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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Lost in Translation-Starting Over {again}

I have been away for some time, but I thought I would pop in and share an update about what has been happening in our family. 

Just to catch you up on how we ended up here- 
In October 2014, my dad passed away after a long battle with cancer. In November three of my kids{eldest is married and is still in Colorado} and I moved from Colorado to California to help my mom through this terribly sad time. When we arrived, it was with the intention of staying with her while we looked for our own place to rent close by. My mom and I are close, but I knew that us living together could be very stressful on our relationship and I wanted to help alleviate her stress, not cause it :-)

But through many different situations God has shown us that we are meant to live together through this season, so here we are at her house still, and we're doing okay!  

I have really been dragging my feet about doing an update post here. I have been quite out of my element as we are settling into a new kind of life, and I'm struggling a bit to figure out how it all translates into the future of this blog. I am certainly keeping my mind and heart open to see if God leads me to continue with it, change it.....or? 

So here's a bit of what's happening around here: 

In January we celebrated my youngest daughter Amelia's 11th birthday at the Aquarium of the Pacific, while my oldest daughter, Tess, was here from Colorado.
This summer my youngest, Silas, will be 8, and that tall, gorgeous redhead to my left {Mikayla} is turning 18! Whoa. 

I sure am missing my girl in Colorado :/

As you can guess, winter and spring in southern California is drastically different than Colorado! 

I really thought I would miss the snow, but....nope :-) 
Maybe I'll feel differently about it next year. Some of you might recall that I actually grew up in southern California, but I loved living in Colorado for 20 years. 

Last week we worked on an Easter Garden. I've been wanting to do one of these with the kids for the past few years, and it was really a sweet project to work on together as we spent time talking about the events leading up to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

The kids added some personal words on stones. 

My neice is getting married in May! I am very excited that I get to help work on some of the decor and crafting projects for the wedding. Think pallet wood, mason jars, burlap and lemons! I hope I'll get to share some of those projects with you all. 

We continue to homeschool, and the two youngest are looking forward to some fun music and art classes coming up through our local rec department. 

Here's a bit about our current home:

My mom's home has a living room (which has always been her space) and a large family room that has gone mostly unused for several years. She has graciously 'given' us the family room as our space, but it is still a giant (messy) work in progress! 

This is what it looked like before we arrived ^ My parents had purchased two futons for this room so we would have a place to sleep when we were here visiting from Colorado. 

Aaaand.....this was one of those "transition" sort of weeks. Oh dear. Most of our belongings are still in storage, but we are going to start emptying that in small batches at a time. 

We all slept together on the two futon sofas in this room for a few months. We just sort of pretended we were on vacation here, camping out. 
That's my big tip for dealing with huge life transitions- denial. {smile}

I am now sleeping on the futon in the room that was my dad's music room {also my childhood bedroom-so weird}. Clearly no staging in this photo. Sorry, this might be a little too "real" : )

No, it's not glamorous, but people let me tell you- just having the tiniest corner to go and shut the door at the end of the day feels like the most extravagant luxury right now. It's all in the perspective...

I'm in the process of changing it more into a bedroom space again, but I want to be sensitive to my mom and how painful it can be to see some of my dad's things get moved around and some go away. Just moving along in baby steps. 

The family room is currently being used for sleeping/ living space for the three kids. They had their own spaces at our previous home, so this is a huge change for them. I'm so very proud of the way they have just gone with the flow of things. They know it won't always be like this. Sure, they have their times of being irritated with each other, but there is a lot of laughter too!

This room is open to the dining room/ kitchen area, so last week my mom and I hung some inexpensive cotton canvas curtain panels to create a privacy screen when needed. My mom and I have talked about how fun it would be to do some sliding barn style doors here, but that will have to wait awhile.

Opposite the curtain is the fireplace wall. My dad and my uncle built this room about thirty years ago! It has high ceilings and lots of pretty light, and opens out to a newly covered patio and backyard area.
 I would really like to change (even if just with paint) the dated wood frame around the river rock. My mom really doesn't like my style, so I'll need to tread carefully!
If you can believe it, it has been in the 90's here recently, but I still like to light candles in the fireplace several nights a week.  

