Last week for a Relief Society activity night, I was asked to speak on what I was grateful for. I actually found this really hard to do. How do you talk about how your life's been blessed without it coming across as how MUCH you have, perhaps lending others to start the comparison game of what they don't have.
Anyway, I chose some topics that I think worked and kept it light. You know me, sarcasm has always been my safety blanket. But I would like to share here what was forefront in my mind but didn't share.
It has been a little over a year since we made the big move to Grandma and Grandpa's house. I can't believe it. At this time a year ago we still had two of the most amazing grandparents around blessing our lives. December is when it disappeared all too quickly. But at this time last year, they had moved to assisted living, and us to their home.
It was hard at first, probably for too many reasons to list here. Hard to feel like we were suddenly invaded a space that was special not only to us, but all of our family as well. Yet, I really felt strongly that we needed to make this house our own. So two weeks solid were spent de-wallpapering. (possibly the worst way to spend one's time.) Each room had it's own special wallpaper. One room was even covered in a grass wallpaper that I discovered I was allergic to. It was exhausting but well worth all the effort to give us a clean canvas for our family's changes.
Before all the work began, we took some before pictures...you know of just the way Grandma and Grandpa had it. I just spent some time looking through them, and I am actually shocked at how there isn't a single room that looks totally different. It feels like us now when we walk in the door, but we kept some elements of our well-respected loved ones so they weren't erased.
Here are some before pictures of grandma and grandpa's kitchen.
It is important to note that the wall paper had pink ribbons and green artichokes in it. It wasn't until that came down that I realized the cabinets were two different colors (top and bottom). Also, for tall people that center row of cabinets were frustrating. Bug and I had differing opinions on this one: remove them all (me) or keep them for storage (bug). We ended up compromising in the end.
Although it was tempting to replace everything and start afresh, Bug reminded me we have a
Not to mention a new sink. When I get to heaven, one of my top 5 questions for grandma will be "why in heaven's name did you put up with your tiny sink for so long?" I think it's meant to wash a teacup. Bug was excited that I am now thrilled to do the dishes, and it isn't accompanied by any cussing from water overflows.
I would't feel right if I left out the disclaimer that when the project fund gets back up again, we will attack the flooring. (so sue me if white carpet under the kitchen table isn't a favorite of mine...or laminate flooring. bleh.) And if I can pull it off: a new fridge (that doesn't stand out like a sore thumb) and a double oven that was made at least during my lifetime and not 3 decades earlier would be nice.
And remember how cool I thought the flour and sugar drawers were? Apparently so did our toddler. 10 minutes before we had to head out the door.
He discovered it.
And has loved it ever since.