Before & After

As I mentioned in my post the other day, I am all about before and after moments. You know, the big reveal on HGTV kinda moment. We don't have a TV anymore, but when I'm at the Y, I sweat to the oldies on the elliptical until the half hour turnaround comes and I watch that golden revelation with glee.
I have a number of projects that I've completed. I have even more that I haven't. Sometimes that makes me crazy, but normally, I just think it's a gift to have more ideas than time, right? Wouldn't it be a tragedy if it were the other way around? So, here is a before and after that I recently completed. This "artistic piece" was $6 at Goodwill.

Wait for it... wait for it...
I was looking for a chandelier and then realized there was one built right into that lamp. It just took some dismantling and some spray paint. Here are a couple of other "befores"...

The first of these 2 is at an amazing party my sister through the other night just to honor the girls in her life. She is even more amazing! She is a nurse and does all kinds of stuff hourly that would make me gag and worry. I thought the process of making those desserts was picturesque. This is before we finished making them, baked them, and then ATE WAY TOO MANY! The latter shot is the "before" of a fondue party we hosted this weekend. Um, I guess I forgot how much prep went into the "before"! In case you didn't look closely, this is my gorgeous friend with whom I get confused or told that I look like her sister and her the same. Well now, was that strange that I told you she's gorgeous and that people think we resemble each other? Probably, but I do think both are true. :) Now here is an after... while the 3 couples ate fun-do, our children sat and ate mac and cheese. They were so stinkin' cute at the kids' table and such a sweet reminder of the blessing that somehow 6 (before) became a baker's dozen (after). We've over doubled! (Not to be confused with doubled over... that's, again, what I would be doing if I were a nurse...)
So, I'm not the only one that likes befores/afters/durings/projects in general. McHusband is a tinker-er as well. A story that will really sum up part of his personality and his love for projects...
So, he loves Ace Hardware. Every time he comes home from there, he makes a very intentional point to say things like "you know, there's just no comparison between ______ (big box store) and Ace", "you just can't get customer service like that elsewhere", "those guys at Ace yada, yada, yada", and other versions of a kind-hearted person stickin' it to the man and supporting the little guys. After we learned that the Ace by us was closing, panic set in and McHusband drove over to get the scoop. He learned that they were relocating... again, wait for it... to a place within walking distance to our house!! Not that we would walk home with a table saw, lumber, or even paint, but, it's seriously that close. This isn't all. He went there on their very last day of being open in that location. He then waited until he was sure that he was the very last customer and checked out. Yeah, I didn't get it at first either. He had to point out to me that he was the VERY LAST CUSTOMER... EVER. He was like a kid in a candy store - so excited. Ahhh, I love him!! He actually asked them if he was the very last customer and an older gentleman went and rang a bell for him to commemorate the moment. Kinda a goober, but a hot one.
As far as befores and afters go, I think it's really about something much deeper. All of us were created to have befores and afters - to be in process, to be made over, to be made complete, made new. We may not experience the big reveal on this side of heaven, but we see glimpses of things reborn daily. Befores and afters.