This week our friend Steve (and amazing painter extraordinaire) has been transforming our house from a mainly beige, fairly boring home to a home with some serious spunk! The kitchen is now a gorgeous chocolate brown, the fingerprints covering (and I do mean covering) the living room/dining room have disappeared, and the fireplace wall is a sizzling "Ruby Lips" red! I am a huge fan of change when it comes to my house, and this has been even more fulfilling than the usual cure of furniture moving/husband grumbling. I almost feel like I have a whole new home!
On top of having a gorgeous new look, this painting finally forced me to tackle one of those jobs you know you need to do, but really, really, really try to avoid - at all costs. In the drawers of the old buffet table (which belonged to my Grandma Ruth - eat your heart out cousins!), were stuffed all the photographs I swore I would one day organize.
Today, that day has come. (Well, at least phase one has come!)
I must have spent an hour looking through old photographs and artwork drawn made of child hand prints. I have avoided that drawer for so long, just dreading the mess inside, that I forgot about how much joy it might bring me to take a quick trip down memory lane. I laughed, I almost cried (seeing my sweet Aunt Bonnie sneaking corn to a very young Jude a few years before she passed away from breast cancer), and I wondered how it is that I have been blessed with such a sweet life.
Here are a few other things I learned from digging through that drawer:
1. You can make any animal or seasonal mascot out of a child's hand print. And every creative idea brings the same response from this mommy - sweet sighs of delight.
2. Jude looks just like my dad when my dad was young. Found a picture of my dad in elementary school. Wow. Jude is a little Ekdahl!
3. Cal Henry sure loved his binks. And he was born slightly defiant. I love the picture of him sitting in his crib, at about the same age we were trying to break him of the binks, with two binks precariously stuffed in his mouth at once and a slightly devilish twinkle in his eye.
4. My house has apparently always been pants optional for the under 10 crowd. Those of you who know us well know that often when you stop by the boys have to scramble to cover their character underpants with some clothes. It is a baffling phenomenon to me, but looking back through pictures I see it has always been this way. Underwear, diaper - just no pants. Poor Sintija. We must remedy this in the next three weeks!
5. I chose the right wedding dress. I always pictured myself in a huge (as in needing its own zip code huge) wedding gown with sequins, lace, bows, etc. Instead, I was married in a very simple, elegant white satin gown. Sometimes I look back and wonder why I didn't go for one of the big, glittery dresses I always imagined myself wearing, but as I looked through wedding candids, I know I picked the right dress. I can see me. And I can remember how beautiful I felt.
6. My boys have always been amazing. I see them every day, and yet when I take a moment to look through pictures of their short lives, I realize how cool my sons are. They are so very different - like night and day in a lot of ways - but they are each extraordinary in their own ways. I love seeing glimpses of who they really are in these pictures.
7. I adore Grandma Ruth. Not just for letting me have her dining room furniture (a precursor to the grandfather clock, I am hoping...), but for being so fabulous. I found pictures of her with my sons, and I don't think any other photos touched my heart like those. Gram loves her grandkids and great-grandkids. Really loves them - we all are sure we're her favorite. What a gift it is to see her delight in my sons.
It was a daunting task, tackling those overflowing drawers, but I was blessed by the job this morning. It was sweet to take a trip down memory lane.
Now if I could just learn to scrapbook...