home.

A virtual friend asked me to describe what home means to me. I quickly rattled off a generic, yet truthful answer. As I’ve had more time to ponder the idea, I worry my response was only covering the surface. I believe it rounded out an idea of comfort, laughter, family and friends – all honest ideals and things for which we strive. However, what gets lost is why those things matter; the reasons and richness of their existence…and our need for it. Our constant and indefinite state of healing not only thrives on comfort, laughter, family and friends – it requires it. Our home has been a safe haven and at times a retreat from overwhelming situations/feelings/memories. We at times make a conscious choice to shut out the world, its inhabitants, its pain and our weakness to function within it, but we also welcome joy inside its walls. We crave gut busting laughter, interpretive dance parties, gin tastings, dinners where it doesn’t matter if the table is set and comfy pants are the required attire – these are the things that make a house a home. Yes, I want it to be lovely and cozy, a cohesive unique design, walls littered with photographs and art, a working kitchen, enough storage space…but honestly, I just want to hear laughter echoing against the walls, warm bodies occupying the space, no matter how imperfect it may be.
** you should check out said virtual friend if you love home design, DIY, puppy dawgs, and an overdose of adorable.

Intention

We do not have the luxury to define how life prevails us. We can only choose our intent under it’s weight.

 

It is easy to exist – to be owned by fear, sadness or anger. It can be the most exhausting of things to take the weight of emotion and redirect it into purpose. A common narrative in our culture is that doing life selflessly is most difficult and inconvenient. There is such focus on how any given thing will impact you….you….you…it’s everywhere. What if the narrative was about sharing? Sharing in joys, successes, the honest to goodness soul crushing moments? Can you imagine how rich and vibrant “existing” could be?

 

The heaviness of life has not lifted – it spins and curls in every attempt to make a permanent home here. Our efforts to find normalcy get trapped under our need to process. Our need to process gets trapped under our fear of feeling. Our fear of feeling is the greatest of fears. It can be small things – choosing a different line at the grocery store because we see an infant seat…skipping a meeting because someone brings their child to work…walking away from a conversation riddled with the joys of parenthood. Every moment is owned, whether a milestone or failure. Every moment is a part of this perpetual process. Our intent is to keep moving; to be productive, not just dwell on the bad. In the moving and the smiling and the social experiments, there are moments where sitting in silence is necessary. It could be an evening, a week, a month… It is whatever it needs to be. The walls we build in our silence can be temporary or permanent, it’s up to us to fight against permanence. Instinct can rule our action, it cannot rule the intention of our heart. We remain vigil to our intent.

 

We are in a season of silence. We may not be reaching out to family and friends often, but we are good. We are busy with the day to day – allowing ourselves to get lost in work and projects. We are aware, we are present in this season to not let it become the norm, but this is where we need to function right now. We look forward to a season where silence is not the theme but this one feels right. We are surrounded near and far by the most gracious family and friends. The consistent contact, in all its forms, is so dear. We appreciate it even if we do not respond.

 
In other news we have had record breaking heat – the highest so far has been 106! It’s hot, yes, but honestly, it’s really not that bad. It certainly makes Idahoians grumpy, but we would take this any day over humidity and mosquitos. Our sweet friends let us borrow their kayaks last weekend – here are some shots from beautiful Lake Pond Orielle

Mick

old door | new door – house update

There are many things about our house we hope to change in the coming years. There a few items on that list we hope to start this summer. For those things further down the list – we are doing temporary fixes. The first being our front door. We are both fairly picky about the style we want. I am a huge fan of natural light and the front of our house receives a lot in the afternoons. What I’m NOT a big fan of is answering the door. Ever. [unless I know you’re coming over.] I generally hide and refuse to open it. This causes a slight issue – preferably a solid door with a peep hole – one that zooms in and out like a scope would be perfect for my stranger danger issues. However, that’s not cute and it cancels out quite a bit of natural light. I can make the sacrifice for the right door – but I have a feeling that only ups the price tag.

