Thursday, February 13, 2014

My whimsical husband

Growing up in the Foreign Service with very practical parents, we were not the sort of family who tried to customize our government-issue housing.  I don't even think I understood that walls didn't have to be white until I was well into adulthood.  I did spend my high school and college years collecting tapestries and textiles that I thought I would one day use to entirely cover the walls and ceiling of a room in my house - it was going to be the nargileh room, and have pillows on the floor.  (Now my kids use those same tapestries to create play houses, and I haven't smoked a nargileh in ages ... how things change!)

I have held on to the practicality that raised me, and so, when moving around, it has never occurred to me to bring my own furniture (with the exception of our comfy king-sized bed) or to try to paint the walls.

But I married into some crazy creativity, y'all.  My husband comes from a family where white walls are viewed as an unfinished canvas, where the same house might have two different paint colors each year, where, if you are bored with the white ceramic tiles that adorn your fireplace, the natural solution is to run out and buy a dozen different kinds of paint and turn it into a mosaic.  The end result was stunning - but never in a million years would this have occurred to me!

A three-month-old Natasha with her
great-grandpa John in front of said fireplace.
Even now that I have acquired something of a home aesthetic, it doesn't seem worth it to me to try to customize a house that I will only live in for two years.  If you take away the time spent settling in, and the time spent packing up, that only leaves 18 months, tops, to enjoy the fruits of your labors.  And I'd rather spend that time sewing.

Anyway, my husband doesn't feel that way.  So while I was back in the States on maternity medevac last year, he took matters into his own hands and created a jungle nursery for Gabriel and a princess room for the girls.

The elephants are my favorite.  They represent our family, and the white doves above represent the two babies we lost to miscarriage.  I wish I could separate this part of the wall and take it with us everywhere we go.  Maybe I can get a good high-resolution photo of it and put it on a canvas.

I also really love this monkey.

The princesses' chamber.

The woodland friends wall decals by N's bed were out in the hall, but she decided she wanted then in the room, so ...

See the little frog prince to the right of the door?

Sun and moon on the ceiling:

And my favorite - the little dragon soaring up in the clouds:

The girls are going to miss this room when we leave.  I think J may want to recreate it when we move home.  It just seems like a huge pain to me.  My practical streak is ingrained.


  1. Wow, absolutely beautiful! Way to go, Jeremy! Sometimes I wish Matt had some useful hobbies. :)

  2. You have an absolutely wonderful blog - thanks for letting us read along! Love these rooms!!

  3. They are amazing! He's so talented. My husband just eats extra and watched seasons of TV shows I won't watch with him when I'm on med-evac. I wonder how I can sneakily make him read this post . . . it wouldn't do any good though.

    1. Ha ha - my husband usually does the same but I guess he got inspired this time. He knew I'd never go along with it if I were at home so he had to get it done while I was out of the country!

  4. What awesome rooms! Maladets Jeremy jan! Sam and his dad are planning on doing something soon to Ani's room. Probably this spring when we'll be able to open up the windows so it can air out. Congrats on return to the US. I totally feel the apprehension - I've felt it now several times after living abroad. Just remember to give yourself time to readjust - it's not easy even when it's your "home country."

    Colleen :)


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