On June 14th Mike and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. We took the afternoon and ate at the local (rather yummy) chip truck, wandered and played in the beautiful park in Kinmount, then took the kids to see their first ever movie (Epic) in a theater. We may live in the boonies, but we are pretty lucky to have the coolest ever movie theater just 15 minutes away. It was really nice. This August marks an entire decade together.
I turned 33 on Saturday. It included some of my favourite things; cake for breakfast, sweet thifting finds (brand new Blundstones for $25!), and then a spontaneous stop at the Peterborough Zoo and Splash Pad (an awesome FREE attraction in town we do our grocery shopping and errands). We didn’t have swim suits for the kids, but it was humid so we just let them run in and we’d worry about the rest later. After they were soaked, we realized we had forgotten the diaper bag with extra clothes, diapers, etc. Oh well. The kids were in their glory and we ran into friends we hadn’t seen in years. afterwards, we stripped them down, a kind stranger offered us a diaper, rung out Poppy’s underwear, and gave them the blankets I had picked up at the thrift store. It was actually way easier than being prepared to be honest. A new summer ritual to end off our errand days in town.
Last week, with the help of my step dad and a little birthday money, we replaced out haggard living room furniture with great kijiji finds. You’ve all heard me complain about the state of our furniture before. We inherited my Gramma’s furniture about 4 years ago and it was/is pretty, but not kid friendly. There were two arm chairs covered in light floral material and a light coloured couch that showed every single spot, fingerprint, and wet bum mark. I would remove the cushion covers regularly to wash, but they were wearing out quickly and the zippers were giving out. I would scrub the arms and sides with spot cleaner, but the watermarks started to look worse than the stains. I knew we had to do something when Mike started commenting on the state of it.
Kijiji to the rescue! I first found a beauty ivory leather couch, chair and ottoman that was worth $4000 selling for $375. I was the first to reply and I even offered a small deposit to prove we were serious, but because we couldn’t get there with my step dad’s truck until Thursday they sold it out from under us. It was likely for the best as I thought about the inevitable day it met a pen or marker. So, staying true to our always eclectic style, we managed to to find three nice quality, though mis-matched pieces of leather furniture. An over sized chair for $70 ( a birthday present from my step dad), an 8 foot black leather couch that makes me think of Mad Men for $350, and a leather recliner for $120 (birthday money from my mom and father in law). All in all it was a good thrifting success!
At first it all felt like it stuck out in our home like a sore thumb, but with a few throws and pillows, they feel a lot more like my style now. Comfort and wipeability took priority in this decision, but I couldn’t be happier to have clean, comfortable, furniture to finally sit on again!
A few weeks ago, we adopted 2 sweet little guinea pigs. The kids named them Tony and Gus Gus. I am quite surprised at how sweet and tolerant they are. The kids are in love, in case you couldn’t tell.
Oh right! The letting go part of this post.
Mike and I recently decided that, at this season of our life, or priority will be enjoying the kids. For us, that means letting go of some of our big “homesteading” goals, ideals, and dreams…not forever, but for now. So, instead of spending our weekends doing chores and improvement projects while becoming frustrated with the kids, we will go to the beach, play in the sand, stop at the zoo,and let them run into the splash pad fully clothed. Instead of planting the garden and worrying about the weeding, we will get out early and roam around the Farmer’s Markets and hit up yard sales. Instead of piling the last bit of wood or cutting the entire lawn, we will opt for a dip at the beach or a play in the park. We will go for walks, fill up the kiddy pool, paint with watercolours, pick wildflowers and learn all their names, have picnics, and sit under trees.
Our house won’t always be tidy, things will take longer to get done, and some plants may die. All the things I want to paint and build won’t be done at once. The truth is, we often feel trapped between many worlds. One world in which we live up to our own high ideals of making our own food and clothes, living off the land, being more self sustained. Another world in which we take our kids to every available extracurricular activity within a 100 km radius, and have a beautifully manicured house and lawn. And yet another world in which we stop doing what we think everyone else thinks we should do and do what we feel is manageable and happy for us.
The beautiful thing is that we are blessed to live in an area and be surrounded by a varied group of people, family, and friends. We live in a wondrous time where we get to choose. Letting go feels right.
These young days only come once. Socks in pairs; dinner parties with jazz; a tidy, plastic free yard…all these things will return. Honey bees, a huge productive garden, canning, and putting down enough for the winter…will all happen as the kids get older and can learn alongside us. Right now, we choose to be present. We are recognizing and honouring our own limitations. We are remembering that our greatest investment are these crazy cute, often frustrating, sticky fingered, ever-loving, perfect little humans.
Our 30’s really do seem to be all about liberation, no?
P.S. I also realize this space has become undefined. And that is ok too.
go gently+ be wonderful