Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Word of the Year 2014: A Move Update

I'm starting my new year late in 2015.  I still feel like I'm tying up muddy ends of last year, which was good and whole and bursting with so much that it didn't end on time.  We just rolled in from a family vacation yesterday.  I'm easing into all the new, and I'm not done remembering the old.  Let's talk about our word for 2014.

The word of the year was always Move, and when we found out we couldn't actually move into a new house, we were initially let down.  I know Ben still struggles with our small house and a community that doesn't feel like home for him, but we're making changes in here and it's leading to a much more comfortable life.  One thing we really needed to do was decide what we wanted to accomplish in each room.  This sounds deceivingly simple, but we had to strip away expectations and make our house work for us.

We started with the living room and realized that we needed to plan for play and toy storage more so than adult entertaining.  With this in mind, we carpeted over our hardwoods with extra soft padding and rugs that can take a beating, got rid of almost all art, bookshelves, and coffee tables, and brought in the train table.  We went out and got a huge cubed storage piece from Ikea (it used to be Expedit and now it's something different but it's still amazing) and keep all toys, a good chunk of the kid books, and the kid DVDs in this unit.  This room is much safer and much more fun than it ever was before.  

Another big problem we had was no personal space for Ben and I.  Kids stiff was everywhere.  Ben's desk was shoved into our tiny bedroom, where small people were constantly climbing up to press buttons and scribble on the bank ledger. I had a laptop balanced on an end table in the living room, and usually a cup of coffee too close to the electronics. We wanted some adult space, so we looked to our trash-heap storage dump of a three-season porch.

It is appalling how we were treating this space. Ben was pumped about the clean up.  Then the entire summer was hanging out with the worker guys as they took down the walls and put them back up again.  Milo and Elliott loved it.

Ben took the charge on this project and completely brought it to life.  It was a year of securing a loan, hiring contractors, managing the work, ordering carpet, painting (a color he picked)- I feel like this room is the best present he's ever given me.  I don't have many pictures of it out here, because this is not where I come to hang out with my family.  This is where I come to write, and be quiet.  Ben and I are just starting to put up posters and bring our books and DVDs to fill in the space. I did all my National Novel Writing Month work at the little desk on the left.  After dinner, sometimes we let the boys dance in the big empty space in the middle.  This room is true love.

Another aspect of Move was moving our bodies, and I made some strides this year.  I ran, a lot.  My FitBit helped me figure out when I needed to get off my bum, and when I was powering through just fine. I used the Couch 2 5K running program all spring and summer, and ran two 5K races.  I consistently went to the gym in the fall, walked on the treadmill at least 3 times a week in November, and we did a five mile Turkey Trot as a family.  I definitely slacked off in December, which I feel might be my national duty, but all in all, I felt proud of the moving I brought into my life in last year.  There's more work to be done, but habits are being worn in to my beautiful brain grooves.  

Move was a good word for our family in 2014.  It was something that we were actively pursuing well past January, even when our original plans were firmly derailed. I'm not sure if the 2015 word will represent our whole family or something I personally want to work on, but I'm down to pick another word for another year.  It worked. 

I'll be back later this week to do a little personal reflection about 2014 and what my intentions are for the coming year.  Things are lovely and bright!  Do you have a word for this year? How did 2014 treat you? If you're willing to share, I'd love to hear.

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At January 4, 2015 at 11:01 AM , Blogger gillian claire said...

Oh I love what you say about putting purpose to each room and I love seeing the progress you've made! Seeing little glimpses into the everyday "stuff" of people's lives is one of my favorite things about blogging. :) I love that you were able to still live around your chosen word for the year even though it didn't look like how you wanted it to. It's a little reminder that we can make plans but life is going to happen unpredictably and I like that!

At January 5, 2015 at 5:56 AM , Blogger ashlie said...

Oh, I totally agree about the peeks into other people's lives :) I love that , too. Thanks for the kind words- we're getting there! 2015 will bring us a dishwasher!

At January 6, 2015 at 4:35 PM , Blogger Becky Goerend said...

You did a fab job changing things up in your home!! and moving your body, too! Go, girl!!

At November 19, 2018 at 6:07 AM , Blogger ben said...

Your posts are always perfect.
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