Over the past year, life has taken quite the turn. Back in late winter, I moved into a little 1928 cottage on a beautiful piece of land that is only 5 minutes away from the farmhouse I had called home for 13+ years. This new little space had so much potential- good bones, a solid foundation, and so much character. She seemed like a good place to make a fresh start and find my footing. She did, however, need some updating! However, this too was new territory. Unlike renovations done on the farmhouse, these projects would need to be done within a pretty tight budget, and I would need to learn a lot to be able to do much of the work myself with the help of some of my favorite people.
But friends- so much good comes of stepping outside of your comfort zone! The kitchen is completed and I can't begin to tell you how much I've learned throughout the process. And my confidence- it's amazing! I can do hard things (as my dear friend Dalene always says)- I've proven that to myself. I haven't stood on my own two feet for many (many many) years. I haven't had to prove to myself that I am capable or knowledgeable or able to learn something that I have no idea how to do. But sometimes we are pushed to discomfort to see that we are indeed able to do all of those things and more (even though there may be tears and fear and doubt).
So with that, I am learning about construction and insulating an old home that has NONE (save for the pieces of cardboard behind the plaster and lathe that the critters seem to thoroughly enjoy for making their nests which are also in abundance behind the walls). I am learning to stop leaks, manage an old septic system, and figure out crazy electrical (but I absolutely need help here- sometimes you just need to hire a professional). And with every step, I'm learning that if I don't know how to do it I can figure it out.
I will also be going back to school. I haven't worked in a LONG time and while I have a lovely collection of skills that I have enjoyed using over the years, I need to organize those skills into marketable assets that I can offer to create an income source. I love visual design, and know that there are a number of things I would LOVE to do. However, right now I am going to focus on things like creating logos and websites, honing my Photoshop skills, learning more about basic coding, and studying a bit of marketing and branding. My hope is that I can create a skill-set that will enable me to help others create a visual brand that will help them accomplish their goals. I have so many creative friends and the idea of working with them inspires and excites me.
The other thing I have learned is that sometimes the path you think you are taking isn't the one you are meant to be on. (case in point- my entire last year) So while I will be going to school to work on learning what I need for this plan, I am also open to other ideas and paths. That's the great thing about life, isn't it? You really just never know what opportunities and adventures are waiting for you.
I wanted to share a few photos of when I first moved into the little house. I look forward to sharing more about the kitchen renovation and the interesting adventure that started out as a simple face-lift became. I'm also excited to talk about embracing challenges and finding ways to make them work for you- something I did many times throughout this first renovation. But for now, I give you the old kitchen, it all of it's dark glory~
The front kitchen, complete with dishwasher in the middle of the floor due to space restrictions
The breakfast nook, behind the dishwasher.
The back kitchen- the only place to fit the refridgerator. This used to be a back porch and isn't insulated.
The back kitchen looking towards the back door which leads to the gardens.
All the pretty photos, right? But who doesn't LOVE before and after photos?? There are so many things I would love to do, but for now I am going to enjoy the fact that I have a little home of my own. She feels so peaceful and filled with joy and I know that there are so many possibilities here. I am choosing gratitude and contentment and I am enjoying every little surprise she brings.