The Last Slice

As a child, pizza made me a crazy person. Ask my brother, Chad. I would split the pizza down the middle (my slices were larger, of course) and if he so much as stole a half of pepperoni, I’d flip out. I would have lost a friendship over pizza. It’s embarrassing.

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One of Craig’s sermons last year changed my outlook on life. I didn’t realize it had affected me so much until one evening I didn’t care if someone else took the last slice of pizza. Honestly.

The thought is this:

I live in a place of abundance, not scarcity.

Instead of mourning the last slice of pizza or punching Chad in the arm for taking it, I think, “Take it. We’ll just make/order another.” There’s always more pizza.

Or think of it this way: you either see a half-eaten pie as plenty or not enough. Glass half-full or empty. Bank account never enough or provision for our needs.

This mindset changes everything.

My relationships improve with this worldview. I’m more generous because I’m not worried about “getting mine.” I see people as more important than things (or food). I give of my time and my love and my resources, trusting my friends will also give back to me. And if they don’t, that’s okay too. I celebrate their promotion, their new car and their children’s accomplishments because their gains aren’t my losses.

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Psalm 84:11 “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk upright.”

My career improves. I used to worry that the other trainers or the other consultants would take all the business, leaving no one left  for me. The reality is that whether it’s training or promoting Arbonne, my goal is to help people; and there’s always someone who needs help because we’re all unhealthy in some way or another. As long as processed food, artificial ingredients, obesity and low self-esteem exist, I will always have a job. There are certainly enough clients to go around.

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My marriage improves. We haven’t run out of things to talk about; there are more dinner conversations yet to unfold. There are new, creative ways to show love. More arguments and more reconciliation. We have collected more love and respect for each other as the years progress, not less.

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My relationship with God improves. When I see God as a loving Father and King, I realize that as His child, I inherit those riches. His creation is full of beauty and wonder, waiting to be discovered. He doesn’t manipulate me by withholding good things. He is an extravagant God who lavishes His love on me if I’m willing to receive it. He’s got enough blessings to go around and around and around…but I think I must have eyes to see them.

2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.”

Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul.”

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Jesus, continue to teach me how to be more generous and live life with a mindset of abundance. Thank you for blessing us richly…more than we need.

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Here We Are

So it’s been too long, and I’m sorry.

I’ve been longing to write to you; I’m teeming with ideas to share, but honestly, the things I’m learning about life and business and family right now, I’m not sure you want to hear, so I’ve kept quiet. In short, I’m learning about how to be a better, more courageous leader and Christ-follower. A consistent, patient entrepreneur. An understanding and supportive friend. An irrationally generous giver. I’m making exchanges (not sacrifices) in my life right now that do not afford me time for Project Runway reruns, crafting or margin to blog.

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But it’s been TOO LONG, and we had some stellar family photos taken, so here I am. It’s post-church naptime for the kids and my To Do list can wait.

We are The Armstrongs.

We work hard. We are kind. We do difficult things on purpose. We have fun. We choose to be brave. We forgive freely. We love each other. We follow Jesus.

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Finn is loving PreK. We love Mrs. Brown–she makes learning fun. He is great with spelling and language. He’s a terrible writer/artist and I think it’s hilarious. His aide told Joey one day, “The first thing I noticed about Finn is that he has a lot of friends.” P E O P L E!!!! You’ve been praying for friends for Finn! THANK YOU! He has friends, praise Jesus. Another aide told us “Finn is the best part of my day,” –and her job is to wipe his butt. 😉

His wheel got stuck in the grass and he fell over in his chair a couple weeks ago. No teachers were around, but his buddy Thomas ran to get the teacher. Finn was freaked out and had a bump on his head, but he’s fine. This wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last. I get asked a million questions about Finn each day when I pick him up. “Why can’t he walk?” “Is he a baby? Why is he wearing diapers?” “What’s that thing on his back?” “When will he get better?” “What’s wrong with him?” They are asking honest, innocent questions I don’t always have the answers to. I don’t mind answering these questions, but I hate that it’s in front of Finn. And if I get all these questions in 5 minutes, I wonder how many he gets throughout the day? My heart hurts for him, but God gave Finn such a resilient spirit. It doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He is a good, kind Father.

