Is it bad that when I think about my three-day holiday weekend, the best thing about it was most definitely purchasing a new vacuum cleaner? It's not just any vacuum cleaner, mind you, but a Shark Professional, a bagless rotating wonder machine that sucked up an entire bag full of dirt and dust from my tiny living room floor and brought my carpet to life again. Sorry, Oreck, but my new man's made me feel things I haven't felt with you in years.
So yes, while the rest of the Facebook, Instagram, and blog worlds were spending their holiday weekends tailgating at college football games, hiking through state parks, or baking savory fall recipes, I vacuumed. I cleaned, sorted, decluttered, tagged garage sale merchandise, painted walls, and got this house ready to stick a 'for sale' sign in the front yard. We took the holiday weekend's title literally and we labored our arses off all weekend long. I showered once, in fact, and left the house only twice --- the first for a family picnic on Sunday and the second for a vacuum cleaner. The kids spent the day with Grandma on Saturday and Cruz scored his first impromptu sleepover at Grandma's Saturday night. The kind that called for sleeping in that day's clothes, popping popcorn an hour past bedtime, and falling asleep to Cars 2 with Papa Curt. The kind of sleepover childhoods are made of.
I struggled with this weekend very much just as I have struggled with this whole building process. I told Beau I wanted nothing to do with building a new house if it was going to pop my simple family bubble I take great pride in keeping inflated. And now, here we were, with plans to get our house in order, haul a trailer load of stuff to my in-laws, and neutralize our home in order to attract lots of potential buyers...all weekend long. I was a baby, pouting and stomping my feet, hoping for rain instead of blue skies, and making Beau promise to abandon our work and spend a day doing something fun on Monday. And then we got knee deep in paint dilemmas and one mess led to another and soon we were staring Monday in the face, still cleaning while the babies napped, my legs and back aching, actually wishing for the work week because it would mean less work than what we had been muddling through all weekend.
But then, Monday afternoon rolled around and both kids were asleep, zonked out after a grocery run and stop at the playground on the way there. I had put the last of the rubbermaids on the shelves in the basement and admired my newly organized storage room. I turned a lamp on in Cruz's toy room and reminisced before walking up the stairs of a white-blond haired boy singing and dancing with Elmo for the first time. I put the Alabama Shakes on the turntable, vacummed my living room floor for the third time, and lit my very first pumpkin spice candle of the season, setting out a few of my favorite fall decorations before sinking in a chair and breathing in a house that hasn't been this clean since before the babes were here.
As we bid farewell to summer and welcome a new season of falling leaves, cozy sweaters, and simmering soups of the stove top, I've been thinking a lot about change and seasons and the bittersweet emotions attached to all of it. The seasons are changing for us in big ways right now and it's exciting and scary and uncomfortable. But sometimes, those seasons that force us out of our comfort zones and into new territory are the ones that reveal the most amazing surprises. My husband (or maybe it was Shrek) once said, "we're all just a bunch of onions, all full of layers just waiting to be peeled away." Looking forward to shedding some new layers as we approach this new territory of selling our sweet home. I'm already envisioning many nights sobbing on the stair steps...
Some fun amidst our decluttering this past Labor Day weekend...
// Ninja Turtle imaginative play at the playground. A Disney World shirt that stayed on for 36 hours. Resting tired bodies on beds of wood chips as we made our littles giggle and pushed them higher, higher, higher.
// reminiscing with the man I love as we painted trim boards and listened to JT after the kids went to bed. It was time we usually spend watching shows in the living room, but we made our own fun and haven't talked that much in days.
// carry-out chicken wings, pizza, and Christmas napkins from two years ago - a staple meal and place setting for a weekend of home improving.
// sinking into the recliner with a bowl of cereal and the second season of Parenthood after a day's work.
// a little girl who developed a fake cough, a deep snort, and sixth tooth, all in one three-day weekend. We're not the only ones who were productive...
// weekend bedhead all weekend long, tractor rides with "Grandpa Steve", and chocolate chip muffins for breakfast. Beau took them to Hy-Vee in their pajamas on Monday morning and they rode in one of the firetruck carts together. He said it was adorable until he looked at them and realized they looked like homeless kids. Mila's crusty face, dried squash on her white sleeper, and Cruz in the oversized Disney shirt he insisted on wearing for the second day in a row.
// bath nights (when we eventually got around to bath night). Go, Cubs, Go on repeat, Mila chewing on a toothbrush in the bathroom sink, the comfort of fresh pjs and wet hair before bedtime stories.
// and now, sleep. While visions of vacuum cleaners dance in my head.