Well, hello there!
It’s been a while.
We have just been over here… hanging out… taking huge gulps of normalcy.
We’ve been doing normal people things that we either couldn’t or chose not to do while living in the bus.
The girls are participating in activities like choir and soccer and ballet:
We got a Costco membership (the savings on milk alone are enough to cover the cost of joining – this is about two weeks’ worth):
I’ve actually been putting some effort into our homeschooling now that we have the space to really stretch out:
It’s been, for the most part, really, really nice.
See how relaxed we look?
I know that after living for two years in a tiny space with a dearth of all sorts of things I’m supposed to have gleaned a better perspective on how our copious amount of belongings actually trap us into a mindset of consumerism and complicate our daily lives more than we realize.
But you guys, after living for two years in a tiny space with a dearth of all sorts of things, I have actually come to realize that I will probably never be the minimalist that I thought I would. I like stuff just a little bit more than I thought I did, sorry.
What I am feeling overwhelmed with, at this point, isn’t so much the amount of stuff that we have so much as the amount of space.
Twenty-two hundred square feet is a BIG jump from four hundred. Even before the bus, we hadn’t lived in anything bigger than one thousand square feet. I could vacuum our entire last rental from one plug and there weren’t any ceiling fans to dust.
Now, I’m starting to realize that when you have things like “baseboards” and “multiple bathrooms” and “a staircase” you have also keep those things clean. Otherwise you start to live in squalor and people judge you. And there’s probably some health and safety concerns in there somewhere too.
Quite frankly, friends, it’s kind of overwhelming. I feel like we might have bitten off a bit more than we could chew at this point in our lives. We have an acre and a half of land and a large house to maintain, plus four kids who are absolutely determined to undo all of our work. Between cleaning and cooking and homeschooling and running errands I feel frazzled and tired more than I would prefer. And a lot of those feelings stem from trying to keep this brand new house from being destroyed.
Since we moved in 6 months ago:
-the top lid of the powder room toilet has been dropped and cracked
-someone had scribbled all over the side of the white bathroom vanity with purple marker that I can’t get off
-irremovable superglue has been spilled on the kitchen counter
-the fireclay farmhouse sink that I love has been chipped in two places (thankfully, we were able to call in the warranty and get a replacement that is sitting in the garage until this one is officially ruined in the years to come)
-the laundry room flooded and leaked into the kitchen and wrecked part of the flooring
-the front of the house and porches have been colored on with with chalk, crayon, markers, mud and paint
I could go on.
And you know what? A lot of these things happened while I was trying to clean some other part of the house.
Here’s the thing: when I was younger, I read a lot of great books that included great mothers and idyllic households (not that there was anything missing from my own mother or household, these were just *perfect* ones). My two favorites were Marmee from Little Women and Anne Shirley when she grows up and has her own children in Anne of Ingleside. (Affiliate links).
I wanted to be just like them: loving and kind and caring and to have a tidy, put-together home filled with warmth and love and laughter and grace. Sure, there would be some busyness and chaos, but it would be fun and the “little scrapes” my children would get into would simply cause me to roll my eyes to the heavens and laugh. Hahahaha!
It wasn’t until recently, as an adult that I made the connection that both Marmee and Anne had housekeepers! They weren’t doing everything themselves – all the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the errands, the schooling – they had help! Not to mention, Marmee had all girls, which counts for quite a bit.
In any case, all I’m saying is that from now on, the only thing I’m asking for my birthday or Christmas or Valentine’s day or Memorial Day or St. Patrick’s Day is a house cleaning service.