Not Broken

It could be the wine talking (I’m turning into quite the lush lately), but I feel a smidge like a kid at Disney World.  You know when you get a fancy new car and you look at it, do the little fast clap, and then squeal like a little girl while hopping up and down?  It lasts for a few days and then you move on.

Well, I am feeling like that.  But every day.  And it wore off for a few days when we were knee deep in boxes, spending days looking for a sofa, and I started panicking a bit about money.  But then we got unpacked, found a sofa, and I stopped freaking out about money.  I made the decision to enjoy every minute we had here.  I decided that the money would work itself out because it always does.  And since then?  I am feeling so amazing.

Before we moved into this place, we drove around this neighborhood and I thought it was so cute.  It felt like the right fit for us.  But then we looked at a rental that was way too small for us (but within budget and in my preferred neighborhood) and I started thinking I was asking for too much.  But I had seen this house online and we waited until it was ready to be seen, even though I was so antsy to get a place rented.  I just walked right in and fell in love.  And here we are –  loving it SO much.  I feel so proud of this place.  And I’m so proud that we didn’t go above our budget to get it.

Anyway, I just look around and do my tiny little clap while squealing and gazing with wonder.  WE live here!  And I’m so excited about everything I’ve learned in the past few years about home decor and my taste.  FYI, I am obsessed with Young House Love.  They are the ones who gave me the confidence to explore my own decorating style.  I used to worry about defining my taste – was I traditional? modern? country? contemporary?  It turns out that I like a healthy mix of everything.  So if it coordinates and I like it, then it fits just fine in my home.

So yeah.  I’m having the time of my life!

Yesterday, I was really hoping we could go hiking, but the weather is just too dicy right now.  We keep having flash flood warnings and wind advisories.  Plus, the North Shore had a high surf advisory yesterday.  The trail we plan on hiking is pretty remote and we just didn’t want to get caught in bad weather.  So although I was super bummed that we’d have to put off exploring for yet another weekend, we made the best of it.  I talked J into hanging curtains.  I feel like it’s one of the last things we had to do to finish off each room.

Luckily, we had a billion windows in our last house and we brought all of our rods and curtain panels with us.  We got started in our bedroom and I was SO excited!  We measured everything and J starting putting the screws in.  And….he hit a steel stud.  Dammit.  So we moved two inches farther out.  Another freaking steel stud.  We knew these homes were framed in steel (to protect against hurricanes and termites), but we didn’t think they’d go so far out from the window.

So I had a little pouty moment and I guilted J into trying to make this work.  We then decided to go next door because we knew the neighbors had curtains hanging in their front room.  Now, you need to know that this is a big deal.  In 13 years of marriage, we’ve never really chatted with any of our neighbors much.  I certainly have never been one to go ask for a cup of sugar.  And this was the neighbor that listened to me ramble on for an hour on Halloween night.

But we went over there and it turns out that they’ve had similar issues with the studs.  And their curtains were installed before they moved in, so they couldn’t help much.  However, they did own a stud finder and were nice enough to lend that to us.

We discovered you basically have no choice but to install the the rods about 6″ outside of the windows.    You also have to go about 2-3″ above the frame as well, but that’s less of an issue because I use curtain rings and like my panels to drag a bit on the ground.  But yay!  I was getting my curtains!  The stud finder helped us place each screw perfectly!

Last night we installed one window’s curtains in our bedroom and all of them downstairs.  Today, we ran to the store to grab the smaller rods we needed for our bedroom and Audra’s.  Then we came home and finished up in our room.  It looks soooo great!

Still needing our nightstands, but like I said before…I just can’t find what I want.  But when I do, I’ll know it!

Our little windows were a challenge because the studs weren’t in the same place on either side.  So we had to improvise a bit:

It doesn’t look very noticeable though with the curtains hung, so it’s not a big deal.  I’m just excited they’re up!

And here are some not great shots of our downstairs.

I’ll get another shot later after I clean off the table.  It keeps collecting crap.

I went back and forth about adding curtains in the front room.  It looks a bit weird with the blinds they have installed, but I still think it frames the bookshelves nicely.

So we still have the kids’ rooms to finish.  They all have wall decor from our last house, but not much has been put up yet.  We were waiting until we put up the curtains so we could center things better, and that turned out to be a great plan since we have to hang the rods so far out.  Anyway, I was hoping to get some of that done tonight, but we’re currently watching The Voice and in total couch potato mode.

Oh!  Random, but I found this cute little ceramic fox on clearance today ($6!) at Target:

It holds a tealight in the back and will be perfect for Christmas decorating.  Love it!

After we finished working on our bedroom, we decided to go for a walk.  We went a different way this time, and it was fun wondering where we’d end up!

