Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon in my kitchen cooking up a storm of breakfast muffins, tea cakes (for the Royal Wedding celebrations tomorrow, of course!) Soup for dinner and also preparing a meal to take to some friends who just had a baby. I was almost giddy as the mixer whirred, the timer pinged and things bubbled away on the stove and baked in the oven! Love it!
This morning I woke up, cleaned the now quiet kitchen, then scrubbed the bathrooms before tackling the vacuuming and making the bed. Snack break for some Gluten Free Lemon Poppy Seed Tea Cakes and a cup of decaf brings me to now.
As I step back and look at our home, the walls we have painted, the carpet we laid, the photos on the walls and all the other things we have done to turn this house into our home. I recognise that our home has been our baby for the last couple of years. As our pregnancies failed over and over, our nesting instinct kicked in in even stronger waves and the four walls of home soaked it up.
Our house filled a couple of needs for us. It gave us a common purpose. A project (or twelve) that we could plan for, shop for (hey, on a budget retain therapy in Home Depot is sometimes as good as it gets - but I'll take it!) and it gave us time to spend together not thinking overtly anyway, about babies. There was also a different element that was important, the house projects were attainable in our own strength. If we decided that our dining room should be blue instead of orange, we painted it. When we wanted to take out the fireplace surround and re-design our mantle we did (that 'we' included J's Dad!). We could make a plan, and it would happen. So appealing in comparison to the lack of power we have in changing our lack-of-baby circumstance.
For me the last year especially has been a season of nesting. I know that late in pregnancy it is something that women deal with, preparing a space for a baby to enter. If I ever experience this as part of pregnancy, heaven help us all! I love our house to be 'company ready' at any time. So I have a pretty regular cleaning routine, making sure that things are clean and tidy. It helps that J is a bit of a neat freak because while I like things to be clean I am not uncomfortable with clutter!! We have found a happy medium!
We both consider our home a step in preparation for our family. We want a beautiful place to bring our babies home. It is our labor of love. I am under no illusion that I will care so much less about house projects once my hands are busy with caring for little ones, but I love that we can make our house beautiful in the mean time. And we are. I love our house. I love that it feels like home. I love having people here in our space and making them feel welcome. That feels like an answer to prayer, when we were almost engaged and house-hunting we asked that God would lead us to a place that would be a place of hospitality and community. Check. Prayer answered.
It has been less appealing to have a houseful while I have been more consumed with baby stuff. I suppose consumed with grief too. Who wants to be around someone who is bursting into tears at the drop of a hat? Or more so, who wants to host a houseful of people when they keep bursting into tears?! So we haven't invited as much. But a change is coming.
As winter turns to spring (we hope?) we look forward to grilling on the deck on lazy afternoons, perhaps even a long overdue house warming party?!
I am just hoping our long 'to do' list for our house keeps our hands busy until we need to be changing diapers and finger painting! My life may not be full of all the things I want today, but it is a good life, full of good things that I want to share with those I love.
Consider this an open invite - come on over...