My Home Renovation: Hello Lovely Fixer Upper {week 16}

November 07, 2015

Hello again, friends.

I am back with an update on our cottage reno,
and though I don't have any particularly pretty pictures
to share of our place or even our lives, what I have to
offer is blessing, hope, and a story about what it
means to love something back to life.

just outside the window on the stairway landing

Autumn has arrived, and the mature trees on
our property that were so abundantly lush
when we began our work in June, are nearly bare.

a few days before Bella died

If you read my last post, then you know our
little beautiful moon, Bella Luna, recently passed away.

We moved into the house (still a work zone!)
with her one month ago, and because of her condition,
I carried her around the house like a doll or in her
Ergo baby carrier...we kept her as comfortable
as we could until it was time for her to be at
perfect peace in the arms of the angels.

So clearly, I write this post while still grieving.
Bella's passing is but one blow to our family's
heart, as we have experienced a chapter of
deep humbling and brokenness which has
challenged us in unspeakable ways.

While I may have hoped this house would not be
bathed in tears, this is not to be, and so I choose
to not drown in them, but be cleansed and
even baptized in their holiness.

So you see, it is well with my soul as we continue
to nurture this little house as it becomes a home.

We moved our belongings over about a week
before we began living here.

Things didn't stay looking this tidy or orderly
once we moved in! 

So we have one working bathroom which is great
except for a hard water problem, and no big surprise
we will have to sink more cash into that.
I will be so grateful to have softer water at some point!

This will be our sons' guest room, and I painted the walls
Benjamin Moore's Ashley Gray.

We set our long reclaimed elm Dutch table in the hall,
but it doesn't work here so it will go elsewhere.

On the right is the little laundry room.

The future library/dining room.

Remember what the master bath resembled?
Here is my luxurious spa bathroom now:

This is where I brush my teeth
and gaze into the mirror in the morning
clapping my hands together exclaiming: 
THIS is gonna be a great day!
fine.i don't clap. but i smile and laugh and don't feel less than royalty.

More images of the work zone which
will become a relaxing bathroom:

We had to call in an exterminator as the attic
was home to while we have yet
to enjoy this master bath, the carpenter ants
and rodents have highly approved of the

A part of the backyard helps you appreciate
my favorite part about the cottage: the setting.

Lots of progress has been made in the kitchen!

quartz:  LG Viaterra Minuet

I chose a quartz which mimics polished Venatino marble
as we decided to use marble on the sink wall.

Appliances are installed!
The crown moldings and trim pieces are not yet done.
But you can see how the wall
of marble is transforming the space:

My husband has been working so hard on every facet
of the renovation that I cannot begin to list everything
he has accomplished!

This is the window in our bedroom where I have
watched the colors and landscape change.

My sister just moved into a new home in Chicago,
and she asked me to create a piece for them.
I painted the canvas above with tears, visions of
of furry friends, angels, and hope on the horizon.
It was hard for my husband to see this painting
leave our home, but I have a hunch there will be more.

I'm so happy they love it.

The clutter of life.

 This is our friend's backyard which serves as an inspiring
vision of simplistic, pared down beauty which beckons
peaceful encounters with nature and loved ones.

Our sweet girl the night before she flew away.

Two days before Bella left us, she and I were exploring
the backyard and found this restful angel which had
been completely covered in overgrown vines and weeds.

Can you imagine my delight in coming upon it
for the first time, in light of the heavy burden
of suffering happening in our hearts and home?

I remain in awe at how God revealed himself to me
at the perfect time in the most gentle, merciful way,
allowing me to let go of that which I am led to let go.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

The night before our beautiful moon went to her resting place,
she was in much pain, yet insisted on pitter-pattering over
each and every marble mosaic for the kitchen wall
before I sealed them.

What a blessing that our sweet girl's paw prints--
as well as her life and her love--
are sealed into every inch of that mosaic wall.

My heart is full and peaceful.
The work continues.
I am grateful for your prayers and support.

* * *
Please come join me
in this DIY adventure by
clicking here for all my fixer upper update posts!
(And thanks for subscribing here so you don't miss an episode.)

Peace to you right where you are.

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  1. Michele I am so sorry about your little Bella.. I really do understand what you are feeling now. Time helps to heal and she will forever live in your heart.

    The house looks great! I am amazed with the progress shown here .. one step at a time and having lots of patience;) The bathroom and kitchen has come a long way ~ love those countertops. The holidays will be so much fun with you all moved in!! xxL

    1. thanks, friend. the progress on the house is slow now and i'd love to get decorating, but you're right. patience!

  2. Oh my gosh got teary eyed imagining her making her final little stamp on your hearts:) She was sooo is hard but with time it will get a little easier and you will have such great memories to comfort you. Look at your house....looking GOOD! Love what you are doing, the kitchen backsplash going all the way up looks amazing! Really enjoying the progress......keep up the great work!

    1. thanks, tina. the kitchen is feeling more beachy-classic and should be done in the next week or two! thanks for the kindness.

  3. Oh Michele....I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing our furbabies....our heartbeat at our feet....always throws our souls into such a painful tailspin that forever leaves an imprint on our hearts and changes us. Rest in the knowledge knowing that your little sweetheart is playing with my furbabies at the Rainbow complete restorative health, happy and full of joy. Peace to you and your broken heart, dear one. I will be praying comfort for you.... ♥

    xoxo laurie

    1. you're so thoughtful and sensitive, laurie. thanks for that comfort.

  4. Hi Michele, such a sweet post...I cant believe how much you've looks great! I love the marble subway on the wall in the kitchen...good call!

    1. it was a great choice for the space and feels so clean! thanks, julie.

  5. I cannot imagine working on a home and loosing a pet, they are our family, and a child of sorts.
    My heart feels very heavy for you Michele, and doing that painting must have been very hard to let go, it's a moving piece and indeed you should do more.
    Your home is coming along, taking beautiful shape and you are beginning to dance to its music. I am excited to see the whole home completed and you giving us that grand tour.
    Yes, through many tears God reveals himself if we take time to listen, he shows up in big and small ways touching us gently showing us the light of day. I am praying for days of comfort be with you, a healing of only peacefulness.

    Michele, you my dear are going to have to name your park you live in, it's a glorious view.
    See you soon.

    1. thanks for your tender, encouraging spirit always, dore. i appreciate your words and wishes.

  6. Hello Michele
    Your renovation is awesome and I too love the subway tile in the kitchen - absolutely stunning! Your new home is going to be gorgeous!

  7. Oh so sad for you and little Bella.. the house will be all the more gorgeous now that her little spirit is a part of it! you are doing a wonderful job!

    1. you are so right. and i love thinking that even though she was here only for awhile, now i'll be able to feel her presence and peace.

  8. Michele,

    I feel your pain and anguish, as I said in my last comment I lost my little Munchen August 21st. It is so hard to lose these little angels who love us unconditionally. My thoughts are with you.

    Your house looks fabulous! I cannot believe this is the same house! Take care of yourself and relish the memories and paw prints.

    1. you're so kind, elizabeth. thank you for the empathic comments and wishes. i am savoring the many happy memories made with our sweet one.

  9. Michele,

    I am so sorry to learn about Bella. I know losing a pet is so difficult. How tender to find the sweet statue before she passed. God is so tender to us.

    Your home looks beautiful!
    I am inspired and encouraged by your lovely spirit.
    Hope your had a blessed Christmas!

    Xo Birgitte
    PS love the Scandinavian candles in your window. :)


Your comments add to the beauty...thanks in advance for your kindness.


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