Well, we (as most of you know) are in the (eternal?) process of fixing up our house. We just passed the year anniversary of living here a few weeks ago on Phil's birthday (happy 30th, by the way). It's been several months since I've posted a new set of before and after pictures, and quite honestly, I've been a little down about that. Sometimes I just want to scream "WE'VE BEEN HERE A YEAR FOR HEAVEN SAKES!!! WHY DOESN'T IT LOOK ANY DIFFERENT!?" When the truth is, we're painfully close to being done with phase 1 of a major area of the house and pictures are soon to be posted. We have gotten a lot done and I just have a bad case of "never is enough." I've begun to start giving some serious thought to what I want to do with the kitchen. Do I want to just get it to an attractive room to live with for a few more years? Should we live with it the way it is for a little longer until we can do a complete overhaul? What defines each of those options? Join me in the hamster wheel of frustration, will you?
So, I was flipping through all of my before pictures of the house to see what I had of the kitchen to show a kitchen designer when I meet with her. This is one of the pictures:
(I've really tried to avoid posting before pictures without an after- sorry to have ruined the affect for when I do finally get some posted of this area!)
The day before we closed on the house our realtor, Wilson, and I went to the house to do a walk through and then wait an ever loving eternity for a cleaning lady to show up. While we waited, I decided to go around and take before pictures of the house completely empty. I had big plans after all and these pictures were going to be part of the greatest polishing of a diamond in the rough the world had ever seen.
Wilson was not really supposed to be in any of the pictures, nor did he want to be. But somehow he wound up in this one. I'm glad he did because when I opened it up it made me stop for a second and reflect. I wanted to run to "that him", scoop him up, give him a big hug, and talk to him. Actually seeing pictures of the kitchen caught me by surprise first. We pulled the wallpaper down less than 24 hours after this was taken so the kitchen has had a different look the entire time we've lived in the house (note "different" does not always equal "good" - in this case, different is just different!). But as soon as I saw the "old" kitchen, it immediately made me realize the one I have now (as horrid as I think it is most of the time) is "my" kitchen. Looking at the old pictures brought back the feelings of "we're leaving home and buying someone else's house"- feelings that do not immediately come to me now when I walk in the door. I have said several times that the past year has literally been some sort of time warp for me and I am baffled quite often when things I think happened a few days or weeks ago actually happened over a year ago. This is another one of those times, except that this time it is pleasantly surprising. Somehow during this warped time, I ACTUALLY HAVE adopted this place as home. I really didn't think that I had. I still flip on the wrong light switch every time I go in the playroom bathroom. I am still completely grossed out by the remaining fibers of carpet in the bedrooms. I still say four letter words every time I go in the laundry room and that terrible fluorescent light fixture doesn't warm up and come on until I'm done in the room and flipping (the wrong) switch off. We are still paying a mortgage on a squirrel motel. But somehow, it's home.
So, if I could go back, what would I tell that little face looking at me in the picture above?
"Buddy, it's going to be okay. We are about to embark on a crazy, busy, mixed up year. You are going to make it through unscathed, and love most of it. We WILL get the smell out. Santa will bring you the Lightning Spiral. Your sister will get here and be very healthy. Your room will be bright blue "like your train" in a matter of days. You'll still be wearing that shirt next Christmas. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you. You're going to love having an upstairs room- it will never bother you that we're downstairs (except for the first few weeks when Miller comes home and you want her upstairs with you in her room). Thank you for not being right under my feet for once when that grease came flying out of the pan- I'm still so thankful that it only got on my hand and not your head! Sometimes, even a year later, you'll miss our old house- and that's okay. It was your first home, and as long as we're here we can drive by whenever you want. You're going to love sitting on the back steps waiting for dad's car to turn down the street on his way home from work. You're going to have a buddy right down the street to play with at a moments notice- he's also going to love Cars as much as you! Chasing Jack up and down the stairs is soooo much fun. I don't know how, but you're always going to like it here- and you're going to protest most of the changes we're going to begin to make. You're going to be okay."
Or maybe I'd just say most those things to the person behind the camera.