Thursday, March 22, 2012

Apartment Sweet Apartment

Due to where my family is at in life, I plan on renting for another 2 years. I plan on staying  in my current apartment for those two years. I really wish I had my own house that I could paint and fix up, but it's not time yet. I came up with some ideas I can do to personalize my apartment and feel more at home. It'll help apartment living be more bearable to me and curb my desire for trying out renovation projects.

There's a few issues to consider when wanting to decorate a rental.

A rental, such as an apartment or house, is a property that you do not own but temporarily live in. You do not own the property, so you can't legally do just anything to the property. You will eventually move out of the property and any permanent updates or changes made to the rental will stay. You may be charged to have these updates removed or changed back to the original.

I do not suggest them, but if you want to try some permanent updates such as a changing the counter tops, ask your landlord first. He may say no, but asking never hurts and not asking when you should have does! Usually it ends up with you paying for things to get changed back. Decorating shows sometimes do what I would call massive updates to temporary apartments. They say you can do them if the landlord approves. I wouldn't waste my money on majorly updating a rental I'm not staying in for more than 8 years.

There are plenty of other ideas you can try that you won't have to get approval from the landlord.

You can buy furniture. Beware though. If you buy furniture for your rental, it may not fit or compliment your next home. That beautiful living room, dining room, and master bedroom set will sure look good and fit perfectly in your current apartment, but are the sets flexible enough that you can use the sets in your next home? How long are you going to stay in your unit? Is the cost of the furniture and the hassle of moving it when you do move acceptable to you? Will you be upset if anything is damaged when you move? Will all this expensive furniture fit into a slightly smaller or large or differently shaped unit?

Accent pieces and wall art are small and add a lot of life to a room. I have bought a few nice pieces I plan on never parting with and wish to take care of. I also bought nice curtain rods and curtains that I'll never get tired of and can be used in any home I move to.

You can swap random fixtures and plates out for nicer ones. Cabinet knobs or light switch plates can be swapped out. Just save the originals in a box and when you move trade them out again. Take the ones you bought with you and use them again at your new place.

Most apartments let you paint the walls as long as you paint them back to the original color or pay them to paint the walls back. Instead of spending all the time and paint on painting an entire room, just add an accent wall. You can paint it from time to time if you get bored or want to freshen up the room. Painting one wall in a room instead of all of the walls will be easier to repaint when you move out or may get you a discount when the landlord repaints the wall.

You could even buy rolls of paper and tack them up on the walls to give a wallpaper effect. It would be similar to how a teacher decorates a bulletin board. It would be easy to pull down when you move and can be fairly easily changed out.

Definitely check with your landlord about getting a discounted amount for having to paint an accent wall back to the original color. He may charge you the full amount. I haven't tested this one out and I plan on painting the wall back myself when I do.

Plan ahead! Before doing anything decide if the cost and time is worth the effort. It'll save some headache. I want to have pieces of furniture that I can use in my house one day and even stuff I could possibly give to my children one day. Just because I'm in an apartment now does not mean I can't have nice things or start planning what I want to leave to my children or put in my future house one day.

Here's some more changes you can try to make an apartment or rental feel more homey. Some ideas may need to be purchased or made. Some ideas may need to be added or traded out.

Electric socket plug cover
Light switch cover
Light fixtures (may need an electrician or landlord approval)
Bathroom towel rack
Toilet paper holder
Knobs on cabinets
Vent covers (Yes, they sell decorative vent covers. Weird, right?)
Shower rod and shower curtain
Paint an accent wall
Toilet seat cover
Comfortable furniture
Redo your existing furniture
Make furniture look like built-ins
Nice curtains and a rod
A headboard for your bed
Wall shelves
Actually put up pictures or wall art
Tack up water resistant paper under kitchen cabinets to look like a back splash
Kitchen island or utility cart

Nail holes should be considered wear and tear. You should not be charged for them if you don't go crazy with them. I love making nail holes. If in doubt about what you can or can't do, ask your landlord.

