The Secret Ingredient
Updated: May 19, 2021
For those of you out there that clicked to read this post thinking it was going to be about my love for baking, spending time with my children, or these absolutely incredible muffins...
YOU. THOUGHT. WRONG. APRIL FOOLS!
This post is about curtains.
Friends, I have waited one thousand three hundred and sixty days for these curtains.
My family and I have, essentially, been goldfish for almost four years. I even had a friend tell me the other day that she remembered me talking about needing to order curtains when we first met! It might seem easy to say, "Just order the curtains!" but actually doing it was the most difficult thing for such a long time. As it turns out, this wasn't ever about getting curtains at all.
This was about getting unstuck.
We moved into our house on July 1st, 2017 and had a lot of projects in progress right from the get-go. So at first, ordering curtains just didn't make sense. Floors were being refinished and carpet replaced, new windows were being installed, and the dust from all of it was everywhere. The work also took waaaaay longer than expected (over an entire year longer) and involved a lot of reordering, mold remediation, and drama. After awhile, not having window treatments was relegated to background noise.
Over the subsequent years, Evan and I discussed what we wanted for each room on dozens of different occasions. It was two steps forward and a million steps back every time. First, I couldn't order curtains because we needed to measure the window sizes. Once I had those, we actually found a set that we agreed on easily and even saved them in our cart, but that's when life got weird and quarantine started. They were never ordered. Every so often we would share links for potential choices, but they always ultimately ended up buried in our text thread. Thus, the static resumed.
Fast forward to February 7th of 2021: That is the day I finally broke down in an epic tantrum. I couldn't take it anymore! This had to end!
Forsaking all else, Evan and I spent that entire Sunday online going back and forth over what we liked and what fit our needs. We would find styles that were fun, but the available sizes were off. We tried searching by size, but the results were either ugly or more expensive than what we had told ourselves we should spend. We combed every website we could think of. Finally, finally we came to a compromise on a few of the lengths in favor of color or style and decided that a little more expense after all this time was worth it if it meant we got what would truly make us happiest. We stepped out of the box we had stuffed ourselves into, put our creative thinking hats back on, and started listening to what our hearts were telling us (and not just the voices holding megaphones in our heads).
A few of the curtain sets were scheduled to arrive within a week or so, but Amazon informed us that most of them, including the ones Evan and I chose for our bedroom (pictured above), would be at our door sometime between March 1st and March 31st. I had waited this long; I could wait another month or two. Mostly, I was just relieved to have things in motion.
The items for O's room came first. She had been begging for new bedding, so we ordered her sheets, comforter, and curtains all at once from Target. Two things off our list with one click and ready on the same day we ordered them!? Yeeeeessssss!
The kitchen curtains came next. Our house is north-south facing and the sun shines directly on my spot at the table during dinner. For the first time since moving in, I was able to sit without the sun shining directly into my face! (Now my eyes were only figuratively on fire!)
Cut to March 22nd: The only two rooms without curtains at that point were the living room and our bedroom. After dinner, I got a notification that we had received a package from Amazon. I remember vaguely thinking that it might be one of the last sets of curtains and that I couldn't recall having ordered anything else. We checked the porch, the mailbox, and even near the garage door, just to make sure we didn't miss whatever it was. I checked the orders on my account...Nothing. I shrugged and decided it must have been a random glitch.
On Tuesday, March 23rd, I had my first two posts scheduled to launch on String of Lights at 11:11 AM. I was about to officially invite the world to the beginning of my own blog and step into what The Universe had been actively nudging me toward for over a month. At 10 AM, a man pulled into our driveway, got out, and opened his trunk. He gestured to me through the living room window that he was putting a package on our porch. As I opened our front door to get it, he told me he lived one street over in a house with the same number. Our package had been delivered to him yesterday by mistake. I looked up to thank him and realized that I recognized him.
A few years ago, I went to a vegan food festival in town and met him at the booth for his business. During that conversation I mentioned that I had seen his business's truck in our neighborhood and we ended up discovering that our house numbers were the same, just a block apart.
"Oh, you own Love's Ice Cream, right?"
He looked surprised that I knew that information so readily, but nodded in reply. I told him how much we enjoyed their flavors, he thanked me, and then he left. I turned to the heavily-taped, lumpy package on our stoop and something inside me just clicked. I ran and grabbed the scissors, opening our curtains with squeals of glee. They had arrived!!!
I hung them later that day.
As I stood in our curtained room for the first time, I took a breath to appreciate all of the things we had to live through to make that moment possible: sleeping on air mattresses for almost two months before having the money to purchase bedroom furniture; using my daughter's superhero lamp on my bedside table for several years as a placeholder (before I gave in and actually stopped ignoring the ads I was constantly seeing for fairy-light trees); the throw pillows, sheets, and blankets I lovingly picked out when they waved at me from their shelves...
The Universe delivered the final piece we needed to fully settle into our sacred space at exactly the right time--and those curtains were literally brought to our door by LOVE!
One thousand three hundred and sixty days of waiting, friends.
All I had to do was give in, trust the process, and allow LOVE to transform our house into our home.
Thank you for joining me. I am so glad you’re here!