Baby Girl’s Wildflower Nursery

1495046273730I’ve been horrible about sharing photos of our house remodel– mostly because there are still things throughout the house I would like to finish before sharing pictures. But we did finally 100% finish a room with baby girl on the way so I thought I’d share some photos of her sweet little wildflower nursery ❤

IMG_20170513_071931_233IMG_20170513_071903_940Prepping the room with fresh paint and clean carpet (this was Roman’s room before so it needed some love after him 😉 ).

IMG_20170513_071508_774Eight months pregnant and painting 🙂 I’ve felt very relaxed about this baby until recently but something about realizing she’ll be here in less than two months has me hustling and acting like a crazy person trying to get everything ready.

IMG_20170521_170933_614IMG_20170521_164557_037IMG_20170521_165211_326IMG_20170522_070619_198This has always been my favorite room in the house with all its natural light and views of the field across the way. It was the perfect spot to rock Roman asleep and now I look forward to sitting in that same sunny corner rocking my baby girl and introducing her to this lovely wildflower world.

IMG_20170521_164310_118IMG_20170521_170739_277Her first toy– Roman’s was a little white cat from the same company ❤20170519_073532A closet full of tiny, girly clothes ❤IMG_20170521_164911_130IMG_20170522_070835_055IMG_20170521_165034_047I pinned some of the art back when I was expecting Roman but before I knew if I was having a boy or a girl. It was fun going back and getting some of the stuff I’ve loved for years but had to wait for my baby girl to need ❤

It’s Good to Be Home

Life has been a little cray around here lately—and by lately, I mean for months. I spent most of last fall and this winter either not feeling good or trying to catch naps whenever possible thanks to pregnancy. I’m excited to be expecting again so it’s fine and definitely worth it but it also feels like a chunk of my life is missing from those hazy months.

IMG_20170509_103347_440Spring rolled around and we got busy with travel, lots of company coming to visit, and all kinds of miscellaneous crazy. It’s been a fun couple of months packed full of people and places I love—but oh my word, I’m ready for some down time with my boys.

Sunday, my parents packed up and headed home after a two-week visit. We had a great time with them (and everyone else who’s come to visit over the last couple of months). But when Monday rolled around and I sat alone in my quiet house (as quiet and alone as things ever are with a two-year old running around 😉 ), I have to admit, it felt nice to watch the dust settle on my life for a bit. IMG_20170508_204442_403I sat down with my day planner to figure out what’s next and it was really nice to see that nothing major is on the agenda for the next few weeks. I even cancelled a couple things I had planned on doing just to free up the weekends and spend a little extra time enjoying my boys before the next wave of activity hits. IMG_20170509_094322_351These next three (hopefully) quiet weeks feel sacred and I’m doing my best not to add anything unnecessary to our days.

This week its felt nice just to catch up on laundry, go grocery shopping, cook a meal in my kitchen, and sit around the table with my little family. Sometimes I get tired of the routine that comes with being a wife and stay-at-home momma—the endless cycle of laundry, dishes, meals, errands, and diapers. IMG_20170508_204110_747He’s a cute little imp but trust me when I tell you, he’s a holy terror to grocery shop with 😀

But the exhaustion and busyness of the last few months have shown me how valuable and peaceful these little routines can be. When we’re frantically moving from one thing to the next, just trying to keep our heads above water, it’s easier to recognize and crave the value of quiet days at home with the people who matter most.

IMG_20170508_204252_318So for the next few weeks, I’m savoring the quiet and the routine. I’m enjoying the time with my boys and preparing for my baby girl. Life will change tremendously in a couple months when our daughter is born. So until then, I’m holding onto and enjoying life as it is—and not allowing guilt or the American obsession with busyness to distract and pull at me.

Our days are numbered and short. Our people are precious. These are the things I’m keeping in mind and wrapping my heart around today ❤

When Motherhood Isn’t Your Thing

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I always knew I wanted to stay home and raise a family. Before Darren and I ever decided to marry, I told him what I wanted to do and he agreed–someday, when the time was right, I would leave the workplace and stay home. And that’s exactly what I did–after 6 years of marriage, work, home buying, and traveling, we decided it was time to start a family and whole-heartedly welcomed a baby into our lives.

