So, how do you get over a heart ripping blow in one week-end? Do some physical work, find a new perspective on things and slap on a fresh coat of paint!
My parents were sweet enough to offer us refuge in their home for the week-end while the paint fumes dissipated. They also watched the kiddos while my husband and I worked through our grief and refreshed our walls.
A while back, I had mentioned our decision to switch rooms with our kids, leaving them the Master Bedroom to share while we took the little nook of a second bedroom we had on the main floor.
This was Little Miss’s room when we first moved in. Since then of course, she had graduated to a big girl bed. But when Little Man arrived, we set up his crib in our room waiting for the day he would sleep through the night. I was still breastfeeding several times a night and I didn’t want the commotion to deprive our daughter from her sleep. As I’ve mentioned before, “sleeping through the night” only happened when he turned 1-year-old, so up to 6 weeks ago, he was still sleeping in our room. I will say it, my husband and I are thrilled about having a private space back… even if it is less than half the size we were previously in. My husband will be building a headboard with built-in corner shelves so we can have our bed side lamps in our room again. But even unfinished, it breathes calm. Can’t wait to sleep in our new room for the first time tonight!
The living room was also repainted this week-end. It was needed for a multitude of reasons, the biggest one being that we had never redone the walls after the jungle gym incident and the ceiling catastrophe. Although we kept it green, we darkened it a bit. We found after painting it the first time that the green had a tendency to turn awfully neon in the bright afternoon light. So we went for a slightly darker more Irish green. We also made the decision of taking my sewing things downstairs in lieu of the playroom. The reality of it is, having Little Man around all day with his “exploratory” ways, nothing was safe. It was impossible for me to leave any unfinished project out. So every sewing “time” meant pulling out everything over and over again. When you have an hour to sew and you need 30 minutes to set up and put away, inspiration doesn’t come easy. Plus, we quickly realized after building them a playroom downstairs that it was not practical. They don’t want to (and in Little Man’s case, he cannot) be down there alone. So playtime meant nothing else was getting done and that is great for a few hours a day, but every once in a while, mama needs to cook and clean! So up into their walk-in closet came the toys (after a massive purge) and down went mama and papa’s “toys” : Sewing, knitting, books, guitar, ukulele, small appliances, canning supplies, tools, magazines… you name it, it’s heading down there. We have 2 full size closets with shelves plus a built-in wall unit perfect for all kinds of storage. You can imagine how much less cluttered the upstairs will feel once all will be reorganized. And our living room is a “living” room once more.
(The “before” pictures were taken before we had set up the wall shelves above the couch. We have acquired some old barn wood that will be used to build a new shelving system in there. Also, the kids’ wall will be decorated… mama just needs a few hours to sew!)
As for their room, I’m keeping the mystery for now. Just have to say that finding a concept that will be equally inspiring for a boy and a girl was a challenge, but now that we have it in mind, it will be simply lovely to see take life. For now though, all you get is this sneak peek :
Picture recovery update
A quick note on the picture rescue project! We have successfully retrieved a few hundred pictures of the last 3 years with the help of friends, family, Facebook and this blog. The week-end was an emotionally interesting one to say the least. Being alone all week-end in an empty house, painting away, my husband and I had a lot of time to talk things through.
First, although we are still missing key events that we are still hoping our family members will be able to find (like Little Miss’ 2nd and 3rd birthdays), we are still fortunate enough to have a continuous time line of the children as they have grown over the time frame of our lost pictures. If this was 20 years ago and our house would have caught fire, we would not have been this lucky. Although it was technology that failed us this time around, it is also technology that saved us from a complete loss and for that we are extremely grateful.
Second, we had to address the topic of “digital clutter” (or as one of my readers so nicely put it : “emotional hoarding” ) and I had to come to grips with the fact that although digital photographs are not cluttering my physical world on a day-to-day basis, the attachment to those “invisible” possessions have left me the most unsettled and truly suffering I’ve found myself in a long time. This truth came after the emails of pictures started rolling in from all over the webs. We quickly realized that everyone was sending us the same pictures over and over again. Meaning that we had sent the same pictures to everyone. And those pictures were often the same we had shared on Facebook and the very same I had posted on my blog. So really, if out of over 5000 pictures, we had chosen to share these 300 + pictures over and over again, weren’t they the most meaningful ones? I started thinking about how cluttered my picture folders use to be. Good, bad, focused, out of focused, proper lighting, improper lighting… I kept them all. For what?
Maybe this was part of the purge…
Maybe this was the next step to feeling “unstuck” in our simplification goals for this year…
And now, maybe I’ll take the time and create albums of the most meaningful, heart filling shots. Maybe this is what it’s all about : Finding the moments that speak volumes instead of keeping the volume that blurs those special moments.
On with new memories and on with a clean slate!
Have a wonderful week everyone!