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Paisley is so spunky. Okay, and naughty. Her sense of humor is subtle and smart. She observes people before she’ll befriend them. She loves ‘nastics and jumping and climbing and being upside down. She is full of life and extremely independent. “Gummy” (gum) is her favorite and she loves to pack her Paw Patrol lunchbox with all kinds of random items for “school” so she can be like Finn. She likes to sing and dance. I can’t get over how beautiful she is. I’m so grateful she has a daddy who will protect her fiercely.

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This morning on the way to church, Finn said that he “want[s] to marry Paisley, and I’ll blow her a kiss.” Paisley told me yesterday that Bubba (Finn) was her best friend. She helps him pop over bumps in the sidewalk, rides his back like a “horsie” and races him with her baby stroller. Their friendship is a gift from above.

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Joey and I have had a tough few months. I blame Dave Ramsey. We’re doing Financial Peace University with another couple from Life.Church, and though these are conversations we obviously needed to have and there is always room for improvement when it comes to spending and saving, I am TIRED of talking about money. The conversations are unsexy, exhausting and difficult to trudge through. We’ve learned a lot about our personalities and fighting fair during this process though, and in a few hours, we’ll meet the Gates for pizza and to discuss our last FPU session to celebrate. Praise. Jesus.

Joey is so good to me. He’s fun. He’s my best friend and lover. He unloads the dishwasher like a ninja. And I love to watch him “dad.” I’m truly a better human being because of his influence in my every day life.

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Thanks to Maylee Hill for taking such fantastic photos of our family! She is super talented and captured our personalities so well. I love the color in these shots. We took these photos on the Eastside of Tulsa near the Blue Dome District. Check out her website!

As the holiday season approaches, I pray you’ll run (or wheel) like a little child toward Jesus’ transforming love, your families, your dreams, and better overall health. Go now; don’t wait.

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Thank you for praying big prayers for our family and specifically for Finn, for following our journey, and for being true friends. We are not perfect, but we are following hard after our perfect Savior, THANKFUL for His goodness and grace in our lives.

We are The Armstrongs. Roar.

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A Perfectly Boring Marriage

June 30th, 2006 Joey and I were married in San Antonio, Texas.

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It was hot, but a coastal storm rolled in that evening and knocked the flower arrangements off my reception tables, cooling off our happy guests.

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Yes, I let Joey and his groomsmen wear those ridiculous sweat bands at the reception.

Joey’s dad performed the ceremony and it was personal yet powerful.

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Our sacred vows were witnessed by 350 of the most influential people in our lives. I didn’t sleep much the night before from excitement and my eyes felt puffy. There was no real drama, catastrophe or anxiety that day. I was marrying my best friend, someone who felt like “home” to me.

Now, a decade later, our love is standing taller, battered by a few storms and it’s maturing like a good wine. We’re friends; we like each other most of the time, and more importantly, we choose each other. Every. Single. Day.

We’ve been asked many times how we’ve maintained a healthy marriage. “What’s the secret to staying happily married for 10 years and beyond?” The answer is nothing fashionable, shocking or dramatic. In fact, you may find it boring.

Daily, (seemingly) insignificant good choices. Today. Tomorrow. The next day…

“…They [successful people] achieve these dramatic results in their lives through making choices that are the very antithesis of drama–mundane, simple, seemingly insignificant choices.” -Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

I apply this principle to my personal training career, my own physical fitness, parenting, my Arbonne business, my spiritual life and marriage.

*Before I go any further, I must say, our marriage is far from perfect. In fact, this past year has probably been the hardest of our ten. But we are working on it, praying through it, and fighting for it.*

In the moment, these good choices seem inconsequential, but compounded over time, they yield massive results. (I’m obsessed with books, The Compound Effect, The Slight Edge, The Power of Habit these days.) The trouble is that these small, simple choices are just as easy not to do as they are to do. Kissing each other goodbye in the mornings won’t save or ruin your marriage that day—but done (or not done) for hundreds of days over time just might. Daily bad choices (or perhaps the absence of good choices) have the same effect over time: destruction, divorce, obesity, bankruptcy.

Some simple choices Joey and I have made, by the grace of God:

We go to bed at the same time every night. This causes us to be on the same schedule. One person is not more tired than the other, we pray/talk a little together in bed, and it allows for physical intimacy. No kids in bed either, unless it’s May in Oklahoma and they are afraid of the storms.