I loved the first year at home–though of course, at times, it was very hard and was a huge adjustment from my former office job. That first year was just me and Roman most of the time as Darren was working, going to school, and remodeling our house. From sun up to sundown (and plenty of times throughout the night) Roman was in my arms or at my side. I was zeroed in that first year, present and focused on enjoying my baby boy before he was no longer a tiny little thing in my arms. I am proud of that first year and have very few regrets about how I spent my time with our son.

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But this year, with a now 18 month old toddler, things have been different. I’m struggling. No, I’m drowning. I’m starting to realize that the baby stage was my happy place but this whole toddler stage just isn’t my jam. Roman is a wild, busy little thing and we are both going a little batty being stuck inside during these long winter months. He’s bored and I’m bored and we’re both driving each other crazy.

Truth be told, I want to put him in daycare and go back to work. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that but I’m just surprised to find myself feeling this way after so many years of wanting to start a family and stay home.

Maybe I’m just tired, discouraged, or disillusioned. Maybe it will pass as things often do.

Or maybe motherhood isn’t my thing and it turns out I’m really not all that good at the one thing I spent my whole life preparing for.

I don’t know.

I know Roman isn’t going to daycare because it makes no sense for me to go back to work right now. By the time I settle into a job and know what I’m doing, I’ll be pregnant again. That’s just where I’m at in life right now. I want more children and I want to stay home with each child for at least the first year and you can’t just hop in and out of work at your own leisure. So for right now, my life is at home.

I don’t have a problem with committing my life to home for as long as this is where I need to be. I’m just struggling to figure out how to make this whole home all day every day with a cranky toddler thing work in such a way that there’s some peace and happiness in our lives again.

I want to be a good mom, not the cranky, frustrated one I’ve become of late. But how do I reconcile who I am and how I’m struggling with patient, loving parenting and a happy, healthy home?

Beats me.

If you have answers, I’m all ears.

I’m sorry this isn’t my usual “life is beautiful and magical” type post but I’m just not there right now. This isn’t a mommy blog but I’m knee-deep in motherhood and struggling to find my voice in this space as I once did. I miss writing and photographing and I’m determined to get back to it. But in the meantime, this is where I’m at, this is why I’m absent, and until I can come back with something nice to say, I’m not coming back at all :]

The Comforts of Home

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Today we are home, curled up on the couch watching football. The cat is curled up on the other couch, because obviously, he needs a whole couch to himself…diva. The Pats are playing the Dolphins. I would rather be watching my home boys, the Chiefs, but they don’t show their games out here. We were in Kansas City a few weeks ago and were almost late for our flight because I just had to see the Chiefs finish their game while I had the chance. They normally lose, you know, so watching them win for once is a lot of fun :]

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We had big bowls of hot soup for lunch today and dipped thick chunks of warm bread in it. The heat is on because it’s cold, cold, cold outside and we are sipping mugs of hot coffee to warm up. I sprinkled cinnamon over the coffee grounds before brewing it; between that and the pumpkin creamer, it’s just about the perfect mug of coffee for a crisp fall day.

The whole house smells like the jasmine and sandalwood incense I’m burning…I love how the tangy, sweet smell of the smoke permeates everything in the house.

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This morning we went to church and I worked in the nursery. There’s a bit of a baby boom going on among my friends right now. Every time one girl has a baby, another announces she’s pregnant. It’s fun…all these kids and babies and watching families grow and change. Sometimes working in the nursery is completely exhausting because all the babies melt down at once and you’re left wiping tears and noses and wondering what on earth you did wrong. But this morning, it was fun. The kids were mostly good and it was nice visiting with the moms and watching them visit with each other. It made me really thankful for my church family and the little group of girls I hang out with here; their friendship means so much to me and I was reminded of that this morning.

