Monday, August 30, 2010

Nesting Nestless

The Nesting Instinct has struck. I am, after all, 39 weeks pregnant. Unfortunately for 9 month pregnant me, I am as of yet houseless thanks to the "bean-counters" at the mortgage store. It's a boring and sad story, so I'll spare you. Anyway, what with the extra-long, extra heavy child (midwife predicts a 8-10 pounder) currently residing in my abdomen, I probably wouldn't have the agility/energy to nest even if I could get my hands on this house. So, in this blog post I will indulge in a little virtual nesting, which has the benefit of requiring little physical exertion, flexibility--AND it's free (always a good thing after yet ANOTHER baby shopping trip to Tar-jay!)

Anyway. I have a vision for our future family home. I envision a clean, peaceful space, full of light, books, food, music, prayer and conversation. In addition, this clean and peaceful space will be beautiful. Beauty is, I truly believe, a divine virtue and a divine praise. This is a fragment of my musings and justification of my current Nesting Moment.

Anyway anyway. On with the virtual nesting. BEHOLD THE LIVING ROOM as it stands now, artificially and sparsely staged by the seller:

Its virtues: gorgeous paneling, stone fireplace (currently not functioning...alas), hardwood floors, and original leaded glass windows. Despite the Living Room's dark walls and northern exposure, it is a surprisingly warm and light room. Sunlight manages to stream in through the huge southern windows in the dining room. Still, I want to increase the feeling of light and warmth in the space, while playing upon the classic English library coziness and sophistication already suggested by the paneling and stained glass.
I love this room's warmth, for instance:
And this room's clean sophistication.

In order to achieve the comfortable, lived-in-for-one-hundred-years-yet-clean-as-newly-bleached-sheets, Devin and I are considering several purchases. 1. a charmingly faded antique turkish rug in golds, dusky greys, and muted corals. 2. a white linen sofa like this one from Restoration Hardware:

English Roll Arm Upholstered Sleeper Sofas
3. custom pillows in charmingly vintage yet modern patterns like this:
and, 4. a pair of antique Chinese vases like this:
Once again, I emphasize the "freeness" of *virtual* nesting.

Moving on.

The next room that needs work is the Breakfast Room which adjoins our lovely kitchen:
This room will, I hope, one day combine two things I love the most: Food and Books. I would like to retain the kitchen/dining aspect along with clean brightness:
At the same time, we need to incorporate our books in this space (mainly because we don't want to cover our paneled walls with shelving):

The combined effect would be a comfortable living/eating/reading space. Like this:
Or this:

The next room to consider is the Master Bedroom, which currently looks like this:

The priority here is light and comfort. Here are some examples of the feel and look I want:

gasl ashley whittaker 08 783788 Favorite Light Blue Rooms From domino

Last, but certainly not least, is the Nursery:
The virtue of this room is Light. Though the picture doesn't exactly capture it (it was slightly overcast and in the evening when I took it), this room is absolutely filled with southern light on two full walls. I want the nursery to be feminine, calm and whimsical. Like this:
pa102972 0507 babycrib xl 724516 Pink Walls and a Liberty Print Curtain
Or this:
Pink Wall
I have already chosen the paint color (a dusky grey-pink in the white family) and ordered the crib bedding in clean, vintage florals which remind me of this old wallpaper:
Floral Wallpaper
or these curtains:
perfect english 500x4181 Green with Red Accents
Here ends my bout of virtual nesting. Hopefully within the week I will have either a nest...or a little nestling...or maybe both!

Friday, August 20, 2010


I am standing on a cliff.

Everything is new.



is new.

Or will be very soon.

Within four weeks these things will happen:

1. We will sell our beloved first home in North Carolina.

2. We will buy a new home in Kansas City.

3. We will move in to said new home in Kansas City.

4. I will finish my masters dissertation for St Andrews.

5. I will have a baby.

As I said before, I am standing on a cliff. Looking down. I am afraid of heights.

What will this new life be? What is being a mother? I feel this baby move and I wonder who she is. I wonder what we will say to each-other in all the years that are coming. I pray that I will make a home for her—a place of light, beauty, love, peace.

For me, the New House has become a symbol of hope for my new life (and the New Life who will be born soon). It is difficult to imagine the future, or plan for the complexities of this new life. It is difficult to imagine a person you have never met—or a world you have yet to create. I find that my fear, my expectation, my joy are all tied up in the house. I spend hours thinking about the house. And silly things about the house: paint colors, curtains, pedestal tables. Or the garden: what will I grow? Is my soil alkaline or acidic? What color climbing roses? Will hydrangeas work in the back bed (which doesn’t exist yet)? Or the way light comes into the house from the south, the cool northern side where the front porch is. The bats who live behind the shutters. Somehow all these things stand in for the baby who will be in this place, whose first memories will be of this place.

Our House (We Hope!) in One Week

Our House

is a 1915 brick construction in an old neighborhood in Kansas City. The house is on a quiet street with a children’s park at the end of it. There is a running trail a block away that runs for miles along the old trolley track. It is 0.5 miles to Brookside village where there is a farmer’s market, restaurants, a grocery store, post office, coffee shop, laundry, florist, independent (children’s) bookstore, dime store and elementary school. From our front porch we can walk to the gorgeous Loose Park with its rose garden, playground, trees, and an old Civil War canon. We are within 10 minutes of our new parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel.

The house is full of old wood paneling. I usually don’t like wood paneling, but this is amazing. Totally unique. And the house is also filled with light, with huge windows all along the south face. The house is old—and feels old—but everything was renovated this year. I usually don’t like rehabs, but the previous owner kept all the important features intact. So I will enjoy the huge fireplace, hardwood floors, built in hutch, 1920s tile—while also enjoying a brand new kitchen with granite, new bathrooms and—wonder of wonders!—a walk in closet!

May God bless our new house, new baby, new life.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Kansas Country

Last weekend TM, Inside Child and I met the parental-in-laws and our brother and sister-in-law at the family's place in Hesston, KS. Sister-in-law and I enjoyed being pregnant while floating in the pool (she's due in November), while the men attempted to play golf in the back pasture--despite the oppressive Kansas heat.

Though my ever-growing body is made even heavier and more unwieldy by said heat, I love it. Summer is glorious. The summer sounds and smells are different here--in the heat--on the prairie--than they are in Scotland. Next summer I will probably long for the sounds/smells of the Scottish summer (sea-gulls crying at dawn, the salt sea, the barley turning colors and the beech trees green), but now I am happy to be home. Cicadas loud, dry grass (its sound, its smell), the burr oak, the maple, the sycamore, the horse-apple.

Below I include picture of:
My Child
Strong City, KS
St Anthony Catholic Church
Iced Tea
Funny Sunhats
Mr. Mclewer's (who is dead) Abandoned Farm
John Deer Green
Retro Family Photos