How Do I Make My House a Home?


Bedroom (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

Do you love your house?

I have a love/hate relationship with my house.

I love it because at least we have it. And I hate it because, well, it’s not what I want, or where I want to be.

My husband and I bought this house a few months before we got married. It has three very small bedrooms and one bath. It’s a 1950’s “bungalow.” My husband was in love with the house before we even looked at it. The idea of a bungalow was irresistible to him. Great marketing, right? I was never really that convinced of my love for the house, but I did love the ceiling fan in what was staged as the living room, so I agreed.

It didn’t seem like a big deal to me to not love the house. This was not supposed to be our forever home. We had planned to sell this house before our first child went to kindergarten. But then the economy happened. And the housing crisis, and we have our own financial struggles, so we stay here, in this super cramped house, for fear that we might not qualify for another loan.

Every day our 1950’s bungalow looks more and more like it has been rode hard and put away wet. Sometimes I feel like the house is crumbling around us, and truth be told, I feel embarrassed by it.

There are cracks in a couple of the walls. There are doorknob-sized holes in the walls where doors have been slammed into them. The poor-quality door jams are loose from improper installation, 60 years of wear and tear, and the occasional slam. The paint is chipping. Our bathroom needs a complete overhaul. Our bedrooms are way too small, and we don’t even have a closet in our room. In fact, our entire house has three functional closets. THREE! Our finished basement is wet and moldy. My office is in our dining area. I don’t even want to talk about the appliances. The garage roof leaks and the whole thing just needs to be burned down. For real. I have a hard time keeping up with the gardens, so they like an overgrown wasteland.

I’m not much of a decorator. I have decorations, and pictures, but they are not displayed, because I keep thinking it’s pointless when we need to paint – again, and try to put the house on the market.

How do people make this shit happen, because I feel stuck. I know all of the problems with this house are fixable. But where do we find the time and the money? Do we really want to take care of them, or do we cut our losses and run?

In the meantime, how do I OWN this house, and not feel embarrassed by it? How do I make this house a home?


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If You Could Live Anywhere…

Yesterday’s NaBloPoMo prompt was “If you could live anywhere, where would it be?”

This is something I have given a lot of thought to lately. Honestly, I’m very unhappy where I am. I try to make the most of my circumstances and find something to be grateful for every day. But our house needs work, and we have no money to do it. It’s too small for us. There is no closet space. My office is the dining room table. These things are manageable, but when you are in the middle of it all day, every day, it gets old. Depressing. Overwhelming.
And while I do have family that lives close – in-laws, aunts and uncles, cousins and nieces, my own parents and sisters live a two day drive away. And I miss them. Terribly. Every day that my children learn or do something new, or every time people who live close say they don’t see us enough is a heart wrenching reminder that my family gets to see us twice a year at best.

A couple of years ago we took a vacation to central Virginia. I loved it! I used to live in North Carolina and I hated it. Too many pine trees, and not enough fall color. But the mountains of Virginia are amazing, and it is relatively close to the beach. I have always wanted to live at the beach.

More importantly it is a one day drive to Upstate NY, and a one day drive to Georgia. A good happy medium, I think, with the opportunity to see both of our families more often. And the opportunity for more happiness and less heartbreak.

Autumn leaf color

Autumn leaf color (Photo credit: INABA Tomoaki)

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If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

December is upon us…

And so is the cray-cray holiday rush to buy everything we can, make ourselves crazy, and totally not enjoy time with our loved ones. In my attempt (let’s hope not totally futile) to relax and enjoy some time off, or, at least a little break, which I SORELY need, I thought I would plan it all out. ‘Cause you know, that’s just what I do.

December goals

Get out Skippy-Joan Jones (our Elf on a shelf) tonight. I WILL! I WILL NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!

Have a merry Christmas with my husband, kiddos, and family.

Clean my house from top to bottom. I only do this annually.

Do as little work and stressing out as possible between December 17th and January 1st. I can do this. I KNOW I can do this!

Deal with my dining room/office situation. Right now I’m mostly working at the dining room table, which doesn’t get cleaned off for dinner. So we eat in front of the TV. Which is embarrassing to admit, but there it is. The truth. I think maybe a rolling card would help my situation?

Start blogging on my business blog, and get marketing already! Laying foundation and groundwork only goes so far….

Work on switching gears more easily.

I will exercise.

I will exercise.

I will exercise.

So that is really it. I am leaving my calendar open and NOT filling it!

What are your goals for December?

NaBloPoMo is kicking my boo-tay

I don’t even know what day it is today. I’m way tired, a teensy hungover even though I was far from drinking in excess last night. And even though I am trying to be happy and cheerful, November sucks swamp ass for my family, and we have taken another hit and lost another loved one; a very close friend. I’ve drafted an ode to her, but I can’t even bring myself to finish it, let alone post it today.

I’m bringing the focus back on the positive though, because what are you going to do, right?! Here are two highlights from this week.

My husband got an unexpected promotion and raise yesterday! Yay him!! It was really the boost he needed to get through more time at a job he doesn’t love.

Today I am meeting with my first bride and groom! That’s right, I can perform marriage ceremonies, and my first is marrying two very close friends of ours. We are so excited!

And that is about it.

What kind of happiness happened to you this week? I would love to hear about it!

Many happy moments make one giant, happy moment!

Happiness Parade at Grassroots

Happiness Parade!!

I cannot define the happiest moment of my life.

I haven’t ever been good at catching the happy times and just enjoying the moment. It’s something I’ve been working on, because I think that is where TRUE happiness lies. To take a step back every day and be thankful for all that I have, and to enjoy little fleeting movements, like watching your kids play together or love on each other. Or catching your parents sharing a hug.

In fact, I just had the best moment of my life when I was snuggling with my baby and she gently pushed the hair off my head and said, “peek!”

Later I will have the best moment of my life when I see my sweet boy’s huge smile when he jumps off the bus after a long day at school.

There have been so many moments that have been the happiest moments of my life. Every moment that someone is smiling, that I know we are healthy, with a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs; that we are connected and truly love each other.

I cannot define the happiest moment of my life. And I don’t want to. All these little happiest moments compound to make one giant, happy moment.