A guy called Carlos showed up at our house Monday last.
To trick out our closet.
He worked tirelessly over two full days.
And when he finished, we got a system as functional as it is beautiful.
(this is my wall)
(YBW’s wall, but my drawers and shelves at the end)
(YBW’s wall with comfy seat storage bench, he gets dressed here each morning)
Wednesday last I came home from school early (only had one tutoring session) and spent the entire afternoon in the closet.
Absolutely glorious closet porn!
I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!
It’s beautiful and perfect and I love going in there.
We’ve discussed a rug and new lighting fixtures, but I’m in no hurry…I want to live with it for a while and see what’s really important.
This was the last ‘big thing’ we had to do to make this house our home and we knocked it out of the park, y’all!
(a note about the wallpaper: it’s blue cherry blossoms and we put it up before Carlos came)
Our closet system is designed and scheduled to be installed March 28 and 29.
All! The! SQUEE!
This is what you see when you walk in the door.
My things go on this wall.
This wall is on the right when you walk in the closet and it’s YBW’s space.
This is the back wall and it’s for my things.
This is the left side wall and it’s for YBW’s things.
Everything will be in ‘classic white’ for a clean modern look.
I’m planning to hang wallpaper behind the bench wall and the one with the drawers and cabinet.
After meeting with the closet designer I made a small change in the size of the hanging area on my side. Then the more I looked at the original configuration, I realized were weren’t utilizing the space as well as we could.
YBW and I went over the plans and discussed for about an hour Sunday morning. He was quick to suggest he give up his bench. I was clear that if I could get the space and organization I felt I needed, there was no reason for him to lose his bench.
When we finally landed on this configuration I knew it was the right one.
We went a little over the budget we discussed, but what we’re getting is worth the extra money.
He was content.
I was content.
This is the closet design for us.
We’ve lived in our home for five months but I was still ‘living out of boxes’ in my closet.
Actually ‘boxes’ was a plastic bin and big blue IKEA bag of shoe boxes and loose shoes, and a big bag of every random thing from my night table with jewelry trays of earrings on top.
These things were all in the bottom of our closet. Every time Baby K comes, she finds a new pair of earrings to get excited about. I can’t even get mad, those earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are right there for the plucking.
(a fun little AtlA reference)
Yesterday I was the fire nation and I attacked that closet.
It all began because I needed better access to seasonal clothes. It was summer when we moved and I organized the closet with easiest access to warm weather clothes.
Well, that and I wanted to get my earrings out of the floor and my shoes out of the cedar chest.
First, I moved everything out (of my side) and vacuumed.
Then I took all the boxes of shoes out of the IKEA bag and plastic bin. I put all the Chucks, Birks, strappy sandals and fancy summertime shoes in the cedar chest and put boots and booties in the closet. I left out two pairs of sneakers I like to wear to school, and ballet flats.
Next I moved the bin of shorts to the top shelf and replaced it with my winter jammies.
Really I just organized in a way that made better sense.
I didn’t take any before pics.
But I did take some after pics.
I cannot express how much better I feel about how my things are organized in that closet!
The closet system chick is coming next Friday to measure and discuss plans. Of course if this is the way we end up going, they’re scheduling installation for March…
That’s OK, I’m well sorted until then.
I’m so grateful for this snow week!
I had inspiration, motivation, and energy to accomplish so much while I was home from school.
This is the view from our bedroom window this morning.
Can you spot three deer out there in the snow?
I watched them for about ten minutes while they foraged.
Today is snow day number four.
And two to four inches of snow predicted in the overnight hours tonight.
Three full weeks of winter break.
I’m actually ready to get back to school.
Though I’ve been quite productive around here and feel good about it. This additional week was helpful.
I found some good decor items to add with things we already have to style the dining table. I’m being mindful about making sure I have mostly practical pieces that are useful in ways other than simply looking nice. I don’t want decor for decor’s sake. I want beautiful things I can utilize in other ways.
I may end up returning some things, I’m still trying to figure it out.