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Last night we had dinner with Darren’s brother and sister and their families. We all live within 15 minutes of each other and I love the way we are able to spend time together and move in and out of each other’s lives. My sister in law made a big batch of chili and my brother in law made an apple pie. We all sat around eating and talking while the kids played on the floor. Our new baby nephew was passed around and held while the bigger boys climbed all over us and wrestled with each other on the floor. It was nice.

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I tell you all these bits and pieces because together they remind me of one thing…comfort. Our little home and mugs of hot coffee are comforting on this Sunday afternoon. Spending time with our friends at church was comforting this morning. Dinner with family was comforting last night. Even the cool weather and hot meals are comforting. And with all these bits and pieces that make up our normal, everyday lives–I’m thankful. Thankful for the comfortable, familiar things that settle our hearts and minds and for the weekends that give us a chance to rest and regroup before heading into another busy workweek.

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This is why God gave us a Sabbath–because he knows us and knows we need rest and refreshment. It has been good this weekend to be reminded of the simple gifts of home and family and to enjoy this day of rest in our little home.

House Remodel Update

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In April we bought an 1860 colonial farmhouse in need of some serious renovations…and by serious I mean light a match and burn the place down…no, just kidding, we didn’t do that…but maybe we should’ve ;]

All summer long we worked on getting building permits and approvals from the town and as soon as we were given the go-ahead, we got busy and watched this shabby little place began to transform right before our eyes. We have two family friends doing most of the work and they have been fantastic. My older brother also drove all the way up from Louisiana to help raise the roof– now that, my friends, is love :] Little by little we watch this dream of ours take shape. Every time I stop by it looks like a different place and just a little bit more like what we imagine it can and will be.

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It would have been easier and more practical to tear the place down and start from scratch, but the bones of this place are too magical to throw away and Darren and I both knew from the beginning that we wanted to preserve as much of the original structure as we could. Everything that’s been torn down was deconstructed by hand, board by board and nail by nail in order to save as much of the original wood as possible for later projects.

This place is built out of hand-hewn timber and wood nails and the bones that hold it together today are just the same as they were 150 years ago. So when we raised the roof to give us a full second story, we left the original timbers and wood nails in place and just jacked the roof up and up instead of taking it off and starting over. Everyone told us we were crazy for taking that approach, and we probably were, but we’re happy with the end result and happy we were able to preserve just that much more of the original construction. We’re hopelessly nostalgic, what can I say :]

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Darren has painstakingly drawn every single sheet of blueprints for this house. We sit down together and talk about what we want this place to be and Darren gets busy measuring and figuring out how to make our vision a reality. We had settled on a plan and figured out where everything should go and then I went upstairs after they raised the roof…and the view! I had no idea how pretty it would be looking across the field and into the woods. We had planned on having our bedroom on the back of the house but once I stood there and saw the view from the front, I knew I would die a little bit if we didn’t have our bedroom on that side of the house. So Darren very patiently redesigned and redrew pretty much every part of the house so we could move the bedroom.

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Darren draws while the cat and I mostly just look at pretty pictures on the internet and say, “Put that there. Move this here. Ándale.”

I would tell you he’s a saint, and probably he is, but last night he coerced me into digging out the basement floor with a shovel and since we were there until 1:00am and almost got eaten by werewolves wolves, I haven’t quite forgiven him yet. He did buy me a pair of steel-toed boots as a peace offering…which actually worries me a little bit…?… :]

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The whole upstairs is framed in and I like walking around up there getting a feel for the size and layout of the rooms and imagining what everything will look and feel like once it’s done.

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This week all kinds of equipment has been rolling around as a foundation for a small addition is dug out and the yard undergoes extensive landscaping. We are working against the clock trying to get the foundation in place before winter takes hold.

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We are a long ways from done, but we’re a long ways from where we started too…and that feels good :]

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To Fresh Woods and Pastures New

Yesterday, Darren and I closed on our new home. And by new I mean new as soon as we rebuild it kind of new ;]

We bought a little Colonial built back in 1860—you know, the year Abraham Lincoln was elected President and the Pony Express was still delivering the mail. So yes, she is old and she is a fixer-upper. But we love all the old New England charm about her and even though I’m certain we don’t yet fully know what we’ve gotten ourselves into, we are excited and thankful for this new road we’re on.