SO in the meantime I needed a change – a temporary fix. We wanted to bring out the personality of our house, make a statement in a generally drab neighborhood. We also wanted to continue the theme of happy. Some virtual friends introduced me to a new line of paint by Clark and Kensington – sold at Ace, the helpful hardware place [you have no idea how many times I hear that jingle in my house…I take that back, if you know Mick and his magnetism to cheesy commercials, then you have some idea.] Anyways, Clark and Kensington collaborated with OPI – yes, Ladies – the very OPI you put on your finger nails. After obsessively texting a friend color sample after color sample, Mick and I decided to hit up Ace [the helpful hardware place] and chose a color on a whim. I made Mick do the ordering, I will take any opportunity to laugh. I watched him confidently and seriously order a can of Modern Girl while the young man behind the counter stared at him. It was sick and hilarious and mean but it made my day.

The paint color is perfect, however, it did take almost five coats to apply which was super frustrating. We were hoping to do our basement door as well but I think we need to wait the appropriate time until we forget how frustrated we were.

BEFORE – whomp whomp

before

AFTER – we also decided to do the trim on one window to see how we liked it…and we do.

after

Then we scored some awesome rugs on clearance at Target – big day!

rugs

The end…

happy things…

We are making a concerted effort to do things that make us happy. This month, it’s flowers. Mick and I often have discussions – if we’re ever filthy.stinking.rich. what would we splurge on? It would not be a home, cars or flashy things. Mick would have fresh squeezed juice and a new pair of socks everyday. He would also buy the entire J.Crew catalog. I would have fresh flowers. Everyday – a massive, stunning bouquet with things like Peonies, lilacs filled to the brim….it would take your breath away. [I would probably also have a sturdy Marc Jacobs handbag and a couple pairs of expensive jeans, but whatever.]

Yesterday Mick made me flower boxes. I’ve always wanted flower boxes. Today we splurged on perennials and annuals and had the best time doing it. We pretended money wasn’t an issue and shopped till we dropped. It was pretty stellar. i even continued potting through a downpour – there was quite a bit of delight in today.

flower box

insert lining

the depot

jumping jonny's

fleur

flower box

complete

There is so much heaviness wherever we look. Somehow, it’s not suffocating. Somehow, it gives us purpose. We see pain and suffering in a different way now – we see hearts on sleeves and heaviness filling eyes – we notice graceful moments and moments of fragility we may have neglected before. It’s as though everyone we know are facing mountains – fear filled futures and stifling currents. One of the quotes I read over and over and over and over…

Tell me Atlas, what is heavier? The world? Or its peoples’ hearts? | Darshana S, Atlas Still Stands, But Does Anyone Else?

I feel this defines our current world – so much heaviness, so much grief and so much pain. Maybe it’s a season, maybe it’s the new normal – whatever the case – we are being called upon to be gracious, sensitive and selfless. Pray for those you see everyday – even those you do not know. We are all facing mountains – some of which – we know nothing about.

the lil one’s space

If I’m being honest, it’s been a chore to get started on this space. I have sat in the middle of the room countless times getting more and more frustrated. I tend to focus on all of the things I hate about it’s current state and yes, that helps because those items are the ones we change first, but it doesn’t make it any easier to picture it complete. The other afternoon I came home – Mick was outside with various tools I had not seen before and making quite a bit of noise. I stepped onto our deck and he was in a zone – major work/creative zone. He told me he was trying something – he had taken the leftover fence pieces from our gable wall, planed them down to their original red cedar and stained them this beautiful blue. After completing five or so pieces he nailed them to the outer wall, surrounding her picture window. I loved the look the planks took once stained, but was having a hard time picturing them as a statement in the space because – well – they were being attached to a pink wall and all the lighting has a soft orange hue. Since I had not come up with a single brilliant idea after all my time in that place – I went with it. Mick has since completed the entire wall and of course, it looks awesome.
IMG_1047 IMG_1049IMG_1045 IMG_1046IMG_1108IMG_1116

