Thursday, July 29, 2010

No Writing on the Fireplace Please!!!

Earlier this year I decided it was time to update my fireplace.  Through much trial, error and reader feedback, I finally found inspiration. 

I loved this fireplace for the simplicity and timeless look of the surrounding slate.  Imagine my surprise when I read that it was actually a recycled blackboard.  A Craigslist search revealed a few sheets of "vintage blackboard"...but at prices I didn't want to pay. 

About that time Janell from Isabella and Max Rooms was completing her awesome chalkboard wall when it occurred to me....

If original chalkboards are slate.... 

And chalkboard paint is made to replicate the look of slate chalkboards....

Then why can't I use chalkboard paint to paint my fireplace surround?  

Well Hubby quickly told me why...because it should be fireproof incase we ever want to hook up the gas logs.  {Yes, we had to remove the gas logs because they had become the children's favorite toy}. 

Finally, the solution came to me as I was watching HGTV....

Cement board {AKA Durock, Wonderboard, Hardibacker} was just what I needed.  Fireproof, waterproof, and less than $20 at any Lowes or Home Depot...OH YEAH!

After reviewing my share of chalkboard paint, I choose the Valspar Chalkboard paint because it guaranteed a "slate-like finish".  Exactly what I wanted and at $13 a can, it was still within my budget. 

So after cutting the cement board to size, rolling two coats of chalkboard paint and applying a coat of matte finish's what we ended up with.

I love it!  

Take a look at the boring BEFORE:

Now the awesome and affordable AFTER:

As you can see, the neutral color and simple design of the chalkboard "slate" allow the fireplace's beautiful woodwork take center stage. 

So there you have it, another use for chalkboard paint.  Whoever would have known?

For more great chalkboard inspiration check out Beth's Chalkboard Party at The Stories from A 2 Z.  Enjoy!

Sincerely, Lisa

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A trip to Holland...

March was Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.  I started writing this post in April.  Overwhelmed with emotion, I stopped.  Three months later, I'm ready to finish.

If you've been reading my blog, then you know our path to parenthood has been filled with grief.  Our first pregnancy ended in loss and our second pregnancy....

took us to Holland

Twelve weeks into our pregnancy, the technician noticed an abnormality in the ultrasound of our unborn child.  She asked me to get dressed, the doctor wanted to see us in her office. 

Entering the Doctor's office, I recognized that look of disappointment on her face from the last time she had given us bad news.  Sure enough, the baby's brain was NOT developing correctly.  After double checking her medical books, the doctor suspected our baby had Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC). 

We were referred to the Prenatal specialists at The Ohio State University Medical Center. 

Following an amniocentesis and a fetal MRI, the only thing that could be confirmed is that we were having a boy and there was no genetic abnormalities. {Praise God for those victories!}

The next few weeks were spent crying and worrying of what we become of our unborn child affectionately called peanut.  {How ironic is it that Max is allergic to peanuts?} After fussing God out a few times and asking him why me, I became angry with him.  {I call these moments my season of GETHSEMANE}

Whether it was God or not, one day I realized that this child is going to be WHO God created him to be.  I can't spend the rest of my life worrying about his abilities and disabilities.   Yes, there will be days {like today} that I'm saddened by his limitations but there will be MORE days that I rejoice in the beauty of who he is.

Following another mri when Max was four months old, it was confirmed that he had ACC.  We got the news while we were vacationing in South Carolina.  At that very moment we were faced with the choice, to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves or keep going.   

Max turned three in May.  Despite his best efforts, he does not walk.  In April, we added another specialist to his medical repertoire.  A doctor specializing in physical medicine.  His most recent diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy. 

But like everytime else, we'll just keep on going...

Sincerely, Lisa