I was starting to feel like we had looked at every piece of real estate in the whole entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts and there was nothing for us. But here we are. Now we own an old Colonial in a quaint little New England town. We have a big yard and woods behind and before us—I can’t explain how much the yard and woods mean to me. I have a nice sunny spot picked out to plant my first garden and we are within walking distance to the lake where we can swim and canoe. There’s a nice flat road for riding bikes and my very favorite book store is just a few miles away. I’m really, really thankful.

Please remind me of these pretty words come the middle of this project because I will probably be threatening to burn the whole place down once I’m covered in paint and sheetrock dust. I’m moody like that. Oh, and I give up easily so this should go really well ;]

Seriously though, I’m excited about preserving this old house that has seen so much and adding our own lives and memories to her walls. I’m excited about walking out into the yard and working in the garden, excited about jumping in the lake, excited about watching the trees blossom and the leaves fall as we work away on making this very old house our home.

I’m thankful that old things can be made new and that so much of what’s broken can be fixed…not only in old houses, but in our lives too.

Here she is. I call her Abigail. Don’t judge her–she needs a touch of lipstick and rouge–most ladies do, you know.

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And the view…

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“And so you sign a mortgage but also body and soul, spouse and children over to an idea that will soon become a joy and a burden, a black hole that devours every molecule of your time, money, and spirit. Yet even when you discover that the only thing keeping the place from blowing away is the weight of the mouse droppings in the attic, you wouldn’t have it any other way. If this is the case, you might be one of those old-house people, a peculiar kind of maniac who is one part ability, one part inventiveness, two parts determination, three parts romanticism, and six parts damn foolishness.”  {George Nash from Renovating Old Houses}

I think maybe we fit the part? ;]

“Tomorrow to fresh woods and pastures new.” {John Milton}

This is Our Life

I keep waiting for the world to wake up with spring color so I can get my camera out and take pictures. Everything is brown and gray here in New England and I’m just about stir crazy waiting for the flowers to bloom and the grass to grow. I decided to get my camera out and take pictures of things around the house–bits and pieces of our lives—to get by until its warm outside and there are lots of green things to photograph and share with you. Until then…

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DSC_0087Sleepy head

DSC_0115Last week we had blue skies and the beginning of buds

DSC_0024I love that patch of gray above his temple

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DSC_0049 (2)Seaside memories

DSC_0018 (2) I have a bad habit of starting one book while still reading two others and never finishing any of them. This is what’s on my nightstand right now.

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…And that is all for now…

{Bread and Wine Book Review} Life Around the Table

Have you heard of Shauna Niequist? I’ve been gobbling up her writing lately so when I had the chance to review her latest book, Bread & Wine, I jumped at the opportunity.

Bread & Wine is all about building life and friendship and community around the table. It’s about opening your heart and home to people and letting them in to be fed and loved.

Shauna writes:

“This is what I want you to do: I want you to tell someone you love them, and dinner’s at six. I want you to throw open your front door and welcome the people you love into the inevitable mess with hugs and laughter” (p. 256).

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After finishing Bread & Wine, that is exactly what I wanted to do—throw open the door to my home and let people in to be fed and nourished. Shauna’s book is filled with a collection of recipes—some her own, some from friends, others from restaurants and cookbooks—all look delicious. I decided I would take Shauna’s challenge to let people into my home and life by inviting a few friends over for dinner.

I have a group of friends who get together every now and then for what we call “Girls Night.” All that means is the husbands watch the kids and the girls hang out watching a movie or going out to eat. After reading Shauna’s words though, I thought it would be nice to have all the girls over for a real dinner made at home instead of snacks or restaurant food. I chose a couple of recipes from the book and worked out a time when everyone could get together.

I have to admit, I’m not a very good hostess because I get nervous about everything not being perfect. My house is tiny and there are never enough matching glasses or chairs at the table. I’ve let little things like this keep me from having people over. I always tell myself I’ll be more hospitable when I have more room…when we have a real dining room and enough forks for an army…sure, sure.

