Enjoying the Process

I feel like I’ve been preoccupied for the last few weeks. I’m hosting a big party next Saturday and I’ve made that a little deadline to get some projects done. Funny that when you have a blog and you write about your home and the projects and feelings you have about said home, when you spend time working on your home a lot, you don’t have as much time to write about it.

I should write for NASA with my clean cut, concise ways.

We are getting ready to sign another year’s lease here at the Nest.  I know to some of you that sentence is meaningless.  Others of you may feel sorry for the fact that we are leasing and not owning.  For me, I cannot begin to think up the words to express the joy that comes with staying put, in our home for another year, hopefully two.

the last house we owned after a coat of Sherwin Williams’ old Martha Stewart line paint in Bone China,inexpensive handmade shutters, new doors, and a porch

before–brick front, no porch, pretty but sleepy

I don’t know how much of our story you know but, about 4 years ago we sold our home that house right up there.  For some reason I can only show that home with both the before and after photos–forgive me.  That was our forever home that I loved.  It was far from perfect with its old kitchen and sprayed on ceilings, but, it had the perfect yard stocked with plants I had collected and nurtured, perfect location–14 houses from my sister, and I didn’t care to ever move.  But, we desperately needed to sell after losing a business.  You can read more about it here.  We sold the house, sold a paid off car, gave away our family pet– my boys chocolate lab, Siler, and moved into a condo for 6 months while our boys finished school, and my husband frantically tried to figure out a plan.  I cried a lot.

Then we moved to a new town and leased a home. A fresh start. After a year, we realized that the area where we needed to be was across town, our church was 20 minutes away so we decided to move yet again, to a small rental house, try to pay off our debt really quickly and be near our church.

After 9 months of faithfully paying our rent, the Sheriff stopped by one morning to hand me papers that told me the house was foreclosing.  The owners weren’t paying the mortgage. You can read more about that here–Is your rental in foreclosure? That was 13 months ago.  I was angry.  That rental was one of the least expensive in our area and we were settled.  I didn’t want to move.  We were close to our church, my boys were starting to make friends.  We had moved 3 times in the past 2.5 years. NO.

My dad mentioned that we should tell everyone about our situation.  The housing market was awful, we were great tenants and hey, I even have a blog about our home, the owner could keep tabs on their house every day. The first person I told made a call that very night and connected us with the owner of the home we now live in.

I was shocked that we got to move just one neighborhood over from our old house.  Only, this is a much nicer hood, with sidewalks, forth of July parades and a neighborhood pool.  The backyard was HUGE with the biggest shade tree and a creek.  The house has all wood floors and high ceilings and stainless appliances!  It’s too good.

This house feels like home.  And a few months ago, we decided to treat it a little more like our home.  No knocking down ceilings and painting cabinets but, a fresh coat of paint on the walls and some creative, non permanent changes for small things that are so not our style.  I have enjoyed every second of it.  I think I get more joy out of home fixing upping than any person on the planet.  It’s inexplicable.  The thrill of watching a room go from average, generic, to US–personal and home.

So right now, as we are in the midst of about 48 projects, I am basking in the glory of a home in process.  Because seeing a wall half painted isn’t depressing, it’s an indicator of change.  And it tells me, this is home.

There’s no place like home.

I hope you are remembering to enjoy your process as well.

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  1. M Curtis says:

    I’m your Scotland stalker and I needed to read that post! We have moved around a lot as well and my boys had to give up their black lab… Anyway- we are finally in a house after moving 6 times in 8 years and I am so unmotivated…I did paint the orangey wood fireplace white–couln’t stand that any longer — If you ever come to Edinburgh let me know – you could get a years supply of how not to decorate articles from the way this house was decorated!

  2. What a story! Your home is gorgeous! Those pillows! ohhhh

  3. kristin says:

    Thank you for the inspiration. We have lived in our house for 10 years this month. I have finally accepted that this is our “forever house” and begun to make it mine. I stopped at Sherwin Williams this morning to pick up your paint chips (Love that comfort gray). Oh, if anyone is planning drop cloth mistreatments or slipcovers, Sherwin Williams has their nice, heavy 9 by 3 dropcloths on sale for $12.99 right now.

    PLease share your backsplash project with us–I have been debating between tile, beadboard wallpaper, or real beadboard for mine. I can’t wait to see how you do it.
    Miss Kris

  4. nester says:

    These comments are pretty much my favorite comments ever.

