Life in Our New Home

We are finally settled into our new house!


The counter in our laundry room is still covered in random cleaning supplies and tools that don’t quite have a home yet, and only 2/3 of our closets have any shelves in them. There are still a few boxes still to be unpacked, but all of them are stacked in those closets that don’t quite have shelves yet. #Winning

But mostly, we’re settled. And it’s even starting to feel like home.

Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
The cats have fully adjusted to being fireplace-owning cats. #Spoiled
It feels like I can be a human again. I can think about something other than timelines and packing and moving preparations. And it feels so good. Deep breaths are easier. The little, mundane tasks like packing a lunch and brushing my teeth aren’t as annoying as they were while we were in transition, constantly looking ahead to the next thing that we needed to check off our list.
Instead, now we’re slowly checking off the days on the calendar toward a baby, which is just as life-changing, but much more on autopilot in some ways.
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Scott MADE the hanging beam light fixtures over our island and dining room table. As I’ve said before, I will be worthless in an apocalypse, and am glad I married well.
Since we moved in the Saturday before Christmas weekend, we chose not to drive ourselves crazy trying to rush out a buy a tree and decorate. Instead, we hung the stockings on the mantel, noticing that it is our last (and only) year with only two hanging there side by side.
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Almost everything you see made out of wood (pantry doors, trim, mantle, railing, etc.) were made by our good friend Gordy at Gordon Miller Woodworks. He does a fabulous job, as you can see, and really enjoys taking unique slabs of wood and creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and picture frames and things. 
We’re settling into new routines, and while we’re still in the stages where we have to think about where things like extra toilet paper live now, daily life is so much easier. A real kitchen sink. A dishwasher. Our own washer and dryer. These are the things that I will not take for granted again.
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
Our “nursery” – which is still almost this empty. Probably should start doing something about that.
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
My office is pretty boring at the moment.
Life in Our New Home | Inkwells & Images
But it has a nice view.
It’s good to be home. 

Learning How To Be Here

Learning How To Be Here | Inkwells & Images

In my latest reading roundup, I mentioned that I had recently read How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell. I picked this one up at Ashley Brooks’s suggestion and really enjoyed it.

I read this book while we were still in transition while building the house, a process that took far longer and far more money than we had anticipated. The last year was an exciting and frustrating time. We were waiting on a house to be done, but also very, very ready to get out of the apartment that we were in that had no washer and dryer and no dishwasher – and was a total of 650 square feet! It was very much a “sacrifice now to gain later” sort of situation, and we knew it was short-term. Even knowing that an end was in sight still left me wishing time away so that we could move and settle into the new place… and then we found out we were expecting. Which made me even more anxious to get the house finished (and as close to budget as possible) so we could start getting ready for a baby.

And now that’s the stage we are in: preparing for a baby. We weren’t planning on adding to the family quite yet this year, and while we’ve settled into the idea and are starting to get excited as our due date approaches, it’s still been hard to wrap our brains around how different life is going to be in three months compared to what we thought it would look like. I had grand visions of setting up a guest room and finally using all the brain power I had been spending on the house to work on building my business and writing a novel. Instead, that guest room is now a nursery (sorry, in-laws! It’s still an air mattress when you come to visit for now), and come April I will be spending all my energy – physical and mental – on a baby for awhile. And then a toddler. And then a child. Which is still 100% weird to think about.

Being the Type-A, planner-extraordinaire that I am, I know that having a baby is going to be tough. They need a lot of attention, don’t always operate on a convenient schedule, and ruin your sleep schedule for months on into years. (As you can see, I am going into this with my eyes WIDE open.) Obviously, there will be a lot of joy, too, and we’re going to love the little guy or gal, but it’s going to be a serious mental adjustment compared to what we were planning for our first year in our new home.

Why I’ll Be Reading How to Be Here Again & Again

Getting back to Rob Bell and his book. Ahem.

Throughout How to Be Here, Bell consistently reminds the reader that he or she is where they are for a reason. That every piece of life has a season and place. That rhythms exist and change and change again as you go through the years and respond to different callings on your life and time.

I think that’s a message I am going to need to hear every once in a while over the next year as we struggle through midnight feedings and days that don’t go as planned and goal lists that remain stagnant for months at a time.

I’m planning to buy a copy of How to Be Here and read it again this year as I need reminded that “here” is exactly where I am supposed to be.

