Our Home’s Grand Revival: Part Two

***This post was written a couple months ago, and was intended to come out soon after the release of Our Home’s Grand Revival: Part One.  However, my world was turned upside down on June 3rd, and things are just beginning to feel somewhat right-side up again. On that fateful day back in June, my younger brother was in a near-fatal head on collision.  He survived the crash, but has needed 10 surgeries, and had his right foot amputated as a result of the accident.  We are all so grateful that he is still with us, that he did not suffer any brain damage, and that he will eventually walk again.  This experience resonates deeply with our family, as we already lost a sibling/ daughter/ aunt just a few years ago in a weather-related car accident.  It has felt like being struck by lightning twice. Once again, I am amazed by the fragility of our existence.  Our lives here on this beautiful rock are so fleeting.  By the same token, I am in awe of human courage and resilience, and our ability to find light amid the darkness.  My brother has been an inspiration to all that know him; he remains positive, full of humour and grace, and is determined to walk again.  This post is dedicated to him…he helped a lot with many of the renovations done to our old house, including adding the runner to our stairs.  I am super excited for the day when he will walk through the front door of our new place.  Love you brother!***

Hello again.  I’d like to share these pics of the work we did and improvements we made to our upstairs.  Now that we are just days away from moving to our new house, I’m feeling awfully sentimental looking at the images of the kid’s former bedrooms.  We moved here when Lily was only 5 years old, and Liam was barely a year old.  In the 9 years living here, so much has transpired.  Our kiddies have grown into mature, responsible, kind of annoying, yet amazing people.  I can hardly believe it is time to say good-bye.  In the time we have lived here, I believe we have accomplished my original goal for our gothic revival cottage home: revival.  I feel as though we have managed to breathe a little more life into its old bones — take a look, and let me know if you agree!

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Our Downstairs’ Revival

Alright folks…here you go.  I have created a slideshow of the renovations and updates we have made over the last couple of years to our downstairs; the biggest changes were to our kitchen and downstairs bathroom.  We did everything ourselves, with a lot of help from friends and family, including Michael’s incredibly handy brother, Philip, who installed a new ceiling in the kitchen, all the trim in the kitchen and bathroom, and created the kitchen’s built-in space.  We were able to accomplish all changes to our home on a tight budget, re-using and re-vamping what we already had.  This allowed us to splurge on a new stainless steel fridge, new flooring, and new countertops! Please enjoy the fruits of our labour!

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Progress in Pictures

You’ve been patient.  You’ve been understanding.  Basically, you’ve all been awesome.

As a reward for your patience, understanding, and awesomeness, here are the progress pictures of my kids’ bedroom revivals that I promised.

I am sorry for the poor quality of the photos; I am going to get my friend with a really good camera to come and take the final reveal photos.  Nevertheless, here are the progress pics as promised:

Ready…Set…Go…

Liam’s Room

— BEFORE —

A CLUTTERED ROOM WITH NO PERSONALITY.

— PROGRESS —

ALL CLEANED UP! WE USED WARM GREEN WALLS WITH BLUE AND ORANGEY-RED ACCENTS.

— TAKE A CLOSER LOOK —

FACE-FORWARD BOOKSHELVES ARE A GREAT WAY TO DISPLAY COLOURFUL KIDS’ BOOKS.

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From Survival to Revival, or The One Where I Open Up

Yay…the kids’ bedrooms are coming along nicely…only 16 days until the big reveals.

Wait — ahhhhhhh…only 16 days until the big reveals!!!

Excuse me a minute while a take a couple of deep breaths………………………………………..

Okay, I’m better now 🙂

So, I realize you were probably hoping this post would include a whole whack of progress pictures and maybe some details of a recent project.  Well, I hate to disappoint, but I have decided instead to finally open up about why A GRAND REVIVAL is not just about documenting the revival of our 122 year old Gothic Revival Cottage.

A GRAND REVIVAL was also created to help revive my own personal spirit and help me get in touch with the creative part of myself that was lost in the chaos that was 2011.

Why did I need a personal revival, you ask???

Well, pour yourself some tea, sit back, and I shall divulge.

Here’s my story…

In my post Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, I mentioned that 2011 was a year of unprecedented change (and not the good kind).

Interestingly, 2011 actually started off with on a positive note.  Both my children were attending school on a full-time basis for the first time, and I was all set to join my local library board, begin looking for employment after staying home with the kids for a couple of years, and make more time for some of my interests and passions: writing, visiting museums and art galleries, spending time in nature, and fostering a healthy, simple lifestyle.

I also had an amazing birthday, complete with bowling, a couple of beers, and some best buds.

