Happy (snowy) New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year’s. We were all recovering from a cold last night so it was an early night for us. Grab a warm drink and let me tell you what’s been happening here the last week.

We’ve gotten snow and lots of it!

It started Christmas Eve. Just like a movie, it started on our way to the Christmas Eve service at church. This is what it looked like when we got back:

We got a break on Christmas day but it started up again the day after Christmas. It was amazing (says the Floridiots)!

There’s a rumor that I may or may not know how to make a snow angel. Ah’em…The following photo is for my Florida friends’ benefit. I’m sure you northerners are all too familiar with images like these:Jackson is still shirtless most days. And if he’s not watching the snow from inside…then he’s outside playing in it.The two of us built our very first snowman of the year. Ethan was under the weather so he decided to skip the very cold activity.

We’ve been pretty busy these days. Here’s what we were up to today:

 

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Old vs new

{Mom, Crystal…if you’re reading this you might want to grab some tissues. I needed them as I wrote this post}

Last night I saw a picture of our old Florida house and it felt…weird. It just looked so foreign. In some ways it seems like we’ve been in Michigan forever and in other ways it seems like just yesterday.

Leading up to the move, I really wasn’t all that emotional about leaving our house. Honestly, I was OK with it. I knew we were supposed to move, and to be honest the whole being separated from Ken thing was getting really old and I was ready to move on. I had counted on being weepy and crying about leaving my children’s childhood home. After all, I was leaving the house that sheltered us as newlyweds. I have so many memories in that house:
countless movie nights with family
dinner with friends
Christmas breakfast with my family
Christmas decorations
10:00 coffee with my mom
evening wine with my mom and dad
bringing home our boys for the first time
first steps for those boys
Ethan making friends with birds in the front yard
writing with chalk on the sidewalk
sleepovers
first days of school
homework at the dining room table
home group Bible studies
additions to the house
remodel of the kitchen
laughter
tears
good times
hard times
Our times.

But I think I was almost more emotional about the house last night than I was when we left in July.

On the day we left, my mom took this picture of us saying goodbye to our house. (Mind you, I had been living as a single mom for almost 5 months and we were on water restrictions and neither of those bode well for a yard.) 

As much as I miss that place and the memories it holds, I had to remind my self that it’s just a house. I had to remind myself that we will experience new memories in our new home. We signed a three year lease so by the time our lease is up we will:
have one in high school
and one in middle school
host dinner with friends
do homework at the dining room table
eat dinner outside on the deck
watch deer from our backyard
listen to the faint sound of the train downtown
have sleepovers
celebrate Christmases
and Thanksgiving dinners with my Florida family (cannot wait until they come in November)
see first snow
take summer vacations
and who knows what else.

Our current house will never hold the same spot in my heart as the one in Florida does but that’s expected, right? That little yellow house held a mountain of Firsts. But our current house will also host its own lists of Firsts. Do I regret moving to Michigan? Nope. Do I wish I could have my family (and friends) with me and hear my nieces’ little footsteps in my house? You bet your life. For now, I can anticipate and prepare for everyone coming to visit in November. We’ll have 10 of us in our little house. I’m so excited, I can’t stand it.

Handprints

Because every kid should do this at least once in their life…

It’s a shame we had to wait for the workers to leave and the concrete was almost too dry. But if you look real close, you can see two faint handprints of my two favorite boys. Even if our family is only here for a little while, the proof will be here forever (or until they need to replace this part of the sidewalk again). 

Home sweet home

I was reading one of my favorites blogs the other day, A Beautiful Mess. She was giving tips on how to photograph your home. Most of them I already knew but it gave me a kick in the rear to actually DO it. I especially liked tip #1 – One Room at A Time. Don’t feel like you have to clean your entire house and then photograph it. Clean one room (or a portion of it) so it’s to your liking. Then look through your viewfinder. You’ll be surprised at how NOT clean it looks when looking through your camera. It’s ok to clean only for a photo shoot. As an adult, it took me some time to realize that I didn’t have to save cleaning only for times when company comes over.

Then pick things you like about your room. No one says you have to show us everything. Have unfinished projects? Don‘t photograph them. Have a broken lamp? Don’t show us. No need to show your dirty laundry (literally). For instance, my carpet isn’t finished (thanks to a breakfast bar addition) so I decided not to show you that. Of course, now I’ve told you & the cat is out of the bag. The point is to pick and choose what you want to show off and just do it! Your kids will love to have a record of what the house looked like when they were young. (There’s probably a good argument in there about documenting your life like it normally is – dirty laundry and all.) I think it’d be neat to see how my house changes over the years. I may make this a yearly thing.

This is my favorite couch I’ve ever owned. We did end up paying it off but for a while, we thought we’d have to give up our firstborn. It’s the only thing in the room (or the whole house, for that matter) that we’ve splurged on.

These chairs were the best yard sale find I’ve ever found. Ever. They were $15 for the both of them and they match the room perfectly. They’re short (which I love) and they spin (which the boys love). 

I took a pillow making class and made the pillow. The afghan is one that my grandmother made years and years ago. I love that I have it. The little basket on the two tiered table is full of books that I’ve made in my scrapbooking days. And the curtains. Oh, the curtains…they came from an estate sale. My mom found them and I think she spent less than $10. I just love the pop of color and the vintage feel they lend the room. I’ve had a few people tell me that they had curtains like that growing up.

Here’s a close up. I just love the turquoise!These are another cheap find. I scored four of these from eBay. Here are two:And my favorite part of the room. This little clock makes me smile. My dad made it for me! It was a Christmas gift a few years back and it still makes me smile every time I look at it. Unless I’m running late. Then I curse at it.

And this was another gift from my dad. I was giddy when this arrived at my house. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade.

And there you have it, my little corner of the world. That wasn’t too hard. Now you try it!