Monday, June 8, 2015

The House That Built Me

My favorite assignment of the first (and last) Interior Design class I took at BYU required that I write in detail about the home in which I grew up.  I loved it.   There was so much to say.

And there is so much to say now, about this house that I live in and love--the house that is now owned by someone else.


We didn't design this home to be for us.  We planned to build and sell it.  The lot is long and narrow, so I found a long narrow house plan online and tweeked it a bit.  It wasn't until we had moved a bunch of our furniture into it in preparation for the 2006 Tour of Homes that we decided to buy it ourselves.


The front room started out as the cleanest, but least-used, room in the house.  Before too long, though, I couldn't stand the fact that we were wasting valuable square-footage, so we knocked out a doorway that connected the front room with the kitchen, and the room inhaled new life.  For the last few years, I have spent a considerable amount of time in this room, on the computer (doing payroll and taxes and other business stuff---and, let's be honest--shopping online) and looking out the front window where I can watch the kids play.  I was sitting here watching out the window the first time (and most times after that) that my kids set up a little table at the end of our driveway at which to sell their artwork.  I told them that maybe a dollar for each picture was too much.  After Tammy walked over and bought several pictures, they told me I was wrong.

And of course I have spent AT LEAST half of the last nine years in this kitchen.  I think my favorite things in the kitchen are my pot rack--because it's got lights and because I can just wash my pots and then hang them to dry--and my faucet.  I like it because it has a goose neck that allows me to still wash really deep pots in my sink, even though the sink itself isn't super deep.  (On a related note, I've realized that deep sinks are severely unergonomic (is that a word??) for me because I am just tall enough that reaching down into a deeper sink creates a noticeable strain on my back.)  It's been in there that I have too often cried (and hollered and grunted) over spilled milk.  Sigh......  And just last fall, Brian switched the location of the fridge and the pantry cupboard, and that has been a total game changer.  And of course, so many friendships have been born and developed over the kitchen table. :)




The family room has been the location of every Christmas morning and every family prayer--it's the room with the couch and the TV, so it's the room we've lived in.  Three of our four kids have learned to walk in that room.





























 














Camp's and Skip's room was originally Janey's.  I first painted the walls yellow, then green later--after the room became Camp's--and finally grey a couple years ago.  It's walls and door are those that have endured years of frustration beatings.  But they're still standing and they continue to enclose good memories:  it's in there that the kids have slept on Christmas Eve; it's from there that Camp has called to me to come rub his back; its above that closet that we have kept the costume bucket and bean bags; its in there that Skip and his friends have taken the mattresses off the beds in order to hide in the secret compartments beneath them.  It's in there that the boys have read and slept together.  It was in there--in a wooden box that he built--that Camp got himself stuck and then prayed and cried as he watched Brian pass by outside the window as he(Brian) mowed the side-yard lawn.  It was in there that Skip first learned to sort and put away his own laundry.









Janey's and Danin's room has only been three colors, but only because painting it became much harder once we put in the trim treatment on the walls--which I've loved.   It's in there that I removed the closet doors in order to accommodate the "school room" that Janey created in her closet.  It's from that window that the girls have continuously climbed--out onto the blue water barrels and into the backyard-- to escape from quiet time.  It's in there that Danin scratched letters and artwork onto her dresser and peeled paint from the trim on the wall by her bed (that little devil!), and it's in there that many a piece of candy was smashed into the carpet.    It's also been in that room that Janey and Danin have spent countess hours (supposed to be spent sleeping) playing and laughing and making humongous messes.    I can hear them in there right now (at 10:37 P.M.) as I type.











 


In Brian's and my room--well, two babies have been made in that room, for starters.  Ahem.  There have been countless forts made under my our bed and with all of my our pillows.  (Brian gets after me about that.)  It is from our closet door that Brian hung the pull-up bar on which the kids love to swing and on which I have practiced to finally be able to do real pull-ups.  It is our bedroom wall into which Brian punched a hole on a hectic, stressful Sunday morning several years back.  It was on our bedroom floor that my kids and I knelt when we learned that one of my siblings was in need of our immediate and sincere prayers.  (And it was in there by our bed that Brian prayed

















for inspiration with regard to our lack of Christmas spirit, remember? ) It is from our bedroom
window that we have most often watched the bears and other animals (including deer, coyote, turkeys, rabbits, birds and bobcat) enjoy our backyard.  It is in our tub that Brian (primarily) has soaked after so many long, dirty races, and in which our kids and their friends have played after having gotten dirty outside.  (The slanted side of the tub has often become a water-slide.)  It is on our bathroom floor that every finger and toenail has been painted.

Our kids have enjoyed so many pot lucks and Easter egg hunts in our backyard.









And it has been in this home that we have had such wonderful, wonderful neighbors.  Man, the Holmeses.....   I cannot begin to tell you...


We have loved living here.  Every night I thank Heavenly Father for having had such a safe and comfortable place to live.  To me, our house is beautiful and I have felt grateful for every day that we have lived in it.


Friday, May 8, 2015

Back in NY

Right before I opened my eyes this morning, I was dreaming I was back at my Mom and Sister Reunion, and Allecia and I were in some kind of hot air balloon thing that was designed just like the chandelier that is hanging in my room--the one Brian made.  We had to hang on to the frame so as to not fall out and go careening to the earth.  And we actually weren't in NY this time.  We were somewhere else--on a cruise, I think.  But I was back at the reunion, so it was a good dream.

Our trip to New York was super fun--the best M&S reunion yet, I'd say.  We spent three full days in NYC, walking and exploring and experiencing New York City.  My favorite parts?  Feeding birds with a bird man in Washington Square, dancing in the subway station just before midnight, and eating together on Stone Street.  But every minute was good.