This post has been a long time coming and don’t know what direction it will lead – so bear with me. I’ll let the feelings / thoughts flow unedited. This could be long or short. We’ll see.
I’ve made the choice to share this life-changing update because this is a personal(ish) blog. My blog. A lot of thought and care has gone into this post becoming a live piece of reading material. Countless drafts in my mind have been prepared and agonized over. The internet is sometimes (maybe all the time) a big, scary place and you never know where your writing will end up. I also care deeply about everyone involved – most importantly my children – so sharing on a smaller scale feels better to me. But ultimately, sharing and opening up is the right thing FOR ME to do FOR YOU guys. Just so you have an understanding of what I’m going through, up against, what might be keeping me up at night, why maybe I have seemed distant…or why you may have noticed an uptick in sponsored content.
( Fall / Winter in Little Rock )
This blog is the heart of this business after all…truly where the dream began. This blog’s roots were set down in Little Rock, Arkansas – the city that surprisingly stole my heart and captured me so deeply that I didn’t want to move back to the city that has always owned my heart…San Francisco. (Read my goodbye to LR post here)
Anyway, I started writing after the birth of our 3rd child…never in my wildest dreams thinking it would lead to where we are today. Never could have imagined that writing and sharing about home organization / home improvement could turn into literal countless opportunities. A keynote speaker? Published and quoted as a pro in national magazines? Hundreds of client spaces in my portfolio? A thriving Instagram community with more than 160k followers? Now a Field Editor with Better Homes & Gardens? It’s surreal and count my blessings every day.
Seriously. Every. Day.
In the last 8+ years I haven’t shared anything too deep or personal. I made a choice to keep the personal side a little more vague. After all, the other 4 people living with me didn’t sign up to have their life broadcast live to the internet. I have been respectful of that and will continue doing so. But the fact is, as I mentioned, there is a personal side to this blog. A blog wouldn’t really exist without “connection”. In order for you to connect with me you need to know and hear more of my story. More of the day to day – the ins and outs – the good and the ugly.
You guys figured out where I live (some have even walked past my house and e-mailed me to confirm what they saw – haha!), what I do for a living, that I have 3 children and I’ve shared home improvements / organizing projects from within my 4 walls – not just those of clients.
As you guys know, my writing is more conversational and I tend to fold in personal things. Mostly self-depricating or silly / funny stories because I can be a klutz, love to laugh and have a great time. I’ve been holding back because I haven’t shared this news. Sharing this will also allow me to be more open with my writing – more free-spirited and fun as I used to write.
There is a dedicated readership here and on the social platforms. It’s important that I let you in.
I need to be brave and vulnerable.
Lately, I’ve been walking / hiking with women friends and each one has told me I am far too private. That I need to open up to find support in these friendships. To be more vulnerable. That I’m the strongest woman they know – a survivor…an incredible small business owner…a cheerleader of other women hoping to start a business…a dedicated mother and friend. I appear to have it all together and never let balls drop. I’m the person people go to if you want to “get it done”. But unless I can expose my weaknesses, how will I be able to connect with these women / friendships on a deeper level?
If I’m being totally honest, I’ve been very down on myself. So down that anyone who has tried to compliment me has heard a sharp “no, not me!” response. I’ve reached some of the lowest lows during this process. I have a hard time believing anything positive about myself. Have a hard time believing this is my life. A hard time believing anyone could or ever will love me. Me. Me at the core. Love what I love. Love my kids. Love my family and their issues. Love my friends – who go all the way back to before I could even walk. Or understand what I do for people / families. Understand my mission in life. Understand the impact we make for families. Understand my love of not owning a lot of shoes and clothing or the fact I wear the same outfit or version of 7 days a week. Share affection for tools.
And more. A lot more.
Although I haven’t shared a lot personally on a deeper level over these last 8 years, I have appreciated and loved having YOUR support. And you’re not dumb…you have all sensed something is up with me personally. You’ve sent e-mails to check in. You’ve read between the lines. As much as I want to draw a hard line between my business and personal life, the fact is I’ve welcomed you into my life and owe you a cracked door into what is happening.
