Personal Posts

The Ugly Truth About Jealousy And Comparison

What do these bloggers have in common? Kevin & Layla. Shelley & Cason. John & Sherry.

You know them, right? And I’m sure I could list more if I thought about it for more than three seconds.

Yep, they’re couples who DIY together. And I will admit to falling into the evil trap of jealousy and comparison in recent months.

Jealousy and comparison are indeed two very evil things. They can rob you of your joy, immobilize you, make you wallow in self-pity, make you resentful and bitter, make you feel unmotivated, etc. Evil, I tell you. Pure evil.

Now I know some of you might be confused at this point. Let me explain.

When Matt and I got married almost ten years ago, Matt was a healthy, able-bodied 28-year-old.

Matt and me at the Oregon coast about four months after our wedding, 2003

I thought we were off to a very “normal” life. But life threw us a curve ball. About two years after we got married, Matt was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and about three years ago, it really started to take its toll on his health.

While our new diet and lifestyle change have resulted in great improvements in his health this year, he’s still confined to a wheelchair, and deals with bouts of exhaustion. Helping me with any DIY projects around the condo is simply out of the question.

So the projects are left up to me. If the kitchen is going to get finished, it’s on me. If the bathroom is ever going to get updated, I have to do it. When the flooring still hasn’t been grouted after 18 months, that’s my fault. When the bedroom door won’t stay closed because I tried to put a new door into an old door frame that’s 1/4″ too wide for the door, and really the whole things needs to be replaced, I’m the only one who can do it.

When I installed my butcherblock countertops in my kitchen, I did it by myself. When I installed new cabinets in the kitchen, living room, and utility closet, I did those by myself. Yep, even the upper cabinets. By myself.

I was actually okay with this for so long. But lately, I’ve really been struggling with it. Is it because I suddenly want to move away from this condo and into a house? Is it because I look around and still see so much that has to be done, and know that it’s all on my shoulders to finish it? I think that’s probably it. And I absolutely hate that I’ve allowed these feelings of jealousy and comparison to rear their ugly heads in my heart and my mind. Because the results aren’t good.

I’m not motivated to finish. Those feelings don’t energize me to get up and work on projects. They make me want to sit and wallow and feel sorry for myself.

Definitely not the mindset I need to be in if I truly want to get out of this condo.

So I thought that something like Make It Happen Monday would help. Perhaps that would be the motivation I needed.

It wasn’t.

No, the problem is in my heart…and my head. Those things can’t be fixed with blog posts.

And now here’s the ironic thing about this ridiculous struggle I’ve had these last few months.

Matt and I don’t work well on projects together. We never have. At all.

We have an absolutely wonderful marriage, and an almost perfect relationship. Seriously. That’s not an exaggeration. We almost never fight, we seldom even argue, and we agree on almost everything. When we disagree, we talk things out. And on the very rare occasions that we fight, we almost always fight fairly and we get things resolved. We never even had that difficult first year of marriage. Other than his heath, things have been smooth sailing…

UNTIL we try to work on a project together. Oh my gosh, things get ugly, and they get ugly very quickly. And I’ll admit, it’s about 90% my fault.

I’m incredibly independent, and I don’t like people telling me how to do my projects. I want people to stand back and let me do them myself, my own way. When it comes to working on projects, the words “team player” have absolutely no place in my vocabulary or in my mind. 😀

So basically, this all just boils down to a matter of things always looking greener on the other side of the fence. I’ve somehow convinced myself that I want what I can’t have, even though I know full well that when I did have that very thing (an able-bodied Matt who could help me with projects), I didn’t want that. But jealousy and comparison aren’t rational emotions. And because I’ve allowed those feelings of jealousy and comparison to grab hold and root themselves in my heart, I’ve been feeling the horrible effects of them.

I’m unmotivated and overwhelmed. I look around at all of the projects that need to be finished around here, and I feel immobilized. I’d rather turn off my brain and lose myself in Pinterest than actually face what needs to be done. I’ve allowed myself to become a little bit bitter at my circumstances. I’ve wallowed in self-pity. I’ve thrown temper tantrums like a three-year-old. I’ve just allowed myself to feel defeated.

After coming to this realization about two days ago, and doing some major soul-searching, I kind of feel like I’ve turned a corner. I finally feel like I’m regaining that independence that I’ve had since I was a child. I finally feel like getting off of my butt and getting things done. It’s perhaps a bit slower in coming that I would like, but it’s coming. I’m feeling a bit like myself again.

