Tuesday, March 23

Things I Love Right Now

Literally, right now.

Haydon just went for a nap after having a super-fun play time (in which he kinda-sorta rolled over. Ok. I helped him a bit. But it was still exciting). He's also hanging on to things on his own and bringing them up to his mouth. AND he found his thumb after a month of trying. And, while falling asleep in my arms while I was singing and praying over him he did a whole bunch of beautiful sleep smiles. I needed this mom-day after yesterday's mom-day.

And Feist. Secret Heart. Great song.

And friends coming for dinner. I should maybe get started on that while my boy sleeps! SLEEPS! Glory joy hallelujah! (I knew a girl named that once...I'm not kidding. She was pretty great).

Saturday, March 20

Wise Words

James just found a journal I thought I had lost the last time I was at camp for the summer (2008). I was so glad he came across it - I had been reading Richard Foster's Freedom of Simplicity that summer and had written many, many quotes from it in my journal. It is jam packed with life-giving concepts. Read it. We decided that we are going to read it together over the next little while.
Here's the quote that jumped out at me tonight as I thumbed through what I had written in my journal:

Develop close friendships and enjoy long evenings of serious and hilarious conversation. Such times are far more rewarding than all the plastic entertainment that the commerical world triest to foist upon us. Value music, art, books, significant travel. If you are too busy to read, you are too busy. Discover prayer as evening entertainment. (Freedom of Simplicity, 154)

Oh, Richard. You are so wise. His book is full of little nuggets like that. Seriously, you should read it. (I just used the word "nuggets" to refer to something other than chicken. I think that puts me in the old fogey category).

I haven't blogged in ages. Remember that week that I was being crazy productive AND blogging about it? Yeah, that can only last so long. Last week I opted just for the productive part. The kitchen DID get done, I'll post pictures sometime. Other headlining news: I started scrapbooking and crocheting (fun!), my easy baby has started fussing multiple times a day and won't sleep, and I developed mastitis.

Wednesday, March 3

Extreme Makeover, Wallace Home Edition, part 2 - The Kitchen

Can I just start by saying what a beautiful day it is? It's GORGEOUS out there! I should be out with my babe in the stroller and dog by my side. But I am determined to get this kitchen started, and I know that if I let myself do anything else first, I will just put off the kitchen because it's such a big, daunting job...

But I can handle it. I was only up once last night (yay Haydon! Thank you!!!).

And I've had my coffee, which was free (yay McDonald's! Thank you!!!).

I even got groceries this morning before James went to work. Now that's efficient (and rare, for me).

So, now, my kitchen.

My kitchen is one of the only things I was sad to leave behind in our old house. It was big, had a great window, tons of cupboards, and lots of counter space. I LOVED it! I also spent a ton of time taking the seventies out (read - scraping off orange and brown floral and crazy patterned wallpaper) and painstakingly painting the cupboards white. It was so fresh and nice (and I can't find a picture. I know I took one before we moved. I also started bawling everytime I went back in there before it was finally sold. It was lovely).

Anyway. My new kitchen. It's long and narrow, with cupboards and counter on one side. Not much counter space, not much cupboard space. It does have a window, thankfully. But not a nice one over the kitchen sink like the old kitchen had. This is what I see now when I stand and do dishes.

I know. You're jealous. That pattern is just so lovely.

So, anyway, there isn't a ton of cupboard space, and it's certainly not used most efficiently, which means it's frustrating to work in there, and it gets messy easily 'cause I'm not sure where to put things, so I just kind of open a cupboard and shove something in, hoping the rest of the items in there will slide to accomodate, and allow me to close the door. Here are some of the spots I'm hoping to make more efficient:

The top of the fridge. This is the black hole of the kitchen. Too convenient to toss random stuff that has no real home, or I'm too lazy to deal with. I also need to make an space in this kitchen for the breast pump and bottles and stuff.
Crazy cluttered counter corner. Home to phone, pens for messages, dishes to be washed, recyclables and other randomness. Should probably be completely clear, except for maybe a small basket or something to hold the phone and the pens. And the dishes to be washed, I suppose.

This cabinet, it holds our microwave. And all kinds of other randomness. This is the main place that I just open and shove whatever I need a spot for.

Top of the microwave cabinet, where random stuff just gets placed. Like that green tupperware bowl that needs to go back to my parents (I need to create a space for stuff that is meant to leave the house like that), and that chicken that I bought this morning that I apparently forgot to take to the downstairs freezer... The small space in front of the bananas and cookie jar is often crammed full with mail or stuff to go downstairs, and the utensil bucket probably makes more sense over by the stove.

Finally, under the sink. Plastic bags overfloweth, pots are making they're way over from the cupboard next door and cleaning supplies are surrounding the bucket they belong in rather than in it.

So. That's my project for the day. Kind of afraid to get going - this is one of those ones that I know will get way worse before it gets better. I know that in about 3 hours there will be stuff everywhere, a bunch of empty cupboards, me unsure where to put stuff, and inevitably Haydon will start crying right when I'm ready to throw in the towel.

