Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Let's be Honest

I don't love being a stay at home mom. Let's be honest--so far, I kind of hate it. Having my life dictated by the whims of a two-year-old and a nine-month-old is not exactly my ideal. It is drastically different than being in control of a classroom...or in control of anything, really.

I'm not ready to give up just yet. As Chris keeps pointing out, we haven't been at this long enough to really have given it a fair chance. And, let's be honest, it's not all bad...

Our house is finally starting to come together. What an ordeal. With deep-cleaning all the disgusting-ness left by the previous owners (smokers with big dogs who didn't go outside often--enough said?), reflooring and repainting everything, then cleaning up that again before and while actually moving in, then unpacking...let's be honest, it's a lot of work and not very fun. But progress has been made!

Many of you have asked for pictures. Here are a few of the rooms that are done. Well, mostly done. And these are actually all of the rooms that are done or mostly done. Let's be honest. There is still a lot of work to go.

Living Room



Thank you, Pypers, for coming to help Brenda paint! And thank you, Bruce, for letting us borrow all the painting supplies. I promise, we're almost done.

I don't know that I can ever look at leopard print pajamas the same way again.

Unpacking my books was the biggest feat in this room. For a long time, the boxes of books provided our only covering for the big front window.

Eventually, I finally braved the view of the outside world and took the books out.

I breathed a sigh of relief that day. It's very nice to have my books back. Of course, that was a couple weeks ago. It wasn't until this last Saturday that Chris was able to put up the blinds and curtains. It was kind of like living in a fishbowl...


Ha. I just noticed that cat in the window. I actually chose this picture to show off the new tile that Chris and Chase installed. Looks good!

This is a big room.

One more note about the books. I have a lot, and once I added all the books from school, they didn't fit on the shelves we have (we still have two and half more bookcases in the basement).

Chris used his exciting new to him table saw and made me some new supports so I could add a couple extra shelves...which he found in a dumpster. So resourceful.




This has been a very familiar sight around our house.


This dining room table has a story. It belonged to Chris's aunt Shelly. She sent a text message to several people offering up the table. We were actually in Disneyland at the time. Having stopped for lunch, Chris didn't immediately pull out his phone, but as soon as he did, he called. None of this texting back nonsense. He has always really wanted that table. Somehow, he was the first to respond, so we got it. Sorry to all those who didn't win the race, and thank you to Shelly for the wonderful table and chairs!

We also found a nice place to display our puzzles. We've always had them hung in our bedroom, but people don't come in our bedroom, so no one ever saw them. Now they are prominently displayed.

By the way, I know that those pictures way do not do justice to how the kitchen actually looks...no good shot of the paint job, no good shot of the very nice-looking laminate floor we put in. I could just go take some now, but then I'd have to clean first...

Master Bedroom


Everything was pink in this house. Yuk.


The biggest project in this room was putting the clothes away. It took me a few weeks of living here before it came to the top of the list. By that time, I had three weeks worth of laundry to wash and put away, as well as everything still in boxes. I enlisted the help of my 12-yr-old brother.

I stacked them up, he put in the hangers. Good system. Thanks again, Michael.


I'm not a huge fan of large mirror closet doors. Sigh.

Master Bath


...that's all I got.


In this room, we painted, put up curtains, and replaced the light fixture. We painted it gray because that's the color I picked for the other bathroom and we only bought one gallon of bathroom paint.

A note about the note...Chris wrote this note to me once when I was student teaching, shortly after we got married. He put it up on the bathroom mirror so I would for sure see it. It has since been displayed on the bathroom mirror in every place we have lived. I still have it.

The other bathroom, by the way.

It is back to being usable, but it's still not completely reassembled. It's actually because of this bathroom that we UN-potty trained Jane. She was doing decently well there for a while, but, let's be honest, running down to the basement to use the bathroom every time just wasn't working out. For anyone. So we put Jane back in diapers and everyone was happy. Our project this week: RE-potty training. Oh, joy.

That all came out a little wordy and picture-heavy...more so than I intended when I started. Hope y'all are ok with that.

If you only skimmed through all the house stuff,
start reading again here

In my not loving being home all day, I have done fairly well, I think, with family home evening. Our last few lessons and activities turned out really fun.

One week, we had a scripture scavenger hunt. We talked about how the scriptures can guide us to a very special treasure if we will read them. Hidden around the house were cards with different verses on them.

If you would like to use this idea with your family, here are the verses I used:

Alma 34:26
(leads to closet--start with this one, it's not hidden anywhere)

Matt. 10:42

(put this on the closet, leads to cup cupboard)

Ps. 26:6

(leads to bathroom sink)

Matt. 9:6

(leads to a bed)

1 Ne. 8:10

(leads to a tree outside)

Jane loved it. Even I was surprised by how excited she got to find all the cards after Dad read the scripture.

