September 2, 2016

What’s Up

Hey hey!! Hope you’re enjoying this last little bit of summer! We’ve been to the lake and back and are home, working full speed ahead!!  Since we’ve
been home, we’ve been trying to keep our place as neat as possible while it’s been on the market, which is OH SO FUN with four kids + a dog.  I
kind of love it and love living like this with everything finally done like normal people do, but hiding toothbrushes and towels and all that, not
so much.  I think we’re in a great spot with the house sale but I’ll keep you posted.  I have to be honest, as we’ve had our place on the
market and have been on pins and needles for the past two weeks, I’ve felt really strange about having it all “out there.”  I’ve been blogging
for almost eight years now and it’s always been fairly easy and natural for me to share what’s going on and I haven’t felt very vulnerable about much…
When I first started my blog, it had a very small audience- mostly people I knew or blog friends I’d made- and I felt like I knew everyone (obviously
I didn’t but that feeling was there) and I shared more personal pieces of my life.  I remember the blog post here from December 2008 in which I decoded to be really open on the blog.  As we’ve had more kids, moved several times, usually
baffling people along the way, grown our business into something full time that supports our entire family, and taken on projects that I’m unable to
share due to wanting to get them published, things have changed for me and in what I share.  My relationship with the blog has constantly evolved.

{An Instagram pic from last night… We got caught in the rain and saw the most beautiful rainbow over our house!!  Crazy, but we always seem to see
rainbows when we’re in the midst of agonizing over houses & moves and sales and it always makes use feel better.  Without fail, we see the
rainbow when we’re moving.  A month or so ago, when we’d decided to go for our new house, we saw one.  And then last night, as we were talking,
talking, talking about selling our place we saw one coming from what looked like our house. }

{Last night’s rainbow}

I’ve had a journal since I was seven and have always felt the need to “chronicle”. (Random aside but if any of you have read The Secret Language of Birthdays
it’s insane!!!  My day – “The Day of the Protective Chronicler”/ April 24th is SO ON it’s scary.  You should definitely check out your own
birthday.)  I’ve always loved to write down what’s been going on and to document with photos.  I love looking back and seeing where things
were at in years past.  I’ve had journals with my best friends, my husband when he was my boyfriend in college living in China, and then I met
the blogworld.  My personal journals stopped and the blog became my outlet.  Over the years though, as I’ve begun to be able to share less
and less- whether from time, safety, or business-standpoints- I’ve come to become less dependent upon my blog.

When I first started it, it and all of the people- readers, commenters, other bloggers- helped me build confidence.  In an industry that can be difficult
to break into (magazines, in particular—– remember my need for chronicling?! 😉 I’d found a place where I could share.  I was so nervous back
then about not having majored in interior design that the blog, as a platform on which to share my work & design thoughts, helped me get over that.
It also led me to so many amazing people and helped me grow and learn from them both personally and professionally.

{soon-to-be home for us}

As our family has continued to grow, I don’t have the time I used to have for the blog.  I can’t stay awake into the wee hours in the morning writing
anymore.  There’s just straight up no more gas left in the tank at the end of the day.  And then Instagram came along…  It’s a much
quicker, easier way to share & to CHRONICLE and I remember seeing that as soon as I got into Instagram (about 4 years ago) that I wasn’t blogging
as much because my need to document/share what I was excited about could happen in an instant and that all of the things I was sharing didn’t necessarily
warrant an entire blog post or need very much writing.  And then my book came along and I was writing like crazy for a while and didn’t need the
blog as a writing outlet.  (Again, not much gas left in the tank there for additional writing when you’re writing 8+ hours a day)  And it
was really exciting to be able to take the time to fully finish thoughts and explore a concept to its fullest, editing it to perfection.

All of these factors have contributed to where I’m at now with my blog, which I haven’t fully assessed yet but it’s something I’m attempting to understand
concretely and probably why I’m writing this blog post right now.  Writing has always helped me problem-solve.  I think about what I’d like
to share on here and it gets tricky…  I can sometimes share client before & afters but when I do I run the risk that they won’t be able
to be published in either a magazine or a future book, so I try to share single rooms that might not get picked up because magazines typically want
full homes.  I’ve shared as much as possible about the renovation of our current home along the way when I’ve had the time, but it hasn’t been
super-satisfying because we’ve been so busy… It’s felt more like playing catch-up.  I share pieces of my professional life- trips, showhouse
projects, etc. And I share bits of our personal life, including reasoning behind very personal business & family decisions… which as I get older
and older, just feels a little silly, because I think when I was younger I wanted so badly to be understood and really cared what people thought, and,
though I still want it, I’ve realized that we’re really on our own path here that’s difficult for a lot of people to “get.”   We’re extremely
calculating in our decisions- especially our business and housing ones after having been burned on our very first home purchase at the peek of the
housing market in 2005- but we make them quickly and that often doesn’t sit well with people.  (And I’ll just put this out there- when people
take forever to agonize over things, I know it would personally drive me crazy to sit on a decision for that long, but I understand that we all come
to decisions differently and in our own way.)  Our families have gotten used to it and I think we’re finally at the point- not sure if it’s age,
exhaustion, or the realization that not everyone will understand everyone- where we just don’t really care what people think of our decisions anymore.
(Or at least are in a new level of “caring”- we’re always going to care to a certain degree.)


{Our front yard vegetable is probably my favorite spot at home right now… Our neighborhood is like a little New England/ Colonial village.)

