My Office

nesting place office

I’ve had this here blog for almost seven years. And for most of that time, I had an office where I could be messy and creative and leave my stuff everywhere and have craft supplies organizedish and close my door and work like I mean it. I’m happy to say I used my offices well and fully. Until we moved to this house. This blog is our family business and now I have no office.

Our house itself is about 1750 square feet. Over 1000 square feet less than our last house. Of course, now we have 12 acres and a pond and a tree house which is SO FUN, but our house has been increasingly messy because the entire house is turning into my office.

green barn

We also have the World’s Worst Barn on our property. And after we had already decided to make an offer on this place, I found what everyone in my family already knew was here…

outside the office. ugh.

…the World’s Worst Office.

office porch

Make no mistake. There is nothing glamorous about this office.

rocky river office

Clearly this was the official office of the Rocky River Hunt, Fish, and Saddle Club. Fans of the Outer Banks. Let’s just say this room had Dude all over it. Grody if you will. It smelled of cat and mildew and 20 years of pee caked on a toilet.


office before

Potential right? Potential can be the kiss of death because I have such a heart for potential and sometimes it can be a curse when everything has potential it’s overwhelming. I fall hard for potential every time. Me + Potential = 4ever. Sadly.


Look an old toilet! In a cedarish lined bathroom in the office!


Yes, I hung up that deer head. In my defense the nail was already there. It’s a sickness.


I came home from Uganda to find that my husband, boys, and parents had been feverishly working to get this office painted up for me.


I posed all over the place, because HAPPY! And also DORKY!


This wall will hopefully become a craft area with a sink.


It has a wood stove! Actually, it has two wood stoves, we removed the tiny one on top from our house and plopped it in the office ‘for now’.  But the big one works and Chad said it worked so well that he had to open the windows to get some cool air. There’s also an alternative heat source, I think it’s that ugly metal box hanging from the ceiling. Let’s not talk about that right now.


Here’s the door. And I have a pretty view to the little fenced in pasture. There are only two tiny windows right now but, the white primer already helps brighten the room by 100%.


Honestly, when Chad showed me this big office with a full bathroom and how much my family has worked on it I had a half a second’s worth of guilt. I had just left Uganda and Rose and Mama Grace. Both of their families could live in this office together with more room than their current homes.

And then I thought about Rose. And how she used what she was given and used it well. How she danced in the kitchen.

Welcome to my kitchen.

I can’t cook 50 gallons of pork and beans at one time but I can do this blog thing. I can work smart and with a fresh vision. And for me, this office is my kitchen and y’all this place deserves to be danced in.

My vision for this office is for words of housey encouragement to be birthed here, I’d love to start small, before the barn is ready and hold mini craft days, I hope one day you can come hang out with me in this kitchen/office.


Maybe your Kitchen is your office or the nursery or your family room. Maybe your Kitchen is your church or your cubicle or your actual kitchen. No matter what your kitchen is. To totally cheese up this post…I hope you dance.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Materialistic much? Friebds with Katue Bower?

    • that time when you get all excited to leave a rude comment and you are first and you spell it all wrong? The worst. Sorry you are having a bad day!

      • love this comment reply =) Love your worst office. I am lucky that we bought a 2 family home and converted it to a single family. I get an entire dining room and kitchen for my craft room/office! woot woot Love your blog!

      • Haters gonna hate. Don’t let ’em get you down. It’s great that you will have all that space to do what you do so well!

      • The rude person who felt compelled to comment obviously has not followed your blog at all. I have never posted on a blog…EVER…except for right now. I would like for you to know that I read your blog every single time you post. I have gone back and read all of your past posts and I feel like I know you personally. I have changed almost my entire home keeping in mind that it does not have to be perfect. I have edited and edited again and now I love being here more than ever. For that, I thank you. I have saved more money since I started following your blog just because I no long go thrifting and buy a bunch of stuff just because I like it…all in the name of saving money because I’m shopping at Goodwill. The Uganda series was extremely meaningful and that goes to show what kind of person you are on the inside. Keep up the good work and I’ll continue to follow. Best wishes…BTW, I too, have a love affair with potential. It fills my garage with things that ALL have great potential :)

      • hahahaha. What an awesome reply. Also, your office is awesome. What a gift your family gave by doing the prep work.

        Also, Katie is spelled with an “i”, not a “u”. Just FYI.

      • Oh friend. You just made me laugh out loud! Thank you for that.

      • Oh my goodness, I needed a laugh today. Thank you so much! I too am so excited to see what you do with this space. We have a charity, which is run completely on volunteer support, and I do everything for it out of our home. I lost my office when we moved our little girl into it a year ago. I now have a corner in our room that’s making me crazy because of the piles. I am inspired to figure out a plan that will work. I love your blog.

      • I’m not sure which was better, the actual post about your office, or your response to comment #1. Both were pretty fantastic. I love reading your blog. Keep the inspiration coming! Thanks!!

    • I’m praying for you. Clearly you are in a really miserable place to post such a thing.

