August 12, 2014

Beginnings



Today the house is quiet. It is overcast and cool so it still feels like it is not quite daytime. The windows are open, the neighborhood peaceful. The children are back at school and even the birds seem more quiet than usual. The dishwasher hums in the background as I clean up, light some candles.


There is nobody here to leave their milk glass on the breakfast bar or to gently remind to push their chair in. There is just me alone with my thoughts and dreams for this next year. Just me occasionally talking to the cats, asking the dog a question. It is at once heavenly and not. I love quiet, yet I long to hear Emma upstairs humming.


8th grade today. A beginning that feels like an ending too. I didn't cry this morning but if I think about it too much I will. I'm right there. My wish for her is to continue to remain true to who she is. I hope that she can avoid the teen girl drama and not just survive this year, but thrive.


Just like that the summer has slipped through our fingers and it is back to the regular routine. Maybe with a few changes. I am in the midst of ridding my life of all unnecessary and unbeautiful things. My computer says that's not a word but I know it should be.


I'm entering a new season, not just of the year, but of my life. It is one that requires peace and as few obligations as possible, an empty calendar. Time to think. One that I hope is filled with creativity and beauty, small moments, spontaneity and life. I have things I want to do and learn this year, I have given myself homework.


I look around me and don't want the beauty of my life to be blocked by clutter, stress or negativity. There is joy to be found everywhere. We need only look. It's ours for the taking.


24 comments:

  1. I absolutely love your cute little shelf unit in the last picture I have wanted something like that myself for such a long time, it's gorgeous :-)

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  2. Lovely post and a beautiful home you have. I hope the upcoming year will be just as you wish for, I am longing for a similar low key lifestyle but with four kiddos under the age 11 I am expecting a full calendar once school starts again.
    Enjoy you day,
    Birgitta xx

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  3. I love this...thank you for the inspiration.

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  4. Jen, you seem to be in my head right now. Great minds think alike. I'm looking forward to achieving this goal of a more low key life. Here's to a less is more beginning. : )

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  5. As a retired middle school teacher, I wish Emma luck with 8th grade. As my son (who is 6 years older) told his sister when she called him to cry about a mean friend (who now 21 years later is a good friend) hurting her feelings, "Middle School Sucks!".

    Kirby of Kirb Appeal wrote this post about mean girls - http://www.kirbycarespodi.com/2012/09/the-hierarchy-of-girls.html

    I was quite close with many students at my middle school - my classroom was the "safe haven" for every type of social group before school, at lunch and nutrition. And, what little I see of Emma, she seems to be a girl with her head on her shoulders, interests that keep her busy, and of course loving parents.

    She is going to be just fine if she just continues being Emma.

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  6. Your home looks so warm and inviting! I love the candles by your door. I am a candle lover and there's nothing to make a home feel cozier then the great candle with a great scent. I also love your numbered shelves. Enjoy your day! As a mother of 3 girls who had to endure their share of mean girls....who knows what tomorrow will bring, so Enjoy today while you can!

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  7. I always love reading your posts Jen ~ written from the heart ♥
    wishing you a day of SIMPLE joys xo

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  8. I really love this post and i think your daughter is going to have a great year and probably find more interesting activities to be a part of, that is such a beautiful picture of you and her :) I hope this year includes a lot of creativity, i love the things you make. Enjoy the bella grace magazine, it's really special and comes at a time when i think a lot of people need it, you know, to enjoy peaceful simple things :)

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  9. Hi Jen- I really appreciate this post. I'm feeling a lot like you are right now, minus the quiet house since my boys still have three weeks until school starts here. But I am already feeling it- both yearning for the quiet house and time to take back up with the creating I had to put on hold, and at the same time stunned that my Oldest will start high school and then turn 15 and knowing we are right on the edge of 'never turning back', so to speak.

    I know you've already been down that road with your oldest daughter and I would imagine having already gone down that road, it is unnerving to be facing it again. Different girls, of course, but still . . . letting go and changing.

    I hope the peace and simplicity you are searching for finds a place in your heart. I hope it does in mine, too. :)

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  10. Jenn, beautifully mellow & delicious post!
    Today in S.B. its rainy and most would say dreary, but to me it is 100% a day to reflect and ponder life and the approaching season of Autumn! Reading your post uplifted me and reminded me of many thoughts in my own mind. One month ago my husband who has lived with M.S for the past 14 years had a double stroke, then we found out he had a terrible blood infection as well. My mind and life became full of medical professional, medical procedures and countless prayers. My life as I had knew it was going to dramatically change as the care my husband would now be needing would be incredibly more. Could I cope? Could I do this? But upon hours of waiting for test results, procedures and the like I knew in my heart I could do this. Sure I know days will sometimes be long, sometimes I may want to linger amongst the flowers outside our windows and shed a tear too. However, with this sadness strangely came a change in me to simplify life and my home more before he comes home. Honestly with these new health issues and his disease I don't know how many years we have but the need to declutter and enjoy the simplicity of a more organized home and life is very refreshing especially as Autumn approaches in Northern Indiana. Your post today reminded e how much blog writers continue to up-lift me and inspire me and for that Jenn A huge thank you today for always being you! Love,Lori Kolecki

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  11. We are definitely on the same journey my friend. Room by room I am editing my life of what is not necessary or beautiful. Anything that seems to clutter both my surroundings and my mind. I have become quite ruthless in what I discard and it feels like tiny weights are being lifted off me. I quite like the feeling immensely. Glad to feel you in such a beautiful place. Your little one (for she will always be your little one) seems to be secure it who she is and that is a lovely tribute to her strong, confident and content mama. Enjoy this season, too. As you know it will be gone in the blink of an eye.

