Category Archives: 52 Self Portraits

Self portrait project // 15

self portrait project // a thousand threads
Patience might be the name of our game, but that’s not to say I’m holding off on a happy dance every time we complete a small step.

Cue the biggest happy dance of all time for these floors — which have been hanging out in boxes for weeks, just longing to replace that dirty, moldy old carpet.

We’ve only made it as far as the stairs (one whole bottom floor to go…) but oh the difference it’s made.

Suddenly I’m reminded why we bought this poor little house in the first place… the one I’ve been so hard on for so many months.

The thing is, when you walk through a place with a mind toward renovation, all you see is possibility. HGTV makes it all look so easy.

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Self portrait project // 14

52 portraits // a thousand threads
We have a new home. There are moments of terror and moments of wonder and all things in between… but the walls that felt so strange just a week ago are beginning to feel more and more like our own. And the possibilities are hard to deny.

First things first, did you know that if by some chance — and you might need this, so I hope you’re taking notes — an ant colony sets up shop in your mailbox, you can just leave the door wide open and they’ll evacuate like the San Andreas is about to bust?

… okay that’s not a very funny joke for a kid who grew up in Oregon with tsunami nightmares, but seriously. I’m not sure how — or if — Mark knew, but just a day after leaving the door ajar, whether because we were both too scared to touch it again or we really did have some semblance of a plan, the whole mess moved out and they haven’t been back.

Problem. Solved.

… of course I’m trying not to think of where they might’ve gone.

Did you also know that attics are scary? I just thought I might mention it, since as of today, neither Mark nor I has ventured into ours.

… I’m also trying not to think about that.

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Self portrait project // 13

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
We bought a fixer upper. And everything about the idea seemed fun.

Carpeted bathrooms, purple toilets, and gardens full of weeds were all just opportunities to put our own spin on the perfect home we knew it could be. After all, most of the updates in the newer homes we could afford weren’t our style — this was the best way to make it ours.

… then came the move.

Dust, dirt, stained walls, wrinkled carpets, broken attempts to dry our clothes, and an ant colony (not just ants) in the mailbox all serve as daily reminders that we’ve only just begun.

Add a new job to the mix and everything seems suspended in space — or, more accurately, in boxes. I feel myself becoming a terrible friend, a cut-rate blogger, and a hack of a wife as I unpack my life in more ways than one… tallying the hours, days, months, in my head it will take until we’re settled back into a normal routine.

But slowly, when I’m able to step back from it all, I’ll admit that with every day that goes by, it feels a little more like home.

Our counters are ever so slightly cleaner, our bedrooms have beds… we even have a thing or two put away.

… and hey, the carpets in two out of three of the bathrooms are gone.

The summer sun is beginning to beat down and, because I can’t help being me, I feel the pull to make things happen now. All of the things… so I can run off and treat my white legs to some warmth.

But I have to remember that it will all happen in time. The dream house we know we’ll love is hiding under a few deep breaths and a little bit of time.

For now, I’ll just have to work on enjoying the ride.

… and breaking up that ant colony so I can pick up my mail.

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Self portrait project // 12

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
The boxes are piling up and we’re down to the wire. I’d hoped it would feel more certain than this, but because of last minute repairs we might not have a final green light on closing until we’ve loaded all our worldly possessions into a 28′ truck and hit the road.

To say the last couple of weeks have been stressful would be an understatement – uncertainty isn’t quite my favorite thing – but we’re almost there! We can count the days and hours now until it’s all said and done, and that’s certainly something to celebrate.

Especially since the boxes are piling up.

… 28′ is enough room to move into in a pinch, right? Because at this point if it all falls through, that’s about all the plan we have.

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Self portrait project // 11

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
I’m going to miss this little house of ours. Five years go by so quickly…

When we moved in, Austin was just a little bug  — it’s hard to even believe now just how little — and Mark and I were just beginning to plan the beautiful wedding we’d eventually have.

We spent hours in those first weeks and months painting, putting down our own floors, installing a backsplash… and years transforming it into our home.

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Self portrait project // 10

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
Okay you guys, it’s been busy. But there are so many updates to share!

