personal

my heart is in Spain

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Some of you may have wondered if/when I was going to return to this blog. I have also wondered that too lately. There’s so many thoughts and ideas that pop into my head, but I never make the time to just sit and write anymore.  For the better part of my life, I would journal each day. It’s like a lost art to me now.

As my intention for this blog has always been to create a forum for self-expression with life, design & creativity, I tend to want to avoid super-personal posts. Well, this is one of those I’ve avoided for awhile now.

You know how every once in awhile you begin to feel like you have it together – that you have a plan formulated, goals to achieve, and a path to follow – and then Life comes in pulls the tablecloth out from under you? Well that happened to me back in January.

I started the new year making a list of goals:

  • Self discovery
  • Slowing down and embracing the moment
  • Living each day fully present
  • Read a book each month
  • Give freely
  • Go to Europe
  • Follow my dreams

It all sounds good, right? It totally is. And I know I’m destined to do each of these things. I just wasn’t prepared for the means to get there.  Let me explain.

On Martin Luther King Day, I got an email from Nate telling me about a work trip he was approached with and to give him a call at work. He never wants to talk on the phone at work. Really he can’t even bring his cell phone into his workplace.  He got news that morning that he could sign up to travel across Europe for his job. For up to 6 months. And oh, by the way, they would like to leave in the next few weeks. Gulp.  I felt like I had instantly gotten sucker-punched. I don’t deal well with change and this wasn’t exactly part of the plan for this year. He told me I had veto power on the decision, but they needed an answer pretty quickly. I asked him what he wanted to do. He said, “I think it’s the trip of a lifetime. I want to go.” And so I said, “Then that’s what I want you to do”.

The thoughts that followed over the next hours and days fell into pretty much every emotion category. Sadness. Excitement. Fear. Anxiety. Worry. Awe. There were moments I’d think: “Wahhhh. What about ME??” Then the next day was like, “Wow, what an amazing opportunity for you! I’m just so happy for you.” Yup. All over the place.

After saying goodbye became a reality, flashbacks of 2009-2010 entered my mind. Straight back to that time when he had just gotten back from his last tour in Iraq. Anyone who knows our story knows about the 2 year time period of us being apart while I was at college at Michigan State and he was in Florida in the Air Force from 2006-2008. And then us finally being in the same spot again and him getting deployed to Iraq in 2009. His re-enlistment was up in 2010 and he wasn’t staying in the military, so all I could think about was how we’d NEVER have to do the long distance thing ever again! Hooray!  Well, HA, the irony. Never say never.

He left four weeks ago today.

I haven’t wanted to disclose that to the world. Really, just my close friends and family know. I guess I didn’t want people to know I was alone. Furthermore, I didn’t want people to feel like they have to do anything out of the ordinary for me. It’s kinda crazy how reserved I’ve become in comparison to the very open person I once was.

I think that’s about to change though. I’m going to make the time to start blogging again. Writing and sharing ideas is something I really do enjoy, so I owe it to myself to do it. I’ll also share the journey with you. That way I won’t feel so alone, right?  Plus you can see all the phenomenal places Nate’s visiting.  And of course all the super cool things I’m doing with my life too ;).

Here’s to a life changing year of personal growth!

xo

 

 

 

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my journey as told through 2 fabric books

It’s Monday. I usually don’t post on Mondays, but I kind of have a story to tell this time.  So here goes….

Over the weekend, I was cleaning out my office and decided it was time to purge.  As you may know, parting with anything sentimental is not an easy task for me. I came across a couple of artifacts that have made it all the way from FL, back to MI, again to FL, and now to TX.  2 beautiful fabric books that I kept from my first design job ever.

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It’s like it was just yesterday. I was 22 and interning for Kim Ederer. She actually believed me when I said I would move to Florida for 12 weeks in the summer to intern. She gave me a chance, and I was so excited. I found a studio to rent in Inlet Beach for that summer in 2007. I remember just how excited I was to go to work everyday. I was like a design sponge – soaking up all the beautiful fabrics and furniture, learning as much as I could about the process. I was blown away by just how much more fast paced it was in comparison to my classes.  And just how poised Kim and Rosanne were as they tackled everything from a freight damaged table to a client presentation. I never wanted my internship to end, and I only hoped I could grow up and be successful like them.

