Ok. This isn’t a post about manifestation. But it could be. In one of my previous posts I wrote about how I wanted to make my house more, homey. I made a list. (If you haven’t read that post, I suggest ya do.) Well, Number six on the list – was my kitchen table. Can I just say, I hated my kitchen table. Like I hated it with a passion. And I wish that I could say that my ex bought it, picked it, or it was forced upon me and someway. NOPE. That sucker was all me. And when I bought it – I was so proud! I really was! But, about 5 days after the purchase – I knew it was a bad idea. I denied it. But I knew it was bad. I shall now insert a photo below. So you can see the prettiness. Then I will explain why it was a bad idea.

Industry Place 5 Piece Dining Set, In all her advertised Glory.

So there she is. Isn’t she lovely? I mean, I saw that table – and I saw modern. Edgy. I saw – MYSELF. (Ok, maybe it’s a little dramatic for the table. But, I was pretty pumped about it. ) I loved the finish. I loved the metal. I loved that you can arrange the height of the table and stools. I loved that it looked like it could be in a Chipotle near you. I. LOVED. IT.

My kids loved it too, at first. But what we all forgot, was that the littlest child (at the time of purchase) was 7. EMMM. MMMM. You know what you don’t want with a small child? A spinning table with spinning chairs. You wanna know why? Did ya work super hard and get dinner on the table? One hard spin equals dinner on the floor. Tears ensue. Mine and his. Did I mention I have ceramic tile floors? Corning ware against ceramic tile? Tile wins. There IS a lock for the table. Did you know that a seven year old can undo said lock, with his toes, without disturbing the table at all? It can be done. It has been done.

Death trap.

Industrial Place 5 Piece dining set (For the rest of this post, I am going to refer to it as IP5), can also double as a playground. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why. You know those spinning wheels of death that are probably now banned across playgrounds everywhere? Well, in a pinch, the stool from said dining set, can also double as this fine piece of play equipment. Picture it: A laughing eight year old. Spinning face down on stool. He jumps up. He’s dizzy. He’s down. He’s bleeding. Ugh. This all happening while I am screaming, “You knew better! I am not paying a $350.00 co-payment at the emergency room because you weren’t thinking!” (Yes, I literally said that. No, I didn’t mean it – well, I sorta did. I’m not perfect, we know this. )

IP5 had other drawbacks. When the four of us sat down to dinner, the table would wobble everytime someone touched it. Also, our plates were really super close. IP5 was lacking on it’s radial length. And once IP5 got about 7 months old, randomly a white haze would form on it. It would happen with moisture. But it would show up when I would clean it. Then it would go away. Freaking weird, I know. But ask my kids. I swear it happened. I knew I needed a new table. Tables aren’t cheap. IP5 cost me almost $500.00 when it was said and done. That’s a lot of money to me. So me, the kids, and IP5 were in an unfulfilling relationship together.

But, then, the miraculous occurred. I got a phone call from a friend of mine. And he said,” My mom is getting a new kitchen table – Do you want her old one? It’s over 20 years old and needs some work, but it’s solid wood.” Sir, you had me sold at the word solid. Do I ever! And let me tell ya – my happy self went to work the next day, asked my brothers to borrow the truck, and I made arrangements to pick that sucker up that Saturday. Saturday rolls around, and me and my crew (which is me and the kids, FYI) head over to her house to pick it up. We get there, load it up, give hugs and say 1000 thank you’s, and head home. She also gave us some cream parson’s chairs to go with it.

I get home, and I get to work. Now, once he told me it needed work, I put a budget in my head. I didn’t want to go over $100. I have to do budgets. Or I get too creative. LOL! Luckily, I am the son that my daddy never had – so I tagged around quite a bit in his wood working shop as a little kid. So on hand, I have a belt sander, and rotary sander, and some sanding blocks. And I get to town. Yes, the table was 20+ years old. But the top, well it shocked me. It didn’t take much work to get it down to a smooth surface, little scratches and nicks out. She took super great care of it. Same goes with the base and the legs, but they were a bit more difficult. They had been painted for the different styles of the times, so it took a little more work. Still though, I had them stripped down in about three hours.

Now, here’s the fun part. I decided I wanted to do it in like a modern/farmhouse/chic/girly/cool finish. That took some googling, due to the fact I can be indecisive. I decided on a deep gray color, with a coffee/mahogany top. So, off to make the purchase to fix this table. I got the stain at Lowe’s ($12.16 with tax). I used the Minwax PolyShades – because I love the ease of the one step. For the legs, I wanted to do a subtle milk paint. I love milk paints, chalk paints, and whitewash. Those are my favorite paint styles. I think that I gives such a soft finish. And by soft, I mean, it looks like it would actually feel soft. I couldn’t find what I wanted at Lowe’s. So off to Joann’s I go. PEOPLE! I got the milk paint on clearance for $4.17 and I had a 20% off entire purchase. I got two. So… $7.12 later, I’m set. Our grand total for this table at this point is $16.33.