We are a team. This is tough when you feel like you’re playing a different game altogether, not seeing eye-to-eye. But like any sport, we practice and we get better. IMG_5778.JPG

We go out on dates regularly. With no kids around, we can give each other our undivided attention, we can listen and get to know each other, we can flirt, try new restaurants, hold hands. IMG_6259

We put the kids to bed early. No brainer: more time for us. Structure and sleep for them. High five.

We put toothpaste on each others’ toothbrushes at night. Silly, but sweet.

We don’t make close friendships with people of the opposite sex. This is just smart; he is the only man I should be “emotional” with.

We work out together on Fridays. He rarely lets me train him, but I love including him in something that is so important to me–physical fitness. We think it’s important to stay fit (aka: HOT) for each other. 🙂

We appreciate delicious, healthy food and black coffee. Oftentimes, we cook together. Chemex pour-over coffee every morning. IMG_6615

We play together and we play with our kids. Dance party every night; Justin Timberlake on repeat. Our kids remind us not to take ourselves too seriously. IMG_2874

We travel together (minus kids) at least once a year. It’s a true break in routine, scenery and responsibility. We invest in each other this way and create memories to think back to when “normal life” gets tough. IMG_1350If anyone has an excuse NOT to travel, it’s us. Two full-ish time jobs, I actually lose money when I go on vacation, two kids–one of which is disabled and has a potentially life-threatening condition. But it’s THAT important to us. Albeit, we have incredible parents that we trust to watch our kids.

We speak highly of each other. We chose early on not to make fun of marriage or put each other down, even in jest. We respect marriage and each other too much.IMG_4085

We apologize and try to fight fair. Even when we don’t feel like it. Ugh; this one’s hard.

We kiss each other every morning. 

We value friendship outside of one another. Life is more fun with friends. I think this is partly why our marriage has been hard this year–we’re lacking consistent friendships with other couples. DSC_2511

We take turns doing household chores and getting up with the kids. As a working mom, this is such a blessing to me. Joey is so helpful (acts of service is my love language).

We make time and energy for sex. I’m blushing just typing that…we are really private about our sex life. It’s the part of us that’s just for us.

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6 months pregnant with Finn

We share our calendars. This means less surprises for me.

We support each others’ careers by asking questions and allowing time for personal growth and study. Joey pushes me to achieve my goals and I’m so grateful. IMG_1922

Joint bank account. 

We read. Less screen time is my struggle, but I’m working on it. Currently reading The Slight Edge by Olson and up next are Niequist’s new Present Over Perfect, Maxwell’s 12 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, and the new Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

And finally…We individually seek to know Jesus more and work on improving ourselves. This is, without question, the most important element. The secret sauce. Because without Him, our love for each other is incomplete, shallow and self-serving.

I believe God made marriage a sacred covenant, binding unto death, because He knew that at some point, we’d want to get out.

“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matthew 19:6

It seems easier at times just to give up, do our own thing, or try someone new. But I said “I do,” to Joey on June 30th. Then again on July 1st. And July 2nd…And I’m saying “I do” today.

A healthy marriage isn’t fancy and it doesn’t make you famous. There’s no one event that changes everything. It’s the boring, mundane, good choices over time that lead to renewed vows when you’re 75 and wrinkled.

To the singles: are you the person that the person you’re looking for would want to marry?

To the married and healthy: thank you for your example! We’re watching and inspired.

To the married and struggling: dig in your heels and fight for your family. It takes two to make it work, yes. But pray for your marriage like it’s your full-time job. Go to counseling. And work on you. Let God work on them.

To the married and abused or neglected: Get help. In some cases, get out.

To the divorced: there is redemption. I’ve seen it and it’s beautiful.

To Joey: thank you for choosing me then and choosing me now. Happy TEN YEARS, my Love.

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Marriage Muscles

I think marriage (done right) is hard. It’s difficult in the same way that maintaining physical fitness is difficult. It’s not cheating on your reps, it’s getting flat to the ground in your burpees; chin over the bar in your pull ups. You both have to keep showing up. You have to get uncomfortable sometimes and apologize when your pride is refusing. Some weeks/months/years are better than others. But when you work at it, you reap the benefits and it feels so good. Your marriage muscles are growing, making you stronger and more fit to withstand life’s next fight.

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I told a client last week that learning to love your body is like an arranged marriage. You didn’t get to choose the body you were given, but it’s your job to care for it and make it the best it can be. And after time, you may just fall in love with it.