Photos to come.
I’m actively journaling.
It feels good to get my brain space better sorted. In addition to journaling my thoughts and feels, I’m also writing about writing. My hope is that will eventually translate to this blog.
We’ll see, those thoughts are still hatching…
I’m feeling positive and hopeful about all the things right now.
Inspired and encouraged.
About our home.
About my feels.
I’ll strive to do what’s best for my physical and mental health.
I’ll continue to ask questions that may or may not have answers.
I must consider some serious decisions.
But I’m going to accept what comes as it do.
And I’m going to embrace as much playful fun and joy as I possibly can.
How are all y’all feeling this first week of the new year?
What thoughts are hatching in your brain space?
Last week y’all saw what we did in the laundry room.
I’m going to share a peek at the linen closet this week.
When we first moved in and began unpacking, I simply crammed stuff into the linen closet. All I cared about in that moment was getting it out of boxes and (for the most part) where it belonged.
I don’t have any photos of the towels and bins and random supplies, but I can assure it it was somewhere between hot mess and shit show, but not as bad as a cluster fuck.
Once I got the laundry room the way I wanted it, and necessities appropriate stored in bathrooms, I went after the linen closet.
I began by taking everything out.
Then after I had an idea about what I was looking to put back in, I got on my Target app and bought a load of gray bins.
Had to pick them up and two different stores, but one is only a bit further from home than the other so it wasn’t that big of a deal.
That was the day the remnants of Ida came our way so I swung by YBW’s office to pick him up so he didn’t have to walk home in the pouring rain.
When he got in the car and saw all the bins he said:
As we do…
I sat on Baby K’s little bathroom stool in the middle of the hall refolding towels and sheets. Putting all manner of necessities in bins and finally loaded everything back in a way that made sense to me.
So far so good.
While I was getting all those gray bins for the linen closet, I got more white ones to use in the laundry room, so here’s a photo update of that for your ‘house porn’ viewing pleasure.
I felt anxious Monday.
Literal low-level thrumming in my body.
This list is enormous!
Three weeks sounds like a long time, but it’s not.
How will I get this done?
How will I be ready for the movers?
My logical brain knew all that was straight up bullshit.
My logical brain knew I’d planned everything out to the nth degree.
My logical brain knew I was prepared.
But my feels were actively attempting to run the show.
That physical vibration was convincing as hell.
To thwart the feels, I over-functioned my ass off.
So much so that I crossed off everything for the week of July 11-17 on my moving list that very day.
But that wasn’t good enough.
I had to do stuff scheduled for the following week too.
I had to get more done.
Of the second week.
This is where I was when I went to bed Monday night.
Monday July 12.
What you don’t see crossed off are two things I actually started working on.
pack bathroom and linen closet
I was chatting with Thing 1 about how I was feeling. She was loving and encouraging. But I simply couldn’t shake the feels.
She was quite clear that I shouldn’t overwhelm myself right before the finish line. (it’s like she knows me)
I assured her I knew it wasn’t real. That logically I was even more on target than my prep work suggested I be. But I sure as hell felt a way about it.
We talked later in the day when I finally stopped and sat down.
In this conversation I was finally able to verbalize what I was feeling anxious about. I wasn’t sure how to pack all the random things so the movers would take them. I didn’t want to waste boxes I might need for dishes on laundry room things, etc.
It was then I began to realize my panic wasn’t only about being ready on time, it was also about being properly packed so the movers could be successful.
Thing 1 was like, “Uh…Momma. You can put stuff in your car and take it over there.” (but actually kinder than that sounds)
Her words created an instantaneous shift in me.
My body was still even though my brain was thrumming – with realization!
I didn’t have to pack up anything awkward. I could simply put it in the car.
Y’all! My girl saved the day!
I often tease her that she’s smarter than me. She doesn’t see it that way. She calls it ‘compounded smartness’. That she’s as smart as she is because I’m as smart as I am and she simply built upon it. (something like that, I think she explains it better)
Either way, she saved the day.
