Jenny! Your plane is about to take off, I hope you are somewhat sane when you sit down to read this later today. Your visit went by so fast, it hardly seems real! I don't know how we crammed so much into that 12 hours, thank goodness all our time together over the years (five!) has made it possible to shift into hang out mode the minute we're all reunited. Like I mentioned before, it doesn't seem right somehow that we live so many miles apart.
To say that the visits with your family left ours better off doesn't begin to describe it (and that's not just because you brought presents). You know how stressful things have been for us the last six months, and spending time with people we love (that love us, just as we are), sharing our neighborhood and home and watching the kids play? It was just the touchstone I needed to refocus after many months of walking around in a fog brought on by myriad factors. I think it's official: we've moved from "friend" status to "family".
I say that it seems like your visit was hardly real, yet I can look around my house this morning and see signs of my newly found focus (and motivation). Our face to face time was just what I needed to give me that push towards simplifying things, because I thought "I can't wait to show Jenny!"
Want a tour?
I cleaned up the area that stores all the child appropriate craft supplies (meaning what I'm comfortable with them using without adult supervision. There's not much that's off limits with an adult helping, but some stuff gets stored out of reach for safety reasons). There was a tall bookcase there before, and I was constantly worried it would fall over. Every cubby will have a piece of gaffer's tape on the side saying what goes where, so the kids (and adults!) can remember what goes where. I'm really going to focus on putting one thing away before something else comes out this summer, with such an open floor plan we all have to be considerate of each other when it comes to our personal projects and clutter. Plan: to make some floor cushions for the kids to sit on. Any idea how to keep the polyfill from bunching?
Ian is drawing wizards up there, the show he put on with Ben and Silas on Thursday has really inspired him. I can't bear to take down the backdrop Ben and Ian drew together, and just in case your husband thinks he didn't inspire me, please show him that I've brought the copper apple butter kettle inside with plans to clean it soon!
I also decluttered (i.e. de-Angeled) the desk area under the stairs. I don't know if you are too polite to remember the disaster area this was while you were here, I was trying to use it as a place to store my craft supplies (a small portion of them) and it was just not working. This desk is what we use for the desktop computer, bill paying, etc. and all the members of the family use it at least once or twice a day for something. It's also close to an outlet, so we end up charging our phones here, and it's close to the kitchen counter so the wallets, keys and other stuff end up here too. So turning it into a family desk instead of a place for me to deposit all my buttons, gardening books, magazines made more sense because I was constantly battling the two and it was a MESS. We'll install shelves above the computer once we decide on how we want them to look.
I also washed and dried my birthday gift (and fought Lee off of the chocolate last night), with plans for the washi tape (to be shared soon). The table runner is exactly what I wanted, my favorite prints in my favorite color, with your handiwork and energy woven into it all. The size is perfect for us, I wanted it to be decorative but not wide or long enough for the kids to get their grubby paws on during dinner. (Ahem.)
I can't wait to see you guys again, even if it is probably going to be next year. Let's start planning, soon! I'm looking forward to all the things we have to share with each other this Summer.