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the beauty of change

by Shawni

Lucy sometimes takes some cajoling when it comes to switching things up. We have to sweet-talk her like nobody’s business into anything that is different.

For example, we will suggest a new movie to watch and she will go into it kicking and screaming, but then it ends up being her favorite movie. Same with new games. Or a new book. Everything seems to be a battle. But the battles are worth it when she comes out glowing on the other side because she has tried something new…and loves it to boot!

So when we decided, in the middle of the corona quarantine that it would be a good time to finally finish up decorating her bedroom (and Claire’s too), she was not over-the-moon (like Claire was) about that idea. But we’ve never really “finished” those bedrooms and decided as we go forward Lucy is going to need a workspace with light and contrast and her bed was not in great shape, plus, all her Legos all over the place were driving me nutty. She was laying on her side on the floor for homework and Legos which was killing her back. SO, we got to work. This is how her room looked…(wish I had a better picture):

She did want to get rid of that “baby” picture of herself and she was on and off again about whether she wanted to part with that doll house. She changed her mind over and over again. I thought this note she left on my desk one night was so sweet:

This is a girl who worries if her lamp is moved a couple inches, or if her doors are closed all the way. She is quite particular. But once we got going, she caught the delight of change. She even drew up her own floor plan idea:

She helped install some big shelves (from IKEA) to hold all her Legos…and some artwork too:

Those shelves went from this:

To this:

To this:

We took down her old bed:

(Well, some of “us” did at least…at least she was doing something productive like reading:) She rarely reads these days because she can’t see very well so that picture makes me happy.

This was a good helper:

We put together her new bed (from Urban Outfitters…since I know people will ask):

This makes me so happy to have her sitting at a desk rather than all skiwampus curled up on the floor!

(Desk is from BluDot.)

Finally got a new mattress and tried to figure out pillows (she is quite particular about how she wants to arrange those too, phew!) But she was SO HAPPY with how each step of the way was turning out.

So here’s the finished product details:

It’s hard to get that “wall triangle” in these pictures, but here’s a better look:

Inspired by these pictures from my friend Ashley who owns Skout…a pretty amazing home decor resource:

She also recommended painting this section blue to balance out the triangle blue…and found this cool giraffe print for me (from Society6)

My other friend helped me with pillow ideas, and to finish off these shelves:

I’m mad I don’t have a picture pre-tons-of-Legos-jumbling-up-the-whole-shelves, but hey, I guess that’s what we got them for after all. Lucy is pretty particular about where she has placed them and there’s no moving them now!

Some closer-ups…Lucy will not even think of ever changing that picture of her siblings on her desk below…she had it on her night stand before and has reluctantly moved it lovingly to her desk but she is fiercely protective of that thing. Which I love. And she really wanted her painting of the sunset above her desk, which I love too:

(lamp is from West Elm)

She was also pretty particular about having this picture of a lion displayed that we took in Africa. She is in love with lions of all sorts, ever since we read the Narnia series.

And we cannot move on without taking note of the picture of Jesus on the bottom left below:

Some friends had taped that on one of her “get well” posters they gave her after her surgery and she has treasured it ever since…insists it needs to be part of her wall configuration. Which I love too. Man, this is an amazing little girl I get to mother!

A closer look at that mass of pride-and-joy Legos:

Here she is listening to Elle read her Harry Potter over FaceTime from Miami, all comfortable in her new room:

How awesome is that big sister of hers, by the way??

Bedding is from Pottery Barn Teen.

Just a couple extra details: our favorite books as of late:

These items always sit right here on the corner of her night stand (since before we redid her room too):

They are always situated just-so, in that particular manner.

That girl loves her Jesus. And I do think she has made Him “hers” in many ways which is such an inspiration to me.

She also got the Grandma Hazel Impossible award from my mom this year, since she has done so many of the “impossibles” this year (I talked all about that quote from my Grandma back HERE). So she displays that award proudly too.

So, there we go. A new room that this girl adores with all her heart, another change for Lucy that was all worth it in the end!

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20 comments

Heidi September 9, 2020 - 10:34 am

It looks so awesome !!!! Way to go Lucy !!!

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Shelly Cunningham September 9, 2020 - 10:41 am

Her room looks just beautiful and I love how you helped her change it, but honored her feelings along the way.
What a good mama you are, and what a lucky girl she is!

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Maria September 9, 2020 - 12:33 pm

The room looks great! I wonder if Lucy’s “battles” are a by-product of her syndrome, or maybe a reaction to losing her sight. The behavior you describe does not sound age appropriate, and actually borderline OCD. It sounds like maybe she might need to talk to a therapist (if she is not already) about her feelings… are LDS allowed to see a professional therapist? She is trying to fit into the mold of a normal kid (like her siblings) in an abnormal situation. There are bound to be behavioral repercussions. Bless her heart, I hope she continues to improve.

