Tuesday, May 28, 2013

On Which We Reclaim Our Bedroom

I think it is natural for the parental bedroom to become a second family room. Since both babes wake up before we are ready to get out of bed, usually all four of us start our day together in our (!!) Full sized bed. It is quite cozy, but Grant and I have ruined two sets of mattresses by our habit of sleeping curled up together so we aren't surprised that P and K are fond of close quarters. We actually started our married life on a twin mattress that VERY unbeknownst to me was Grants from college. That he found in his apartment when he moved in. It has been almost 10 years so the horror isn't quite as close to my heart. But a mattress set was my first big purchase of our married life that I made without consulting him. It would not have mattered if he would have said no. What happens in college should definitely stay in college.

But that is a different story. Before we had children, we were firm believers in the "your bed/our bed" philosophy of family sleeping arrangements. But as babes are wont to do, our children taught us that there are seasons of infant and toddlerhood where they just need to be close. And we could have stuck to our original plan but with two babes 18 months apart there were times when we just chose sleep over the 74th trip down the hallway to put a sleeping Pursy back in her own bed. Or chose to sleep together in our bed with a Knox in the middle rather than one of us going to the guest room to rock him back to sleep. And we might have been right or we may have been wrong, but it doesn't matter now and our babes seem very well adjusted and independent. Our marriage and sex life survived that season as well, despite the warnings that letting children into your bed is equivalent to a cold shower. I love the wisdom that comes from age and experience. Thinking of myself four years ago clearing out the shelf at Barnes and Noble with every book on parenting I could find, convinced that there was one RIGHT way to do this gig... oh, silly girl. But again, that is a different story.

Coming into our bed in the morning is only the start of their slow and probably not hostile take over of our bedroom. Goodnight Moon, The Carrot Seed, Stellaluna, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, My First Dinosaur Book, Brown Bear...all these pillars of children's literature and favorite bed time stories have worked their way in to the stack of books on our bedside tables. Sippy cups from midnight drinks of water fall under the bed. Plastic bracelets and headbands and glasses with mustaches attached from spontaneous dress up parties get stuffed in to our dresser drawers. Paper overnight diapers drop beside the toilet while the first poop of the day goes down in our bathroom. Usually announced by a proud Pursy who has developed a very weird habit of combining academics with bodily functions. "Mama, look! My poop made an R! Come see!" And every few weeks, we do a purge of everything child that has migrated to our bedroom. And we look around our now adult bedroom and think that it looks really good. Until the next parade of kid stuff comes in, and we decide to just close the door until it's time to go to bed.

A few weeks ago, I was reading one of my favorite blogs Sometimes Sweet and she posted a link to a really cool woodworking artist. (The author, Danielle, does this recurring post on Fridays called Weekend Links where she puts up links to everything beautiful or interesting she discovered that week- these posts are one of my favorite things about Fridays. Her style is fantastic and I love finding a concentration of lovely things in one place that I didn't have to spend my time searching around for. I bought this cute piece of art for friends of ours getting ready to have twins. Sorry for the spoiler, Anna! But now you can look forward to getting it once I get it framed and ready for you.) The piece of art she linked to was a beautiful wood ampersand that was displayed in a bedroom. I loved the subtle intimacy and the gorgeous wood symbol, but not the price. Then I was browsing through the Clearance shelf at Target and found a pretty piece of art with the same ampersand on a square piece of linen. Same idea, definitely not as cool, but at a price I could be okay with making a spontaneous purchase.

The art has been leaning against the wall in our bedroom for almost a month, waiting for a place to hang. The way our bedroom was arranged, there was no good place for it to find a home. We hadn't really put much thought into our bedroom when we moved in because it seemed like there was only one way for the furniture to be laid out, but we inherited a fantastic high back chair when Grant's great aunt passed away and our vision was always a sitting area somewhere in our bedroom. As these things go, the chair was shoved into an empty corner and was my nursing chair for a few months and then just another flat surface for clean clothes. It was hard to get motivated to rearrange things when moving the bed meant dealing with the dead bodies hiding under there feeding on stale cheerios and the other half of pairs of baby socks with trains on them.

This weekend was my chance. In order to cover up some nail holes that had been punched in the wall by my inability to find the level while hanging pictures, I decided to make an accent wall. There is a small piece of wall in between two windows where it looks like the chimney used to run up the back of the house, and they drywalled over it. Easy to tape off, easy to paint, and a perfect place to hang my ampersand. THEN I decided we needed more than just some paint- we needed to rearrange the room. It is a bedroom, why shouldn't the bed be the central focus? I am also obsessed with minimalism right now, and have been going on rampant purgings of different areas of our home that I feel are being overrun with THINGS. This makes Grant nervous, and if it takes him longer than 5 seconds to find his shoes, he accuses me of throwing them out. I tell him he needs to start putting things away and out of sight or it is a distinct possibility.

Here is the result. A new bedroom, all because of a $15 piece of art from Target. And today will probably be the only day where there are no sippy cups under the bed.

Our Wedding Photo and the Ampersand

Our Cozy Reading Area. Japanese art, courtesy of my brother Daniel. Chair with tolerable slip cover, courtesy of Aunt Jean. Mirror, mirror on the wall, a $6 Goodwill find.

This large empty wall makes my minimalistic heart leap for joy.

My stack of bedside reading material. No children's literature but pretty mono-themed. We are in a Anglican Order that includes reading and study in the tradition of monastic rhythms of life. Am reading quite a bit of theology and community focused literature right now. Not sure where Rob Bell fits in, but am going to find out.

Grant's bedside reading material, which puts my little pile to shame. It is not an abnormal thing for me to look over and find him leafing through Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology (large purple book on the bottom right) to clarify a point from another theology text he is reading. Am I alone thinking that is really sexy??


  1. Christy, I am a book-snoop, so thanks for posting the bedside reading photos. Let me know when you get to the Rob Bell. I unabashedly love him and will gladly discuss anything he writes. Same with Robert Farrar Capon. So wonderful.

  2. 2 parents and 2 kids in a full size bed. And I thought Charlotte took up a lot of room on our queen. I will have to rethink wanting a king size bed in the future. :) Love your redecorating! - Jules