Thursday, April 12, 2012

Living Room Makeover

So, I always have quite a few projects swirling around in my head.  I don't necessarily do all of them, but its fun to think of the possibilities.  The main one on my brain(or maybe the easiest one to change:) was the color of my living room.  A couple of years ago we painted it a dark brown.  
(Sorry for the Christmas stuff, but I'm still really bad at this whole "before" picture thing when I start a project)

We have a very large open area with vaulted ceilings, so before the brown, the space look cavernous and cold.  At first, I loved the brown.  It made the space cozy and warm, but after a while the brown was getting to feel too dark.  I played around with putting some wainscoting up, but couldn't figure out how to blend the living room and dining room walls together because I didn't want to wainscot the dining room. In the end, we decided to just paint.  Its the cheapest, easiest option!

We still liked brown, just a lighter shade, so we decided to go with Behr's Garden Wall.
Nice, right?  We thought so!  We liked it so much we decided to paint the entryway and stair walls the same color.  All these spaces really just blend into the main living room and had previously been white.  We still liked the dark brown enough to keep one wall as an accent. (Less painting too.)

After some rearranging of furniture, painting some furniture and a new color in the living room, the space is finally complete!  I love how it turned out!
(Apologies for the poor picture.  I am not a photographer.)

I especially love the new color of the entertainment stand against the dark wall!   If you look in the first picture you will see it used to be a dark cherry stain.  Also, the decal over the window used to just blend into the wall, and now it really pops!
(Isn't my little model cute?)

The entry way and stair walls.

Here's a before of the entry way.

And the after
LOVE it!

The living area finally feels complete!  Its amazing what a difference a can of paint can make!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Leaving the Rat Race

From the time I was young, I have been primed and prepped to enter the rat race.  When I was a little girl, I had these dreams of being a singer, or a zoologist, or oceanographer.  I'm not sure what happened.  I don't think anyone ever told me my dreams were stupid, or that I couldn't be whatever I wanted, but they don't teach classes in school on how to live your dream, or how to pursue you passions.  What I learned in school was to do what I was told, and do it well enough that I could get good grades to go to college.  There's a really great valedictorian speech  on this very subject. I was actually pretty good at this.  I don't want to say I was smart, because getting good grades has very little to do with intelligence and lot to do with obedience and memory.  So, lucky for me, I had a good memory and I was pretty obedient.  

I went to college a little lost.  I still had these faint dreams of music, zoology, and oceanography.  Somewhere in my quest for my dreams, I learned practicality.  If I got a degree in music I would most likely be a teacher, and I didn't want to teach.  To be a zoologist or oceanographer I would have had to move and pay a butt load of money for out of state tuition.  So, instead I decided I liked Psychology and Sociology.  I was never ecstatic about it.  In fact, it was a little disappointing.  I had so many interests that I couldn't picture myself doing one thing the rest of my life that only held a flicker of interest for me.  So, I finished almost all my generals, and then, before I had to make any final decisions, I had some major financial strains that kept me from continuing my education to join the rat race.  

I got married, and had some kids while my husband went out and joined the rat race.  We bought a house, and a golden retriever, and it seemed as if we were living the American dream.  Life in the suburbs with three kids and a dog.  We are actually very happy, but there are a few things that are lacking that we are really starting to be aware of.  First, apparently, we are considered very poor.  When I found this out I was a little shocked!  We budget really well, and are still able to get what we need and have fun too.  Second, even though my husband likes his job, there really isn't anywhere for it to take him and it isn't something he's passionate about.   

At first it seemed ungrateful for me to even think of wanting more, when our lives are pretty happy.  Then I started thinking that we can have whatever we want out of life, and there's nothing wrong with wanting more!  My husband and I don't want to help someone else live their dream(working a 9-5 job pushing paper).  We want to make that happen for ourselves.  

What are we going to do?  I don't know yet.  All I know is that, between the two of us, there is enough passionate interest on enough subjects that I have faith this is going to take us somewhere.  Not only that, but I want to show my kids that there is more to life than suffering through 16+ years of school only to then suffer through a job that is lackluster.  Aaron(my husband) went to a class on how to start up a business, and they said that most entrepreneurs had entrepreneur parents.  Its not that they are smarter, work harder, or have better ideas than your average Joe.  Its that they have been modeled this way of life.  It is a natural way for them to do things, rather than an insurmountable feat like most of us think!

I want that for my family.  I want to pursue my passions and help my kids pursue theirs! 
How about you?  What's are the dreams in your life that you want to pursue?