Thursday, December 14, 2017

Dear Evans (4)

Dear Evans,

You are 4! This year has brought on many changes.

In February, you switched schools. Your "Baby School", as it is referred to by you, brought us some unforeseen obstacles that we felt it best suited to change childcare homes. That was hard. You'd been at Baby School since, well, since you were a baby. Around 10 months old. Everyone knew you, and you knew everyone. It really was our home.

I had all the normal mommy anxiety about the new school, plus some extra Ashley stress therein sprinkled. Was it safe? Would you like it, would you make new friends, would the teachers be friendly, would you feel loved? Would the kids be nice? Would you fit in? Would you learn, would you thrive? Would you engage? Would you just get to be you? Would it be home?

You handled the abrupt change without the slightest of hiccups. I was SO proud. You marched right in that new school on the first day, head high and hardly noticing me leaving. Of course, you still asked about your old teachers and friends at Baby School, but you were making new pals and learning the ropes on the new playground. You were doing your thing, being Evans, my little girl, big on life.

Around that same time, Daddy and I sold our first home in Atlanta. The condo. It was an odd feeling going back to the condo, readying it for market. Opening that front door, we were taken back to a time in our lives when it was just Daddy and me. A time we had only hoped for you to come along one day. Selling that first place was bittersweet. To some extent it was a last goodbye to pre parenthood life. Goodbye to days of sleeping in, ordering more delivery food than I'd like to admit, watching countless hours of Braves games, and meeting friends for dinner at the last minute any random night of the week.  During our last seller walk-through, I could still see and hear each one of those memories. Memories from what was once our home.

While in Atlanta, we took the time to visit our old neighborhood. You probably don't remember that house, but I still think of it as ours. "5-4-& a door" as our realtor called it, and I loved it so. 2030 will always be that place for me. I often joke with Daddy that if it ever goes up for sale, I'd want to buy it just to walk its halls again. Soak up the way the sun pours into the bay windows.  Given the chance, I'd sit in your old room, reminiscing the old layout. You in your crib and me in the rocking chair, just staring at your newness. Walking the stairs up and down up and down trying to keep you from crying. I wished time away when I was going through it, wishing for you to grow up and get past that fussy stage. But given the chance, I'd hold that little newborn again. Breathe in her smells, kiss her tiny face. Just for a minute, in that old home.

As fate and God's planning would have it, later in the year we moved yet again. You changed schools yet again. And all of those same mommy fears of mine resurfaced. Not only were we moving you 3 hours away, but we were moving you away from family. Countless cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents you'd grown accustomed to seeing. In and out of their homes to play, eat meals, and celebrate birthdays. We also had to say goodbye to your childhood friend, Emma. Y'all had been together since you were babies. I'm grateful to have made a friend in Emma's mama, too, so that you girls can continue to keep in touch for years to come.

And so, we packed you and your sister up and moved the 3 hours north to my childhood home. Literally. We stayed for over a month. That was tricky, but we all survived, including Papa and D-ma. Just as renovations on our new house were being finished, a new school year began. You were bright eyed and all smiles. You handled car line drop off as if you'd been doing it forever. I, of course, had knots in my stomach all day. My head was filled with thoughts. How could I make you switch schools twice in one year? Weren't you going to miss everything about your old house? Your old friends? Were you going to be sad? Would you be shy? How quickly do toddlers bounce back? Did you like your new room?

You came home that day with a brand new school folder labeled EVANS, two flower stamps on your hand and a red lollipop. Again, all smiles. My heart was so happy. You are ten times braver than your mommy. I'm so glad you are mine.

We've moved, and moved, and moved again. Somewhere along the way I came to realize, no matter the city, no matter the house, no matter the zip code, there really is no place like home.

And you are home to me.

Happy Birthday, I love you,


Dear Evans (1)

Dear Evans (2)

Dear Evans (3)

Monday, December 11, 2017

Recent Projects

I have a couple of clients that live down the street from each other, which makes commutes and drop offs so convenient! The neighborhood is not too far from me, which is also nice. I travel all sorts of distances for work, but it's nice when you can get a project at "home" so to speak!

Working on a fun sunroom area for this client. It's the place she watches tv and entertains, so we had to configure a layout that would work for both dining and lounging.

I am going to work with the existing dining table (family heirloom piece) but switch out a couple of the chairs for benches she has in another room. We are going to source some local artwork for the wall as well.

Using (2) of these swivel chairs from WhitAsh. They are so comfortable, and the scale for the sunroom is perfect. 

Also having two hexagon ottomans made in a blue high performance fabric (also WhitAsh). Those will hopefully be in by Christmas. TBD.

5x8 rug selected (WhitAsh)

It's durable and will hide any stains (ahem red wine) (ahem she has 2 dogs and teenagers), and it picks up on the blue in the chairs. 

Here's a mockup of the design plan. Her curtains will be installed tomorrow! 

In the living room, she wanted some privacy between the hall to the kids bedrooms and bathroom. We decided a barn door was the perfect solution for this. I had my friend Paul of Frick Creations create a custom door for her. I had him stain it in Minwax Class Gray. I can't capture how beautiful it is with lousy iPhone pics. It was installed last week!


Now on to finish the sunroom and then we'll move our attention to the breakfast room and living room. Fun, fun!

My other project is this pretty home. My client wants natural finishes, light and airy, easy breezy sort of rustic/coastal/farmhouse style. Eventually she wants to refinish her floors and stain them a darker, finish, so I'm implementing a design with that in mind. 

She had the house painted in SW Repose Gray and trim/cabinets in SW Alabaster (I'm a little bias towards these colors, love them).

So far we've gotten dining chairs, farmhouse table and bench, rug, and side chairs. On the hunt for affordable/durable/ AND cute hostess chairs. Her chandelier is hopefully going to be installed this week. 

In the living room, we are going with this rug from Lulu + Georgia, and eventually ordering a couple of club chairs. 

More updates soon! It's a mad dash to finish these projects around the holidays. Ready for the ol' egg nog and Christmas PJS! Shew. 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Christmas Living & Dining Room

Wow, another month has come and gone and no blogging! I'm so busy between the kids and work these days I can't keep up. Thought I would share some updates around the main floor and some Christmas, too.

My green chairs finally came back, and I love them so much!!!! I had them done in a gray/taupe herringbone fabric. Old is new again. I also hung the curtains I made. I haven't lined them yet because I was hoping to get away with not having to as this is a heavier linen fabric. But it looks like I'll have to line them after all. Love how they finish this room. Two more to make!

Also purchased a small wingback chair. I saw this at TJ Maxx a while ago and it sold fast. Then I found it online. Woot.

Forgot to mention you made need sunglasses for this post. This room and all the windows, I have no clue how to photograph!

These stools from Birch Lane might be my favorite find to date. Love the texture they add to this room!

We had to play a little musical furniture to make the Christmas tree fit in the right spot. Once Christmas is over, the wingback will move around as will the two gray chairs.

The fern is fake, because I kill them all. ALL OF THEM. No green thumb here. I've got to find a little pot for the plant stand. (The odd things you lose in a house move?!)

My dad made us this storage cabinet. I use it for all my work samples/ tools/ etc. He's so talented. 

Still on the hunt for the right round upholstered ottoman. On the hunt for the money, too. HA!

I put a tree in the dining room this year. The girls think this is so awesome.  Ha. Christmas with kids is so much fun. I think the tree adds something purdy in the formal dining room (where we actually always eat, hence the booster seats...).

I love this time of year. Evans's Christmas play is this Friday, and her birthday is next week. Followed by family time and CHRISTMAS. Crazy. It'll be here soon.