Thanks for letting me share my heart today! And thanks for bearing with me over the last few months as I’ve set goals I didn’t meet, talked about projects that I never finished, made promises I didn’t keep, etc. I’m finding my independent self again. I’m getting up from the pit where I’ve been wallowing, dusting myself off, and setting my eye on the goal. Good things are in store.



You Might Also Like...

56 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Megan
    August 16, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I’m glad you shared your thoughts. Sometimes people think that everyone is perfect when reading blogs. My husband and I do a lot of projects but they are mostly separately due to someone having to watch our two year old. 🙂 However, I know it’s also because we work better independently on things. We can’t play monopoly because we are too competitive. 🙂 Thanks for sharing such an honest post. 🙂 Megan

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Clarece
    August 16, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I pray the Lord gives you strength in your mind and heart!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea Schuneman
    August 16, 2012 at 9:50 am

    You are not alone and I sure feel your pain as well. My hubby is not handy at all and has no interest either so I go at it alone too. My projects never get too complicated and if they do I have to hire it done. It’s so easy to look at others and have a bit of jealousy and I’m guilty of it myself. When I started feeling that way I have to remind myself that I can’t keep up with others and look at all the blessings I have. It’s humbling for sure, but so worth it.
    It sounds like your feeling better and I appreciate you sharing your heart.

    Andrea xo

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Amanda
    August 16, 2012 at 9:54 am

    I can imagine how tough that must be – I’m so glad you decided to share, and I’m incredibly impressed knowing that you have completed all of your amazing projects (including installing cabinets – seriously?!) by yourself! That’s so incredible!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    debbiedoos
    August 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

    What a heartfelt post. For what it is worth to you….I wish I could do half of what you DO, on my own. I can craft, but to put a butcher block counter top in…OMG, what a mess that would be. So really, you should be so proud of yourself and your independence. There are women who are probably jealous of you!~ Like I said to you the other day, there is always, bigger always better, always a couple as you stated that work well together. I would much rather, as I do, have the healthy marriage we have that so many women may long for. I truly hope you find the motivation you are longing for. Hey, look at your changes in health and diet….YOU CAN DO IT!~ I have learned to be content with myself and what I am doing. CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT, see I have to tell myself that often, because I am, and I can’t get caught up in the rest. It would suck the life out of me, and I would not be able to be out here otherwise:)!!~

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Ketz
    August 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Kristi,
    I can totally relate. I too have a husband with health issues which makes it pretty unlikely I will have help on any of my DIY projects either. It can be overwhelming and frustrating when you need a hand with something. I imagine my husband feels bad when he sees me struggling though so I try to keep my spirits up to keep him from feeling worse.

    Lisa

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cynthia Leonard
    August 16, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Oh… I can so relate to your story. Believe me… you are not alone in your thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing… I’ve been in a pity party for a few months now and your words were as if they were mine own. Thank you for giving my thoughts real words… Now to get out of this unmotivated state. 🙂 Good Luck with everything you do!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Whitney Breck
    August 16, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Aww, we love you Kristi!

    You are definitely not alone. I think most of us creative people struggle with wanting help but not wanting to accept it because it may mean us relinquishing some control over something that means a lot to us.
    I also view the couple blogs with some jealousy even though I know it would drive me CRAZY if my husband was actually into DIY and creative projects like I am (we would probably have a wet bar in the living room right now if he had the diy drive like I do!)
    For me, my projects are the only product I have to show. For some crazy reason God gave me an amazing artistic talent and then horrible anxiety that pushes me away from everything else. So when I do a project, I feel like I have to make sure it is all mine since that is the ‘work’ that I do. When I’m holding a bookcase trying to slide some shims under it to level it and my husband asks me if I want help, heck yes I do, but I don’t ask because I want to say I did it all! Horrible, I know.
    I hope your soul searching brings some comfort (seriously, there needs to be a support group for creative people)
    Crank up the music, and set your mind free to have fun and work!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sarah
    August 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I can relate! My hubby is able-bodied, but he’s a medical resident, which means he’s not home very much & when he is he’s tired. Plus, he is the opposite of handy. I totally envy those who have handy, helpful husbands. I have to do everything by myself in my house. It’s hard when you only have two hands to work with!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennifer
    August 16, 2012 at 10:32 am

    God loves us always, even in our fits, wallowing in self-pity, and less-than moments. 🙂

    I am so sorry you two are facing such a serious health issue. It must be tough. Just keep the faith, and keep sharing! You seem so much more “real” to me than some other blogs I read because you share the downs as well as the ups.

