Saturday, December 11, 2010

Homey, Homely, Home

So, I posted the rat picture on Facebook and proceeded to initiate the longest thread I've ever seen. Well, on my FB page. 56 comments? I think? People are still debating whether the animal was a rat, nutria, vole, muskrat, gopher, or alien. I think.

I'm still pretty sure it was a rat.

Last night was a Christmas party for Brandon's work. He couldn't go (being out of state and all), but I intentionally (although nervously) opted to go by myself. After struggling for over a week to find a sitter (thank you to my awesome friend and neighbor, Lisa, for doing it last minute!!), I thought about just not going. But something inside told me I needed to go.
So I did.

It wasn't amazing or earth shattering, but it was awesome. Brandon's employer lives in Sandy (east of 123rd. In a gorgeous neighborhood. In a gorgeous home). I knew we were in for some major awesomeness when I saw the catering van outside the mansion-like structure. I had attempted to bring a gift for them (they are not LDS --I figured if I wasn't either, I would have brought them a nice bottle of wine, but since that wouldn't work for me, I baked some pumpkin chocolate chip bread, which, in the chaos of trying to get ready yesterday afternoon, didn't work, fell apart --literally-- and I ended up going with nothing), but I was VERY glad I didn't when I saw the spread before me. Plus, nobody else brought anything. Plus, they had an open bar and stuff. So...there wouldn't have been a need for my bread. But it's the thought, right? Right?

Anyway, I spent the evening (nearly 5 hours!) talking with Brandon's fellow co-workers and their spouses. I had a great time-- his employer and his wife are very kind and gracious. I learned that nearly all of Brandon's co-workers greatly admire my husband. Some of them went on and on about how amazing he is --even his former employer/new employer (long story. Short version: Brandon's former employer is a VP at APX and was instrumental in convincing Brandon to apply for the job). They used words like "genius" and "committed" and "does more in three months than anyone I've ever seen." They were very sincere, too.
It made my heart soar!

I was surprised by my lack of nervousness when I arrived. Going to a couple's party alone to "represent" was kind of brave. I think. At least, that's what everyone else kept saying (one told me I got a gold star for being the best wife). Reality? I just needed to have a night out.

I left the house is utter chaos. UTTER chaos. The only accomplishment: Getting all the laundry folded and put away (making it a contest between the girls and boys really helped). When I came home, however, Lisa had cleaned up almost everything. She even cleaned up my office! Holy cow! I just about cried when I saw that.

It was a good night. The only sad part was how I feel when I visit these amazing, lavish homes. The envy bug starts to twitch. I tell myself that I wouldn't want a large home like that --who would clean it? With small children, it would be destroyed, it's too big, what's the point, etc. but really? If I had the fundage to purchase a home like that, I'd have the fundage to keep it clean and pristine and all gardened-up. I think I'd like it. Honest. I really think I would. I can imagine living in a large home, with a big open kitchen/family room area, with all my kids and their friends hanging out, doing homework, talking, laughing... I could see our home being "the place to be." (That's something I've always wanted --at least for my children --but I'm really bad at it. I always balk when the kids want to invite someone over. Something about more people to account for and more messes to clean... hmmm....). The only down-side to living in a home like that would be that I'd have to live among the rich. Who wants that, eh?
Oh, yeah. I do. :)

But the envy didn't last long. I came home to my "small" house and I felt warmth and gratitude when I walked in. The fireplace was going, the Christmas lights were shining; all the kids were asleep. The kitchen was immaculate, and my friend sat on the couch next to her sleeping four-year old. Coziness, love, the Spirit, and peace can be found in many places. The size of the home doesn't matter.

Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
~Henry Van Dyke


Judi said...

love the glad you went to the party. brave soul! i wouldn't have gone.
you do have an amazing husband! and you should be proud of him!
as for the hand out home is smaller than yours (much smaller) and it was still the hang out place..and yours can be too. kids don't look at the mess/or lack thereof...they "feel" and if your house "feels like home" than it will become that for them. all of robert's friends love us/me...we are the "cool ones"..don't know if it is good or not to be "cool"...but it is always good to know your kids friends so keeping them close to home is a good thing!

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

Thumbs up for your're my idol. :)
And I love the quote you chose, it totally reminds me of the feeling I got when I stayed at your house.

Alison Wonderland said...

Definitely a hero for going whether you just needed a night out or not. I know just what you mean about the jealousy bug (probably we all do) but well, *shrug* what're you gonna do? We are where we are.

Amanda D said...

I love this post. How wonderful to hear such great things about your husband. It kind of makes the sacrifice you make more worth it, huh?

I get the same way when I go to really nice houses. I definitely want my house to be the house when the kids are older...I probably need to do stuff now to make that happen later though.

Julie said...

Yeah, I say that, too. The "I want our house the be 'the' house" thing. And yet I don't love when friends come over. But I hope I'll love it when they're teenagers.

I really think kids care more about how a home feels than how big it is and that's what draws them to hang out there.

Cardalls said...

My best friends house growing up was certainly not the biggest or fanciest. But we LOVED hanging out there because of how her parents made us feel. They made us feel welcome and wanted and always had good (and healthy) food and games for us. Often they hung around and talked with us and even played games. Her Dad was a principal so you know they didn't make much money but their home was a great place to be!