in my home

Here are some shots of our new place, as it comes together. It is unfinished (as always, right?) but feeling more like home every day. I uploaded these photos onto my facebook account, and then went through and tagged people. I tagged Natalie, in the things she's given me, and Jamie, for the housewarming plant and her book I'm borrowing. I tagged my mom, for her pieces of art and the heavy side table that has traveled with me for my entire life as I remember, from Wyoming to Georgia, Missouri, Tennessee, and back to Georgia. I tagged Jessie, for the basket she gave to me. As I looked at the photos and matched names to items in my home, I realized how many of my things were given as gifts by friends, or created by hands of the ones I love the most.
There is the bench from my grandmother, and the pillow she made and sent to me. There are the items given by friends who were moving, and wanted to pare down. Almost all of my things have been handed-down, given, or gifted to me. I know my home is simple and modest, and that's the way I prefer it to be. I like to give rooms some space to breathe in, and decorate sparsely. The things I have, though, I dearly treasure. The items surrounding me are drenched with history. I find beauty in all my things, most of all in their stories. I love to look around my home and realize how truly blessed I am with what matters most - relationships. In my home I feel at peace, and I feel loved. It is for me what I most wish a home to be - a sanctuary and a refuge.

How do you relate to the things in your home? Do you also have some treasured items?


in this new place

I don't have a single photo to share. In fact, I don't even know whether or not we've unpacked the camera yet, or where it might be. We are successfully living in our new house (renting, that is) in Atlanta. Our neighborhood is great. I can walk to the farmer's market, a shaded playground, a vegan bakery, a cafe, the library and post office, and my best friend's house. I love being in walking distance of pretty much everything!

I am missing my friends in Chattanooga, however. I wish they were here with me, then it would all be perfect. And of course my dear ones from Missouri, as well! Who doesn't want all of their best friends together, with them, all the time?

In the excitement (read: stress) of moving, I have not been writing. Not here, not in my trusty journal. Where is that thing, anyway? I'm still spending some time each day unpacking, and cleaning, and rearranging things until they make sense.

It is strange to be back here. I lived in Georgia for 12 years of my life, then married and moved, and have spent 5 years away. Now that I'm back, with kids, and as a new person myself, who has grown and changed immeasurably in these 5 years, everything is familiar yet it is different. Friends and places that were here when I left are still here, yet they have changed as well over the years. I was invited to a party with some of those old friends and I felt immense anxiety at the prospect of seeing them. There are parts of my life I'd rather leave in the past. However, other old friends are popping up to say hello and I feel incredibly pleased. It is almost like meeting them all over again - people change so much, truly we are changing every minute.

I have also been using this big change of location to spur on other changes. I won't bore you with the details, but I'll just say that our fridge and pantry are healthier than ever. Hopefully as the dust settles, my writing will take on a life of its own again, and I will be curious to see what changes come about in my writing, in this new place.

What changes are you experiencing right now?


step by step

We are moving from this home to a new one in less than a week. I cannot actually believe it, though there are signs all around me that things are changing. The boxes pile up as the refrigerator empties. My house is looking sparser and cleaner than ever.

My mind is racing with to-do lists and the possibilities of a new house, a new city, a new beginning. Times like this morning, when I walked the dog in the early sunlight, with a cup of coffee in hand, taking it step by step, times like that - are truly healing. Letting go of the grabbing and list-making mind, and just being present in the actual moment. Hearing the birds and cicadas, feeling the tug of the dog on the leash, sipping the coffee.

My temper has been easily lost these days. As the stresses of moving mount, and I begin to contemplate leaving my dear friends here, my mind grows fuzzy and my words sharp. I am trying to begin each morning with some mindfulness, so that I might find that quietness, and more easily calm down when disaster (or just loudness, messiness, etc) strikes.

What measures do you take to keep calm when you are feeling anxious?