    I am independent, bossy, and probably not that much fun to work with, too, so I know how you feel! 🙂 I HATE it when my husband tries to help me do something DIY-related ’cause I feel like he’s trying to take over. I just need you to hold the nail, honey!! Ha ha.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon @ LilikoiJoy
    August 16, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I admire that you are able to articulate this so well and be honest about it. This is the only way I can think of for someone to move past it is to be real and own it. Keep working on it and focusing on doing your own best instead of someone else’s best. Because your best is pretty awesome. We’ve all seen it who follow your blog and admire all the things that you have accomplished.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Wendy R
    August 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Oh my goodness you have so much on your plate! I say you are really putting wayyy too much pressure on yourself right now. You are human, Kristi and we all have those emotions no matter how irrational they are. I think you need to give yourself a break. Take one project at a time and do not look at the huge pile of projects. You have to climb the stairs one at a time or you will fall down! The first step is the hardest. So my best advice (as if you needed it) is to slooooooooooow down. The world will NOT pass you by because you did not finish the projects. You have a lot to deal with. We are all here to support you too. If you need a friend I am sure any of us would step up to the plate and hold your hand to get you through this. Huge hugs to you.
    Wendy

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Paula
    August 16, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Kristi, you are not alone. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jean
    August 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    We totally understand, Kristi. My husband is not handy at all and for the most part, I’m okay with that. But sometimes, like yesterday when I got a bid for a very MILD kitchen remodel for $18,000.00, I wished he WAS handy. And not just handy, but interested in helping. It sounds like what you and I do have are very healthy, loving relationships…some people just don’t ever get one of those. I’d rather have that than a fully remodeled kitchen any day! P.S. I’m super impressed by your complete diet turn around. I wish I had that kind of discipline. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Western Warmth
    August 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Thanks s much for sharing this with us. I think we all go through silent struggles and just seeing what others highlight on their blogs (especially DIY ones) show such a small part of the story. As I was critiquing myself and my blog yesterday, I realized the “better” blogs show more dramatic changes, not just the everyday little trim painted here, stuff moved into this closet, etc. So my blog is boring. So what. Its not a magazine, and I’ve yet to get paid anything for it and in the beginning I swore I was always going to just do it for myself the way I wanted. So I have to remind myself of that. It’s for ME!

    Yours, however, has and continues to be an inspiration for so many. Please don’t give up just yet! You’ve got this girl, just keep on keepin’ on and keepin’ it real!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laurie
    August 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you for this wonderful post, Kristi! You are not alone. I have stretches of not being motivated as well, and sometimes that is driven by seeing what others ARE getting accomplished. I think, oh, I can’t do that, or I wish it was in the budget, but I know I have to fight through. And right now I am nursing a back injury back to health. So no ladder climbing for me right now. 🙂 Bummer….Please know your blog/posts are wonderful, whether you are feeling motivated or not. Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    ChrisE
    August 16, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    I have always enjoyed your blog posts, whether you are meeting deadlines or not. I think you are a very brave woman and a talented, creative blogger. Ease up on yourself and re-find that joy of DIY that got you here in the first place. Best wishes!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    TKraft Art & Interiors
    August 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    I posted this comment on your FB… but I will repeat myself here: Thanks for sharing your ❤ today… I wanted to post here earlier when I first read this post – but was totally embarrassed by my own stupidity and kicking myself for the grout comment yesterday… please know that if I lived closer I’d be over doing it right now. You’re absolutely right, the grass is never greener on the other side as much as we are led to believe… some folks have people in their lives that don’t/won’t/can’t help even if they could. Be blessed that you have a loving man who does with every thing he has. xxx

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Heidi @ Decor & More
    August 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    Oh, Kristi, thank you for sharing! I, too, get envious of couples that DIY together and your circumstances with Matt’s health must make that especially difficult. I’ll be praying that you find the energy, inspiration, and encouragement to conquer those waiting tasks and projects. You’re already thankful for and and blessed by a wonderful marriage — I’ll pray that the other parts of your life will soon look just as marvelous.
    xo Heidi