In the meantime, I sure am glad I have a baby that is contented enough to let me take on these projects.

Tuesday, March 2

Coffee and Perogies

Well, I've lost a bit of my momentum in the organization department, but that's ok. I spent time with my favourite guys this morning, and that's just as valuable! On Tuesdays James doesn't go in to work until the afternoon, so we've earmarked those days to be our time to connect and pray together. This morning we went for a walk with Charlie and Haydon and prayed for our families, our church, our neighbourhood and ourselves. Good times were had by all. Good times were made even better by McDonald's free coffee, which inspired me to direct our walk toward Springy's so I could get a cupholder for the stroller in which I could hold that glorious free java. Springy's is wonderful. If you're a parent of wee ones in Hamilton, you should really check them out sometime. We walked in, Anthony immediately noticed our squeaky stroller, and he oiled all our wheels and installed the cupholder while we waited.
Back to McDonald's. I have a guilt-filled, love-hate relationship with those golden arches. The hate is that whole multi-national corporation taking over the world and selling crappy food in throw-away containers thing, and the greasy fatty awfulness clogging up my arteries. The love is the glorious salty french fries and fantastic coffee, which is free for the next two weeks. I wonder if there's a limit on that. We have one just down the street. Do you think they'd think I was a complete nutter if I showed up twice a day for a free cup of joe? It might be worth the walk...
Of to lunch with my husband, who's making perogies as we speak, 'cause he's just good like that. In lots of places, I would be making the lunch while he gets ready for work, 'cause he's supposed to leave in like, 10 minutes, isn't dressed yet, hasn't got his supper ready, or any of those things. A good wife would be helping with those things so he could get out the door on time. Me? I'm blogging while he serves me lunch. There's a reason I call him St. James. I'm a lucky girl.

Mmm. perogies.

Monday, March 1

Rachel - 1, Black Hole - 0

I did it! It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, and it feels great to have it done! I'm glad my first day of getting organized went well, hopefully that will give me the incentive I need to keep going.

Here's my day's work:

Finally - a guest room! Come stay sometime...

And a place to get some work done :)

An organized closet...All this cleaning is hard work

But it sure feels good when it's done!

Extreme Makeover, Wallace Home Edition, part 1 - Spare Bedroom, aka Black Hole

We've always had one. The crazy back-bedroom of chaos. A dumping ground for anything you don't know what to do with, or know what to do with, but don't have time to deal with it properly. You chuck it in the back bedroom, and close the door.

And keep the door closed. Always.

Here's our gross back bedroom. The goal is to have a lovely, welcoming, spare room and office to which I can proudly leave the door open.

This is what I'm starting with...

Wish me luck!

Makin' this House a Home...

I spent the weekend in Brantford with my family (of origin...apparently I need to clarify that as I have my own little family now). James was working all weekend, and, as much fun as it is to be stuck at home with no car and a baby, it's WAY more fun to be at "home" with 3 other baby holders and people to talk to. It was a good time, culminating in good food and good company and good hockey. And then James came to take us home.

Bad things happen when James comes to take us home.

See, I like my parent's house. It's comfy. It's beautiful. Life feels more organized (could have something to do with the 3 baby holders and the ease with which I can get dressed in the morning, and then have someone else make me coffee and provide my meals). And so I have this lovely mini-holiday with these people that I love, and then, on Sunday night, my poor husband who has been abandoned for the weekend comes and I pout and drag my heals because I have to leave. It makes him feel great, I'm sure.

I was reflecting on this as we were packing up to come home, and I realized that a lot of it has to do with the actual space. My house feels disorganized and dirty. Ok. It doesn't just feel that way, it is that way a lot of the time. Which, may be excusable since I have a new baby and all that jazz, but, doesn't make it feel nice, and doesn't make me want to be there. So, I escape to my parents' house, friends houses, go shopping, etc, and run in and out of the house, stopping just long enough to dump a pile and grab what I need for my next outing, and adding to the chaos, making me want to be home even less. It's time to change that.

This week, it's gonna change. Starting this week, I am going to do a serious, top-to-bottom organize and spring clean of my house. I'm going to aim for one room a day, give or take, since I can probably do both bathrooms in one day, but will likely need a bit more for the crazy spare bedroom black hole where stuff just seems to accumulate, and then there's the basement, which I couldn't conquer in a month of Sundays. The goal is for this glorious organizing blitz to culminate in a weekend of tackling the basement together, not this coming weekend, but the one after.

I'm going to blog my progress. I'll give you pictures. Hopefully before and after pictures, not just before pictures. Keep me accountable. Ask me how it's going. Don't invite me out for coffee or anything else. Come over to help (or baby-hold) if you like.

In two weeks, come marvel at the beauty and comfort of my organized dwelling. I hope you'll want to stay. Or, if not, I hope I'll want to stay...
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