    They are so worth reading. You all are amazing.

  5. I can’t believe you have lived there a YEAR already. WOW. I’m so glad you love this house!

  6. Nester: Thanks so much for sharing your journey – it’s ups and it’s downs. It is a good reminder to me. I needed to read just what you wrote!

  7. We are renting for the first time in our married lives. We were lucky enough to be able to buy a home before we were married 12 years ago.

    We moved to Texas in January and decided that since we had never stepped foot in the state before, we should rent and figure out where we want to live before settling down. (Plus we still own our home in AZ). I am having a hard time making it feel like mine and your blog always gives me so much inspiration in that department.

    Thank you!

  8. Is that backsplash somehow temporary? If so I NEED to see the tutorial!! I hate the pinkish red backsplash in the kitchen, but can’t make any permanent changes.

  9. Dear Nester, Wow! Thank you for this post. God is so faithful no matter what part of the process we are in. My daughter was born a little over a year ago. I had quit my job to stay with her and right after she was born my husband was laid off. We left our little condo that I loved (It was right on the river in Nashville so it’s probably under water right now anyway) and lived with my mom for 4 months. Then my inlaws offered to provide us a place to live so that my husband could go back to school. They bought us a trailer and put it in their chicken coop! (I’m not joking,..luckily they re-did the fence and now we are only beside it.) Anyway sorry to write a book. I just wanted to let you know how much your post reminded me that God is always faithful. And honestly I am thankful for our trailer. And I would rather be here…where I know God wants me, than in some beautiful house in Nashville anyday. Thanks Nester!

  10. I am excited for you!!! I bet it was rough settling in and not knowing if you’d be able to stay. Heck, after reading about your shade tree and creek, *I* want to move in. ;) I have a laptop, so I won’t require any blogging space. ;)

    As always, I appreciate how honest and open you are. *Real* bloggers make me smile. :)

  11. I love what you are doing in your home and that the changes are non-permenant is awesome. I went to a new antique mall that I thought you would love. I posted a few pictures from my stroll through.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I knew you had moved a lot, but didn’t know exactly why. That must have been devastating to go through that. I guess we can’t go through the fiery furnace without feeling a “little” bit of heat! I am living in a too small house that I wasn’t going to put a lot of work into because I thought we would have our dream home soon. Well, as you know circumstances change. I am learning to love my house because I am making it more US. Thanks for your posts! I love to visit your blog daily and have a laugh!

  13. great, great, great post. thank you for your words. you have a gentle way of giving us perspective. good luck with your projects… hope to see some photos.

  14. What a beautiful story. I have read your blog, but did not know your story….Amazing and beautiful nest……wish I lived close enough to come to the party.. Stop by and check out my Mother’s Day Giveaway.

    Happy Mothers Day to you,

  15. Needed reminding of this as I stare at my half way painted wall going up the stairs. Thank you.

  16. Laurie-Jean says:

    The transformation of your past home is breathtaking. I’m sure the new home owners are estatic with the beautification you provided. Home as you have so shown with your past and current exquisite taste isn’t dependent on property ownership. Your blog and home decorating spew a welcoming warmth!! Thank you for so graciously sharing of your time and talent. Jazzed to finally be able to meet you and others next Saturday!!~ I can empathize with your having to uproot unexpectantly. We moved 3 times in less than two years…this to be our FINAL home. However, that was said of the last move…lol. I have faith, so I’m in the process of making this our forever home.

  17. Thanks for encouraging words! We are about to move across the country from Ohio all the way to California. I have always lived in Ohio and have lived in our home 10 years. For at least a year we will be renting so that we can figure out the area. I love to decorate too, so I am looking forward to a new challenge–just because it is temporary doesn’t mean it can’t feel homey.

  18. Trying to remember to enjoy it ;0)…. loved the fabric on the pillows of your couch!!! It’s exactly what I was looking for for our bedroom!!

  19. What a process! But look how you made it through. Things happen for a reason, we just don’t know why. Looks like your making your little nest cozy. Love your photos and decorating style. So soothing. I could move in ;)

  20. Thanks for being so real! I love to see other women sharing their true stories and not feeling the need to portray everything as “perfect” all the time.

    I know you must get a ton of questions but if you could share where you got the beautiful floral blue/green pillows in the top picture I’d be in your debt. I LOVE them!

  21. you’re the bestest…can’t wait til the big party! :)

  22. Maureen says:

    I think your cozy new home is amazing! I LOVE that front porch!