That summer they moved offices, so taking on an intern to clean out and reorganize that massive fabric library was a huge selling point.  As I sifted through hundreds of fabric books, I came across 2 duplicate books. They were absolutely gorgeous. Instead of throwing them away, I kept them. I just thought the patterns and colors were so beautiful. So when my internship ended, I took them back up to Michigan with me.  I showed my design friends my treasured books and told them all about my Florida adventures.

That next summer after graduation, I moved to Florida.  The books came with me.  Finding a design job was not easy. It was 2008 and the recession had just hit. I had $1000 and an air mattress to my name, but more importantly, a will to be successful. I worked in an art gallery, as a waitress, and for a lawyer that year.  From time to time I’d crack open those fabric books and keep the dream alive of landing a job in the interior design field. A year later in 2009, I went into Pizitz Home & Cottage with my resume. They weren’t hiring, but they said they’d keep it on file. About a month later I got a phone call saying they could use some extra help for the summer. I was elated. I put in my 2 weeks notice at the immigration law office and I was on my way.

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Working for Pizitz blew me away. I was surrounded by beautiful things, friendly people, and a gorgeous backdrop for over 2 years. I’d eat my lunches overlooking the ocean.  Seaside was just so perfect and amazing.  It was really too good to be true, although looking back I think I was too young to realize it.  In September of 2011, Nate received a job offer in San Antonio he couldn’t refuse.  We were young, newlywed, and ready for the world.  I was the driving force behind it all.  The economy was so good in Texas, and I figured I could get some great design experience. I envisioned what city life would look like, and it was enticing.  We quickly said goodbye to the beach, packed up our townhouse, and headed to the Lone Star State. It was exciting and scary as hell.

The economy was as good as I imagined.  I found a job within 3 weeks at a crazy busy design firm in San Antonio. I didn’t feel completely settled yet, but I was ready to jump in.  The vibes were different from the beach though. I traded in my flip-flops for black pumps, and my jeans for dress pants.  Although I was stressed out 24/7, I tried to keep a laid back attitude.  It was hard for me when that outlook wasn’t accepted or understood. I remember the designer I worked for literally saying to me, “Aren’t you freaking out??”. Umm yes, I was inside. Being miserable was the norm around there, so if you were happy it must mean you weren’t working hard enough.  I felt like I couldn’t be me. I felt like I couldn’t celebrate design or have a life. I felt like a robot, cranking out work with no emotion. Finally I couldn’t take it anymore. It wasn’t rocket science.  It was interior design.  After 2 years of that crap, I took my life back, realizing I never would want to climb up that company ladder.

Instantly, a huge weight had been lifted. My job search efforts led me to 2 offers.  I decided to take the more unconventional one, working from home and in Austin.  I couldn’t have made a better decision.  Michelle is the most understanding and fun person. She gave me my creativity back, and in a sense, my life. I’ve learned more about design and really myself than I have in recent times. We work hard and we play hard, which has always been my philosophy. Austin is such a creative and inspiring hub, pushing the limits with design. It’s exactly what I needed.

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Working at home has helped rejuvenate me.  Of course if you’re going to work from home, you most definitely need to be organized, or else it doesn’t work out too well.  As I’m attempting to downsize my collection of books, samples, and other stuff, guess what I stumble upon?  Those 2 books. Flipping through those fabrics took me back 8 years. I went back through the journey and relived what has become my story.  I became emotional, but in that moment I didn’t understand why.  I can finally say I’m inspired in the way I as back then. I really didn’t want to part with the books, I cut out some of my favorite fabrics out of them.

