May 28, 2012

New Summer Traditions

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Three summers ago I was taking a nap at our family lake house, I had been sunning and swimming all day, with mom, dad, Jonathan (bro) and Krystal (now my sis in law) and thought I would take a little snooze while waiting for Dave (now husband) and Ash (now stepdaughter, get the point, things have changed!) to arrive.  Anyways, I was just waking up when my dad came in and sat in on the bed.  I knew something had to be seriously wrong for him to come in with a blank look on his face and not joking around or anything. He told me that he and my mother and my uncle (moms bro) had made the decision to sell the house.  Ugh, even now as I think about it, my heart hurts...

This house was my peaceful, hiding place in a crazy world.  I grew up coming here because it was my grandfathers (moms dad) house.  He bought the land before I was born and had the house built - it was without a doubt the most perfect spot for a lake house ever.  EVER!

My memories here are fond and big.  However, my mother's memories of this place are exactly the opposite.  My grandfather hurt her here...not physically but emotionally with words and actions and eventually, his decline & death.  This house was also a strain on my family financially.  I am not sure how much money this place sucked out of my mom & dad and my aunt & uncle, but apparently it was enough for them to make the decision to get rid of it.

So, on the first weekend of October in 2009, I said goodbye to the house for the last time.  Dave & I were the only ones there, and he had just proposed to me the night before.  A way to keep my mind off the sadness, it was really brilliant of him to help my last memory of the house be a sweet one.  I miss it like I miss someone who has died.  It makes me ache and tear up even as I write...I wish I could go back but the house is not mine anymore, someone else is making memories there.  I hope they are as precious as mine are!

Fast forward almost 3 years and my bother Jonathan and his wife Krystal have bought a home with a pool!  Yesterday we had our first of many family pool parties.  It brought back memories of fun & sun together at the lake.  We swam all day (well, mom & dad didn't get in the water this time, it was a "balmy" 62-65 degrees, but that never bothered us kids!) and had a cookout and just had a good time together and that is really what the lake was all about, having time together to be a family.  It doesn't really matter where we are, as long as we get to spend precious time together.  I am hoping that we make lots of new memories and that the sting of losing "The Lake" as we called it, will lessen as we spend time by the pool together this summer.  We (my bro and I) are never really at peace unless there is water to swim in, so thank you J & K for bringing that water back into our lives!!  Here's to some new summer, family-time traditions!!!

Happy Memorial Day!!  Thank you to all the troops who gave or are giving up their lives to keep us free:)

May 26, 2012

Order!! Order!!!

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Imagine me banging a gavel and screaming that at the top of my lungs.  This is what I want to do every time I see the mail/coupon/magazine/crap mess on our desk or our dining table.

A couple of months ago I tried to tackle this pesky little problem called the "paper problem"...

...yeah I reeeeeeally under estimated how much paper stuff we accumulate.  This little wall center couldn't handle it!  Today it was looking more like this...

Kinda sad, I know.  These poor envelopes were so over used, see how tired they are?

They didn't really help the the paper problem either, see?  Our sweet little desk, overrun with junk...

And our dining room table, also piled with junk junk junk!  What do to?  How do I get this under control?  Yes I can throw a lot of it away, but there are so many things we need to keep like coupons and bills and magazines I want to read, etc.

We have this blank wall behind the basement door before you go down the steps.  I think it's the perfect place for a mail station.  There is a lot of space for mail slots (seen above, given to me by mom - thanks mom!) and for the cute calendar Dave got me as a stocking stuffer for Christmas, and other things.  So I thought I would give it a try!

Here it is, all nailed up and organized!  I added some family pics to give the mail station a sweet little touch...

This may be a better pic!

This calendar is really cute!  I also put our mail station sign up there for now but I think I'll DIY a fancier one some day!  Time to look on Pinterest...

These labels are from the Martha collection over at Staples!  Love them!

Here is a little magazine bin to put all those pesky unread ones in, I'll get to them soon I promise.  13 days until my summer left!!!

This little project only took me about 30 minutes, and cost me 0 dollars because I add everything, or was given everything - but the effects are priceless because this is definitely keep the JUNK OFF MY TABLE!!  The slots are open and easy enough so that we can grab the mail from the mailbox, and not take up a lot of time or energy sorting it into the bins.  Hmmm...maybe I should put a trash can here too;)

One day I may like to put a little bench with bins underneath it here too.  Even though the area is on the landing of the basement steps, it could be a good place to leave shoes and coats and umbrellas since we do not really have a good spot for all that here on the main floor.  Plus I love that it's tucked out of the way.  When guests come over (not that any of our guests ever mind, lol!) we can close the door if it's too messy.

The real test will be if we go through the stuff enough to get rid of things we don't need anymore.  We didn't do that much when the mail station was just those little blue folders, but I swear I'll try harder this time;)  Plus these bins have much more space to hold things, and they are way more durable - so I think they will hold up better than the last try.  Live and learn!!

Who else is doing little projects around the house this weekend?  This will be one of the only projects I'll get done on my 3 day holiday weekend!  I plan to spend LOTS of time in a pool somewhere!  Tomorrow we are having a huge family pool  party up at my bros new house - it'll be the first of many!!  Yipee!!

Happy Memorial Day!!