Since he doesn't drink wine, I suggested he get a smoothie to ease his pain with the Smoothie King coupon Landon pulled out of the recycle bin exclaiming, "dad likes these!" and then made a card to convey the gift and hid it under James's place mat at dinner on Thursday. He is seriously the sweetest.
(James has declined, not wanting to buy a smoothie in anger that was gifted to him in love. But the furniture is really coming together!)
I originally thought this wouldn't be a particularly big project. There's already a big bed in Cora's room, the crib can be relocated, we'd switch around some clothes in dressers- done! But then I started planning and got all excited about various themes and decor and decided to finally sell some of the mixed mashed furniture we've had forever, much of which came from our college days and my parent's old lake house. Our neighborhood has a very active facebook buy/sell page and next thing I knew I was taking pictures of everything we owned and posting it. We've made $700 so far and James is starting to look around and wonder what will be left.
I've also made some incredible buys through the neighborhood page (new twin bed for Claire for $50!), and that combined with a burst of luck at Ross and Homegoods, plus the glories of Wayfair and Amazon, have resulted in totally new concepts and 75% new furniture for both kids' rooms for almost $0 net cost and it's going to be AMAZING. I'll have lots of details when I post the finished product, but right now, the whole house is a disaster as I switch their closets do things like sell dressers before owning new dressers to put in their place. It's all involved a surprising amount of work.
And then, just to keep piling on the fun, I decided yesterday, after teaching my barre class (I've added a new song to my lineup- Alessia Cara's, "Here," it's fantastic and very slow and glidey) that we should finally organize the garage. It's been a mess since we moved in. Coincidentally it was the only room of the house I left entirely under James's care. He is a hard worker and totally all in when it comes to chores and kids and doing all the things, but I have finally accepted that he is simply terrible at unpacking. Even yesterday, when I pointed to a box and said "ok, let's put that stuff away," he stared at it a while from different angles before asking, "but where will it go?". After a brief but loud scream, I tossed everything out of it one by one with suggestions on location. Two sweaty hours later and the garage looks amazing! So much space! I knew we didn't actually own that much stuff. Getting my car in there is next. That's a real accomplishment when you have a house without attics or closets.
Cora, literally screaming, "Da da!! Da da!!" when she saw James's face in the phone.
(He'd been sitting next to her all of dinner)
She ADORES him, even if he can't unpack boxes
Then, after the cleaning and barre teaching and garage mucking, we decided to go to IKEA to get the tall dresser we need for the girls' future room. It's an hour away and we arrived right at bedtime, because we like to live dangerously.
The kids were great, the lines were long, but we exited with Swedish Fish, a tall Hemnes 6-drawer dresser, and a desk chair for Landon (because I bought an awesome desk off our neighborhood page for $30!). We got home at 9:30 and when I suggested we get started putting together the dresser James looked at me blankly and then walked to the TV room to sit on the couch and stared at the TV. That was not on. I maybe broke him.
But look, we found a Julbock with a sweater on! Totally worth the 2 hours in the car right there.
And today! Today was for family runs and walks and more organizing. Groceries and cooking (new beef stew recipe!) and assembling the first of six new pieces of furniture. For extra fun, I'd booked our family portrait session for today way back in March when October 4th was a lifetime away and then suddenly, holy crap, October 4th was here! I ran to Target during a lunch break on Wednesday and magically came upon the perfect outfits for the girls. They matched a shirt I'd bought for Landon at Gap a few weeks ago and was flirting with returning because he really didn't need it. James had a shirt that blended and I could wear my very favorite work dress! Usually I sacrifice my outfit to go with the group, and it's always fine, but it's never something I love, and given how hard I work to make sure everyone else is in something that genuinely looks like them and reflects their personality, I was very excited to reflect my own. In heels. Because damnit, I dress up 5 days a week and I love it- casual wear is not required for relaxed outdoor family photos (so I told myself while I getting ready when I vacillated and wondered if I should just put on my jeans, a sweater, and riding boots).
Also, approximately 2 hours before our pictures I had Landon try on his pants from the spring so I could see if I had to iron them and whoah, they were 3 inches short. It's like I've learned nothing. Also, his nicer brown sandals were way too tight. So off to Target we rushed, grabbing pants and brown shoes and running home. When did he become a giant? I see him every day and it still sometimes surprises me.
Cora of course woke up from her nap wary and skeptical and refused to put down her two purses, two cell phones, and inexplicably present plastic salt shaker from her kitchen set which are now in all our pictures. Usually she's a ball of giggles and joy post-nap, but not today. Claire only wanted to sit in the "princess chair" and take pictures by herself. Landon wanted to climb a tree. So after a few family photo attempts, from which the photographer assures me we got something I can put on a Christmas card, we let the kids loose to get whatever pictures they wanted (Landon in a tree; Claire in the chair; Cora marching around looking busy) and then I got a few with James.
Engagement photos weren't really a thing when we got engaged, and even if they were, we couldn't have taken them since we didn't have any money and were only engaged for like 2 months before getting married and I spent half of that in Europe. Our photographer just posted this one on facebook and while it's totally not our usual picture, I must admit that I love it.
And I love knowing the kids were running around like crazy people just outside the frame. I can't wait to see the rest!