Hiya! Did you miss me?
Whilst my updates on this blog are somewhat inconsistent – whether this is due to us waiting for payday so we can get more progress done on the house, or simply because I haven’t had chance to write an update – one or two of you may have noted that I’ve been quiet this past week. And it’s been for a good reason.
Joe and I took a well-deserved and much-needed family holiday. It was us two, my mum and step-dad, my three sisters, their partners, and our niece. And of course, baby bump. It was bliss.
For the most part we have sacrificed luxuries such as holidays in order to invest our time and money into the family home. A temporary one of course – I have high hopes for some family holidays in the years to come when decorating isn’t our hobby of choice. But that’s exactly the point. We’re doing this for family. Putting the ‘family’ into family home and all that jazz. Not just working on a house that we’ll live in for a few years and make a profit on – although that is very much the secondary goal. With our little lady making herself very much known whilst on holiday sticking her feet out of my belly, and giving us a wave, it’s made me realise just how well we are doing with that target.
I have often talked about how difficult renovating is. This, I stand by wholeheartedly. It ain’t easy.
However, it’s not really the work that I find most difficult. (Admittedly I don’t do the majority so it’s probably silly me saying that!) It’s the living in mess. It’s the impatience. The limbo. It’s the continuation of working when you’ve already put in a day’s employment and commuted more than 2 hours that day due to roadworks.
I think when you’re in the midst of it, it’s so very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes.
When you’re so focused on something small – making sure walls are painted neatly, or that the spirit level has given you an even piece of plasterboard – these things can consume you.
I know that Joe is a modest man and he always puts his own handy work down. He works incredibly hard on our little semi-detached. He puts in every hour he has on doing something. Being productive. Getting a little closer to ‘finished’ (athough I’m sure we can all agree, a house is never done).
When in fact, he’s doing brilliantly. And I think my favourite part of this particular holiday was when we got home, sat our luggage down, and saw our house. Really saw it. With fresh eyes and an absolutely bucketload of perspective.
When we walked in the front door, the smell was an overwhelming one. Gosh, that sounded wrong didn’t it? What I mean is, there was still a hint of that fresh plaster scent when you walk in the house.
I remember when we bought the house and I was the first to get the keys. I stepped in, on my own and sat on the bottom step of our angled staircase in the hall, on a carpet that was hugely confused over what decade we’re in, and a mountain of junk mail, spider webs, and general dirt. It was a moment of pure joy and excitement as I waited for Joe to join me to celebrate, and I looked around knowing it was ours to do as we pleased.
Despite Joe’s addiction to smelly candles, the house has retained that very slight hint of freshly laid plaster smell, probably because work is still ongoing, but as I’ve become accustomed to it, it’s easy to forget where we began. Next week it will be 3 years since moving in (and starting this blog too), and I’ve loved every minute.
I’m digressing again, sorry…
When we got home from holiday late last night during the midst of Hurricane Bertha, that smell took me back to our beginnings. Joe and I walked into our kitchen to get a fresh glass of water (I always put a nice cold drink of water in the fridge before going away on holiday for my return – anyone else?) and we looked at each other and said: “Wow.”
It’s been complete for months – and yes, my blog post still hasn’t been posted, oops. I’ll get there! – but we moved so swiftly onto the hallway, the nursery, the guest bedroom, the garden…. We never sat down and took in what a really great room it’s become.
I threw our luggage upstairs (Well, Joe did. I am 6 month’s pregnant after all!) and did the same up there too.
I had forgotten that we now have carpet in all 3 of our bedrooms upstairs. And boy was I giddy about it. A boring feat for most I’m sure, but one we’ve longed for for a significant amount of time. That luxury of not cutting our feet open when you walk around the upstairs. Our lounge suddenly looked huge. So often I see it as this room in my mind filled with boxes and storage because it’s always been that way, even though actually, over the past few months that isn’t the case anymore. The furniture is making its way to their own rooms, and this space is large. Large enough for our daughter to learn to toddle around in, and probably fill to the brim with a sea of primary colours and horrendously fun toys.
We needed this holiday.
Not just for the relaxation, and the precious time with family. This much is obvious. But we needed it also to come home with a fresh set of eyes and really see our home for what it was. Our home. Our pride and joy. And a place where soon, we won’t have to work in the evenings, but can enjoy. And share with our baby girl.
It’s getting there. It really is.