Shauna encouraged me with this:

What people are craving isn’t perfection. People aren’t longing to be impressed; they’re longing to feel like they’re home. If you create a space full of love and character and creativity and soul, they’ll take off their shoes and curl up with gratitude and rest, no matter how small, no matter how undone, no matter how odd” (pp. 106-107).

I reminded myself of those words whenever I worried about not having enough room or messing up the food.

On the day we were all getting together my friend Sarah stopped by early, when I was still in yoga pants with messy hair, to drop off home-made Mexican ice cream. I tasted a spoonful before she left and about died and went to glory—it was that good.

I spent the day grilling chicken and corn and prepping the food. Evening rolled around and the girls trickled in one by one, two by two. Jessie came first with a salad. We stood in the kitchen talking and laughing. Next came Sarah with Emily. We spread out in the kitchen and talked some more. Maya and Alicia came last with my little baby nephew. I took the baby out of his car seat and snuggled him up with kisses…aunties rights, you know.

We were crowded in the kitchen now with dishes coming out and different conversations bubbling over into laughter. We filled our plates we enchiladas, salad, and Mexican grilled corn. I didn’t have enough chairs at the table, of course, so we ate in the living room instead. Even then, three of us ended up sitting on the floor with plates in our laps. That is one of the reasons I don’t normally invite very many people over—who wants to have company sitting on the floor while they eat dinner? Well you know what, it didn’t matter a bit.

We talked and laughed, told stories and went back for seconds; we looked at pictures and caught up on each other’s lives. Soon we were streaming back into the kitchen for bowls of Sarah’s Mexican ice cream and brownies on the side. We filled mugs with coffee and hot chocolate and talked and talked.

Before Darren left that night he asked what time I thought we would be done. We were getting together at six so I told him we would probably be done by eight…I think it was ten. We just kept talking and laughing and every time someone would say something about needing to leave, another story would start and no one ever quite made it out the door. I love that. I loved the whole night. In fact, I think I needed it.

Life is busy and demanding and I forget sometimes when I’m hurrying through one day right into the next that I need to stop and make time for people, for love and friendship and community. I need these girls in my life because they remind to slow down and live for what really matters. They make me laugh and build me back up when I’m tired and torn down. They love me and encourage me even though I’m not perfect and never have enough chairs at the table. I need them and I’m so thankful Shauna’s book reminded me of that. I’m so thankful Shauna’s words gave me the push I needed to throw open the door to my home and my heart. I’m so thankful I invited people in and they came and filled a need I’d forgotten I had. I need friendship and love and community. I need life around the table to feed my heart and soul. We all do.

Look kids, I’m not trying to sell you anything. It’s true, this book was given to me to review but what I’m telling you are my own thoughts and feelings. I love Shauna’s words and I love this book. I hope you will read it because I sincerely believe you will love it too. You will be challenged and encouraged to slow down and live. To taste and feel and to let people in. That’s the truth and that is all :]

shauna1About Shauna:

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold TangerinesBittersweet, and Bread & Wine. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French Literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara. She is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron & Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life–friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God.

Shauna blogs at ShaunaNiequist.com

{Lately} Feathering Our Nest

Here’s the pictures I promised of my projects around the house. I’ve been working on our bedroom and building a cozy little nook in the guest bedroom. The thing I kept in mind as I worked away was “warmth and light.” I wanted our home to feel feathered and cozy—especially as we go into the colder months.

{Guest bedroom nook}

I kind of love forts and nests and cozy little corners where you can snuggle up and hide away. Watching Darren gave me the idea for this nook. When it’s cold he snuggles up on the floor with his back against the baseboard heater.

You know what he’s doing in that corner? He’s freezing to death. And yes, he’s wearing his coat…in the house…next to the heater. So, to keep the man warm and give him a better spot to read than the hardwood floor, I decided to build a cozy spot with fat pillows and soft blankets next to the heater in the guest bedroom.

