Stepping Back

One of the things I love most about blogging (aside from all the amazing people I get to interact with) is the opportunity it provides for stepping back to appreciate all of the ordinary moments that make up the everyday and to encourage the restoration of proper perspective in the midst of a too-full schedule.

So here’s 10 days (yikes!) worth of all-over-the-place random, photos from my phone, and stepping back…

Around this time each year, I look at my December calendar in the name of preparing for what’s ahead and tend to have a minor freak out moment until I settle into being just plain overwhelmed by the number of parties, rehearsals, and commitments that inevitably characterize this month. Without fail, that moment has come and gone. But after realizing that I had foolishly scheduled almost 10 days in a row of being out of the house every day (for pretty much all day), I did have the foresight to make some adjustments to the schedule where possible. I hate saying “no” to good things that I know will be fun and meaningful, but I find that I’m much less overwhelmed when I slow down enough to have at least a couple of nights each week with no commitments (I call this scheduling “margin” into life…time to be still and recharge…am I the only one who needs this?), so I can at least stay on top of cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the carpet, and washing the dishes. All things that help me stay sane. At least relatively.

This helped with restoring perspective, too:

“The second coming of Christ will soon be here…Rest in the hope of that day. Work, watch, and look forward – one thing, at any rate, that day will make abundantly clear. It will show that there was never an hour in our lives in which we had our hearts too thoroughly focused on Christ.”

- J.C. Ryle (emphasis added)

I rode with my parents to my grandparents house in Northern Virginia for Thanksgiving. It was a quick trip (we left on Thursday and came back on Saturday), but since I wasn’t driving, I managed to read two books during the travel time. (“Radical” by David Platt and “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo…just in case anyone’s interested.) We had a great time visiting with family, and on Friday, while everyone else was out shopping (which is just not my idea of a good time!), we helped my grandparents clean out old Christmas decorations from their attic, which is where I found these amazing vintage ornaments. I fell in LOVE with them, but no one else seemed to want them, so my Uncle and I divided them up between us and later found out they were my grandfather’s from when he was little. Even better!

Decorating the house for Christmas this year has been a process (and is still in progress), but my roommate, B (who happens to be blogging lots of fun and tasty homemade treats for 25 days of Christmas here) made these awesome stockings since we decided to change up the mantel theme this year. Aren’t they just the cutest???

Speaking of decorating, I know I left you hanging with the whole office re-do. I still haven’t really finished, but I did finally organize the bookshelf, and I really like it!

On Friday morning, I walked outside my back door to find frost all over my car. I didn’t feel like scraping the windows, so after saying “good morning” to my neighbor who was throwing out his trash, I opted to just sit in the car for a few minutes, eat my waffle, and wait for the defroster to kick in. About 30 seconds later, though, my windows cleared instantly as my neighbor had gone into his own car (he wasn’t going anywhere, mind you), taken out his de-icer spray, and sprayed all my windows for me. Totally made my morning!

Of course, ’tis the season for my weeks to be filled with lots of choir rehearsals in preparation for the Christmas concert (which is next Sunday) and for other extra special seasonal services (the Advent / Tree Lighting service is tonight!). And yesterday afternoon, I attended the women’s Christmas tea at church for the first time thanks to an invite from a sweet friend who hosted/decorated a table again this year. There were 81 tables all beautifully decorated by their respective hosts and a message of the hope and peace we have in the gift of Christ. So much fun!

And now, I’m planning to sit on my couch in my favorite fleece pants and enjoy an hour of stillness. I hope you experience some peace and stillness in the midst of this season as well!

5 Things

1. As if you don’t get enough of my ramblings already, I joined twitter this weekend. You can follow me at @emily_gallimore. But only if you want to.

2. The big office reveal will have to wait until November. I know I said I was hoping to do it within the next couple of weeks, but a fun writing project will now be taking over the blog for the entire month of October (details in #4 below!), and the office reveal just doesn’t quite seem to fit the theme. At least not yet. Maybe I can figure out how to sneak it in there in mid-October when you’re tired of hearing from me. But I figure this way, by November all at least most of the small details will already be in place, so it will feel even more finished.

3. I’m having a giveaway on Thursday. You will NOT want to miss this. I am seriously SO excited to share the awesomeness with you!

