I haven't blogged all week! I've thought about blogging, but the only thing I wanted to blog about was the amazing change coming over our home and over me. All with a little paint, and a lot of hard work. The thing is though, I wanted it all to be a surprise for my children to come home to, so I couldn't let the cat out of the bag on Cranberry Corner (cause I know at least one of them reads my blog). I picked them up in Arizona yesterday and could barely stand my excitement during that long drive home. Oh, it was worth it!
On New Year's Day Adam and I were snuggled up watching a movie together and I said, "What do you say we go to Lowe's and get some paint and paint the downstairs?"
"Okay," he said. And we went to Lowe's. Just like that! It was so fun to pick out the colors together and plan our project. We picked "Weeping Willow" for the front living room and up the stairs and into the hallway, and "Morning Sun" for the dining room, kitchen, and family room. Lovely!
I got started masking and cutting in as soon as we got home. We did one wall that night, and then called the missionaries to come because they had offered to help us as a Christmas present. We worked hard! (You learn so much about people when you work with them, have you ever noticed?)
It seemed it would never end. We had the missionaries for 3 hours the first day and 4 the next, and then on Sunday we found out that our tallest Elder was getting transferred. Yikes! Monday is Preparation Day for the missionaries, so we were on our own. I worked twelve hours, and Adam worked when he could in between other obligations. I was panicked that we wouldn't finish by Wednesday. On Tuesday morning when the missionaries arrived, I looked up at the new Elder with hope and said, "Please, tell me you can paint."
"I was a house painter before my mission," he replied cheerily. "My dad is a professional painter and I've been painting with him since I was 12. My uncles, my grandpa, it's like our family trade."
(Angels breaking through in song)
The first miracle of 2009! God sent me a painting missionary, just in time! We worked all day Tuesday and Wednesday, and then I had the enormous task of cleaning it all up, putting the thousands of books back on the (clean!) shelves, moving all the (vacuumed under!) furniture back into place, unmasking, washing, vacumming, mopping, ETC, all before I had to roll out of the driveway at 6:30am Thursday morning. Seriously? Without Elder Painter-Man, it never would have gotten done. He was awesome.
The joy of the new atmosphere kept me chugging along. It is remarkable what color can do to one's mood. Everyone who has seen it has commented. We just can't help but be happy! And feel warm, and welcomed, and just, well, just happy!
The other thing I've noticed is that having the walls painted has had a profound affect on me. How I feel in this space, how I feel about lots of things, how I feel about me.
California has been a hard adjustment. Besides all the transitions in life (marriage, blended family, new baby), I have had to make new friends and fit in in a new ward and a new neighborhood. Because we are renting, we have been hesitant, I think, to really claim our space here. And that has been very hard for me. I am a nester. I like home. It's what I do best, maybe, and not feeling permission to do that, or not letting myself do that has taken a toll on my psyche. I think it's even contributed to me gaining weight. It's as if I never felt that I have been truthfully representing myself, but not on purpose, if that makes any sense. White walls are not me. So, I have never felt all the way at home, at ease, at peace in this space, and it's caused unrest inside of me. I never realized it before. It's as if I felt that I always had to defend myself, like, "No, no! This isn't really me!"
And now? It feels more like me. (Does this make any sense?)(Although I noticed that the "Morning Sun" photographed much bolder than it looks in real life, but still.)
And so anyway, because of this one change, putting up color on the walls, I feel more like me. I want to treat myself better, I want to be more productive, I want to be more active, more involved in life. I think I have been in a funk. Now, I feel splashed out of it!
I have to also say that in a way, Stephanie Nielson, of the NieNie Dialogues, has some of my gratitude for these changes. Her authenticity has been inspiring to me. She has this ability, even at her very young age, to just live her life to the fullest and embrace every bit of it and claim it, make it her own, and delight in it all. I have only known of her since the plane crash, as she's slept in her coma and I've read of her recovery through her sister's blog updates. I have grown to love them both, as I've stated before, and I am so excited that Stephanie will be taking back her blog on January 16th. I might celebrate by doing something Nie-ish, like buying a set of Latte bowls from Anthropologie. :)
I feel good. Everytime I walk down the stairs and see the new color, I feel like part of me is back. And that can only be a good thing.