  23. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a comment before! I’ve been following your blog for a year now, and can not say how much I’ve loved your ideas and inspiration. And as I type, my the primer is drying on my walls for my very first ever room re-do. Our leases have always had no paint clauses, so now that we own a house we can finally make it our own space.

    Thanks for all the work you do!

  24. Your message today was exactly the one i needed to hear today. No matter how hard it seems at the time, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Today, you are my light. You are an inspiration in all arenas of life. What a lucky family to have you. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.

  25. I’m so happy that you will be in your home another year!! What great news! Your home is beautiful, outside and in! I’m convinced you could make a cardboard box look divine!
    We are getting ready to move into our “forever” home. Hopefully will VERY little debt (if any) and we penny pinch EVERYTHING. I have been stock piling lights for a few years now (I know, crazy, but a FRACTION of the original prices) and now I’m on the hunt for appliances. It’s what makes it fun and interesting :)

  26. thanks for the ‘enjoy the chaos’ post. i needed it.

  27. Such a great post. Thank you for sharing. We had a life changing experience ourselves with a failed business and a lay off from a job my husband had for over 12 years. The last year and a half have been tough but we’re clawing our way back!

  28. I am so glad your e-mail found my inbox slightly cleaned up tonight so I had time to actually click and read…we recently (last month) moved into a rental property. Our first time renting. EVER. To make a long story short, we own a townhome that is worth next to nothing and were quickly outgrowing it with our two small kids. We decided we could stay and be miserable or take a chance and rent it out. The market isn’t changing here in MN anytime soon, so we rented out our townhouse (which comes with the obvious baggage) and are renting a beautiful single family home in the city nearby. It took a bit of pride swallowing because we have always owned our own home (two townhomes since we’ve been married). I like your motto of “don’t ask for permission, but beg for forgiveness.” We will treat this home like our own-already painting the kitchen/family room (buh-bye faux finish) this weekend. Thanks for your continued inspiration…The Nester has definitely helped me through the new experience of renting.

  29. ruthann says:

    love the pillows… did you make these covers, or buy?
    are you bringing in white/greens/blues??

    I love having constant projects around the house!!

  30. Wow- what an amazing story! I applaud you for putting that all out there. Your “new” nested home looks lovely. So glad you all found a good fit after all that heartache. Proof that everything happens for a reason, foreclosures, sheriffs and all.

  31. Thanks for this post! Your honesty is so greatly appreciated. Most people wouldn’t be able to write about this. I too am a renter because we have also moved several times, across Canada, to Washington DC and now back to western Canada – where house prices are ridiculous. We are renting as we watch and wait hoping to buy a home. In the meantime I am painting and doing what I can to make this a home for my family. We have rented more homes than owned and I have learned that we are where we are for a reason so I need to appreciate the now and make it the best I can.
    (I only wish our rental homes here looked as nice as yours – our home in Virginia was an amazing rental home, looked just like yours – sigh – I miss the south)
    Thanks :)

  32. Thank you!
    When I married my husband, I sold my newly remodeled home to live in his 1952 outdated cave. I cannot stand so many things about this house but we are slowly fixing it up to be our home. With our two babies.
    And stories like yours reminds that it may not be our dream home but it is home and I need to be grateful for the opportunity to make memories here.
    And kudos to you both for working so hard for your family.

  33. I showed the picture of the last home you owned (after paint) to my husband and he told me to print it off to keep for inspiration! He is not a home guy, but you sold him!

    I love the airsoft gun in the last picture. I have a charger on my counter top charging the battery for my sons airsoft. Big battles on the weekends!

    I love you positive attitude toward all your moving around!

  34. I love that – a half painted wall isn’t depressing but an indicator of change. It’s all about perspective. Glad you’re staying put. :)

  35. friend, this is my favorite post of yours. love you and yours! that’s all.

  36. BACKSPLASH!!??

    You HAVE to blog about it, for all of us kindred-I-desperately-need-to-do-something-to-this-but-I’m-just-renting-spirits!!!


  37. We’re getting ready to move again, for the 6th time in 3 years. It’s been for work reason but it doesn’t make it any easier.

  38. allison bolton says:

    Thank you ! You inspire me so much! I have about 48 projects going on at my house too. It is nice to know I am not alone!

