Thursday, May 16, 2013

some big milestones this week.

as of today we are in the middle of may, and somehow this week marks THREE fairly significant milestones for us. well, two are pretty big and one is kind of trivial, so i suppose ill start with that one:

its been an entire year since ive had a haircut. of any kind. heres the most recent picture i have with my hair down:

i think i may have mentioned this before, but my hair is literally the longest its ever been in my entire life. this is partly on purpose (i got a REALLY bad drastic haircut when i was 19), partly because i just cant let myself justify the expense (the only stylist i know i trust is kind of expensive, and when the choice is haircut or week of groceries, im going to choose groceries), and mostly because im really, really forgetful when it comes to my hair. usually i dont even notice that i need a haircut until about six months after i actually need a haircut.

 i know youre probably wondering something like, "if youre as forgetful about your hair as you claim to be, then how the heck do you remember exactly when your last haircut was?", and you would be right to do so. i only remember that its been exactly a year since my last haircut because i remembered that the last time i got a haircut was right after we moved into our apartment, and (as of tomorrow), we have lived in our apartment for an entire year! this is a pretty huge deal because its (by an entire month) the longest that weve ever lived in one place. and honestly, its the first place weve lived that felt even a little bit like "home".

now something you may not know about us (at least, i dont think ive mentioned it here before), is that the three of us live in a one bedroom apartment, in a not so great building, with NO patio, garage, or outside storage of any kind. im not complaining, we had exactly a week to find a place, and weve made it work for us. its just, even after spending an entire year purging unnecessary belongings, its still crowded, cluttered, and ugly. i mean, we dont have people over except our very best friends because im kind of embarrassed about it. 

living in prescott i developed a HUGE complex about our home and having people over. see, i thought james and i got married pretty young (20 and 23, respectively), but that was old compared to all the married people we knew in prescott (all except one woman i knew was already married by age 19). so the majority of couples we knew were only a couple years older than us, but OWNED big beautiful sparkling clean houses, full of all brand new matching everything and giant tvs and had ipads and went on vacation at least once a month and were always talking about all the new clothes they just bought. ALL while having two toddlers. this is not an exaggeration! 

so there i was, newly married, living in a dumpy little duplex with our belongings consisting of: our sparse collection of things we owned before we got married, a handful of nice things that were all wedding gifts, and a TON of junk. not to mention we were beyond broke and were scrambling just to pay rent, let alone buy groceries, heck we STILL dont have any vacations of new clothes to talk about. so as you can see i had a really, REALLY hard time trying to make friends. i mean, how could i let these women with such beautiful perfect lives see the squalor we lived in? so we never, EVER invited people over. not that anyone really wanted to hang out with us anyways. 

all that to say that my entire adult life ive been embarrassed to let anyone see the inside of my house. but after a year of living in one place, i finally feel settled enough to share the progress weve made in our teeny little apartment. i would first like to note though, that i did NOT stage (ok, i vacuumed and put some things that belonged in the bedroom away) or edit these photos (except for adjusting the exposure a bit), so as to convey exactly how small, crowded, and poorly lit our living area is. i would also like to add that this is very, very much outside of my comfort zone. 

so heres the room from one corner:

i suppose this is our main "entertainment area" where we keep the tv and playstation on our super awesome vintage stereo. i really REALLY hope that we can have a place where it can be shown off and not shoved in the corner sometime soon. ive worked really hard this year to get rid of the pile of boxes under the bar, and theres just some stuff (like photo albums, our file box, and collection of videogame consoles) that we just HAVE to save for when we bigger place so ive just resigned to that area being forever ugly. 

anyways, heres the view from the opposite corner, in the nursery/office area:

 which i decided was too flattering of an angle so i re-took it so as not to deceive you as to how small of a space it actually is (note the brown chair). basically everything alice owns HAS to fit in that little white cubby thing and changing table, so i am forever telling family and friends not to buy alice toys, ever. and i only feel horribly guilty about it. but now its here on the internet that im not lying to deprive alice of toys, she literally has about four square feet of toy space, and its overflowing. 

behind the couch we have a few pieces of art that james hung up, and i think its pretty cute (decorating is SO not my thing):

and heres the view from the couch, where you can see our entire kitchen, i should note that its only about three feet deep (see why i dont post step-by-step photos with my recipes?). behind the black bookshelf is the pantry, and to the left of the fridge is our two-person dining table, and beyond that is the doorway to the bedroom and bathroom. 

now im not at all good with change, and it takes me a REALLY long time to adjust and adapt, so im really really thankful to have finally lived in one place long enough to FINALLY feel comfortable and at ease in my own home. 

the last milestone is a really emotionally tough one for me, so im not going to talk much about it (though one day ill tell you the whole story, i guess its pretty entertaining), but it is really important that i acknowledge it: in a few days we will have lived here in california longer than we lived in arizona. if you havent guessed by now, living in arizona was a REALLY bad experience for me, almost everything, our jobs, our financial situation, our living situations, our church, our (lack of) friends, was just, bad. i mean, we got some really nice vintage furnishings that wed NEVER be able to afford in la, and i got to have alice at a REALLY nice hospital, so not everything was bad, but it is SUCH a huge emotional relief to finally get to the point where thats no longer MOST of our marriage. prescott held such a heavy burden over us (ok, mostly just me) for so long, and for the first time it feels like were starting to escape it and really start making our new life happen. 

i suppose ill just leave it at that. stay tuned for next time where i lighten things up and show you how to make some soup!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing these bits of your life with us. Your home is lovely--very evident that it is filled with love--which is more important than clothes or vacations and other stuff. Alice is blessed to have you and James as parents. We got married when I was 20. I remember struggling financially in the beginning as well. I really admire you guys!

    FYI, if you are able to post pictures here...then maybe you can handle having Christina H. over. :) She is super amazing with organization. She can help you how to use your space most efficiently. I have a problem with closets and not keeping them organized. She has helped me a lot. She probably has some inexpensive ideas of what to do if you have no storage space.

    Sorry that Prescott was so difficult for you. We are glad to have you guys back and I am happy to hear that S. California is your preferred location. :)