The Great Schlepping of Things ’11

We’ve been through a battle.

After two months of packing, moving and relocating, Spencer is finally — like for real, for real — all moved into his new condo. We spent yesterday cleaning out the very last bit of stuff in his old garage at the old house, sweeping and dusting and packing in 100-degree heat (with 100 percent humidity). And little air conditioning.

Since my boyfriend became a homeowner in early June, the transition between old home and new home has been exhausting and daunting and scary. We were eternally grateful for his mom and dad’s help in the moving process when they visited in early July, but so much still lingered in no-man’s land between the two residences.

But it’s done. DONE. No more cruising between both places. No more dry cardboard-box hands or sweaty lumbering up staircases with random heavy objects. No more collapsing on the floor at the end of the night because I can’t physically move another moment. My arms and legs and back will be glad for the break, let me tell you — but I fully acknowledge that for every box I moved, Spencer moved four.

So I know he’s happy, too.

After the Great Schlepping of Things ’11, you’d think I’d be thin as a reed by now . . . but not the case. Of course, I tend to reward myself for a job well done with a well-timed trip to Dairy Queen, so . . . you know. That doesn’t help the Moving Weight Loss Plan in the least.

But it’s done. Done. After taking the final truckload of belongings to the condo and enjoying the working elevator’s ability to get us from the first to second floors, I’m thrilled to say that Spencer’s home sweet home is home now. Once and for all.

I’ve also gone from hemming and hawing about bathroom color schemes to breaking down and investing. In the end, I think the scheme I chose is a good balance of both masculine and feminine: dark brown and Tiffany blue. The plain bathroom has morphed into something slightly more visually intriguing, though I still have a long way to go. (I love that art on the wall, though.)

But the living room has gone from this . . .

. . . to this:

That’s right, my friends: no more folding chairs. That’s good old-fashioned furniture and an honest-to-God vintage-style New York City poster to hang on the wall. Plus? Chairs and other decorations. Actual decor.

There’s also a repurposed ice chest in that nook. You can’t actually see the ice chest, but it’s green and made of wood. We’re using it as an end table, which makes it a bargain; Spencer picked it up at the Salvation Army last year for $10. I forgot he even had it until he and his parents brought it up from the basement. Win!

And I’m super excited about an Eiffel Tower lamp I found at Christmas Tree Shop. Spence likes Paris the way I love London, so we already have a travel theme developing. (We have awesome London and Paris black-and-white dinnerware, too, but I keep forgetting to snap photos of the dishes.)

Life has been very chaotic, of course. I’ve been slammed at work and trying to keep my head above water, so dressing the ol’ nest has gone by the wayside the past few weeks. But as summer winds down and life returns to a normal level of insane, we can get back to fixing the place up and just relaxing.

Then maybe I’ll stop making this face.

10-10-10: A Day (and the rest of the weekend)

It was a day many had anticipated for months, years — including a good friend of my sister’s, Alicia, who was married yesterday afternoon in suburban Maryland. Flickr members are sharing their photos of 10-10-10; football games were played; many more couples and families celebrated weddings.

And me? Well, I was cleaning. Over and over, more and more — the culmination of a weekend’s worth of hard work. Spencer is definitely to thank for most of it; he built a wood shelving unit for my mom’s closet, which was caving under the collective weight of her purses and clothes. From scratch. With wood and supplies from home improvement stores, and some tools borrowed from friends. Over the course of two days, he and my dad finished the construction and lugged it all upstairs, where it was assembled in place.

And I helped, too, even picking up power tools for the occasion! My new specialties include using a small handsaw to chop up dowel rods and wielding a power sander on some unsuspecting pieces of oak. I’m darn proud of myself, I have to say.

Bitten by the cleaning bug, I decided to go ahead and tackle my own bedroom yesterday. We sorted through piles of clothes before coming across a time capsule, circa 1996 — and it was there that I found boxes filled with my childhood “treasures,” including old school projects, snippets of poetry I’d written and pages upon pages of Hanson song lyrics. If I had a free moment in class, I’d begin jotting down the words to “Thinking Of You” or “Yearbook.” Why? I don’t know why. That was just the depth of my obsession.

It was fun and sad — all at once — going through those old boxes. I’ve sorted through items from school and my teen years many, many times, but it seems like there’s always more to organize and purge. What fueled the desire for us to clean and renovate was an overwhelming desire for a better space . . . and I think we’re going to have that now.

And if a few stuffed manatees had to be donated in the process, so be it.

So this is what Mom, Dad, Katie, Spencer, Eric and I were doing on 10-10-10: bagging old clothes, toys and purses for charity; flying around the house with the windows open, enjoying our last few warm days in Maryland; acting as bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding; covering a Redskins football game; putting the finishing touches on an elaborate, awesome closet system; refusing to wear a red tie and rocking a guitar-covered one instead; taking photos in the front yard, just as we’ve done for proms, homecomings and birthdays. And as we’ll probably do for weddings.

It’s tradition.