Also, this could very well be the best place for me to continue sharing experiences and feelings as this process continues…as I navigate the path ahead.
Anyway….I’m sure you’re all on the edge of your seat now with that whole intro – haha!
I am divorced.
There – I said it.
I said it.
My marriage fell apart and ended.
A while ago.
Can I share the specifics of why? No. Out of respect to him, I won’t get into any of that and honestly, don’t think rehashing in here or anywhere (unless with close friends, family and a therapist) is a good idea.
Can I share the specifics of when? Not sure how important that is…but it’s been a long time. Years.
What I will be sharing moving forward is my own personal experiences with divorce. There is a dark, ugly, scary, frightening side to this experience and I’m feeling all of it. It’s raw and awful. The bags under my eyes are from countless nights laying awake. On the flip side, I have also experienced how great it is to take the high road, stay positive and surround myself with the most incredible support system. I have very special people in my life – new and old. They are amazing and I’m grateful. And a few of them will be seen around this place soon! Can’t wait to share them and make them a part of your lives as well. The gym has been my therapy – and may end up being my therapist for a while until I sort out exactly how I’ll pay for a real therapist. Ha!
I am happy to share in here. From my perspective. If I can help another woman navigate the path or know she isn’t alone – I can at least do that much.
I’m not going to talk about lawyers, mediators, costs involved, throw mud, point fingers…again = high road. But I will now be able to say from time to time what is happening and you’ll know. You will understand what may be happening behind the scenes.
You also know just how much this house means to me. For 5+ years I have poured MYSELF into small and big updates. I left Little Rock kicking and screaming (basically) so I sorta poured those fucked up emotions into this house. I wanted to make it great for the kids. They didn’t want to leave LR either…..so, can you blame me? The fact I chose a home that is as isolated as it is – you can’t see it from the main street, there’s a ton of privacy, it was a fixer-upper, etc…Hi!….it was about them and me and not ever wanting to leave the south.
You’ve seen a lot of those changes – even though lately most of my work has been dedicated to client’s homes. Home improvement is a huge passion and outlet for me. I come to life when I have something to work on and update. Something to make more efficient, useful, loved, treasured.
Our homes are where it all happens. And my next house WILL BE full of ALL things LOVE and TREASURE.
Sadly, chances are high I will need to sell this little gem and move on to a new chapter. It’s sad and scary … and never imagined the dreams and plans I had for this house might not ever happen. But it’s appearing so. I’m really very sad about it. I love this house deeply. I’ve loved every house deeply…but this one is special. And the kids love it too. Somehow, no matter how tiny the kitchen, my family insists on spending every holiday here. All 25-30 of us cramped into this tiny kitchen space…but we make it work and the memories made here will live with me forever.
And no one can take that from me. No one. No. One.
Those images are just a tip of the nailhead into the updates completed here – can’t wait to dig in and pull up a HUGE before / after post when this sweet home goes on the market.
This home is going to make a family very happy … and I can’t wait to meet them and watch them make their dreams a reality.
A home is what and WHERE you make it. So while I may not end up living here with the kids, there’s something very special out there for us. I can feel it! May not feel it as much on those down days, but it always bubbles back to the surface once I’ve snapped out of it.
Thank you for sticking with me during the quiet, gone-dark phase of blogging. Things are changing. Sam is back. And I can’t wait to share more.
And thank you for your patience with the uptick in sponsored content. I’ve had to supplement my income a bit…and not to say these partnerships aren’t amazing – they are! And most importantly…pretty sure you guys know this by now…I am SOOOO picky about who I partner with. I am approached daily and only choose companies to work with that are in line with this blog, its mission, you guys and it has to be natural, real and all the authentic things. So while from time to time you’ll see great sponsored content, you’ll continue to see client spaces and hear more about my journey ahead.
Let’s see where we go from here…
Thank you for letting me open up and share with you.