Shaunna Faye

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Before and After - Part 4

When I say that this project was a pain in the butt, I mean it. Luckily Chris did all the crappy parts.

The original paint on the front porch and sidewalk was probably not proper, outdoor concrete paint. We know this because every time it rained it would bubble up and peel. There was no way to really know for sure though since it was like this when we bought the house. The color on the porch was a plum purple, and underneath that was white. The sidewalk was white and underneath that was the gray color that the driveway is. See...pain in the butt.

So, we first tried to get the 2 layers of paint off with the pressure washer. We thought since it was already peeling it'd work. Nope. What I did find (accidentally)that got some huge chunks off though was to take our leaf blower and get it under some of the bubbles and it would form a HUGE bubble and I could just grab it and peel it off. That took about half of the top purple layer off. The rest of it was covered in a liquid stripper, left on for a few hours, then painstakenly either pressure washed or scraped off by hand. It suuuuuuuuuucked.

When all the old paint was off (and in flakes all over our front yard) I was able to put the primer on. It was clear and sticky. Not like normal paint primer that you'd use in your house. Who knew! After it sat for 8 hours I could put the first coat of paint on. We used a "beige gray" which really just looks gray, but whatever. Trimed the edges with a big sponge brush then rolled on the rest with the paint roller. A few days later, when I found the time, I put the second coat on.

Getting all the old paint off was a pain in the butt. The painting was a breeze.

So here it is....before and after. Trust me...if you had seen the "before" in person, you would be amazed at how awesome the "after" looks now.

So fresh and so clean clean.

Sidewalk Before:

Sidewalk After:

Front Porch Before:

Front Porch After:

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


How much do you love this bathroom?

I love it so much I want to marry it.

My personal savings account is being built up again in preparation for re-painting the kitchen. I'm doing some research on what to do about our cabinets. There's so much grease and grime built up on the ones surrounding the stove. I'm not sure if taking care of that, plus painting them is a job I want to tackle on my own. I might leave that to some professionals and save myself the time. And in that case, it will be a while before I have the money for that.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Before and After - Part 3

I bought this table off of Craigslist last year for $50. It's been outside getting sun beaten and weathered ever since.



Primed and painted on top with the same color as our front door. The legs and underneath are espresso brown. Took forever, but it was worth it.

here's another view...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Before and After - Part 2

We borrowed my Dad's pressure washer and Chris got to work.

This is the back patio before:

And this is the back patio after:

Here's a look at just how dirty it was:

Don't tell Chris, but I'm tempted to paint the back patio since 1) it's already clean 2) who the crap wants a white patio and 3) we already have the stuff to do it. Sure I'll probably need 1 more gallon of paint, but the leftovers from the porch plus 1 gallon would definitely cover it. I'm still thinking about it...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Before and After - Part 1

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were non-stop this weekend. Chris and I set out to get as much done on our list that we could. That meant him pressure washing for 6 hours straight, and us both being very tired today. There's still a lot left to do, but this is what we got done:

Front door primed, painted, and new handle attached. I'm thinking about putting a kick plate on, but I'm not sure yet...



I spray painted both outdoor light fixtures. They were an ugly, old brass before. Now they're silver.



The mailbox area is what I'm most proud of so far. I pulled everything up and did a whole new mailbox area.



The back patio, front porch, walkway, and driveway have all been pressure washed and everything but the driveway has been stripped of the 2 layers of paint that were on them. We're re-painting them this week. The picnic table has been primed and will probably be finished tonight. Gutters still need to be cleaned out and a few boards that are falling on the outside of the house need to be nailed back up, but I think that's it.

I'll get a few hanging plants and probably a new door mat for the back patio to liven things up a bit.

We should be done with all of these projects by the end of the month.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Every time spring rolls around I get this itch to try to make the outside of our house look nice. I guess everyone does that. Last year I couldn't do anything because I had a newborn baby, but the year before that I planted a TON of flowers and even started a raised garden. I actually grew some squash!

This year's list is out of control. First of all, there are several boards on the outside of our house that need to be nailed back in place. They're sort of falling off. It's a quality home we have, ya know. Then there's the paint peeling off our front porch and sidewalk. It's been like that since the first time it rained after we moved in. I think someone used the wrong kind of paint. These are just a few of the thing that need to be fixed.

We also need to clean out the gutters, pressure wash the patios and driveway, pull up all the weeds in the yard, and probably do some tree and bush trimming.

And then there are the projects that I want to do that are more voluntary and that I created just for me. Like painting the front door a new color and installing the new door handle, painting the patio table, and spraying the brass light fixtures to make them look new and updated.

But our main project is getting done on Friday. We're focusing right now on installing the new mailbox and re-vamping the mailbox area landscaping. We are making a stone flower bed around the new mailbox.

