That picture is a sneak peek at some upcoming Valentine's Day projects that I have in the works and will be sharing some photos with you in the near future. It's a big ol' box of Valentine yumminess. I can't wait to show you what all I am planning! And yes, that little tube of E-6000 glue is supposed to be in the picture. Sort of.
Speaking of Love...
One of the blessings of being "slowed down" by life (many of you don't know that I had a major illness last March, more info on that is coming soon, I promise!) is that in slowing down,
my heart has been turned back toward my home.
At the time I got sick, I was working on building my home based business and working constantly. Like-the-12-14-hours-a-day-kind of constantly. I was working in my home, just not on my home. I had really been lax in this area. I really didn't make the time to care what it looked like, and had become comfortable in my clutter.
With having been pretty housebound for the better part of the summer and early fall, and with my focus on my health instead of my work, my attention on feeling good, I suddenly became more aware of my surroundings and didn't like what I saw. Let's just say I was no longer comfortable with my clutter. My poor hubby, you met him in my last post right? Mountain Man. Yeah, he HATES clutter. With a capital H.A.T.E.S. He is a saint in my eyes, for having put up with my chaos. If there were a contest for Queen of Chaos, I am fairly confident I would be current reigning champion and wearing a crown as I type this to you. Yeah. A big ol' shiny crown. You can't see me, but I am waving "the wave" at you right now. :)
After I got out of the hospital, my mom and dad basically moved in with us (and all of my clutter) for the first six weeks of my recovery, solely to be my care providers so that Mountain Man could return back to work. Mom and Dad, I love you both for the sacrifices you made during this time, and if I haven't told you enough, I am telling you again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. (There's a love theme happening here. Purely unintentional, but I am lovin' it!)
If there were a female version of Mr. Clean, my mom would be her. Except she has hair. Bleach is her weapon of choice and she knows how to use it. It may sound strange to you, but every time I smell the smell of bleach, I think of my mom. And I mean that in a good way. :)
So, couple the fact that my mom is Mrs. Clean and Mountain Man hates clutter. Without me being able to supply a daily dose of clutter, the house didn't stand a chance against the two of them. Seems we constantly had weekly cleaning and organizational projects going on. I wasn't strong enough to help, but they humored me by regularly asking my opinion about things that should be kept, tossed, cleaned, sorted, etc. I was sitting in the midst of dueling white tornadoes, each unknowingly trying to out clean the other on a daily basis. The windows would be flung open in the morning and by noon, the smell of bleach would be wafting throughout the neighborhood. I was both dazed and amazed by this daily process. God slowed me down so that I could take in all of this and learn from it, even at my age. (And you can keep right on wondering what age that might be.) What I was completely unaware of was, that as I kept getting stronger, so was my desire to keep the house looking neat and tidy. I liked having the clutter removed. Who knew?
In our 26 years of marriage, I have always loved to decorate our home. I never stopped liking the decorating process. It was just such a chore to decorate when you first had to empty out so much stuff, then clean where the stuff had been, before any decorating fun could begin. It is much more fun to decorate a clean house than to decorate around the clutter in one. I can remember many a day that I had to find the table before I could set the table, and that led to a lot of dinner's in front of the TV. Nowdays, we get to sit at this pretty table setting and actually talk during dinner.
Now, I am not telling you all of this because I have recently invented the latest greatest cleaning methods (don't make me laugh!) or that I have written a great new organizational book (now that would be hilarious!) but only that we have found a new comfort in our home that we are throughly enjoying. It isn't perfect, not by a long shot, but it is comfortable once again.
I don't recall where I first saw it, but some lovely blogger that I came across out there had the awesome idea of using epsom salts to resemble snow in candle holders and I fell in love with the look. This is my version of it that currently sits on our table. I love the clean, uncluttered feel of it. There's that love word again!
I also love that I was able to use some of the great pieces of blue glass containers that I have recently started to collect at thrift stores!
Such a calm and serene look after all the busy holiday decorations came down. Kinda reminds me of watching snowflakes falling real slow like, onto the ground. We seem to get to do that a lot around here.