OUR BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION BEER CUPS — I WAS BDG (BIRTHDAY GIRL)

THE “CAKE” BEFORE THE STORM

However, the day after my birthday, I began to feel a little icky…not quite right…at first I thought it might have been from staying up a little too late and having a couple of drinks (I am not much of a drinker).  But the icky feeling got worse, even after some rest.

SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s what happened next:

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Tag — You’re It!!!

Happy Monday, everyone!  Okay, who am I kidding?…Monday is probably my least favourite day of the week.

So…

Mediocre Monday, everyone! 

This post will be brief, as I have just a few pieces of news to report.

1.  New Tagline

I have changed my tagline from “reviving style” to “grand improvements…humble budget”.  This new and improved tagline better reflects what I wish to convey through my blog: that you can drastically change the look of (or revive) your home, without having it cost a fortune.  Which is a great thing, ’cause my pockets aren’t too deep (hahaha & sigh).

2.  Updated About Page

I have also updated my About page to better reflect the purpose of A GRAND REVIVAL.  I hope that you will take a quick moment to check it out (here), and that my blog will help others as much as it is helping me.

3.  House Tour Coming (I Promise!)

I know, I know…it is super fun to check out other bloggers’ homes.  I promise I am diligently working on creating a House Tour for you.  Hopefully, it be done within the week!!!???  Stay tuned…

I wanna take a “peak”!

Oh, and I wanted to thank thriftykristy at Bliss again for nominating my blog for the “One Lovely Blog Award”.  What a great opportunity to connect with fellow bloggers…awesome!  

Revive ya later!                                                                                                           Angela (Revival Girl)

Image of notebook found here.

A “Grand” Coincidence

Wow — I’m beat!!!  I think all my creative juices were used up during my last post (The Lone ‘Sand’er).  Plus, all the prep work and painting I’ve been doing these last couple of weeks, as well as the party planning for my not-so-much-a-baby girl’s 11th birthday, has left me plum-tuckered out.  Sorry folks, but today’s post is going to be pretty straight forward…nothing fancy…pretty ho-hum…you might as well just stop reading right now.

WAIT!!!  Totally kidding…I want you to stay…please stay!  How else would you find out how luck played a hand in the naming of this blog.

After all, I’m sure you’ve all been wondering why I decided to call my blog A GRAND REVIVAL.  In fact, I’d make a small wager that a few of you have lost some sleep over it.  Well, no more waiting in agony; here is the official story.  The inspiration behind my blog’s name ultimately came from my love of playing around with words and their meanings.  That, and I had a little nod from Lady Luck (oooh…exciting…bet you’re glad you’re still reading, right?)

Can you spot the lucky four leaf clover???

In naming my blog, I actually came up with the name in a backwards kind of fashion.  Let me explain…

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My “Grand Revival”

I am quickly learning how hard it is to add blogging to everyday life, and what type of time commitment a successful blog may actually take.  While I could totally beat myself up for not getting around to putting up the post I have been working on these last couple of weeks (le sigh), I have decided to take a deep breath, relax, and remember that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.

For most of us, there are things in everyday life that seem to get in the way of what we want to achieve — crummy weather, interruptions from co-workers or kids, daily chores and errands, unsolicited phone calls — and I am by no means exempt from this unwritten rule.

Lately, I am recognizing my role in shaping just how much I can achieve in a day. However, I am at a crucial turning point in my life that requires me to buckle up and grab the reins in a way that seems foreign to me.

If only it was this easy (lol) !!!

The last decade of my life has been spent caring for my two children and being a student.  Translation: The last decade of my life has been spent doing what I needed to do; not what I always wanted to do.   For example, even though my schooling encompassed tons of research, reading, and writing (some of my favourite pastimes), I didn’t always have enough time to research, read, or write about topics that I would have necessarily chosen.  Oh yeah — and between the diaper changing, essay writing, exam taking, and complete lack of sleep and money, there was very little time for my actual passions to flourish.

Let me state for the record: in no way do I regret being a mother or gaining a higher education.  It’s just that now that my kids are getting older and my stint as a student is done (for now anyway, haha) — where does that leave me???  How do I return to doing things for me, such as writing for pleasure???  How do I make time in my everyday busy, crazy, hectic life for the things that fuel my spirit and make me feel alive???!!!

I suppose, like with my slightly neglected house, it is high time I rally the troops and jump in with both feet (wow — I really have a thing for analogies) … it is, indeed, time I revive my own life.  Time for me to be less like Frankenstein’s Monster and more like Dr. Frankenstein. Here’s to pulling the switch. Wish me luck!

Images found here, here, and here.