The renovation is the key.
Take one solid relationship. Add in months of anxiety, coupled with dwindling bank accounts. Factor several overworked and grouchy tradespeople. Into the mix throw differing styles.
To really turn it up, have a baby or two.
Put the baby crib in the office, along with any accumulated furniture.
When the crib breaks from being taken apart and put back together so many time, use duct tape.
Put your bed on the floor in the dining room. Sleep there several months. No curtains on the many windows in the dream home. Most of you have curtains. Maybe all. Even in university you likely nailed a sheet to the window frame. We couldn't do that; too many windows. That moon is as bright as the sun on a yard filled with sparkling white snow.
Become so familiar with the taste of drywall dust that you can distinguish between the Rona and Home Depot brand.
Heat? What heat? If you really want to test the depths of love for each other, disable the heat for an entire winter. It's true. We disconnected the heat upstairs. I'm not sure we understood (maybe I should speak for myself here) that it gets frigging cold if you turn the heat off on an entire and energy inefficient lumbering house for a full winter season. I'm surprised we didn't burn the house down, with our little radiant heater from Costco (you know, the ones they put right at the door in the winter, and you can feel the heat almost burn your face when you walk in.)
We shared the heater with poor Stella, who slept in the same room as us for a long while, because when we took the walls down it took a very long time to put them back up.
Who knew it would take six weeks for a microwave? When you only have a stove, which sat pulled away from the wall on a weird angle, and no dishwasher (wahwah, I know, but I do love a dishwasher) and a leaky sink and no shower OR tub...a microwave was to me what running water and toilets must have been...back before they had those. (*Notice, what a cunning writer I am. I never let on, did I, that I have absolutely no idea when exactly the running water and toilets came about. Only that I know that they must have been important. I only point it out to illustrate my skill.)
No tub, no shower, that really took the cake, was the last straw, broke the camel's back, and proved that we will stay married. I'm not even going to get into it, the difficulties with two working adults and one filthy toddler and only a grungy laundry room sink with no plug. It makes my chest tighten up just thinking about it and now I'll have to go to yoga tomorrow just to get the thoughts out of my head.
I think I'm going to appreciate life a lot tomorrow.