My Favorite Quotes from How to Be Here

“What [that person] needs is a job that doesn’t drain them, so that they’ll have the energy they need for the thing they know they are here to do.” – p. 63

“Interests, art forms, talents, hobbies, missions, passions… all have their place in our lives.” – p. 92

“Better to have a stomach full of butterflies than to feel like your life is passing you by.” – p. 106

“[On Friday Afternoons] I turn my computer off. When I do this, I always have the same physiological reaction: it’s like my entire being takes a deep breath.” – p. 165

“When you begin to practice a rhythm to your week, you begin to see the need for rhythm all the time.” – p .171

And my favorite, favorite: 

If a good portion of your energies are given to the well-being of another person, that’s okay. It’s not just okay, it’s honorable, it’s beautiful… That’s your ikigai for now. It may change over time. It probably will.” ~ p. 100 (I didn’t write this page number down for some reason)

In this next season of life, when most of my energy is devoted to taking care of a little one, I want to remember those words and recognize that this season is a gift – just like all the others – and that it will disappear before I’m ready for it to, as it always does.

Have you read How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob Bell? If so, what did you think? 


What I Read the Rest of 2016

A Winter Weekend on the North Shore | Inkwells & Images

My reading updates have been rather sporadic this year as I took the summer off from blogging… and then most of the fall and winter, too. The combination of having no internet connection + building a house + incubating a baby turned out to be too much to handle and still make space for writing words, and my last update was back in October.

I’m still incubating a baby, but we are finally living in our house AND we have the internet – both things that make life in general easier, but especially blogging. I’m making no commitments to blog regularly or often in 2017, but it does feel good to be sharing books again.

I do try and send out a newsletter once each month. If you want more regular updates from me, sign up here.

These little reading round-ups help me form opinions about what I did and didn’t like about a book, making me a better reader and hopefully a better writer. And I hope you are able to add (or cross off!) a book to your list once in a while because of them, too.

Here’s what I read the Rest of 2016:

How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob BellNonFiction – At Ashley’s suggestion, I picked up this book and really enjoyed it. I read it while we were still in transition while building the house, and I think I might buy a copy and read it again this year as I need reminded that “here” is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Champagne: How the World’s Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times by Don & Petie KladstrupNonFiction – I picked up this book at my part-time job at a wine store (it was a super fun job, until I found out I was pregnant and could no longer drink anything we sold!). When we think Champagne today, we think glamour and celebration – but it was neat to read about how it used to be considered a dud wine that no one was really proud of. This history is full of surprising stories and fun facts, and doesn’t get too overloaded in detail. If you like history and bubbly, it’s definitely worth a read.

Outfoxed by Rita Mae BrownFiction – This was a novel chosen by one of my book clubs (the one that LOVES horses) and it was definitely enjoyable. An interesting read, since the animals talk and the murder of the murder mystery doesn’t happen until about three-quarters of the way through the book, but the characters were vivid and the story unfolded well. If you like stories about horses and people who are crazy about them, as well as reading up on a more southern way of life, I recommend it.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia DayMemoir – This book was the pick of the other book club I’m in that meets about every other month. It was a classic celebrity memoir, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had seen more of Felicia’s work first. I enjoyed hearing about her unconventional childhood and how she wrote and directed and self-produced the first few seasons of her TV show before ever finding any investors. It was fine, but if celebrity memoirs aren’t your thing, pass on this one.

Books I Did Not Finish

I’m not usually very good about putting a book down once I pick it up, but I let (made?) myself do that more often in 2016. With the limited time that I had to read, and the knowledge that once this baby arrives there will be even less time, I really only want to read books that are actually grabbing my attention. Here are a few that I may come back to someday, but that I didn’t quite finish this year:

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta Young Adult Fiction – This was another recommendation from Ashley, so I know that it’s a good book, I just could not get into this last fall. I don’t think I could read for a long enough stretch of time to absorb what was happening, and kept having to flip back to remember who was who and why things were happening the way they were. Another day, maybe.

Dog Run Moon: Stories by Callan WinkLiterary Fiction – This is a collection of short stories from an author who I heard a segment from on the New Yorker Radio Hour podcast. I enjoyed the segment immensely and really wanted to read some of his work, but it was not the time for me for these short stories.

What have you been reading lately? Anything you can’t put down?