DIY garage makeover: three rooms for the price of one!

Project “Make Way For Baby (#2)” has been in full swing here in the Wilhelm household. Call it me being a crazy, over-achieving organizer, call it me nesting a lot early or just call it awesome (I’ll take two of those as definite compliments). In any case, there is now a room in our house called “the baby’s room”!

This room used to be the office/chess room/awards showroom/Army room (read: place where we stored 70% of Andy’s Army crap). No longer, my friends. Computer desk and chair, chess table and chairs = sold. Computer = pending being wiped clean and sold. Awards and memorabilia = moved to the guest room closet (which also received a clean out). But none of this would have ever come to fruition without the design-on-a-dime stroke of genius I had while laying awake one night with insomnia: we redo the garage, eliminate our storage room and create a full Army closet, thus taking the Army out of both of the spare rooms permanently.

A few weeks ago I Googled and Pinterested and came up with the perfect garage solution for us, utilizing the Rubbermaid FastTrack and Closet systems.

Here are the “before” shots of the garage and storage room:

Before Garage Makeover

Garage Before

Garage Closet Before

Storage Room Before

And after what would have taken just one day (had all the parts arrived at the same time) but instead took two days of (really very easy) work, the amazing result of our garage makeover:

After Garage Makeover with Rubbermaid Fast Track System

Garage After

Garage Closet After Rubbermaid Closet Solution

Storage Room (now Army Room) After

I have my darling husband to thank for all of this, because when I say “we worked hard/cleaned out/installed/lifted” what I really mean is…he knocked it out of the park. I thought I was the one with the stud-finding skills (I bagged him almost nine years ago didn’t I?), but boy does that man have a way with studs and screws and drills and levels and ladders and muscles.

New garage, new Army Room and new baby room = complete!


Time feels like it is going by too quickly.  Each day flies by faster than the next. I blinked and it’s Thursday. I blinked, and it’s already October. It’s so easy to breeze right through a week and then through another weekend without a second thought, but lately I am reminded not to take a single moment for granted.

I know too many women whose husbands are deployed or away at training, who would give anything to have family time. Who wish Daddy was home to share a cup of coffee with, to wrestle and play chase with and to kiss goodnight. Who would give anything for what we have right now. I owe it to those families to realize our good fortune and to take advantage of it. I think that is why I’m so desperate to make the most of every second we have together as a family. I’ve penciled in trips to the pumpkin patch and corn maze, to the zoo, to the botanical gardens and to the symphony. And that’s just in October.

Andrew asked me this morning if I thought I was over-scheduling us. I reminded him that we have a lot memories to make. I just hope we’ll have enough time to make them.

Maddie and Daddy in Southern Pines
Checking out Southern Pines on a Saturday morning.

daddy’s in the woods.

Above is a CBS News piece on the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. The brigade is training for missions involving chemical weapons in the hands of an enemy.

This is our unit. These are our guys. Panthers. And I’m definitely feeling hooah after watching them! I’m proud of them. Proud of their expertise, their discipline and their training. But I’m also feeling a little bit shell shocked.

Andrew has been away at training for more weeks than he’s been home this summer. “Daddy’s in the woods,” I tell Madeline (a phrase borrowed from another Army family). And I think, sometimes, that’s what I let myself believe, too. I picture Andrew laying in his mosquito net on the ground in the dark, eating a wheat snack bread from his MRE. But I never picture the actual training. I suppose I don’t have a detailed enough frame of reference. I just know the basics. Jump into the box. Seize the airfield. Set up a TOC. And then…they…are…in the woods. Etcetera.

But this video of our soldiers reminds me of how real it is. They’re not just in the woods. They’re not just training. It’s not just another field problem. Our husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, they’re readying themselves. And come October, as they assume a Global Response Force mission, they will be prepared to deploy anywhere in the world within 18 hours. They will jump into a hostile situation, should the order be given. My husband and his unit, under the command of incredibly competent and dedicated leaders, are making sure that when they go, if they go, they are ready for anything. This training will minimize mistakes. It will help them learn how to function as a team. It will help to ensure that when they go, if they go, everyone will come home.

This time apart is not for naught.

All the way!