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nina
    August 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Kristi, thanks so much for sharing with us. I have been reading your blog for a while and this is the first time I have left a comment. But, your post compelled me to send a little note. First off, I want to say that you are not alone! Speaking for myself, it is sometimes difficult not to focus on what you “don’t have” , rather than all of the wonderful things that you do have in llife. Sometimes, I allow myself to have a pity party, but it usually lasts for only a short time. It’s good to get it out of your system! I will look forward to some great new posts from you. Keep up the good work and know that your readers appreciate you!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Amanda
    August 16, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    That post was a Before and After of the highest order, how you got from where you’d been to where you are now; gettin’ your mojo back.
    It does get so tiring reaching down for those bootstraps over and over and over again.
    This one measly follower thinks you’re the bees knees!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa
    August 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for being brave enough to share such honest thoughts with your readers–I hope it made you feel better. It’s good for the rest of us to read a post where a blogger shares their struggles. In general the things we see in blogs and on facebook are carefully crafted to project a certain image, and it’s a good reminder to see that no one’s life or situation is perfect. It’s easy to forget!

    My two year old has Down syndrome and I go through periods like this where I feel bouts of envy, disappointment, and unfairness. It’s hard to watch much younger children pass him by in developmental milestones like walking and talking. I wish I could give you some advice on how to snap yourself out of it, but I think sometimes you just have to be in a funk and process it all for a while, recharge, and then move forward. From your post, it sounds like you’re already on the move 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa
    August 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Wow. I almost could’ve wrote this. Scary. I just haven’t figured out how to get out of it! Even on days that I decide from here on out I will make sure I look differently on my life, POOF, it’s back to being paralyzed by misery. I know that I’m responsible for my own happiness and I WILL find it. I know that you will too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    karin
    August 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    OH HUN, Look at the can of worms you opened up. Now do you feel, not so alone in your thoughts and feelings. We all struggle with the jealousy monster, but some of us don’t admit it. Its those that are honest and open with themselves and others that can get past it. If you held that all inside it would just fester and grow. I know you wish you had help but you gotta admit, you get a little kick of pride when you realized you did it yourself. 🙂 Thanks for keeping it real and letting us see the whole story..NOT just the highlight reel!!
    Hugs,
    Karin

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deidre
    August 16, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    You are my kinda gal! God bless you my dear for making yourself so vulnerable with all of us.Your gonna be fine cuz youve got some “Spunk”! Just look at what a blessing youve already been to all us envious and coveting bloggers of america,lol keep up the great work you do and we’ll keep on following your journey:)

