If you need me…

I’ve been skipping around in a happy daze, arms full of books as I realize a dream that has come true. When we moved to Arundelle Green we knew a formal living room would sit unused. What to do, what to do? Our home, though spacious and beautiful, had only one tiny wall of bookshelves upstairs. We stood in that empty room and inspiration flickered. What if we turned it into a library? We have so many books, boxes upon boxes collected over a lifetime that had been stored away in our previous home due to lake of space. As we unpacked last summer, we piled the books up along a wall and dreamed…

What if those bare walls held beautiful, dark-stained shelves laden with literature?

What if all the books scattered throughout our house had a central home, where family and guests could peruse full shelves, then nestle into that comfy leather chair while they get lost in a story?

And what if our library had a ladder?

The beginning of something wonderful…

So we dreamed and planned and contracted with a local carpenter to make our dream come true. At last, installation day arrived.

These men brought the shelves into our house in four HUGE sections.

After three hours of hard work, the last of the sawdust was swept away and I stood, inhaling the scent of fresh-cut wood as what I had seen in my mind stood before me in all it’s glory.

May I present to you…the Library at Arundelle Green.

I am dreaming of “far-off places, daring sword fights, magic spells, and a prince in disguise” as I tuck each beloved volume into it’s proper place while steam rises from the coffee just brewed in my long-neglected and resurrected Nespresso.

Oh yes, we also included a coffee bar. Be still, my heart.

If you need me, I’ll be in the library “with a dreamy, far-off look…and her nose stuck in a book.” (And you just might find me singing from high atop the ladder!)

Now that our library is complete, I’ll be popping in here to share our current favorites for adults and children alike, as well as ideas for reading to your kids that will help you build sweet memories. Reading aloud is truly one of my favorite things to do with my children.

For now, enjoy what has been playing on repeat in my happy brain this week!

Decisions, Decisions

We made the drive out to Shelbyville, Tennessee on a crisp November morning to pick out stain, doors and knobs for our soon-to-be-built bookshelves.

My fourteen-year-old son sat in the back of my Ford Explorer, long legs stretched out in front of him from his chosen spot in the third row with the second rows seats folded. I complained that I felt like a chauffeur with him sitting all the way back there, but he didn’t bend. “I like it back here so I can do this,” and he somehow stretched those growing legs even longer.

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Control this Chaos

In our home, there is a massive shortage of bookshelves. Built in 1999, this fact is quite a surprise because most houses from that time period (especially those built by the same builder as ours) have lots of beautiful built-ins. But, not ours.

There is a lovely front room, though, that was used by the previous owners as a formal living room. It will make a perfect library. Sure, I could put some pretty sofas and arrangements in there and use it for entertaining but our crowd of people is more of a chips and Ro-Tel dip kinda crowd. The formality would be a complete waste of space. We would honestly never use it.

Continue reading “Control this Chaos”