Being young and naive when we bought our townhouse, we had no idea what was to come. None at all. We thought we could dream up in our head what it looked like to have a family here, what it felt like to be a family here, but we couldn't. It was impossible. We had no idea what it was like.
There are so many times I catch myself saying things, without even really realizing it, that are often complain'y in regards to this house. There's too many steps. It's not ideal for kids. Our living space (kitchen & living room level) is just so.small. WE NEED A SMALL YARD. The rooms are so tinyyyy. Wouldn't a playroom be so nice? Walking up the steps with groceries sucks.
Today my house got cleaned. Remember how I admitted to having a cleaner I pay once a month? I don't care about admitting this anymore. Hi my name is Katie, and I pay someone to clean once a month. (Yes I 'clean' (not well) in between those cleans.) (Yes it's very worth it for my sanity.) (Yes we budget for this.)
So I decided that since my house was clean, my girls were napping, that I'd sit down during naptime for a little bit and catch up on Kardashians (stop judging me...actually I don't really care if you do). Well, womp womp, it's not On Demand yet, and meanwhile I get this bright idea to finally take some photos of our home. A few people had been asking lately, and I'm usually all home-tour, huh? aka: not my thing. Of course I can't take them on any normal day. I MEAN. Any normal day it looks like a bomb exploded the place, or it was robbed by a tiny army of cheez-it-eating-mongers.
I pick up my camera and I walk into the kitchen, it seems like the most logical place to start. The funny thing is, instead of seeing everything wrong with the place (which I could normally name 39483098), I start to see things a little different. I remember how much I love the backsplash that my husband put in a few days after we moved in, with his dad. I remember the time they spent doing that together and how special it was.
I see the little office space I put in last year, and I know that those desk drawers are crammed with arts and crafts supplies for my kids, and ended up being very little for me at all. I smile at the chalkboard--because when we bought it 6 years ago, I never knew what I'd ever write on the thing. I just knew I needed it.
I see life when I look at my blinds, filled with tackily-clipped-up preschool arts and crafts, because I know how happy it makes my kid to see and smile at her creations.
I went into the living room. Breathe. This is the weirdest space in the house. It's all of ours. We overrun each other within this space daily. We're in each other's face here. We read here. We watch television and movies here. We snack here. Mac has broken in every couch cushion on that old, disgusting sofa. But I've nursed my babies here. We've had early mornings and mid-day naps here. We've spilled everything known to man on this couch, and on these floors.
They play here. We play here. Books are read, toy boxes are overflowing. Every 'pretty' basket is actually filled (jammed) with toys that aren't even remotely in the right place. We lose stuff here. But we love here.
This one is hard for me. It's not what I want it anymore---I dream of an airy pinterest-worthy bedroom. A cool blue, or airy gray walls, with white flowy curtains and a big K & D hung above our beautiful (non-existent) headboard, with a duvet that doesn't wrinkle, and a spare blanket that actually matches. But I actually saw peace today when I entered.
This is actually a place of rest for me. Lately I've been coming up to bed early, turning on the little lamp, and reading in bed. I've never been a big bed-reader (or reader at all if I'm being honest). But it's cozy for me, now. This is where I put my feet up for a few minutes after I tip-toe out of my girls room at naptime. Where I just breathe and say, only a few more hours and daddy will be home.
This is our place.
The girls are napping. I'd be insane-crazy-woman to wake them to get some photos. Those will have to wait until they wake up. I decide to take pictures of the bathroom. Yes, the bathroom.
It's their bathroom. Before we had children, this was just an empty, hollow, never-used space. I could have never dreamed about the laughter that often fills this area at night, surrounding bathtime bubble beards and sisters washing one another of sudsy hair. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't also filled with excuses and over-tired cries, random pairs of undies on the ground, and little tiny girl hair-ties GALORE. But, it's life. There is life here.
The foyer. It's where we welcome you in, right? Here's a bench---take a seat. Except that bench is mostly used as a place to hold all the bags that seem to always go in the car with us, juggling winter jacket-duty, or taking shoes on/off. It's where groceries are put before making the big trek up the stairs, and where shoes of tiny people and big people live in a jumbled basket below. Welcome.
Everyone's awake now. So, lastly. The rooms that inhabit my people when they're in the most blissful, peaceful part of their day. When their eyelids are shut and they're no longer bouncing off the walls, throwing food on the ground, or playing candyland. Where I spent countless hours nursing both my babies. In that corner, over there. Giving nebulizer treatments to wheezy babes. Changing diapers. Folding clothes and putting away little pink laundry, and going crazy over the never-matching-sock situation. What IS it with those damn socks, anyway?
And the big girl room. I wish I could say this is all peace--but just after she stops fighting us to stay up longer, to find x,y,z book or toy, or to sing me 'just one more song, mommy'---the lights dim and it is peace. Time spent finding the perfect fabrics for her room, the perfect collage-wall additions--months of collecting and collecting to finally put it all together. A book shelf in which she actually prefers NO books to ever be on (toddlers are so weird). A bed that's filled with a billion random blankets, versus the beautiful (k-mart) quilt I spent so long searching for.
Every home is a story. I don't know why it took me walking around today and snapping a few pictures to really drill that in. To really nail down, deep in me--that this is where it's at right now. This is the place my children are making memories in. This is our little place of refuge. This is where we get messy, and put our guards down, and clean it back up again. This is where love lives.
I used to feel stupid having this little chalkboard plaque on the wall. I'd scoff a little at myself, thinking, psh, love lives here. What about when we argue, or when my kid's in timeout for the 3rd time, or when I'm grasping at straws for something.else.fun.to.do. I don't feel the love.
I don't anymore. I don't think it's stupid. Because this home is filled with memories, good ones--no, great ones. Of two people becoming one--who decide to start a family...bring two fun-loving little girls into the picture. Those two girls who get so much love, so many hugs, so many kisses, and everything they need. Right here under this roof.
We made this house a home.