Aug. 19: These are not manly urges

I’ll get to the point, but first:

Every time I start out a blog post with “Y’know how sometimes you just get the urge to…” it always makes me think of this moment from the Disney gender-bending movie Mulan:

Mulan: “Sorry [in her man voice] …uhh, I mean, sorry you had to see that. You know how it is when you get those… uh… *manly urges* and you just have to kill something… fix things… uh… cook outdoors.”

Shang: “What’s your name?”

Mulan: “Ahh, I, uhhh, I, uh…”

Chi Fu: “Your commanding officer just asked you a question.”

Mulan: “Uhh, I’ve got a name. Uh. And it’s a boy’s name too.”

I know, it makes only a tiny bit of sense to me too.

hardhatjenY’know how sometimes you get the urge to re-do everything in your entire home? I guess those urges aren’t necessarily manly, but like most manly urges, my re-doing efforts cause an awful lot of trouble for other people that live in my house. I’m super-good at insisting I NEED HELP RIGHT THIS MINUTE AND IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO DIE WHEN I FALL OFF THIS CHAIR THEN YOU BETTER HURRY.

(I fall off lots of chairs.)

A few weeks ago I decided to simultaneously start no fewer than eleventy projects, all of which would require tremendous amounts of time, imagination, creativity, and paint. Vic hates when my projects involve the dreaded p-word. He’ll forgive me in approximately six years, or when he’s able to walk into the house without being hit by a wall of noxious paint fumes, whichever comes first.

So… I turn to the person who doesn’t stomp and huff when I ask for help. My mom and I are good at bouncing ideas off one another and, although we often make a project harder than it needs to be, we’re a good team. The first time she and I worked on a big project—removing the wallpaper from Katie’s nursery walls and then painting—I remember telling her that it was more fun doing that kind of stuff with her than with my dad because she yelled at me way less.

When I’m anticipating a visit from Mother Mary, I try to line up some activities for us to tackle together. Here are just a few of the tasks I was inspired to work on this summer, thanks to Pinterest and the handful of days during which I provided Mom a comfy-ish slumber spot:

  • Frame and hang family photos throughout the house
  • Organize and de-clutter several areas throughout the house—baskets and jars and pots, oh my!
  • Purchase a few pieces of new furniture
  • Clean areas of the house virtually untouched in 16 years (go ahead and judge, but how dust-free are the tops of YOUR cabinets?)
  • Re-upholster kitchen chairs
  • Make accent pillows for living room
  • Replace living room sofa cushion filling—foam is so much better than that awful squooshy cotton they came with
  • Make accent pillows for family room
  • Scrub microfiber sofa ‘til it looks new—such a pain but sooo worth it
  • Corral unsightly cables and cords
  • Plants, plants, plants!
  • Pretty up master bedroom lamps
  • Create artwork for the master bedroom/bath – thanks for the ideas, Pinterest
  • Paint the master bathroom/vanity area
  • Redecorate the master bathroom/vanity to work with the new wall color
  • Write a book

I haven’t gotten very far on that last one, but Mom’s only been gone a week.

In my world, where it seems to be all-football-and-back-to-school-all-the-time lately, it’s a lovely thing to bring a little bit o’ “pretty” into it. Big thanks to my mom for all her inspiration and elbow grease!


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