Just for fun-mixing the old with a few things that are new (to me): 

By the way, since we are officially making this more of a dorm space, this corner looks nothing like this now. The white farmhouse cabinet is in my room now, and the futon sofas have become full-time beds, until I get the girls' antique bed frames out of storage. 

Although we did get rid of a tremendous amount of our "stuff" before leaving Colorado, I managed to bring a few of my favorite vintage pieces here, like this piece below that I had previously turned into a DIY Vintage Dresser Island

I brought this vintage window that I've had for many years, and the piano panel that's hard to see behind it. Isn't it interesting the things you decide you can't part with? 

I kept the vintage trunk coffee table, which is currently filled with our dvds and videos in the family room. I gave away my antique iron bed and mattress shown in this photo when we moved.

Boy, do I miss climbing into that comfy old bed at the end of the day! 

I'm hoping I'll be able to start looking for a new {old} bed soon. 

I've picked up just a few new things here and there over the last 5 months. One other BIG difference here- being close to fun stores that we didn't have in our more rural area of Colorado! 

The wooden crate and caddy I picked up at a garage sale in our neighborhood. It's easier to justify things that can be used for storage, right? :) The old basket I found in my mom's garage. 

What is this large metal thing with the handle? A stucco tool? A giant potato masher? 
I don't know, but I loved it's rustic look. I got it at a Goodwill store for a couple of dollars. The chippy metal flowers came from the Shabbyology market. 

I also picked up this beautiful old window at Shabbyology. 

They are currently on and above the fireplace mantel. 

I picked up this cute driftwood wreath at TJ Maxx for under $20.00. This is the kind of thing I would usually DIY. What is happening to me?! haha

I picked up this rustic perpetual calendar at the same garage sale as the wooden crate and caddy. 

This huge vintage wire basket was a freebie when the garage sale was over! It's kinda silly, but I just have a thing for old metal baskets. 
And "free" ;-)

I'm guessing our current living situations sounds pretty unappealing to many of you. Trust me, a few months ago I would have felt the same way. 
As I've recently mentioned to a few friends, you know it's a God thing when the very thing you swore you'd never do, suddenly becomes the thing you want to do, and you have total peace about it. I have longed for years to feel settled. That word to me brings up feelings of safety, security, peacefulness and contentedness. I think I felt that settled was a destination, and once I was there, life would finally be.....right. 
But the older I get the more one thing becomes clear to me. My external circumstances aren't likely to feel settled, maybe ever! "Real life" isn't something that's going to happen "when and if...." 
It's happening right now. This is it, and I'm going to do the best I can to live the best I can right where God has me. 

I'm 50 years old, and I've been through a lot of tough things in my life. One of the refreshing results of that is being able to set aside worrying so much about what other people think and moving forward with what I know is right for my family. 
We all have a story and this is mine. 
In this chapter, I'm a 50 year old single mom who is living in her childhood bedroom, and guess what? I'm cool with that.

I guess as this translates to blogging, I no longer have a home that's mine to decorate and create in, in the same way I did before, nor do I have my own basement or garage space to work on projects to sell. 

Should I completely lay it to rest for this season? I am not sure yet, but I'm sincerely praying that God will show me what He would have me do with it. I've been given a rare gift of finally being able to mentally relax a little bit and see how it all unfolds. 
After all, I didn't come here to do exactly what I was doing in Colorado, I came here first and foremost to be helpful to my mom, and I'm honored to do that. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today, friends. Keep your eyes open to those stepping stones of grace! 

With love-

P.S. Come keep in touch me me over on my Facebook page!

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  1. I have not been blogging much due to wrist surgery. I was scrolling through my blog roll tonight and wondered what you were up to. And, you are up to a lot. I hope you keep creating treasures from trash and blogging about it.

    And, I greatly admire you for taking care of your mother - family is what it's all about.

