What Family Means to Me

The Grit and Polish - First Family photo 2016

Happy 2016, friends!  We had a really lovely and relaxing break over the holidays.  We left the city and the Dexter renovation behind to play in the snow and the wide open space at Nana and Papa's farm.  We're back in Seattle now and ready to tackle a few lingering projects on the main floor of the Dexter House and then start the basement remodel.  But before we dive into all that, I wanted to share a little bit about what I was most grateful for in 2015: my family.

In 2015 we added the sweetest, happiest little boy into our crew, who looks a bit like me, and smiles even when he's crying. He entered this world 9 days late, but made up for that by having the most peaceful and special birth that a mama could hope for.  I am incredibly grateful for that little boy. For his brother. For his daddy. For the family we've created.

After many years of graduate school, Garrett completed his PhD in Biochemistry at the end of 2015 (yay! phew!). And I am SO proud of my husband.  It's been 7 years of classes, tests and endless research - a true test of endurance, especially when coupled with 4 full-house remodels - but these last couple of months have been relentless.  While preparing for his defense and then writing his thesis, Garrett was as stressed and exhausted as I've ever seen him in our 15 years together.  From this experience, I've been reminded how special it is to have a partner in life. To have someone to lean on, dream with, and be in the trenches with. Someone to do the heavy lifting when you just don't have the motivation (like, say, demolition) or make you dinner when you're too frazzled and stressed out to think about food. For my amazing partnership, I am incredibly grateful.

And that brings us to Wilder.  Our wild child.  Two's have been trying for this little soul who feels such big feelings.  There have been tantrums and hitting and mean words far more often than I'd like.  And I often find myself asking, "what happened to my sweet little boy?!"  But even through this trying age, somehow - miraculously - Wilder is growing into the most amazing little kid.  He is fun and helpful and curious, and always, always busy.  Wilder may be a bit of a hellion, but he also has a sweet streak.  And it's those times when I catch him "reading" to his brother or giggling with his father or whispering "mama, I love you," that warms my heart beyond measure and makes all the trying stuff melt away.  For this big boy, I am incredibly grateful.

And I'm thankful for my extended family too.  The sister who keeps me grounded every day; the grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends that enrich the boys (and my) life so immeasurably; the nieces and nephews who show me what fun is; and especially in 2015, for my inlaws who have been here with us in the child-rearing and renovation trenches day after day, showing me what selflessness is.  For these people, that make my life so full, I am incredibly grateful.

As I remind Wilder almost daily, family is forever. And we take care of our family.  These are the people who are always there for you. Especially when you need their help but also when you need someone to celebrate with. Someone to hear you. Dream with you. Love you.

That's what family means to me.

I wish you and your family the best in 2016!



p.s. More renovation posts are on the way, but in case you missed it, we found SNOW over our holiday break!  This is one of my favorite photos from Nana and Papa's farm.  I caught Wilder and Papa doing chores, which means feeding the horses and chickens and shoveling show.  Wilder refuses to smile anytime I have a camera out, but I assure you, he was having a blast!  (More photos from our break are on Instagram.)