Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Dream House

A few months ago, Mama called. She calls nearly daily, so this was no surprise. But that day she had one request. The only thing she wanted for Mother's Day come May was her very own Little Free Library. She had been working overtime with a local organization to get the very first Little Free Library in her town. And once it was up, she knew she wanted one decorating her own front yard. 

So I called my sisters to spread the word. That was all it took. You can purchase them from the website, but we wanted to make our own.  

My twin sister is full of creativity and may be one of the best gift givers I know. She is also an artists and paints lovely landscapes. She called a few days later with an idea. I have no idea where she got this idea, but she had decided that we could make a library from a wooden dollhouse. Not only that, but she had found the perfect dollhouse for the plan on the site for all things for sale, craigslist. 

Have you seen 13 Going on 30 with Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo? This dollhouse we found, it was pink just like the dream house from the movie. Really sort of perfect. 

I will admit. I was skeptical about this plan. I had doubts if we could really make it happen. Three girls with zero building skills. I wondered if we'd have to tear the dollhouse apart. Or build shelves for the books. But my twin sister was set on it.  

She secured that perfectly pink dollhouse and started planning a trip to visit this mountain town, under the guise that she was bringing our nephew to see us. OK. That wasn't just a smokescreen for a plan to make Mama her Mother's Day gift, she really did bring our nephew with her, and we had a lot of fun besides working together to transform the dollhouse into a library. 

He gets really excited sometimes & this is what he does. 

The nephew made friends with the locals. 

When the crew finally arrived with the dollhouse in tow, all I wanted to do was play with it. It is a seriously cool dollhouse. And it came complete with furniture and a baby. It turns out my nephew's favorite game was when I let the baby slide down the stairs. Over and over and over again. Now that they have stairs in their new place, he has taken to throwing his dolls down them. I wonder where he learned that . . .

At least my sisters let me keep the furniture after they made me quit playing with it.

The first task was to clean it. 

Then we each had our own task in the makeover. My twin sealed the outside. 

Little sister used her muscles to cut windows for all 8 windows. 

My job was to caulk the doors and windows to create, hopefully, a nice tight weatherproof seal. 

See! I worked too. 

Little sister and her husband also helped attach the latch and create the base the dollhouse would eventually sit on. That was only after I took to it with some white spray paint to make it pretty. I am terrible at spray painting in general. And I warned my sisters of this fact. I am impatient and sloppy when it comes to these sorts of things. But seeing as how this was a gift for Mama, I took my time. Despite the wind blowing the paint in every direction but where I needed it to go, I kept my cool, and I managed to complete my best spray painting job ever. No drips. None. And I even finished before the rain started to fall. 

Once everything was ready, I loaded it all up into my car, and drove to Portland on Mother's Day to meet up with Mama. I called Dad on the way there to let him know he'd have to finish it up and install it.  

I bought Mama a Starbucks gift card, just to make her think that was her only gift. After shopping, we headed to the car, and Mama was very confused. 

"You have a dollhouse? Why do you have a dollhouse in your car?"

"Do you remember the only thing you asked for Mother's Day?" 

"What? A Library?" 

"Let me show you." 

The thing is, even though we called Dad and let him know what we were up to from the first day we found the dollhouse on the internet, he still spent his Spring Break building another library. Not even kidding. He's sort of a stinker that way sometimes. So for over a month, Mama has had a beautiful birdhouse library in her front yard. 

Luckily, Mama loves both. So now she has two. 



  1. You called your daddy a "Stinker"? Love this story. Love all the Little Libraries!

    1. You're right. I should have said he is sneaky sometimes.

  2. I wasn't being a stinker. Your mother asked me for a commitment to make her a library first. I had to live up to that commitment. Two libraries are better than one anyway!

  3. I love both of these and now I want one too!!!!!!!!!!

    1. You should get one. Or kid one of those kiddos to make you one :-)