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  12. What a beautiful post Jen. I am wishing for you, all of your desires.

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  13. First of all, I have to say how much I love your posts. Your photos and writing are beautiful. I read this post three times, nodding my head all the while! I left my outside-the-home job almost 2 years ago and I had all these ideas and ambitions and goals...and I haven't done or met most of them. I feel like a lot of my days are wiled away doing so many ordinary things...cleaning, laundry, gardening, making dinner, cleaning up again, errands. I've also been going to physical therapy two days/week for 7 months straight, so that takes up a lot of time as well! And then I have a weekly yoga class. OK, so all that stuff makes up "life", I know that. But I need to make more time in my life for ME. Two things I really want to focus on are exercise and creating (whether that be working on a decorating project, an art project, or writing poetry). A lot of my friends are asking me for dates for get-togethers, too. While I love my friends and I'm certainly happy and blessed that they're in my life, sometimes all these get-togethers feel like obligations, too. Are you an introvert? I am. Perhaps that's why I'm also craving more alone time. If you have any more words of wisdom or advice on how to find more time for yourself, let us know! PS - your Emma is a darling girl and looks so much like you. PPS - love the vignette on top of the dresser in the first photo; the cubby in the last photo, and the curtains in the last photo as well!

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  14. Lovely. And oh so true. Life is ever evolving and changing. I'm at the point where I don't do things for the sake of doing them. I much prefer staying home to running about here and there, buying this and that. I am creating with what I have on hand. Have enjoyed all the free time this summer, but sadly have to return to work at school on Sunday. It's become a toxic environment and since I do not enjoy drama or negativity, I seriously think this will be my last year. My oldest starts his second year at college on the 25th. My youngest starts 11th grade on the 31st. Time marches on. Like Melanie, I want to spend my days doing the ordinary things of life. :) Best wishes, Tammy

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  15. Thank you for this post. I,too, am in a place where I know that while my girl, Laura, is having a whole new world and life open up to her,but it saddens me as it signals 'last times'. Laura is the youngest of 5 girls, ranging from 35 to 23. She is the last and it seems sometimes like the days I have left with her go by very quick. I should still be rocking her in my arms, but in my heart, I always will be. She is a bright, smart and determined young lady and I smile every time I look at her. Her sense of humor is amazing and yet, she can become so very serious, very adult. Cherish the days you have with yours, as they fly the nest before you can blink.
    Have a wonderful day.
    Deb

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  16. I, too, am in the same place as you when it comes to clearing out all unnecessary and "unbeautiful" things. We've been contemplating a move and I want to have as little as possible to have to pack up. Almost 14 years of "stuff" has accrued in our home. Little by little, bag by bag, it's going. Such a good feeling. : )

    ~ Wendy
    http://Crickleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  17. Love your post. I so enjoy reading your blog I always feel so calm and refreshed after a visit. Today two of mine went back to school boy who I missed them today! There were days over the summer I longed for some peace but today when I had it I wanted the summer back. On to a new season and finding the blessings and joy in it.

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  18. What a gorgeous home! I'll be visiting this blog for sure.
    Luxurious Rug Design for your Home

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  19. Feeling so much like lightening the load here to. We have been packing things up as we get ready to renovate. I am enjoying the sparse stillness of the rooms. There may be a very big yard sale following the reno and moving things back in. Patty/NS

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  20. ahh, jen... i wish i was hanging out at your house this afternoon... i feel like i'm in chaotic mode over here... not quite sure where to begin... everywhere that i look, there's something that needs done... by me... our schools don't start back until September 2nd... i too, will miss the girls once they're back, but am also looking forward to a bit of routine in our lives... and i so hear you on the de-cluttering... i'm in a position to start doing the same... loved your words and your photos! enjoy your day, friend!

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  21. I hope your girl has a wonderful school year. Embrace this change and enjoy what it has to offer. When I became an empty nester it wasn't a sad time, but a time for me again. I am still so close to my girls, but the girl I used to be is back. And I love her! :) Kit

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  22. i just adore the picture of you and Emma. :) and the peek it gives of your garden. i too am working to simplify and beautify…easier said than done. but i'm going to try to pare down a lot this fall!

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  23. how lovely ! its amazing when we declutter the beauty we find surrounding us. Have you thought about pet health insurance for those endless vet bills. We used to carry a policy that only cost $13 a month and it covered tons and saved us thousands.

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