What's Up

I can barely remember this past week...  We moved into our new house a week ago. 

We're still living on the upper floor because the rest of the house has been gutted, which is actually working out just fine.  Most of our things are packed up & in the garage...  We labeled things as best we could & had a lot of help from our family, but some things have still just ended up "missing."  Right as we were moving into our house, a huge storm hit and the movers got our stuff under cover as quickly as possible so "organization" sort of hit the fan.  We're slowly climbing through the garage in search of some really important (A.K.A.  "work") things.  Dave's whacked his (bald- completely exposed) head on the garage rafters mulitple times during his searches.  :(

Fall is hitting (I loooooove Fall!!!) and it's time to switch over our wardrobes but most of our stuff is buried in a POD in our driveway.  We've had people (on a couple of different instances) walk up to our house & ask if we were having a garage sale!!!  My grandmother was here one day & told the woman asking, "No, it's just junky."  (Thanks Grandmother! ;)

We had a new nanny start last week & it didn't work out so we're on the hunt again.  I've realized I can pretty much deal with stress calmly in any situation- except when it comes to my kids.  When I'm worried about them & who I'm leaving them with, I am not okay. I may not freak out & show it, but inside I pretty much just want to give up & quit everything & just be with them.  This past week, we watched as the new nanny we hired (very sweet, I think?)  do things over & over that just didn't sit right with us.  As the week went on, I realized we'd completely lost trust in her & that it wasn't going to work out.  I'm swamped with deadlines at work & having to constantly check in on the kids &and worry about them being okay or not didn't work out so well.  SO, she's out and now we're on the hunt for Mary Poppins again!  For now, we're trying to make it work. 

We handed the keys over to our old house this weekend (tear!) and getting the holes in the walls patched up & getting all of our things out was so intense that I really don't think I ever want to move again.  (Please remind me of this next time.)  There's just SO. MUCH.  STUFF.  I broke multiple vaccuums & Dave was out until 2 AM getting the house ready Friday night for the Saturday morning walk-through.   We did so much of it with our kids with us because we were afraid to leave them with the nanny, which was one of the hardest parts.  You just can't get as much done holding a 3-month old.

{Bye bye sweet home!!  We loved  you!!}
...And it's onward march!

{It's even more contemporary than our last home, which I'm really excited about!! It's not the home I ever imagined myself living in but I looooove it & can't wait to make it "us"!!}

So... for a very long time, this house is it.  We're done.

Which brings me to the overall conclusion that I want this house to be just right.  Just right to raise our family in.  I want it to flow & work well on a daily basis & then be able to convert easily into party space for gatherings.  At around 2400 square feet, we need to make the most out of it.  I want the materials to feel good & to be perfect for the vibe I'm after.  I'm willing to wait for the right things and I don't want to rush anything.  (Although I can't wait to have a kitchen again!!  And a washing machine too for that matter!! ;) 

{The back view}

The messiest things need to happen first and so one of those "messy" to-dos is sanding down the pine beams on our living room ceiling...  They currently have a dark brown stain on them that hides the old pine beams.  I really want to be able to see & appreciate the wood iteself, so the team from CarrMichael Construction is hard at work, hand-sanding the dark stain off the wood & hand-scraping and wire brushing the wood to give it a rough-hewn look. 

{above, beams before}

{You can see in the pic above that they're getting lighter!!}
Time to start my day but I'll be sure to post progress pics & show you some of my inspiration photos!!  Finegrs crossed for us in the hunt for Mary Poppins!!

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.


Paige McLaughlin said...

Lauren, AWESOME! Because of my relationship with the new house, it's sad and exciting all at once to see the progression!! I am, once again, thoroughly impressed with your drive, your vision and your energy. Dave, too! Having been the one to sell the more dated features of this house, I CAN'T WAIT to see what it all morphs into. Let's touch base soon!

barbara@hodge:podge said...

Wow, you have a lot on your plate! Moving is incredibly stressful, I have done it 6 times! The most stressful was moving from Canada to Virginia - you don't realize how different things are there. Then when we got used to life in NoVa we were transferred back to Canada! I am hoping we stay put for a while now.
Good luck with renos and the nanny search. Hoping you find someone that makes sure you don't have to worry!

A Lifestyle Thing said...


LOVE your post and boy, does it ever resonate with me at this moment. We just bought a new/old fixer upper house and it's stretched us thin on a lotta levels! I just got the babies settled a few weeks ago w/childcare and am finally settling into a work routine, but the house transition is HUGE and ongoing!!! Hope you can find that Ms Poppins this week! And your new home looks gorgeous!!

All the best!

KellyMellyBoBellyBananaFanna said...

ugh, i have the same reservations about leaving our little one with anyone for even a few minutes! it's harder than i thought it would be to find good help, you know?

Kare said...

I love the new house and cannot wait to see what you do with it!! I'm sure it's going to be amazing. We moved three years ago and STILL have a ways to go on decorating to our taste. Good luck getting thru the boxes and most importantly, with finding Mary Poppins. We were lucky, my mom and my boys godmom took turns watching them when I worked...and now I'm watching my own godson! I hope you find her soon, as you say, having that peace of mind is vital to your productivity.



Catherine said...

