Saying Goodby to Our Home

We sold our home. I feel weird writing that sentence.  I suppose I should say we are under contract, I feel like no real estate transaction is official until you've signed what feels like 400 papers.  But, at this point we are cleared to close and all the is left is the final walk through.  I need to embrace the fact that this is really happening.  We are moving. Someone else is going to live in our house. Our home. My house.  Our first grown up home. It is hard for me to leave this house.  There are so many reasons why it is time for us to move on.  So many things about our new place that will be so much more comfortable.  Two toilets and an actual closet in our bedroom, for example. But, our little house downtown feels like home to me.  We poured ourselves into this house.  We spent countless hours slowly rehabbing the house.  We did more projects than I can list.  In addition to all the work, this is the only home our boys know.  They spent their first nights in the world here, they learned to walk on our 100 year old floors.  They grew up here. We grew up here.  We became our family. 

When we moved in 2007 our family looked like this.

Untitled In 2014, it has doubled.

IMG_0097 Also, the purchase of this house was one of the last life decisions I got to share with my mom. She passed away a week before closing.  My life looks so different now then it did when my mom was alive.  She missed so much of my transition into becoming a woman. But, I did get to share this house with her.  It has made it all the more hard to leave.  When we scheduled the closing for our house I cried.  I've been in denial.  I may have decorated a little for Halloween.  It wasn't until we scheduled a time and place to sign it over that it hit me.  We are leaving our house. So many emotional connections to this house.   I know it is time.  We are ready.

Here are few little farewell photos. Most the house in already boxed up. It feels so empty now.


So many conversations have a happen on this porch.  Some serious, some silly.
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We all hang out at the kids table.  Jason and I too.  Jason built that little table and chairs and they have got so much use.  One of my favorite spots in the house. 
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This drop cloth hides our closet area, which isn't a closet. Apparently a 100 years ago people didn't have as much crap. 


Alex decided to help me take photos of his room.   Do you know how hard it has been living in a house that has sold with two active boys?  We are constantly reminding them not to damage the house.  Alex started to swing on the door, because little boys do things like this, and Henry called out "don't hurt the house!  We are under contract, we can't break things!" To which we cracked up because it was true and awesome that our 5 year old knows we are "under contract."


The boys wanted posters for their room, which I hate so I made these little canvas for them.  They love them.  Alex actually slept with his Thomas painting a few nights.  Toddlers are weird.
Henry helped paint the background of this big owl painting when he was 18 months old.  The owl was an after thought, because Henry decided the painting was too scary. I should add the only reason I made this big painting for the boys was to hide the breaker box ;).
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520 Walker St NE, Cleveland, TN 37311
And lastly, our one and only bathroom.  I don't think I am going to miss this.  I will however miss my lovely claw foot tub that you can't see in this picture. 

It is hard not to feel emotional all over again looking at these pictures and all the projects.  We built an out building, put up a fence, put in new light fixtures, a new bathroom sink, we painted (and re-painted), we knocked down a wall, closed in a door, built a deck and landscaped (and landscaped again).  We left a mark on our 100 year old house and now it is time to let someone else love it.

We did buy another home (in Cleveland).  Which was an insane process, so insane we could not get our closings together and now we will be homeless for 10 days. All our worldly possessions are in a storage unit. Which Henry referred to as "the place we put all of our crap."  I reminded him that most people call it a storage unit but followed up by saying his explanation might better way to describe it.

Basically October is going to weird month. A month of ending and beginnings. Now, I've got to finish packing . . .


Art and life update

I'm trying to prioritize my life.  And, I am not doing so great at it.  I know it has been quiet over here.  I just haven't been in the mood to over-share on the internet.  I know, weird right?  Going back to work has been great but it has totally shifted my priorities (in a good way).  I feel certain things will be a bit more quiet on the blog the next couple of months.  We are in the middle of a big transition, more on that soon.  I just wanted pop in and share a new painting and some upcoming art fun.

Let's see, where to start. . . .good news, I sold all of the original paintings I had hanging up at Lupi's (a crazy cool local pizza place). The fun thing is that they won't release my paintings to the buyers until I have new ones. So, it forces me (in a good way) to create new works. Things have been hectic and having a deadline has been great for me.

The two on the ends are gone.  Sniff, sniff.  I know I should be happy but I'm always a little sad when something sells.  It is hard to explain. Don't get me wrong, I totally feel crazy honored that people want to own my work.  I think it is because I put so much of myself into my paintings and these two trees held a lot of meaning for me.

Here are some new paintings.


Twilight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  The tree leaves are pages from a bible.  I was feeling a little dark as I was thinking (and over thinking, which I am really good at) about my complex feelings toward religion.  The darkness isn't always bad and the things that seem to be good aren't always pure.  Or something like that :)



I just finished this painting . . . . isn't at Lupi's though.  It will be on display in our library along with some other works starting Friday.Untitled It is Barren Yet Full. It is hard to tell but the background is hymnal pages. IMG_0109 
  IMG_0112 Also, on Thursday night I'll be set painting on the streets of downtown Cleveland on October 2nd from 5-8pm during dine around downtown (you can get more info here if you are local).  I'm super excited about this. I'm just going to be hanging out with my easel. For you local folks, this is a great event! Wonderful way to support and enjoy our expanding downtown businesses and restaurants. I'll be outside Garderners, if you are out and about that night pop by and say hi.

