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Tuesday, May 4, 2010


The girls went on holiday to Beals Island this weekend. Grandparents and Aunt on duty- Moms off to play.

Now when most parents have time to themselves they usually spend it in pretty typical ways- sleeping, going out to dinner, going out with friends, doing basic non-kid activities and living a life (briefly) that moves at an adult pace, rather than fitting the needs of crying or whining or needing-to-sleep children.

We painted our living room.

See this was the premise under which we asked for the weekend without the kids so we kind of had to actually paint the living room.

The living room had last been painted a mere 7 or 8 years ago, but the kids and animals and wood stove had taken its toll. Out with the cream, in with the hot chocolate.
I am actually not allowed to do any of the fine-motor painting (deemed by Sandi) so I am the brute force wielding the roller.
Sandi has the necessary perfectionistic qualities necessary for perfect painting edges. I happily comply. I am a reckless sort of painter who finds paint slashes on her skin and streaks through her hair for days to come.

Someone said to us, "Painting? That's how you're going to spend you're time away?" My first thought was, well when else are we going to get to paint the living room?
My second: Are you kidding? We LOVE to do this.
Look how happy we are! We had the music playing, we had no one else's needs to consider, we stopped when we were hungry and ate at odd times, and we just plain 'ol love working on projects together. Becoming parents means more tag-teaming than cooperative effort and I think this is one of the things we miss the most about our former life. That, and laying in bed having the spring sun wake you up and getting up leisurely to go out for a hike. (As a for instance that Sandi was reminiscing about this morning.)

This is one of the things I have come to appreciate about our relationship: we function (at our best, that is) in the true spirit of yin and yang. There are some things that are important or fulfilling for Sandi (such as straight lines, pictures hung at perfect balance, technological gear of any kind, maintaining correct tire pressure in her bike tires, wi-fi and ipods and blackberries) which are usually the things that matter little to me. By contrast the things that matter to me (that my bike will allow me to pedal it, regardless of its tire pressure, a clean house, super nutritious food, a running schedule, being on time, having a birthday present a week before a birthday) matter less to her. Not that either of these things are unimportant to the other, just that they don't take the highest priority.
See, so when we work well as a team, we achieve some pretty awesome balance. We eat well, live in a clean house with a workable computer, we have good tire pressure in our bike tires, well-hung pictures, birthday presents that are wrapped and ready, a sleek paint job and wireless Internet in the car to look up facts and directions and weather and anything else and we are generally on time. We have a pretty enriched life with half the effort because the other one of us is going to secure the things that are most important to her. And best of all, the things that really matter, like happy kids, financial matters, the balance of work and play and life perspective, are both equally important to us.
(When we are out of balance, though, everything kind of falls to crap so we work hard at it.)

However, between prepping the banged up walls, caulking the cracks in the woodwork and putting on a coat of primer, in addition to the 2 coats each on wall and trim, we had to spend a lot of time actually painting. It was hard to fit it all the other kid-free activities. I did manage to get my hair cut and go for a 14-mile training run and Sandi to the gym, we weeded and mulched the garden,we went out to dinner and got to have a campfire with friends, but some stuff we just had to fit in while we painted.
Like napping...

and eating chocolate...

and studying for her critical care nursing exam...

or having a beer. (This photo taken at 1 a.m. during clean-up since we had to get the girls the next morning.)

We sacraficed sleep and lazy lying in bed but we got a new living room...

I'm not joking when I say it was one of the most fun weekends of my whole life. (And some really fantastic news, summer-like weather, Dogfish Head IPA and the coconut naan bread from Taste of India didn't hurt.)

4 comments: said...

WOW. it looks SOOOOO good! I love everything about this post. Can't wait to see it in person too... will be stopping by.


The Thai Family said...

That color looks amazing!

Katie said...

Great job, girls! Looks fab. I'll be stopping by in the near future to lick your walls...mmmmm...chocolate...

Jeannine said...


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