Just when you thought I didn't have another card in the deck to play, I've got a fun post for you today! Remember a few months back when I posted about the great bedroom shuffle in my 31 days series?? Well folks this pregnant lady is at it again. This time I've got baby on the brain and all that goes along with that. I recently got Travis to agree to move the kids room around a little bit, call it boredom over a long winter or an insatiable need to nest, but it felt like we needed a change up. My husband has learned to brace himself whenever I utter words like those because he just never knows exactly what kind of work or crazy idea that might entail!
If you remember, our kids' bunk beds have been in the closet actually for almost 2 years now...
You know, the walk in master closet that has been all things to all people over the last 7 years??
Including Carter's nursery before it was the bunk house?
(Sidenote- I love this picture of Ava! She was posing her baby doll in the same chair that I propped up Carter in, to take his picture every time we hit the next month mark. Ha ha! Just like Mommy did it!)
Well the bunk beds in there worked like a charm for a good, long stretch but recently we realized it was time to move on when I put Carter down for a nap that he desperately needed but didn't want to take. It's kind of been his pattern for the last month or so, me wanting him to not let go of naps (purely for selfish reasons) but him fighting and proving to me that actually, the longer stretch at night is more beneficial than an hour of struggle every afternoon. On this particular day I made him lie down anyway and after an hour of what I thought was blissful silence for both of us, I had a feeling I should check on him...make sure he was actually asleep like I hoped he was??
Well that proved to be the intuition of a mother who had a suspicious feeling something could be happening. When I got close to his closed door, I heard the dreadful sound of water swishing and when I opened the door I immediately spotted him playing with the toilet scrubber in the toilet. Unfortunately that wasn't all. I also spotted an entire roll of toilet paper scraps all over the bathroom floor and was overcome by the smell of bleach. Yes, you read that correctly, bleach. It seems that a bottle of clorox clean-up spray was left in the shower and of course he found it. He managed to spray it all over the walls, the sink, the mirror, the bathroom door, the rug, and his clothes. And when he spotted me standing there with my mouth hung open, he immediately told me, "I'm cleanin Mom! I'm cleanin the baffroom for ya!"
I was so horrified I didn't think to take a picture. Wishing I would have thought of that now! But I do believe an immediate phone call was placed to his Daddy letting him know that the bunk beds were definitely moving the next day whether he was ready to move them or not, and afternoon nap time for Carter was officially over. The potential disaster he was capable of creating was no longer worth the "break" for me!
Praise the Lord nothing more than an epic clean-up happened from that incident. I'm certain his guardian angels were dancing around him that day, helping him aim for things that weren't harmful (like his mouth) and somehow helping him make enough noise to catch my ears. It was a motherhood moment I won't soon forget and near crisis averted. The bleach has since been removed and hidden away under intense threats should a certain little someone EVER dare to touch it again.
So about a month ago, we spent an afternoon cleaning up toys, moving furniture, disassembling beds, vacuuming and re-arranging. The bunks now sit in the big room, which is once again serving double duty as a playroom/bedroom.
The kids were thrilled and all over the change. We were hoping they would still sleep well in a room with all their toys and two huge windows that let a lot of light in, but so far so good! For now, the walk in closet is actually functioning as a closet again and boy does that feel good. I haven't taken a pic of it all clean and organized yet, but I will.
This was what it looked like on moving day, you get the idea.
The plan is to leave it as a closet for as long as we can get away with it. We're both still praying and hoping for a miracle that would get us out of this condo by the time Walker is born, but should the Lord keep us here a little longer, we will once again convert that closet back into a nursery and call it good. If you're keeping track, that move would make it the 5th time we've re-purposed that space. I believe I should win some kind of award for flexibility and creativity, right???
For now I'm content to re-style this room, and by re-style I mean to move things around without spending any money. I'm also in a major purging mood. That makes my kids cry when I mention the idea, so I'm quietly slipping in here and throwing things away, packing up what they don't need and racking my brain to make more room and use this space well.
I moved some of their sweet pictures from the closet shelf where they've been displayed to the big room now. I want to make room for Walker to have his own stuff in there and also to make this room feel like Ava and Carter's space.
And naturally, seeing these baby pics has me feeling all sorts of nostalgic again. That big frame of Ava was a picture on the day we took her home from the hospital. She was laying on my bed, all dressed up in a darling gown and with that sweet headband. When I look at it and close my eyes, I can go right back there remembering all of those emotions and feelings. So sweet. That lamb was a gift from my Mom, it was in her crib for months before she slept in there. That tea cup is a Lenox China, Peter Rabbit cup and saucer that my grandparents bought for me when I was born. It will turn 34 next month.
Carter also has a big picture framed from the day we brought him home. I remember dressing him in all blue, realizing how different it was going to be to have a boy and feeling so thankful for the opportunity to be raising two kids. I love that pic of Trav holding him and the one in back of me with him too. That feels like SUCH a long time ago and makes me so excited to do it all over again. My sweet friend printed that verse for me and I've always loved it with this collection of pictures. It's a great prayer...
I had books made for both kids when they turned one of photos we had taken around their first birthday. Our little blondie in that sweater just kills me!!
And this little auburn cutie was a determined, busy bee in all her photos! I look at that book and I see glimpses of who she is today!
I'm letting myself linger in this nesting phase, not rushing the process but dreaming of how to make this all work with another little one. It's a journey, some days I find joy in it and other days I feel like I'm swallowing a bitter pill. The Lord is using this to refine me and test my faith in His provision and timing. Sometimes I can hardly breathe because I feel so claustrophobic and out of ideas, but oddly looking back through photos and seeing all that He's allowed us to taste and experience and enjoy here, really does help me gain better perspective and choose contentment for the future. We have certainly learned that real estate markets, bank accounts, houses and possessions do not determine our peace or the joy that we choose to have and the hope we anchor our souls upon. Sometimes life doesn't unfold the way you hoped it would or the pieces to the puzzle seem so irregular and misshaped...but that doesn't mean there isn't a Sovereign God behind it all with a master plan that is grander that what we could see. It also doesn't mean that every longing and every dream will come to fruition on this side of Heaven. Someday this will all be just drop in the bucket of eternity and our real home and our real treasures will far exceed all the effort and worry and struggle we (I) toiled for in building our own "kingdoms" on earth. I have to live with that hope in mind in order to sleep at night and with eyes that see beyond square footage and stuff. We have everything we need right now and a God who never lets any of our needs slip past Him. He knows what to do, He knows what's best for us and we're going to trust Him even if it means doing another round of shuffling and rearranging! Pretty soon, I'll have enough material to write a book about it anyway, maybe that's why He keeps us here??
Book proposal?? Ha ha!!
With every kick I feel right now, I'm reminded that another little life is growing and developing and waiting for his turn to join our family and to come home to the space we've made for him, wherever or whatever that looks like. That is such a gift!!! Another round of hospital pics, another first year photo book, another dresser full of little blue clothes...all of it ordained and ordered just as the Lord planned it.
Contentment is possible with the help of the Lord. It's not easy, but it is possible. Even with 5 people in 1200 square feet. We're doing it, we're fighting for it, and we're working our faith out daily because of it. And while our earthly kingdom may seem very small and very insignificant in comparison to many around us, I am clinging to this promise even as I stare at a walk in closet, imagining how to triple its' size and efficiency.
The Lord is good and always faithful. And this is what He promises me today...
"Therefore WE DO NOT LOSE HEART! (emphasis mine) Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:16-18