Monday, December 15, 2014

Welcome Home, Drew!

Keeping up with the blog has been really difficult for the last four months for a very important reason:

Last December, Drew enlisted in the National Guard and began attending once-a-month weekend drill exercises here in Arlington while he waited to be sent off to Basic Training. On the morning of this past August 4th, I dropped Drew off at the airport and we began a four-month adventure. He would have a week and a half of in-processing, followed by ten weeks of Basic Training, followed by six weeks of Advanced Individual Training. I would be trying to stay busy at home and keep our house from falling apart.

It was so tough to write posts for the blog because I did not want to announce that he was gone. I felt like that would have been the equivalent of standing on the roof shouting, “Hello, creepy people of the Internet! The man of the house is away from home! Come on over!” Maybe I am paranoid, but better safe than sorry, I guess. I will share more about my experience in later posts, but for now I will spoil the ending by announcing that my incredible husband is now home again, he is an Army National Guard Cavalry Scout (Hooah!), and our house is still standing (Victory!).

You may have seen some of the projects I did around the house while he was gone; I finished the pantry and I recently painted the fireplace. I also cleaned up after that huge storm. I didn’t want to change TOO much before Drew returned, but I had one more trick up my sleeve prior to his homecoming. I got an elfa shelving coupon at work and I originally planned on redoing my craft closet because it is an atrocious mess. After I got that closet designed, I decided to see what it would cost to redo Drew’s closet. In a moment of TOTAL SELFLESSNESS and pure WIFELY AWESOMENESS, I splurged and purchased Drew’s closet and am saving the craft closet for a later time.

The shelving in Drew’s closet was broken and wobbly and I didn’t want him to have to come home to such a junky space. I had so much fun with the demolition of the shelving, patching a giant gash in the wall, painting the walls, and installing the shelving that I pretty much designed myself. When I open his closet door I feel proud and accomplished and, quite frankly, a little impressed. I learned in the last four months that I am capable of much more than I would have previously given myself credit for. I would never have attempted something like this on my own before Drew left. Drew taught me a lot about basic drywall construction when we did the pantry and I was trained on elfa design and installation in August, so the actual tasks themselves weren’t all that daunting to me anymore. Having the motivation and the drive and the ability to do these things was awesome.


Demolition! How does someone even get a gash that large into the wall? The only explanation I can come up with is that someone must have dragged the pole that hung across there against the drywall during installation.
It's not perfect, but I think I patched that hole up pretty well!

Shelving installed!

Lower half

Plenty of room for accessories!

Upper half


Pain-in-the-butt-to-install-hook-rack #1

Pain-in-the-butt-to-install-hook-rack #2 


On a more profound level, I had not fully realized just how great Drew has been for me until he left. For three years he has done nothing but build me up, and although I have always noticed and appreciated that about him, I finally got a chance to deeply feel the impact he has had on me. I think I exuded a new level of confidence that my family and friends noticed; I hope it came across as happiness and joy (and not arrogance). Amazingly, even though he was away, Drew still made me believe in myself and I think this project was a great way to wrap up my time at home alone before leaving to retrieve him. Drew loves his new closet and all I have left to say is, “Welcome home!”

Disclaimer: I do work for The Container Store, however, I receive no benefit for talking about my job or the store's products on this blog. All opinions expressed on this blog are my own and not those of The Container Store or any of its employees.

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