adirondacks.

by David

I took my first Manventure.

My brother Joe and brother-in-law Alex have talked for a while now about taking an epic outdoor adventure to test our mettle and grow our friendship. Alex recommended the Adirondack Park in upstate New York, a six million acre preserve punctuated by lakes, rivers, old-growth forests, wetlands, and forty two mountain peaks over 4,000 feet in elevation.

It’s the type of place that makes one, as John Muir put it, want to “throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence.”

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Well, it was slightly more complicated than that. Alex, an ultra-marathon runner in his own right, told me to do the particular day hike he had in mind, I ought to be “marathon-ready.” I think we’d been using the word hike very differently.

On Thursday I flew to Philly, hopped in a car with Alex, and drove six hours to the park. Joe wasn’t able to join us. We bought supplies, packed our backpacks, and got a good night’s sleep. The next morning, we ventured onto the Great Range Trail. I’d run my first marathon two weeks prior but I can easily say the GRT was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

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Interpretations of what exactly constitutes the GRT abound. We hiked the fullest definition possible. The trail is 11 different mountain peaks beginning with Rooster Comb, climaxing on Mt Marcy, and exiting through Keene Valley. Backpacker Magazine ranks it #3 on its list of America’s toughest day hikes. The trail is roughly 24 miles and took us 13.5 hours to complete. We began at 8:00 am, kept a grueling pace all day, and finished by headlamps at 9:30 that night.

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It’s hard to describe. Nearly every step on the trail is either up or down, rarely flat, often over roots, rocks, scrambling on hands and feet, once in a while a ladder or rope thrown in. Each foot painstakingly earned up the side of each mountain is ultimately extorted by mother nature in a cruel form of accounting known as elevation change. Twenty thousand feet worth. That’s like walking up and down a flight of stairs a thousand times.

All said our time together was fantastic. It was great to get a lot of time with Alex, to marvel at such stupendous views of creation, and to come to the end of myself physically and keep pushing.

I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

Adirondack



isle of palms.

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We took our last trip of the summer, to Isle of Palms, SC, this week. If it seems like we traveled a lot this summer, we did! This spring we planned our first ever full-week family vacation, in the mountains outside of Brevard, NC. Well, lo and behold we adopted two little boys instead, so we canceled our reservation — both because it was scheduled for two weeks after Gabe and Noah came home, and because the place we chose wasn’t exactly a toddler-friendly environment.

Instead, God provided several small trips, this last one to our friend’s family’s condo in Isle of Palms. We spent three nights there, and I have to say it was my favorite trip yet. We’ve learned a lot about how to travel with four kids over the past few months, so we were super organized, and the kids have also learned a lot about what to expect in new environments. We work hard to keep the boys’ routine the exact same no matter where we are, and to travel with stuffed animals, blankets, and their bedroom fan.

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There was a huge fresh tidepool at low tide each day, which meant that the little guys were able to do way more swimming than former beach trips. It also meant that we saw lots of fascinating creatures — live sand dollars, starfish, sting rays, and fish.

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We loved having a three-bedroom condo to spread out in, and we brought Pokemon cards, coloring supplies, a few toys, and of course books for David and me. Every so often we get the kids a new toy at the beginning of a trip, which helps keep them busy while we’re sitting sipping coffee. Although Noah rarely if ever plays with toys. If he does he’s certain to want whichever toy someone else is playing with. Oh Noah! We have lots of talks these days about using self-control.

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We spent mornings on the beach, and afternoons after naptime, we went down to the pool. For the first time ever we braved a sit-down restaurant with four kids — and we did it two nights in a row! It went great! I’ll never have my former life back, and that’s okay, but it always gives me a boost to add back in a piece like this. Eating at restaurants still won’t be a habit for us anytime soon, but it’s nice to know that we can do it.

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Because we stayed in a small hotel suite in Myrtle Beach, we let Judah and Amie stay up with us at night. We had movie night. David took them for flashlight walks on the beach. This trip though we kept bedtime firm so that the two of us could have time together, and it was so refreshing.

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We’ve talked in recent years, wondering aloud together, “What does it look like to rest before vacation?” This just means, how can we pace ourselves and set healthy boundaries in life so that we don’t enter a vacation frazzled and utterly exhausted? We’ve found that when we do that more often than not our “vacation expectations” are way too high, and we’re bound to be disappointed when it doesn’t feel perfect or we don’t get the rest we need.

