Home Ownership Rocks/Sucks Living Life

“A Tree Falls the Way it Leans; Be Careful which Way You Lean”

When we closed on our house, the first things the boys did was hang from and attempt to climb the tree.

Tree on Move In Day
Note: Holy moly, have they grown in a year!

Over the past year and not-quite-four-months, we’ve made a lot of memories under that tree. They’ve learned to climb the tree. They’ve gotten stuck in the tree. We painted a robot underneath the tree’s branches.

They’ve searched for blue gold as pirates. And built fort after fort. They’ve sprayed the hose while playing firefighter.

Playing Under the Tree

We’ve hung out with friends.

Friends and the Tree

We’ve read many a book.

Reading Under Our Tree

And today…

Tree Down

She’s in pieces. The wind came up so quickly, so suddenly. We knew the storm was making its way in our direction, but it moved faster than we anticipated. Suddenly, the whole house sounded as if it might take leave of its foundation. I stood at the stove, spoon hovering over the pan as I heard, “Our tree broke!” I ran to the living room to see BigBrother standing at the window, a look of sadness on his face.

Sad BB

And it was. Broken. Our tree.

The Tree from the Front

Closer Still

Talking to Friends

In the grand scheme of bad weather luck, this is not the worst that could have happened. Our backyard neighbors suffered far worse as one of their trees landed on their house. We have minor roof damage from the wind, but nothing major. We are lucky. We are blessed.

Eat Ice Cream When You're Sad

But we’re still sad. We nursed our wounds on some ice cream this evening, sitting on the porch as the golden sun came out from behind the clouds and began to sink into the most glorious of sunsets.


My husband pulled me into his arms later. “We’ll plant a new one. Whatever you want.” Others pointed out that the new tree will grow with the boys; it will be their tree. Both boys got excited about whatever new tree we’ll plant and how they’ll love it and climb it… except that by the time it’s climbing-size, they won’t be interested in climbing it or playing ninjas in its branches or painting robots or putting out imaginary fires or sitting underneath the branches on a warm summer evening on The Very Hungry Caterpillar blanket while reading and cuddling and tickling and laughing so hard we all cry a little bit. Or pee.

Yes, we’ll plant a new tree, but I’ll miss this tree and all it meant to our family for the short time we had it in our lives. We’ll make new memories around and, eventually, under a new tree. We’ll lean on one another while we watch it grow.

Home Ownership Rocks/Sucks

LEGO Switchplates Brighten Up the Boys’ Rooms

Buying a new house is awesome because you get a whole clean slate to decorate. You know, put all those HGTV things to work that you sat and watched idly over the past six years.

Putting the boys’ rooms together has been a highlight of the new house. Their spaces are so much bigger. BigBrother had a half-way finished decor redo for his sixth birthday, but I had never repainted because, well, we were looking for a new house. I didn’t want to paint twice! It has been a joy seeing their new rooms come together with all of the things I have wanted to do for so long.

Well, it turns out that I didn’t know I wanted to do something until Dee recently sent me to Etsy. So, this is all her fault.

She sent me to a LEGO Firefighter Switchplate. I died. Put it in my cart immediately. Purchased it. Then pinned it so no one else could buy it first. Contacted the shop owner, named Val, and said that I needed a pirate boy (she has a girl listed) as BigBrother’s new decor is all about pirates, arrrr! Val is super fast and both arrived today.

Lego Switchplates

Lego Switchplates

Oh my word, they’re perfect.

First and foremost, my sons think that LEGOs are the be all and end all right now. Secondly, holy moly. Thirdly, don’t we think this smug firefighter looks a little like FireDad if he was allowed to have that much facial hair?

Smug Firefighter

Lastly, how perfect? How stinkin’ perfect?

I will say that LittleBrother’s firefighter LEGO switchplate is a little more difficult to turn off because of the yellow ledge directly above the switch. It’s fine to turn on, though you usually whack the one guy’s hose (…). BigBrother’s pirate LEGO switchplate isn’t difficult at all. It’s perfect.

The boys are, understandably, enthralled. I told LittleBrother there was a surprise in his room, but that he needed to turn his light off. He turned to turn it off and his face just lit up so bright, so big, before he exclaimed, “MOMMY! That’s AWESOME! Did you do that?” BigBrother was equally amazed when he got home from school. They stood around and looked at them for a good ten minutes.

Mommy decorating win.

I really kind of want one for our room… like the C3PO & R2D2 … but I’ll hold off until the boys out grow theirs and then I’ll put one in our room and one in our bathroom. Total win.

I’ll be slowly sharing more of what the boys’ rooms look like in the new house over the next few weeks. I have a few project left (spray painting old letters new colors, new picture frames, and so on). Until then you should follow Val on twitter (@valglaser) or like her Facebook page. Most of all, go check out her Etsy store. She does have another firefighter switchplate in stock which is also awesome. That’s one of the best things — each product is unique!

I have two very happy boys right now which makes me a very happy mommy. Hooray for the little things in life — little this time meaning LEGOs that are glued to something and thus can’t be stepped on in the middle of the night. Hooray!