Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Our New House

It was the end of our first week in the new house. Doug was at Home Depot (second trip of the day). I was cleaning up dinner, fixing bottles for the boys, had just pajamed the girls, and was encouraging them to find something to do while I put the boys to bed.

Eliza pulled out her crayons as sweet light moved softly along the mountains outside our kitchen window. An orange orb hovered over the sink through the opposite window, slowly setting. The kitchen in our new place is large (larger than before) and has plenty of room for our kitchen table. We can finally fit all the chairs in without scraping walls as the kids push them out.

I doubt I will ever get used to the brown and blue carpet in the kitchen - especially with two boys in high chairs who recently decided dropping their food off the edge of the tray is a sneaky and hilarious game. But after hours of scrubbing wallpaper in the kitchen - just to get it clean - wiping down the dusty blinds and removing the drapes, this space was beginning to feel almost, maybe, just a little bit, kind of like home.

I spent a few minutes washing dishes, changed the boys' diapers, then swooped Gordy up to carry him to their bedroom. As I was about to walk out of the kitchen, Eliza brought this picture to me.

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"Wow!" I said. "Did you just draw this?"

"Yeah" she replied. "Do you like it Mom? It's our new house. And that's me. Next to my new house."

I hugged her to my side with one arm and praised her - telling her we needed to frame this one. She looked pleased. And I could tell she was genuinely happy about her new home. She loves the floral wallpaper in Ali and Sami's room. And the pink and blue bathroom with pink cupboards, two small sinks, and a geriatric tub seat that can lower and rise with the push of a button? The bomb.

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I held her chin and smiled as our eyes met. My face felt tight, my eyes and lips cracking through a set of furrowed lines as I realized those "happy" muscles hadn't been used in a while. I'm embarrassed to say it felt out of place to... smile.

I've had tunnel vision this past week trying to get the house clean and livable. I've put off the girls, been easily annoyed, felt tired from fighting a bugger of a sinus infection, haven't been playful at all, and truthfully, I haven't smiled much.

I looked at Eliza's drawing and refocused. Took off the blinders. Shed one thin layer of self, worry, and stress.

I thought of her, them, us.

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Put away the Pine-Sol, I thought. And look around.

See.

Be.

Look what you have.

It seems simple enough, but sometimes I have to be reminded to smile.

8 comments:

  1. love this. And I'd love to see your boys in their high chairs.

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  2. It's one of those blessings of motherhood, our children always reminding us what matters, keeping us smiling, simply because they are who they are. Still, I'm sure that watching all that scrubbing and working and effort into making a home that you did, contributed to Eliza feeling the way she does about her new home.

    I hope you're feeling better, sinus infections are the worst!

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  3. Sunday was quite frankly the longest day in our lives, at least in the recent past. We babysat three kids for some acquaintances that were in a bind - and they were TOUGH kids. And we had them from 6 AM until 8 PM. D and I struggled to stay afloat, and I did little smiling myself. When it was all over, I was able to look back and see a) my kids are wonderful b) my husband is even better and c) we are all a great team. Eliza's picture is a fantastic symbol of your "teamness" too. Even when you were eye deep in pinesol, she could see home. How fantastic.

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  4. I love Eliza's picture, so sweet! And the geriatric tub seat is AWESOME!!! :)

    Good luck getting all settled, wish we were there to help out someway. We're excited to see Doug this weekend, wish you could all be coming. We'll see you soon enough though! I hope your week is looking up!

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  5. I LOVE Eliza's picture...such an artist! Your kids are great and the house is going to be perfect! You are an awesome Mom and I know your kids know that...even when you are stressed. I love you! :)

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  6. Michelle - highchair pictures forthcoming.

    Melissa - "they are who they are" - yes - I wish I was more like them!

    Shells - I'm feeling the toughness of your day. Wow. You guys are good to the core I tell you. Staying afloat is hard in moments like that. But it does make us grateful for our own "team" - the better days - the moments. You guys ARE a great team. I've loved reading about your recent travels.

    Hillary - Hey! When you come visit, bring the girls over for bath time - they'll love it! Doug loved seeing you guys. And we can't wait until your visit.

    Deb - thanks for your encouragement. Thanks for seeing the best in me when those good attributes get buried. I love you.

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  7. thanks cath...i have to admit ive become addicted to your blog. im hoping and planning, with shellie in tow, that we can have a wray girls night when i move there...can i be considered wray? once a month? every couple of months? itd be great.
    i frequently have to remind myself to smile, slow down, take it in, relax...so much to do so little time right? but moments, when those moments hit you...there is nothing better and i really need them to hit me harder so i quit my busy-ness and focus on all that is so good around me.

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  8. Cami - of course you're a Wray! We've been trying to get a sisters thing going (including Shelli) for a while now. Time to get something scheduled. I'll let you know. I'm SO excited you'll be living closer! This is great news! So happy for you.

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