Of course there are just plain busy seasons in life, but on the whole I feel like we’re finding that pace: trying to build downtime for each of us and either an at-home date or a real date each week, figuring out how many nights a week we can do ministry and be with people, and how many we need to be home, just our family. For me it means keeping a healthy pace for my children so they aren’t tired and over-busy each day, and so that I have time each day to sit and connect with them, even for just a few minutes.

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It was wonderful to enter this last vacation without feeling desperate for it: just happy it was here. We were more excited to spend time with our kids rather than feeling like they were in the way. We had energy to run around on the beach, to look out for each other’s needs and offer one another a break, and to actually sit and chat at night rather than zone out, exhausted, in front of the TV (which believe me, we’ve done plenty of nights since our adoption). This is still very much a trial-and-error process, but it is encouraging to see growth that brings us joy.

We loved our trip!

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2015: the kids’ bedrooms.

I want to show you photos of the kids’ bedrooms, but before I do, here’s a look into the world’s smallest bathroom:

I realize it’s not the smallest ever, but it may be pretty close. Especially when six people are sharing it. When we bought our house, there was an old pedestal sink, which David recently replaced with this cute little vanity.

Sharing a bathroom is not easy. But you know what, it’s fine. It really is. I’ve decided the best way to tackle the issue is a sense of humor. And so, when there are two kids in the tub, one on the potty, one parent wiping the child on the potty and one washing someone’s hair, we trip over each other and just have to laugh.

And now . . . the little guys’ room. Do you remember earlier this year, when the room was ready and waiting for an infant? Sometimes I still have to pinch myself to believe it’s now shared by a toddler and a preschooler.

I had the tiniest twinge of sadness over the realization that we wouldn’t get to adopt a baby after all, but it was amazing how quickly David and I switched gears. We spent the entire week before the boys arrived clearing baby paraphernalia out of our house, attic, and basement, and felt a wave of relief doing so. It’s amazing how much clutter babies require. And the fact that we were thrilled to be rid of it goes to show God knew we were probably better suited to our boys all along.

The trip we made to Charlotte on the Sunday before we signed adoption papers was the happiest IKEA trip of my life. Thanks to a gift from some generous friends, we loaded up on a toddler bed and bedding, toy organizer, crib sheets, and more plastic kids’ dishes for the kitchen. The robots over Noah’s crib are from the clearance shelf at Target.

I loved scouring the attic for Judah’s old toys to set up in their room — his Thomas trains and Little People castle and board books. I purposefully kept this room very simple. There’s almost nothing on the walls and just a few toys. With all the transition in their life, I didn’t want Gabe and Noah to be overstimulated in their bedroom.

Lest you think it’s perfectly zen, here’s an embarrassing look inside the closet, which as you can see is obnoxiously narrow and deep (and, ahem, messy). I’ve considered removing the door on the kids’ closets, but honestly I love having even a tiny place I can stuff things inside until I’m ready to deal with them. This closet is my next project, and since we don’t actually need the floor space, I’d love to make a little hideout for the boys inside with a rug on the floor and their artwork on the walls. We’ll see; that sounds a little ambitious at the moment.

Noah will be out of his crib by the end of the year, so my crazy brain is already spinning with bedroom ideas . . . maybe moving the bunk beds in here and doing some kind of loft for the big kids? Who knows where we’ll land.

So here’s another thing I learned in my recent purging streak: compromise is key. I can do whatever I want to Gabriel and Noah’s room and they’re thrilled, but the big kids have their own opinions about lots of things these days (well, so does my husband, but that’s another topic entirely). I prefer a more minimal look in their bedroom too, but the truth is, they want their things around them.

They were both getting frustrated with sharing a room this spring, and finally I came up with the idea of moving the brown shelf out of the dining closet and next to the bed. It’s made all the difference. Now the white cube shelf is entirely Amie’s and the brown shelf belongs to Judah. Do I love the way two shelves look in their room? No. Do I wish I could stage their dresser with a plant and some vintage children’s books instead of Tupperware bins of Lego’s? Yes.