    • Maybe you should spend more time learning how to spell, and less criticizing other peoples choices.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Katie Bower? Friends?

    • No one here knows what’s going on in your life and heart. Maybe you are in a hard place. I don’t know “Nester” personally, and I probably never will. I also doubt she needs me to jump to her defense. However, I’ve followed her since she first began to blog about hammering in a nail with a high heeled shoe. She and her husband spent many years as renters, working hard and paying down debt from a failed business until they were finally able to follow a big dream that their whole family—including her parents and her sister’s family —believe God has given them. This piece of property they’ve bought is only a first step. It is a dream of ministry to others with big ideas of how God might use their property. Her blog provides the income for their family, including her husband because he is an essential part of the plan. He’s added even more value by devoting all his time to this, which is essentially their own business. There’s probably lots more that can be said, but if you look back through their history on this blog, you will see the evolution. I’m sure Nester has weaknesses, just like the rest of us, but being materialistic is probably not on the list.
      The one thing Nester did not do, which I think she should, is to delete anonymous comments. Unless you have read some of the blog history and are sure you did the right thing, I’d encourage you to apologize to her using your real name. I believe this group would forgive and enfold you as would Nester. We are all sinners. You can come in from the cold.

  3. My dancing office salutes yours :) LOVE xoxoxo

  4. I’m so happy for you :-) What lovely men you have in your family. And I will come to one of those craft days, yes ma’am I will.

  5. loved this.
    because i see potential in every cotton pickin’ thing.
    which makes my husband batty.
    and we’re house shopping and i’m trying to find that balance between potential and ‘dude. it’s FINE.’ or else we’ll be swallowed whole by potential.
    my point: i get this. so much.

  6. i’ve been loving your blog for a while now, but never felt compelled to post until today. in the past couple of years, my military family has had to downsize a couple of times (all while expanding our brood from two kids to four…yay surprise twins!). we went from over 2000 sq ft in a house where i had a whole spare bedroom to myself, to about 1400 sq ft where i had a corner, to now about 1800 sq ft where i have a little bit bigger corner. i love everything about this post–and i promise to make this little bit bigger corner my kitchen, where i’ll dance with abandon! thanks for sharing so much “real.” it’s so appreciated. xo

    • Know you are making home in each one of those places! How? I recognize the heart of a serviceman’s wife; not for every woman. Love that! Once I even unpacked everything except book boxes that were stashed in the large storage closet, hung cutains and pictures, got sick as a dog for days and had a dinner party in our 1100 square foot quarters we lived in for 6 weeks.

  7. I can’t WAIT to see what you create in here. And I love your “dancing” perspective! My office is currently my dining room table and it’s okay for now, but this summer we’re moving teen-aged son to the basement bedroom and I’m taking over his room. I’m accumulating odds and ends of furniture for my first “very own space of my own” already. Your posts will be inspiring me!

    • I can’t wait either, I’m so ready to move in the chair with the broken leg, it’s gonna be the first thing to go in there! Odds and ends are sometimes the best!

  8. I so relate to your “potential addiction,” can’t wait to see what the final product looks like! :)

  9. Omg… I loved your last office as I’m sure all of your readers would say… Hello, Captain Obvious. I’m SO excited to see what you do with your new space. The paint already is brightening it up so much. Yeah!

  10. Our “cottage” out back (really slab floor, walls and windows) is calling me to come in…but what is there has “potential” as you say, in every square inch. Big approach/avoidance issues. Wanting it, feeling bad for not fixing it and using it. wah wah wah! You have inspired me. Please post constantly! I need you!

    • donna, I avoided this room for a few months. the overwhelm was well, just overwhelming. I’m so grateful Chad kickstarted this because this office is going to help make our whole family sane! saner?

      go today and do ONE thing towards making that cottage yours?!

  11. That first comment…. Interesting. I love you all the more for responding the way you did :)

    I love that they painted it for you while you were gone. Great potential all the way around. And, an office away from the house–heavenly!

  12. How sweet of your family, it’ll be all nestered “quickly” enough. It also might be nice that it’s a separate place than your actual home, help you to separate work And home a little. Our house is only 1350 sq feet, huge in Ugandan standards, but for a family of 3 + a bun in the oven I have to work hard at keeping it clean. The smaller a home the harder the home works, it’s a blessing and a curse. It means for me bringing in less stuff that’s not functional, and I must love everything bc I don’t have enough room for things I don’t love. I’m learning the longer we use it and love it and I’m sure you will adjust, but it takes time (and good storage solutions!) xoxo

    • “the smaller a home, the harder the home works” wise words!!!

      • You know, I’ve never thought about it that way, but it’s so true! People have always told me that a bigger house means more to clean, so then I felt bad for wanting a bigger house, since I can’t keep this one clean (our duplex is 1200sqft). But I truly believe that a bigger house means more room to breathe. And I need that. I get a little claustrophobic some days when both kids are running around and my husband has is music on loud. There is no where to get away.