The guest bedroom is the perfect place to snuggle up because it is flooded with natural light. In the winter we go in there, close the door, turn on the heater, and chill. The room is tiny so the heater works fast (unlike the rest of our cold little house). We spend a good part of the winter in there and now we have an even better spot to snuggle up with books and movies.

{Bright happy quilt on the guest bed}

This puffy little blanket is on the floor in the nook. I’ve had it since I was 18. My sister-in-law, Rachel, gave it to me as a high school graduation gift and I carted it off to college with me in South Carolina. I still remember I was sitting on it in my bunk bed there in the dorms when Darren called me for the first time. He introduced himself and asked me out all in that first phone call. I had no idea who he was…but I liked his deep voice and agreed to meet him :] This little blanket went back to school with me every year. It was mine and Darren’s first blanket after we were married and still sleeping on a futon mattress on the bedroom floor. It goes camping with us up in Vermont every summer and keeps us warm and cozy through the cold nights spent in a tent under the stars. The rest of the time it lives on the guest bed. Until now—now it’s the cushy bottom to my happy little nook. Good job Rachel—that little blanket is one of the best gifts I’ve been given :]

We also did a lot of work on our bedroom. We painted, replaced the carpet, and bought curtains, lamps, and a duvet.

{I just adore these curtains. I love the pattern and the way they filter in the morning sunlight}

{Our duvet…it’s covered in words…imagine that}

{I love the soft, warm light a lamp casts across a room}

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Now I’m going to go cozy up in my happy little nook :]

{Bam. The End}

A Change of Heart and Mind

The other day I looked around the house and realized the whole place was going to hell in a hand basket.

It all started when I got a new fall jacket. Now this was no ordinary jacket, kids. It was a jacket I had fallen in love with at first sight but couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on. Then it went on sale…and I still couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on it. Then it sold out and I was sad I hadn’t spent the money on it.

I ended up ordering a couple other things from the same store and when I went to check out online I noticed my beloved jacket was still sitting in the shopping cart where I had put it back when I was thinking and dreaming about buying it. Not only was it still in the cart but it was even cheaper than the original markdown. I double checked the website to see if it was still available and it still said it was sold out. I decided to check out with it in my shopping cart and see if the order would go through. And it did. And my sweet little jacket came in the mail a few days later. I might have danced around the kitchen for a few minutes. And then I had to find a home for it. The coat closet was the obvious choice but the coat closet…oh my gosh the coat closet….was such a mess all packed full of nonsense and I didn’t think it was a suitable place to put my sweet little jacket.

So, I decided to clean out the closet and make a nice cozy spot for the jacket. Who knew what cleaning a coat closet would start around here.

This is what was living in our teeny, tiny closet. Furniture, car parts, the Christmas decorations from last year I never quite put away, and ten million other coats and jackets (hey, we live in New England—don’t judge me). I pulled everything out onto the living room floor and reorganized the whole thing. I found a place for everything and only stuff that actually belonged in the coat closet went back in.

{Forgive the blurriness—my camera hates me}

I felt so refreshed and satisfied after that little project. It felt good to conquer a mess I had been avoiding and regain some control over this place.

And then I started looking around.

And I started noticing junk drawers that wouldn’t open or close right because they were too full of junk. I noticed cob webs because I never dust. I noticed how I can’t ever find anything because it’s buried in the basement or under one of the beds. I noticed a lot of things around here needing work—and in the process of cleaning all those things up, I noticed something else far more important.

I noticed that the reason this place is an unorganized disaster is because I never really settled in here and made this place home. We bought this house a couple of years ago with the intention of only staying for three years. I’m the kind of person who doesn’t bother settling in if I know I’m going to move back out. I figure it’s a waste of time to put roots down and get attached if I’m just going to have to leave anyway. So as soon as I heard “three years” I stuffed everything anywhere it would go and kept telling myself that I would do a better job making a home once we got to the place we’re going to stay.

But then I realized when I started going through things and getting this place organized that I’ve never really lived here. I’ve never really considered this little box with four walls a home. I’ve just been treading water and counting the days and minutes until I can get out of here and get on with life. And then, I told myself, then I’ll settle in and really start living in a place.

