Sunday, January 9, 2011

House a home?

It is no secret that I was less than thrilled with my new home in NZ. I was happy with NZ, don't get me wrong, but my house was "quirky."  I'm not going to get into the details. I am tired of hearing myself complain, so I'm sure my friends and family are tired of it as well.

I had heard that homesickness really starts to set in at 6 months into a tour, and especially during the holidays. Check and check. On top of those two triggers, we surprisingly sold our home in Costa Rica just before New Year. I was supposed to be happy, but I wanted to cry. Now I was completely and truly "homeless."  This pink and green fiasco was my only home. I was not gonna go into a decline and feel sorry for myself.

We need a party, I decided. In my former life as a publisher's wife, I had many parties. Adrian and I would invite all the "cool kids" to our parties and shun the pompous hoitie-toities.  We had a blast.  But, having a big New Year's party would require everyone coming to our house. Ugh. I just couldn't see it.

Having given up hope of ever wanting to entertain people here, I turned our dining room into a sewing room and the main living room has been transformed into the kids' room. So the only area left was the kitchen/family room with its tiny stove and ridiculous dwarf couches. 

I did have that rockin' fake fireplace, though, so there was still hope. Adrian, ever the diplomat (even before the new job) reminded me that people don't care at New Year. As long as there is food and alcohol, they will be happy.  So, it was decided. We were going to have people over. Lots of people, and each of them would be bringing children.  So, we began inviting the cool kids.

I cleaned and hastily hung up the pictures I had been "meaning to get to" since the movers came 3 months ago. My new friend Peggy helped me decorate and I cooked all day. People came, people laughed, kids played and everyone had a great time. After all the children were fed, we rolled out the Pièce de résistance - our CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN.  Mmmmmm.  Nobody, I mean NOBODY can resist the chocolate fountain. One of our guests, who is allergic to chocolate, even tried it. It is heaven. Our cute little guest Misa was covered in chocolate within 2 minutes. Luckily, I had the foresight to put the fountain outside so the house did not suffer. In the end, nobody wanted to leave and I saw in the new year for the first time in years. My house was now my home.

This weekend I completed the transition by fixing all of the little annoyances that have plagued me since moving in. I hung up my favorite artwork, cleaned out closets that were still filled with boxes unopened, and lovingly placed family photos. My southwestern styled couches are now covered with IKEA covers and I choose to believe my pink walls are beige. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. My rugs are covering hard tile floors and the combination of white tile, pink walls and green Persian carpet doesn't seem too ridiculous. In fact, it looks "eclectic." I like it, it is my home, and I love it.

Before                              After
And, the additoin of my faux fireplace

Still working on these :)

Choosing to love my new home was a conscious decision.  It had to be done.


  1. So glad you are finding your stride and making it home. It sounds like you had a great party!

  2. What a great attitude. It's amazing what can be accomplished once we decide on our preferred outcome. Also amazing what opening your house to others does to make it feel like more of your own. Thanks for the reminders.

  3. I was just thinking that the house here is starting to finally feel like home. For me it seems to to take the holidays for that to happen. I don't know why but along about the time I take the decorations down for the first time the house suddenly starts to come together. Glad you are making the house a home.