I’ve wondered why I blog and it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.  Is it for me? (Yes, it feels good to share the things I’m excited
about!!  But the hard part is, there is so much I’m truly crazily excited about and just can’t really share anymore due to the above reasons.
And it feels really good when you all leave nice comments or say kind things and I’ve loved that over the years. Again, it’s really boosted my
confidence in running this business and in decorating.)  Is it for you?  (I’ve realized that I’ve often shared more than I should because
I feel like I owe it to you, to tell you the truth/ to be “real” and because as a reader I’d want to know certain things.  But there’s a vulnerability
in that.)  Is it for my business?  (For sure this blog has done wonders for my business.  But if I were doing it strictly for my business
I’d have a very different blog model and would blog about random things at least once a day to boost traffic & readership and I’d most certainly
take on advertising.)  I guess it’s for some combination of the above reasons.  I don’t plan to stop writing my blog but never know what
the future holds.  But I can tell you that I’m feeling a hesitation I’ve never felt before about fully sharing our new house.

I don’t even think it’s necessarily completely coming from a safety perspective because I do know people can google anyone’s address any day of the week…
but maybe it’s because it’s too personal.  I don’t quite know why this house feels this way to me.

I’ve started journaling again, and it’s been mainly about what’s going on in our lives right now and about the new house.  With photos and sketches
and stories…  And it’s excited and emotional, completely not something I’d ever feel comfortable writing on my blog anymore.  Being at
our new place is invigorating and makes me reassess everything. It’s special and mysterious and takes me back to being a little girl. And it’s completely
unconventional and strange in a beautiful way.  There’s a soulfulness about this new place that gives me such ridiculously childlike emotional
giddy feelings that I’m just not sure I can serve them up on a platter for the internet.  For so many years we’ve been moving and moving, but
this place feels permanent to me (though I’ll never say never 😉  and this house is more than something we want to fix up (because we don’t exactly
want to to do that- what’s there is amazing) and turn into a home for us through a series of design decisions…  It feels like we have all the
time in the world to do what we need to do there and that yes, we’ll make it work for us, but that we really need to get to know the house and the
property and that I don’t really care how long it takes…  I feel protective of it and I’m not sure writing about what color I’ll paint the walls
or the kitchen  & bathroom designs really even matter or would be exciting for me to share with you or is even meaningful.  Because this
house is just more than that to me.  I do want to document it, but definitely in a meaningful way that can somehow truly capture the house’s essence,
although I’m not sure that’s fully possible, but the internet just doesn’t feel like the right place.   I’ll be continuing my journal/scrapbook
of the house and if it makes sense to share bits here, I will.  (lol and I’ll try not to annoy you with my intense passion for this place!!) I’ll
continue to share bits  of our life which might include house projects on Instagram, where so much writing and openness isn’t required.  I’d
like to make a book of the house one day – an edited version of my journal/scrapbook- but I see that as a ways in the future and something I’m not
ready to think about now.

So as I mentioned above, having our house for sale has made me feel pretty vulnerable.  It’s through no one’s fault, it’s just the nature of having
your personal business out there for others to speculate on.  But it’s been good for me too in coming to a few conclusions.  I realized when
our house didn’t sell on the first day of the open house like our other ones had that I felt like I’d failed… and have now realized that it was ridiculous.
I’d put so much additional pressure on myself because I felt like you all were watching, and, for the most part, cheering us on and truly wanting
the best for us.   But I realized that the position I’ve put myself in with this blog is one of vulnerability.  Our very nerve-wracking,
very real-life moves are out there for all who care to see, but not only are they being observed, but they’re being narrated and explained by me with
pretty personal thoughts, which is an attempt at explaining myself and our decisions to others in the hopes that they’ll understand.  We’re taking
risks and it’s a little scary to be putting out possible failures for all to see.

By nature, when you write something, you’re trying to explain something to the reader and you are seeking his/her understanding.  I’ve realized that
you can never be fully understood by everyone and maybe in the past I thought you could be, and it’s only just now hitting me now as a thirty-four
year old. (lol better late then never! 😉   I have such a full life right now with my family and being excited about and busy with so much and
maybe it’s just getting older but I don’t have as strong of a need to be understood by everyone anymore or have the free time to be satisfied and content
even when I am understood.  And I feel like putting it out there in writing doesn’t always make sense when I’m a bit over the need to have my
everything understood.  But I do feel I owe it to you to be forthright and to let you know what you can expect here -because I really do appreciate
your time and reading and support- so I’m still trying to explain myself even in an attempt to say I’m done explaining!! 🙂  hahaha oh
my gosh this is ridiculous. Can’t teach an old dog.

Anyway, I’m literally thinking and figuring out all of this as I write now and I think the conclusion that I’m coming to is that maybe I’m just at another
level with my blog right now.  I don’t want to be dramatic and say that I’m done or anything like that, but I think I’m coming to the conclusion
that I need to take a little step back from my level of sharing at present.  It’s kind of funny that I can see that my Birthday Book (“Protective
Chronicler”) traits are a little at odds with each other at the moment I think that’s been why figuring this out has been such a challenge for me.
I don’t know where I’ll be with all of this in a year or even a few months from now, but for now, this extremely personal blog post about sums
up my feelings about the desire to be less personal on here at the moment 😉 😉   I cannot thank you all enough for all of the positivity and
support you’ve sent my way.  It really does mean the world to me.

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