The Life We Live

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“I wrote this down and keep it near my desk to remind me every day. Thank you again for your encouraging words Jenna.”

During the past few weeks there have been a series of moments that remind me that I serve a bigger purpose than myself.  The first was when a friend posted a picture of a sticky note with a comment I’d left on her Facebook page the other day after she mentioned she was feeling insignificant.  The comment was the first thought I’d had when I read her status.  It wasn’t some profound, thought of the century.  But it obviously resonated with her.  Perhaps I was just the delivery channel for the message God wanted her to have that day.

That was soon followed by a call at work from a customer who just wanted to say thanks for supporting a local Farmer’s Market and that she enjoyed seeing our company in that setting.  As the event coordinator for this company I wouldn’t say that the market is a high priority.  And it’s probably one of the simplest events we do all  year.  Regardless it made an impact significant enough for this customer to reach out just to say thanks for being a part of it, which makes it important in an entirely different way.

Then I got a freelance inquiry from a couple who want me to photograph their elopement at Denali!  Seriously?!  Who in their right mind would turn that opportunity down? What I didn’t know when I first responded to the email was that they are flying in from Philadelphia for a weekend just for that purpose!  They’d seen my ad on Craigslist and liked my style, so they contacted me.  It was just the reinforcement I needed that the tiny voice in my head saying I’d finally found ‘my’ style was right.  It also confirmed that although I have a different editing technique than many photographers do these days, there are people out there who want their memories to have the look I create.

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Tonight, as I scrolled through Facebook I spotted this and it clicked.  This sums up my recent experiences.  I often feel that I’m not living up to my full potential, that I haven’t found that thing that will lead me to change the world.  This made me consider the idea that I don’t HAVE to complete some news worthy accomplishment to change the world.  Instead I can change the world in little ways.  Ways that matter individually, just when people need it. Granted I may never know that I’ve done so; but just when I need the reassurance that I’m making a difference I’m sure God will give me another spree of ‘signs’ to remind me.  This life we live – may it be the reason someone smiles today!

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Another Super-Sweet Craigslist Find!


1100I’ve been looking for a dresser or hutch to live in our guest room while in the rental and then become the entry way table when we move into our new home later this year.  I knew I wanted lots of storage, preferably with cabinets, but didn’t want to spend a lot if I still had to refinish it.

I had found this piece at a local antique store and fell in LOVE with it.  I seriously daydreamed about it.  But with a price tag of $1100 I just couldn’t commit.

1600I also found this one at a local furniture boutique and was smitten especially when I realized the bottom 5 drawers were false fronts making doors that opened to cabinets!  But at $1600 I walked away again.  So I continued watching Craigslist and the local refinisher’s Facebook profiles to see if I could find something similar at a more palatable price.

While browsing during a car wash – yes I multitask often! – I spotted a posting for a couple of dressers by someone moving out of state.  One looked like it would work, although it didn’t have the cabinets I was hoping for.  I showed the post to the hubs who liked it.  So I called the guy and arranged to come take a look that afternoon.

DresserScratchCash in hand we checked the piece over and noticed a sizable ding in the top front of the dresser.  The hubs thought he’d be able to repair it when we refinish the piece, so I made an offer $25 less than what they were asking.  And the seller accepted!  It came with a matching mirror, which I wasn’t interested in but figured we could clean up and resell to off-set some of the cost of the dresser.

So we loaded it up and headed home just a few blocks away.  Good thing it wasn’t far because this bad boy is MASSIVE and TALL.  It was interesting getting it inside and upstairs with just the two of us but we did it.  And then took a well deserved break.

I cleaned it up with some Old English and filled most of the drawers with my decor materials, leaving a few for guests to use.  Unfortunately some of my larger decor pieces like my glass cloche domes and candlestick stands are too big to fit in the drawers and still have to be stored in the closet, but it holds 90% of what I wanted it to, so I think it turned out alright.

So what do you think we paid for this piece?  Remember I’m a bargainista…..

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Would you believe we brought this baby home for just $100?!  It’s true!  And that included the mirror which I’ll clean up and sell in a few weeks making it even more of a deal!

We don’t plan to refinish it until we move since it will likely get dinged and scratched on the way to the new house, so that gives me time to ponder exactly what to do with it.  I’m sure we’ll paint it so that we can fix the ding in the top but need to decide on a color.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe do have paint left over from the little sewing table nightstand we did while in Kodiak.  Since the new house will have an extra bedroom to furnish there is a good possibility it could remain a guest room dresser.  If we use the same gray/green color as the nightstand and distress it a little to show some brown it would make a nice ‘set’.

I did find this DIY tutorial to make the same style as the $1600 dresser, so we may still end up with that in our new entry way, but I’d want it to have a molding on the bottom so I’m not constantly fishing Sangria’s tennis balls out from under it, which is a feature I was very happy to get on this bargain piece.  Although even if it didn’t, I’d still think I found a sweet deal! 🙂