Monday, April 14, 2008

Keeping it real

It's time for a dose of reality. Come on over, I'd like to show you my house!

Here at Modobject at Home I typically try to focus on the beauty and delights around me. However, lest you think we live in a pristine modern home filled with flawless mid-century furniture and artifacts, it's time for a look at the bigger picture.

We bought our house three years ago -- an early '70's brick, single story home, very traditional -- definitely not radical design. It's a fixer-upper and we did not have the luxury of doing any fixing up before we moved in. We're about three years into what we call "the five year plan." Five years to get this house fully renovated, to make it like new; five years to have it ready to sell. We do the work ourselves with spare pennies and spare moments. Our home is far from perfect, just like our life. I'll show you.

Come in! Come into our house and our life. You can use the kitchen door. We're kitchen door kind of folks and you're friends. Please disregard the burnt smell; I scorched a pot last night while steaming broccoli. We hope the stench will air out in a few days. I wish I could offer you some sweet tea and homemade cheese straws; all I have today (and most days) is ice water and goldfish crackers. Yes, we are preparing for a major kitchen renovation! I'm glad you asked.

Notice our orange counter tops in the kitchen, complete with a scorch mark (not my doing, this time)!

And don't forget to take a good look at the wall paper. You can jot down notes on how to execute my elaborate filing system if you wish...

Remember my spruced up laundry room? Peek in here, this it what it looks like today; I think I need to spruce up again!

Now let's move into the living room. I'm sure that you've already noticed our wall-to-wall, 1980's powder blue, spotted carpet and matching entry way tile. The "five year plan" says we'll have hardwoods in place... eventually.

And, really, the primed drywall is a huge improvement over the paneling that used to be in here. Now if we can just get the walls painted, crown molding in place, and baseboards too.

Do you need to wash your hands? Here is the hall bathroom, complete with blue and pink paisley wallpaper and a very dated vanity and mirror.

Remember my photos of the nursery? Well, what I didn't show you is that we have a queen sized bed, a crib, a rocking chair, and a dresser crammed into this room.

I love it when Boo's room looks like this:

But most afternoons it looks like this (or worse):

California Closets where are you when I need you? This is the master bedroom closet. (I can't believe I'm showing you this...)

And the master bathroom, well, you just have to see the striped iridescent wall paper, white wicker framed mirror, and (gasp) our sponge painted counter top.

And behind the shower curtain is a mildew, soap scum stained avocado shower. More work to be done!

Just like you our days are filled with... life! The professor works hard; I do too. There is work, school, cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, banking, speech therapy, library books to return, Sunday school to teach. There are people to love, people to serve, a church in which to serve, a community in which to minister, little ones to train... discipline, a marriage to nurture. We wrestle over schooling decisions, parenting issues, car decisions, investment decisions -- our money doesn't grow on a tree in the backyard, we watch our spending. We encounter hardships and heartaches and failures. We wonder if the professor will teach longterm or if this is just for a season.

My toddler is just as apt as yours to have a meltdown on the kitchen floor...

...or get into mischief when my back is turned. (Yes, friends, that is a toilet paper road stretched across the bathroom. The perfect driving surface for an ambulance and a tug boat. Oh, and the sippy cup in the bathroom... how sanitary!).

We try to love God with all our hearts, souls, mind, and strength; and our neighbors as ourselves. Most of the time we fail. I've already told you that I fear I am hopelessly self-loving.

So you see, my house and my life are far from perfect, far from finished, but they are full of love and bits of beauty. My family isn't perfect but our lives are full of memorable, happy moments. We laugh, we try to be creative, we dance, we read, and we wrestle. We play outside and go out for treats, we enjoy quiet times at home. But, most importantly we enjoy each other and we try to serve others with what God has graciously given to us, even when it is all still a work in progress! And then at night we collapse on our pillows.

Posted as s a follow-up... "Thank you"