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips
    August 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Most bloggers would not be able to be this honest. Most people. Good for you for seeing it for what it is. So many of us think the world of you and are cheering you on. Take it one step at a time, and remember all the successes you’ve already accomplished! Blessings.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kathy Strader
    August 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    So glad to know that you are normal. Your are so extremely talented that I thought you were Super Woman.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Catherine
    August 16, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I want you to know that you and your blog have been an inspiration to me. My husband was the handy one in the family, He built the house we live in. Unfortunately he passed away almost three years ago, with some of the finishing touches not yet done. I find myself looking through your projects and thinking wow, if she can do that, I have the tools still here, maybe I can do that too. 🙂 To this date, I haven’t lifted a finger to start a project. But the seed has been planted and I have a list of things that I plan to start soon. So hang in there. It is tough but you have had an influence that you don’t even know.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    August 16, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    I think you and your blog are amazing! Everyone wallows in their own crap at one time or another. The key is to figure out what’s causing it. Once you know what’s going on, you can take the first step to change your thoughts, which is what changes how you feel. And it sounds like you are on your way! And please remember to go easy on yourself…you are a capable, strong, creative woman, but you are also a caregiver to your hubby. It’s really important to take time to take care of your needs first, so that you can recharge your batteries to continue doing all the fun, cool projects you have started. Take baby steps, and once you have that first unfinished project crossed off your list, it’s pretty likely that you will be truly motivated to carry on! Best wishes!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    sue
    August 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I so admire your honesty. Just the other day, someone was showing a before and after of her kitchen and her BEFORE looked way better than my current kitchen and I thought some awful things. Gosh, we are all human, aren’t we? I so appreciate the way we can all communicate and support each other and help when the road is difficult. It is reassuring to know that when you are feeling sad that their are good people, strangers, who reach out with reassurance and words of encouragement. I am on my own and have to hire someone for many projects. My ex was a good man, but not handy, either. Sometimes, I see a couple on their blog, creating and working together and my hazel eyes turn really, really green with envy.
    Health is so precious, it is something that is worth more than all the gold in the world and when poor health is effecting the one you love, it is terribly hard to bear. Life can be so wonderful and yet, there are times when our burdens are so heavy and difficult.
    I can tell that writing has helped you. I hope that my feeble attempt to offer you support has been of some use and comfort. I hear you, understand what you are saying, wish you and your husband the best and want to send a huge hug, pat on the back and any positive vibes that I can. You’re doing a fine job on your journey.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patra
    August 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Kristi, Hi – I’m a new follower. First off let me say that you are doing so much right! Look at this wonderful blog and all of your followers! It’s refreshing to hear that Celebrity bloggers, like yourself, have the same fears and set-backs the rest of us have. I look forward to your posts and send cyber hugs and healing strength your way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patty
    August 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I so related to your post. My husband has been disabled for 21 years (since age 31). Having to be the bread winner, the handyman, the maid, the cook, etc. often gets overwhelming. But I can honestly say if I had it to do all over again, I’d still marry him! I’m not handy with repairs and due to our income, much of my decor is outdated. I have to remind myself all this earthly stuff is moth dust! True joy comes from Jesus and not from my circumstances! God bless you and Matt!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Diane | An Extraordinary Day
    August 16, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Oh Kristi…I’m so glad that you are receiving so many positive comments. You do have so much to be thankful for. I know you got the unexpected part of “in sickness or in health” – but it surely seems like you have been blessed with a wonderful husband and marriage. I can only imagine that there are 500 readers who are green reading about your relationship with Matt and would give anything to have that. Sometimes the best place to start is to count our true blessings and then those things that we really wish weren’t a part of our lives, like MS. I love knowing that God really does work all things together for our good. He’s growing you right now…and when you work through this…just think how much more beautiful and inspiring you will be. And besides….all this stuff is just that…stuff. You have something that will last forever!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kim (TheMoney-Pit)
    August 16, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    I am so glad you shared this.. I was about to write up a post about the fact that, unlike a lot of bloggers, I do 100% of the work/blogging by myself. You see these other super productive bloggers zinging out projects left and write, but I constantly have to remind themselves that there are actually MORE THAN ONE PERSON behind that blog. If I want to do that, I would need to duplicate myself.

    I think the problem lies not only in my giant “to do” list but also in the fact that I see others getting it done. I know that is not a good perspective but it is hard to look past sometimes. I can only do what *I* can do and be proud of the things I do get done..

    ((ihugs)) You aren’t the only one who was feeling that way!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mary
    August 17, 2012 at 2:33 am

    What a remarkably honest piece of soul bearing you have just done, showing and telling out loud of your inner feelings, opening yourself up to people who would trample over each other to tell you off for just thinking and feeling sorry for yourself. You have just done a very brave thing and perhaps in doing so taken these feelings of overwhelming despondency , having the courage to say them out loud and in turn empower yourself back on the road your life’s path has laid out for you.
    I commend you and admire you, not for doing all these things by yourself and not for having the strength to tackle all these jobs by yourself and not even admitting that both you and your husband just can’t work as a team on projects even if he could try. As much as I do admire you for all of these things and for doing jobs where sometimes it really has been a two man/woman job and really needs strength while a steady hand is a must but I commend you for leaving yourself open for others to knock and do the ‘ Pull yourself together’ speech which is just the last thing you need to hear.
    In opening your heart, thoughts and pain and dragging them into the light. you have ensnared the despair and exhaustion and had time to stand back and just see it all as a big bit to much for one person to handle.

    God knows we are all entitled to feel a wee bit hard done to sometimes, after all, if we saw it in others we would perhaps suggesting they maybe slow down a bit until their human batteries are recharged. So just remember to allow yourself the same care a courtesy. I wish all power to your elbow (a wee Scottish saying) meaning ’ Strength’ and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this with me. I truly admire you. Take care. Mary

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Runt
    August 17, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It is definitely easy to let things like jealousy (over whatever) get to you. I think we all feel that way sometimes! There’s so much I want to do but can’t afford to do. Hey that’s life and I will just have to get around to it when I can. Sometimes it really just takes a moment of sitting with yourself to work things out. It sounds like you have done that so congrats!! I wish you luck in your future adventures and if you blog about them, I’ll be right reading them! =]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda
    August 17, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Kristi, when I saw the title of your post I thought you were going to call someone out or “dish” on someone, so I saved it for when I could pour a cup of coffee and indulge in a guilty pleasure.

