonder "what were we thinking?!", but for
now, it's fun :)
Kitchen Window
A few months ago my dad and I stopped in to an antique shop in Stanwood on the way home from one of my dress fitting with my grandma. I found this awesome old window frame. 
There is no window glass but that's fine because
eventually we will put a mirror on the back.

I also found this cute little letter H.

After some priming and many layers of paint, behold our "kitchen window":
The baby chicks are salt and pepper shakers
we picked up on our honeymoon. Their names
are Margo and Rita.

Mason Jar Soap Dispensers
After seeing this post on Pinterest, I thought that mason jar soap dispensers would go really well with kinda-corny-but-really-cute Country Kitchen theme. 

I picked up these mason jars at the Value Village by
our house. I was super jazzed to find the yellow and
blue lids on a pair of smaller jars, so I just swapped
the lids (shh...don't tell).

I picked up these soaps at the Dollar Store because
 I need white pumps and didn't want to pay $4 a
piece for them. Bonus: I can use the soap too!

Kyle drilled 3/4 inch holes in the top of the lids.

Then we super glues the lids to the rims, as well as the
underside of where the pump connects with the lids.


The only thing missing is a mirror for my faux-window
and the Country Kitchen will be complete...for now :)
Kitchen Mirrors
This project took longer than I anticipated, but I am really (I mean really) happy with the outcome. Previously the back wall of our kitchen was blank and it needed something to add color to that part of the kitchen. We have an abundance of these wood Ikea mirrors (don't ask why, I just always think I need more when I don't and now we have an excess supply). I decided that I wanted to paint two of the mirrors blue and then "somehow" put a scripture verse on them. The painting part was easy...the scripture part was more tricky.


PS - I just folded up computer paper up to fit really snug
to cover the mirror so it didn't get paint on it.

This was my first attempt. I thought maybe I could
stencil the letters onto the wood. Turns out, you need
to be extremely patient to make stenciling work, and
there  is no possible amount of prayer that could
ever make me that patient. I gave up with the stencils
and tried to free hand paint the rest...which looked
even worse. Fail.

The good news is this stencil fail discovery was made during a
Hansen gals craft afternoon at Kyle's cousin's house. Turns out
Kyle's cousin's daughter does have the gift of stenciling, and she
was able to to repurpose one of my mirrors for her room :)

The even better news is that Kyle's cousin had
one of these die cut machines (I can't remember
what it's called or else I'd tell you the name).
Kyle's other cousin suggeseted that I use the die
cut to make my letters and then use Modge Podge
to secure them to the frame. These Hansen
women are just geniuses!

Once I made new blue mirrors (more priming and painting),
I spaced my letters out on the sheet I'd be painting
on in the the outline my painting had left. 

Then I painted Modge Podge onto the entire frame to
give the letters something to stick to. After placing the letters
down, I saturated each one with more Modge Podge.

I can't get this picture to rotate correctly, but the point is to
show that the Modge Podge goes on white but dries clear.

1 Corinithians 10:31 "So, Whether you eat or drink,
or whatever you do, do all to the Glory of God."
Cross for the Living Room
The "last thing" (should have been the first thing!) I felt our living room needed was a cross. I couldn't find any that I liked in the store (what happened to all the plain crosses?). I did find the supplies needed to make my own cross guessed it...Hobby Lobby. 
I was doing a lot of priming this night so ignore the
mirror frames and other tiny cross (that one got
painted coral and put in our bedroom).

I painted the big one white and the sides black.
I ended up having to touch up a lot of the white paint
where it met with the black (and then touch
up the black...and then the white...).

The smaller cross was painted grey with black sides.

I let them dry over night before securing
them together with some wood glue (again, ignore
the little cross).