I love my bedroom light switch cover

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Verses and Quotes

So Jesus said to them, “...I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

- Matthew 17:20
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.

- Psalm 73:25

Quotes from "Passion and Purity" by Elisabeth Elliot


"In Lilias Trotter's beautifully illustrated book, 'Parables of the Cross,' she describes the death-life cycle of plants, which illustrates the spiritual processes that must go on in us if we are to die to self and live to God. In the love life, as well as in other areas:

'The fair new petals must fall, and for no visible reason. No one seems enriched by the stripping.

And the first step into the realm of giving is a like surrender---not manward but Godward: an utter yielding of our best. So long as our idea of surrender is limited to the renouncing of unlawful things, we have never grasped its true meaning: *that* is not worthy of the name for "no polluted thing" can be offered.

The life lost on the Cross was not a sinful one---the treasure poured forth there was God-given, God-blessed treasure, lawful and right to be kept: only that there was the life of the world at stake."


"One morning I was reading the story of Jesus' feeding of the five thousand. The disciples could find only five loaves of bread and two fishes. "Let me have them," said Jesus. He asked for all. He took them, said the blessing, and broke them before He gave them out. I remembered what a chapel speaker, Ruth Stull of Peru, had said: "If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because the pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad."


[Speaking about "Parables of the Cross" by Lilias Trotter]

"To those with ears to hear and eyes to see, there will be very great release from unbearable burdens in the language of autumn trees, for example, when they dress most gloriously in preparation for death. The red of the leaves is the sign of the cross. Winter follows, when snow closes everything in frozen silence. The trees then are skeletons, but wonders are being performed under the surface of things. Spring comes, and the hidden wonders burst out all at once---tiny shoots, swelling buds, touches of green and red where all seemed hopeless the day before. Miss Trotter shows the yellow blossom of the gorse springing straight out of last year's thorn. Plain lessons for us. if we'll open our eyes.

If the leaves had not been let go to fall and wither, if the tree had not consented to be a skeleton for many months, there would be no new life rising, no bud, no flower, no fruit, no seed, no new generation."




Monday, February 20, 2012

Tiny Life

Charli's first picture. 9 weeks old. Her actual size about the size of a quarter. She was kicking her little numbs like crazy.


Biologically at conception, there is life.

At conception, all the DNA of a unique person---who has never walked the earth or taken a breath or heart has beaten---is present.

All the information for growth is now present from *this* stage in life until the grave.

Gender is set. Hair and eye color is set. Skin color is set. It's all there. Everything is in place. All that is left is time to grow.

Within hours there is growth---cell division. The baby *continues* to grow tiny bit by tiny bit---without the aid of the mother's body.

Around 10 days after conception, the baby implants to the mother's body and grows rapidly over the next 39 weeks, until the baby triggers labor.


We ALL start life like this. We ALL start when a single sperm meets up with a single egg, and *huzzah!* there is a new set of DNA in the world that has never been there before.

We ALL start out smaller than this period:


ALL of us.

If we ALL start out the same, we ALL follow the same development process, we ALL go through the same stages of growth, and eventually we ALL turn into beautiful kicking newborns, toddlers, kids, preteens, teens, young adults, adults, and elderly.

Comparing a human that is 1 hour old after conception to a human that is 2, 5, 16, 40 weeks old after conception, or to a 1 year old, or to a 7 year old or to any age is an improper comparison that ignores human development.

It is an improper argument to compare any fetal life to a severed arm or other tissue belonging to another person.

It is improper to hold fetal life to the same standards of "living" and "personhood" used for newborns, children, adults.

It is an improper argument to say fetal life is suffering from a disability.

Kind of get what I'm saying people? 1 hour after conception baby is doing what a baby the age of 1 hour after conception can do---growing, and not a whole lot else.