I do the table and I floor myself at my own work. I am super proud of this table. There is only one problem. I had three chairs, and need more seating. So I start looking for seating ideas. I needed to redo the chairs, and wasn’t sure how. So I decided on upholstery spray paint in charcoal and stone. Now this stuff is pricey, to me. So, I implement my tribe – Joann’s and Michael’s Coupons. I got it down to 5.14 a can. I needed five cans, for three chairs. I still had a 20% off coupon thanks to the app – so grand total there came to $21.20. Now, if you go this route, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT OUTSIDE AND DO NOT SIT IN THEM FOR 48 HOURS! They are still gonna be tacky for a couple days, and you don’t want to ruin that hard work. And when it says to shake the can for a full minute – DO IT. That isn’t a suggestion, it’s needed or it will come out all weird and yucky. We are now at $37.53. And I still need another seat.

My budget for another seat is $62.47. I decide I will get a bench, and stain it to match. I can find a standard wood bench for that amount, right? No. No I can’t. Not even close, guys. So, guess what I do? Google. That’s right. I found a design to make a bench. So, a trip to home depot, $16.80 later, we got the fixin’s for what could be an amazing piece of carpentry. Then, I get to work. And guess what ya girl did? She made a frickin’ bench. That’s exactly what she did! I’m not even gonna lie. It seemed simple. But I thought, it can’t be that simple. I mean, it wasn’t totally simple – but it wasn’t hard either. And I have had four grown folks sitting on it – she is sturdy.

The Bench in Progress

I tell you all this, one – to help. Two, to proclaim how grateful I am for this table. I despised my other table as a dinner table. Now IP5 is in the corner as a board game/homework table. Perfect life for IP5. And this table that was given to me, means everything to me. One, a dear friend thought of me and asked if I was interested. Two, my brothers let me use the truck to make it happen – how awesome to have the availability of a truck! Three, I got to spend some time with a sweet lady, help her out, and you could tell she was so happy that it was going to good use. Four, I made something that I am proud of. Five, it has been a rough year and this was a great thing to make me feel at home. I can’t even begin to explain how blessed and grateful I am.

So, it’s set up. I want a centerpiece. Because, well – I have room for a centerpiece and a plate. And I didn’t before. I decided to hit up Marshall’s, and low and behold – I found the base. A two-tiered swivel thing. Specific, I know – you’ll see. I put a Rae Dunn mug and juicer I had in the cabinet, some greenery I had, and got the letter’s at Joann’s for less than a dollar a piece. On the center piece, amount I spent was $21.21. The piece itself was 14.99, then there was a candle from the dollar tree, a couple little pots, you see. But there’s the total. At this point, I haven’t finished the third chair yet. So, one of IP5’s stools is on one side, which actually looks pretty cool. But the rest, is below. I am so happy with how it came out. I am super happy that there is a story to it. I am proud of my effort. I am grateful for the vision. I am grateful for the sweet soul that gifted it to me.

I. Love. This. So. Much. And… Grand Total – $75.54. Still under budget and that’s including the centerpiece and placemats. (Placemats aren’t permanent – I just happened to take this picture with them on the table.)

And let me tell you, we have sat there. And eaten. And laughed. We had some company over, and we were all able to sit at the table. It was awesome. So here is my take away…. One, put it out there and let it be known what you need. And just watch. Two, be grateful for what you have, even if you hate it. I know that doesn’t sound possible, but it is. I am in a phase of my life where I am closing old doors – and trying to build new things. It feels good to see things happening. And… If you like this – please subscribe and share. Let’s get the word out and be happy. Stay Inspired!

Xoxo.

*Disclaimer – this was written almost a month ago.  I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it or not.  But, today – I thought someone could benefit from it.*
I hope this helps someone today.
Too much to get into all the details – but today – I felt unappreciated.  It’s one of those things where it was weighing on my mind and heart.  Where you feel your heart, like are actually aware of the organ in your chest.  Swallowing seemed difficult.  And I felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders and wanted to cry.  
And then,  it hit me.  I am doing what I can.  And I don’t need the outside approval of others to confirm that for myself.  So many people are focused on being  perfect, rich, smartest, best, number one, etc – and I felt like, here I am – trying to make my tribe (and all those related to it) feel  loved and valued.  While trying to productive, perfect, make money, have the best numbers, look pretty, and be noticed and successful. And I don’t feel like anyone cares or appreciates it.  And yes – I just admitted – I care about all the things that I said others focus on.  I am not judging.  I am just saying, I also try to add value and love to those I interact with first.
It hit me.  Stop focusing on feeling bad.  Focus on the fact that you are alive and happy.  Realize that not everyone is always going to behave the way you want them to.  And just because they don’t – doesn’t mean that they don’t care.  It just means – that they might be going through their own stuff.  They might not feel like they need to acknowledge it.  And honestly, why do I expect acknowledgement?  Shouldn’t I be doing it – because I mean it, I love them, and I want the best for them – with no level of expectation back? 
Absolutely.  Sometimes, things can get so overwhelming for me – I feel like I can’t breathe.  I have worn my emotions on my sleeve for years – but one day, I started choking them down.  And just because I choke them down – doesn’t mean that they aren’t there.  They just aren’t seen as visibly to everyone.    So, to everyone who tells me how strong I am – thank you.  But the only real strength I have, is being able to hide my feelings from most people.  
Here is real talk.  I am not that strong.  I am actually pretty weak.  I have basic needs.  I need to be loved.   Valued.  And appreciated.  I get lonely.  I get sad.  I get scared.  I get overwhelmed.  And all of that can happen in under thirty seconds!  Where I feel weaker – is the fact that I struggle with admitting that I am human.  There is a total of about 3 people on this planet who know that part of me.  I am grateful for them – because without them – I’d probably lose my mind.   I don’t admit it often.  But today, I thought – let it rip.  Someone needs to know it’s okay to be human, too.   But while we are being human – let’s extend some grace to our loved ones and let them be human, also. 

