Posts tagged “DIY

Avoiding an Idle Mind

Posted on August 24, 2014

This week was awful. My disbelief and heartache were unrelenting and compounded by Sean’s absence. I needed escape or purpose or both because everything felt hopelessly out of control. But what to do? I drew upon a combination of needing to change things and remembering that I am capable.

Our laundry room has long been the root source of my unhappiness. I mean, the laundry just never ends and the room never fit. The shelves in the cabinets were too short, too shallow, and the wrong height. The wallpaper border always made me feel like I was living in someone else’s house. I loathed the dirty blue color and the entire room came to feel like a jail cell.

I decided to redo it; all of it. I researched shelving options. I knew that I wanted to be able to store hampers and quilts. Our kitchen renovation did away with the place where I stored all the medicine and first aid supplies, so I wanted something to fit that bill too. I also needed a system for the broom and mop.

I took a big old breath of “Why the hell not?” and got to work. You can see the transformation right down there.

 

My heart still hurts and laundry is still a chore, but somehow taking control of the space and giving it touches that make me smile soothed me. Oh, and pushing past my fear and doing it myself made me feel incredible.

 

Do you have any spaces in your house that make you feel heavy? Or that make you feel light?

3 Day Weekend Expectations

Posted on January 19, 2014

Three day weekends have come to mean out-of-the-ordinary expectations. I don’t know how it started, but somehow the girls expect that something amazing is going to happen. Maybe teachers say, “Ok, kids. Have a great break, can’t wait to hear about all the amazing things you do!” Or maybe classmates boast, “Man, my family is going to go so many places and do so many things!” The thing is, it’s not just the girls. I find myself expecting great things of myself. I’ll bake bread, sew embellishments on the curtains in the girls’ rooms. We’ll craft and dance and just generally be happier than any other time of the year. Then the three day weekend hits and someone has a sty or I have…

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Like Building Forts*

Posted on October 11, 2012

Our first house had three porches, two of which were technically front porches. I used to take a rag tag bunch of tapestries and fashion flowy, sun dappled forts for the girls. We’d sit on the old, slat wood porches, peeking between the fabric and railing to whisper about passing cars. Sometimes I’d watch the girls, legs akimbo sleeping on sofa cushions with snack scraps scattered every which way. Leaning against the outside wall of our house I’d look down at my toes, the teal and magenta tapestries fluttering below, content that I’d made something from very little and that it had made the girls so happy. I still build forts, though we no longer have those three porches. When I’m not constructing play…

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Pressing Moments

Posted on October 9, 2012

Days pass, the hours and minutes diabolically fluid, unconcerned by things like consistency. They sometimes stretch impossibly, then other times disappear without warning. I tell myself I should buy sparklers but when I look up, I’m late for jack-o-lanterns. We talked about Disney World, but they were too young, now we are in a sprint to beat the imminent disdain for princesses. I used to chase the traditions I thought we were supposed to have, but I’ve come to understand that they aren’t for us. Our special, our “we always used to…” is in projects and road trips, not centerpieces. Driving north the girls will exclaim, “Hey, we swam there. Remember mom?” I’ll listen as they tango with the details, “I was four and you…

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Parent-Built

Posted on May 6, 2012

Slowly but surely I am accepting that I cannot be the architect of my girls’ childhood—I can participate, do what I can to guide them, but they’ll draw their own conclusions, find their own joy and build their own memories. What I can do is give them an incredible backdrop and template for believing in using your strength, smarts and imagination to do whatever you want. It was for all these reasons that last summer we built the girls a club house. We picked a site. We drew up some plans. We purchased supplies. We built into the space. Literally. Finley kept the wood hydrated. We got sentimental as we planned to use a window from our first house. It began to take shape.…

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