Photo: I am really cutting it close here… but my house is clean! I usually blog in the afternoon, but life seemed to swallow my perfect little blogging pocket today. Sorry! But look! Clean nursery! For the first time in ever! Oooo! Ahhhh!
It would be unseemly for me to start this post with anything other than the most sincere thank you to Britt of Blooms and Bubbles, who recommended my post on Wednesday for Freshly Pressed. I am still overwhelmed by the response, and I do plan on getting back to everyone who commented. But mostly, I want to recognize Britt, who has been blogging for far longer than I have, and who has a beautiful and inspiring blog that you should be reading. Please pay her a visit.
I also would like to say hello and thank you to some new-found friends after Wednesday’s post. I wish I could say that I’m always that deep of a thinker and writer… I try not to make this place “just another mom blog.” But I’m a mother in the suburbs, and I write about the challenges that such a life presents. I hope, though, that I continue to write posts worthy of your visits.
And for regular readers, I’m sorry this is so late. I was up at 5 this morning, with a task-list longer than my arm. Today was one of those days where I’d cross one thing off and four things seemed to get added in its place.
Which is totally how this entire month went for me. Can you believe that it’s the last Friday of May? Where, oh where, does the time go? Let’s talk about what I managed to accomplish:
We completed our first DIY project. The playroom fell into our laps and took nearly 4 weeks to complete. We learned a lot along the way about the condition of the house, what it takes to really do DIY stuff, the kindness of neighbors, our individual DIY skillsets, and just how much stamina we have. For my personal lesson, I learned that DIY is probably more tedious than I anticipated, though I do believe that the payoff and satisfaction are worth my troubles and toil. I’m so grateful that my husband is already pretty handy and knowledgeable when it comes to this sort of thing and that he’s also a quick study: Our awesome neighbor only had to show him a procedure once and The Husband could do the rest on his own.
FINISHING a room is the hard part. The playroom isn’t quite complete, as I’ve written before. We’re just about done repairing the scratches from the carpet installation (we now just have to put back on the colored paint), but we haven’t done all of those extras that we talked about. We still need to come up with a toy storage system, all of the toys need to be returned to the room, I’m learning that the decals that I was envisioning are more expensive than I thought, and I don’t know when I’m going to be able to get to the fabric store to begin making curtains (and then there is the question of where the money will come from to purchase said fabric). Now that the urgency is gone (the boys have their room), productivity has slowed down exponentially. I know that we aren’t going to forget about the space, but then again, I’d like for us to look at that room and decide that we’re done with it. I suppose that the “hard” part is over, but we’re still a little far from the finish line.
I re-learned that fine crafting is difficult, beautiful and satisfying work. That playmat was hard work and took me 3 solid weeks of doing nothing beyond stitching. I haven’t done that kind of crafting in over a decade, and it was hard to get back in the groove. But the payoff was amazing (I still can’t believe that mat went for $250!), and I received a lot of compliments on my work. As a matter of fact, the two families who lost that silent auction asked me if I’ll be doing something similar next year! I remember being chastised for learning such an “old-fashioned” skill, but such skills can come in handy. Besides, it’s nice to know that my hands are capable of creating beauty out of simple things, given time, patience and material.
I learned how to read a pattern, learn from demonstrations on youtube and how to work on circular needles. The knitting bug has bitten me and I cannot stop. I was challenged to stop using straight needles and I have now learned how to comfortably knit on circular ones. I haven’t begun to knit in the round yet, but that is next month’s challenge. Indeed, I have been given a pattern for a stuffed creature that I’ll be starting next month!
I started an herb garden. Everything but my rosemary has started to sprout! It will still be a month or two before I can begin cooking with my lovely little plants, but I’m excited to report that they have not died–they are flourishing! It makes me excited to plant more things and grow more stuff!
I learned the change is constant and that people come and go. I’m still very challenged by the recent changes that my parents are going through. While Father’s departure to China doesn’t have so much of a direct impact on my day-to-day life, Mom’s departure does. I have also found myself, in both situations, in the role as comforter, confidant, and cheerleader when I feel like I’m the one who could really use the support. Both parents are going through a completely different set of emotions and pressures, and while I’m glad to say that I’ve been able to give the right balance of support that they need, I’m still coming away feeling empty. On a morning not far from now, one parent will be 8 hours away while the other will be across the globe. I’m still not handling that well at all.
The good news is that the universe is a balanced place, and I really have made a new awesome mom-friend. We’ve been hanging out weekly and the boys have been enjoying the resulting playdates. I feel like I’ve found an ally against some of the more shitty situations that have happened at the preschool, and I also feel like I finally found a peer instead of someone to impress or someone to follow. It’s been refreshing and soul-warming. I’m reminded that I came to Massachusetts without my parents and I can remain here without them as well. I haven’t lived in the nest for a very long time.
I picked up two perfect books for summer. I haven’t written a lot of fiction this month, but I’ve been writing an outline and I’ve got inspiration notecards all over my desk. And with summer impending with no preschool to take Ursa Major to, I need a little help keeping kids learning and busy. I think that these are really going to help me stay inspired as we go through these next few months.
I learned that I really love my little homestead. I mean, there is just nothing better than sitting on a blanket in the newly growing grass listening to the birds sing. And the house is beautiful surrounded by all of the green. We are so lucky, even if this house is killing us with all of the surprises and work we’re doing!
I feel like I didn’t accomplish much this month, but I know that it isn’t true. Life simply presented us with urgent challenges that needed to be addressed, and in so doing, derailed all of the other stuff that I thought I’d get done! I still managed to keep the house functioning (3 meals were made, 2 loads of laundry were usually done) and the boys fed and clean. I even managed to smile from time to time, even when it was all I could do to keep putting one foot forward. It was worth it, because a lot of lessons were learned along the way. I feel good on this Friday evening and I feel hopeful. Tomorrow’s challenges are a lot less intimidating because yesterday’s have been taken care of.
It is Friday again, dear reader, and another month has come and gone. On this evening of lazy summer showers, I wish you a good book and some classical music with a crisp glass of wine. I wish you strawberries with fresh cream, a tart served next to a dark roast coffee. I wish you tender greens under a vinaigrette, a summer ale to wash it down, and the flash of a mischievous smile. I wish you the crash of waves on the shore, a loving hand clutching yours while your toes sink into cold sand. I wish you a skipped heartbeat when you meet eyes with someone across a crowded and noisy room. I wish you the joy of vows heard and vows remembered, the slight of new beginnings and old flames rekindled. And joy, because you are so deserving of it.
Until Monday, take care.