Sometimes I wonder if leaving Florida was the right move.  I still feel like my heart is there.  Like maybe it’s the place I’m still meant to be.  But deep down I know there are no mistakes.  Everything happens for a reason. I’ve gained so much knowledge here in Texas. I’ve learned what I want to be like, and what I don’t want to be like in my career.  Some of our friends living in Florida seem to think we’ll end up there again one day.  Who knows. Maybe we will.  But what I do know is that I’m just so eternally grateful to be part of the career field I’m in.  I’m happy I stuck with it.  I’ve been a good mixture of lucky and blessed in my life, sharing it all with some great people along the way.  I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and look forward to where the future will take me.

there are no mistakes only opportunities.  - tina fey

I’d like to thank the Academy…

I’ve won an award! No it’s not an Oscar, but it’s pretty cool.  I’ve been awarded the Liebster Award by Jess @ Eclectic Medicine and Sara @ Sara Davies.  In acceptance, I must answer a fun little 11 question survey and nominate 11 other up-and-coming blogs.

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1>   Who or what is your inspiration?

When it comes to design, I find inspiration in nature, art, and architecture,  but others reading others stories of others good deeds and strength through hardship is what gets me motivated.

 

2>   What is your absolute favorite movie and why?

Can’t pick just one! DodgeBall, Legally Blonde, or the Notebook

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3>  What book has changed the way you think?

I recently read Unlimited by Jillian Michaels. It was very uplifting, and helps you to work toward your goals!

 

4>   What is the best advice you’ve received/found?

Always be yourself.  Follow your heart.  Don’t eat 3 hours before you go to bed.  And don’t ever go to bed mad.

 

5>   What are your main goals in life? For the Blog?

My main goal would be to live a life I’m proud of, and make a difference in others lives.  We’re given one chance at life, and everyday is a new opportunity.  I want to use interior design as a tool to make other people’s lives easier and more beautiful.  For the blog, I would like to collaborate with others to make it more interactive.  I would like it to become a place where people can share their ideas and opinions too.

 

6>   If you could change one thing about the world today, what would it be?

Our reliance on technology.  The key to life is balance.  When we abuse technology, I feel it can create laziness and social isolation.  Don’t get me wrong, technology is great.  I mean I am typing this to you because of it, and there are many great relationships and ideas that blossom from it.   We need to know when (and teach our kids when) to draw the line –  to put down our phones and computers, go outside, engage in something that is physically or mentally active, and enjoy person to person contact.

 

7>   Do you have any pets?

Yes. One pup. Her name is Maci Marie Muggles. She is a Blue Heeler mix and my bff.

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8>  Favorite cocktail recipe?

Probably either my go to Margarita recipe ,or my wedding cocktail:  Strawberry Watermelon Mojito

 

9>  What is the best and worst thing about being a blogger?

The best:  meeting cool people, sharing ideas, gaining insight, being inspired

The worst: trying to find the time to post

 

10>  If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

Europe (Italy, Greece, France, Turkey),  Morocco, or the Maldives

 

11>  What is your favorite season?

Summer! Hands down.

 

 

Check out some of my favorite blogs below that I’m nominating:

Decorenvy

Life In Classics

Mountain Home Decor

Lor Out Loud

Regular New

Larkspur

Design Joy

Revelation Decor

346 Living

Tiffany Lane Handmade

Designed Equilibrium

 

If you’ve been nominated, answer the 11 questions below about yourself.  Don’t forget to tag me in the post so I can read your answers :). Then nominate 11 of your favorite new/emerging blogs by leaving a comment on their blog, and come up with a set of questions for them to answer. (If you don’t want to nominate others, then at least do the survey and post it because I’m sure others think you are just as fabulous as I do and would love to see the answers 🙂 )

1> Why did you start blogging?

2> Name 3 words to describe you.

3> How do you keep your creativity alive?

4> Who is your favorite band/artist?

5>  When did you realize what you wanted to do with your life? Is it still evolving?

6> Who is your hero?

7> Vanilla or Chocolate?

8>  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

9>  If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?

10> Ever met any celebrities? Who would you love to meet?

11> What is the best piece of advice you could give to someone who wants to follow in your career path?

 

Thanks again to Jess & Sara for reaching out to me and recognizing my blog!! xo. Happy Monday!!