Friday, January 9, 2009

A Splash of Color!

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.


Annette Lyon said...

Let's hear it for color and claiming your space! I agree; it's amazing what a little color can do for the internal "ownership" of a place. That's a ton of work you did. So glad Elder Painter arrived!

templework said...

you sooo make me SMILE!

Hannah said...

Good for you Jenna! I wish I could get the umph to get the rest of my house painted. Three and a half years and still most of the walls are white. It's embarassing really.

So ddi the kids love it?

Abby said...

It looks just lovely and bright and so Jenna. Good work, I'm proud!

I've looked into getting some of those lovely latte bowls myself..but dude! They're $24 a piece! Holy golly gosh!

I'm still jealous though. I wish they hadn't just made it a rule that we're not allowed to paint in here because I was totally prepared with my paint samples.

Josi said...

Wow, it's beautiful! And you are so brave, I always want to do these things but then I get scared that it won't turn out and I'll regret what I've done. I've painted kids rooms--but only a couple of them felt truly successful. Way to go!

Misty said...

we are forced to rent right now and can't paint, which devastates me because i HATE white walls... I am so jealous. I shall live vicariously through your sunshine. (both inside and out!)

YogaNana said...

Color is HUGELY important to how you feel! Good for you, I'm glad you could do it and do it yourself and be all the better for it! It really does look happy!

Abby said...

For the record, I've been corrected. I've been instructed to go back and actually read the writing. Jenna's little sister isn't stupid..just assumes things cost more than you'd think. Okay..okay..they're $24 for a set of 6. That sounds much better and perhaps I'll also need to purchase some. It's a celebration!

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, I love those colors; they are so YOU! I love the way you celebrate the little miracles that occur. Well done!

Sarah said...

I love it! I wish we could paint here. Although, I think we're too lazy for that sort of project.

Garden Anywhere Box said...

Jenna, I love your colors. I agree that color has an amazing effect on a person's mood.

I used to be afraid of color. When we first bought our home the walls were white. Every wall in every room was white. About three years in, I got the nerve to paint the foyer a sage green color, but that was as far as I got.

I think I was afraid of messing up, of making the wrong color choice and wasting money. So I did nothing.

We lived in our white house for about 8 years before I finally got the nerve to paint.

A couple of years ago, we built a movie room onto our home. I had to decide on paint for the walls since I could not have white walls for a movie room.

I found a cranberry red that I loved, but it was SO red. Was I crazy? I loved it, though, so I went ahead. I read about painting a room to get some ideas about color. I read not to paint the ceiling anything but white. But I chose gold!

Again, the feelings of doubt crept in, but I felt good about my decision so I bought the paint.

The room turned out great. It's on my facebook page under "Movie Room", if you want to see. This one step caused me to find the courage to paint the rest of my house. Now, instead of white everywhere, my walls are a mustardy-gold or sage green. I even have one small wall that is cranberry red. I love coming home to these warm colors.

Color really does make a difference. I'm glad that you took a chance. Your walls look wonderful. Enjoy your home.

Julie Wright said...

I love your paint colors! Congrats on a good time and a fun surprise for the kids. Looks awesome!

Megan said...

It looks very cheery. I think about stopping in to see you guys every time I drive by on my way in/out of town... :)

Ritsumei said...

That is a fabulous color! I love you you've done it through the whole space. Makes me wonder about painting MY space yellow. We've always done WHITE white walls and carpeted our colors, but I like this way too. Isn't it amazing how the Lord helps us with things that are important to us!