But I want to respect their opinions — in the end this is their room, not mine — and so I compromise. It turns out that instead of a whole bedroom, they just needed a shelf for themselves, and now they’re happy. And so in summary, this is the last lesson: If something is driving you crazy about your house and you can’t afford the solution you want, don’t just do nothing and feel miserable. Find another, smaller solution that eases the stress and brings you some joy. Maybe it doesn’t look magazine-perfect, but it works for you. Then go for it!

Judah and Amie’s part of the compromise is that they have to keep their own room organized. And they do it! Everything has a place, and I’ve worked with them over the years on understanding why we periodically purge and organize our things (so we have more space to play, and so that we can enjoy and take care of the things we have). Now they nearly always initiate it themselves. I still keep a portion of their toys in the attic which they can switch it for something in their room. Their closet contains more Lego’s (if anyone has come up with a great Lego solution, please let me know).

Thank you so much for following along on this year’s house tour! In the process of blogging about it, I’ve found myself realizing anew how happy I am with our place, limitations and all. I love small houses because to me they’re like a puzzle . . . how to make everything fit together into one peaceful whole?

But the truth is, everybody’s house has some sort of limitation — if not space then storage or lighting or lack of a yard. I’ve recommended The Nesting Place lots already, but if you struggle with limitations in your house, please read it! Myquillyn Smith calls them “lovely limitations” in her book, and she’s changed the way I approach problems in our house, helped me see them as opportunities to be creative. I hope that’s what this little series has shown you.

Happy Tuesday!

 

[2014 and 2013 kids’ room here]



camping trip.

By David

I  took our two oldest to Dreher Island State Park campground.

Campground is a wistful word.  I’d consider it more of an RV parking lot with trees.  We parked on concrete pad #38 in the shadows of massive, bedazzled travel trailers.  The scope of some of the setups was staggering.  Do people live here?

Lawn chairs, loveseats, lampposts, mini fridges, televisions, full sized gas grills jostled for flat space between pines.  Folding tables groaned under the bounty of red and yellow Sizemart condiment jugs.  A din of barking dogs, country music, and laboring AC units served as the soundtrack to the island.

If you consider tailgating roughing it, then Dreher might just be the ticket.

But I digress.  It’s close to Columbia, it’s cheap, and it’s outdoors.  If you’re waterfront – and like Lot’s family, if you don’t look back – it’s a pretty nice view.

It was our first time camping in a long while, so our goal was simple: make it twenty-four hours without asking for mom.

We accomplished that and more.  We set up our tent, met our neighbors, took a half a dozen dips in the lake, laughed around the campfire with marshmallow-glazed grins, and counted stars till we couldn’t keep our eyes open.

As we nestled into sleeping bags, Judah, our seven year old, said, “This reminds me of my childhood.”

There were a few hairy moments.  Amie fell backward into the fire pit (unlit, thankfully).  Judah went off to befriend the roving RV children and came back with his hands tied behind his back.  A third, unidentified member of our party, dropped the entire fishing worm stash into the lake.

But that’s the stuff of memories.  I can’t wait to rent a U-Haul, load up our living room furniture, and go back for round two.



4 months.

Gabe and Noah have been part of our family for four months now. There’s so much to say, but I’m struggling to form coherent sentences these days, so I’ll try to stick to a few points.

Here’s one really hard thing about the 4-month point, and three things that I love:

The hard thing is feeling isolated.

At the beginning I was caught up with the novelty of being a mom of four and mostly I was just trying to survive each day, but now I think the reality of my life is setting in.

I remember a few years back, a friend was contemplating having a third child and she said, “I don’t know if I could do it . . . when any of my friends have had over two children, they just kind of disappear — for awhile at least. I think it has something to do with being outnumbered.”

Yes, that is how I feel.

Like I’ve disappeared from my old life.

These days I mourn the freedom of days with just Judah and Amie. Not that it was perfectly easy — parenting is never easy — but we were in a good season together. We were such buddies. We were flexible and active and saw lots of friends each week. I loved the feeling that I wasn’t desperate to get a break from them whenever possible. I felt rested, energized as a mom. We could have a play date or go to the church pot-luck, and I actually got to sit and chat with my friends.

And now none of that is true. I’m not rested or energized or flexible. I don’t have full conversations on play dates or really anytime my kids are around. I see people from church, but I’m nowhere near as involved as I was six months ago. I have wonderful friends, but I’m often way too tired to spend time with them.

