THIS NEW HOUSE

Filed under: just because,my town,newsworthy,project — admin at 11:46 am on Sunday, June 30, 2019

POST & BEAM!! Absolutely GORGEOUS!!

A STONE WALL IN YOUR HOUSE!? YES PLEASE!!

Did I mention that ALL the cabinets were hand-made – EXACTLY for this home!?

This is their FRIDGE!! Isn’t it AMAZING!?

AND A BRICK FLOOR!!! AMAZING!!

THAT BED FRAME!! SWOON!!

Joyce & Ron – THANK YOU SO MUCH for asking me into your home!! It’s SO AMAZING!!

THIS NEW HOUSE

Filed under: just because,my town,portraits,project,promotional photography — admin at 11:17 am on Saturday, June 29, 2019

A friend of Jared’s asked me to take photos of her parent’s house – a labor of love and celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary!

BEAUTIFUL!!

SWOON!!! STONE HOUSES ARE MY FAVORITE!!

The pantry!!

Those cabinets!!

Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL!?

Stay tuned for the rest of the house!!

THAT DEEP AND LOVELY DARK

Filed under: bardenisms,my family,my town,newsworthy,project,word of God — admin at 12:55 am on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

That’s an AMAZING transformation!!

I’ve been listening to LOOK UP CHILD by LAUREN DAIGLE on REPEAT.

There is usually an album that speaks to me during the hard seasons of life – and this one is speaking volumes recently.

I sing the songs – I know most of the words – but I don’t always REALIZE what I’m saying. This afternoon while I was singing – I spoke these words -

Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am because I need to know

You know that I’ve been hurting recently. It was a really low low.

I had said that the last time I cried like I did – our marriage was in a pile on the floor. It’s strange to compare your house falling apart to your marriage falling apart – but …

I AM MORE THAN THE SUM OF EVERY HIGH AND EVERY LOW. (and so are you) 

Jared and I were talking the other day – about this house and my attitude – and we talked about TRUST – which I blogged about last time – and the time before that …

And I told him – I feel like I’m grieving the life I thought we would have right now.

We’ve made smart financial decisions. We’ve never had “bad” debt. We paid off our student loans. We now have a small loan on the JEEP we just bought to replace our other jeep. We have a mortgage and then a loan to do the things this house has needed over the almost 15 years we’ve been here.

We will be celebrating FIFTEEN years of marriage in June and we were going on a trip – it didn’t matter where as long as there was a crystal clear beach and a hammock or two.

I saved last year to go on that trip – but now – we’re getting a new foundation instead.

IT’S NOT FAIR!!

In Labyrinth – Sarah says to the goblin king Jareth – IT’S NOT FAIR! He responds with – you say that so often. I wonder what your basis for comparison is.

BUT – that’s what I want to do. STOMP MY FEET and SCREAM that it’s not fair.

Jared encouraged – challenged me – cus let’s me honest – for a glass half-empty girl – it’s a challenge – to find the good amidst the bad.

You might not know this – but you probably do – I have a tattoo on my arm that says – THAT DEEP AND LOVELY DARK WE’D NEVER SEE THE STARS WITHOUT IT.

I literally have it permanently inked onto my skin as a reminder. Because I really do believe that life is mostly about the hard stuff – but there are pinpricks of light.

Last week I backed into someone in my driveway – I didn’t see him – because I NEVER look behind me in my own driveway in the middle of the day.

The light – we are both under the same insurance – so the deductible is waived. AND our insurance won’t go up.

We had no idea the foundation on the house was an issue – until it was ripped apart. Repairing the foundation – building a deck – siding the entirety of the house – two new windows – a new door – and a new dining room added to the existing kitchen. Typing all that gives me serious anxiety. When I think about ALL the things that NEED to be done. Not anything that we were WANTING – all the things we would like to have are now being replaced with the bare minimum of what we NEED to have. And we have – HAD – a strict budget – with no options on taking out MORE loans.

The light – I happen to be friends with and work for our contractor. He’s got leftover things in his shop that we can use. He’s doing all that he can to make this work for us.

