Hello friends! I toyed around with so many different titles for this post…“A Lesson in Contentment,” “What Just Happened?!,” and “Half My House is in Storage” are just a few that came to mind. This post is mainly just updates on my life since May so if you want to skip right over this I understand but I think of you guys as friends so this is my virtual coffee date to catch up. First let me back up and say that this may have been one of my favorites summers to date. I took a major hiatus not only from blogging but from technology in general. I still posted things on Facebook and Instagram but only when I felt like it and without all the expectations that can come with posting for “business” reasons. I have found that to productively market myself and create a presence that really reflects my style takes a lot of planning and editing and that can become a full time job in itself. So it was nice to just kind of step back and experience my daily life without all the usual expectations (that I place on myself for the most part!)
Pretty quickly into the summer I felt a distinct difference in my daily mental state. I was very aware on several occasions that I had absolutely nothing on my mind. Anyone that works or just maintains a family can surely understand how wonderful that is. I needed it and I am determined to take some of that feeling with me into the next season. Isn’t it crazy that we only allow ourselves 3 months to feel less pressured each year!? And I know some of you don’t even have the luxury of that.
For me, a new year really begins in fall when everyone is back in school and I can focus on work stuff again. I am excited about some things I have planned but more on that in a minute. Before I can get to all the decor stuff I have to fill you in on the personal front. Starting with that time we decided to move…
As I said, I have been very checked out from all things virtual and it’s been really nice. I haven’t had a nagging to do list and have been able to just be laid back. June and July rolled along pretty (and wonderfully) uneventful until July 30th. I was driving to my sister’s house and happened to see a “for sale” sign outside of a house that caught my eye. I decided to pull in the driveway and peek through the windows and immediately wanted to go inside. I decided to call our realtor and set up an appointment. Keep in mind we have not been discussing moving, like, at all. I am always intrigued by houses and I have things I hate about our current house but we certainly had not been considering putting our house on the market. Anyway, we went to the house and looked around and I left with a really giddy feeling. It was a midcentury modern style ranch…open floor plan, a u-shaped courtyard, lots of windows, and a sprawling lot. We went home and talked about the possibilities and with a lot of “are we crazy” moments decided to put in an offer.
All of this transpired in the midst of us leaving for a week in Charleston with family. We were signing paperwork and negotiating all while sitting on the beach. It felt crazy but we went into it thinking that we would just put in an offer and not be aggressive and what was meant to be would be. During all of this we found out they were also in negotiations with an investor. This put a little pressure on, especially for me because I just couldn’t stomach the thought of someone getting “my house” just to tear it down. But we also were not going to go higher than our number so it was just a case of wait and see. Well, we waited and what we saw was that they decided to go with the investor. Womp, womp. Taylor took it fine because he knew our expectations going in but I couldn’t shake the loss. I felt sick to my stomach and like we had passed up something that was truly meant to be. All I had going forward was the fact that I knew the investor had a 10 day due diligence period. I felt so strongly that this house was meant o be ours that I diligently checked the listing each and every day praying that it would become active again. Lo and behold, on day 10 it was back on the market! I knew it!
Even though we agreed (again) that it might be a little crazy to go for this idea we immediately jumped on our second chance and made another offer. This time they accepted and we quickly moved forward. Since we have been in our current house for 9.5 years there was a lot to be done. Oh and did I mention this was one week before school was starting?! Within just a couple days of signing the offer we had to declutter, rent a storage unit, have repairs made, and prepare to be out of the way for showings and open houses. It was a tremendous amount of work with a very tight deadline. I quickly went to work trying to “neutralize” the personal aspects of our home for potential showings which, in short, meant I basically undid all the projects I have worked so hard on over the last few years….took down photos, cleared out a bunch of accessories, removed sconces that I knew I wanted to keep, rolled up rugs to show off the hardwoods, took out accent furniture to open up space, and purged with a vengeance. That storage unit was suddenly filled to the brim with most of the layers I had worked so hard to cultivate over the last few years.
Ironically just as I was stripping our house of all my decor projects I received an email from a magazine photographer letting me know they were interested in my house for a possible feature. I could turn it down to minimize further chaos or I could do it and go out with a great keepsake of this house. OR I could look at it a sign that maybe just maybe we were leaving a great house…magazine-worthy!!
There wasn’t much time to debate that decision as we were also taking all of the necessary steps over at the new house…inspections, pest control, tree assessment,and walk thrus with builders. I began to feel the mounting stress. This move not only required a lot of steps in a short time but it meant coming to terms with leaving our current neighborhood, elementary school, and conveniences. We have been lucky to call Myers Park home for the last 10 years and this area really can’t be beat. We can walk to get frozen yogurt, pizza, a quick grocery run, the greenway, the park, and the list goes on. I can literally get to anything I need within 5 minutes. I was beginning to wonder if I could really pick up and move even if it was only 3 miles away. But, I pushed those feelings aside and plowed on with my to-do list.
As with any move there were some unexpected hiccups (like old HVAC, an oil tank, and dead trees that needed to be removed) which created some unexpected costs. And the renovation plans were starting to reach the top of our budget and we knew going into a renovation we should most definitely have wiggle room. Our house was set to go on the market on Friday and by Wednesday night my “jitters” were definitely based more in fear and stress than excitement. Every time I was at the new house I could see my vision and was beyond excited to put my design dreams in action but as soon as I left all of the fears would creep in to the point I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. Suddenly each trip to the storage unit gave me a pit in my stomach and I found myself not even wanting to sign each new document the realtor sent my way. Something wasn’t right. I was terrified to talk to Taylor about it since I had been so sure of this move just a week before but I finally shared with him how I was feeling. We sat under our freshly patched and painted ceilings with half our belongings in storage and came to the conclusion that this move no longer felt right.
When we called and told our realtor how we were feeling I had a rush of relief. I was walking away from a renovation that is definitely on my bucket list and a house with my dream layout and somehow it oddly felt so good. I prayed a lot for guidance on this decision and peace and God gave me both. It pained me to close the door on that vision but I felt completely at peace with it. And ironically I kinda felt like I moved into a new house after all. Suddenly we appreciated so many things that I have been overlooking for years. We have a great location, nice neighbors, plenty of room for our family, and a roof over our heads. Its been a lesson in contentment for sure!
Being a decorator and design blogger I can get very caught up in the endless images of perfect rooms and houses and I realize I have to work on being more grateful and realistic about whats right in front of me. Now does this mean I won’t continue to tweak things around here? Absolutely not! Contentment looks different for everyone and for me it won’t mean neglecting that creative drive in me but I certainly will think twice before I deem this house total crap again. In fact, through this process we decided that we wanted one of the builders to come walk our current house to give us some insight on the things we don’t like. We may go ahead with some changes around here…we may do it sooner…we may do it later. I don’t really know right now and that’s ok.
So our easy breezy summer ended on a pretty crazy note but it still was one of the best. I think I was able to find a lot of clarity on how I want to go through each day. Sure I will fail and get caught up in the stress at times but I really do have a new appreciation for calm and I am excited to approach things differently. I am so excited to dive back into blogging and share progress from my client projects too. I’ve got a few ideas of new post topics, newsletter content, and new ways to keep things fresh around here but I’d love YOUR input too…what do you want to see? Which kind of posts are your favorite? What are you sick of? Please share any thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email!
I have a couple more posts planned for this week and I am also heading out to Denver for a really special trip so I hope you will stay plugged in with me over the next few days! If you’re not watching Instastories yet you should…I have been sharing snippets from my day here and there and I will definitely be giving some behind-the-scenes this week! Thanks for being friends and for years and years of support. Love you, mean it!