Motivations & Explanations

19 Jul 2016


{My oldest little guy's paintings based upon Malene Birger's work hanging in the library to dry}

We're on the cusp of so much change right now and I couldn't be more exhilarated.  (who says that?!  truly cheesy but couldn't think of a more apt word!!)  Throughout the years, and especially now, I've asked myself, (and I hear it all the time from others!) "do we 'thrive' on change?".  And the answer is complicated.  On the surface and compared to what's "normal" or acceptable, yes, we thrive on change.  But the truth is that we'd rather not be in flux if we can help but, yeah, we do pretty well with change, and if there's ever a big enough benefit to change, we're totally up for it.  

When we moved into our first townhome after just getting married when I was 23, we worked on it in all of our spare time, painting, tiling, redoing bathrooms, shopping for one of a kind finds for it, etc. for a little under a year before "finishing" it.  Curtains were hung and the place was done and I remember the first weekend when we sat down in our living room with the windows open... and we just sat there.  And it felt really weird.  We honestly didn't know what to do with ourselves.  We felt oddly unproductive and just didn't know how to relax and do nothing.  We laughed about it and talked about how we were doing to have to learn to chill.  When you've been going-going-going for so long and the train stops, sometimes you're still moving and it takes a bit for you to stop.  It took a few weeks to a month, but we got there.  We were saving every penny and couldn't do much so we really learned to enjoy our time at home, eating, reading, relaxing. listening to music, having friends over and doing nothing.  It was pretty amazing.  

{our last house just before we sold it}

And then we found out I was expecting our first baby so we had a nursery project a year or so later to work on...  and once he arrived, I think about every spare second we had went to him.  In our next couple of places, I remember the "done" feeling very well.  We've always had pretty concrete goals of what "done" is (knowing we'll be forever gardening and tinkering a few things here and there).  At "done" we'd schedule a photoshoot (which was always what actually forces us to finish... nothing like a deadline ;) and then just exhale and celebrate.  And we always look back on that first few weeks of attempted relaxation at our first place and laugh that we ever had that feeling.  With four kids now, there's not a minute to wonder what to do with yourself...  we try for moments of it and I always joke that my goal on time off is to attempt to get "bored" but I don't think I've been bored since our very first weekend of finished projects all those years ago.

We're not people who can't sit still.  In fact, we love it.  We can enjoy a hike or activity but are just as happy reading and just SITTING.  Doing nothing is amazing.  And doing nothing, outside in a beautiful setting, is like heaven for me.  

{A little "gift" I came across on the nightstand a year or so ago from one of my boys}

So why do we keep moving???  There've been various reasons for the various houses we've lived in- at times financial, at times situational, often because a new project boosts our business, and a couple of times spurred on because I've fallen for a house- but I do know the difference in moving to something because I love it and moving because I feel like we have to.  I've done three because of passion for a house and two because we felt we had to and were making the responsible choice, and the feelings are so different.  (The first of those moves was when we decided to move into my mom & stepdad's basement after we'd had our first baby and the housing market started to tank.  We just barely made it out of that very first townhouse of ours.  Leaving was hard.  I was 26 and I totally cried.  But it still felt like the right thing to do, which was why we did it and we threw ourselves into moving and setting up our little basement apartment, getting more clients for my brand-new design business and saving up for another house.  The second of these moves was the most recent move to our current home.  It had to do with our kids' schooling and needing to move to a different location, and I was honestly pretty sad to leave my house... but I'm not sure I cried this time. (Maybe it's after a certain age or # of moves or something but at a certain point nothing is really that big of a deal.)  Basically, It felt like the right move, but it was hard to go.)  

This time, we woke up one day talking about where we should move our design studio.  As you might remember, we've been looking in Georgetown and in a few other areas... and we haven't found anything we love enough to pull the trigger on.  We started thinking about some sort of property that could house a design studio which got us thinking about moving.  In a few minutes we determined that, though we enjoyed living in our current place, we felt no attachment to the house itself, (besides being near family & our amazing new neighbors) and that if a good opportunity came along, we'd take it.  We're not really people who wait very long for things to "come along" so obviously we got to hunting.  

Writing a blog is funny for me... I realize I'm writing to you, explaining my feelings and our actions/ decisions to you... part of it is because writing/ journaling has always helped me sort things out and make sense of things, and the other part of because I've always liked to share (oversharing at times really depending upon your definition of oversharing) and from wanting to be understood.  (I'm not sure why people have this innate desire to be understood but I must have a heaping portion of that one.)  Through writing this blog though, I've learned that no matter how much I explain something or my motives etc., they won't always be understood (or believed! which has been a weird one to accept)... and that's really just fine.  It's something I'm now totally comfortable with and don't mind and I think that's really helped us in making decisions and working things out on our own and seeing our family unit as the biggest determining factor in any situation... I know we're adults but it's taken a while for us to become 100% comfortable with family members'/ friends/ people not getting why we do what we do.  Our approach is to explain our logic & thought process to the best of our abilities and from there it's really just all that there is to do.  It's up to people to either "get" or not get it.   Coming to this realization- quite recently really- that what we do doesn't always make sense to others & that we can seem "crazy" has been oddly freeing and amazing.  It's felt good to just shake off conventions a bit and do what we want and think is best despite what's expected.  I feel excited and like we're learning more and more about ourselves and what we want for our family.  

There have been times- especially in this past year as conversations online were happening about our exact location and my children's school situation- when I've considered not sharing my motives or home on my blog at all.    It wasn't smart of me to explain that we were moving for a school last time...  I didn't realize anyone would even care or discuss our new location or try to look up our address or wonder where my kids attended school to be honest, but in hindsight, I can see that I was ridiculously naive.  I gave what I thought was enough information to inform people why we were moving, keeping things house/decor-focused and to keep my blog open and honest, but I didn't take into account that people are simply naturally curious and that some people would want more details and info.  I don't fault anyone for asking for more details or for looking up our real estate listing/address, but it definitely made me feel very uncomfortable and think differently about what I want to share here. I do realize you can pretty much google anyone's address but being asked for specific locations of my home and having where my kids were going to go to school being discussed online was uncomfortable.  And totally my fault.  

We've signed on for our next home (we're moving... and this time it actually feels permanent!!) and it's left us discussing what I'll share and won't share on the blog this time around.  I truly love blogging and sharing and writing and having this honest place for me to talk about the stuff no one in my real life cares about... but I have to think about my family too.  The thing we keep coming back to is that anyone who wants to find anyone can simply google an address so if I shared nothing, it wouldn't matter anyway...  (And then there's always the Washington Post who refused our request to not publish our address when we moved last time lol.)   So as of now, and mainly because of the fact that you can't ever really hide where you live from anyone who wants to know it, I see sharing the new house on the blog and snippets as we fix it up, but you won't hear me talking about where our kids will now go to school or if they are leaving or staying where they are or at certain schools etc. I'm totally happy for the "you're crazy girl!!" and personal finance questioning discussions to happen, but I'll be leaving the kids's schooling locations & new home address/ real estate listing offline & really hope that you can too.   If you want to figure it out on your own because you're curious, I completely get it (wish you wouldn't but that's wishful!) but I'm respectfully asking that you please just keep it to yourself and not put it online for others to see.  At least make others do their own sleuthing ;) 

 

{our kitchen last evening}

If you made it through that long-winded post, I'll just say that for now, I'll go on with my explanations of why we do what we do and what our motivations are...   You're stuck with me for a bit longer ;) ;)

I'll be back soon with updates on our house!  We're shooting it with Helen Norman at the beginning of August and I'm so excited to share after pics with you!! 

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