And it’s really hard for me to find that. And really see it. While I see that there are shining lights in the deep and lovely dark – WHY DID IT HAVE TO HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE!?

I’ve told you that I’m a control freak right!? I WANT THE CONTROL. I want to see the unseen. I would like to tell you that I absolutely trust God – but I want Him to tell me HOW IT IS ALL GOING TO WORK OUT. And not just work out – but work out for good.

Do you remember when I wrote about happiness vs. holiness?

The whole it’s not fair thing – really – in comparison to what?! To who?!

God cares far more about our holiness than He does our happiness.

And that’s a PAINFUL realization.

This is the current view of our backyard from my living room. I can really say that I can’t wait to show you the FINAL view.

However – gaining control over your thoughts and outlook – it’s NOT easy – at least not for me!!

But – every day I am trying to find the shining light through the dark.

And because I know that I am not alone in the valley right now – WHAT IS YOUR SHINING LIGHT IN YOUR SEASON OF DARK RIGHT NOW?!

 

 

MAKING THIS HOUSE

Filed under: bardenisms,family,just because,my family,my town,newsworthy,project,the marriage fight,word of God — admin at 5:14 pm on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Wednesday night I sat down to write a blog about this house. This process. This pain.

And I wrote and wrote and re-read and cried and SOBBED and hysterically SOBBED. And what I read was mean. Not nice in any way.

In all the things we’ve gone through – miscarriages and infertility – relationships gone wrong and pornography – a manic breakdown and the depression that came after – I’ve been able to write.

I’ve been able to say hard things – admit fears and doubts. Be raw and honest.

And as I list those things we’ve been through – HARD things – IMPOSSIBLE things – this was ridiculous. It’s a house. I can make it through ALL those things and not THIS “little” thing?!

I knew that those words would be whiny. I knew that those words would be really hard for some people to read. And that night – I exploded. And I erased everything I wrote.

Because it was mean and angry and hateful and … I was not in a good place. A really really bad place.

I went upstairs and told Jared through sobs that I was going to bed. He sat up straight and said – what’s wrong? (I was acting like someone had died) I said – ALL OF THIS. ALWAYS. THIS!!!

I laid in bed and sobbed. I think the last time I cried like that was nearly 6 years ago when Jared told me the depths of his addiction. He sat on the bed and said – do you want to be alone?

And that guy – that amazing husband of mine that loves me so very well – he was stuck either way. I was having one of those “don’t touch me – hug me” moments. Have you ever heard of them? Experienced them? Just me – okay. I’ll try to explain. There are times when I am so angry and out of sorts that the last thing I want is a hug – but don’t you dare walk away from me. Hug me – don’t touch me. Love me – leave me. WHY DON’T YOU DO WHAT I WANT!! (but – I don’t know what I want) So what is a guy to do with a crazy wife – remember when Jared was diagnosed bipolar and the people in my life were like WHAT!? JARED!? I mean – you – yes. Makes complete sense – but Jared – no way. It was one of those moments. Are we sure that it’s really him and not me that’s bipolar?!

So he stayed with me – not touching me – until I reached out for him. Because really – I was mad at him. And I’d like to tell you that I am really good at accepting blame for the things I do. And I am. But THIS – I didn’t do this. He did this to me. I didn’t want to live here. He made this decision without me. Which isn’t totally true. I did tell him that I didn’t want to live here. However – two people needed to sign papers and he didn’t forge my signature. And please don’t think that I’ve been living the last 14 years punishing him day in and day out for this decision. I haven’t. But – when I’m living in skunk – when the ceiling falls down – when the pipes freeze over and over – when there are men working on my house – especially rooms I don’t even walk in – I blame him. It’s not pretty. I don’t love admitting it. But I tell myself that I’m justified in my actions. I am miserable. He should be too. And since he’s not – I can make him. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT! Please tell me that you’ve thought this way too. Or am I alone in this!? Like – the hug me – don’t touch me moment!? It’s awful. It’s shameful. It’s not grace. It’s not love.

