Annabel is going through a phase where she asks constantly who “made” something for her.  This isn’t as odd as it sounds.  With one grandmother who knits and another who sews, a father who used to be a potter and who can turn scrap wood into a table, a mother who spends an awful lot of time baking and doing crappy crafts, and lots of other handy aunts, uncles, and friends, the proportion of “made” things to “bought” things in her life is actually pretty high.  And sometimes she just likes to identify some of these things.

The other morning she launched into a round of “Who made?”   She held up the bowl she was using.

“Who made this for me?”

“Daddy did.”

Suitably impressed, she held up her arm to show her sweater.

“Who made this for me?”

“Grammy did.”

She looked around the room and pointed to the table.

“Who made this?”

“Dad made that, too.”

She glanced down at the floor.

“And who made this?”

“The floor?”

“Yeah. Who made it?”

“Your dad and I did, actually.”

“You made it? You and Dad?”

“Yes. Yes, we did.

And I was suddenly very proud.

If you came over here from the houseblog, you know that we built the house we live in from the ground up.  Some days we think this was the stupidest decision we’ve ever made.  Some days we think it was the smartest.  Most days we forget that not everyone has plywood countertops, exposed wiring, and a 2 x 4 bannister and we don’t think about the decision at all.  As anyone who has built a house around themselves or undergone extensive house renovations would agree, after a while you stop seeing a building project and just see your house.

It’s because of this sanity-preserving selective blindness that I feel like I need to explain a bit about the house on this blog.  I feel like I need to give a little tour of what I live in, because when someone sees a picture of my house here and there’s exposed cement board behind the woodstove and windows without trim, I want them to know that I know.  Okay?  I know.  It’s weird and it’s odd and it’s ugly and it will get better but for right now: this is my house.

It’s a crappy house.

And it’s an awesome house.

It’s crappy and awesome simultaneously.

It’s crapsome.

Or possibly aweppy.

But it’s ours.

And we made it for her.

And him.

And us.

So before I launch into posts that detail everything that is wrong or odd or unfinished about our house (and there is so, so much), first I need to let you know that, yes, our house is crapsome.

But we made it.

And we’re kind of proud of that.


The peak of the dormer in what is now Annabel’s room. I spent a lot of time at the top of a ladder putting those rafters up. (Don’t worry. She has a roof now.)

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