How bad is it that, for a second, I seriously considered quitting my traditional writing/editing job to nanny your kids, just so I could be a bit closer to your design genius? Pretty bad, I know. Best of luck finding your Mary Poppins!

One bolt short of a toolbox said...

The new house looks amazing! I can't wait to see it progress!

Jan @ Door251

Kristy @ I Design Love said...

Cannot wait to see what you do with your home! Hopefully you find your Mary Poppins :)

Amanda @ willful/joyful said...

I'm thrilled to see exterior photos of your new home! We moved into a very similar 1980's "contemporary" home 2 years ago and have a had hard time knowing what to even call the style. And finding a blogger renovating a similar home was a total wash until now! I'm excited to see what you do with it.

Also, I totally get the life upending that a new baby, new house, and uncomfortable childcare can cause. I've had each at different times and just the thought of having them all at once ties me up in knots. Internet hug!

Almamira said...

Lauren, I think I am as sad as you regarding the old house. What an amazing job you did with it. I am impatiently waiting to see what you do next. Thinking Mary Poppins!

simply seleta said...

Oh Lauren, I feel your pain...we've been there several times! Finding a caring, responsible helper for your children is so so hard...for that very reason we've been without any help for several years. Not easy!

You're doing such a great job so far, just relax as much as you can during your few and far between breaks and take your time on your projects. Just think, if your life were a long timeline, this period is a little blip on the line. Soak up your babies, and pace yourself with work. You're so talented, your clients (who are also mommies) will understand : )

It's going to be gorgeous!! LOVE all the LAND, your boys will have a blast!

Acquired Objects said...

It looks like you're going to have so much fun remodeling your home. I knew how extremely messy it is and with three little ones not easy but you'll get through it. I hope for your sake you find the perfect nanny quickly! Deep breath and carry on and if that doesn't work alcohol does....;)


Vel Criste said...

wow, your new home has a beautiful yard! And the home itself is beautiful in a very rustic/modern kinda way. Can't wait to see it evolve under your magic touch!

Unknown said...

Really looking forward to seeing your renovations! My husband and I live in a 1972 townhouse that is very contemporary. I've tried to respect that era while also merging our own styles so I'm really excited to see how your renos go! Best of luck, and best of luck in finding a permanent nanny. :)

Anonymous said...

Reading this made me feel better since we're about to put our house on the market and look for a fixer-upper. Yikes! It's also definitely harder to deal when you have small children. Keep going, you'll get there.

dervla kelly said...

best of luck in the search, i can imagine how difficult that is but i feel certain you'll find someone you can trust. Look at that giant back garden - drooling over it!

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- I love the amazing yard you have in the new house - three boys will have lots of room to roam!

When we had our city house, I never knew if we would move or stay put. After baby #3, we did move and I have the same sentiment - so hard with kids in tow that I don't want to do move again! It's so hard.

You have a great talent for bringing your sense of totally chic and comfortable style to spaces. I was in awe how your old house had about the same floor plan and age as mine, and in three years yours your home was looking totally fantastic - paint, layouts, yardwork, little tweaks here and there. Beautiful on a really realistic budget, too.

The architecture training in me had to address the floor plan of my house first so we have a construction project finishing up and I hope to paint, layout and tweak soon. Three years gone by and no pictures on the walls...

So I'm really interested to see some construction going on at your new house - windows, walls moved, etc... Sometimes those little changes in plans and elevations can make such a big difference. (Perhaps you had some construction ideas for that first home, but weren't sure it was a forever home and couldn't justify the expense?)

I'm really excited to see what you will do with this new home!


Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- Your post today has me thinking a lot... So I'm commenting twice!

Would you someday talk about how you help your clients if they have "dated" architecture determine how to spend their budget - when do you feel a contractor needs to come in and "adjust" the floor plan and elevations before you start? And when do you feel it's best to not spend a budget on working around those issues with clever design work.

Construction is such a big expense and you can't take it with you if you move - does a lot have to do with how long someone thinks they'll stay in a house?


Boo Hazard said...

I can't wait to see what you do with the house! It'll look gorgeous. btw did you see this article?http://gardenandgun.com/gallery/photos-cabin-fever

reminds me of your style a little bit - like if you owned a minimalist cabin ;) -Boo

Anonymous said...

What a yard! It's gorgeous!

Jaime said...

Hey! My mom clipped out an article she found featuring you from Madison Magazine. So typical "my mom" but I was DELIGHTED to find your blog and see your AMAZING designs! I am a JMU grad as well ('03) and also have three youngin's. We live in Arlington. Anyway, I know I am a random, but just wanted to say hi and tell you how much I love your design savvy! :)

Becca said...

Just found your blog through a link on Little Green Notebook and am so inspired by this HUGE project you're undertaking. Your home is going to be amazing and totally unique. I know those crazy days of settling in--we had some recently when we moved to Sicily--but the end result is so worth it!

Carla Aston said...

Congratulations again on your new home! Love the exterior shots... Excited to see the finished design!

Lumen Drops said...

Lauren, love the lighter beams. You are very fortunate to be able to tackle so much early on. Know it will all be stunning because you have an eye for such.

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Hello Lauren,

Hope you are all doing well with the construction. I was just checking in to see how things are coming.

Take care of yourself and your beautiful family.


kickmoko said...

That would style house with a crystal is stunning! It is really awesome and I liked it!