We found the ocean!  But we couldn’t get to it through the construction (without walking way around).

So we walked down the street to the left and I realized how amazing it would be to live there.  It’s in our neighborhood so the homes are very much like ours.  But if they look one way, they see this:

I love seeing those mountains!  And if they look the other way, they see the ocean!  (You gotta look there in the middle.)

Just awesome.

But I’m not complaining.  Not at all.  If you walk to the end of our street, this is our view.

Whew-doggie.  That’s effing incredible.

I just can’t explain this feeling I have here.  Holding hands with J, watching our babies run ahead, walking in our shorts and flip flops in the middle of November, being gone just 40 minutes and seeing both ocean and mountains in that time?  I could seriously cry.  (And I thought that while walking, so it definitely isn’t the wine.)

I wondered if I’d ever be here.  I really thought I’d be forever looking into the future.  I thought my life would be a perpetual daydream where I couldn’t enjoy my now.  And for the first time in my entire life, I love my every single day.  And I’m sad that we don’t have our family here, because that would just make it perfect.

I kept saying that those four years we spent in Indiana was our preparation time.  I kept saying it, and I kept hoping it was true.  And now that we’re here, I know that I was right.  Everything we were doing was in anticipation of this huge move – we just didn’t know it.  If we hadn’t gotten healthy, we couldn’t have flourished in a place so perfect for outdoor activities.  If J hadn’t busted his ass to get his degree, he couldn’t have gotten this job here.  If we hadn’t paid off so much debt, we couldn’t have even considered moving to such an expensive place.  If I hadn’t been able to have my skin removal surgery, I don’t think I’d be comfortable in my body here.  And if we didn’t homeschool, I would have been much more hesitant to bring them into a struggling school system.  And if we hadn’t learned so much about ourselves, our tastes, and the things that bring us joy?  We wouldn’t be able to appreciate all that this great state has to offer.

I’m just really really grateful.  I thought I was broken.  I thought I was such a demanding bitch that nothing would ever make me happy.  But I was wrong.  I wasn’t broken.  I just wasn’t in the right place.  And part of that is living in a home that makes me happy and part of that is our geographic location.  And every little bit of me is grateful for the road that led us here because I learned so much along the way.  And I’m so grateful that I have a husband who has been able to provide for us and bring us to such an incredible place.  I know that my constant unhappiness has always been a burden for him because it just seemed like nothing could make me happy.  Nothing.  And he’s always worked so hard to do just that.

But when you don’t quite know what you want, it’s hard to achieve it.  But somehow, some way, we are here.  And a simple walk around my neighborhood can send shivers down my spine.

I am happy.

Part of me feels some serious guilt every time I say that because I know my family wanted me to find that in Indiana.  And both my dad and mom provided rental homes to me there that I just couldn’t quite appreciate.  And at (a lot of) times, I acted like a total asshole about it.  I’m not proud of that at all.  I was renting the best homes we could afford because our priorities were out of order (as in, our vehicle payments were more than our rent), and I wasn’t happy with it.  And when I’m not happy, I don’t hide it well.  And I apologize for that because it’s not fair.  It’s not fair when people try to do their best to help you and you don’t appreciate it.  I still have a lot of growing up to do.  I do know that.

So I guess you’re wondering why I’m sharing all of this?  I guess because I’ve shared everything.  And many of you were with me when I was dreaming about this.  Many of you probably thought I was batshit crazy.  I put these huge things out there and I just assume they will happen.  Because they have to.  Because if I had been stuck in that place forever, I would have really been sad.  I knew there was more, and I am finally finding it.  And there wasn’t anything wrong with me.  I wasn’t asking for too much.  I wasn’t being too high maintenance.  I just needed something different.  And now I have it.  Whether it’s for a year, three, forever – it doesn’t matter because I’m living in the NOW and not worrying about the future.

And I’m sharing that because I know I’m not alone.  I know that there are lots of you who can’t find happiness in your everyday lives.  And it’s okay to want something more or different.  And I don’t know how to help you find that, but dammit, dream BIG.  Hawaii is apparently working for me, but it’s not because it’s “paradise”.  It’s because the things here fit me.  But something else entirely may work for you.  Ask for whatever you want because it’s not crazy!  You’re not crazy.  We don’t all have to fit the lives we are currently leading.  And that’s okay.  You are not broken.  I really thought I was.  But I’m not.

I’m not.  I’m perfectly okay.  I’m happy.


  1. says

    I am SO glad you and your fam are happy in Hawaii. I am happy for you!! I love reading your blogs every day and reading how real you are. You don’t mess around! I absolutely love your house and I think you did a great job with the curtains, and of course the styling of the house. Looking forward to chatting to you soon! :) Lets workout again on skype, when you’re healed!