It’s anger. And what is anger based on!?

I mentioned on FACEBOOK after our people showed up to work on our house with us that I LOVE my people. My Aunt Lori is one of my people – she didn’t show up yesterday – but she texted me after the word vomit I did end up putting on the interwebs. After a few questions and answers she asked me this – anger is usually based in fear – so what are you afraid of?!

Listen – just let me be mad okay. Let me be angry and be a jerk and be justified in my actions and my words. I’m hurting and I want EVERYONE to know that it’s NOT MY FAULT and it’s an injustice. And you should hurt too.

And then my people swoop in and ask hard questions and show up and let me cry and be mean.

I’m afraid of two things – 1. That I will live in this house that I hate forever – this house I never wanted to be in and be stuck. 2. That we will have no wiggle room in our finances and be stuck.

She said – that’s when I ask myself – what is the worst that could happen? THAT is the thing that I somehow have to turn over to God. THAT fear!!

Jared has been dealing with some anxiety lately – and I always ask him – what’s the worst that could happen? Nothing close to those things have happened. So – what’s the problem?

Our anxieties manifest in different ways.

In general – Jared’s cause him to curl up on himself and not do much and think.

My anxiety comes out in a controlling rage. Mine cause me to explode and do ALL the things – ANYTHING except sit and think. Let me FIX something. ANYTHING. ALL THE THINGS. I’ve been organizing and getting rid of STUFF. And don’t get me wrong – I LOVE doing this. But it’s also a coping mechanism for my anxiety. I’ve been helping my people get rid of STUFF. Because I can’t sit still. Maybe I do operate in a sort of mania?!

Yesterday we tore off the back porch to get ready for the siding on the back of the house – the last step – in that process. When Sierra asked what we needed – Jared said we had a few things but not much. I said – we have 3 hammers. Cus – let’s be clear – we’ve got NOTHING and NO IDEA. The only idea I have is that I hate this and it’s huge and swallowing me up and it’s awful and horrible.

So Sierra & Jose came with their tools at 9. Cody came with his tools. That’s it. That’s all that said – we will be there. So this is it – take it away guys – cus we don’t know where to start. But – Dan and his family showed up. Jason and his son came. Scott – a friend I haven’t seen in over ten years – showed up. Mark showed up. Johna came. We had lots of kiddos in and out – running around. We had lots of hands filling the dumpster. We had lots of guys climbing on the roof and ripping it apart. By noon – the dumpster was full – pizza was served and the unsightly porch was gone – the only evidence being a few shingles here and there and the discoloration on the house from the old and the now exposed.

Jose and I were talking about the potential this house has (which is really hard for me to see – mostly because I don’t even want to) and I told him that my REAL fear is that someday I might like this house.

I typed that in a whisper. Because I don’t want to tell you. I don’t want to admit that. I don’t want to be … wrong.

PRIDE is a crazy thing. We would rather stay in anger and despair and be MISERABLE than admit that we might have been wrong. We might not have been justified in our actions and jerkiness.

I was telling Johna and Sierra this later – and Johna said – but we love you. The people that love you and are cheering for you aren’t going to say – I told you so.

Johna said something else that made me think – (everyone seems to love our house and see the potential and she’s no exception) but she said – you Danielle – are so unique – I can’t imagine you in new construction. This house is so … you. And I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. We walked through the house – into the attic – where Jose said – oh yeah. We can do this. And this – and this. We can do this!

I didn’t cry yesterday – but I’m crying now. Because in less than 3 hours yesterday – our people swooped in and fought for us. For me. When I have been MISERABLE and mean.

And like I said – my people swoop in and ask hard questions and show up and let me cry and be mean. BUT THEY DON’T LET ME STAY THERE.

THAT IS GRACE.

I recently had a conversation with my sister about the things we’re doing that hurt each other. Jealousies and assumptions and anger and blame and … you know – really fun stuff. But it was the first time that we’ve had that conversation (cus we’ve had it a bit) and actually figured some stuff out.

Missy texted me the lyrics of a song that she thought of when she was praying for me.

