Tag Archives: parents

Where we’ll be next Christmas

Just wanted to give you guys a glimpse of where we plan on being next Christmas.


My parents are building a house in snowy Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and it’s gonna be a beaut. So much thought has gone into this house, and it’s starting to pay off as the vision comes together.

I’m so glad they have the chance to build this. After years and years living in a variety of apartments across the U.S. and Spain and renovating the heck out of every place they inhabited since they were about 24 years old, they finally get to build something they like from the get-go. Which won’t require walls and doors to be torn down and shifted to their satisfaction, or bathrooms to be gutted and re-worked, or stucco on the ceiling that has to be laboriously scraped off. I’m especially happy for my mom, who has dreamed of designing a house for years, and now gets to fulfill that dream.

Mom and Dad spent about 9 years in their last apartment in Madrid making it work, redoing the kitchen themselves, spackling things, tearing holes in walls, building cabinets with their own two hands, etc. etc. (Mom destroyed her knees in the process of tiling and destroyed her arms in the process of spackling and sanding the walls) They did a great job of making it as beautiful as possible, but all their efforts aside, this apartment was a dark cave where no sunlight EVER hit.

I remember being there for Christmas years ago and never wanting to get out of bed because it felt like nighttime 24/7. Have you ever lived in a dark cave? Do you know what I’m talking about?? That feeling is no fun, man. It’s depressing, in fact. So it brings joy to my heart that now my parents will have plenty of light, streaming through the windows of the sun room Mom is so thrilled about, and through the windows of this studio.

Where she can paint!

Sunlight makes such a difference in our state of general happiness, doesn’t it?

Mom regularly posts picture updates on facebook so that we can see the whole process–the construction team just recently installed a good amount of insulation and has started putting in dry wall. But when we visited my parents for Christmas, I got to see the house in person for the first time.


Though these pictures are a little outdated and much more progress has been made since December, I thought you guys might enjoy seeing a glimpse of the work-in-progress. I can’t wait to celebrate next Christmas in this gorgeous space!

Is it too soon to start dreaming fuzzy dreams about the holidays? I hope not . . . because there’s no way I can stop now that I’ve started. I have visions of childhood Christmas music peacefully playing in the background, 4-part harmony happening spontaneously as we intone Christmas carols while doing the dishes, steaming cups of espresso welcoming us to the breakfast table, Christmas brew simmering on the stove, an angel food cake being whipped together Christmas Eve, the whole family gathered (spouses included) for the first time in many years . . . and of course, little James (an almost 2-year-old by then) toddling around, and other wee babies whom we’ve not yet met being passed from person to person and snuggled to death (my cousin Steve and Steph are having their first pretty dang soon, and my sister Heidi is pregnant again–yippee-yay-yay!) (aside note: looks like my strategy worked).

Ah. After this little parenthesis of day-dreaming, I think I’ll float around for the rest of the day in a cloud of peace.