Honestly, now that I see this written out, I don’t think it’s so much a four-children thing as a young-children thing. Pretty much any mom of even one or two very young children feels isolated and lonely at times, and is keenly aware of the limitations of her energy and social life. How quickly I forgot those years. And obviously all of it’s compounded by adoption, which is isolating and lonely for all its own reasons.

David and I are doing our best to connect to one another, to build rest into our schedule, but how do you do that when you’re needed by so many people all at once, when home is not exactly a restful place right now? And so sometimes we feel isolated from each other, right in the midst of the crowd. I miss my husband.

But it’s not all hard. Or maybe I should say that this hard is producing things that I love.

Here are three things that makes me happy right now:

1. Getting to know each other.
Four months is not a long time to spend with a person, but still it’s 2,880 hours. If just half of those are waking hours, we’ve had 1,440 hours together, and I’d add a generous handful more to include some middle-of-the-night and too-early hours.

When it write it out like that I can see: We’ve made progress.

The hours, which feel painfully long some days, are accomplishing something important. These boys and us, we’re coming to know each other.

I realize with wonder as we enter certain situations that I can now predict how they’re going to act. I’m discovering that some things don’t phase them one bit, and certain other baffling, maddening behavior is not meant to torment me, but is an expression of nervousness or fear. We’re learning how to comfort them, to make them feel safe. We’re learning how to make them laugh.

We’ve just embarked on a lifetime of hours spent together, and we are bonding.

2. Siblings.
These days it makes my heart happy to watch the four siblings interact.

David took the older two camping overnight this weekend and he reported that during their exciting, special night with Daddy, Judah and Amie both said, “I miss Gabe and Noah!”

They all love each other; they really do. What’s more, I think they’re growing to like each other. Sure, they fight and get under each other’s skin (it’s amazing how few hours it takes to learn that skill), but there’s a growing affection among all of them that I wouldn’t have imagined possible in four months.

David and I shake our heads in wonder at the influence they have on one another. Gabe and Noah have begun to learn to respect their siblings and their things. Instead of just ceaselessly hungering for attention from David and me, they’ve turned toward their brother and sister for interaction. Judah and Amelie have become less selfish and more generous with their time and possessions — oh yeah, and with their parents. They’re becoming a family.

It’s been a refining fire for all of us, and it’s a gift from God that the struggle has not made the children resentful of one another. I’m so excited about their future together.

3. Healing.
Adoption is traumatic for everyone, but most of all for the ones who wake up one day in a brand new house with family that they barely know and didn’t choose. When Gabe and Noah came home with us, they were oh, so brave, but they were hurting. With toddlers, behavior is complex and it takes times to peel back the layers and understand what’s going on in their little heads and hearts (especially when neither one is verbal). They brought a whole history with them, much of which is a mystery to us.

And yet healing is happening. They are settling into this strange new world. This week instead of saying, “I want to go to the red house,” while we were out and about, Gabriel has been saying, “I want to go home.” Maybe it’s just semantics, but to me it’s something more.

This is home.

The two boys are progressing at such a rapid pace that I’m exhausted just trying to keep up. They are full of words and sentences. They are using self-control. They are obeying. They’re making eye contact. They’re showing empathy and compassion and sharing toys. They are eating with utensils, coloring with crayons and markers, trying every new food put in front of them. They are laughing and smiling, sleeping through the night, taking care of their toys, and sitting through story-books.

They are healing.



four on friday.

David and the big kids went camping about 50 minutes away in Dreher Island State Park. Gabe and Noah and I drove up with them for the morning to explore their campsite and found a fun little playground.

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Judah. The woods are his happy place.

 

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Amelie. I think she’s the perfect mix of girly and rugged.

 

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Gabriel. Our daring climber (also: how about that dimple?).

 

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Noah. He’s got places to be.





four on friday.

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Judah. His favorite subject is science. Friday afternoon astronomy class with Grandpa started today, and he couldn’t be more excited!

 

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Amelie. For the most part she’s so easy-going about having three brothers, but sometimes she hits her limit. That happened this week. Thankfully after two play dates with friend, Caroline, and a shopping date with Shari, her tank is filled.

 

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Gabriel. This guy is swimming the width of the pool all by himself. Not bad for someone who went swimming for the first time ever at the end of May!

 

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Noah. Those eyelashes.



2015: kitchen and dining room.