I don't love the grey-white-grey combo, but I do like that the cross is
versatile enough that I could move it to the green wall and it would
still match. Also, I didn't want a cross that was mostly black because,
well, that seemed kind of morbid. So for now, it stays!
Giving it grace: When I said goodbye to my cheerleading days in high school, I must have also said goodbye to my crafting/project days as well. During the last 10 years the urge to craft and make projects must have been swelling up inside me because I can't get enough of it lately! It's such a fun change from my normal routine of work-school-eat-sleep repeat. At first I felt "bad" for devoting so much time to "silly" things like crafting and other projects. I realized I was judging myself, because that's how I justified not making time for things like this the past 10 years. It's been a huge blessing to have the time and resources to "get back in touch" with this side of myself. I may not be good at it all, but I am learning a lot along the way, am having a lot of fun doing it (especially when the project involves Kyle), and am enjoying the results! I've pretty much wrapped up all of my immediate projects, and I do need to spend a littttttle more time thesis writing over the next 3 months...but hopefully there will be more projects in the future.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Settling In

Aside from all the name change business, Kyle and I have been keeping busy with the general week-to-week stuff:
  • Work: Kyle is working full time while I nanny two days a week until I'm done with grad school.
  • School: I'm finishing up my thesis for my Master's Degree this May! I just got the approval on my research proposal and a mentor to oversee my work, so I'm excited to get this thing started and finished in the next 3 months.
  • Church: We finally get to serve together on the communion team (it's the little things that get us excited) now that we are married. I'm still serving leading in the Kids Ministry in the late morning, and Kyle has started serving as an usher because our services have been so full lately!
  • Community: We have our regular weekly community group through church where we discuss each week's sermon in light of what's going on in all of our lives. We also each have a separate men only/women only group that gather once every two weeks. It's nice to be able to get together with members of our same sex and dig into timely struggles and joys. 
  • Recreation: Kyle's ankle has finally healed so he's back to basketball once a week (and I know he's really happy about that!). On the days I don't nanny, I go to the gym in the morning. I've been looking forward to this a lot lately because on my new robot phone I can download sermons to listen to while I'm on the elliptical. My favorite pastor to download right now is Alistair Begg (ladies, his Scottish accent is mesmerizing, I'm telling you).
  • Being married: Being married is just the best thing ever. Having your favorite friend around all the time seems like it will never get dull or boring! Perhaps we're still in the "honeymoon" phase, but we're totally ok to just soak it in for now :) Our church has been working through a sermon series called Real Marriage, so we've been setting aside time each week to discuss the content and how it applies to our marriage. This includes a bi-weekly date night!

This week's date night was our monthly trip to Taco Bell.
We had to limit ourselves to one trip a month.
We we're so excited this month and may have went a
little overboard. We did manage to eat it all though
(not with out a little regret and a large stomach ache)!
  • Spending time with family: My sister have been fortunate to spend a lot of time with my mom lately, as well as spending time with my new sisters and cousins (and all their kids!). 
  • Projects: More to come on that in the next post :)
Giving it grace: I was telling Kyle the other day that I've been having trouble orienting myself within my "new life". I'm the same me, but the places I go, things I do, and way I spend my time have changed dramatically in the past few months. Sometimes I just find myself sitting on the couch in our condo not really knowing what I should be doing with myself in that moment. Those are the times that I know I am supposed to be pressing into God and asking Him to guide my steps (even if it's something as silly as "Get off  your tush and go to the gym!").

Monday, February 6, 2012

What's in a name?