First — and I’m so scared to jinx this because so much could still go wrong, but here goes — our house is under contract! We have an inspection and appraisal to get through (Any recommendations for super sly appraisal bribes? just kidding… sort of.) and then we’re out by the end of the month. SO soon…

The good news is (and again, fingers crossed!) we already have a contract on a new house!!

It’s a little bit closer to the city, but still in a rural community we love, and more perfect than I ever thought we’d find. There’s still some work to be done, but that’s just the way we like it, since eventually we’ll be able to personalize all of the details that will make it our home for what we hope will be years to come. I’m just dying to show you around, but I suppose we should probably get through what will now be two appraisals and two inspections…

Let’s just hope my sanity holds out until May.

The big life events all seem to be coming at once.

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Self portrait project // 9 + Links

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
Over the past couple of weeks, my heart rate has been on permanent high… running from meeting to meeting, fingers crossed, wishing and hoping…

I’m full of nervous energy with one more big transition to come, but within it… I’m also beginning to eek out a sliver of peace.

I hesitate to say it out loud… but I can almost feel us beginning to turn a corner. One that’s been just out of reach for a very long time.

2014 was a very hard year for us. In some ways, it was the most rewarding year we’ve had, but it was also a struggle.

After a year of what ifs and maybes, I’m so ready for that corner and the wide world ahead that it hurts. Just that sliver of peace on its own is much more than I’ve had in some time.

Did you catch our feature on South of Brooklyn this week?

Betty White’s one regret.

Walnut and bananas foster pancakes.

VOLK 2015.

CNN’s 2016 version of too many cooks.

Monica’s TED talk.

When doing what you love becomes routine.

Favorite food podcasts.

Carrot cake scones.

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Self portrait project // 8

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
I feel a little bit like a deer in the headlights in this shot — or maybe that’s how I’ve been feeling in general. Rather than bounce into action, spring has me longing to slow down… to take more time for each other, and for ourselves.

We’ve been busy spring cleaning every day for a month (keeping things perfectly staged…) and the indecision of it all — not knowing where we might live next — has managed to creep its way into the rest of our lives.

It’s a big decision, where we might choose to go next…

Should we move closer? Shorten my commute? Deal with less land and leave the city we love… or should we stay where we are? Is time, or quality of time, at the top of the agenda? I’m still not sure… but I trust we’ll find the way.

For now, I’m trying my best to take it slow.

… despite the crazy look I might not be able to wipe off my face.

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Self portrait project // 7

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
In Maryland, I get a lot of PNW rain jokes, even legitimate concern – “if you ever moved back, do you think you could take it? Could Mark?

But after a few years on the east coast, I have to be honest; I think you’re all living with Stockholm syndrome.

In Oregon, sure, it rains in the winter. Mostly it’s grey. But I never once owned an umbrella, and looking back I realize that the missive, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” is repeated more often than any complaint.

Here, folks complain all year long, but when it comes down to it, their suffering goes so much deeper than any silly complaint. They’ve grown to love those bastard seasons that hold them captive.

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Self portrait project // 6 + Links

52 self portraits // a thousand threads
I may not have been properly warned about how terrible it is to sell a house… waiting, wondering, unable to make the next move until it’s sold… but hey, at least there’s coffee.

Lately we’ve been focused on what to do next. Stay where we are? Move closer to the city? Pack it all up in a van and hit the road? Personally I’m gunning for the van, but the dog disagrees.

Meanwhile, we’re working on something for this space that gets more exciting each day… a rebrand and redesign that will bring more of our projects under one roof and give us a solid direction. Nothing huge will change — don’t worry — but we’ll be able to offer so much more… and I truly can’t wait for you to see what’s been shaping up behind the scenes.

For now… I hear the sun will be sticking around for an extra hour today, which, if you have to be stuck in purgatory, is a pretty good way to go… thank god for spring, and thank god for new adventures to come.

… whenever they come. We’ll be here.

Hummingbird High’s gorgeous kitchen remodel.

This diy moon phase mobile.

Chronicles of a self-professed “comma queen.”

House of Bricks.

10 food-themed audiobooks.

5 podcasts to improve your commute.

This perfect gathering.

These poufs.

These posters.

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