when DIY turns into a fever


It happens every year about this time. I get the urge to paint, construct, rid, and generally turn our house into a tornado alley. Maybe it’s the changing season that makes me want to tackle projects with reckless abandon. The cooler air means working in the garage is much more pleasant, but I know in a few short weeks it will be unbearably cold out there. Operating a saw with numb fingers is tricky business.

Well, whatever the reason, last week I decided to paint all the doors and baseboards in the house. And our bedroom? It’s part blue, part gray, part tan and all the furniture is floating in the middle. There’s a ladder blocking the hallway, a thin layer of blue dust on every flat surface, two half finished valences in the garage and something that might one day be a headboard.


Little man has gotten good at entertaining himself with wood scraps. There are plenty to work with.


My husband is a planner. His projects are composed of measured increments of time to plan and prepare, followed by days scheduled and completed according to a timeline. I am a planner’s worst nightmare. I “hope” I can get the list done by next weekend, and then I attack one thing… until I get distracted and start on another, leaving so many things half finished and a can of paint in every room. Which, if I’m being honest, probably contributes to my feeling that it takes forever to get anything done.


I know the #1 advice for a lasting relationship is to marry someone like you. And in this matter Caleb and I couldn’t be more different, but we each contribute something that the other needs. Three days into the DIY fever, when my hands are covered in a rainbow of paint smudges and inked measurements for something I can’t remember, I hit the ceiling of panic.

My house is never going to be clean again!

Caleb looks me straight in the eyes and repeats “Projects are voluntary!” like he’s trying to hypnotize me or something. Strangely, it works. When I laugh and admit it’s true, he smiles and heads out to cut 1x4s in the dark. Gold medal.