Lately I have been busy working on some freelance projects for the design company where I used to work. I have a makeshift work area at home in our spare room. My laptop sits on a "Lovefeast Table." (I call it this because when I was a kid our churh had a Lovefeast, ie: Potluck, once a month. Food was piled onto long rectangular tables with fake wood grain tops.) The table is too high for my stationery chair so I've become accustom to typing and mousing with my arms stretched out straight in front of me.
Behind my work area is a full size bed with a twin comforter. Next to that is a wooden bookshelf that Chad made out of scrap 1x4s. He gave it to me as a present my first birthday after we got married. I was sorely disappointed, but he was so proud of the sturdy thing that I didn't show it. Just the other night it came out that I wasn't thrilled to receive the bookshelf as a gift. His face fell and he said like a hurt little boy, "What's wrong with my bookself?!"
My reply, "No, no, no! It's great, just not what I wanting to put in our living room as a newlywed, or what I wanted to get as a birthday present. You did a good job though...." (pat, pat, stroke, stroke)
Chad also made the frame for our bed. We have a TemperPedic mattress (which we LOVE) and it does not need a box spring. Instead it is made to lay on a flat, sturdy surface. We could (should) have bought a box with the mattress to serve this purpose. The box was $200, and Chad decided he would make one instead.
For a year and a half our mattress sat on the floor. No one would have guessed we'd spent over $1000 on our amazing mattress. After awhile I began moaning and groaning about getting up off the floor every morning. We went to Lowes and spent $100 on materials for a homemade frame. Chad used huge 4x4 boards for the posts and partical board for the platform. All the wood remained unfinished. The bed ended up being about 4 feet above the ground. (I'm not kidding.) First we couldn't get up out of bed and then we couldn't get onto the bed! Once again, the construction was sturdy and practical.... but not so pretty.
My dreams of a Martha Stewart home have long flown out the window. That happened one weekend during our engagement when we drove my dad's work van to Chad's home to load up his stuff. We hauled back a king size waterbed (the old nasty 80s kind), assorted swords, hachets, blowguns and a lava lamp. Desperately trying not to be the nagging sort, I nervously chewed my lip the whole 9 hour drive home. Where would be put all his crap? We were to live in a tiny campus duplex so it was not possible to give him the basement for his stuff. I tried to brainstorm ways to creatively make our first home cool, unique and tasteful. My two drawbacks were lack of funds and Chad's awful stuff. He is the sentimental kind, so getting rid of the stuff was not an option. (It was hard enough to convince him that he didn't need every single picture and letter from his high school girl friend -- but that's for another post.)
Almost five years has passed since that long ride from Illinois to Arkansas. I do not have the home of my dreams, but I don't mind so much. There is warmth, fun, laughter, and happiness within these walls. I'm choosing to make these things the important ones, instead of matching furniture, expensive things, and the right color scheme. Maybe someday I'll have the best of both worlds, but for now I'm doing alright.