The container we packed in March is being delivered Wednesday of that last week and being unloaded first thing Thursday morning.
Thing 1 offered to meet me at this house after they’re finished at the new house. We’ll each load up a vehicle and take it to the new house.
Then anything that doesn’t really go into a proper box, or anything we’ll need straight away will be there ready for us.
YBW is staying at the new house because the smart home guys will be there working their magic. So he’ll pack up his car the night before instead of coming back home with me.
Those three loads will carry all the awkward things, and the movers can do the rest.
I’m still properly planned.
I’m ahead of schedule.
I’m perfectly still inside.
Like some sort of organizational ninja, this move won’t even see me coming.
This is an excellent example of why we must talk about feeling a way. Just because our logical and emotional selves are at odds, doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution.
In my case, the solution was someone looking at it from a different perspective.
Someone who knows and loves me, and had the patience to listen even though she knew I wasn’t making any kind of sense.
Grown children know what’s up.
It’s all that compounded smartness.
I came across this on instagram the other night. It struck a chord in me as I immerse myself in packing.
I like how it says not ‘aligned with who you are anymore’.
I like the idea of your space evolving as you do.
I’ve been thinking about this concept as YBW and I leave this house to live in the new house.
The new house will begin with who we are together, where and how we are aligned now.
A new alignment will not change who we were individually, and who we were together. It doesn’t change how we lived in previous dwellings individually and together. It simply shifts the focus to who we are in this moment in time.
This is who we are now.
I believe creating new alignments does not dishonor who we used to be. I believe it is a reflection of who we are now.
I believe we can support and keep each other safe through this process.
I believe we can encourage each other’s alignment with love and respect.
Each of us choosing what we bring to our new home. How we choose to live together in this new environment.
What we bring with us has it’s own energy. We owe it to ourselves and each other to choose that energy carefully.
I’m hopeful as we continue to pack our things we choose mindfully.
I’m hopeful that the energy we bring into our new environment is positive and promotes growth.
Eight months ago, I wrote about being mindful how I curate my environment.
Things are just things.
At this stage of my life, my main focus is to curate my surroundings in a way that helps me thrive. Living my intention, learning and creating, and growing into the next version of me gives me all the feels.
That’s the kind of energy I’m all about creating an alignment with.
It’s the middle of the night and I’ve been up for hours. Thoughts swim around in my brain. Angry little fish bumping into each other but never giving way to get anywhere.
I don’t write. Not even in my journal.
I don’t read.
I barely even scroll instagram.
I want to do these things. I just don’t.
You may find yourself wondering, mais pourquoi pas? (You also may find yourself having no fucks to give. Either way, we’re cool.)
I don’t know why.
I do know I’m not behaving in my normal way and that has everything to do with it.
I do know I’m feeling the pressure of getting ready to leave one house and get settled into another.
I find it difficult to just be.
There are more people in the house. Two of which I am especially eager to spend time with after being apart for so long. But I’m used to being alone more than I’m with other humans.
This situation is tricky but can be managed.
I need to take time for myself. I need to read and write. I need to journal. I need to organize and prioritize. I need to rest.
But damn if I don’t want to spend as much time as possible with the mad little toddler running around my house!
Thing 1 and I talked a little bit about this Wednesday morning. She’s used to being more quiet too. She’s got the mental load for her little family with the curious situation of being in someone else’s house. She’s constantly aware of what Baby K or the dogs are and what they’re doing. She’s adapting to being an adult while living with her mother. It’s easy to fall into old patterns.
I’m tired of feeding five adults and a toddler.
If I don’t feel like feeding YBW and myself, it’s no big. But now all these other people are depending on being fed. Now, Husband N is quick to ask if he can help do anything, and follows detailed directions well. And Thing 1 does cook occasionally, but for the most part I’m doing the heavy lifting.
This needs to stop.
Thing 1 and I will make a meal plan and create a schedule of who cooks when and that will solve this situation.