But the problem is this is where I live—right now, today, this is my home. And it may be my home longer than I like. Our three-year mark is next March and we have nowhere to go as of yet. So the odds are I’ll still be here even after we had planned on moving out. I realized I’ve been wasting time and not really living just because I’ve already moved out of here in my head (actually, I never really even moved in). I’ve lived here for 2 1/2 years and I’ve never settled in and made this place home.

It’s funny how you clean a coat closet and you realize you need to work on a million other things around the house, and while you’re working on those things you realize you need to work on more than just the house, and while you work on that you realize there’s more to this whole “not settling in” problem than just making a house a home.

I realized along the way that there are a lot of things in life I haven’t really embraced because I don’t plan on doing them long-term. My job for instance. I’ve always known my job is temporary. I know I want to raise a family and when I do I want to stay home with them. There has never been any question in my mind that this is my long-term plan. That’s great…only I don’t have kids and I am working….and I’ve been working for years. But I’ve never really given 100% at work or fully committed to what’s before me because, again, in the back of my head I tell myself, “oh this is just temporary so who really cares.” I show up for work every day and do my job. And that is all. I come home from work and make dinner and keep this place clean. And that is all. I just do what I have to do to get by until I get to where I’m going.

Only where I am is part of where I’m going.

And I see now that just getting by until the next thing is not a very good way to live. It has made me pretty miserable actually. I’m miserable in this house because I don’t want to be here. I’m miserable at work because I don’t want to be there either. You put those two together and it equals me being miserable 90% of the time.

Because I’m just getting by until things get better.

But my life is today, not tomorrow—not yet at least. If I don’t start living in the present then I’m going to look back and realize I’ve let my whole life pass me by in my anticipation of the next best thing.

With all this in mind, I decided it was time to really settle into our home and my job. I’ve been working on getting the house cleaned up and organized. I’ve cleaned out junk drawers, under beds, in closets, and everywhere in between. The more I do the more I realize needs to be done.

I’ve also been getting the house feathered and cozied up. Darren and I finally tackled our bedroom. We painted the walls, replaced the carpet, and bought lamps, curtains, and a duvet. It’s so warm and cozy in there now. I’ve also been working on creating a cozy little nook in the guest bedroom where we can snuggle up to read and write. I’ll show you pictures of all these projects when they’re done and I have time to snap pictures.

In order to finance all the work I’ve been doing around the house and to help me jump into work wholeheartedly, I’ve started working more hours each week. I’m full-time again for the first time in a long time and I’m actually enjoying my work more than ever. Of course working extra hours and using all my free minutes at home to tackle project has meant less time on here—but that has been good for me too.

Being on the computer too much makes me restless and unhappy. You can only spend so much time reading about other people’s lives and looking at pretty pictures of things you want before it leaves you discontent and unsatisfied. Getting this place pulled together has meant walking a fine line between getting a few new things to make this house feel more like a home and letting myself get obsessed with new things just for the sake of having them.

I really struggle with materialism. I struggle with always wanting more, more more. More clothes, more things for the house, more, more, more. But more things won’t make me happy. There is nothing wrong with having nice stuff, but “stuff” shouldn’t be the most important thing to me either. So now that we’ve completed some projects around here and this place is starting to feel like home, I’m taking a break from buying anything else for the house until after the New Year. There is plenty more I want to do. I have lots of plans and ideas and a whole list of things I would like to get but I need to step back from it all for a bit and just enjoy what we already have and what we’ve just done. If I immediately move onto the next thing then I’ll never stop and really enjoy what we already have. I have a cozy bedroom and a cozy little nook and for now those are the things I need to step back and enjoy before I move onto another new project.

Anyway, That’s what I’m learning and doing of late. Our days have been filled with crisp blue skies and sunshine brought on by the cooler nights. Fall is teasing us and here on the last day of August, I’m ready to jump into September and fall and all the new life and adventures that come with my favorite season of all. Football is starting, lattes are coming back, and the whole world  feels like it’s wrapping up in a cozy little blanket after a hot busy summer. I couldn’t be happier.