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And we’re back! In past years Adam’s business hasn’t allowed for any vacation time over the holidays (the retail world sucks that way)so  typically our plans involved a five hour journey to visit family for two or three whirlwind days before retracing our five hour journey back home, exhausted and craving more family, more downtime, more rest.

But not this year! No, THIS year was the first year in almost a decade that our Christmas holidays were almost a full two weeks. It was beyond incredible. 

Adam’s parents graciously vacated their bedroom to make room for our little family, so for every night of those almost two full weeks we luxuriated in a king sized bed while Olive consistently slept 6-9 hour stretches. Internets, my baby is a baller.

Every night we would have this conversation:

A: Look at all of this space! This is awesome! We are so getting a king sized bed.

M: No we’re not.

A: What?

M: I said we’re not getting a king sized bed.

A: WHAT? Madeleine you’ll have to speak up! I can’t hear you from the other side of this awesome king sized bed!

M: Ugh. I’d like to kick you but I can’t reach.

A: See? Awesome. Awesome!

I am struggling to remember what we did during this time, but it’s all melded into a haze of eating and sleeping and making funny faces to see this gummy smile

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We also spent a lot of time driving around looking at houses, walking around discussing our options, and talking ourselves in circles trying to figure out what to do with our lives.

Sometimes there’s just too much choice, you know? We know we don’t want to live in our town anymore, but trying to rearrange the puzzle pieces of housing and jobs and family into a workable arrangement, and then getting both of us (two of the most pigheaded people you’ve ever met) to agree, is proving quite the challenge.

Where we want to live doesn’t coincide with where we can buy a house,  where we can buy a house doesn’t coincide with where we can find work, where we can find work doesn’t coincide with being close to family, and ARGH this is the most stubborn Venn diagram ever! We just need a few of these areas to just OVERLAP, dammit!

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There’s a house for sale in the town where Adam’s family lives. It’s old and needs updating but is chock full of that wonderful thing – potential. It’s set into a hillside and has a fully fenced yard and a spectacular view of the ocean. It could be perfect.

I’m trying to convince myself that I could be the type of person to buy a house and completely renovate it. I’m trying to argue against my own nature, trying to reassure myself that I could deal with the mess and chaos and waste that come part and parcel with the more fun aspects like choosing tile and paint and flooring. I’m trying to believe I could do it without going completely fucking nuts. Or destroying my marriage. Or both.

I mean I want to be that person. I want to be giving friends a tour of our home in a few years, while saying “There used to be a wall between the kitchen and the living room but we tore that out and replaced it with an island, it looks so much more open this way. And we were going to go with polished concrete countertops in the bathroom, but I found this amazing piece of driftwood while walking Gus along the beach one morning, and Adam made it into a custom countertop.”

That person is fabulous! I have no problem envisioning myself doing that. I’d be the lady with the driftwood countertop. I’d be wearing my hair in a casual topknot, and glasses that don’t make my head look like a turtle (that right there is how you know this is a fantasy.)

I DO however have trouble envisioning myself existing happily in the chaos it would take to get this house to the point where I’d give obnoxious self-congratulary house tours. Doing it room by room instead of now RIGHTNOW! Living without a kitchen for two months while swallowing mouthfuls of drywall dust. Arguing over finishes and layouts and drawer pulls (Adam and I can’t agree on anything, ever. So we squabble until one of us gives up and gives in, out of sheer exhaustion. Ours is a marriage of attrition.)

would I go crazy when our shoes aren’t lined up properly by the front door. What the hell would happen to me in a major home renovation?

Oh also, do we have the time/money/skill for this?

And also: this means investigating and then following through on big-girl things like a mortgage and home insurance and suddenly being holyshit hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt when I obsessively pay off my credit card every month and once said I wasn’t sure I ever wanted to own a house at all.

So. Um…big things guys, Big things.

I also am sitting on this OTHER huge big thing that I’m bursting to talk about but I don’t know if I can yet. It’s incredible and astounding and leaves me wondering “How the hell did this happen?” but also “How the hell will I make this happen?” especially when you add a baby and a move and renovations into the mix.

2013 is shaping up to be as eventful as 2012.

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I have made resolutions, but they are more vague that those I made last year. Instead of thinks like “Start gardening” they are things like, “Stop suffering.”

Suffering in the fighting-tooth-and-nail against reality sense. For example, being annoyed that Adam is messy and expecting him to change is just causing suffering (for me, and for him, and for anyone who has to be around me when I am squabbling with him over some minute household task). 

I’ve been annoyed with this for ten years. Very little has changed. So the way I look at it, either I’m doing everything in a fit of self-righteous rage, or I’m doing everything happily, knowing that Adam has my back in other areas (like keeping me stocked with funny anecdotes. Or keeping the gas tank filled up because I never do. Or swaddling Olive because when I do it she always manages to break free at 4am).

I’m not expecting this to be easy- it’s almost become habit to sigh passive-aggressively whenever I have to pull out the vacuum, but I am going to try to work on it.

Look at me being honest and admitting my faults! (I hope Adam never reads this.)

Like I said, 2013 is going to be a good year.

Did you make resolutions? What are they? Am I crazy to consider a full house renovation? Do you know any sweet eyeglasses for clean freak ladies with tiny heads? 😉

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