I'll be doing before and after photos of all the projects, of course.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011


My friend David read the blog that I posted just a few hours ago (you should probably read that one before this one so you'll know what I'm talking about) and sent me something he had written. He said that no one really knows about his blog, so I could post this on mine in a response to my last blog if I wanted to. And I do.

So here it is:

This week I've been dealing with a measure of guilt at the fact that I have two healthy babies. My wife and I found out that we were pregnant a couple of weeks after my best friend and his wife lost their twins due to pregnancy complications. We found out that we were having twins and announced to the world Tanya's pregnancy the same week as another couple we knew, and this couple is now having to come to terms with the fact that they are going to have to let their son go as his brain is underdeveloped to sustain his life. My friends have been asking, "why do bad things happen to good people?" My question since Saturday has been why we are so blessed as to have two healthy babies when so many close to us have lost their children.

My answer to this question is not easy to swallow. It doesn't make me feel any better and doesn't sit well with what we would like to believe about God. There are several things about my faith that rub against my heart and my mind and are not what I want to hear, but there are things about my friends and my wife and my family members that aren't exactly the way that I would wish them, so I have to expect the same with my God.

The question that I've heard many times over the past week is an old one: "why do bad things happen to good people?" From a historical Christian perspective, this question is backwards. The Bible says that no one is good. From Adam and Eve until now, our species has been diseased. I know a couple who recently celebrated the first birthday of their daughter, who has a genetic disease that puts her in constant pain and will eventually kill her. Both of her parents were carriers for the gene that causes this disease. No one blames the parents for having a child, we simply accept that the child inherited a disease that is fatal. The Bible tells us that all humans have inherited the disease of sin which is fatal for all of us.

I've heard since I was a child that God has a reason for bad things to happen, that it is part of God's plan, that it is "God's will" and that He has a purpose in it. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT PAIN, SUFFERING, DISEASE, AND DEATH ARE A PART OF GOD'S WILL. God does not will that parents will lose children, or that husbands will lose wives to cancer or that children will lose parents in car accidents. God's will was that we would live in constant communion with Him, but this plan was ruined by our ancestors. Our inheritance, as a result, is death.

We are all evil and broken apart from God. We deserve bad things to happen to us, but we all instead see ourselves as good and therefore expect good things. Rather than being consumed by the bad things that happen, we need to be thankful for every thing good that happens around us and to us because it is undeserved. Every time that a healthy child is born we need to thank God that he blessed us with something we don't deserve. Every day that we wake up we need to thank God for his blessing. Every moment that God does not destroy our entire world for our wickedness, we need to thank Him for his mercy in giving us a chance to be better than we were the day before.

Good People

It's hard to write this and focus. This is a subject that's hard to gather all my thoughts on and put into an organized manner. I'm really just going to touch base on one thought in particular.

When my friend's Dad died shortly after we graduated high school, I remember her questioning...If there is a God and He is so good, why does He let bad things happen to good people? I think at that point in my life I believed that everything happened for a reason. Maybe to bring someone closer to God? Maybe to prove a point? To show a purpose? To make someone stronger?

I've known 3 couples to lose their child(ren) recently. 4 babies over the past year and a half, to be exact. That's too many. 1 is too many. So what is the purpose of a parent losing their child before they even get to know them? That's the first on my list of things I want to ask God when I see him someday.

As always, you never know what's the best thing to say to a mourning mother and father. Everyone always gives the typical lines.

I'm so sorry.
This is all a part of His will.
I am thinking and praying for your family.
Praying for peace. You're so strong.

My thoughts have changed on things now. I feel like sometimes shit just happens. And there's no reason. Bad stuff happens to good people all the time. They don't deserve it, they didn't do anything wrong, it just happens. And it's not fair.

Kelli and I were talking about it this morning (it's been the topic of conversation for us the past several days considering the most recent death is looming as soon as the parents take him off life support) and neither of us understand. There are some really crappy people out there that are crappy parents to kids. But these people that lose their children would have been amazing parents to the child that they now have to mourn.

It's just shitty.
And I want answers.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Bad American?

I woke up this morning to the flood of tweets and Facebook posts about Bin Laden being killed. Tons of people celebrating and cheering about this horrible, horrible man finally being killed. "Hooray! He's dead!"

It all felt really wrong.

And this is where I confuse myself. I'm supposed to be happy that justice was served. And, I guess I am. He was responsible for killing thousands of Americans.

But then there is the human side of me that feels unsettled about hearing the words "Hooray! He's dead!" come out of anyone's mouth. No matter how horrible of a person he was.... Too rejoice in murder?

It just feels wrong that cheering in the street is because someone is no longer alive.

So, I'm a little confused as to how I should feel about this. Am I a bad American? I'm glad that the unknown of his whereabouts are no longer a threat, but am I glad that he is no longer breathing?

It's a mix of emotions.