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The past couple of weeks have been very busy, stressful, and overall exhausting. But thinking of spending my weekend here with my family immediately lowers my blood pressure. We moved into this house Spring 2001, married three years later, January 2009 marked the birth of Emerson and the completion of a major renovation confirming that this is not a starter house, this is our life home.

Last night Karl grilled steaks; I sat on a bench at the foot of the deck stairs outside those double doors and looked up into this living room all lit up and thought, THIS is my dream home.  The old couches that sag and creak, the mismatched wood furniture decorated with nicks and some crayon lines, the bookcases jammed full with no rhyme, reason, or color coordination.  Every square foot represents the three of us (actually four, can't forget our dog Cindy!), and every square foot represents love.

Saturday mornings, I wake up before everyone, go for a walk and then and enjoy a cup of coffee and a chapter of my latest book in that crazy chair I bought from the Annapolis Mall Structure when it was closing.  The rest of the house wakes, Karl heads off to work and Emerson and I sit on the couch together and watch TV with our twin bowls of oatmeal, or lie in the hammock (that's what that rope is to the right, the other part of the hammock is hiding behind a curtain) and watch the woods, pointing out birds and squirrels.  Later in the day day you can find us working on a craft at the coffee table or lying on the floor playing.  In the evening after Emerson is in bed, Karl and I snuggle on the couch and watch an episode of Vikings or Once Upon a Time (we're catching up on Once, currently on Season 2 via Netflix so no spoilers please!). This room is called a Living Room for a reason.

I sometimes get caught up in the land of decor blogs and Pinterest, but a home is one of the most personal things in one's life.  I like how it's becoming more and more odd and mismatched and worn in, how there's no real theme or concept except us.  When I start feeling off, I look at our living room and get grounded.  Home IS where the heart is!

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  1. Dee
    May 11, 2014 / 2:49 pm

    What a lovely post! Your home should be a place where you find comfort and love.

  2. Sarah7500
    May 10, 2014 / 4:03 pm

    Your place feels like a cozy, warm place to hang out. Love it.

  3. Melissa Morrison Fernandez
    May 10, 2014 / 8:24 am

    Aw, Allie, what a great post! You have learned a lesson that it took me many many more years to learn…that home is not about the possessions but about the people in it. After years of worrying about what people thought of my house when invited over (or all the NOT inviting over because I thought it wasn’t nice enough), I finally threw all those silly thoughts out the window, and just began living life IN MY HOUSE. Amazing thing. That’s where everyone congregated! Neighbors, the kids and their pals, friends for coffee….Now that my three are grown, and the after school snacks and fun and quick coffee clatches with other young moms are over, I feel the same way…I look around and there are projects and books and things we love and have accumulated over the years and pictures and comfy couches and you know what? I love it. I am so grateful for it. I envision someday grand kids and the house filled with coloring books and legos, baby dolls and art projects and I can’t wait. But the best thing of all, is even now that the kids are grown and we are “empty nesters”, my home feels far from empty because we decided a long time ago that the two of us were more important than pursuing “things” and I thank God every day I learned that lesson in time.

  4. Giovanna
    May 10, 2014 / 5:10 am

    I love this type of posts of yours…rare as they are given that the focus of your blog is not your home. I can’t not notice that to this living room that you call mismatched and old you have applied the same eye for art that you apply to your outfits. I really love the proportions, color combination etc of this picture and I do not think that it is just a happy coincidence. You have got talent and it shows. Thank you for this post

  5. Dawn
    May 10, 2014 / 12:54 am

    That’s a beautiful room. I LOVE that painting! And thanks for this post. I’m sitting adjacent to a bookcase that could scare small children in the night as I type. Such a stuffed mess, but all of things we love.

  6. DC Celine
    May 9, 2014 / 10:45 pm

    How much this is calming ME and making me smile right now. I feel like I’m right there with you, Emerson, and Karl.

  7. Danielle
    May 9, 2014 / 8:51 pm

    Your photo isn’t displaying. Says something about it not displaying due to errors.

  8. Leslie
    May 9, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    Books, artwork, French doors that let in lots of light…all nice, but what really makes this room is the pink kitchen in the corner. How many of us have a pink oven?

  9. Susan LaPooh
    May 9, 2014 / 7:38 pm

    What a beautiful blog post!

  10. May 9, 2014 / 4:09 pm

    What a lovely post! (and a lovely room) I really appreciate rooms that show a family’s character and history – not just a ‘go into a shop and buy everything in duck egg blue and chocolate’ (or whatever colours) approach. Since my Mum died, I particularly value gifts and hand-me-downs from friends and loved ones.

  11. May 9, 2014 / 2:26 pm

    I love the idea of the hammock! I’ve been trying to figure out what to do in our rec room, we have a support post in the way, so currently we can only have one sofa facing the TV. Now I’m thinking we can rig up a hammock for extra seating/lounging! You may have created a project for my weekend.

    • May 12, 2014 / 9:28 am

      It has been really fun to have and great for lounging. Just be sure any anchors/hooks are in studs!

  12. Aimee
    May 9, 2014 / 1:53 pm

    This is a beautiful post and a beautiful home! Our home is also a starter house that has turned into a life home (going on 20 years in it now) and it is mismatched and worn, But, through the years it’s become who we are and has a story to tell. Despite its many faults, I love it, although friends and family have never really understood why we haven’t moved “up.”

  13. Sarah Destrehan
    May 9, 2014 / 1:37 pm

    It’s neat to get to see that part of your life. I think that having “your stuff” as opposed to a look can be much more relaxing. I like the pieces I’ve had for years and knowing that my dining table even though it’s new will be mine for a long time. Or, that my china cabinet is really old and has been used by plenty of other people who hopefully loved it, too. Anyway, enjoy your fun weekend routine tomorrow in your beautiful space–I really do think it’s quite lovely.

  14. Patty
    May 9, 2014 / 12:45 pm

    I love Vikings.

  15. bankershoes
    May 9, 2014 / 11:56 am

    Thank you for reminding me of what a “home” is. It’s not perfect. But its yours. Amen!

  16. running anonymous today
    May 9, 2014 / 11:53 am

    Thank you for this… I’m looking around my home that we bought expecting a different life than we have. We bought our modest house with growing room- and even though it wasn’t the anticipated growth of a child, it has been the saving grace of family in times of need. Now we’re facing the possibility of losing our home because of various reasons, and I needed an outside reminder of why I should fight for it.

  17. Wendy
    May 9, 2014 / 11:46 am

    My favorite thing about Once Upon a Time is the costumes. I wish I could wear a leather pants/ball gown combo and capes in real life! And I love Regina’s wardrobe-those tailored suits and jewel tone blouses.

    • May 9, 2014 / 11:48 am

      Agreed! The costumes and the day to day clothing is fantastic, it’s a beautiful show to watch!

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