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Our kitchen is as tiny as it looks, but it’s full of light, and I decided that even with a kitchen twice its size, Gabe and Noah would still be standing as close to my legs as humanly possible when I cook so that I trip over them every time I try to take a step.

Even so. We hope to make 2016 The Year of the Kitchen Remodel. We had a designer come up with plans to take out a couple walls and give us a bigger kitchen and dining room without having to do an addition, and we loved her ideas. We’ll get new cabinets and counters, backsplash and light fixtures, and of course I’ll blog about the whole process (I’ve never dreamed about actually doing a renovation; just blogging about one)!

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The wall behind the oven leads to the laundry room, and that will be removed and the existing laundry room incorporated into the kitchen (stackable washer/dryer would go in a hall closet). This gives us a longer space for new cabinets/counters and room for a bigger island with storage and some stools.

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David and I did our kitchen purge together this summer, and it was fun. We got rid of everything we don’t use, pared down our mug collection, threw out expired spices, and organized what was left in a way that worked better for us. We already had a cabinet drawer just for kids’ dishes within easy reach of little people, and this time we made a pantry shelf for them too with cereal, bread, peanut butter and honey. Gabe and Noah aren’t allowed in the pantry for now, but the big kids can get their own cereal and sandwiches.

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I love our dining room. I love that it’s connected to the kitchen. And these days I really, really love that I get a large view of our backyard from the window, so that our little boys can be outside playing by themselves. I was looking for something big for that wall without spending a lot of money, and my brother Danny bought me that fun old window which has been just right.

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We try to use cloth napkins as much as possible, and Amie and I saw this cheerful set at Target and knew we had to have it. It’s something simple but just looking at them makes me happy (that’s a hint to you if you can’t afford a kitchen remodel: sometimes a salvaged old window and new cloth napkins will do just fine).

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The turquoise cart is a new addition from IKEA for homeschooling (we started school this week!). And when we have lots of company, the cart can be cleared off and rolled into the living room for an extra end table.

Judah and Amie each have their own shelf for the current week’s school books. When we’re finished with a subject they return the books to their shelf — a simple thing that does wonders for keeping our dining room uncluttered (it made me crazy to have wobbling stacks of books and papers on the sideboard, dining table, or kitchen island, especially when it was time for lunch). The box next to the shelf is for recycling paper.

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The calendar is entirely for Judah’s benefit. My boy is a planner, just like both his parents, and he loves seeing the month laid out and knowing what to expect. I spent a good bit of time on the dining closet last month to get us ready for a new school year. We used it last year when we gave up our homeschooling room, with a shelf inside for books, but it was an awkward shape and got messy so quickly trying to reach in and fish around for the right book. I moved the shelf to the big kids’ room, our school books to the living room bookcase, and was left with a big pile of stuff on the floor.

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I still wanted to use the right side shelves for other pantry items and paper goods, but make it easy for the kids to reach their school supplies. As usual, the solution was found at IKEA:

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The top two bins are for Judah and Amie’s “big kid” school supplies (acrylic paints, coins, rulers, etc). The lower bins are filled with Play Doh and our Saxon math manipulatives, and have already worked wonders for keeping Gabe and Noah occupied — especially during the aforementioned dinner prep. Both boys love the freedom of choosing their own activity; the one rule is they have to play with anything from that closet at the table to keep small pieces from getting lost. The hanging shoe organizer on the door is from the dollar bin at Target.

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One point Marie Kondo made in her book is that we Americans accumulate so much stuff, but much of it we never use because we can’t even see/access it. It’s crammed in the attic or the back of a closet, or hidden under another pile. It’s an enormous waste to have so many nice things but be unable to use or enjoy items because there’s just too many. This goes for clothes, books, dishes, kitchen appliances, or toys.

David and I found this to be true in our household purge. In paring down, we made sure we can easily see and reach everything we have, and so we use fewer things more. One example I mentioned before is putting all our homeschooling read-aloud books at eye-level in the living room where they’re visible and easy to grab. Another is organizing our fun math toys in the dining closet so that they are off the floor and Gabe can reach the dominoes without knocking over a leaning tower of stuff (and so that he can actually see that we have dominoes in the first place). In this way we’re making better use of the money we spend on our things.

Thanks for following along on the house tour! Last up: the kids’ rooms.

 

[2014 and 2013 kitchen here]



2015: the master bedroom.