If you and your spouse are in need of a little marriage CPR, here are 10 of Joey and I’s favorite cost-effective, unconventional ideas for date nights:

  1. We have fantastic cycling trails in Tulsa and most of the time we pull the kids in the bike trailer. But a few times, we’ve gone alone: Bike from home to downtown, grab coffee at Chimera. Order the spiced cold brew and disregard the people snickering at your padded cycling shorts.IMG_5673
  2. Go to a movie but sit in the balcony at the Warren Theater (Moore or Tulsa). You get to choose your seat online and you’ll have a waiter and heated, reclining seats. Then discuss the movie on the way home.IMG_0366
  3. Meet at a coffee shop or local lunch spot on a work day. This is one of our favorites. We have child care already provided and it breaks up our work week. We love Queenies, Foolish Things or Hodges Bend.FullSizeRender
  4. Go rock climbing then out for dinner as reward. In Durango, it was Cascade Falls or X Rock. In Waco, we’d climb at the SLC or drive down to Austin to Rimer’s Ranch. In OKC we would go to Rock Town. Here in Tulsa, we want to try outdoor climbing at Chandler Park.IMG_5257IMG_4660IMG_5296
  5. Bentonville, AR is so much fun. We love 21C hotel (blog post here), Crepes Paulette food truck, and Crystal Bridges museum and biking/nature trails. They also now have Onyx Coffee Lab, one of our all-time favorite coffee shops.IMG_6618IMG_0151
  6. Go to the Chinese Foot Massage on 71st and Sheridan. Warning: they will massage every inch of you if you’re not careful (not just your feet!), they may step on your back, they will smell like an ashtray, you’ll be in a large dark room with about a dozen other people wondering what the heck is going on, and it will be AMAZING. $30 and worth every penny.
  7. Plan an annual day off together. We do this in November every year. We send the littles off to daycare then go out for breakfast, coffee and Christmas shopping. Sometimes we even get in a nap at home before we pick up the kids. I look forward to it all year.  IMG_9683
  8. Camp in your backyard. We haven’t done this in Tulsa yet because our kids’ video monitor broke, but we did it several times in Norman. Fire, tent, stars, yes. IMG_4557
  9. Sporting events are fun. We loved going to Thunder games in OKC and we’ve had fun at Driller’s baseball games here in Tulsa. IMG_4020
  10. Race. You can train together for a full 2-6 months prior to race time, you have one goal and one finish line. You get fit together so you win together. We are excited for our next 5k: Run Bentonville in April. IMG_5770DSC_0711

Cheers to a healthy–albeit hard at times–marriage!

Fitness Tips From a Trainer 2016

I learned a lot about myself and my body in 2015. These tips originate from my own personal experience this time…not necessarily my clients’.

  1. Detox, Fast, or Restrict at least once a year. Joey and I did the Daniel Fast with Life.Church for the first time last January. We were amazed by how much better we felt, how much less stinky our toots were, and how our bodies changed. Joey lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks and I lost 2. I gained muscle and lost fat. This type of restriction is not recommended year-round, but it’s  important–every now and then–to stiff-arm those harmful, processed foods we can easily become addicted to. When I was hungry, I prayed. It was difficult but life-changing. We’re doing it again now. Daniel-Fast_Slider
  2. After the Daniel Fast, we continued a few of the healthy eating habits that made the most difference for us. Little to no dairy (we drink coconut milk). No processed bread, buns, or flour tortillas. Only quinoa and other hearty grains/seeds, whole grains and brown rice pastas.

    I'll never forget this first meal following our Daniel Fast last year. We felt so good!

    I’ll never forget this first meal following our Daniel Fast last year. We felt so good!