    But now I see that you have actually called yourself out (and, unknowingly, me) in a very high minded way! Gee thanks!

    I know you can do all these things yourself but have you considered looking for an ally in the form of a good handy man? I don’t mean the ones that work for a franchise, but maybe an older vet who works for himself and will be motivated to do things to your exacting standards? I am describing three gentlemen we hired in three different locations. One of them helped us move our few meager possessions and he was so much smarter about moving heavy bulky objects we learned a lot from him. We were busy with 2 jobs and were pretty poor but we could afford him to keep our roof and gutters clean and in great shape and he even stacked a cord of wood for us. Every job was just $25 to $50.

    Later, in another town, we had a beautiful house we needed to get on the market asap but it had a lot of “deferred maintenance” for lack of money and time. Another wonderful self employed handyman was referred to me. One of the first jobs he did was help me pull of faded vinyl shutters that I repainted myself on the kitchen counters. He reinstalled them and also climbed up way high to paint a huge wooden set of shutters we decided to leave in place. One of my children threw a backpack down and it went right through the drywall. Larry worked so efficiently, returning 3-4 times for just a few minutes each time to patch, sand and repaint and it looked great. I remember for a fact that he charged only $50 for that drywall job, I feel a little guilty about that because it was worth so much to us, with getting our house to sell. He also installed new exterior lights I bought on Ebay. That house looked amazing when it went on the market.

    In a thild location we found another man who installed new shutters that I had painted myself (I am so picky about shutters) in 18 degree weather into brick with a hammer drill! He would come in to warm up every other shutter! He also perfectly replicated a plaster swirl pattern we had on one section of ceiling to repair bath tub flood damage.

    This is all work we could probably have managed ourselves but in all honesty it would have gone undone given we have other jobs to do. And as I write this I realize how satisfying it was to work with these guys. They all worked on my house like it was their own.

    So consider finding someone by word of mouth, you and Matt could be a blessing to him and vice versa. When you get that wonderful fee simple home of your own you will be glad you already have this working relationship! Brenda

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa @TheHappierHomemaker
    August 17, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I think we all do it sometimes. I do it when my husband is deployed or working a lot in the field (he’s Army)…I get jealous when I see others together with their spouse and I get mad that he’s not here to help me with the house and the kids. I just try to focus on the fact that even though he can’t be here a lot I’m thankful that I found my perfect mate as I know so many others aren’t as lucky. Its hard to stay focused on the positives but I try! I’m glad you are feeling a bit better, sometimes it helps just to get it out right?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    [email protected]
    August 17, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Oh Kristi, It is good to get that out! If you didn’t you’d get stuck in the mire of the “What if’s” and that is never a good place to visit let alone set up shop. Not to sound too churchy, but in my own experiences, God used every single trial in my life to teach me first about Himself and His unconditional Love for me an then to teach me something about myself. You are so strong! [You’d have to be to hang those upper cabinets=0)] Thanks for sharing this step in your journey.

    Kim

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    arod
    August 17, 2012 at 9:38 am

    your right on all counts about jelousy and envy and that your wiriting it i think your seeing it and this to shall pass its good that you all so see how much you like your independent way of doing things hecks its gotten you pretty far

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    brandi
    August 17, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Kristi, I applaud you for being so open and honest about your feelings.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jessica @ Stay at Home-ista
    August 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you a million times over for sharing. It’s nie to see behind the “perfect” facade of bloggers and know that we are all just people, even if you are a person with an almost perfect marriage (lucky you!).