  39. I totally understand the frequent moving because we’re military. And it can get old. When I read your story, I hope that people take away from it the integrity of you and your husband to let go of “stuff” so that you can be responsible for your debt. Your boys are inheriting legacy as well as beautiful memories of a home which is not dependent on the walls. Blessings- and enjoy your party!

  40. Beautiful homes! Wow What a story

  41. I can totally relate…we lost our home in 2006 (partially due to a reduction in income, but I’m not gonna lie – we made some bad financial decisions too) and have moved 5 times since then. In September we signed a 2 year lease and the owners do not mind if we paint, so I have been busy making this house our home. People have asked me why I am spending money on a rental house – I guess they just don’t get it! I am not spending big bucks – the price of paint is well worth it to me to get that cozy, homey feeling I crave!

  42. I think I have that same toy gun laying on a counter somewhere… thanks for the reminder to enjoy the process.


  43. I am glad you get to lease for another year! Our 2nd year lease is up 9/30 and I can’t imagine moving… but I must! Last month the owner stopped by and said they were listing the house… even though they are not supposed to until 60 days before our lease is up. So, my brilliant hubby negotiated a reduction in rent while we allow them to market the house. I could be moving in a month, or two, or three, or 4… who knows! (God does!) We love where we are, and the schools our kids attend. We have been in Charlotte 4 years… and this is the 3rd place we have lived. The LAST thing I want to do right now is move! We do know lots of folks in the area, so we will put the word out when the time comes and pray that the Lord has a place for us that won’t require our kids to move middle schools! Sorry I am missing all your parties this month! Blessings!!!

  44. Loved this post! Served as a reminder to me just what great things God can do. He can take a seemingly awful situation and turn it around for our good. Your landlord is very fortunate to have a tenant like you. He never has to worry about his house and if/when you decide to move, your family will have added to its value. Seemingly it’s a win win for both you and the landlord.

  45. I know this is an older post, but I’m just coming across it now. Anyway, thanks for posting something like this. My husband and I separated for about 8 months and now we are back together and we just purchased our first house (we were living rent free in a house owned by his grandmother before. ahhh…the days!) I love the house we bought, but I have so many projects going on that I’m really beginning to become overwhelmed. My hallways are half painted, my baseboards are laying out in the garage, and my son’s room seems like it will never get finished! After reading this it made me feel better about all of my projects and remember that the important thing is that my family is back together and we are working on this house and making it our own!! Thank you so much for reminding me of what truly matters!

  46. I just found your blog and I am so glad I did. Love your style! But then I found this post….boy did it hit home. The situation you went through is right where we are right now…small biz husband (biz not doing well since we bought a year ago. go figure) and we really love our home and don’t want to move. Reading your story made me feel a little better. I’m sad that we might have to sell because I get really attached to my homes, but understand that it’s not the end of the world and it is..after all just a house.

  47. Thank you for this post. It actually made me a little teary eyed, which kinda surprised me because I thought I was over it. We had a similar experience 2 yrs ago. My husband lost his job then we lost our house, moved back to our home state and now we are living in our second rental with another 2yr lease. All with two little girls in tow. Hopefully we will purchase it at the end of the lease but time will tell. Thank you for your positive words and your incredible ideas. I just found you today and I love your blog! I haven’t gotten a thing done but it was worth it to find this post. It may have given me the courage to do a little more with our house now too! THANKYOU!!!

  48. I am SO very thankful for your blog. BECAUSE of your story and your blog, our family will soon be moving into a new home that we will be leasing! We are so excited and although people look down their nose when we tell them its a rental, we don’t care. We LOVE our home, have a great landlord (so far) and just happy. Our situation, financially is very similar to yours but mostly due to our daughter being born very ill we owed a 5 figure debt to every medical supplier, pharmacy, hospital and doctor in a 5 country radius. We sold our home that we loved and had touched and changed EVERY single part of it, moved in with my parents for TWO YEARS and paid off all our debt. We drive an older mini van and newer car that barely hold our family of 5 and everyone looks at us with pity… and we don’t even care! Our new house is full of hopes and dreams and I am so thankful that you have shared your journey. Makes this renting thing not feel “bad” and actually kind of good! We really like the freedom that NO MORTGAGE is bringing to us! LOL So… thank you again for sharing. You have definitely inspired this family to make a change!

  49. I am sooo happy for you and your family. Sorry about th rough start, but I’m glad you’re not homeless and followed your Dad’s advice. ‘ll keep checking in on you. Peace and Blessings.

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