The post in which I wax sentimental…
I actually wrote this post several months ago and then left it unpublished until now, because I still was on the fence about the direction I wanted this blog to take. As we get ready for a new year, it seems like good timing to finally share it.
You see, we bought our first house this past summer! ( Yay!) My blog projects have always been in step with our real life, so home decor feels like the natural next step for my blog to take.
But I waffled back and forth between wanting to share our projects and feeling like I didn’t really have anything inspiring to share. After all, we are first time home buyers, so our home is a small, modest, practical new build and our reno/decor budget is on the “affordable” side. So, I’ve mostly kept our house projects off the blog.
Then, as I was browsing Pinterest for…you guessed it… affordable home project hack ideas, I realized how silly my reasoning has been!
So, I’ve decided I’m going to start sharing more of our home. But before I do I want to start things off on a personal note.
Because homes, to me, are very personal.
One of the top items on my to do list, when we bought our first home, was to get a family picture on the porch (I promise this relates ;)). A month later, we still hadn’t snapped our “welcome to our first home” shot.
I got sick of waiting for the perfect moment to take it, and finally decided to take a real snap shot of us in our raw and natural state. Me with my fifth day hair (yes, 5 days, yikes, what a week), my daughter with road rash on her nose because this rough and tumble girl plays hard, the boys who needed hair cuts like two month ago, and us in a mish mash of Sunday afternoon attire. Really, my only “planning” was requesting five minutes beforehand, that nobody come out wearing just their underwear. Ha! …Oh yes…and my middle child, who refused to keep a straight face for a single shot.
Planned, pretty photos are totally wonderful and necessary, but this….This I want to remember forever.
Messy, memorable, imperfect, and full of love.
Which is kind of the approach we are taking with our house.
Embracing limitations, learning as we go, seizing the day and hoping it works out, making the most of it when it doesn’t, and with painstaking patience, striving to cultivate a home rather than just a house.
…which has a few wasps nests which we just discovered while taking these pictures. Nice. 😉
There are things about this house that drive me nuts…like the fact that our master bedroom and office have to share a space again, or that our “wood” flooring is not quite crappy enough to replace, or that our bathrooms seem to have been added as an afterthought, but we are learning to embrace it.
We are also learning to reconcile our dreams with reality and family time. After our monthS long kitchen renovation (post coming soon) we realized that our house dreams are not as important as our family dreams. So, we’re trying to balance our approach toward making our house more beautiful and practical, but not at the expense of our family time.
As serial renters for 12 years before this, we’ve lived in our share of tiny apartments and houses with one crappy bathroom, but it never interfered with us making some of our most cherished memories. If those years have taught me anything, it’s that love grows just as well in small, imperfect places.
In this age of sharing (and over sharing), I feel like the pressure to be perfect and have perfect homes and families has become greater than ever before. So, this is my disclaimer of sorts, that it is my hope that this is not going to be about that. I want this place to be a space for inspiration, and hopefully encouragement. I believe that most most of us are in the same boat. We are living in our non-dream houses, just trying to make the most of beautifying our allotted spaces and making a place where love can grow.
One of our most recent “home improvement” decisions has been that our home comes first and our house comes second.
I think it’s our best decision yet. 🙂 That…and starting the tradition of family pictures on the porch.
Home comes first, house comes second – I need to print that out and put it on the wall!
I think I need to too…especially when in the middle of a big project! 😉
This is beautiful.
Thank you Carolyn.
congrats on your new home! Sounds like you have a very balanced and healthy perspective on sharing your projects, and I love your home vs. house philosophy. May your 2016 be full of many fun new home and family adventures!
Thanks Cassandra! It’s balanced in theory but more of a goal we constantly have to work at in reality. Thank you so much for your kind comment. Happy 2016 to you too!
I can’t wait to see your home posts, We are serial renters desperately saving for our own place, I stand firmly by it’s not what’s in your house but who’s in it that makes it a home. All the little annoyances don’t matter one bit, if it’s filled with love and laughter. I love the last picture your daughter looks like she’s saying ‘look what I have to put up with’ It certainly looks like your home is filled with plenty of laughter and is overflowing with love. May 2016 bring you more of the same but without the wasps nests!
Thank you Hazel! I totally agree!
And yeah…Nat is our little character. Don’t let her fool you though, she is easily our biggest trouble maker. ha! 😉 Happy New Year to you too!
Congratulations!! I love that tradition. We do something similar in our backyard.
I agree that we are all just doing the best we can, and I especially love projects that are very doable, and thrifty.
Happy New Year to you and your lovely familiy!!
Thanks Michelle! Happy New Year to you and yours as well! <3
Your comment on the increased pressure to have a “perfect” life – home, family, career, really hits home with me. My husband always asks where I feel the pressure from, and I can never put it down to one thing. It’s refreshing to know that other people feel it too, though obviously I’m not basking in everyone’s failings. I’m also trying to remind myself that it’s about relishing in the little moments of life, the ones that bring Joy.
I’m excited to be inspired by your house design and creativity. xoxo
It’s hard to put a finger on it because I think it’s more than one thing. Those five week home renovations on TV, all the social media outlets, magazines…it’s everywhere! I love Pinterest as a source of inspiration but I find it helps me the most when blogs blend reality into their designs. There are some great blogs I know that do that, like Young House Love and One Little Minute. I love they way they encompass all sorts of designs and budgets and hope to perpetuate that too in my own way. I know what you mean about not wanting to bask in others’ failings. I really didn’t want this post to come off as whiny, but to put a name to what I was feeling. I’m glad I’m not alone too. Thanks Vicky!
Magda E. says
I’ve been following you for so long I can’t evensay how much, and this has been one of the best posts I read from you. It brought all sorts of feelings and emotions for me. Thank you for the honesty and place share your ideas, because you are so inspiring Delia. <3 have a great 2016
Wow. Thank you for sticking with me so long Magda. That means so much. Happy 2016 to you too!
Wow Delia perfect timing for a great post!! I completely agree! I’m constantly saying how demanding society is on our lives, feeling constantly pulled in every direction. It’s consuming & exhausting! So this post really hit home. Hoping this year will be better for us all & having this as a reminder helps. Thank you!!!
All the best!
Couldn’t agree more. All the best to you as well! <3
I love this!! Home first, house second!!! I can’t wait to see what you share and I love those pictures, I might need to copy you.
Thanks Carla! <3
I love the perfectly imperfect family photos! And I’m interested to see what you do with your perfectly imperfect home. =) We bought our first home in 2014, and I really haven’t done anything with it… no fixing and almost no decorations. I have one idea and that’s really all!
Thanks Charity! Sometimes it is so overwhelming, isn’t it? Some weekends I would rather not work on the house and just go out with the family! And it’s inevitable, when you work on one part of the house, at least another part has to fall apart for a while to make it happen. I really dislike that part.
your blog, your rules! haha. i say take whatever direction you want, girl, and i’m excited to see house projects from you here! adorable family photos too. 🙂
Thanks Kristin. 🙂