My friends – my family – my people – they strengthen me. They help me. They get it – but they also know that you can’t stay in it.

I love you guys. SO MUCH. I can’t thank you enough for speaking truth and life and love and hope …

I’m a realist who tends to fall on the pessimist end of things. That deep and lovely dark – we’d never see the stars without it. I believe that life is mostly about the hard things.

Hope is a hard one for me. The glass isn’t only half empty but the water has also run out.

Life IS mostly about the hard things. But it’s also about the people that swoop in during the hard things and point you to hope.

I still don’t love this house – dare I say it … yet. Maybe I never will.

I’m still really afraid of how much this all costs and how we’re going to do it and still live. Not survive – but thrive. Really LIVE!

But while the water seems to have run out – God hasn’t. God doesn’t. He gives us hope in Jesus. And His water never runs out.

THANK YOU JARED BARDEN

Filed under: bardenisms,family,just because,love,marry me,my family,project,the marriage fight — admin at 11:50 am on Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I shared a post recently that I wrote in 2013 thanking my dearest Lori for being my cheerleader in life. For helping me remember to NEVER lower my standards in life.

For a boy – for a job – for friendship – for ANYTHING. For helping me establish good self-esteem at a young age. For helping me hold onto that attitude throughout life.

For showing me what a life dependent on Jesus looks like. For showing me how to love like Jesus.

And it got me thinking about someone else that I need to say thank you to.

In November – Jared and I went to a marriage conference – one like we’ve never been to. We were strongly encouraged to spend LOTS of time focusing on each other – and not only encouraged – but the conference was arranged so that you DO get to have lots of time focusing on each other.

Over the course of that weekend – I was able to share something with Jared that I’ve never really been able to put into words before. Or even thought about putting into words before.

I have a good sense of who I am. I am unapologetically me. BUT – Jared Barden helped me be that person even more so!

Before Jared and I started dating – I was trying HARD to win the affection of someone else. I wasn’t totally myself – in hopes that I would win the attention I was hoping for.

But Jared – he saw me in the moments when I wasn’t trying. The moments when I was simply myself and not scheming to win someone over. And he loved that person.

He loves me at my best. He loves me at my worst. He loves me when I laugh too loud at the movies. He loves me when I’m whining about living in this house. He loves me when I haven’t shaved my legs all winter. He loves me when I shave my head – actually PREFERS when I shave my head.

Because I am so secure in his love – it allows me to be even more unapologetically myself.

When Jared and I started talking – like I said – I had NO intention of dating him. The thought wasn’t even on my radar. But when I talked to my mom about it – in her quiet wisdom – she said – you’ve spent so long trying to win someone else over – if you tell this guy no – you might be missing out on the rest of your life.

Our first date – we went to my brother’s soccer game. He sat with my dad. On the way over – we had talked about what we wanted out of life. I told him that my family was REALLY important to me. If he didn’t mesh with them – deal-breaker. If he didn’t want kids – deal-breaker – cus I was born to be a momma. And if he saw anything that was a red-flag on his end – let me know. We started dating with a goal in mind. Marriage. I didn’t want to date for years and years without any idea of marriage on the table.

But – my dearest Aunt Lori and my sweet husband aren’t the only reasons for my strong sense of self and security.

JESUS is. Really He is the ONLY reason.

Psalm 139: 13-16

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

God MADE me – he saw the beauty of His creation and thought that the world ALSO needed ME. And YOU. EXACTLY THE WAY I AM.

This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect. I’m not. I need to change. To grow and learn. I can be a better sister. A better friend. A better wife and mother.

BUT – God isn’t telling me that He will love me WHEN I change. When I become the best mother and wife. He tells me that He loves me NOW. In all my imperfections.

He knows that I had something to give. That YOU have something to give. Your existence is not an accident. It’s amazing to think about the specific conditions that must happen for life to start. Temperatures. Timing. For life to stick around. When I think about that fact that if another sperm had fertilized the egg that is now Fitzy – we would have a completely different child. A child that we would love and cherish – but NOT Fitzy. Not Enoch. And we wouldn’t miss them because we wouldn’t know them – but how different everything would be. It’s not coincidence. It’s God.