We’re both game, we just haven’t done it yet.
Thing G will move to his mother’s over the next ten days. (She lives five minutes away so it’s not going to be a ‘great big move’ it’s just him shuttling his stuff over there.)
This makes YBW sad.
I feel his sadness.
I also feel a bit of relief. Thing G is one thing I can stop actively concerning myself with in this time when I have so many things on my plate. I can slip him off the plate knowing he’s safe and well loved at his mom’s and give myself that small sense of one less thing to pay attention to.
Baby K is exhausting.
Parenting is a young person’s game. That’s why grandparents are a bit older. Forty nine years and sixteen months are not always the perfect combination. But I cannot express my love, joy, and gratitude that I have this opportunity to be with her. To watch her learn and grow. To experience her sense of humor. To build a strong relationship with her.
I understand how truly blessed I am to be involved in her daily life no matter how tired I get.
She’s nearly mastered coming down the stairs in a safe way! And not only do I get to witness that, I’m helping her learn how to do it!
I miss YBW.
We’re never alone anymore. Which is simply the way it is, but I didn’t realize how it would feel.
I suggested we do a ‘date night’ even if we don’t go out, just plan to be together.
We’ve offered to look after Baby K so her parents can spend time together.
It would do them some good to just be.
It’s been just over a month. Literally, less than forty days. We’re still in survival and adjustment mode. I mean, good God, how could we not be? But survival mode simply isn’t sustainable.
Now’s the time to get our selves organized. Our routines. How we choose to be in this house together as one big family. How we choose to be in this house together as two small families.
I know we can do this.
I know we’re all willing to do this.
I think we’re all at a place where we kind of know we need to tweak it.
All it takes is open and honest communication and a willingness to be flexible.
You know, I’m feeling better already just from writing about it.
Of course, I’m still not ready to sleep…
Maybe I’ll take a nap with Baby K later today?
Thing 2’s covid results are not yet back.
She’s having moments of feeling puny, but not super sick.
There is some general malaise in the household, but they’re still eating healthy food and enjoying each other’s company.
I got this photo Tuesday afternoon.
I got a hilarious little video of Housemate A full on squealing with joy at the big ass box of Twizzlers I sent for him.
My worrying is at a minimum(ish). I mean, I’ve already accepted that she’s sick.
Though I do keep seeing things about the most random symptoms, and surprising lack of fever, as well as possible lasting effects. That gives me pause. But I know I can’t protect her, all I can do is love her. She’s got to get through this the best way she can.
In other news:
Less than two weeks and Thing 1’s family will be here full time!
The county proposed four plans for starting school. None of them are ideal. Some of them are doable. Now we wait…
I worry about how this virus is actually impacting children.
How it will impact adults at school.
I’m sure I’ll be called in to sub, but should I go? What will I bring home to Baby K?
I worry for kids. I worry for parents. I worry for teachers.
LA wrote about becoming friends with her planner again. I’m still firmly in the land of ‘absolute worst purchase of 2019’. But, it can’t hurt to consider a different viewpoint. I can write anything I’m planning in my planner.
Thing 2’s Birthday Saturday. (jk, it’s already in there)
Delivery of new knives.
Choose more tunes for Tuesday.
Clean the kitchen…again.
Finish season four of Drunk History.
Porchlife with the Garcia’s up the street (appropriately social distanced, of course).
Buy more wine…again.
Watch Kipo with Thing G.
Pick up prepaid books at Bards Alley.
Take a nap.
Finish reading Shakespeare for Squirrels.
Put gas in the car.
Celebrate Nora’s birthday.
Renew Southern Living.
Go to GA to get chubby dog and granddaughter.
Look at me making it work!
Thanks for the inspiration, LA.
I’ll keep y’all posted on Thing 2.
Now I’m going to switch the laundry and probably clean the kitchen.
Y’all know about this file folding your clothes situation?
Seems it’s been around a while, but gained serious momentum with Marie Kondo. Of course I consider myself a damned fine laundry doer, but this file folding is something I’m not familiar with. And I’m always game to learn something new. Especially if it’s about my fave household chore!
