OK, so when I first started blogging in 2009, it was about finding balance to my chaotic working mum, life.
I wanted to find a balance, to have my cake & eat it. Work hard, but have a lovely home, that had 'me' stamped on it. Not a practical sensible home, but one where there was order balanced with creativity amongst the small people & G who also happen to live at Twelve.
I wanted to balance my caring roles as a mum, wife, nurse & housekeeper, with the creative person that nearly went off to Uni, the book reading Lydia, who somehow wanted that Enid Blyton life for her small people.
Somehow 2010 went astray with life changing events that overwhelmed & shifted dynamics. 2011 is shaping up so differentley.
Now I have to be honest - It's took years to fall in love with Twelve. Yup, I must sound an ungrateful monkey, but I loved beyond measure, my old house.
A 3 bedroom terrace, 100+ years old, that was quite literally falling down when aged 24 I brought it as a newly qualified nurse. I was maxed out on the mortgage, working full time & extra in nursing homes on the side, but with help from my dad & his toolbox, a freindly ex called G (who claimed to love DIY & was pretty good at it too), I got there. I loved every wonky wall, the high ceilings, the neighbours, the stripped pine dressers, the nooks & crannies filled with just lovely 'things', the curtains made from ticking & duvet covers by my mum. It was homely.
Switch to 18 months of marrige & a new baby & we realised the house wasnt working any more for us. So by off chance, on the way to Mum & Dads on New Years Eve 2000, we drove onto a new estate in the next 'village'. There, in the smattering of snow we peered through the windows of the show home, of the house that is now 'Twelve'.
We broke our necks to find the money, took a risk, & I went back to work when my little one was 3 months old, to help finance the move. At the time I was struggling, numb from wonky hormones.
When we finally moved in the realisation of the new straight walls, low ceilings, new neighbours, new furniture - New Flippin Everything hit me. And I missed my old home.
Fast forward (10 years this August) & I am now in love with Twelve.
It's took years to find how I wanted my home to feel, to feel comfortable in its skin, rather than just functional. I think a home is always evolving to meet the needs of those in it & perhaps the reason why I have finally fallen in love with my house is that now, over time, it has finally evolved into meeting some of my emotional needs too.
G has come to learn how important it is for me to create my home, & that my need for some organisation & control, is so that I can cope with working & him being away a lot. We had some really good converations in Cornwall, of what we wanted for now & the future for us as a couple & a family & it was good to hear each other.
I also feel like we as a family are moving into that 'memories for the future' territory. O & S are 10 & 7, just about the ages where I can recall really strong childhood memories. I want to have a home full of love, laughter & good memories for them to take into their future, much like I had.
& then the penny dropped.
It's ok talking & not so ok fretting about not getting it right, but at some point, something has to change to get that balance. Try as I might, G wasn't wearing the 'I'll give up work & make sure that your tea will be on the table at 6pm' argument, & i swear he nearly left the country (again) when I mentioned baby number 3, and the saving on childcare me not working would have.
So, for the past few weeks, armed with coffee, coke & a cry of "Sleep is for the weak" I have been turning Twelve upside down. It is now a home that works, all the rooms have a sense of purpose & reason - there are no 'lost' rooms.
I can now appreciate the newness, and have learnt to adopt my decorating style to fit with it.
I am tired, but it is a good tiredness, one of achievement. There are still weeks ahead to go, but Twelve is taking shape, the smalls are loving the shift round of rooms, and I am falling in love all over again with my house that feels like my kind-of home.
I'm also kind-of likeing G too, after all this man puts up with my pebbles in a jar, and has relented & gone up ladders this weekend to paint the stair walls, when he admits he doesn't really like DIY, and would much rather be working on his bus.
Ah, yes, our bus. He's in the final stages of turning from a bus to a camper. We are excited beyond measure, & I can see Enid Blyton type days ahead in him.
& sweet peas. I could never grow sweet peas at my old house. They are my favourite summer flower. But they grow well here at Twelve.
Tells me something, no?!
If youv'e made it to the end of this post, Thankyou. I'd love to share this journey, would you be interested?