    Jessica

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kelly @ Eclectically Vintage
    August 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Kristi,
    It is a definite turning point! We are not bound to our spouses. Although my hubs and I have a fabulous marriage, we have separate interests. He’s no DIY guy – he hates antiquing – he thinks the things I lug back to the house are “garbage”. But he lets me do my thing and doesn’t hassle me about it. So I’m happy to move forward realizing that we are two people who are much more interesting to one another when we can come back together with something to discuss. Stay out of my hair, I’ll stay out of his – it’s all good!
    Kelly

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen
    August 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Kristy I am so sorry for the trials that you and Matt face with his health, but you seem to always have such a can-do attitude, even if things don’t get done on time. I actually do not enjoy blogs where the blogger never shares any weaknesses, or projects that went sideways. I simply cannot relate. We all have epic fails, set grandiose goals, only to not even come close to reaching them. Each day we have the choice to get up and try again. I love that you keep trying, and you have so many amazing successes. You motivate me in so many ways, so please keep up the good work. You help me to have that “can-do” attitude, but you also keep it real! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. -K

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jayne
    August 20, 2012 at 7:33 am

    Thanks for sharing some real stuff, sometimes it’s good to just go deep and explore those feelings and when you’ve had enough you come out of it! You are an inspiration!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Rene
    August 21, 2012 at 2:00 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I
    pray the Lord will continue to help you get the things
    done you want to get done!
    xo

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    LeAnn Short
    August 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    You mean………you’re human?!? 🙂 I think jealousy/comparison grabs ahold of all of us in some way/shape/form in our lives. You recognizing that and kicking it in the throat makes you awesome! Good luck on your future projects and I’ll be praying for you and your husband. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sue
    August 24, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Yuour wonderfully supportive readers have said everything I’d want to and more. Tis spring my husband got sick and wound up in the hospital with congestive heart failure and needed a pacemaker. After three months he’s thankfully on his way back, but it makes me understand what you face daily. And has HGTV went to nearly 100% house hunting programs, over the past two years i turned to DIY blogs to replace and and the decorating magazines that failedude ring the same timperdition. Suddenly I was reading blogs As a blog read I found i was spending more and more time reading DIY blogs and less time improving my house. the time cleaning and improving our house. The blogs and Pininterest appear to be addictive and unlike a monthly magazine or weekly t.v. show, hours evaporate while you are reading them. So I cut back to two DIY blogs and thank god never got into Pininterest. Like any habit, it’s tough but in the last week I finally finished a two year old grouting project my contractor left unfinished. It’s taken me three nights of 20 min. A night, but slowly things are getting done. So one thought is go cold turkey for a while until you get your momentum back and focus on you, Matt and just the blog work you want to put out. You still inspire us and things will get done sooner or later.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marsha
    August 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I was a subscriber then I decided to just check in occassionally to see your decorating DIY. Well even when I just read every couple weeks it seems I catch you when you are complaining or being negative. You come across as someone with a chip on your shoulders. Just my opinion but I hope you find it helpful to know I no longer subscribe due to the attitude not due to your projects which I enjoy!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    anonymous
    September 6, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    MS is treatable, but not by doctors.
    Raw. Vegan. Lifestyle.
    The cure for many ailments including cancer.

    http://jimtibbetts.com/Multiple_Sclerosis_AI7Y.html

    God Bless You.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Karen Ploransky
    September 8, 2012 at 11:21 am

    You really do have a lot on your plate-give yourself some credit girl! You set a goal and you achieve it. Look at all that you have accomplished–by yourself (at least physically–Im sure hubby is supportive). I can relate to what your saying as far as working with my husband. I am blessed with a husband that can do virtually ANYTHING–except work on a project with me without my feeling like the village idiot. Don’t get me wrong–I know what Im doing and so does he, just not at the same time. I can tell him what I want and walk away and I will have it in short order, but to try to help him–fuggedaboutit! I also find jealousy, or is it envy, (I want other people to have and enjoy IT, I just want IT too!) rearing its ugly head when I can’t find the cash to do what I want to do–which has been the case these last 5 years due to hubby and I both being out of work! Its been rough and more time has been devoted to keeping our home than to sprucing it up which, to a diy-er, is torturous! all those inspiring ideas on all those blogs-geesh. Withdrawal to say the least.
    I have experience with MS and how debilitating it can be–two of my cousins–I can only imagine what a challenge this is for you, but it sounds like you two have a love that can withstand any health problems. You are a remarkably strong, talented, young woman who is honest with herself and others about how she feels, that’s important. You have to vent and you have to let your feelings be known so they dont eat you alive. Support is a wonderful thing! Everyone struggles with something, whether they want to admit it or not. I admire your honesty! and I wish you and your husband the best! By the way–as you are putting my blog page together I am totally enjoying “getting to know you better” through this amazing blog–you are inspiring me with your words, your ideas and your kindness! Thank you

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alex @ northofseven
    September 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    This was a great read. These are the posts and bloggers that I love to follow. The ones I can relate to. The ones that I understand. Maybe this will help you.

