porches + pillowfights | home sweet home

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Here we are. Day 365. It’s already been a complete revolution around the sun living in our new home in The Peach State! What a fun and full year it’s been. We feel lucky to have had this house find us at just the right time.

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Here’s a little “secret”…moving is not for the faint of heart. There were a lot of tough moments in this process that officially began in the days leading up to December 28, 2016 when we “started packing” just a couple months after welcoming our second baby girl + then, eventually stuffing the rest of it into a uhaul as quickly as possible the day before we left town (largely in part to my two brothers- yikes what a day that was- so sorry guys, we owe you both! Thanks forever for your help).

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I recall that day well; I was nursing a two month old while the only home our family had ever known was gradually being packed up around us. Don’t feel sorry, it was just… a momentous occasion + I may never forget the wide range (post-partum) feelings I had that day. I won’t be in a rush to do it again, but it was an opportunity we just could not turn down. This packing up of our first nest was THE moment Ryan + I had anticipated since getting married: the moment one of our careers took off. Early on there were a few avenues we would daydream down while living our “busy” newlywed life- ha! If those young kids could see us now!

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We moved to Georgia just shy of the coming new year- 2017- I was teeming with excitement + hope but the cold I was battling since our trip to North Carolina just before Christmas that year really began to cripple my spirits as it persisted into the start of what was supposed to be our fresh, new year! When I look back at the five months we lived in our transient rental home, it still feels like a full on twelve months. There were so many ups + downs + some of the most difficult times of my life. No one tells you moving can actually be downright messy + very much “un-pretty”. Still, everything we have been through has made this first year in our first home with our family of five all the more sweet! I want to be sure to often shed light on reality from our perspective here on the porch; the pretty pictures all have their price just as life is not perfect nor is it meant to be!

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Looking back now, as I sit here typing, I only wish I had given myself and my family more grace. That was a wild season of life + though it was tough + uncomfortable in a number of ways, in many ways it continues to be a poignant blessing in disguise. I grew immensely as a person, a mother and a wife during those long, though few months. The brain after baby is a mess, right?!

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We had some pure moments + simply beautiful memories in the-rental-house-that-could. It was a far cry from comfortable; an open floor plan inside, a contemporary (70s) outside + down one of the steepest driveways any of us had seen this side of the mountains.

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Here’s the thing, this otherwise dilapidated, funny looking house we called home sat on likely one of the most b e a u t i f u l lots in the area, coupled with the nightly showing of fireflies, + wildlife.  It was because of the humbled + at times vulnerable state we were in, that this place, this new start disguised as an ugly, less than satisfactory start retuned our hearts to nature + in turn, to God all while being a short drive from downtown Atlanta.

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We entertained + managed to see the potential of living longterm in a home that otherwise just wasn’t right for us, + I think it was largely in part to riding this high of moving to a new state.  Despite a few circumstances, it was a new beginning + long overdue in our minds. We were ecstatic to be right where we were with our whole lives ahead. I appreciate SO many everyday things more because of the time I spent renting. I am blessed by my husband who had the forethought to rent instead of jumping into a home that was all wrong for us permanently.

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After taking such a twisted + turn-heavy road to where we are today, every detail of how we got here and where we are now, just means more. The flowers that surround our mailbox are a lush star jasmine vine + this past spring was the first time we saw it in full bloom. Yellow jasmine is the state flower of South Carolina, but this white, fragrant jasmine is absolutely everywhere in Charleston where we moved from + quite literally fills the streets with an undeniable scent of honey + lemon + well, it’s the smell of home. There’s even a mass of it nearby my favorite beach access there so the nostalgia is maybe the most I have for any flowering plant.

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Something so small, you may say, but it’s not. A woman I once worked with introduced me to something called “Godwinks”– I love this notion! It’s the idea that when something seems a coincidence, it is actually God winking at you- like, “I see you!”. This jasmine is just one of a handful of ways that God continues to “wink” at us + why we have felt at home here since we first came to walk through. I shake my head but I smile, because I know it wasn’t by accident + for that, I have the courage to look back on the past year + a half + own it as part of my own as well as my family’s journey. Who knows what is next in God’s play book, all I know is we have been called to be stewards of these beautiful gifts + we are committed to sharing this “present” with everyone.

Yesterday is history,
Tomorrow’s a mystery,
Today is a gift,
That’s why they call it the present!”

— dad

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