Monday, August 11, 2008


Yesterday I hosted my first ever jewelry party. I had invited about 25 people and only seven were able to make it so we had a small crowd for a sunny Sunday afternoon. There were a few people that were coming to my house for the first time and meeting Aliza for the first time. So I found myself running around making sure that the house was very clean. Russ even caught the fever and went outside to mow and sweep. He even cut back the rose bush that has been encroaching on our little patio area AND picked up a garbage bin full of crab apples. (What is the point of a crab apple tree? Seriously. You can't eat them or cook with them.....they don't flower nicely or smell pretty....all they do is make apples that fall all over your lawn thus making it difficult to mow or walk.)

For some reason, I was particularly anxious about the opinion of one person. I have no idea why because she isn't necessarily one of my favorite people (I know that sounds mean but when someone talks about you behind your back to people who are bound to tell you what is said....well, that person is no longer on my favorite people list). I anticipated her walking into my house and instantly judging. She has one of those cookie cutter houses, decorated beautifully, with a pool and a hot tub and a perfectly manicured lawn that she loves to show off.....whereas my house has character. It is old and cozy and just perfect for our little family of three. However, when I thought about it from her eyes, and when I thought about what she potentially would say to colleagues of mine about my cozy little house....well, it made me a little anxious and threw me into a bit of a cleaning frenzy. It was a new feeling for me honestly. I've never felt the need to impress someone that I know is going to judge-and judge negatively- no matter what I do. And I, even in the midst of the cleaning frenzy, knew that what I was doing was absolutely ridiculous. I have nothing to prove, I love our house and I'm proud of the work we've done to it, and I stopped caring what this person thought about me awhile ago; realizing instead that we are different people with very different priorities and goals and work ethics. I realized yesterday that I felt like I was in high school all over again. I wasn't cool in high school and really had no desire to be. I had my close friends and that was enough for me. But, of course, deep down, don't we all want to sit at the cool kids table just once?

When everyone had left and I thought about the afternoon, all of my frantic energy seemed even more silly. There were people there that are my true friends....people who told me they loved my house and they thought Aliza was adorable--and they meant it. I was reminded of what I learned in high school: friendship is about being able to be yourself, and having people that love you just for that.


vanessa.e said...

As someone who has been fortunate enough to share the lunch table and the warmth of your home with you, I think you hit it right on the head. It's about being loved because of and NOT in spite of. You have that in spades and I will take a house full of character over a house like a picture in a magazine any day.

Mom S said...

My thoughts exactly! I'm with Vanessa. You're PERFECT just the way you are and your "cottage style home" is filled with love. I could live there tomorrow! (Maybe I'll move in???) just kidding....
Love Mom S

JaxMom said...

Lisa -

I am catching up with your posts, and it frightens me in a good way how much we must be kind of alike. The Catholic faith, children and the church, defending being Catholic, but not knowing exactly what to say when challenged.

I too live in a cozy beautiful old house that has been restored but has character. I at times cringe at the comments made about its size, but it is perfect for Jax and me, is very functional and you could not ask for a better neighborhood.

Jax dad was raised Catholic, but the only time he has been in a churc in 20+ years was Jax baptism. We have/will struggle with the private vs public school, but I want him to know right from wrong and to be a good person.

You will find your way with Aliza. We do dinner time prayers and night time prayers, and sit in the front at church. If I forget, Jax reminds me, even if he is not always paying attention.

Family was supposed to come visit us on vacation, including the son of my cousin who died. I tried to explain that Will might still be said because his daddy had died. Jax said, "If his daddy went to live with God, why would he be sad?"

It amazes me how much they pick it up watching you, and it sounds like you are doing a great job.

p.s. I did sit at the cool kids table, and it was not all it was cracked up to be. I am not cool now, and like it better!

Kelli said...

Good friends - the ones that love you no matter what - are hard to come by...I treasure the ones I know will always love me no matter what (I'm looking at you, my dear) with all of my heart.


I adore your house. The week I stayed there was during one of the most tumultuous months of my life...and yet every time I walked in the door I felt instantly cozy, welcomed, and home. That's not always an easy feeling to create but you & Russ did it.