It seems to have been so long since I last wrote, I hardly know where to begin...I suppose a logical place to start would be with the most significant milestone of the last few weeks--the move to our new home! We are settling into a nice routine here at home, interrupted only by major home-improvement projects that keep us up 'til all hours of the night and make us (me, anyway) think that apartment life really wasn't so bad. We moved in on Saturday, the 14th, and by Friday the 20th we were at Lowe's purchasing spackle and putty knives, primer and paint. We knew painting would be a tremendous amount of work and a lot of mess, but we didn't know that picking the perfect color would be the most arduous step of the whole process. I tried to follow everyone's advice--I chose my colors in the light of my own home rather than under the harsh fluorescents in the store, I painted spots on the wall and looked at the colors in the different lights of day and night (our living room looked like a paint-ball venue)--but none really stood out to me as the perfect color. After deciding against all of the colors in the 6 small sample cans we had purchased and put on trial, Nate was at the end of his patience rope. At on Friday night, he sent me to Lowe's under order to return with my "final answer" paint selection. I am SO fickle--one day I want a modern-ish, urban, IKEA look and the next I want shabby-chic/new-country. In rare moments of true-self betrayal I even contemplate the leather/wrought iron, completely over-sized Texas style (those moments are fleeting and usually come in times of sleep deprivation or hunger when my faculties are not working at capacity.) So there I was at Lowe's with Jim, the "paint specialist" (who called me "honey" so gratuitously I was bordering discomfort,) in a terrible fit of indecision--and do you know what Jim did? He pulled out 2 gallons of improperly-mixed paint and offered them to me for $5 each. 5 dollars each! That is a 75% savings off the regular price of a gallon of paint. When he opened up the cans to show me, my facial expression must have given away that fact that I didn't like the color, so he asked, "is it even close?" And I said, "well, kinda..." and he said, "Good! 'cause I can put a little 'if only' in it and it will be perfect." So he mixed a few squirts of other colors in and it actually came out to be quite pleasing. Parsimony got the best of me; I called Nate, giddy with excitement about such a great deal and drove home with my cheap paint. When I got home, we started painting...and we painted...and painted. We had painted about half way around the very large room before I said, "Stop! I hate it!" Nate stopped rolling and looked at me in half disbelief and half total relief (admitting that the room was starting to look like King Midas' palace.) We both sat back and observed the ugliness--trying to convince ourselves that maybe it wasn't so bad and that maybe in the morning light it would look better, but both knowing deep down that it was undeniably ugly--and that, in the long run, the extra money we would spend to get a desirable color would be more than worth the misery of living with "Mark Twain House Gold" walls. The story ends happily--we painted over the ugly gold with a warm, but neutral, "Bleached Wheat," and spiced things up with "cayenne" red accent wall. We love the room and are finally far enough removed from the frustration of the situation to laugh at the "Mark Twain" mix-up.
It's funny how differently Nate and I prioritize the home improvement projects--he wants to paint the garage; I want to buy a cute clock and plant herbs in little pots in the kitchen window. He wants to get a blower and a lawn-mower; I want to save for Christmas decorations and new bathmats. But we find common ground on what we don't want in the house -- bugs! We have declared war on all manner of creeping things on the premises--we will fight in the bathrooms, we will fight in the door jams, we will fight in the sidewalk cracks...and conquer we must as conquer we shall!
Speaking of triumph and victory, my parents came for the latter part of this week and helped us fight the "far-from-home-blues." They came with toys for Henry, helping hands, ideas for the house and the generosity to make them happen. It was so sweet to have them--they were such good sports about sleeping on our hide-a-bed in the middle of the living room and living out of their suitcases for 4 days. I cried all day when they left and I still get foolishly sentimental about their visit over silly things like drinking clean water from the PUR pitcher they bought, or looking at my kitchen walls, which, thanks largely to my mom, are no longer covered with 80's wallpaper. We have some dear friends here in
Even little Henry is fighting battles of toddler-hood, not the least of which is going to the nursery at church each week. The first Sunday he just ran in there without reservation focused fastidiously on the heaps of toys around the room. He didn't think twice about being left there--he was just delighted to be free from the restraints of sacrament meeting. But when the novelty of the toys wore off, it didn't take him long to figure out that I had disappeared and, (according to the nursery leader,) he took a few suspicious glances around the room and then cried, "MaaaaMaaaaa!" We do what we can to pump him up about nursery during the week, so he'll look forward to going, but I don't think it really sinks in. So these past few weeks he has walked much more cautiously into the nursery, clenching my finger tightly in his fist--looking at the toys, and then looking up at me, at the toys, and then up at me--in obvious anguish over the dilemma at hand. The moment of separation is still pretty traumatic, but he settles down quickly and is always playing happily when we come to pick him up at the end of church.Well, I have gone on...this newsletter is so fun for me to write--it's like a journal that writes back! What could be more fun than that? I've attached a few pictures of the house. I'll send more as we take on our next home improvement projects.