What Really Matters

Emma GraceMy daughter just recently turned one so of course I wanted to have a big first birthday party for my little princess (that was the theme!). I drove my husband crazy with all the time (and money!) I spent on decorations, planning and cleaning to make ready for this momentous occasion. I know she will never actually remember it, but I was excited about hosting such a special event at our new home.

It was the first time practically everyone would see the house so with my Type A personality, I spent zero hours sleeping and every waking moment getting the place in tip top shape! Needless to say, there would realistically be no way mentally or financially that we would have the entire house furnished and decorated, I did my best. A part of me was worried about what people would think and that’s new for me because usually I don’t really care (ha!). I think because this home is so much a reflection of me and my taste since I did most of the decorating (okay, let’s be honest, I did it all and LOVED every second!), I wanted people to really love and appreciate it the same way that I do. I realize our style isn’t for everyone (think Farmhouse/Chip & Joanna Gaines style) but I love it, I really really do. And I spent a lot of time making it a place I could love. Online orders, in-store orders, “Renee, why is there another package at our door” my husband would shout and I’d pretend not to hear him, returns, returns and more returns! I also made a lot of things too, centerpieces, re-upholstered dining room chairs (thanks for the help, mom!) and my personal favorite, painting and distressing with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (check out my before and after bench here).

Yes, it was great…at first. My husband and I would argue about how I ‘get to do all the fun decorating stuff’ and he ‘just gets to do the shit I don’t want to do’. On some level, I saw where he was coming from. But as much as it was really fun, at times it was really daunting. I spent a lot of time trying to save money by making many of the items in our home. I had five weeks to get as much as I could done. Renovations with a child aren’t easy so that meant either going on my lunch break during work to shop and doing projects in the evening when she went to bed. But I’m happy to say it was worth it because we have enough of the house done to where I feel comfortable (minus our bedroom, we have no furniture so it’s kind of a mess).

But that’s not even the point. None of that stuff really matters. It’s all materialistic. What matters is family. We are blessed. We have a beautiful home and we are healthy. These are the moments that matter…

It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks of everyday life. We are too busy and there’s never enough time. The other day I took my daughter to Partridge Creek to play in the water fountains. There was a moment when she walked towards me smiling and laughing. I scooped her up and hugged her tight. It was perfect. That’s what really matters…moments like those. Not house chores, not decorating, not party planning…

I’m happy to say her party was a success and I feel like all my planning paid off. But the best part of her birthday for me was the day my husband and I took her to the zoo as a family. That was our birthday with her. And those are the moments to me that matter the most. Find some time this weekend to enjoy what really matters 🙂

family

How NOT to Pack

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This has probably been one of the most stressful times in my life. While I am incredibly blessed and grateful that we were able to purchase a new home, I am completely overwhelmed and slightly panicked about the amount of work we have to do.

We move two weeks from today. While that seems like plenty of time it is NOT! We have half a room packed. Yep, Half. A. Room. Granted, our current home is quite small, we have done a good job of accumulating a lot of things over the past three years, especially with a new baby. So on top of working, parenting, family parties and all the other weekend commitments we have, there is packing…or should I say, not packing.

For someone as organized as myself, you would think I’d have it all done already, or at least some master spreadsheet of how it will be done. NOPE! I’ve got nothing…nada…zilch. We are planning to go room by room but there just never seems to be any time. After a long day with Emma yesterday and once she was in bed, I had to finish laundry, prep her diaper bag and food for today, shower and by then, I was completely exhausted. It’s definitely not easy to pack with a baby.

With stress flowing through every ounce of my body, I have done the complete opposite of what I should be doing (packing) and instead, I’m unpacking. For the past week I’ve been working on decor projects. My husband wants to kill me. I think his exact quote was, “You’re making f-ing centerpieces for a dining room table we don’t even have and a house we’re not even moved into.” I couldn’t stop laughing, mostly because it’s completely true. Why am I making projects you might ask? Well, despite my stress and panic, I am also super excited. I can’t wait to get into our new home and decorate. And since we already spent a lot of money on the house itself, what better way to save then DIY projects? Yes, horrible timing, I know, but they’re really fun for me and take my mind off the piles of things I need to pack! I also may have unpacked our never used quesadilla maker to make quesadillas last night for dinner. Yes, I am now sure my husband wants to kill me!

So while I continue to NOT pack, create DIY projects and open things I need to clearly leave packed until we move, I realize now is the time to get it together. Now is the time to prioritize, suck it up and just pack! It’s like a band aid, you can’t slowly pull at it, you need to just rip it off! It’s time to get packing…and I hope to find the motivation to stay in that mind set. Hey, it’s better late than never, right? 😉

We Bought A Zoo!

Front View
Well, it’s official…WE BOUGHT A ZOO! Just kidding, but ever since that movie I envisioned myself saying the phrase when we eventually did buy a home. Ironically, I looked at the home first without my husband (something with work came up and I had to go solo) and texted him ‘We bought a zoo!’ because I fell in love with it. We went to see the house together the next day, put an offer in and we got it! This is our new home (pictured above). For the first time, my husband and I are homeowners together. I stress the together because I moved into his home when we got married and even though I added my own personal touches to it, I never really felt like I could call it mine. It feels great to be able to say that now!

While this is an exciting time for us, I also feel like it is one of the most stressful. The mortgage process alone was enough to make you go completely crazy. I felt like our bank accounts were being monitored by the FBI! “Everything needs documentation” is all I kept hearing. It went so far as having to explain check deposits from family that were Christmas gifts! On top of our own pressures at work, we are juggling parenting, packing, figuring out our finances, trying to get quotes for renovations at a home we don’t even have keys to yet, picking out furniture, paint colors, decor and all the things needed for our new home as well as the challenges of everyday life! I know these are all things people go through. This is the change that forces us to adjust. It forces you to either come together as a couple and make decisions or cause endless amounts of arguing. We have mostly come together but at times we have come apart…

Life can be stressful, especially when you throw a million other things into the mix. But what’s great about life is the adventure. Every day is a new day and you decide how you want it to go. Sure, there are things that impact your day which are out of your control, but some that are not. I have little patience when driving and get quickly irritated by other drivers but then I think about the precious life in my backseat. Is it worth her safety? Never. Is it worth me getting worked up about? Absolutely not. No one but you should determine the mood of your day. You make the decision to be angry and frustrating or patient and compassionate. It’s easy to get angry, say hurtful words and become frustrated. It’s much harder to stay calm, choose your words carefully and become more understanding. At least, it is for me…

So while my husband and I might not agree on all the decor in the house, we bought this house together and just like in marriage, there will be a lot of compromising! We are blessed to be moving into an amazing home that we’ll raise our growing family in. If there’s one thing I learned through the whole process it’s not to sweat the small stuff. In the grand scheme of things, being happy isn’t about the perfect paint color or that amazing couch from Restoration Hardware, it’s about being thankful for what you have. Life is a blessing, try not to let the stressful moments of it take away from that. And if you haven’t seen ‘We Bought A Zoo’, I suggest you watch it, super cute movie!