I just finished prying a 2-year-old out of the fridge and I’m looking wearily at the wreck that used to be my living room. It’s been a long, cold day with three kids (and their friends) to keep entertained. Still, I am smiling. In about two hours, this house will be quiet and I will have a chance to escape to my little sanctuary.

The modest master bath in our house got a makeover last year, thanks to our tax refund and the skills of two of our favorite “handymen”: our friend Tyler, and my amazing Dad. Even though it’s a small space, it came out exponentially better than I even dreamed, probably because I decided to totally indulge my affection for ceramic tile. It wouldn’t be for everyone, but I am so happy every time I step onto those terra cotta tile floors, or pull aside the lovely patterned shower curtain to see the cool blue glass accent tiles inside the shower. Somehow in this room, in a 1961 house in Indianapolis, I can imagine I am somewhere warm, exotic and tropical. Thank goodness Ian was cool with it. And thank goodness a friend recommended we put in a dimmer switch – it’s the best feature in the room, lowering my stress level immediately as it lowers the bright light. Even guests who’ve stayed with us seem to have a hard time getting out of that room once they get in. I had to call in the jaws of life the first time my mom visited after the bathroom got its makeover.

During the daytime and early evening, little feet wander in and out of my sanctuary, leaving little treasures like barettes and sippy cups, rubber dinosaurs and dirty socks. By nightfall, I eject all of those infiltrators and reclaim my space. It is the one room I insist on keeping pristine.

If I’m lucky, at the end of a long day of taking care of everyone else, I pour a glass of wine, lock the doors, dim the lights, light the candle in the wall sconce, and give thanks for blissful solitude.

So please don’t call me after 9:30 tonight. Daisy just pulled out a jar of yellow paint. Again. Clara is yelling for help with a math video game in the basement. Cal needs a kick in the pants to get his Spanish reading homework finished.

My sanctuary moment will be well-earned tonight. And well-cherished.

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