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!

Plus, IT HAS A BARN DOOR.

INSIDE!

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!

xo

The Cheesy Finish to My Summer Road Trip and a Bit of Greige

Hey all!
Um, please excuse the paint.

Greige paint

Nine shades of greige

We’re sort of swimming in a sea of greige right now.

According to our realtor (and more importantly, Pinterest), greige is the BEST paint color to sell your house. So we’re awash in neutral.

Anyway, back to where I left off weeks ago. Which was that pretty cool Pacific Northwest road trip we took in early June. For weeks I’ve been blogging in my head about it (and other topics my mind would like to figure out, like how I might sell dust bunny crafts on Etsy, bc I’ve found OODLES of dust bunnies behind bookcases my friends), but as cool as you all are you probably can’t read my mind (this is a good thing, it’s dusty in there).

So without further ado, here’s the last bit of our trip.

Oregon Coast highway

The Oregon coast highway 101

The BEST part of this day was waking up knowing that the only thing on our agenda was getting from point A to point B, with miles of awesome stops and discovery along the way.

oregon beach sand monster

Sea monster on the beach…or driftwood?

oregon coast views

The views on the other side of the road were spectacular too.

netarts bay oregon oysters

Netarts Bay. Loads of clams and crabs. And muck. 

Dear mystery couple in the muck,

I’m sorry for taking your picture.

And for being entertained by you.

And for using you as entertainment here.

That’s all. xo

nye beach oregon

This is Nye Beach.

It’s like a million miles to the water’s edge here, but we stopped at plenty of beaches along the way. Including one with dozens of ladybugs on the sand.

Unexpected. And pretty cool.

ladybugs at the beach oregon

Ladybugs are my jam.

tillamook cheese factory

We like factory tours. Tillamook was delightfully cheesy.

gluten free grilled cheese tillamook oregon

A Tillamook grilled cheese sandwich with gluten free bread. Yay!

Have you ever found something unexpected or interesting at the beach? Or been to a factory tour?

Happy Friday!

xo

 

 

Historic Weekends, an Empty Nest (and Overripe Bananas)

Last weekend was historic.

silly selfies Coleen Patrick_opt

 

We celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary (w/ silly selfies, because that’s how we roll)…

on the very same day that we took our youngest child to college.

*sigh*

Thomas Jefferson statue Williamsburg_opt

But seriously, we couldn’t be more proud.

He’s studying at Thomas Jefferson’s alma mater.

(Although, apparently, it’s cooler to mention alumnus, Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show)

This part wasn’t easy though. 

college goodbye empty nest_opt

We knew it wouldn’t be, having done the goodbye thing with our daughter only 364 days before.

*sigh*

untethered colonial williamsburg_opt

This pic sums up the strange mix of emptiness and freedom

I think we all felt (not that anyone is a horse in this scenario).

But the whole leaving my youngest at college didn’t really hit me until the middle of the weekend,

at 3am to be exact,

I sat up in bed, in the middle of a the dark hotel room

startled from a dream where I was in a room with doors

running around trying to lock them.

Unsettling.

(Before you think my dreams are visionary, let me add that there was also a gecko in an envelope in there somewhere.)

The next day, after one more round of parent orientation, we stopped at a park

and rented a jon boat.

Hub fished.

I read.

oar boat drifting _opt

We drifted for a couple of hours.

Wrapped up in beginnings and endings

tangled roots growing toward sun_opt

we let our emotions untangle a bit. 

chain heart drifting on boat_opt

And then we headed home. Just the two of us.

*sigh*

But home comforted

colonial shops williamsburg_opt

and reminded us there’s so much more ahead

(and that the bananas on the kitchen counter were going to keep on ripening no matter what)

homemade banana bread care packages

Which was perfect for baking some banana bread for care packages. 🙂

 

What’s your favorite thing to put in a care package (or to receive)? Anything historic happening in your neck of the woods?

Happy Friday!