A Labor-Filled Labor Day Weekend

It seems that Labor Day weekend finds people at one of two extremes: Either they, 1) spend the entire long weekend laying out on a pontoon boat with a beer in one hand and a license to chill in the other, or they 2) spend the entire long weekend absorbed in some pumped-up home-improvement project on steroids, like adding on an entire master bedroom suite or designing, digging out, and filling a 3-acre koi pond. Why not—I mean, we’ve got one whole extra day!

Fortunately, or unfortunately—however you want to look at it—my Labor Day weekend fell somewhere in the middle. It did involve a home improvement project or two, but we got help and managed not to completely kill ourselves trying to get it all done. We’ve got something to show for our weekend AND we haven’t yet collapsed from exhaustion. How could we ask for more?

So here’s how it all went down.

Earlier in the week, Father-in-Law called Husband and offered to come up and help us paint the interior of our house. This was a good thing because: 1) Our walls were beyond bad—they were dis-GUST-ing. Honestly, you’d think you were inside a subway station with all the graffiti that littered our walls. And 2) Husband and I knew we really, REALLY needed to paint, but left to our own devices, we surely would’ve come up with about a dozen excuses why we should put it off. So knowing the parents/in-laws were coming up made us get our butts in gear, drop $250 at Home Depot, and actually accomplish something.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday—It was all pretty much the same. Kind of reminded me of when Bill Murray kept waking up and every day was Groundhog Day. Prime, paint, trim. Prime, paint, trim. That was the guys. While they worked on the walls, Mother-in-Law and I worked on the basement. Sigh, sort, purge. Sigh, sort, purge.

I really should’ve taken a “before” picture of our basement. Seriously, you could not even walk down there without stepping on random outgrown clothes, Halloween decorations, or toys with missing pieces. Oh, and the beans. We cannot forget about the dried beans! (Don’t even ask.)

My mother-in-law was just what this anxiety-riddled hoarder needed—someone to gently, but firmly, say “I am not letting you keep that.” I think all I required was permission to get rid of things, and I was on fire! (Okay, Mother-in-Law may disagree with me a bit on that one. Maybe I wasn’t a roaring bonfire, but at least I was a flickering birthday candle!) We made two trips to Goodwill with at least one more trip to go. I’m embarrassed to say how many clothes I’d saved for the boys. I think I could’ve clothed a whole orphanage with the clothing I had stored in tubs! It was so overwhelming to me before, but now it feels so good to have my storage area look like this:

The painting turned out awesome. I was a little unsure of the color at first, but considering the fact that I had bought 5 gallons of it, I had no choice but to learn to like it. And honestly, after the trimming was done and everything was put back together, I was thrilled about how good it looked! My father-in-law is such a hard worker, and his attention to detail is amazing (although for some reason that gene didn’t seem to get passed on to the eldest son). So by the end of the weekend we had our entryway, hallway, office, stairway (including a 20-foot ceiling!), and upstairs hallway all done! The only problem now is that the rest of the walls that haven’t been painted yet look so much worse next to the freshly painted ones! Oh well—that’s for another weekend.

I am so grateful that my in-laws gave up their day off and long weekend to entrench themselves in our filth. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is!

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