    1. I do hope your wrist is getting better, Carol! My kids missed a lot not being close to family for so many years, and I'm extra happy that they are getting to be close to my mom now too.

  2. Ditto, ^ what Carol said. I have been wondering about you too, Jeannette. I'd say your blog title is still quit fitting - Creating a Life - just a slightly different interpretation. Happy to hear from you and that you are doing well.

    1. Hi Rita- I like your idea of a different interpretation of "Creating a Life" : ) Thank you for coming by!

  3. Thanks so much for the update, Jeanette. You are following God's leading and I'm looking forward to seeing how he leads you next!


  4. Jeanette- I am so happy to see a post from you here. I read every word! I am so sorry that there has been such upheaval in all of your lives. I know that is not easy-but look how far you have come! You have come full circle and are right where you are supposed to be-right now.
    God bless you as you work through all the things that you need to deal with. Keep us posted---I have missed you. xo Diana

    1. Thank you so much, Diana. I agree- just knowing we are where we are meant to be puts a whole new peaceful light on everything. Blessings to you!

  5. I absolutely loved your post today! Life is always changing, evolving and your words speak to all of us. We all have seasons where change and a disruption in our normal routines can be challenging and sometimes bring us to our knees. In sharing your story you allow us to know we are not alone in this and that God travels with us, giving us strength when needed. Wishing you and your family peaceful coexistence and may you all some day look back and cherish all these memories you are making. Keep blogging and definitely keep the anme as yes you are indeed Creating A Life !!!

    1. You are right- we all have "something" we are dealing with in this life and I know it helps me to know when others are coming through challenges with God's help. We're all in this together!

  6. Oh Jeanette, I weep with you, and also know that God is going to show up for you my dear. I know how hard it is to step back in time to relive in spaces that you only thought you would visit time to time. Hard? Indeed it is, life can throw us for a loop and your giving heart to help your Mom as well as for your children and your self is a selflis thing to do. I just want to reach out and give you a big hug, and wished I lived close to your mom with a guest house in my back yard that I could set you up in.
    Keep posting. It's not so much the DIY projects missed by you, or your latest find, or up styling to your home space, it's your loving kindness with a message that needs to be heard. In sorts I see a lot of me in you, less kids though, and maybe a few resources that keep me plugging along as also a single Mom. You are a testimony to all who have and have not to be greatful for the little, and endure all things through God.

    I am going to pray, that God puts someone, something in your path that brings light to the end of your longings. That someone will bless you with the most beautiful fixer-upper that you can claim as yours, perhaps someone on a big white horse will sweep you away where shabby cottage chic is welcomed. In the mean time I know you girl, you will be on the watch out and changes will take place when a sweet wink from God tells you to take that leap of faith.

    What part of California do you live in, I am on the high desert of Southern Calif.
    Jeanette, tell your Mom we here in blog land love her for making the sacrifice in allowing help from you, and making space for you to feel alive.
    See you and your beautiful family soon, in an update post. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    Blessings on there way.


    1. Love this! What a wonderful encouragement.

    2. I love this too! Dore, you are such a sweetheart. You have such a beautiful way of encouraging others with words of love! You have filled my heart with your kindness toward me on so many occasions, and I'm grateful for you!

    3. p.s. We are in the San Gabriel Valley

    4. Not terribly to far from me Jeanette, from where I am to Passadena its a good hour and 15 minutes give a minute or two :)
      Maybe someday we can meet up?
      In the mean time let the innocent beauty around you inspire.


  7. always do what feels right for you and your family and never make an apology for it good to hear from you xx

  8. I'm jealous! It sounds wonderful. The kids have a bedroom with a fireplace, there's a screened-in porch I would sleep in on cooler nights, the water and mountains. Maybe your mom would let you paint the trim around the fireplace.