The name change. One of the things they don't "tell you" before getting married is how much rigmarole changing your name is. It's not the actual name change that's all that's the 746 places you have to notify about your new name that will make you want to pull you hair out one strand at a time. For "fun", I started making a list tracking my Watson to Hansen identity change...future brides, I've found the one thing more time consuming than wedding planning!
  • Drove downtown in the snow storm to a government building with NO parking 2 blocks in any direction. Found the third floor, waited in line for angry government workers to acknowledge me. Finally, a nice little old man helped me pick up 4 copies of my marriage license (you don't need more than 4 copies as most places only need to see your marriage license, not keep it).
Looked a lot less inviting when I had to pioneer
my way through snow, sleet and hard rain.
  • Drove to the DMV to get my name changed. Won the DMV lotto when the gal helping me out actually knew what a IOL transplant is (the implanted lens I have in my eye as a result of a cataract I had removed). This is good news, because after years of having the "contact lens" restriction on my driver's license, she removed the restriction (understanding that my implanted lens is NOT the same thing as a removable contact lens). Praise the Lord for an accurate driver's license. 
Sorry, officer. I actually can not remove my
contact's  implanted into my eye.
  • With the marriage license and temporary driver's license in hand, Kyle and I went to BECU and got me added to his banking account. Gone are the days of "are you paying for this or am I?" I haven't yet closed my old bank accounts (that's happening tomorrow after weeks of trying to find a stopping point in my automatic billing cycles!). We also need to still at me to Kyle's credit card, and finally, we will experience financial oneness.
  • Scariest place on earth: social security office. There is an armed police man in the door, first of all. Next, everyone sits in a bay of chairs facing the wall with your back to the service windows. No one talks. No cells phone allowed. I did not come prepared with a book, so I passed the time by picking the dead skin off my fingernails. Gross, I know. Once my number was finally called, it was a pretty simple process: show them some documents (including my current social security card and original birth certificate - good thing I had those still!), swear under oath you aren't lying, and then get the heck out of there!
I did not take this picture. It is, however, exactly what
I experienced  as I entered my local office.
  • Mailed in my current passport with new passport photos (from Kinkos), marriage license (I believe they mail it back to me with my new passport), $110 (holy cow!!) check, and application via certified mail at the post office. Read: wait in line at Kinkos, wait in line at the post office...lots and lots of waiting in line...
  • Updated my name at my gym (involved printing out a name change form and mailing that in with a copy of our marriage license). I tried to update my name at my local gym and the girl at the desk told me "no one has ever needed to update their name here before, so...I don't know what to do..." Really. In the history of the time no one at the gym has gotten married and needed to change their name? 
No comment (but that's what I was thinking...).
  • Kyle was kind of enough to get me an iPhone so I could join his family business plan. While I got to keep my number, I did have to call my previous provider to discontinue auto-pay for my final bill because we're closing my bank account. As a side note, I don't know how I functioned in life before without an iPhone. It. Does. Everything. 
iPhone = hand robot
  • I still have a loan on my car, so I didn't need to update my registration, but I did need to update my loan company as they "own" the car still (and then registration updates automatically...or something along those lines). Fortunately, that was as simple as going into a local branch of the company and showing them my new ID and marriage license. Thank you, Alaska Federal Credit Union, for being the easiest part of the entire name change process.
  • To combine our insurance policies, we decided to go with my auto insurance company for one main (silly) reason: I wanted to keep something (anything) that was "mine" before marriage. Kyle was kind enough to placate me on this one because we ran some numbers and assumed either company (mine or his) would probably give us about the same rates. We spent an hour on the phone with my insurance rep getting quotes for combined auto, home and life (for Kyle). Then we spend almost 2 hours in the office with them hashing out details, rates, etc and our happy to report we now have auto, home and life insurance! I shamelessly recommend State Farm as their customer service is great (our rep met with us on a Saturday even though their office was closed so that Kyle wouldn't have to miss work).
  • Health insurance...bah...I wont get into this one but basically we had to do some serious research for dental and vision insurance, and we are happy with our coverage now. But - if I could have paid someone to do the research for us and reclaimed 8 hours of my life back I would have gladly taken that route.
  • Updated my name with Gonzaga so that when I graduate this spring my Master's Degree will have my married last name on it.
  • And onward to the 736 more places to update my name...
Giving it grace: As a man, this isn't something Kyle really has to deal with. I was tempted to get bitter at him for this as I googled various government buildings, waited in lines, got put on hold, mailed copy after copy of marriage licenses off...I would think to myself "I hope he knows how frustrating and overwhelming this is!" While I don't think it's sinful to want my husband to understand what I'm struggling with (which he did), I did feel convicted about wishing he had to do the same thing (to make it "equal"). God was gracious in revealing to me a different thought process...I started thinking about all the changes that have happened for Kyle...his entire living space, me coming into that space, his finances, his time, his routines, and his responsibilities. In our society, it's easy to get caught up in the "tit for tat" mindset. Satan loves it when we do that because it compels us to focus on ourselves, instead of others, or God. I'm thankful that God was gracious in pointing out to me that it never says in the Bible that the man and the woman will experience the exact same things. It does say, however, that our God is perfect, and His plan for my life is perfect (Jeremiah 29:11). All that considered, I am relieved that I'm over the biggest part of the name change journey!