We’re going to be giving our laundry room a makeover soon. It’s LONG overdue! In fact, the folks from the counter company were just here taking measurements. While we have made some simple, inexpensive updates over the years, it still has many of the original elements from when the house was built in 1992. The counters will be changed from the small, square ceramic tiles to a gorgeous slab of quartz. The florescent light fixture will be switched out for something much more stylish and forgiving on my aging skin. And a fresh coat of paint will lighten and brighten the entire space.
Two of our bathrooms are also in need of major makeovers. And we’ve saved up enough money over the years to tackle those projects. But, for the most part, we made the decision to use the bulk of that money in another way. While we knew that it was financially wise to invest in our house, we also knew that the greatest investment we could make was in our children.
So, while we have managed to give our kitchen a makeover…
…and painted walls, installed new flooring, added on a new deck, painted the exterior, updated furniture and changed up accessories; all of these projects have been spread out over the fourteen years that we have lived in this house as we were determined to save up enough each time so that we wouldn’t go into debt.
I’ll admit, there are times where I see other people doing massive overhauls of their entire home in a matter of months and I feel a prick of envy. But, we decided that if our choice was between waiting a bit longer to enjoy a renovated bathroom or going on adventures as a family, we would choose adventures every time.
And we don’t regret that decision for a single second.
We’ve taken our kids on so many wonderful trips. Everything from weekends exploring over very own beautiful Pacific NW to visiting our nation’s capitol. We’ve shown our kids the gorgeous Hawaiian islands, trekked through the redwood forest and camped next to beautiful lakes. We’ve visited family in multiple states and taken in their local sites, gone to Disneyland and Legoland (twice!) and spent many an extended weekend in central Oregon which is one of our most favorite regions.
Most recently, we let our son pick where we would travel for spring break since this is his senior year of high school and we are trying to make up for lost time. He’s been wanting to visit the state of Texas so we decided to spend the week in San Antonio and had the best time exploring that beautiful, historic city.
We ‘remembered’ the Alamo, rode electric bikes along the river and explored the missions.
We put our touristy hats on and enjoyed the downtown river-walk area and soaked up all of the amazing architecture and the incredible food too, of course.
With so much of life ‘paused’ for two years, we have appreciated these moments more than ever. And, with our son heading to college in the fall, we are very aware of how important it is to spend this time together while we still have a modicum of control over everyone’s schedules.
We have many years left to remodel our home but only so much time left to make memories with our children.
And, while I’m always happy to look around my home and see rooms that are updated and more reflecting of our style, it doesn’t compare to the joy I feel when I look around my home and see the people I love the most who have been shaped by the many adventures we’ve experienced together.
Blessings to you friends,
Michele M. says
Good for you, Vanessa. You made the right choice. Stuff doesn’t matter. Family does. I hear ya loud and clear.
At The Picket Fence says
Thank you so much Michele! It’s so good to hear from you. Hope you are doing well sweet friend! xoxo
We made the exact same choices with our family, with no regrets at all. When our eldest turned 12 we started prioritizing travel, knowing that we had (at most) six years left to make some family memories of all of us together. Now that we’re empty nesters, and I’m working again, those projects around the house are either being knocked out one at a time, or we’ve realized it doesn’t really matter anymore. Our Ikea couches, inexpensive curtains, and 1970s kitchen were just fine.
At The Picket Fence says
I love hearing how you’ve taken the same approach Nancy! It’s so encouraging to me!
Let me give you the perspective 20 years later. My family is also small and we have been extremely close to our daughter. When the housing boom hit 15 years ago or so, friends told us we were insane for remaining in our 1980’s house. We were determined, however, to see that our daughter learned the value of faith, proceed to the route work and study, the fact that people should not be judged based on material wealth and the many blessings that family time brings. So, we lived with a smaller mortgage, took numerous trips and filled our home with love, laughter and stories that make up our family history. Undergraduate school and the post graduate work was completed with no debt for her or us. Repairs and updates were done but only as we could afford them.
Today is the birthday of our adult child….she lives in a beautiful area of Virginia, has an amazing job, and a lovely family. She cherishes her faith, lives simply, with that yearly beach trip, history filled vacations and cherished holidays with family.
My husband and I just built a home with every detail planned from years of “ one day we will…”. We have NO regrets for living with carpet in the bedrooms, a standard shower, etc. We have been blessed by the Lord a hundred times over and try to help those that are not as fortunate as our family has been. More than anything, we draw joy from YEARS of family trips where it was always nice to come home TOGETHER. The beauty of our time together far outshines the beauty of the decor. Our daughter? She is adopting the same philosophy…enjoy those blessings while you can!
God bless you and your family. Congratulations to that young man! Lord willing, good times are still ahead for all of you!