The Way We Live

I live in a mansion and have breakfast in bed almost every morning. Doesn't it sound like the most glamorous life?

Don't be fooled. For now, there is only one livable room in my mansion, and the only reason I always have breakfast in bed is because it's the only place to sit. Welcome to my efficiency apartment. I walk in the french doors from the backyard and up the weathered spiral staircase past open walls and ceilings and find myself at home here.

This room was an obvious choice for our living quarters while the master bedroom is under construction. It has complete walls and a functional bathroom attached. None of the other rooms can boast the same. It is certainly not a finished room. There is peeling paint on most every wall, exposing the raw concrete construction. The floors are rough and in need of refinishing. But it is cozy and clean, and we've made ourselves a nice little dwelling here while all of the construction rages on outside.

I must also mention the matter of this massive panel of framed wallpaper against the far wall. It doesn't just hang there; it is built in, baseboards coming out a few inches from the wall to frame the bottom. There is an inexplicable doorbell button mounted on one side. I can't wait to see this strange beast gone and what might be lurking behind it. Cory has requested numerous times that I take advantage of this enormous blank canvas and paint a mural here. Of him. It's nice to have a husband who encourages my creativity, but I'm going to decline. This huge piece is covering a window. And it's hideous. It will be leaving this room as soon as we do. 

Just turn to your right, and you're in the living room. We survived one of the coldest winters Texas has seen in years in a house without central heat. The concrete walls made the room damp and chilly like a cellar. We could feel the frigid air blowing through the tiny gaps in the decrepit windows, the panes of glass so thin that Cory put his hand through one fairly easily. We handily replaced it with duct tape. Cory lived, minor injury sustained.

We had only a space heater, a dog, and an electric blanket that stopped working halfway through the season to keep us warm. We received countless invitations from concerned family and friends to stay in their homes, especially on those below freezing nights. Everyone seemed quite worried that we would freeze to death in our little dream house. But we declined and opted to face the bitter cold together, another badge of honor to add to this adventure. 

Walk a few steps to the left and you'll find yourself in our kitchen. The situation is a bit dismal with a lot more microwaving and disposable dinnerware than my ideal kitchen would have. Only very small amounts of food will fit in this mini fridge so grocery shopping includes a lot of tough choices in the refrigerated sections. My freezer is too small to house ice cream. It's no way to live. I keep hope alive by staring longingly at the brand new, full-size fridge that currently sits in my dining room, still wrapped in cardboard. Someday I will fill it with abandon.

Behold the most emasculating bathroom of all time. Pink walls. Pink floor. Pink sink. Pink toilet. If the tile work wasn't so beautifully done, Cory would certainly have it redone at the first opportunity. But as it is, it's probably the most pristine room in the house, and we're certainly in no position to mess with that. I personally think there's a lot of charm in this teeny tiny bathroom, though it is miniature and really doesn't feel like it fits a fully grown adult most of the time. I love opening the window in the shower and being surrounded by bright shining pink tile and sunshine. It's a happy place.

When we're not working on the house, tiling, drywalling, painting, you can probably find us here. You will not find Chuck here. He hopped in bed of his own accord this one and only time, not wanting to be left out of the family portrait.

How could we deny him?

-Kate