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SVen September 9, 2020 - 12:39 pm

Members of the church are absolutely “allowed” to see therapists. We have Church Family Services, part of which offers counseling. My husband and I have used it before. A former bishop of ours is a therapist. Both my husband and I are in school to become therapists. Therapy is not something we are discouraged from seeking out, although, just like society in general, there are members who have felt like there is a stigma associated with it. I’m so glad it is becoming more accepted. Everyone can benefit from a great therapist.

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Maria September 9, 2020 - 12:49 pm

That’s good to hear. I think the stigma is maybe why Lucy
might not be seeing one. It’s not just Lucy’s personality,
it’s something that she needs help with

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Shawni September 9, 2020 - 1:27 pm

Good points, Maria, and you’re right, I do think that sometimes it’s just human nature to want to “fit in” for all kids, especially at this age. But I do think a lot of this is her syndrome speaking…and also her loss of sight. I think that makes her want more than anything to be like her peers (not with her bedroom situation, of course, but just in life in general). Some of her behaviors do worry me from an OCD perspective as well. So yes, we are big proponents of therapy and getting help any way we can. I think therapists are amazing! Lucy has worked with a couple different therapists who I think have really helped her. Right now she is doing so exceptionally well and I’m so grateful, but if we feel that there is a need again you can bet we’ll jump right on it.
xoxo

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Courtney C. September 9, 2020 - 2:56 pm

Beautiful room, beautiful girl! I’m a long time follower, an avid reader, and lover of reading aloud. It hurts my heart for her that she doesn’t read as much because of her vision. Bless her. Maybe she would enjoy audio books? I know you all like r read together, but maybe she would enjoy audio books too. Steven Fry reads the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and does a PHENOMENAL job. 🥰

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Courtney C. September 9, 2020 - 3:01 pm

I’m sorry, it’s Michael York not Stephen Fry. I also misspelled his name so I’m winning today. 🤦🏼‍♀️🤣

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Shawni September 10, 2020 - 5:37 pm

She does love audio books and LOVES when she finds a good one! I bet she’s ready to listen to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe again…one of her favorites! Thank you for the recommendation.
xoxo

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Courtney C. September 9, 2020 - 2:58 pm

There are great audio book recommendations here: https://readaloudrevival.com/

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Shawni September 10, 2020 - 5:37 pm

Oh we are ready for some new recommendations so thank you!

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Jen September 10, 2020 - 8:38 pm

Shawni, has Lucy read “The Goose Girl” by Shannon Hale? I checked out the audio book from our library. It’s narrated by a full cast and the book and the narration is so fantastic. I listened to it with my 12 year old and we both loved it.

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Christine Enyart-Elfers September 9, 2020 - 7:59 pm

My daughter read large print books which we were able to reserve from our local library. She’s an audio book “reader” now as she can no longer really see print.
I also painted her bedroom & bathroom with semi-gloss paint to increase the amount light that bounced off the walls.

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Shawni September 10, 2020 - 5:37 pm

That’s a great idea with the gloss paint!

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Tracy September 10, 2020 - 5:53 am

Love her new room!

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Mom of 8 September 10, 2020 - 8:21 am

What a beautiful view into Lucy’s world! As you describe her we can see what a strong and amazing spirit she has, filled with love for her family and the things she cherishes. She surrounds herself with those things that bring her comfort and peace. Thanks for sharing!

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Melissa September 10, 2020 - 3:43 pm

I have a disability, too, but not vision loss. I’m sure I do things and am uptight about things other people find strange, but I am trying to adapt my abilities to my world and it is not always easy. She might be OCD, but she might also depend on memory to know where things are; she might be steadied by familiar objects in familiar places and their predictable physical relation to other objects. Needing your lamp in the exact same spot means you can just reach for it without looking for it. There is a lot of fear in trying to be normal when you really aren’t – and it’s exhausting and stressful. People are often misunderstand your motives and second guess your preferences. Therapy could help, but maybe family therapy would help the sighted members of the family understand Lucy’s challenges. I don’t have a left hand and I WISH my family understood more about my experience. The room looks lovely. Lucky girl!

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Shawni September 10, 2020 - 5:49 pm

Oh Melissa thank you so much for sharing this! Loved hearing your perspective and insight. And I agree with the reasoning behind where she puts things. It has been beautiful to watch her over the last year or so start to be so much more confident with who she is. She still resents Braille, something that, at least to her, accentuates her disability I think, despite how much we ooooh and ahhhh about it. But last night, as we were getting some miles in for our “Walk4Water” challenge (which I wrote about back here: https://71toes.com/2020/09/walking-for-water/ ), she decided on her own to use her cane more diligently than ever to walk the whole mile with her eyes closed. Such a huge step of accepting and being proud of her differences as far as I’m concerned. Anyway, love the idea of family therapy…we need to look into that.
Thank you again for sharing your perspective!
xoxo

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Shauna September 11, 2020 - 7:30 am

Melissa your perspective was very eye opening to me. Thank you for sharing.

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Janan W September 14, 2020 - 3:37 pm

I love how it turned out! Both your ideas came together beautifully!

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