The haves and the have nots

Saturday afternoon, Clayton and I made the mistake of going to Lowe's Home Improvement Store. I say "mistake" because despite having an honest-to-goodness reason for being there (to replace a piece of our kitchen flooring that is a tripping hazard), we left feeling like we needed to invest several thousands of dollars into home improvements.

Which we most certainly do not.

I was perfectly content and happy with the home we have as I strolled into the store. In fact, I was pleased as punch to just buy the small broken off piece of laminate flooring we needed and simply "talk" to a professional about how to repair the chipped off pieces of our counter top in the future.

But what little did I know, you have to walk through the staged kitchen displays to get back to the kitchen specialist.

Backsplashes, cabinets and granite counter topsOh my!

*kitchen lust*

I'll admit it, I was dazzled by the fancy cabinetry and construction. The model kitchens did exactly what they were supposed to do: They made me feel inadequate and that until I had these cabinets in my very own home, I would be sorely lacking in grace, elegance and style. Without them, my house would be ugly and bland. Everyone would stop being my friend and I'd die alone and miserable with my mediocre, chipped counter tops.

I have ceramic tile taste on a laminate budget.

This is an advertising trap I fall into frequently with all sorts of things ranging from clothing and shoes all the way to the hub caps on my car (believe me, I've thought about it). One of my biggest fears of owning my own home was that I would become obsessed with making it perfect and spend a lot of unnecessary money trying to impress people who don't need to be impressed.

I made advertising my career in college. I know how this stuff works and I'm one of the world's biggest suckers. 

If I'm not careful, materialism could be my downfall. I'm not proud that this is something I struggle with, but it is (and I believe it is rooted in how much we struggled financially when I was in high school).

Luckily for me, my husband and I are very good at "talking each other down", so to speak. When one of us is struggling (and that person is usually me), the other knows exactly how to bring the struggler back to reality. After a quick pep talk in the paint department, we reminded ourselves that we are blessed beyond measure with our adorable little starter house and that no matter how hard we try, nothing is ever going to be perfect. There will always be something newer and prettier just out of reach, but there are bigger things in life to be concerned about than having a magazine-ready home.

Plus, we have zero money.

Nothing is more sobering than the realization that you don't have any money and that you aren't willing to part with what you do have unless it's for food or champagne.

Problem solved.

But I can still appreciate the heck out of a beautiful kitchen. And it's fun to dream and fantasize about having a bigger, fancier house in the future when we expand our family and need more room.

And hey, dreaming is free. 

Maybe this is something you wrestle with, too?


  1. Nice post, Courtney! This is something Em and I struggle with as well, but we figured out (as it sounds like you did too) that, while a beautiful kitchen is just that (and also super-expensive), a pragmatic functional kitchen always matters more--good for you guys for not succumbing to the advertising!

  2. I'm a sucker for ads and infomercials! It's really hard not to want that stuff when it is so nice looking and in your face. Way to stay strong!


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