Nesting

We’ve been moving in slowly. Yes, quite slowly. And I like it that way.

We got the couch first at the salvation army in the Loop by borrowing a van from the school and asking for help from a store clerk once I realized I couldn’t navigate the narrow stairs at the front of the store. First, we had nothing but that couch and way too much clothing. Then everything came at once.

It was our first night, and Isaiah and I were coming straight from our honeymoon. We were tired and we couldn’t believe we are actually in our new home. We had keys and everything. Light switches. A thermostat. Wild stuff, and just us in it. And THEN Isaiah’s dad arrived with a uhaul full of our lives. He brought the bed he built for us with his hands, the most gorgeous, slick, golden wood, with solid construction and our whole marriage ahead of it. He brought my beloved books, paperbacks found at library book sales and thrift shops, underlined with ball point pen, creased and dog-earred. He brought the dried flowers from our wedding and the bike that I’ve adopted. It’s too big for me, and I’m calling it Little Green.

Since the u-haul came and went, we have been nesting. Slowly. It was a marvel when I finally hung things on the wall. My wedding flower crown. The vintage poster I found in the costume shop of my theater and took without asking. A poem by e.e. cummings. We bought an aloe plant. I’m going to stretch out the nesting for months, I think. One more plant, one more picture tacked to the wall. Poems in the bathroom. Color coded clothing. There’s time for everything. But the first moments are special. I watched Isaiah put his books on the shelf, carefully, switching their places, touching them with kindness. We marched around Ikea and actually bought things. A rug and a bench and a desk and a stool. Finally, funiture-owners. Like grown ups. And on our bed, we spread the quilt that isaiah’s grandmother Irene hand-quilted for us and all of her grandchildren. Wedding quilts.

One summer day, we visited their home. It was a purposeful visit. A quilt-choosing visit. Irene laid five or six of her priceless, precious quilts on a bed in a spare bedroom. She left us alone with the quilts, to touch them, to imagine our future rooms, our future children wrapped in a quilt full of tiny little stitches, full of Irene’s hands. We chose one that was all sorts of blue, deep navy, sky, pale, clear, with tiny prints. I always notice the little squares with tiny ducks on them. We hung shelves, we bought towels, we light candles, we use thumbtacks in the drywall. Books are still in stacks, and nothing is perfect.

It’s starting to feel like home.

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My little corner, with dried flowers and memories.

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We had to DIY some closets. Frustrating, yet satisfying. It’s nice to have things out and handy. The word-banner is from our wedding.

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This picture is a long story, but it’s gone with me wherever I go, and it reminds me of interconnectedness.

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Tea boxes, lavender, and favorite books.

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For now, our LPs are stacked under the bench we bought at Ikea. And no one should be without FRIENDS.

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It helps to have a darling husband and a rooftop.

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The view from the roof. It’s a dream come true to be able to drink morning coffee up there.

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We have gotten a lot of mileage out of our milk frother. Lattes by the dozen. This mug came with the apartment. It feels like a special secret gift to me. I think I’ll keep it forever.

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We found the Queen Anne’s lace on its last legs in a vacant lot nearby. The vase on the right is a gorgeous wedding gift.

Nesting Inspiration I’ve been relying on:

  1. Design Sponge has the best home tours. Can’t even handle how great people’s homes are, and how tidy they make them for the pictures. I like to imagine little piles of clothes in these houses or crumpled tissues. Signs of life.
  2. This post on Hey Natalie Jean, with thoughts on moving into her new farmhouse.
  3. Reading My Tea Leaves has a series on living in a tiny apartment, and I’ve literally read every post.

Favorite places to shop and gawk (mostly gawk):

  1. Schoolhouse Electric Co. The most gorgeous basics, and linen striped everything. Obsessed.
  2. West Elm. It’s all gorgeous and we can afford, like, maybe a pillow sham, but a gal can dream, right?
  3. Anthropologie. Of course. Can’t stop, won’t stop.
  4. Reform School. One of the best-curated shops on the web. It’s full of stuff I can only wish someday to own. Check out this well made shop.
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