Sometimes when you put your kids through way too much in one week (multiple doctor appointments, new country, new home, ridiculous jet lag, the list goes on…), you admit defeat and throw all the pillows on the couch, pop some popcorn, put on a movie and just take a minute…or an hour.
Because some days even though it’s probably not what’s best, it’s what you need. 🙂
::Start thinking about things that need to be done before our daughter comes home.
Make mental list of ways house needs to be fixed up. Bathroom painted, study straightened up, bookshelves built, table restored, chairs painted, ….
Panic and freak the heck out.
Oh my goodness. It just seems like there is so much to be done, and not nearly enough time to do it all. Suddenly, I’m dissatisfied with everything in our house, down to the paint colors. And for the life of me, I cannot prioritize one thing over another. I want everything to be perfect right now, and I just feel like we’re so far from that. Sigh. My mom always claims she knew when she was about to go into labor because she felt like she just had to move all the furniture. You know, that feeling that if you just rearrange everything, that will make all the difference and suddenly things will be perfect and ready for a baby.
I know part of the reason I’m so nervous is because I want our daughter to feel welcome and at home in our house. And I feel like having a picture perfect house is part of that. I want it to look spectacular so that it feels like a home. The other part is that I want to just relax and have some time to adjust once we get home, and I don’t want a to-do list hanging over my head.
I keep reminding myself why we are doing this in the first place. Not because our home, our lives are glamorous. Not because we have something super special to offer. Not because of the opportunity living in the US could afford her. We’re doing it because every kid needs a mommy and a daddy. They need the security of knowing that someone loves and cares for them regardless of whether they’re good or bad, healthy or sick, happy or sad. We’re doing this because we are committed to being that for one little girl. For her lifetime.
So when she comes home we may still have that ugly linoleum in the kitchen. The dining room table may still need to be sanded and restained. Our appliances will most likely still be that terrible shade of off white. We may need to rearrange and re-do some things. And we will probably feel a little squeezed into our living quarters at times.
But you know what will be so beautiful? The love we have for one another. The giggles a little girl is sure to bring to our family. The fun we will have as a family of 3. Even the tears as we work through the huge changes.
I’m letting go of the obsession for a Pinterest-worthy house and praying that God will use us to shape this one little girl’s life. I’m shifting my focus from making my house a picture from a magazine, to a picture of God’s love and faithfulness instead.
These are the things, after all, that make a house a home.
Ok, I’m on a mission. I need to do something to make our house more cozy. More homey. For such a long time, I treated it like an apartment. Somewhere I thought I’d live temporarily and didn’t bother to put a lot of effort into decorating. Now that it seems like we’ll be here longer, I want to make it look like a home. A home that’s lived-in and comfortable. I would like our house to reflect our lifestyle. And I want it to be a place that makes other people feel instantly at ease and comfortable. I want the living room to be inviting, a place that makes guests want to curl up with a cup of coffee and talk all evening.
So here’s what I’m working with. (And yes, that is Friday Night Lights on the TV in.every.shot. Sorry ’bout it. I am completely obsessed.)
These are what I’m calling the before-ish pictures. I’ve already done a few things to make the space look a little more like grown adults inhabit the place. We had the walls painted, and I scored a great deal on a rug with the grays, yellow, and white we are using downstairs.
The other thing we did was hang curtains on every window downstairs. What a huge difference it made! We held off for so long because just wasn’t finding anything I liked. I found these at Home Goods and wasn’t particularly convinced I loved them until we actually got them on the windows. They definitely make the whole room feel softer. And I love that they’re sheer enough to let light through, but there is enough contrast with the gray walls that they stand out.
And now I’m noticing that the blinds are wonky in this picture and it’s driving me nuts. Meh. What are ya gonna do?
So this is where I feel like you can tell things look a little blah. Like just furniture without any real character added to the space. Except for that super cute pup ;).
Aaaand the mantle. It needs help. I think a mantle is one place that can make a room look really great if it’s done well. Mine is not. Note the headphones…case in point.
This little piece of furniture. The shelves just need some love and a more pulled-together look. I would like to do something here that looks a little more personal. Other than pictures of friends. And that poor Christmas cactus. It needs to be in a pot that’s less…Christmas wrapp-y.
My concern with adding more stuff is that in my head there’s a fine line between coziness and clutter. Sometimes too much decor looks kind of busy to me. I’m not a minimalist by any stretch, but at the same time, having multiple things on every single horizontal surface can kind of stress me out. I’d like to strike a balance so that our small-ish space is maximized and remains useful, but has some special touches and a unique style.
So here’s the deal. I’m giving myself a one hundred dollar budget to pull this room together and make it look cozy. That means I’m going to have to really bargain-hunt for things that need purchased and everything else will either be re-purposed or made.
Anyone out there have any favorite decorating tips? Any ideas on how to save some money on decorating? I’m open to any and all suggestions!