And the treasure at the end?

Jesus, of course! Jane was very excited to find this. Sadly, she didn't really listen at all to the concluding scripture: D&C 18:34-36

Last week we talked about the Articles of Faith. Each of us illustrated one of the verses--using fingerprints.

Dad: #12

"We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

Mom: #7

"We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth."

Brenda: #5

"We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof."

Jane: #11
(this one is funny to me)

"We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

Family home evening last night consisted of looking at pictures of President Monson, talking about prophets, and reading a few of Pres. Monson's quotes.

I picked these quickly, without completely reading them all through. By the end, I realized it was probably divine guidance that these are the quotes I picked...

“Come from your wandering way, weary traveler. Come to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Come to that heavenly haven called home. Here you will discover the truth. Here you will learn the reality of the Godhead, the comfort of the plan of salvation, the sanctity of the marriage covenant, the power of personal prayer. Come home.”
( “Dedication Day,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 66.)

“Whatever our calling, regardless of our fears or anxieties, let us pray and then go and do.”

( “They Pray and They Go,” Ensign, May 2002, 51.)

“It is in the home that we form our attitudes, our deeply held beliefs. It is in the home that hope is fostered or destroyed. Our homes are to be more than sanctuaries; they should also be places where God’s Spirit can dwell, where the storm stops at the door, where love reigns and peace dwells.”
( “Becoming Our Best Selves,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 19.)

Especially that middle one...I think that was for me right now.

Let's be honest: I do believe that the prophets are God's spokesmen on earth, and that they tell us what God wants us to do. I know that the prophets have said that the mother's place is in the home. I don't like it at the moment, but I also believe that we have to take that first step of faith to follow the prophet and do it even though we don't fully understand. The understanding comes later.

So, I'll keep trying.


Erin said...

It's looking so great! You guys are quick. We still have stuff to do to our house, and I haven't put up before/after pictures... And we've lived here since August! I really like the blue color in the living room.

I'm sorry you aren't digging the stay at home mom thing. It's a huge adjustment! It's rough going from something that has lots of immediate rewards ( and $$) to something harder, with no break, and the rewards are mostly long term. Once you get a good routine and have time to plan fun things with the girls it will get easier, I'm sure! It's something I've always have a love/hate relationship with. I've been reading a book that makes me feel a lot better and validated. It's In Praise of Stay at Home Moms by Dr. Laura.

Katie said...

Laura, your house looks great. And, well, sometimes being an at home mom kinda bites. But keep it up. It gets easier. Most days. I have heard stories of women who occasionally just leave as soon as Dad gets home. Not every day, but seriously though, it is hard giving up all of your personal time all day long. So just remember, it's ok to take a break. But don't give up yet!

Tannie Datwyler said...

If we are being honest - I totally LOVE how honest you are. :) It will get better and easier to stay at home, and if it doesn't, don't beat yourself up.

Your house looks awesome Laura - I can't wait to see it in August. :)

Liz, Karl and Madison said...

Your house is looking so good. It's fun to see your before and after pictures. I love what a little bit of paint can do to a room. So I had one thought come to mind though when I saw your library of books. What a nightmare! (Thinking in terms of having a 9 or 10 month old baby around) I didn't unpack all of our books at our new house just because I don't want to pack them all up again in 5 months but when I see what Brooklyn can do with the few books we do have out I am grateful that's all we have right now.

On the being a stay at home mom, I think the biggest thing is to make sure to take "me" time for yourself. Karl always wonders why I stay up so late at night and I always tell him it's because I spend all day every day taking care of little ones and I need some time where I can actually hear my own thoughts.

Mom said...

I love you!

Meghann said...

Hi Laura! We're in West Jordan...as west as you can get. I've gathered your in the valley as well but I'm not really sure where you're at either.

Your family home evenings are fantastic! I'll probably copy cat the scavenger hunt, so cute!

I just want to say you're doing awesome at home. We remodeled our home as well. I didn't have children and was staying home. It almost destroyed my morale and I went running back to teaching ASAP. Leaving teaching temporarily is really hard, and you're amazing in the classroom. You've got a ton of change happening around you and I know for me personally that would be overwhelming. I'm home now and I'm not going to lie it took 3 months to be okay with it, 6 to adjust to it, and now I really love it. I'm going to echo Liz to make some time for yourself. Everyday I literally write a small list of goals labeled Meg's Time, they don't take lots of time but it makes a huge difference for my general well being.