Monday, December 8, 2008


hab⋅i⋅tat/ˈhæbɪˌtæt/ [hab-i-tat] –noun
1.the natural environment of an organism; place that is natural for the life and growth of an organism: a tropical habitat. 2.the place where a person or thing is usually found. Paris is a major habitat of artists. 3.a special environment for living in over an extended period, as an underwater research vessel. .

I often say that if my house isn't together- I'm not together. Hello my name is Ashley and I am a neat freak. I've mellowed greatly since having a two year old- but for the most part I can't stand dishes in the sink, crap everywhere, and I try to keep things tiddy. It totally messes with my world if a bed isn't made or things are amuck. I'll revert to doing a mad dash through an airport before I'll leave my house in disarray. I have issues.. I know...I can't help it. My most efficient helper in my life as a single mom is my housekeeper who I affectionately call "Poppins" who comes in twice a month and on those weeks I'm in a noticeably better mood. I'd give up a lot of things in my budget before I'd give up this luxury...When I'm at home, after Cole is asleep.. I don't sit down on the couch and zone out. I putter. I pick things up...I fold laundry..I wander looking for something to do. I can putter picking things up for's my thing. When I'm stressed you'll generally find me with bleach and a tooth brush scrubbing's not normal. The day before I had Cole I washed every window on my house and cleaned my air purifier with a q-tip. I have issues.

As I look around, if you looked at my office right now- you wouldn't guess that I'm a neat freak..there are market maps, piles of paper everywhere, a coffee cup, my water mug, a blackberry here, a financial calculator's kind of scary. You might actually wonder by looking at my office if I had a handle on my life... but this isn't my Habitat. This is where I land to do my's not what keeps me centered.

I have a great deal of sweat equity in my house. When I bought it- I was certain that Rainbow Bright had vomited there and then moved on the greener pastures. It was hideous..but the price was right, the floor plan was awesome, and so I bought it. It's been painted floor to ceiling, bathrooms re-done, granite installed,and six years later I finally have it about how I want it. I'll probably sell before Cole goes to school as there are too many memories associated with it, but it's my home and I am a firm believer that in today's world our homes should be our sanctuaries..The place where we can land and relax, get our love cups filled up by the people and animals who reside with us, and gather the strength to go out and do it all again the next day.

I thought about this as I was scrolling through some pictures that I had on my Blackberry and found a picture that I had snapped at a recent Habitat for Humanity build that I had the pleasure of being involved with. My church does a great job partnering with this organization and we usually send out a team of folks to work on several Habitat projects per year. I like to work on one right before Thanksgiving as I find that it puts me in the right frame of mind for the Holidays. We were working one of the last weekends on the house- so it was a lot of laying sod, and detail trim painting- but as the family worked with us.. I asked if they were going to be able to be in the house in time for the Holidays. They should have moved in this past weekend. How awesome is it that they will get to spend the Holidays in their new home-one that they helped build. I was moved again as I stumbled onto the picture on my Blackberry this morning trying to find some space for yet another Cole pic.

We all need a soft place to land.