    1. Thank you, Julie. There are many wonderful things about being here. I *think* my mom will go along with the fireplace plan, but it might take a little while : )

  9. You are very brave and have great faith. My dad moved in with us when my mom passed away. At first it was trying, but I am finding that it is truly a blessing. I am learning more about him than I ever had the chance to know before. He has a wonderful sense of humour which keeps me going on my bad days. Always a smile and a good morning. And, believe it or not, at nearly 92 years old, he does most of the housework and many of the building and repair projects around here. Plus taking care of the 3 dogs and 1 cat that also live here. I would say that my dad is my hero. But I always knew that.
    God Bless You

    1. Thank you for sharing about your dad. 92 and still such a vibrant life- that is such a blessing!

  10. It was great to get an update on how you and your family are doing, Jeanette. It sounds like you are where you need to be right now. Perhaps at some later date in the future you will find the situation is different where you would get your own place. I am sure your Mom loves having you and her grandkids right there.

    I am totally jealous of the beautiful weather I am sure you are having. Plus, those beach pictures look very inviting!

    1. Thank you for coming by, Kathy. We are really fortunate that we are able to be together!

  11. I've never visited before and somehow ended up here. Hello! I can hear the peace in your "voice" so to speak. My God is gracing you for sure! What a gift! And what a gift for you to share that here.

  12. I hope that you don't give up blogging. I realize that you don't have your own space to craft and decorate but you have done a wonderful job in your little corner of it. Your words of peace in your circumstances are a well spring of hope and sense in a crazy, mixed up world. We can all use words of hope, encouragement and peace and you always say them so beautifully. I especially needed to read this today. I know that you are busy with homeschooling and with helping your mom but I'll take time to read any post. You could write about how to put a toilet paper roll on and I would be back to catch up. :) Blessings to you. I too pray that God continues to go before you to be husband to you and father to your little family.

    1. Haha about the toilet paper roll, Katie! I'm going to get started on that post right now : ) You always bless my heart! Honestly, hearts like yours are what have made blogging one of the most special experiences of my life. I am in agreement with you for that wonderful prayer. My heart is filled!

  13. your transition (& reasons behind) is lovely, and such an example of grace and holding one's plans loosely. i appreciate this post so much.

  14. So happy to read that all is well with you and your family. I enjoy your blog, so please don't stop - even minor intermittent posts are better than no blog at all.

  15. I love how you said that you are cool with being 50 and back sleeping in your old bedroom. Life throws us curves and to be adaptable is a good thing. You are a wonderful daughter and Mom! I had never heard of an Easter Garden before, the one you and your beautiful kids created is so sweet!! I must be sure to make one next year with my grandson, he will be four so I think it will be fun for us to do together and a great way to teach him about how Jesus died for us. I look forward to seeing what happens next for you and yours, whatever God leads you to is sure to be wonderful and meant to be! Hugs, Teri

    1. It's taken me a lot of years and experiences to be able to be "cool" with our circumstances : ) Thanks for your sweet comment!

  16. I was so happy to see this post, Jeanette. One thing I've learned in life is that it works in our favor not to tell the Lord "No". I admire your attitude and your graciousness to be able to make a home with your mom, knowing it's the right thing to do. I know myself, that wouldn't be an easy thing. I hope you keep blogging, even if it's sporadic. We love hearing about you and your family, and the place God has for you right now. Decor and "things" are not important compared to living, really living our lives. Your kiddos are precious. How wonderful that you have them with you, and that they know and see that you all are right where you're supposed to be. Be blessed, dear friend, you are an amazing, and daughter. xoxo Debra

  17. I feel you are honored to have a mom, and she needs you now, and the kids too. So make your home there. (My old motto of "love it while you rent it" can apply here to "love it while you're needed." I know it probably does feel safe in your childhood home. And though things are different and a bit cramped, love is still the main objective, and I feel that here.

  18. So glad to hear about your transitioning time with your mother. What a blessing you and the grand children are at such a time as this. God is using this blog to speak to others that might be going through a transition or about to go through one. You are lifted up in prayer often.

  19. Bless you, Jeanette, for following God's leading, helping your mom and truly creating a life for your children and yourself where you are planted. Your story is very touching and inspiring. I hope you do keep blogging! It's your story we love to hear...Xo ~julie

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