Hello hello! Happy 2017!
It seemed appropriate to not only look back at 2016, but to look ahead at what this year will bring. If the last couple of months of 2016 are any indication, this could be our most adventurous year yet!
Sometimes it’s hard for me to look back at photos, mostly when it comes to my kids. I’m so happy I have the images, of course, and I am very grateful for daily time with my babies, but they are just growing so fast.
It seems like yesterday they were all 3 and under…
And here they are today.
Time is so so precious, and so fleeting.
Looking back at life’s moments in 2016, I could have included a hundred photos ; ) , but I have restrained myself to some of my favorite highlights.
Anyone that knows me knows how proud I am of all of my brothers. It is not often we are all in the same state so the photo below was a special treat!
In March, I headed to Round Top, which is seriously my happy place! The only drawback to Round Top is that it ruins estate sales for me for about four months! It’s a bit difficult to come off of the high of MILES AND MILES of amazingness, back to the dig for the good stuff. I got my groove back though, don’t you worry. If you want to know my secrets of shopping (and finding!) estate sales, read this post and this post.
A special treat of this past spring’s Round Top show was that I got to see my friends Eddie and Jaithan when they made a stop at Marburger for their book tour. It’s always great to see these gents! Check out Eddie’s beautiful book here.
Shortly after Round Top, we took our family trip to Seaside, Florida. We look forward to experiencing the quaint town and beautiful sand every year, it is such a treat for us! We eat well, we get lots of sun, we play tons of board games and frisbee, we dig for crabs, and I try to take a little time for myself, too. This year, I tried a charcoal mask which was a fun experience. I did find it cleaned my pores really well! (I tried this one!)
My favorite breakfast in Seaside is the granola bowl from the Raw & Juicy food truck. I get it with no bananas and honey drizzled on top. It is ridiculously good, and I highly recommend trying the granola! You can buy it online here, and the recipe for the yogurt is on the back of the bag. Super healthy, and tastes awesome!
My kids are all at “memory making” age now, so it is a pleasure to take these trips. I will jokingly refer to myself as “Seaside Grace” when we are on them. It is so nice to not have to hurry anywhere, and Seaside is for real the most relaxing trip possible with four young kids. You walk everywhere, everything is nearby, and the kids can spend all day at the beach and be completely happy! It’s bliss. Awww Seaside Grace, I miss her. Hope to see ya again soon, girl.
Side note: you may also notice my very dark ombre hair. I dyed it, and let’s just say the kids were not a fan. There were tears involved, and I had to explain to them that women colored their hair. I thought time would get everyone used to the change, but it was a no-go. I’m back to normal now. ; )
Another main highlight of the year was my baby brother getting married to the beautiful woman pictured below. This photo was her final wedding dress fitting, and I was so excited to come. But when childcare fell through, she was totally cool with it. “Bring them on”, she said! Love her. As you can see, it got a bit wild at one point.
How beautiful is this couple?! A wonderful, happy day.
My bro and new sister-in-law had pretty darling ring bearers and flower girls, too. : )
Waco is only an hour away from us, and they have a great Farmers Market, so we try to head there as often as possible.
Which is not nearly as often as we would like due to sports teams!
I made my first trip to Wisconsin last year to see my dear friend, Jen, who writes the lifestyle blog, I Heart Organizing!
Her home is lovely and inspiring, and we had such a good time working on a few of the rooms in her house. I owed her for all of the help she gave me a couple of years ago when we organized my office! (see the DIY gold leaf shelves here)
Yes, we worked and shopped and finished projects, but oh my word, cheese curds, folks! There is NO PLACE to get cheese curds like Wisconsin! I seriously wish I could eat this photo right now.
It was a great trip, and I came home with a renewed energy. Jen’s home and the people in it are kind and thoughtful. She is one of those rare people whose beautiful heart matches her lovely face.
PS. Jen and I are cookin’ up some projects for 2017, woohoo!
On the way home to Texas, I stopped off in Des Moines, Iowa, for the day to check out the Better Homes & Gardens headquarters.
It was such a cool experience, and the gardens were as beautiful as you would imagine!
Not to mention the view from the BHG Offices!
The staff at BHG is some of the kindest magazine people in the biz, and I am so grateful to them for their kindness to me these past several years. I feel like their down-to-earth approachability really comes through in the pages of their magazine.
Many people told me I had to check out West End Salvage while I was in Des Moines, and it was fantastic! It is a huge warehouse full of salvaged and found treasures! I definitely hope to go back. Their coffee shop serves a great cup of coffee, too!
I also took a quick trip to Maryland in the summer, and the highlight of the trip was spending an evening with these girls in celebration of Lauren’s gorgeous book.
Before I knew it, it was time for the kids to go back to school. I don’t know that I will ever get through a first day of school without tears. (when they can’t see me, of course) These babies are a treasure, and yes, they have their moments, but they love each other so much, and it is a ball to watch them play and create together! I relish being with them. I love summer, sigh.
In September, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker Event in New York. Being in a room full of other inspiring creatives is very invigorating for me, and I was so honored to get invited!
Jen and I roomed together, and we like to stay a couple of extra days to explore and shop and eat and flea market. I look forward to it so much, and this year was no different. Probably my favorite experience of this trip was getting the opportunity to see Hamilton.
This may sound silly if you are not into theater, but I have never been so moved by a score and script. I came home and devoured the book that inspired the Hamilton musical, and I love to listen to the soundtrack from start to finish. I could go on and on, as I am a bit of a history nerd already, but I highly recommend it! (Warning: there are some tracks on the soundtrack that are not kid friendly, FYI.)
From the Stylemaker event to Christmas is all a bit of a blur. We had projects going on at our house, and I had projects going on in clients homes. A major goal of 2017 is getting my projects from the last couple of years photographed. It has been a challenge for me to find time for that, and I would love to show you what I have been up to! (besides what I put on Instagram)
We did go to the farm to cut down our Christmas tree (our little tradition).
We got a holly tree this year, and it was one of my favorites ever. So simple and sweet.
This month (January 2017) marks six years in our home. It’s almost hard to believe! My husband and I have never lived in a house more than two years before this one, so we definitely have roots here. We have been under construction since day one, and I am excited to show you all we have been working on the past year. Two big accomplishments of 2016 were finishing both seasons of the One Room Challenge. For the Spring 2016 ORC, I totally renovated the boys bedroom, and we ALL still absolutely love it! Read all about this makeover here.
During the Fall ORC, I made over our Master Bedroom, and my husband is very happy with it, which of course makes me very happy! He was just telling me this morning how he likes waking up and seeing the wallpaper glow in the morning light. Read all of the details of our Master Bedroom renovation here.
2017 already holds some new adventures for us, and I can hardly wait to share some exciting news with you! One thing I am pumped about is the debut of my new site! (same address, just getting a makeover)
I am so grateful to you for reading and being so encouraging, it really means so much to me. I always love hearing from my readers, and I try to answer every line you send. (although I know I miss a few, and I feel so terrible about that – I try hard to keep up and answer everyone!)
This March will mark 12 years of marriage for husband and I, and 5 years that this site has been in existence! It has been an interesting ride these last five years, on the homefront, and in my professional life. I have learned so much, about myself, and the design business as a whole. I know I have more to learn, but the beauty of age is that you get more confident and sure of who you are, and more importantly, you are okay with it.
I hope this year is full of happiness and blessings for you. Thank you for sharing life’s journey with me.
Until the next story.