He orchestrates every small detail of our lives – and every BIG detail. And you my friend – YOU are a BIG DETAIL!

BE CONFIDENT. Not cocky. BE SURE OF YOURSELF IN CHRIST. BECAUSE HE IS SURE OF YOU!

And having an Aunt Lori and a Jared Barden doesn’t hurt your confidence. Find the people that love you. Really genuinely love you. People that aren’t afraid to call you out. People who encourage you. I’m not talking about compliments for compliments sake. I’m talking about the people that speak life into you. And the people that give you constructive criticism. The people that love you and want you to be the BEST version of you that you can be.

RENOVATION

Filed under: bardenisms,just because,project — admin at 9:44 am on Saturday, February 6, 2010

When I first bought this website in January of 2008 we had just started renovations on our bathroom – and we LOVE the result!

The time has come for more renovations!

A few weeks ago the ceiling in our entry room fell apart – yes we have a VERY old house. A few of the tiles fell down and there are lots of little bumps and sags all along the room. Our friend Matt came over yesterday to check out the damage and give us an estimate. Once the ceiling is in we will paint the walls – which right now are paneling – UGH!

We also need the steps to our upstairs level torn out and redone.

We have two bedrooms in our house – right now we use the smaller, cedar bedroom and the long, paneled bedroom serves as our “junk” storage. We are going to have Matt add a walk-in closet to the long room and then paint the paneling.

We still have a long, long list – if you can’t tell – I hate home repairs.

Right now our kitchen sink is frozen on the draining end – and has been for 5 days!

We need a new higher counter, maybe a dishwasher, a new faucet, and something done with the floor.

We need to have all the hardwood refinished, tear off the front porch and switch entries, change out windows, new siding, and change the driveway around.

I will try to remember to post pictures as we go!

ELLA – A WORK OF ART

Filed under: babes,bardenisms,friends,portraits,project — admin at 3:19 pm on Monday, June 1, 2009

My friend Mike Murray is an AMAZING artist!

I took a photo of Ella nearly two years ago that I adore – and wanted Mike to create a painting of the photo. We talked about it and he wanted to try a fabric canvas instead of a traditional painting. He was – and is – busy with Chiropractic school and didn’t have time to devote to the project immediately – I told him I didn’t have a deadline.

He dropped off his creation this weekend – about a year and a few months after we first talked – and it was WELL WORTH THE WAIT!

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The photo of Ella on the L and the wonderful “painting” on the R.

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I took it down to show Amy and Jim – and Ella had to get her picture with it!

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*A* is on the L with “her Ella and *M* on the R with “her” Ella!

Thanks again Mike – it is AMAZING and completely blew past my expectations!

I have a laundry machine …

Filed under: bardenisms,project — admin at 1:36 pm on Tuesday, May 6, 2008

“Dwight Schrute: I’ll do your laundry for a month. For a year!!

Michael Scott: I have a laundry machine!!”

The Office – Season 3 – Episode 3 – The Coup

I would like to inform everyone that I now have a laudry machine.

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Meet our dryer.

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Meet our washer.

Together they are quite the laundry machine.

Finished.

Filed under: project — admin at 9:02 am on Friday, April 18, 2008

The bathroom pics I posted the other day were not exactly the finished project.

Matt has to stop by and do a quick run-down today, but other than that, here you go …

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Once again, we LOVE it !!!

Project.

Filed under: project — admin at 12:52 pm on Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No, not Project Runway. Our bathroom is now finished!

Here are some “in transition” pictures …

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We moved back in last night and spent the first morning with our new bathroom. Jared and I both love it so much!

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If you’d like to stop by and see our new addition, please do.

 We appreciate the hard work of Matt and his guys and we recommend them to anyone.

The washer/dryer should be done tonight and the project will be complete!

We dropped one more load off for Jared’s mom to do while we wait for our wash. We thought maybe she would need time to say goodbye to nearly 3 years of our laundry.

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