Yesterday I sent Roy a text message that said, “This place is a trash heap.”
It’s not the first time I’ve sent a text like that.
He responded, “It’s wonderful and lived in. And small and crowded and … yeah, messy as hell.”
Two years ago (almost to the day) we were very close to bringing Simon into the world and I wrote this post on my old blog. You’d think that if you were going to have a baby ANY DAY, you’d take a moment or seven to clean up.
But no. I’ve come to realize that I am not a very clean person. I am messy. I have OCD tendencies when it comes to organization, such as I like the boys’ books to be put on the shelf a certain way and in a certain order, but I cannot be bothered with putting my shoes away after I walk in the house and take them off. I have some terribly bad habits and I’m trying to be better. Cleaner.
One thing I find myself doing a lot is taking pictures of random corners of wherever it is we’re living. I find other people’s living spaces to be absolutely fascinating (unless they’re spotless, which is boring) and I love looking back on some of the messes we’ve lived in.
Some of 2012’s greatest hits:
This group of pictures (above) was taken in January. We’d been in our apartment for a few months at that point and things were still (obviously) awful. On this particular day, we had taken all of our books off our bookshelf because we’d decided to get rid of most of them to create more space for all the crap that (obviously) did not have a home yet. The saddest part of all this is that these pictures are of the master bedroom, the big ol’ baby gate was up for months, and that area behind it continued to be a trash heap until we finally took down the baby jail and decided to actually deal with the space. I think it was a good six months before that happened. Six months!
This next batch of pictures (above) was taken in July. The first one is a picture of what I found when I cleaned out the area around and under my desk. (A trike?! Seriously?!)
The second is part of our living room. I need to explain that when we moved in, we were forced to send our couch back to Southern California with my mother-in-law because we could not fit it through the front door due to the wacky layout of our apartment. So we were left without a couch and have been without one ever since (that’s over a year now). We have moved our bed and futon cushion around quite a bit in this last year because our sleeping arrangements have been a little strange – both the bed and the futon cushion have actually spent time in the living room. (Imagine, a bed in the living room. It’s a little silly.) Anyway, that second picture is from when the futon cushion was in the living room. It’s still in the living room, only it’s actually on the frame now. We’re working our way up to, you know, actually being adults and owning a couch again.
The third picture is actually more of a testament to the awesome powers of Instagram than it is a statement on my ability to keep a beautiful home. Because as we all can clearly see, I cannot keep a beautiful home.
Above are three pictures from August. The first: our bedroom while we were in the midst of dismantling the bookcase (see January’s pictures) so we could start to get the room ready for the baby. (Yes, we are going to add the baby and all her stuff to the trash heap.) The second: a collection of things Simon commonly used to climb on so he could reach whatever he needed to at any given moment. We took each enabling object away until he was left with nothing and thus could not climb on top of my desk and fling himself onto the floor. The third: artwork with window crayons. Remember I said these pictures were taken in August? It’s November. That artwork is still there. There’s also “artwork” all over the carpet. Also from August.
So, this is my life, this is where I live. It’s really, really, really unfancy. We are not flashy people. We do not have nice things. We don’t have a lot of money to put towards home improvement projects. (If someone asked me the style of our decor, I’d say “early poverty.”) We have, however, been putting forth the effort to clean this place up because we both realized how unhappy we are living amongst such clutter and how it really isn’t good for the kids either. (Also, I’m nesting.) As a result, our silly little apartment is actually starting to look quite nice. We are finding places for things that have been just hanging around the entire year we’ve lived here. We are working hard at building new habits that involve us paying more attention to our surroundings while teaching the boys to do the same. We have a long way to go, but I do hope that someday I’ll be able to follow up this post with one that showcases a home that is slightly less messy and a whole lot more charming.