Sunny Days

I’m not in a good place right now.

Matthew texted that to me last week while I was with the kids at Orca. I have said the same thing to a few friends this week. Things are great, and amazing, and weird, and difficult. I can’t talk about it, here, though I would love to.

Our marriage is strong, despite living through the hardest two years we ever have. The kids are thriving, though they are feeling the changes and worrying about us. I never want my kids to worry about me. They need to worry about brushing their teeth and finding their socks and their shoes. WHY CAN THEY NEVER FIND THEIR SHOES?

The house renovations are coming along and I will share that when I no longer feel like I’m drowning.

I feel like I’m drowning, as I just mentioned. I’ve had a horrible cold for weeks now. I rarely see my friends.  I’m overwhelmed by all that needs to be done every day. I feel apathetic, which is so not me. My husband is dealing with his own struggles, so we’re lacking the one person who can rally the other one.

At least we’re drowning together?

So, friends and family, pray for us. We need a flotation device.

Trail Running

I haven’t written about running here in a while, because it’s just a part of my weekly routine. I run three days a week, and it’s usually with friends. I get my run in, and a visit with people I love, and it’s all good.

My companions have faded away, for personal or health reasons, so I’ve been running solo most of the time in the past few weeks. I miss the companionship, a lot, but it won’t keep me from lacing up my shoes and getting out there.

When I run solo, I listen to music. If you have some music to add to my running playlist, I would be forever grateful.


Do you remember when we started knocking down walls and taking names? We had a vision of creating an office (and piano) space to the left of our dining area.

Extra View!
(That is our deck furniture, for the record. The kitchen table that Matthew built has been set up now (Yay!). Photo to follow.)

As of yesterday, my office space was set up and fully functional.

Office Space
Window trim to come, as well as the pot lights, but sitting with a view of the mountains is amazing. The piano will go along the wall on the left.

It’s coming together, slowly but surely. As I sign off, I’m going to start unloading the boxes marked “Kitchen” into our new IKEA cupboards. (Whee!)

The Kitchen Sink
If you ever buy a house that needs to be renovated, DO NOT LIVE IN IT WHILE DOING SO. We did this with our last house, and it was ridiculous. We bought our new house and as you all know, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. It’s more sleeping on mattresses on the floor and living out of suitcases. And washing dishes in the bathtub, because you have no kitchen.

It’s all for a good cause, and things are slowly coming together. We have a functioning kitchen sink and faucet, as well as a lovely granite (tiled)(SO MUCH CHEAPER THAN A SLAB) counter top. The back splash will be put up next week. It’s been a week since I had a kitchen I could cook in. I like the occasional dinner out, but a week straight of eating out makes me feel gross. It was so great to cook dinner tonight.

We’re all sleeping in our own bedrooms (Yay!)(On mattresses, for now, but with no doors)(Boo!), as the wood floors have been stained and clear-coated, and we’re getting there, but we’re not quite there yet. The main living area needs to be sanded/stained/clear-coated and we’re making plans for the kids and I to vacate while that happens.

The kitchen is coming together and we’ve started loading the cupboards and, oh. I can’t wait until I have some “after” photos to share.

July 2014 through July 2015 was, hands down, the toughest year of our lives. Matthew started taking his Masters program in July and was gone all summer, and then working past 1 a.m. (or 2 a.m.!) every night until the end of June of this year to get his assignments and papers done on top of working (more than) full-time. We felt that we were supposed to sell our house, right when he started school, so it was listed last July as well. We made these decisions together, but it doesn’t mean it was easy.

Matthew is more than ‘hands-on’ with our kids and our home. He’s a more-than-equal partner in our parenting journey. He’s such a neat freak that he does the majority of the house cleaning. (I’ve washed the floors less than 10 times in 15 years of marriage, because he loves to clean floors.)(Seriously.) On top of covering most of the half that he handled, I was working and dealing with kids’ activities. We also had the cost of his schooling, which was not a small amount. Our stress level was high, and our funds were tight.

Our old house sold in May and we won our new house in court in June (By ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN DOLLARS AND TWENTY CENTS). As we sat at lunch after court we said that we felt like that IKEA commercial where the wife yells, “START THE CAR!” It’s become our phrase when something goes great, because it’s surreal and not at all what the last year was like.

We have had moment after moment where we say, “START THE CAR!”  I’m not one to talk money, but it’s no longer a stress point. We are mortgage-free (WHAT?), and keep having work fired our way. START THE CAR.

As part of our renovations, we walked through IKEA in the summer. We found the bedroom wardrobe we wanted and there is now a big sale happening, with the set we wanted not available to order online, and possibly not replenished. The plan was to head down Sunday afternoon, stay with family, and then hit IKEA on Monday. On Saturday, there were five wardrobes left, and we need two. I suggested that the kids and I head to Vancouver with the truck and trailer to get our wardrobes in a one-day return trip.

As of Sunday morning when we drove away from our house, there were three wardrobes available.

(I’d never driven the truck with the trailer before. Desperate times, desperate measures.)

The kids and I made it to IKEA shortly after noon and made a beeline to where  our wardrobes were. There were two wardrobes left and we loaded them onto a cart. As we were buying the rest of the things (Hinges and baskets and closet rods, oh my!) there were people who came to buy the wardrobe we had grabbed five minutes before. Emily heard them say, “Oh no! They are gone!”


Our life is complete and utter chaos, and will be for a while, but those START THE CAR moments are balancing it out.

Not sponsored by IKEA at all. In fact, based on the coin we have dropped, we are sponsoring IKEA right now.

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