One of my favorite things about owning my home is the free-reign I have on decorating. I’m far from a professional, but I love to scour the internet for inspiration and bring that vision to life in my house. The transformation process is particularly exciting…and therapeutic. There is one room in my house in particular that has seen a lot of change over the past 6 years – the walls tell the story of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come.
2008 – We were first time home buyers and were soon to be married. We were b-r-o-k-e. I was glad that I liked the color of the room as-is because we barely had money to paint. A hand-me-down bed, Job Lot curtains, a bedding set from Overstock and – viola! A guest room.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes….
Early 2009 – Baby Fever was in full swing. We anxiously handed in our application to become foster parents and set to work on creating the perfect room. One that could be easily adaptable for any gender or age from 0-5. Oh, the dreams I had while putting this room together! I loved every minute of it. By mid-year, though, it became a place of pain. It sat cold and empty, much to our surprise after being told we could expect a match in 6 weeks. I closed the door to avoid the reminder every time we walked by.
December 15, 2009 – The phone rang. We had been matched with a 3-year-old boy! The swirl of anxiousness, excitement, giddiness, and fear surrounded us as we spent that night and the next taking apart the crib, setting up a toddler bed, and filling a box with carefully selected toys. A child would sleep here! We would read under that tree and race our cars on those hand-washed wood floors. This would be a place filled with life!
Little did I realize it would also be a place of tantrums, power struggles, time outs, and many MANY night wakings. November of 2010 brought the surprise birth of our second daughter and my son moved into a new bedroom. That toddler bed was disassembled to make room for 2 cribs. Not shockingly, I have no pictures of the room during this time because my arms were full and I was too busy washing bottles to keep track of where the camera was. But, if you picture piles of baby laundry, a full diaper pail, and a sleeping bag on the floor for attempts at stealing snippets of sleep, you’ll get the idea.
It’s during this time that these walls saw me at my best and my worst. They saw me rocking babies for hours on end – sniffing their heads and savoring the fullness of my arms and heart. They saw children feeling safe, loved, growing, and thriving. They also saw me cry and beg (and maybe even yell a time or two) for sleeeeeeeeep.
Years passed (prayers were heard), and those babies turned into toddlers and then beautiful little girls. Girls who sleep! Life slowed from a chaotic roller-coaster to a manageable rhythm. The room, much like our lives, was about to undergo another transformation.
2014 – With a mix of sadness and joy, all things baby were packed away and space was created for sisters to rest, play, and grow. It took much longer this time, but I’m so happy with the outcome, and so are its inhabitants.
As I look back over the changes this room as seen in our 6 short years, I can’t help but wonder what else it has been through. Who else has laid their head to sleep under this ceiling or painted their dreams onto the walls? I can’t begin to imagine the stories it could share.
Sometimes I curse my house for being too small, too old, or too messy, but I know that I have so much to thank it for. Despite its imperfections, it is strong, warm, and well-suited for our family. It keeps my children safe, gives them a place to call home, and allows them to sleep peacefully (almost) every night. This house is full of blessings – and made of blessings.