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Changes

Our big tree on the left side of our house is scheduled to come down at the end of this week. I’m nervous.

We have a lot of renovations planned for this summer and fall and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t even a little apprehensive. It’s not that I don’t want them to happen. Quite the contrary actually. I’m so excited to have a driveway and garage and patio and (fingers crossed) greenhouse. It just seems too good to be true. Like the renovations won’t turn out the way I had hoped, or that we will hit too many snags. Or that it will take years and years to complete. We do realize that some of this (like the landscaping around our patio) will have to happen next spring due to the enormity of the project before us. Things just don’t normally go smoothly for James and I. If there are hiccups and road blocks to be had, we are the ones who will have them. I’m speaking from experience on this one, not pessimism. I so badly want these changes to be what we have envisioned and for them to enrich our lives in the ways we’ve hoped they will. I really want to feel at home in our little piece of Elmwood when all of this is said and done.

So I’m nervous. The tree is the first big change, the first step in our epic backyard overhaul. I’m sad to see it go, it’s been a good tree. But I guess when we start to miss it, we can just shift our gaze and admire the other identical tree on our property. James was thinking of making something out of the wood so we can kind of keep it with us.

Sometimes change is hard, even when you know it’s good.

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Moving Forward While Staying Put

We’ve been making some pretty big life decisions around here lately. The lists of pros and cons have been written, or spoken, again and again and again. The ideas have been flying and the different paths have been considered and laid out and weighed.

The simple question with a not-so-simple answer? Do we stay or do we move.

I’ve blogged about our house before. It’s a total love/hate relationship that I’ve got going on with the thing. When it’s clean and working as it should and our family life is flowing smoothly, I love it. When it’s a disaster, when I notice the half-finished state of things, or when everything else is stressful, I hate it. Fairly standard I’m sure. Most people don’t love their living accommodations 24/7, unless you’ve just built yourself a dream home or lucked out on the perfect place in the perfect neighbourhood (which is totally subjective, obviously).

We live on a good block in a “sketchy” area…although having lived here for 7.5 years is changing my mind on just how sketchy our area is. We have a lot of seniors and young families around us. There’s the odd house that is run down and filled with questionable people, but we’ve started saying, “If you live in Winnipeg, you live in a sketchy area” because the truth is, crime happens everywhere. However, we are on the outskirts of this sketch-hub and we’ve only had a couple run-in’s over our years of being here.

We’re also outgrowing our house, or rather, how our house is set-up right now isn’t working for us. Storage is minimal, our shed is dilapidated, our garage is filled with water in the spring and has mould growing in it, we have three (large) children in two small bedrooms. What do we do?

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for awhile, I’m sure you’ve noticed a fairly consistent theme that I struggle with; the overwhelming part of me wants a simple less-is-more life. Living pared down, not following the buy bigger and shinier and spiffier trend always wins out in the end with me. But it’s hard. Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things. I really like shopping too. But I also like thrifting and making my own things and thinking through a lot of what we bring into the house (this is seriously hard with 3 kids!).

So, after all of our talking and list making and path weighing, we’ve, again, decided to stay put as we move forward in life. We have some exciting projects happening around the house that will help make this place work and, hopefully, enrich our lives over the next 10 years. I’ll delve into those a different day. But, truth be told, after we both continually came to the same conclusion about our housing arrangements and what this means for how we live our lives, I had a huge light-bulb moment. I don’t want to move! Seriously! I just don’t want to pack-up and move somewhere just because it’s the typical “next step”. After I realized that was a massive undercurrent of how I was feeling, I felt so freed-up to be excited about how this place can serve us and how we can make it even better.

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