Because let’s be honest – our feelings aren’t facts.

Xoxo.

Kristie

I wrote this on my birthday … but wasn’t sure if I wanted to post it or not.  I decided to go with it…. so here ya go.

“So, today was my birthday. Today I turned 37 years old. Or as I like to to say, the eighth anniversary of my 29th birthday. For those of you who knew me when I was married to Shaun, you knew that birthdays were really huge deal to him as they were to me. Birthdays to him, were like your own personal holiday. It was a day for you to be pampered and taken care of more so than any other day of the year. And for those of you who knew us then, you knew that financially we were strapped. But money never mattered to him – he did whatever to show me that I was a princess that day. And he did it like a champ. So once Shaun passed away, birthdays became like a horrible reminder of a horrible day.

My first birthday after Shaun passed away was absolutely horrible and beautiful at the same time. The reason being,  because I had friends who rallied around me and cared about my heart. But, that being said, it was still a horribly sad day for me. I remember my friend Jacqueline, bringing me her famous special black chocolate cake and it was absolutely delicious. I stood in the kitchen, while my friends sung “Happy Birthday” to me and put a huge smile upon my face, while I held my baby on my hip and my other two children surrounded me. I was so excited that I had people that love me enough, to put forth the effort to try to make the day less painful, but still felt sad down in my soul. Although, I knew I was blessed to see another year because I know what it’s like not to see one, I was still sad. To be honest, I felt like I would never be able to celebrate a birthday and be happy, no less – one of my  own. 

But this year, was a game changer. It was a whole new feeling to be in a situation where I moved to a new state to a new town and knew only 3 people,  14 months ago. But from the second that I woke up this morning, I was treated like a straight princess. I know that Shaun was looking down from heaven smiling at me, and saying “Baby, this is they was your birthday is supposed to be.” 

I realize, that I have made friends here that will be true lifelong friends. There are people here who love me. Love my heart, my soul, and my spirit – just because I am me.  It isn’t because I am Shaun Greenberg’s widow – or because I am Scott’s wife.  It’s because I’m Kristie. Just me.  I know that there are people who knew me before Shaun, during Shaun, and after he passed – who love me for me. But when you are relatively new area, and you arrive to your workplace – and your work family has went above and beyond – it’s mind blowing. I actually sat in my office today, and cried.  Not a sad cry, but they type of cry where – 
1.  You feel like you belong.
2.  You feel so blessed.
3.  You feel loved.  
And by people who haven’t known you that long.
They all went above and beyond to make sure that my day was special – and it was. When there are people who post on your Facebook wall-which I know sounds completely ridiculous, that’s a big deal for me. They still took time out of their day to say happy birthday. My brother and sister-in-law took the time to find the address of where I work or send me a gift which meant a lot. My mother and father-in-law came by to see me on my actual birthday I took time out of their day to say hey we love you happy birthday. My family, that lives in my house, makes me feel special every day. And for that I’m thankful. But, to have people outside of your own four walls, make you feel special – is amazing.

To find people that will support you, even when they know you are on a diet and going to the gym, will give you the dark temptation of chocolate cake, it’s awesome. The people have listened, and not just listened – retained the things that you’ve said – just to make you feel special- it’s amazing. Whether it be a bottle of Fiji water or a chocolate cake or a label maker or skull and cross bones – to know your valued as a human, a friend, and a woman – is a great feeling. Tonight, I will go to bed with a heart full of gratitude for the blessings that I’ve been given. Thankful for every single person who has touched me today. My best friend, the girl who is Siamese at heart, Jacqueline, has said to me, “To Honor your Moments” . Today I will honor this day, not only for the pain that my mother went there to get me here, the importance that Shaun had it to make birthdays feel special, or just another year gone by. Today I will honor my moments, by taking time to reflect all those who honored me. .  I will go to bed with a smile upon my face, and happiness in my heart knowing that I am loved.  Thank you for being my friends, my family, and my heart. I love everyone of you all and I hope that on your birthday you feel special as special as I do.  God has blessed me in ways I never thought possible.  So, I was wrong.  My birthday mattered a lot.  Little did I know, it mattered the most to me.”