Oh and lastly . . .  Henry and I took an art class at our museum this weekend.  I just have to say it was the best Saturday morning.  Henry loved to paint and I love that we can share that.  Such fun with my Kindergartener.



Farewell Summer

On the first day that feels like fall might almost be here . . . . I am finally posting my summer pictures.  Oops. :)

This was the summer of water. Henry learned to swim. My primary memories of this summer will be playing in the pool with the boys. Watching Henry overcome his fear of water. Sunbathing with the boys at the y pool. It was the very best summer. I come from a long line of water lovers.  I'm from Florida.  My whole family swims. A lot.  Family functions often center around the water.  I spent my summers in a bathing suit.  I was either in the water or on the water pretty much any chance I got. Jason didn't grow up like this.  He just isn't a fan of the water.  Sure he played a little in a pool as a kid but it was nothing like my childhood.  We knew we wanted to boys to learn to swim and I knew that I wanted to cultivate a love of the water in them.  It is hard to explain, but it is important to me.  I know that might sound funny but so many of the memories of my mom center around water.  Initially Henry approached the water with a level of trepidation. Okay, maybe it was more like full blown fear. Last year was the first year he really got in the water and he refused to let his head go under.  Because Henry was nervous I decided to enroll with boys on swim lessons at our YMCA. I never took a swim lesson in my life. My mom taught me to swim and really can't remember a time I couldn't swim. But, with Henry I was hitting a wall I decide to get the help of a professional. Henry was so scared at the beginning of the classes. He begged not to go and informed me would never go under water or swim without his floaty. But, I encouraged him to stay with it and took him to the pool to practice every day. I'm happy to report after a couple weeks this was happening.

Henry has found his love for the water. It fills my heart with joy.

Alex, loves the water so much and has no fear to the point we had to put his floaty back on because I couldn't handle the stress. He tired to drown himself twice. Next year will be Alex's year to master swimming.
Basically we've soaked up a ton of sun kissed fun this summer. Even Jason got swept up in all the fun. I'm pretty sure he swam more this summer than he has in the 10 years we've been married. 

PS. Speaking of sun, we went to Florida this summer too! Here are some family photos. Yes, it was a great summer but I'm ready for fall! 

We even got in a sunny Florida run while we were there.


All moms work

One of the hardest choices a mom has to make is the decision to work outside the home or not. I never intended to be a stay at home mom. It kind of happened accidentally. Going back to work after Henry was born was painful difficult (I wrote about my first day back here). Then, when I found out I was pregnant with Alex (unplanned) it just made sense to stay home. So I did. But, if I were to be honest I've not been truly settled being at home. I love the boys more than life but something always felt a bit off. I know I'm lucky to be home and even more blessed to have the choice to work or stay home. I know there are lots of woman who would love to be at home but can't afford too.  I feel a lot of mom guilt over the fact that I missed working.  I thought for a while selling my art might help balance me. But I realized that art shows and craft shows weren't what I wanted to do. Besides being tons of work, not always profitable and stealing precious weekend and family time they also started to shift how I felt about my art. I like to create for the purpose of creation not because it is marketable. But, even more that my issues with selling art I missed being involved in my community. That was the biggest thing I took away from the Run Now Relay. I missed community engagement and I missed working with non-profits (which is what I did before staying home). After lots of long discussions with Jason, I decided to start looking for a job (although truthfully, it wasn't the first time I did). And, I found one. I just started. After a three and half year lapse I have re-entered the workforce.  I'm working with the service-learning program at our local community college.  It a part-time position with summers off. I don't think I could have asked for a better position to help me return to the working. I still get to pick the boys up from school and paint. If you follow me on instagram or facebook you noticed both the boys started school.  Basically our whole family dynamic has changed. It is a huge change but I feel so much peace about it.  I know right now we are all where we need to be and that my friends is am amazing feeling.

Before I bombard you with pictures of the kids, sorry guys Kindergarten and Preschool are a big deal. I wanted to say that I think all mom's are amazing.  I think as women we struggle in our choices.  If I have learned anything it is to be true to yourself. I spent the better part of the year trying to be a homeschooling momma and guys that just isn't me.  And, that is okay.  If you are privileged enough, follow your heart and find your path. Also, I have some fun stuff lined up in regard to my art too. Some new paintings and such.  Basically, things are golden and I'm trying to enjoy this moment. It is a good feeling to know you are where you are supposed to be.


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Alex can be a little bit a little set in his ways. I was nervous about how he would adjust to school but I am happy to report he LOVES his new school and teacher.  And, he loved this little boat.  His teach has the whole room decorated so cute but this little corner is his absolute favorite. 

PS. Just one more thing . . . . can I just say adjusting to having to have all of us out the door and ready in the morning is a HUGE adjustment. Seriously, whoa. We are working on getting into our new groove but until then we will be eating lots of sandwhiches for dinner :) PPS. Here is a recent family picture, via Henry. If only our dog really could fly.
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