  3. Work out harder, shorter. I have very little margin in my days. I work out when my clients cancel or before or after work. I make the 20 minutes I have count. Heart rate elevated, slow, concentrated reps. Burn, baby.FullSizeRender 35
  4. Muscle balance. Do single arms/legs. Work the front and back of your body equally. Find muscle imbalances and correct them because they lead to injury. Don’t just do your favorite exercises. The ones you hate–you probably need them the most. I need to do more of the things that are hard for me so that I can grow. Hire a trainer (come see me at Sky Fitness & Wellbeing!) or take a class to get out of your ruts.IMG_1657
  5. Get off the elliptical. I’m an elliptical hater…Sorry. Here’s why: a) It obeys you. When you slow down, it slows down without you even having to push a button. You need accountability and the elliptical doesn’t give it to you. b) Who moves like that in real life? I know it was intended for low-impact rehab purposes. But when you walk out those gym doors, you’ll have to step off a curb and walk to your car. Impact. So train in the gym for real life outside of the gym. c) It actually hurts my knees. d) My clients complain that their feet go numb. Unnatural movement pattern. e) I have to be on it for an hour to break a sweat…miserable.cardio-machines-ellipticals-vision-fitness-x20-traditional-elliptical-1979x2354
  6. Eat more protein. I fell in love with protein last year. Particularly Arbonne’s vanilla vegan protein powder. (Chocolate is good too.) If you have found a whey protein powder you love, stick with it. Whey (dairy) bothers my stomach/digestion so I switched to vegan a few years ago. 4290c9ec17ab26f30d62c617379488aaUnlike fat and carbs, the body does not store protein, therefore it has no back up supply when it runs out. Extra protein doesn’t make you healthier or stronger…you simply need enough. An active woman needs 1/2 a gram per pound a day (130 lb. woman needs 65 grams). And since Joey and I don’t eat much meat, and we removed dairy and processed/fortified cereals from our diet, we needed to add some to our daily intake. We drink a green smoothie/protein shake most mornings for breakfast and it keeps us feeling satisfied until lunch. I’ve found that adding chia seeds or extra fiber to our shakes helps us feel fuller even longer. Every time you eat, your body uses energy (calories) to process your food and absorb its nutrients. This is why eating more, smaller meals aids in metabolism. When you eat carbs or fat, the body uses up 5-15% of the calories toward the digestion process. Protein is harder to digest, and requires more like 20-30% of your body’s calories to digest. Be sure you’re getting your protein from good sources, however. An intake of protein from animal and plant sources is ideal and will ensure you get all nine essential amino acids. Your muscles are like sponges for about an hour after your workout. Feed them protein and glycogen (sugar/carbohydrates) within that 30-60 min. window and you’ll help rebuild and repair the muscles you broke down in your killer workout. Less soreness, more muscle definition. Score!
  7. Make it a habit. Our lives are a collection of habits. The things we eat, places we go, the way we handle stress, the people we surround ourselves with. Make it to the gym or work out at home even on your busiest days. 10 minutes of hard work is better than none…and just by driving to the gym or lacing up your sneakers, you’re reinforcing your habit.

    I love this pillow my client, Cassie, bought me for Christmas! Habit.

    I love this pillow my client, Cassie, bought me for Christmas! Habit.

  8. Find a partner or a team! Joey and I started going to the gym together every Friday morning last year. Sometimes he lets me train him and sometimes he wanders away from me toward the treadmill. 😉 But we’re in it together. Find a way to be active with your spouse. It’s not only good for your body, but your relationship. My most successful clients are those who work out in small groups. The camaraderie and friendly competition they develop helps them continue to show up and work harder than they thought they could. IMG_0525
  9. Childcare rocks. If you’re a busy mom or dad, do yourself a HUGE favor and find a gym that offers childcare. It’s usually a reasonable fee (cheaper than the price of a babysitter) and we all need a break from each other every now and then. My kids love going to SkyKids! Linger a while in the locker room after your workout; hit up the steam room, or take a shower with eucalyptus shampoo and pretend you’re at the spa. FullSizeRender 36
  10. Set goals. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Where would you like to be a year from now…and what needs to happen to get you there? Set out clearly defined, measurable goals. Easy tip: choose a pair of jeans you’d like to fit into again and try them on every 2 weeks or so. Jeans don’t lie. 🙂 FullSizeRender 34

Here’s to a healthier, progressive, more confident 2016! 

If you’re not local to Tulsa, OK and interested in online training with me, go to my online training site for more info! I’d love to help.

MORE TIPS: 2013   2014   2015

Give

This word has been hovering over my kitchen since Thanksgiving.

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Both families have agreed not to exchange gifts this year. They took away one of my love languages, and I’m not too happy about it. 😉 So I’m learning to give in new ways–perhaps more important ways than with the swipe of my debit card.

I’m giving more of my time. Each breath is on loan from my Creator, so it’s really not my time anyway, but I’ve always been most selfish with my time. Meetings that go long drive me bonkers. Commercials, snaking grocery lines, doctor’s offices, verbose, showy prayers, and stoplight traffic all test my patience something fierce.

