Friday, May 21, 2010


Question: How can 2 interior designers use their talents to glorify God & minister to the needs of the less fortunate in Birming-
ham, AL?

: Re-decorate a room at the Lovelady Center.

The Lovelady Center is
a faith-based, residential facility for women that provides shelter and rehabilitation.
The center is located in a facility that was previously home to a large hospital located in the middle of Birmingham. I have never seen anything like it - It houses, clothes and feeds 350 women and children at any given time. They have in-house psychiartrists that assist residents with drug and substance abuse problems. They provide childcare as well as transportation to and from work, school and church for all residents. They provide and require classes for education certificates as well as job placement programs for women upon graduation from any of their rehabilitation programs. They are certainly making an impact in one of the most depressed neighborhoods here in Birmingham.

When one of my very best friends here in the Ham - Christine - and I heard about this opportunity to re-decorate resident rooms at the
Lovelady Center, we knew we had to help out! All of the furniture in each of the rooms has been collected through donations. By re-dcorating a room, we would have an opportunity to provide the residents with a cohesive, organized and place that they could call home. Christine is such an encouragement to me... showing me how I can use my talents to glorify God and minister to others. (When you live in the Healthcare meca of the Southeast that is Birmingham, AL - you are sometimes tempted to feel a little inadaquant comparing yourself to all of the doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, Healthcare Administrators - haha and other medical personal who use their gifts daily to meet the needs of others.) I have quickly learned to simply be willing and available and God will use me to accomplish His will and glorify himself.

The Small Group Ladies

Christine thought it would be a great idea to involve our small group in the project and make it a ministry project that we could all do together. We worked preparing for this endevour for about 2.5 months and then this past S
aturday, May 15 we all met at the Center and spent the day putting a room together for a Mother and her 17 year old daughter. (How awesome is God's timing... it was the daughter's birthday on Friday and the Mother was so excited to keep our coming a surprise for her daughter's birthday present.) Josh and a couple of the other husbands from the group came to help out and do the grunt work, I mean, manly stuff like furniture lifting, drilling, etc.

Here is the car all packed to the brim ready to head to the Lovelady Center - I had to drive around town like this for 2 days as Christine was able to find so much great furniture to donate to our room. The furniture was good... probably not the lack of site out the rear-view mirror. O well!

There were several mini projects that we wor
ked on in order to put the room together... the first of which was painting. The room color before was a lovely hunter green. We decided that a bright cheery green would work much better and not look like it was from 1992. I picked the paint color and this was the first time that anyone saw it... I have to say that although I now have a good solid 6 years of picking paint colors, it still makes me nervous. It is something that seems so simple but can so easily go very wrong - how would it look it the Interior Designer picked a color that was worse that what was already there? Not good. Luckily, it turned out just fine.

Josh painting over the Hunter Green

Oh the caos!

Admiring the completed paint job... much better!

The next big project that we did for the room was the window treatments. Since this is my new found area of professional expertise - we knew that something had to be done. The window treatments previously consisted of mauve blinds with no top treatment at all. That simply would not do. The solution that we came up with included new blinds - a clean white- and some valances. Since I just happened to work at a fabric store, I was able to get the fabric donated to the room. Christine is a wiz on the sewing machine and was able to make the treatment herself - very professional looking, I might add. The original room we thought we would have had (1) Double Window. Once we arrived on the day, the room we actually got had (2) Single Windows. While Josh made a run to Walmart to change the blinds out for the correct size, I spent the morning hemming the treatment that we cut on the middle to make (2) smaller valances instead of one large one. Just a small modification done in the field... nothing major.

Me hemming the valances in the hallway...

Christine hanging the blinds

The finished product... Windows - good as new!

The next project that we worked on for the room was getting all new furniture and bedding. Christine was able to find all of the furniture that we used on Craig's List. She got some great deals... most of the time when she told people what she was using the furniture for, they would give her an even better deal or throw in some extra pieces. The furniture put in the room was as follows: 2 mattresses, 2 box springs/bed frames, 2 head boards, 2 ends tables, 1 shelf, 1 storage truck, 1 dresser, 1 mirror and 2 lamps. She thought it would be a great idea to look for white wicker furniture since a lot of people are trying to get rid of theirs... this way we could get stuff that all coordinated and it would be light and bright. She also decided to paint the headboards and shelf turquoise to brighten up the room and make the furniture coordinate with the bedding. I thought it looked great!

For the bedding we were able to find Bed-In-A-Bag sets at Homegoods at a great price - $20 a bed. We found sheet sets, towels and bed skirts very inexpensively as well. I think everything coordinated great and really brightened up the room.

The finished room!!

Some of the other little projects that we did included upholstered memo boards, storage containers and vinyl lettering on the wall. I made 2 memo boards out of coordinating fabric and ribbon that the ladies could put pictures on. We put them on the storage bench you see below... This way they can personalize the space a little more. Christine got some under the bed storage containers that can hold a lot of their T-shirts and other items that would not fit in the dresser. She also used vinyl lettering above the memo boards to create some wall art. It says "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

The was such an amazing experience! The ladies we got to serve we so thankful and we were able to glorify God by using our gifts. I really enjoyed it.

Monday, May 10, 2010


On Mother's Day, we decided that we would spend the afternoon at Oak Mountain. We took Molly on a hike on the "Treetop Trail" which has an elevated board walk at the beginning of it with exotic bird exhibits along the way. I don't think that Molly paid too much attention to the birds along the way... she was just so excited to be out of the apartment! Although we wish we could have been in Jax to see our Moms... we had a lot of fun on our hike. Here are some pics from the afternoon... enjoy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Happy Mother's Day to our Moms. We love both very much and appreciate all of your love and support. This picture is the most recent one we have of our Moms together and it just so happens to be with our pastor, David Platt when he went to FBC Jax earlier this year for the annual pastor's conference held there. It was quite a funny story to hear about how they went up to take this picture with him. WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU BOTH! Hope you had a wonderful day.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Josh started a brand new part time job this week!! We are so incredibly excited and thankful for this oppotunity for him. It is working for a private practice called Retina and Vitreous Associates of Alabama LLC that manages a group of ophthalmologists in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa & Huntsville. He is working in their main office which is in UAB Highlands hospital... only 2 blocks away from the buidling that he has classes in everyday. (We are very excited about this!) The company seems very flexible with his school schedule and will also allow him to work as much as he wants on weeks that he is able - (ie the month of July when he has no classes - hopefully he can work full time!) One of the main things that he will be working on for the next few months will be assisting all of the offices in the surrounding areas with switching to electronic medical record keeping - a very daunting yet extrememly necessary task for all medical facilities and practices who have not already done so. He is so excited about about this new opportunity. We are so incredibly thankful and humbled by this HUGE answer to our prayers. In this very troubled economic time - it seems that healthcare is where it is at!! (If you hadn't already noticed...)