Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Finding "home"

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Gabrielle Stanley Blair of Design Mom.  She was having a book signing of her book 'Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: a Room-by-Room Guide'. She was just beyond fantastic.  I've been reading her blog for a while now (thanks for introducing us Pinterest) and I fell in love with her style and insight. 

It wasn't until today that I realized I never read what she had written to me when she signed it.  I flipped open to the page and there it was, 'wishing you luck on finding "home"'.  Seriously?  How more amazing can this lady be.  Here we are selling our "home" and in search of new one and I read this!  So now I'm stuck in deep thought about "home".  What is home? How to we define home?

I'll be honest in saying that when we first bought our house it took a while to make it feel like home.  Yes, it's where our stuff accumulated and our house started to resemble our 'sent' (I'm not talking body odor, people, I'm talking that defining sent that your personal house just smells like.  you know?).  But what made our house a home was memories.  The more memories we added to our house the more and more it felt like "home".  The place where our emotions can run freely, laughter is heard, tears are shed, and joy is felt.  This house of ours is HOME and soon we will be saying goodbye to it and making a new house our home. 

I'm not one who holds on to objects. I'm the 'I haven't used this for a while I'll toss it out' kinda girl.  So when selling a home I'm not worried about purging more than half of the crap we own.  But what I'll struggle with is looking around those empty rooms that are full of so many memories.   I'll see in that empty room a cradle that held my babies while they slept, and in another, a table where we ate our favorite foods together. 

"Home" is brought with us.  Home is in our hearts.  It's the special memories we make with one another, wherever that may be.  So, here's to our new home...whichever one we choose...that is too can hold many precious and special memories we will create. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kitchen Before and After

Here we are selling our house and I'm just now getting around to posting these before and after photos.  But, if I'm being totally honest, it's because the kitchen has had a 'projects to finish' list for like 5 years. It's funny looking back on it now.  Most of the projects we wanted to get finished only took a couple of hours to get done and a few bucks here and there but when life gets crazy busy all the to-do lists get pushed aside.  Good thing we got these done before putting our house on the market though. 

So, when we bought this house the kitchen was one of the worst rooms of the house.  It was the only room that had a sink in working order, but the floors had barely any covering (seriously just subflooring) and the cabinets were super old and flimsy.  Honestly, there really wasn't anything in this kitchen we could salvage.  It was a total tear down.  And so, that's what we did.  We gutted the entire kitchen and started all over again.  We rearranged the set up a bit by moving the oven and fridge and all the gas plumping and electrical to go with it.  We also got rid of all the windows and got new ones in a better arrangement.  It brings in so much more light now. The whole reno was insane!  But worked out so well. 

Here are all the before pictures!!

Here are all the after pictures!!

I really went with an earthy look in the kitchen.  With slate subway tiles and a butcher block countertop it brought in a lot of natural textures and colors. I kept the cabinets white to brighten the kitchen but to also allow for easy spot cleaning.  The color on the walls is from Valspar and is called Brown Buzz...which is weird because it's green. The red accents were for a little pop of bold color, and I always make sure to add living plants to the mix.  They not only clean the air but bring in a bit of the outside in.  The kitchen is always a congregating space, so I always make sure to have things for the kids to do at the table while I make dinner or clean up.  I keep a rug and basket by the door for easy shoe removal (although I am always having to remind the kids) and some coat hooks to collect all jackets, bags, and whatnots that need to be off the floor. 
Though this kitchen is a bit tucked away from the center of our house, its inviting and spacious.  We spend a lot of time in this area of our home...as I'm sure you all do in your kitchens.  Hope you enjoyed!  More to come soon.  If you're wanting to see of few of the other areas click here, here, and here!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Friendship as an adult

Months ago I found myself in search of 'new friends'.  Not saying that the friends I have are horrible or anything but the truth of the matter is this...we need friends in our lives.  It's been a fundamental truth since we were little.  You make friends and all is right in the world.  Well, as an adult friendship seems to change.  And it's that fact right there that I feel the need to wright about what I think friendship is and why it's so freakin' hard to make friends as an adult. 

So, here I am jotting down my thoughts while my kids take a nap and I intermittently shove leftover spaghetti in my mouth.  Honestly, I was up most of the night being a total mope about not being able to make new friends.  It's like I was having flashbacks of Jr. High and eating lunch alone in the bathroom stall.  Which is so sad and so unsanitary...it's just nasty. I feel as though I've tried every option as to set up girls night out evenings with friends that, for the most part, everyone is too busy to make room for in their schedule. So, I've done my best to talk with those around me, get involved in social occasions, and I just feel out of place.  Like, am I not cool enough?  What's wrong with ME?  It got me to thinking...why is it so hard to make friends as an adult?  Now I'll admit, I don't think it has anything to do with being an adult at all.  I think it has everything to do with our hook on social media.  Yes, we are all connecting to each other in some way or another.  We know this person who knows this person and so on. We are able to freely look into people's lives and get to know their personalities.  But, because of the fact that we aren't personally talking to these people (even though we think it's totally fine to write random strangers advice and congratulatory messages) the makeup of what a friendship really is, is lost.  Our minds are starting to think that when we 'follow' someone we are in return connected to them somehow.  That when they respond to a comment we wrote we are, in return, buddies. 

What ever happened to book club and quilting nights?  Why have pot lucks been lost and visiting on ones couch become a foreign thing?  I'm starting to think that friendship means 'you do something for me and I'll do something for you'. I sincerely miss the days of getting together for no reason but to talk and enjoy one anothers' company.   So many of us feel so alone.  Whether it be in motherhood, or a specific life altering event, and yet why do we feel that way?  It's because we are reaching for strangers rather than the people near us.  Who's to say the gal behind you in the grocery store is struggling with the exact same thing you are.  What a perfect friendship and bond that would make.  Or how about the woman at the park who has 3 more kids than you do...but don't you want to pick her brain at how she does all that she does. 

Let start making friendship personal people!!  Let's make time to get together, to meet new people, and to exchange PHONE NUMBERS NOT INSTAGRAM NAMES!!!  Lets invite each other over for lunches or, for hells sake, to binge watch The Blacklist with someone.  It's these small and simple acts that build lasting friendships.  Showing someone that you care. 

So...I guess all I'm saying is let's be friends.  I'm really good at it...I promise!!!