Giving God more of my time (sheesh…it’s so hard for me!) in prayer and reflection has helped me refocus this Christmas season. I love the book, Savor, by Shauna Niequist. December 8th’s devotion reads:

“The season that centers around the silent, holy night, the simple baby, and the star quickly becomes the season in which we over-everything–overspend, overeat, overindulge, overcommit.”

I’m learning to give less frazzled, hustling, distracted moments and more intentional ones to the people I love.

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Give Joey longer, more attentive kisses.

Put my phone down and listen…to whomever is speaking to me: the Target cashier, my kids, my husband, my friends, Pastor Craig…

Let Finn spell out E V E R Y single letter in The Sleepy Train book and forget about the long list of naptime-to-do’s I need to accomplish before sister wakes up.

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They loved the Christmas lights at Rhema!

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Sit on my bathroom floor with Paisley while she digs through my makeup bag. Discuss the importance of beauty on the inside…and my new-found appreciation for high quality mascara.

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Life Church BA’s lobby is a Christmas wonderland!

Allow my clients the opportunity for proper form and quality of movement even when I planned another set.

Blog about what God’s doing in my heart and how He’s teaching me that giving is a mindset. I can give to Him and to you every day in simple ways.

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Taylor created this beautiful print for my mantel.

Give. And give again. Because when you give, you’re most like God, I heard someone say.

An Amateur’s Guide to Painting Cabinets White

I swore I’d never do it again…but I did. I just love a white kitchen and I hate spending money on something I can do myself. So Joey and I spent the two weeks before Thanksgiving transforming our outdated oak cabinets into a beautiful, clean white kitchen that we LOVE. Here’s how (and the harmless marital arguments that arose as a result 😉 ):

  1. Clean the nastiness off.
  2. Remove cabinet doors from their frames. We kept drawers in place. And we kept bottom doors on until the last minute because THIS little girl loves to empty a well-stocked cabinet.

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    She found our one pane-less french door within days of learning to walk. 🙂

  3. Sand all surfaces down using fine grit sandpaper. 150-220. Move sandpaper in same direction as the woodgrain. (Marriage Tiff #1) Cover your countertops/dishes/stovetop if you don’t want sand dust on them.
  4. Wipe dust off surfaces with a damp cloth.
  5. Use that blue tape to tape around borders, floors, and where the wood meets the countertops and walls.
  6. Prime all surfaces using a small-medium sized paint brush to get into all the cracks. Per the Lowe’s Paint Lady’s recommendation, we used PVA primer. IMG_2342
  7. We waited 3 days because it was raining. We didn’t want to spray-paint outdoors in the rain or humidity.
  8. Rain stopped.
  9. While Joey used his dad’s paint sprayer in our side yard and painted the cabinet doors–as well as everything behind and beside them: fence, rain-collection barrel, new A/C unit, bench, grass… (Tiff #2), I used Valspar Dove White semi-gloss paint as a first coat in the kitchen. (I love this color!)IMG_2377IMG_2378IMG_2383
  10. Most people would probably remove and replace all hinges/hardware, but we loved the quality of ours and didn’t mind that they were painted white.
  11. The paint sprayer didn’t work as well as we had hoped. The paint dripped and it was hard for Joey to keep bugs off the wet paint. It felt like the first, sprayed coat was a waste of time and fence. (Tiff #3) So he put the doors back on their frames to finish with a brush.
  12. Over the next two evenings and nap times, we painted the second and third coats. Joey’s idea of a “final coat” and mine were different. (Tiff #4)
  13. Use Trigger Point foam roller to work out all the kinks in your low back and shoulders. Ouch!
  14. We decided to keep one cabinet door off and open. Joey filled in the hinge holes with spackling putty. Then we sanded and painted over it.
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    BEFORE

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    AFTER

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  15. Light a candle, clean the floors, blend up a green protein shake and enjoy the finished product. FullSizeRender 29IMG_2384
  16.  Reminisce about what it used to look like!
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BEFORE: Joey’s dad put in a new backsplash (beveled white subway tile with light gray grout) for us when we moved in last December. We also changed the lighting.

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BEFORE

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AFTER: We don’t love the granite counter tops the previous owners chose, but they’re much more bearable now!

16. Go on a date. Apologize for being a jerk over paint. We enjoyed seeing Spectre (007) in the balcony at the Warren! Thanks, Aunt Melinda, for babysitting! FullSizeRender 31

17. Swear you’ll never paint cabinets white again…