A quick google search lead me to Abby Lawson’s youtube channel.
Her voice is kind of annoying. But I quickly became focused on what she was doing and stopped listening to her.
Y’all! This is so freaking simple!
It’s almost how I pack a bag, only it’s a combination of rolling and folding.
I’m over here like, Oh hold on sister, I got this!
I went to my tee shirt drawers.
Yeah, you read that right, drawer is plural. There were three of them. (mind ya business)
There were three because separating them suited my way of life more than necessarily needing that much storage.
One was plain tees. You know, a few each of black, white, and navy with a couple other colors thrown in. They’re for layering, for wearing outright, and can be worn with anything to dress up or down.
The second was printed tees. You know, words about reading, or books, about kindness. These are the tees I can wear to school on casual days.
The third was printed tess that aren’t school appropriate. You know, that Drink Naked tee from Naked Mountain Winery. The three concert tees I own. All my Nats gear (can wear to school, but only on spirit days).
So, after a super quick purge (maybe 8 tees?) I got started. I was saving so much damn space I even got shirts off hangers in the closet and folded them.
This one is all the plain tees and my Nats gear.
This one is all the printed tees.
At this point, my concern is wrinkles. If they’re a hot mess, I’ll rethink this file folding situation. If not, BOOM baby! I’ve got three drawers and some hanging tees all in two drawers.
I’m considering doing my sleeping tees and jammie pants next…we’ll see.
In other news, we’re looking at less than a month until Thing 1 and her family move to this house! I’m ready for unrestricted access to that baby girl! Of course, she’s going to exhaust me and I’ll be like, Birdie’s over it, go tell your Mama. But to be able to love her whenever either of us wants. And to watch her do all the weirdo baby things as she does them? Priceless!
I’m excited to meal plan and do food things with Thing 1. I’m super eager for her to bake for me. That girl is the queen of baking!
We talked today about her anxiety about me and her dogs. I’m honestly super chill about the concept of three dogs in this house. I mean, that may change, but instead of me having a huge temper fit when I’m at the end of my rope, we’ll discuss and problem solve anything as needed. She seemed more relaxed after we talked. Yay!
Had delicious (appropriately social distanced) lunch on the porch with Nora Wednesday. She brought Greek food. Because she rocks! Y’all I do love me some porch life!
Yesterday, I went grocery shopping and finally went to get a pedicure. I know. I know. It was frivolous, but I DGAF! I needed to do that for me. Now I have feet as soft as a baby’s bottom and adorably peachy-pink nails. My feet and I are content! (mind ya business again)
Today I’m painting a crib for Baby K to put her dollies in.
It was mine when I was a little girl, and Thing 1 and Thing 2 used it when they were little. Now it’ll belong to Baby K. I’m nearly finished with all the painting at this point. I’ll share the process in it’s own post.
I also need to go to the liquor store. That seems almost more frivolous than getting a pedi. But I took vodka with me to Thing 1’s and accidentally left it there…twice! So while we have wine and bubbly, summertime beer, and bourbon, also a bit of tequila, we have no vodka.
I’d like to make vodka lemonade with some of my porch grown basil.
We do have gin and fresh limes, so I could make gimlets. Oh! I’ve got that mint growing on the porch, I could make a south side…hmmm…maybe I’ll go to the liquor store next week?
What’s funny is I’m not even hankering a cocktail. I just want to be able to do what I want when I decide I want one.
This is YBW’s last week working from home.
His company finally moved into the office that’s right near the house we want to buy. The office space is bigger so the entire team can be in the same physical space while being appropriately distanced.
I can hear him watching Trevor Noah right now, so I don’t guess he’s working all that hard at the moment. I’m not calling him out or anything, I’m just sort of acknowledging that there’s not really much he can do at home. It also means I can go in there and see if he wants to hang out with me with probable success!
And that’s what’s up around here.
Hope all y’all are content in your week.