Getting Real with our Renovation Goals

I read this great post by The Catholic Table the other day.  It’s not a pure home interiors blog, but the writer made some really good points about being realistic about your renovation goals – her discussions really resonated with me because I’ve been feeling a bit lost lately about our home.   While I mentioned in this post that my objective was to love the home we’re in right now, I also couldn’t deny I was still getting confused about the extent of work I should be doing.   It all boils down on waiting on God – that much I am 100% sure of.  We are waiting on God to guide us along the plan he has for our family – do we move or do we stay put and renovate extensively?  And like any obedient Christian, while we wait, I resolved to make our home as neat and as pleasant as I could make it for my family.  Hence, the “love the home you’re in” drive.

But then I realized, the making do bit does involve renovations still.  And as I likewise said before, I found myself getting confused about the extent of the renovations I should be undertaking – all the while taking in mind, and balancing, the possibilities of a) selling and moving out; or b) making sure the quick fixes now will blend in seamlessly with any long-term major renovations we might end up making, so as not to waste any money we shell out now.

This is where the points raised by The Catholic Table in her post really helped me.  She said if you intend to stay in your home for at least a decade or beyond, then it makes sense to invest in your renovations – materials, quality, etc.  But if you intend to pack up and leave in the next few years, in less than 5 years, then you’re renovating to sell.  So no need to go overboard on your renovation expenses and choices right now.

Huh.  That makes sense.  I made the H sit down to discuss all this because I was feeling anxious about it all.  I also found myself praying repeatedly, because I do feel the anxiety is also a form on impatience, and I really do want to wait on God, and I do trust His perfect timing.   I suppose it’s the overwhelming nesting instinct that really kicks in when I find myself pregnant.   But the H indulged me and we made a rough plan.   We are waiting for some news this year, you see, and if nothing comes of it, then that means we aren’t selling and moving this or next year.  The H gave us 3 years in this house.  If the project doesn’t kick off by that time, we then seriously sit down and start renovating and truly expanding this home to fit 4 (yes, FOUR) growing boys.  But before then, our mindset is “renovate to sell”.  Hence, we need to get real with our renovations.   Love our home, make it work for our expanding family (easier while the boys are all still little), but worry about today, not tomorrow, just yet.

This means I don’t have to worry about replacing the staircase to a more kid-friendly version in the next 3 years!  This means setting aside the nights researching on whether I should cut down the windows in the study room just yet!   This means having to live with ONE bathroom on the 2nd floor for now.  (This is actually not so bad, because the kids have a bathroom downstairs.  But ideally, I’d like to have the 2 younger boys upstairs, with their own bathroom, while the 2 older boys can share downstairs).  It means being realistic, and not Pinning like crazy, and getting my goals all mixed up.  Hopefully, this will translate to more patience and focus.  It’s never recommended to sit idly while you wait on God – we are all expected to do our parts while trusting Him – but in my case, I felt I was all over the place, and this shows LACK OF TRUST!

So there you have it.  We’re now embarking on our “Get Real Renovations“, and I’ve made a sub-category in this blog so I can keep track.  Wish us luck, and pray for us, please!


Sole Halloween Addition

In spite of my best laid plans for Halloween this year, I ended up cancelling my orders from Fun Nest and purchased this one thing for my Halloween collection:

My wooden spider puzzle is from Co/op Manila. The kindest sales clerk assembled it and spray painted it black for me as well.  Not only was it on sale, but I got a discount too because of a little damage on one of the legs – the same awesome sales clerk fixed it for me with Mighty Bond. 

The candle sticks are new, too, from H&M Home, but I plan to use them for other holidays, too, so I can’t say it’s strictly a Halloween addition for this year.

Halloween plans fell through because I got caught up in planning Bo’s baptism, adding to our Montessori materials at home, and purging the house.  Plus, we rented these awesome costumes for the 2 older boys.  Funny, last year, Halloween was the holiday I was obsessed with preparing for.  This year, I seem to have caught the Christmas decor fever.  Stay tuned! 

