We Bought a House! With an Inside Barn Door!

We bought a house!
It’s kind of in the country (or country-ish, as we’ve been saying).

So now we have a city and a country house. Not on purpose though. We actually need to sell the city house. Anyone looking for a big house in the capital city of Virginia?

It’s got refinished hardwood floors…

refinished hardwood floors

HGTV moment when we discovered we had hardwood under the vinyl in our foyer. #InstantCharacter
So in addition to the downsizing and the painting I mentioned last time I posted, we’ve been updating, renovating, cleaning, and moving.

And there’s been lots and lots of road trips, if you count driving 45 miles round trip between houses as a road trip (or the 60 miles round-trip to the large metro shopping area). Oh and if you count the many times I’ve accidentally passed our new exit. Because I’m not used to driving so many highway miles just to go home, I get in a zone, like I’m headed to Key West or something. And every time I do that, it’s a 12 mile mistake…with no beach or mojito.

birds in a snowstormWas probably thinking about Key West when I painted this canvas.

But our new house is cool. It’s smaller and has one less bathroom to clean, Yay!



barn door decorIt’s like my Pinterest boards came to life!

I’ve posted about my fascination with barns, I love them. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s like my main character Grace from my Chasing Normal series said:

There’s just something so stable about barns. 😉

So lately we’ve been living life like an episode of Property Brothers meets Fixer Upper. And it’s been fun and exciting, but a MAJOR change.

Dear hub likes to say, There’s no crying in moving/renovating. Oh but there’s been tears. Happy. Sad. All kinds. So much is different. After 20 years in the same house, we’re in a new one.
And get this, I have an outside mailbox.
Ok so most people probably do. But in our old house we had one of those mail slots in our front door, so basically I tripped over the mail every day.

Now I forget that I need to check the mail box.
Oh and I don’t know if this is a country-ish thing, but we have this spider that can play dead. And she’s living in our mailbox. She rolls onto her back when I open the mailbox. Of course I told her she can’t live in the mailbox and carefully prodded her with a leaf until she left.

But the next day I met her kids.
So I don’t get the mail if the sun has gone down.

sunset at homeSunset behind our new country-ish neighborhood.

And considering I broke a finger when I was 18 during a spider encounter, I’d say this is PROGRESS.
And progress is good.

So is having my kids home for the holidays.

kids at home

A Happy Thanksgiving photo op.

And planning a real road trip—we’re going to New York City in a couple of weeks to visit dear daughter and have some family fun.

Plus I’m making time to be creative. I’ve got a new book coming out soon and I’ve been doodling.

polar bear penguin dreidel spin smaller

A doodle for Hanukkah

And painting. And decorating. And baking. And button gluing (turns out this is meditation for me).

vintage button tree

I just like to make stuff.
That’s one thing that hasn’t changed at all.

What’s new with you?

Also, if you go outside to get your mail, are mailbox tenants something to be expected?

Happy Thursday!


39 thoughts on “We Bought a House! With an Inside Barn Door!

  1. Congrats, Coleen! This all looks SO wonderful! I love the way you share things and I was thinking Charlotte’s Web may play into your “barn” thing 🙂 I do LOVE your quote 😀 And we have an outside mailbox, only it’s the type that’s on the wall of the house outside the front door, not a stand-alone one. We never get spiders, but the type you have is probably the traditional style which is deep. I’m thinking the deep, dark, protective nature is very inviting to spiders!

    Thanks for sharing your delightful escapades with us, Coleen 😀


  2. You’re so artistic and crafty and so darn cute! I have a fascination with barns, too. I grew up in a house that had once been part of the Underground Railroad, and it had this amaaazzzing barn with stables, a chicken coop, a loft, and a swing! I loved that house, and I was heartbroken when my parents sold it. To this day, I can’t think about it without getting all mawpy.

    Congrats on your new digs. The barn door is ultra cool. I’d do something like that if I could. Can’t wait to see your new book!

    Oh, about the spider — thank you for not killing it. You’re my heroine. 🙂


  3. You’ve had so much going on! Congrats on the move. Moving is stressful, but also very exciting. I have a feeling you’re going to discover a lot more than that spider now that you’re living in the country though. 😉

    Have fun in New York! Oh, and I love your painting.


    1. Thanks, Jennette!
      You can see the door when you step inside the house. It divides the front sitting room with the main open part of the house. 🙂 It’s especially useful because our front door has a glass part that you can kind of see through from front porch. So at night we can slide the barn door if we don’t want our living room to be on display. 🙂


  4. You took the leap! I am so happy for you. I’m sure you’re going to have a ball decorating! I love the barn door. It is so you! And you are in the midst of a scenic area — which I’m sure you’ll share in time. Would love to have my mail dropped through my door slot. I have a steep drive that gets very icy in the winter and I have trouble getting the mail. Happy Holidays!


  5. Yay! Congratulations on your new house, and sending house-buyer wishes your way. Love this post. Spontaneous-seeming and sweet, and might just get me off my duff to put up a few holiday decorations. Cheers —


  6. button-gluing?
    nuthin’ unexpected in the mailbox, ‘cept of course when mail is unexpected (like “real” mail instead of spamCataloguesEtc.)
    i’m sorta envious — i’ve ALWAYS wanted to live in “the country” and tho’ close, close don’t count. and i think i “get it” with the thing about the barn door ~


  7. Good to see you Coleen! I have missed your posts in my ebox. Moving is very stressful. Then on top of it all, to leave a home where you raised your children makes it just that much more difficult. No crying? Yeah, right. Lots of fond memories happened in that prior abode. Yet, now you get to make new memories. I’ve lived both in the city and country. I do like the amenities of the city. Yet, the restless quiet of somewhat country living cannot be beat. And of course there’s the barn door. Which is super cool and chic at the moment. So glad you’ve nestled in and began to create again. We missed you! 🙂


  8. Coleen Im catching up here. Gosh you are a creative soul. I love all your art and button tree. Your new home looks wonderful and yes I would love a barn door too. All the very best for New Year Im betting it will be another creative year for you. Ps we live out so far from town we have to drive to the post office to our Po Box to get our mail.


  9. I’ve had this post living in my digital mailbox for a while. No spiders, just I was slowreading all my e-mails. Congrats on the new house and making stuff. 🙂 Love your doodles.


    1. Thanks, Laura! My new book is the last in my YA, Chasing Normal series. It’s called The Art of Going the Distance. 🙂 First love, friendship, and a road trip!


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