Spaces::: The Blue Chair and Morning Coffee

This entry was written on Sunday, but posted on a Thursday. Some weeks are like that.

There is a blue car that sits in the corner of our apartment. I bought it one rainy morning, on a whim, when my friend, Tracy and I were wandering World Market. We had to have a man help us put it in her car, but he wasn’t listening and said it couldn’t be done. We decided to just put it in ourselves. Yes folks, it could be done. And so after shoving it in the car, we brought it home. I remember it was the first bigger, more expensive item I had purchased since Sean and I had moved in together. I was kind of afraid he would be mad at me for buying it. But he wasn’t. He silently got his tool kit from the closet and started putting it together. Now, some days when I come home he is sitting in it, reading or playing his guitar, and it makes me very happy, to see this item a staple in our home, to see all the random things we’ve purchased, all coming together to make our home.

This blue chair is the best place to sit and drink coffee. But I don’t always have the opportunity to appreciate it like I wish. So when I do come to this chair, on Sundays normally, I come quietly, before Sean has risen, while the heaters hum and clank, and I simply sit. On this particular Sunday the sun has come out for the first time in almost a week. It comes pouring into our space, and I look at the streaks on our wood floors realizing I should probably sweep. But it seems there is always something to do, something to finish, something to clean. And this morning I am at peace. I don’t have time for worry; I’m too busy drinking coffee. 220 221 222It’s almost the weekend…I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….

Life in this Place

When I walked in the door on Wednesday there was a note from Sean. It said that he had made me some soup, and then in bold letters it told me to “take it easy”. I knew what he meant. I knew he was telling me to lay down and not do anything. I knew he was worried I would begin cleaning up behind myself; clearing up the messes I’ve been too sick to take care of all week. I knew he meant I was not supposed to worry about my dirty soup bowl. I knew he would be mad at me and call me a control freak if I did any of these things, and I knew why. I needed a night of silence to myself; to lay on the futon and watch Mad Men, to take a hot shower and rinse the migraine from my body, to rest my feverish bones. So, I curled beneath my red fleece blanket, a gift from the woman whose children I cared for in Georgia, and followed his instructions. The week came and went with synchronized naps with the twins’ nap times, early bedtimes and plenty of reading a great new book in bed.

These past two weeks have the busiest of the year yet! And probably all of that busy is the reason for my poor health.   Many early mornings last week were consumed with coffee and finishing our save the dates, which I can’t wait to share once they’re in the mailbox.  Friday was dedicated entirely to planning and decorating for the bachelorette party. We had a friend staying with us two nights, followed by another visitor over the weekend. I wanted to pull my hair out on Thursday, but the power went out in our apartment. Despite the fact that I had a million things to do that night, I decided to let it go. There are some things you can’t control and this was one of them.  So I took as a sign from the heavens to relax. We found some candles deep in our junk drawer, poured some wine and played Rummikub by candle light. It was the calm I needed in the storm. But as busy as last week was, I feel accomplished looking back. It’s a good feeling to see the results of all your work.  But for now, I’ll head back to the couch for an afternoon of watching The Tutors and eating leftover soup. I’m milking Sean’s advice for as long as I can. 

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^^^This guy still thinks it’s party time ^^^DSCF8176DSCF8178

Life Lately

This week has been a good one. Life at work has gotten on a regular schedule which brings a peace to the pandamonium that is juggling a large family’s needs. Friday morning has brought cooling temperatures, with Sean making the rounds to close all of our windows and turn off our fans.  How one night has brought such a change amazes me, making me feel grateful for my life in Michigan. Good (or bad) we feel the impact of four seasons here; just when we tire of one, another shows it face, allowing us an opportunity to pack away our tank tops and find our box of sweaters, hidden in the closet. Yes, this week has been a good one. Cheers to the weekend, though. I am always glad for Friday.
3 clay jarsStenciling and cutting and designing our save the date cards.
Attempting to plan our meals better this month.
Playing games on the living room floor.
Rearranging our bookshelves.
Mailing invitations for a 1920’s bridal shower and 1920’s bachelorette party to follow
Appreciating that Sean will help me clean.
Re-watching the first seasons of Parenthood.
Waking early for mornings by myself.
Wondering what the kids are doing in preschool. 
Avoiding beer on weeknights.
Cooking a monster batch of breakfast burritos to freeze.
Talking to caterors about our wedding menu.
Running, again. Feeling healthy and happy about this.rummikub slippers on orange rug making granola red chicken on table

Displaying and Organizing Our Collections

As a child I was a bit of a hoarder. I just loved collecting things. And hiding things, too. But that’s another issue. Over the years, I’ve gotten good at letting go of things and purging on a regular basis. But, as I was cleaning and rearranging this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice how many things Sean and I collect!

Our offenses include:

First there are our book collections- Classic American Literature books, very old french books, books we read & books we want to read. Also we have our plants, which we consider to be more like children than collections. Then, there are is my fetish for buying things to put more things in, which has led to my old box and crates collection. Not to mention my blue glass mason jars and antique tins collection, as well as Sean’s small clay pots collection. And to finish it off, both Sean and I have collections of rocks, sand and coral we’ve collected from different places we’ve lived. Whoa!

After purchasing the library cart, I was forced to rearrange our apartment. In the process, I began gathering and organizing our collectibles.  Looking at my things scattered across the living room floor, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to purge any of them. In fact, I really liked all of these things and I would have been sad to see them go. Unlike the other things we’ve accumulated, these were quality items with amazing sentimental value. Plus, I firmly feel that the difference between a house and a home, is the stories that your things tell. And so, instead of pitching them, I made them a priority.

I used to have these collections spread all over our apartment. But this time, I decided that I would group them. The results made such a huge difference in our space! Now, all of these things we love are better displayed, organized and ready to share their stories.Shelf with Jars 13 mason jarsbooks with card holderJarsrocks in jarstop of dresser

So what are your collection offenses? Please say I’m not the only one…

Library Cart

This is the cart, the library cart that I have been dreaming about. Library cart in sunlight

It came from a store, a store down the block, that sells the best stuff, including the cart, the library cart that I have been dreaming about.

Top shelf of Library Cart

When I saw the cart it made me gasp, after I went in the store just down the block, that sells the best stuff, including the cart, the library cart that I have been dreaming about.

I told the man to “load it up!” when I saw the cart that made me gasp, after I went in the store just down the block, that sells the best stuff, including the cart, the library cart that I have been dreaming about. Library cart angled

I brought it home and got to work! Cleaning and moving, purging and rearranging, making a home for the cart that the man loaded up, that made me gasp, after I went in the store just down the block, that sells the best stuff, including the cart, the library cart that I have been dreaming about!

PS: you should totally stop in to Hunt and Gatherer next time you’re in Grand Rapids… You won’t regret it!