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I use the phrase “master bedroom” loosely because it doesn’t have an attached bathroom, and in fact wasn’t even considered a true bedroom when we purchased the house because it didn’t have a closet. The room has an outside access door (which is sealed shut) and a funky ceiling, so we’ve decided it was originally a porch or sunroom that was closed in.

You may remember that for the first year this room was our school/catch-all room, and last summer we gave it a makeover. It’s still not quite finished, and is one of those examples of me setting aside a space for a season. It’s not perfect yet — pictures aren’t hung and that cute hanging planter in the corner is still sadly plant-less.

But the room makes us happy. We’ll finish it one day. Probably right about the time we add on to our house and this becomes a kids’ room (Amie has already claimed it. And I’m guessing it will become pink at that point).

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We did make a few changes this year — bought lamps and fun throw pillows from Ikea (it took me close to a year to find exactly what I wanted), and David’s dad installed a ceiling fan for us and built a baseboard for the brick wall. If you want people to offer to do projects for you, just decide to adopt two children! We’ve been so grateful for the help.

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I’ve had various ideas of what to do with that painted brick wall. A rustic bench with candles and a stack of books? A little bookshelf? A couple large prints or a mirror? But the longer we’ve left that space bare, the more we appreciate its simplicity (although an outlet cover wouldn’t hurt).

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In the spirit of transparency, here’s the view behind our door, which is decidedly unattractive. We’ve talked about hanging a curtain over the outside door. Or better yet, taking out the door and framing a window instead. I don’t love hanging our shoes on the back of the door, but I do love freeing up storage space elsewhere (I’m telling you, you have to get creative with no/tiny closets, people). Out of season shoes and purses go in the baskets on top of our wardrobes. I’ve never regretted trading out my desk for that tucked-away filing cabinet.

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Back to purging/organizing. I’ve always been a clothes and shoes minimalist. So much so that it’s a little embarrassing to show you my closet (and one of those dresses even belongs to my friend). I discovered a long time ago that I tend to wear the same things over and over, so I might as well keep it simple. It helps that I have a couple of great friends who let me borrow clothes for fancy occasions. I try to keep the bottom of my wardrobe clean but sometimes you just need a space to throw things you don’t have time to deal with yet.

I’m so proud of David, who after skimming through The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, did an entire Marie Kondo clothes purge — throwing all his clothes in a big pile on the bed and going through every single piece. The man still has way more clothes than he wears, but we’ve made progress!

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As we did our whole-house purge this summer, I took notes of everything we got rid of. I wanted to try to discover common themes of clutter to avoid bringing it into our home in the first place. Here’s by far the largest category of stuff we purged: things given to us by other people. I don’t want to step on any toes by writing this. All of us benefit from the generosity of others, and we are so, so grateful for all who have helped us especially in our adoption process by donating their baby gear and clothes. But we’d collected so much of it we were bursting at the seams, as well as other things over the years we felt bad getting rid of because they were given to us, some of it from our wedding 11 years ago.

I’ve come to realize that when people pass along hand-me-downs or things they’re no longer using, they really just want to be helpful. So the way I can be most grateful is to thank them, then when I get home, go through the items and immediately take out what we need, and donate the rest. That’s what I want when I pass along things to others. I’d hate for anyone to hold onto something out of guilt.

The other thing I’ve noticed about myself is I often tend to say “yes” to something offered just because it’s free or really inexpensive: be it toys or more clothes or funky little kitchen appliances, even if it’s not my exact taste or not something I would otherwise buy. And now with six of us living here we just don’t have the space for those items anymore (which is why I also avoid yard sales).

If it’s not on my list of things I’m looking for for my house or something one of us needs, then I’m learning to say no, thank you! Just because people have offered us lots and lots of fun hand-me-down clothes for Gabe and Noah, doesn’t mean I should keep them all. I keep what can fit in their drawers without cramming, and pass on the rest.

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I said this last year, and I’ll say it again: it took David and I ten years of marriage to make our bedroom a priority. It was always a little plain and clutter-filled, and quite frankly, depressing. The last room on our priority list.

We’ve never for one moment regretted investing last summer in making our room a haven — choosing a paint color and curtains we loved, buying a few new things here and there, working to keep it uncluttered and peaceful. It’s not big or fancy, but it suits us perfectly.

[2014 Master bedroom here]