Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope that you had a productive and restful weekend.
Since Thursday we have been going nonstop from sun up to sunset! It all started two Thursdays ago with an email from an incredible blog, who happens to be a fan of my husband’s design work.
But, let me start at the beginning of the story. As most of you know, we bought a new-to-us house last December and since then we have spent a lot of time fixing, repairing and renovating said home. I went to school for Interior Design and have loved taking on this large project; but to be honest, with two little kids at home it has been quite draining. Some days doing the thing that I love feels like a burden because my babies are not passionate about what I love. They are passionate about legos,, art, books and Daniel Tiger not paint colors, hardwood floor refinishing, appliances, mold, HVAC equipment and gardening.
And who’s to blame them? They are little. However, this is part of my job and I love it.
We finished most of the work on the interior of the home last Spring (besides fixing the leaky garage roof and replacing the stinky carpet in the office) and moved on the exterior of the home while it was snow-free outside. Stacks of buckthorn were removed, the trees were trimmed, many trees were removed, the front garden bed was overhauled and a deer-proof garden bed was built. We’ve done a lot in the last 5 months and even more in the last 10 months.
Now that it’s getting cooler outside it’s time to start focusing on decorating our home, which is what I LOVE.
It’s been extremely difficult for Allan and I, as artists, to live without art and proper furnishings throughout our home. When we moved from our small urban home to our double-the-size suburban home we got rid of everything that we didn’t love, which was easily a quarter of the things we owned. We long to have things that reflect our style and values.
“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
― William Morris
Not items that we received as gifts, bought because they were inexpensive or weren’t environmentally friendly. Pairing down our belongings and simplifying our lives has felt amazing and therapeutic; however, now our new home feels empty. Almost stark. Lacking in personality.
I have had inklings that it was time to dress up the house a little. Make it ours. However, the fear of bringing my children to the store with me and perusing home furnishings stopped me cold. That was until Allan received the aforementioned mighty fine email that finally gave me a kick in the pants. So, in true form as an all or nothing kinda girl, I have been a shopping maniac. My kids and I have been to West Elm three times, the Room and Board weekend outlet three times, Target too many times to count, a local nursery, Ikea twice, Michael’s, Moss Envy, several antique stores and many online retailers.
Is it me, or does shopping with little ones actually get more difficult as our kids become older? Yes, as my children get older they understand more and are able to engage in witty banter. However, they are more skilled at purposely pushing my buttons to get attention. They feed off of my anxiety and fears and then display them for all of Edina (i.e. rich socialites) to see in the middle of West Elm. They build forts under tables and run away to play hide and seek in the middle of crowded stores. It was much easier when I could strap them into an Ergo, a cart or stroller and they would simply be my shopping buddy or better yet, when they would sleep in the carseat for the entire trip.
But what I am thankful for is that I never once heard either of my boys complain that they were bored. My boys don’t even know that word. No matter where we are, they always find something fun to do. I don’t have to worry about toys, books or distractions while waiting in line. Matthew tried to create a maze with the line dividers at the Room and Board weekend outlet on Saturday! Their imaginations run wild, just like mine, and even though it can be frustrating, embarrassing and enraging at times, I love that they are always full of ideas.
I hope that they never lose that sense of wonder and adventure. I want nothing more than to let them run wild and free, within socially acceptable reason. To pursue the race that God has set before them. Because at this tender age, they are still free.
Do you shop with your children in tow or do you sneak away when your spouse is available to watch the kids so you can go alone?