When we first started the process of buying the farm in September I dreamed of our first Christmas here.
I thought about the glow of the tree, the Christmas Eve meal, the stockings hung by the chimney with care. I thought about how it would all be so perfect. How family would come over and want to stay. I thought about watching "Its a Wonderful Life" in our living room and when Mary runs down the staircase, glancing over at our staircase (which looks exactly the same BTW) and how it would all feel so amazing.
Fast forward. Christmas Eve dinner will be pizza. The stockings are hung on a rusty nail in the kitchen and instead of trimming a tree, we painted trim and ripped up carpet.
When we first moved in I cried everyday. I was SO overwhelmed. Every room needs attention, paint, flooring, new life. One hour after we signed at the closing table the fridge died. I sobbed.
And two days ago, I let it all go. It happened while we were painting (what we do most nights). I looked across at Matt. He was on his hands and knees painting baseboard trim and I was up on a ladder rolling Behr "Camping Tent" (seriously, would we pick any other color name?!) on in the dining room. Justin Timberlake was blaring, and we were talking about Thanksgiving in years to come and how we will sit in here surrounded by people we love and how awesome it'll be. And in that exact moment I realized it doesn't matter. One Christmas of pizza and no tree doesn't define me. Because the things that really matter? We have them. Unconditional love, family, health, heat, support, food, jobs, passion, adventures, we laugh.
Somehow, in the madness of it all, I thought that if the house wasn't ready for a magazine spread 4 days within moving in, it meant I had failed.
My Mom & Dad live exactly 2.2 miles from the farm. My mom, has the best eye of anyone I know, so I abuse her proximity by making her go to Home Depot with me to pick out paint colors. We eat lunch standing at the kitchen counter, because nothing else in the house is ready, and she tells me she loves it here. She buys me lunch after work one day and we go to the bookstore, and she grabs me around the waist as we walk back to the car, "I can't believe you live here" she smiles as she says it.
Two days ago I was buying a gallon of paint at Home Depot at 9pm. Mom and I had been there that afternoon and got a couple of samples. I'm not one to linger on decisions (intuition my friends) so after I saw the samples on the wall I knew. "That was a fast decision" the lady at the paint counter said. "Yeah, I'm confident. The others were too beige." I replied. "Your mom really seemed to know what she was doing, how lucky are you to have her helping you." "You have no idea." I said.
So the best gift I got for Christmas this year? The people around me. My husband, who every day since we moved in, has spent countless hours installing floors, painting, reassuring me, and encouraging me. My mom, who is as excited about this farm as we are. Who tells me to take it one room at a time, who makes Christmas magical every year for us. Who is late to the movie so she can help me with paint, who for Christmas gets me a subscription to "House Beautiful" and who walks into the dining room with its boxes and piles of s*** everywhere and says "I cannot wait for thanksgiving in here!' My sister, who moved us into this farm without hesitation, carrying box after box after box after box for nothing more than a hug. And you,yes, YOU! Chances are if you read this blog, you might be one of the dozens of people who sent amazing well wishes when we wrote about the farm. The calls, texts, emails, shares, love letters and general 'good vibes' from our dear readers meant the world to us, and we cannot wait to have you here.
This Christmas, remember what its all about, the love around you.