    When I started my blog I totally thought I would write about all the changes we did to our home when we moved in. Then as I began writing entries, they evolved more into projects and crafts that I did and most of the renovations and home DIY projects that happened, fell to the back burner. This was actually a great thing to happen, because it helped me to narrow down my blog focus. Instead of feeling the pressure of thinking I had to show off some genius furniture project or house overhaul, I started talking about my first year of gardening ever and the trials of being a City girl who didn’t know what a cucumber beetle was. And then I showed some DIY card crafts as I love doing cards. Suddenly the pressure was off and I could blog about things that I could do because I l loved them and did them all the time, vs doing things that I thought I had to do just because that was my site intention when I started it. It finally fit me.

    Maybe this is a great time to reevaluate the direction of your site and what you’d like to write about and the types of projects you’d like to do. Maybe this is the universe saying Ok let’s think about what I do and maybe there are things that you do all the time and you’re stellar at that you haven’t shared yet. Some of the best designers in the world, aren’t the ones who know how to strip furniture of 10 year old paint or make their own fabric throw pillows, but they can redesign a room in their sleep. They have people to do the other stuff for them. I can’t operate a drill, but I’m pretty awesome at finding a thrift store item for chump change that I could re-sell for 10x the price if I had to. Think outside of your comfort zone. Your readers will follow you because they like your voice, not necessarily the projects that you do. There are masses of blogs out there that teach people similar things to do – but it’s the people behind the blogs that make readers read the blogs that they do.

    And PS – out of the 3 couples you mentioned, I only know 2 of them. 😉

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ann
    September 18, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Hi Kristi,
    I was scoping out your blog for cool plugins when I happened upon this post. Some things are just meant to be. Although it’s for a vastly different reason, I too am constantly battling with the green eyed monster. I see the blogger couples online, the couples in the check out line at Lowes, the couples at the farmer’s market buying flowers and fresh vegetables because they plant and cook together. Ugh. I don’t do any of that with my husband. He is wonderful and generous…but has no desire to do anything around the house. He’s a workaholic attorney who’s addicted to golf, Detroit Tiger baseball and Notre Dame football. He would much rather pay someone to mow his lawn than do it himself. (I did it for years until I said I’d had enough!) Anyway, I can relate to what you were feeling but like I said, my husband isn’t ill. My heart goes out to you and Matt. Not an easy stroll through life. I am completely on my own with every project ever attempted around my house. What I can’t do myself I am forced to hire out…which I hate. Anyway, I hope you are feeling better these days. I have enjoyed getting to know you through Blogtalk. By the way, your blog is fabulous!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda
    February 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Just ran across this post and such a kinship I feel with you now. My husband and I used to do all of the house projects together, and we bought an older home after we retired, planning to get it all remodeled. But the about 2 1/2 years ago he had a stroke that left him unable to use his left arm and limited use of his left leg. So now everything we had started and stuff that we had not gotten to yet, has been left to me to do by myself. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the things that have to be done and lose the ambition to even start much less finish….But little by little I am getting things accomplished and it is a rewarding feeling once it is done. Thanks for sharing your “real life”………….

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    designdreamer
    July 6, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Oh WOW Kristi,
    I did not know this and I’m even MORE impressed by everything you do!!!! I did wonder from time to time why your hubby didn’t seem to help just a little bit, and this certainly explains it. You are a superwoman!!! I’m so inspired by all of your posts; helpfulness, creativity, resourcefulness, commitment . . . . . .I could go on. Just know that you are a rare breed, and I commend you!!! BRAVO!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ginger
    November 20, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    Wow That’s probably one of the most brutally honest posts I’ve seen in a while. I so hope you are feeling better Kristi. I too am very impressed with all you do and I have a feeling you are very hard on yourself. Well you helped encourage me. I have a able bodied husband with absolutely no desire to help with my DIY projects. At least not willingly. I always have to plead. And I always complain and gripe about it. So, thank you for also making me re-think my own attitude. An thank you for sharing your heart!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.