The next steps are painting the surrounding walls a crisp white. All our 1st floor walls are this horrible cream – I call it poor man’s vanilla. You know when you buy the three gallon tub of vanilla ice cream and it’s that weird shade of yellow that someone once decided was the color of vanilla [which is actually brown]?! That’s the shade of our walls and ceilings. gag. After we paint, Mick will replace all of the trim [which is a project for the entire house at some point] and remove the ghetto bifold closet doors…to be replaced with curtains…I think. I am starting to believe it can actually look different in there – to the point where I will forget how much I hated the space before! I look forward to that day.
**note – the orange hue in the pic is from our god awful light fixtures, also to be updated ASAP! bleck.

birthing class update

OK – I love this class, it’s highly informative and the teacher is ah-may-zing. We actually just found out she will be our doula and I could not be happier. She’s like a hug in human form. Anyways, in her gentle way of teaching you never know when she’s going to drop knowledge that is…graphic and/or horrifying. She throws it out there just as gently she would a comment on how stylish you look today. [she’s never complemented me on my clothes. bitch.]

The other night we were headed to class – after being surprised by two birthing videos the previous week, Mick decided to go into this class with a code word. A word we could both use to either leave early, rush to the bathroom, and/or to let the other know, “tell me when it’s over, I’m closing my eyes and plugging my ears.” We weren’t feeling super creative so we just went with the name of a famous author our friends recently saw speak at a local church. It was between that and “earwigs.” An hour into class, all was seemingly calm, a lot of review and research projects. After an open discussion and a few intriguing questions our teacher decided to watch a video instead of jump into her bullet points. Mick abruptly turns to me, “did she just say we’re watching another video!?” Misie: “Yea, it’s another one on the stages of labor…” Mick, in a panicked whisper, “josh macdowell, jOsH mAcDoWeLl, JOSH MACDOWELL!!!!!**” I LOST it – my entire body was shaking, tears were streaming down my face, I couldn’t even handle it. Mick snorted, pretended to rub my back as though I needed comfort which only made me laugh harder. This went on through the entire video!!! We may get kicked out before 10 weeks is up!

**for those of you who don’t know who Josh MacDowell is, the humor is most definitely lost on you. He writes moving and inspired books, and would never be in the same sentence with anything related to child birth.

a year in review, kinda

I hate overused phrases. I think I acquired this distaste from Mick – he remembers every silly phrase used to sell something or ones used by people with nothing intelligent to say: let’s do this, get er done, you only live once, LOL, why the face…etc. He doesn’t just despise all things phrase, he then overuses them to make a point as to how annoying they are. SO when he said the other day, what a difference a year makes, I had to LOL because he was actually serious. The first of this month marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in Idaho. After two weeks traipsing across the US in the worst weather, we arrived alive.

It really is amazing all that has happened in the last year, how we’ve changed, how we’ve seen others change, or not. There was also Mick’s hand, the new house, the first week at the house, and so much in between! I can say for us, as a couple, we are so much more relaxed. Its as if our little house and personal space bubbles are lined with cotton balls – everything stressful that happens, is entirely muted once it actually reaches us. We belly laugh pretty much everyday, we talk about anything and everything under the sun, and we enjoy every single day, even the no good, terrible ones. We have met some kindred souls who are always genuine and always gracious. We have been welcomed and practically adopted into some wonderful families. We have been fed every holiday, celebrated and valued on our birthdays even by strangers. What a gift to be accepted as you are, for exactly who you are and immediately shown grace. To move 4,000 miles away and feel the same kind of love we knew back east – such a blessing.
I am watching Mick flourish as a person – he is grasping and soaking in all those things we all have seen in him for years. He is making a mark, one he doesn’t even see, on so many lives. I couldn’t be more proud to see him recognize and use his many gifts – it blows me away how special a person he is…without even trying. This baby is one lucky lady to have him for a dad.
The only thing that remains the same is Lil Buddy. He’s just as broken and special as always, probably more so, but he keeps our life interesting and hilarious. February will bring it’s own surprises for him – not just cries and coos but new furniture with which to maneuver and objects that seem to move on their own. The floors will be yesterday’s news. We are looking forward to the year ahead but hope it does not rush by – we are really enjoying the here and now and living each day simply and happily.
**italics = annoying phrases