Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Picking Out Windows And Doors With Pella

My husband and I are building a new home currently, and one of the most important aspects of the house for me are the windows. I love natural light. The more the better! My whole house layout had to work around the most natural light coming into my kitchen during the day (no joke).
So when it came down to picking out the windows ( and also a set of French doors), I was pretty darn picky.
That's why we decided to go with the Pella Windows and Doors 350 Series.
We wanted Vinyl over Wood or Fiberglass windows, and we loved all of the features that comes with the Pella 350 Series.

Watch the video below to see all of the features the Pella 350 Series has to offer.

My husband is a licensed contractor, so he is very familiar with windows, doors, and measurements. I was afraid I'd be left in the dust trying to understand everything that goes into window selection, but  Sheri (my Pella rep from our local showroom), made the whole process pretty darn easy and explained everything to me. 

Here are some helpful hints when picking out your windows and doors.
  1. Know your budget!!!! There is no point in picking out things you know you can't afford. The good news is Pella has windows, doors, blinds and shades that can fit anyone's budget. 
  2.  Make a Pinterest board of the styles you love. What shapes do you want? What style of grilles do you want. Search for "kitchen windows", "living room", "bedroom", etc. and pin your favorites.
  3. Figure out what kind of windows you want. Do you want double hung, casement, awning, slider, fixed, etc. Not sure on terminology, start HERE.
  4. What kind of material do you want the windows to be made out of? Pella offers Wood, Vinyl or Fiberglass. Thankfully Pella offers the Window and Door Design Tool that walks you through the process of choosing the perfect window or door for your needs. Pella also offers many different types of glass and hardware for your windows and doors, so keep that in mind.
  5. How important is energy efficiency to you? (it should be). Pella offers energy options that are just right for your climate no matter what area of the country you live in.
  6.  Work with an expert. Regardless of whether you'll do the job on your own, it helps to talk to a home improvement store rep, independent contractor or manufacturer's installer. This is where Sheri, our Pella showroom rep, came in. She was so helpful! 
  7. Find a retail showroom. Pella has more than 200 locations that only focus on windows and doors – You can see the products and get the expertise you need for your project.
 As I mentioned above, my husband is a licensed contractor with Gladden Construction.
He, our Pella rep, and myself all sat down and picked out the windows and doors that will go into our home.
As a contractor, Jamie appreciated being able to see grille patterns, window proportions, and the ability to change something on the spot with the rep's computer program.
He felt it would be a big help to the client, as most people can't visualize what their windows and doors will look like. I can agree with this, as it really helped me to see what each window would look like, and what our French doors will look like.

My husband and I decided on the Pella 350 Series Windows and a Proline Double Inswing Door that will lead to our back patio.  The majority of our windows are double hung, with grilles on the top halves. We also have sliding windows, transoms above the casement windows in the kitchen and breakfast nook, and three, fixed circle windows.

Here are two examples of the windows that will go in our home.
Click to enlarge

So when it comes to picking out quality windows and doors, Pella offers everything you need to help with the process. Take a deep breath and know you are in good hands. You can do this! Pella can help!

Disclaimer: My blog is currently partnered with Pella, and I received discounted windows and doors. However, the thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog post are solely that of my husband and myself.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

My biggest regret...

This post contains mature subject matter.

When I was 14 I met and fell "in love" with a 16 year old boy. Of course when you are that age you think you really are in love, but the truth is you have no idea what love really is. Now this boy was very respectful and treated me wonderfully, but the longer we dated, the more intimate we became. We were teenagers...bodies flooded with hormones, and we wanted each other.

The topic of losing our virginity to each other came up about a year into our relationship (please do not judge my parents for allowing us to date...they were not happy about me dating so young...trust me).  My boyfriend never pressured me into having sex. He wanted to of course, like any horny 17 year old boy would, but he never pressured me. For some crazy reason, I thought 15 was mature enough to lose my virginity! Oh how we think we are so grown up at that age. 

Anyway, my mom was very concerned and repeatedly asked me to wait until I was married. That sex before marriage was a sin (which it is). But in my head, I convinced myself that God would be ok with it since I really loved my boyfriend. You see, this is how an immature mind works. And because I was only 15, I rationalized that God would be ok with it.
After much thought, and being convinced this was the boy that I was going to marry anyway, I decided it was time.

We planned the night to be New Years Eve. It was important to me that we not be in the back of some car, and we couldn't do it at either one of our parents homes, so we went to someone's house (You see...kids can always find a way).

He brought a couple condoms and we decided this was the moment. It was a disaster! It hurt so badly that we could barely even do it. I ended up crying, he felt terrible, and it was all a mess. NOT how the movies portrayed it, not how I imagined it would be.  I was so upset.

THEN...the guilt set in. That's it. I've lost my virginity. It's all over. 
From then on, I had no reason to restrain myself with him, or any other future boyfriend I had.
Here's the thing...everyone always preached at me to WAIT...but no one talked to me about what happens if you don't wait. No one told me about second chances, or God's grace and forgiveness. 
So I repeated beat myself up about it. I was ruined so why ever tell any future boyfriend that I "loved" that we couldn't have sex. I already lost my virginity, so what difference would stopping make?!?!?

BUT, here's the thing. It would have made a HUGE difference. And this is why I am writing this. Maybe this is for a mom who needs to talk to her kids not only about waiting until they get married, but also that they can stop if they make a mistake. Or maybe this is for a teen who is contemplating sex or already had sex. You don't have to keep having sex just because you lost your virginity. You can still save yourself for your future husband or future wife. 

You see no one ever talked to me about second chances. But that is what Christ is all about. His love and grace doesn't stop once we screw up in life. Each passing moment is a chance to turn it all around. And that is what repentance means. To stop, turn around, and walk in the opposite direction of which you were going. To not only ask for forgiveness...but to RECEIVE it as well.

When I met Jamie, I knew he was the one for me. And after years and years of messing up, I knew I could still save myself for him. I wanted a wedding night. I wanted to walk down that aisle never having been with him. I wanted that excitement and intimacy that only married couples should share.
Thankfully he wanted that as well. 

Jamie wasn't a virgin either, but we both knew we wanted to save ourselves for our wedding night. We didn't want our wedding night to be just another night of having sex with each other. We wanted it to be special. We wanted to look at each other all night at the reception with excitement about the night to come.  

And we had our wedding night, and it was beautiful. It was everything I could have wanted. My only regret was I couldn't give him my virginity. I can never tell him he's the only man I've ever been with, and he can never tell me I'm the only woman he's ever been with. Sometimes that's hard for me as a wife. I don't like to picture my husband with someone else in my head, sharing those intimate moments. It brings rise to jealousy and a host of insecurities.  

So trust me...the benefits of waiting until you are married to have sex far outweigh the opposition. BUT....if you do or did lose your virginity...you can have a second chance! You can still be forgiven and can still wait until your wedding night. Jesus forgives and Jesus saves. We ALL have sinned...that's why we need a savior! So don't think you've ever screwed up too many times to be loved by the Savior. 

In a world where no one waits for anything...wait for your husband or wife, even if you have already made a mistake. Start over, and have that incredible wedding night where it's all about your union and love for each other. It is so worth it!