4. A few blogs I follow (The Inspired Room, Nesting Place, Chatting at the Sky) have previously done 31 Day series during October, and this year, they’ve invited others to join in the challenge with them, so I’ve [somewhat hesitantly] decided to participate. So, as long as all goes according to plan, I’ll be posting daily in October under the topic of 31 Days to Better Understand our [God Given] Callings. I may have more questions than answers, and the series may not be quite as polished or refined as I would prefer, but I’m excited to explore this topic with you for a month, and I invite you to join in the conversation. A formal introduction to the series will be posted on October 1st.

5. Umm…October 1st is THIS Saturday. And I have no idea what that photo has to do with this post either, but I liked it.

“If you get confused…”

After opening the box from IKEA, pulling out all of the shelf pieces, sorting the hardware…

…and staring at the first page of the instructions for a good five minutes…

…the conversation with my roommate, B, went something like this:

ME: I just don’t understand!

B: [pointing to one line at a time] This means you need these tools. This means it won’t crack and not cracking is good. This means if you get confused and need help, you should call IKEA.

ME: You got ALL that from those pictures!? I couldn’t figure out WHAT they meant!!

B: Didn’t you ever read the comics?

Ha!

All confusion aside, by the end of the night we had a desk AND a shelf put together and looking mighty fine in the getting-closer-to-being-an-awesome-office-and-writing-space.

I’m now in the final (well…sorta) stages of organizing and choosing decorative details, so I hope to have a final reveal of the completed office posted within the next couple of weeks (because I know the suspense is almost unbearable!).

Paint Party!

As planned, I spent all day Saturday prepping and painting the soon-to-be-ridiculously-amazing-office-and-writing-space.

It only took eight hours, four movies (A Few Good Men, Kate & Leopold, Cool Runnings, and The Parent Trap), two coats of paint, and one broken roller.

I seriously spent about half the time painting scared to death that the color was still too pink. It’s not that I have anything against the color pink, but it wasn’t really what I was going for on my walls.

So I went back and forth between saying “I’m afraid this is too pink” and “I’m afraid I’m a really bad painter” to which my roommate would respond “I’m afraid I’m going to have to call you a scaredy-cat” to which I would answer “I might have to agree”.

The final color was called “tattered sail,” and while I’m still not convinced it’s the perfect shade, it will do. Typing that just made me think of this line from the movie, Babe: “That’ll do pig. That’ll do.” ha!

Moral to this story: I’m not sure you should let me choose your paint color or paint your walls. Even if I end up choosing a satisfactory color and the paint job looks great in the end, I might doubt myself the entire 8 hours its going on the walls…

By the end of the day, I probably had as much paint on me as the walls (maybe that’s why I almost ran out…). Seriously, from my head to my toes. I would show you my paint-highlighted hair or the paint that managed to splatter on my lips (how does that even happen?), but trust me, it’s better that you not be subjected to that.

Overall, I’m actually quite pleased with the way the paint job turned out. My edges actually look straight and the color is much less pink than I had feared.

So, I would call that a success and one more step completed.

Up next: the furniture!

The Office

And so it begins.

The spare room (or soon-to-be-office-and-writing-space) overhaul is officially in progress.

After emptying the closet and leaving its contents in the middle of the floor for far too many days, and then finally purchasing a desk and bookshelf from Ikea (which are both still sitting in their boxes until further notice…), last weekend, I asked my Dad for some help gathering some paint supplies together so I could begin the actual transformation.

I borrowed what I could, and then we made a trip to Lowe’s for the paint and remaining supplies (thanks, Dad!).

When it came time to choose the paint color, I knew I wanted a rich-and-noticeable-but-not-too-dark beige. Not picky at all, right? It’s a small room, so the color couldn’t be too dark and overwhelming, but at the same time, it needed to have enough depth to balance out the white furniture.

Well, what I thought would be a light shade of beige ended up looking way too pink on the walls, which was not at all what I wanted. Fortunately, I didn’t get very far before I decided the color was just not working.

So I went back to Lowe’s, chose a new not-so-pink color, and the painting will resume this weekend.

Since I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seats with excitement now, be sure to stay tuned for updates as they become available!