Alo’s Shelf at 33 weeks

I’ve been slowly and carefully trying to integrate some Montessori-inspired learning principles at home. Nothing hard-core, but I figured Diko needs the extra help.  I won’t be posting about it in detail here because I’m leaving the in-depth Montessori posts in the boys’ blog.  But I’m sharing bits and pieces in this site because Montessori is becoming part of our home decor!

These shelves (for my 3 year old/33 month old), for instance, are standing right outside our bedroom door right now: 

We are focusing on sorting and matching, and cutting this week.  More about Alo’s shelf here. 

Plans for Halloween 2017

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I see people online who have started decorating for Christmas – in Manila, the Christmas season can start as early as September – but 2017 will still be about Halloween for me. I started last year, and I shared (here and here) how I intend to invest in our Halloween decor bit by bit every year.

It’s ironic really, because I love Christmas and have always found Halloween to be such a Western tradition (no Halloween roots in our culture at all!), but I have little boys who just adore Halloween and all its attendant commercial activities. So, I’ve learned to embrace it in my own little (and pared down) way.

That being said, last year I really had my heart set on the wooden spider puzzle they were selling in Co/op, but I felt I had already spent too much in Pottery Barn and La Pomme already. So imagine my joy when I called Co/op the other day and discovered they were still selling those spiders! And! They were marked down – less than half of what they were selling it for last year!

I had my spider reserved, and we’ll be picking it up this weekend. I plan to use it as a centerpiece for our dining table.

I also ordered this felt Jack O’ Lantern toy and a vampire bin from Fun Nest. Plus Diko and I got those generic buckets from National Bookstore. This means even if I see those lovely zombie books, anatomy and monster prints and skulls they were selling in Co/op last year, I will no longer have the budget to get them! I shall behave. Hopefully, they’ll still be around next year!

My terra cotta pots, skull planter from Hey Kessy, and all the other stuff I still like in Quirks (like this monster print and zombie book ends) – and all the other new things I like in Quirks (like this crime scene tape, witch spoon rest, Murder at the Fancy Ball board game, Vladimir bottle opener, and book of masks) will also have to wait until next Halloween too (and possibly the one after that).

We are actually decorating this weekend, but I’ll share that in a post once I get my Fun Nest orders!




Visited Common Room a couple of months ago

My oh my – more than 6 months since my last post.  I readily admit – the activity in this site directly corresponds to actual work I do on the house.  That it’s been quiet around here for some time (basically, half a year!) means, yes, work on the house has been on complete stand still.   There are a lot of legitimate excuses (like the H shifted jobs when the year started, I had to cut down on my hours to focus on the kids, and other real life crap), but the truth is, there were lists of things I could have done at home without my having to spend a single centavo.  But I didn’t do it.  Well, at least not enough to check off an entire list.  Now my cleaning and organizing activities in Project Clean House do not even make sense to me anymore.

Aside from budget issues and focusing on the baby and my rambunctious middle child, the H got a new job.   While that solved the budget issues, definitely, now we have issues about the house itself.  And its location, to be exact.  The H has been contemplating actually moving since it’s a tedious commute from our place to the new office – it’s at least a 2-hour ride sans traffic being stuck in the car.   And so I’ve had to struggle to justify working on this house when he’s got his heart set on moving south.   Sigh.  I’m not averse to moving, mind you.  We have a dream community, and I appreciate it as much as the H does.  But!  I can’t bear the thought of leaving this sweet little house unfinished.

So I have been plugging away on Project Clean House somewhat.  Not consistently, and definitely not every day, but there has been some progress.  For starters – I’ve basically checked off everything on my to-do list for the Command Center, save for organizing the keys.  And I’ve filed away and organized Laz’s school papers – that’s been major, too.  I’ve also finally started tackling the spare bedroom upstairs.  But the house just still feels like a MESS.

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