Hello and welcome!
I am so excited to finally commit to moving forward with this blog. I have had plans for this blog for the past three years or so. Since the original talk about it, life has continuously been crazy for us with one round house kick to the throat after another. But hey, we are still alive and moving along so all is well.
I don’t know about y’all but when I read a blog, a book, an article, etc., I absolutely love when I come across that moment where I can truly relate to the person or situation. It’s so nice to think, “Hey, I have been there before” or, “Gosh, I know exactly what that feels like.” That is my goal here. I want people to be able to follow along and relate to the things or seasons in life we come across. The good times and the bad. Have any of y’all read The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines? Joanna, and I say that since it was from her perspective for the most part, wrote her book in such a personal way that I often felt like we were best friends just chatting it up while I was reading it! She got me right in the feels multiple times. Obviously I am a huge fan of hers. I mean, what’s not to like? She has a beautiful family, a dream job and she gets to grow a business with her husband! One of the things I love most about her was her ability to pull back from her career dreams to focus on her kiddos. And she did it with such admirable grace. Her book really helped me to not get caught up in the what if’s and instead live in the present moment.
Another one of my favorite design gals is Rachel Ashwell. If you do not know who she is, do take some time to look her up. Her style is so classy and relaxed. Its perfection! If I could live in her pocket I probably would! As I have grown older and become a mother, I have really focused on what it means to have a relaxed but polished home. And that statement doesn’t even make sense if you know the story of our home of the last few years. I will get to that. When I was younger I remember always wanting things in my room to have the perfect place and my pillows to be precisely put on my bed. After a long afternoon of cleaning my room and having the perfect candle burning in it, I remember my mom coming in, or one of my sisters, and plopping themselves across my bed. I had a smile on my face that read nothing short of anger and anxiety. I have gotten better people; kids will do that to you. My house is messy way more than I would like to talk about. I am constantly tripping over golf balls and Legos. And when I have the chance to get everything in the perfect place and/or someone is coming to visit, my husband has to remind me to relax, make sure people feel comfortable and let them touch things if they want to! He calms the crazy for me.
Let’s talk about kids for a moment. I have two boys. The energy level of these boys will leave you in the dust. I mean it’s nonstop all day every day. When I was first pregnant and thought about the kind of mom I was going to be, I had a hard ass mentality or so I thought. I thought I wanted to keep working and get back to work right at the six week mark. I told myself my kids would go to daycare as I never imagined myself as a stay at home mom. Y’all, I spent the first year of motherhood putting my foot in my mouth from all the things I thought I was going to do. God changed my heart and he changed it almost instantly. I cried daily thinking about having to leave my baby. I did return to work for a brief while but knew I needed to be home with my baby. Financially it wasn’t the best decision but my husband and I were both willing to make lifestyle changes and do without so we could survive on one income. That and I decided I would continue to freelance. How hard could it be with a baby at home right? Foot in mouth yet again. It took me two years to really embrace being a stay at home mom. Though I knew in my heart that is where I wanted to be, I spent way too much time thinking about the what-if’s. While I was doing that, my one child at the time was busy growing up! I’m happy with it now and so glad I decided to stay home with them. Does that mean I think any less of moms or dads who work and send their children to daycare? Nope. This is just what works best for our family and we feel really great about it!
Anyway, those of you whom know me know that I have been a freelance photographer for quite some time. That being said, a couple months ago was the first time I put pictures on the wall. How sad is that?! You may also recall that I recently was the co-owner of a staging business. What the heck happened to that you might say? Well, we had a great time doing it but my business partner and I were beginning to feel the stress of trying to collectively run a business together from two different sides of our big city. (I am in Pearland and she is in Montgomery which is about one hour and thirty minutes from me) That and we were in different seasons of our lives. Though we enjoyed it and had much success in our short time together, we decided to end the partnership. Many have asked me if I will continue to do staging on my side of town and the answer is yes! I just have not nailed down when I would like to start back up. I will most likely focus on decorating work and offer consult work for staging but no vacant homes.
Some of my favorite staging days were when my husband was there helping. I just loved and I mean LOVED having him there. I loved looking over my shoulder and seeing him throughout the day. Made my heart skip a beat each time he was there for a staging day. We have known for quite some time that we want to work together. I remember the first project we ever did together years before we were married. I bought a junky old bench off Craigslist for ten bucks and I wanted to transform it for a photo prop. I told him the vision I had for the bench and he pretty much made it happen for me. The bench is pictured below. I wish I would have had a before photo because I have seen better looking benches out for trash but it turned out great. It wasn’t practical for a photo prop because it was freakin heavy BUT I still refuse to get rid of it. We don’t have a place for it currently at our house so it is sitting comfy at my mom’s house.
Fast forward to about 4 years ago, we purchased the current house we live in now. We had dreams for this house. We wanted to buy it, live in it while we updated it, and then rent it. Those are still the plans for this house but not one thing about this place has gone as planned. NOT ONE. To say we bought the money pit house is an understatement. Some people have said, “Oh, that’s just homeownership.” Oh, you mean this?
(Not Chad in photo. His Step-Dad giving a helping hand)
No…. No its not. And this was just the beginning. This house has caused more tears and debt than we ever envisioned but man, we really have learned so much living here. We’ve learned about each other, what it means to really struggle, what it means to be lucky enough to even have a home and we have learned the true skills we have not only as individuals but together as a team.
All this being said, we are so excited to currently be working on another home that is not ours! This is huge for us and exciting! All of this comes with great responsibility of course. With our own flip/future rental it has been our money and we do things how we see fit. Now, we are dealing with someone else’s change so we want to make sure and plan efficiently. First thing we did with this home was call in a realtor to talk about the value of the home currently and how much it could possibly sell for once it is brought into the twenty first century. We want to make sure that we make wise renovation choices and don’t get caught up in how beautiful we can make it. Though this house will most likely be lived in for a while before it is sold, it’s important that the home will be able to compete well in the market once that time comes. After that, we worked on a detailed budget. Again, someone else’s pocket change so we want to make sure and plan as best as possible for everything we want to improve as well as possible problems along the way. If we have learned anything from our current live-in reno, it’s that there are going to be surprises. We have already found a few thus far with the new project.
So, we are starting this New Year off in such an exciting way! This blog, if anything, is going to help us personally log our journey through this project to see how far we have come. We have recently started physical work on the renovation home so I have already started lining up blog posts. As well as sharing about our journey through this home, and ones to come, I will also be sharing parts of our personal home and going into detail about that experience. It has been wild to say the least.
So now that you know a little bit about me, stay tuned so you can learn a little bit about my other half as he is definitely the one keeping the reno home afloat, polishing off our personal home and still holding a full time job. Hard working and dedicated to his family is just the tip of the iceberg.
Til next time…