    • Jennifer Ott says:

      I hear you! Our home is 1200 sq. feet with 4 kids! We homeschool, so there is noise and mess all day every day and my personal preference is for clean, tidy, and minimalist (did I mention that our home was built in 1913, renovated in the 80’s with NO closets). It works hard…and so do I to keep it clean!

  13. It’s amazing what a can of white paint can do to a space! It makes me want to paint every wall in my house white. Thank you for letting us peek into your unfinished office. It definitely looked like where dudes like my husband Steve would hang out, watching his hunting and fishing shows on tv. BUT that was before the can(s) of paint! So looking forward to seeing how this pace is going to evolve over time. I dance in my basement (where the only computer =server is right now) and in the kitchen (space for cooking and crafting) and they are always messy!

  14. I love that your boys all painted it for you while you were gone! What sweeties!!… and I have a pin board called “Other Writers, Other Rooms” that’s really about space to create. I think I need a shed myself! :)

  15. I have the same sickness, ha-ha! I’m so glad you get your own space and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with it!
    I have never been to Uganda but your pictures and words were inspirational. My son has been studying dictators in school. I’ve been surprised to learn of how many dictators there are in the world today. I was stunned to hear of the atrocities that occur in the world we live in. Unfortunately, none of us has the power to change the world by ourselves, but we can do our part to make this world (or even our small piece) a better place. You are doing your part in both going to Uganda and in sharing your beliefs and creativity through your blog. Thank you!

  16. There is something beautiful and wonderful and godly about seeing the potential in spaces, I think, like God sees potential in us. He molds and shapes our steps and our lives, shaves off rough bits, develops the whole person. So, not that renovating and beautifying is an act of worship for you, but it is–in a small way–a reflection of His love for us, no? And it’s going to be brilliant! You go!
    g i n a

  17. I must say Thank You for this post. I am struggling right now with what my role is in this season of life, and your words brought hope and help to my heart, and tears to my eyes. I want to take these words to heart, to do what I am called to do. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for doing what you’re called to do, and being a profound blessing to all of us!

  18. Love! Love!! Love!!! I have never commented but just had to today :)
    Just downsized myself, after my husband passed away. I bought a townhouse that I could see the potential in and its turned out great!!!! Still have some work to do but its getting there and my daughters love it as well :)

  19. I know your feeling! I used to have a craft/office space for myself, then we had 4 kids and I’ve been sequestered to the dining room table when I feel like cleaning it up and starting and stopping. So excited that in our new renovations there will be a space just for me to create in…

  20. I’m not going to lie…this one is pretty bad, BUT I have NO doubt that you will turn into something beautiful!!

    P.S. I am laughing out loud at your response to that first comment! A) Just because someone likes pretty things does not mean he or she is materialistic. It is not who they are, just something they like…and that comment after you just spent all that time in Uganda? Come on, anonymous. B) What do you expect to find on a design blog? Some people… Have a great day! Love your blog for the beauty you show inside and out!

    • yep, you know it’s bad when it took me SIX months to even show photos of it online! my husband found snake skins in the attic of the office. good times! but it has SO much potential!! I’m really going to enjoy it!

  21. “And then I thought about Rose. And how she used what she was given and used it well.”

    I just want to hug this post! Why do we (read “I”) get so caught up in “stuff” that we (“I”) think we deserve better in the first place? Most of what we (“I”) have is so much more than what some have…not just the physical things, either.

    and I love your response to the first snotty comment….dude, double check your spelling if you’re gonna talk smack.

  22. Can’t wait to see what you do with all that potential! And please post a video of you dancing in your office! I want to come see it.

  23. i freaking love you.
    i love the you that you share with us. africa changed you. not that you needed changing. and i don’t mean like anything bad or weird by that. you’re awesome and have been but i LOVE that this part of your heart, new & exposed , seeps into everything you do.
    dance away in that kitchen pretty girl!!
    there is nothing materialistic about you at all. boo hiss to mean ugly people who take out their insecurities and barf it out from behind an anonymous comment. so there.
    keep on keeping on. HE put you right where you are to do only what YOU can do. HE didn’t place you in a hut in which to dwell. he gave you your hubs, your fam, and your spot to do what you do. so go forth and continue doing it!
    did i mention i love you?

  24. That first comment- seriously?! Your response couldn’t have been more perfect! I’ll never understand why people feel the need to write such ugly things online. If you don’t like it, just leave the website!
    Nonetheless, your office does have HUGE potential! I can’t wait to see what you do with it! Loving all of the white, neutral, and natural going on at the farm.

  25. That was so sweet of them to do that for you!
    Can’t wait to see what becomes of your “kitchen” :)

  26. Oh, I’ll dance in my office, and I’ll dance in my kitchen. Well, I guess I’ll dance NEXT TO my office, since it is just a drawer in the sideboard where I store my laptop and acordian file. For now, I am content to call that my office. My laptop cord has washi tape flags on it to keep the kids from running into it when it’s strung between the sideboard and the kitchen table where I work ;-)

    Your office has so much potential! One day (soon!) it will be your refuge, your haven, and your spot of girlyness among all your boys. I can’t wait to see what you do with all that potential. Have fun with it!

  27. That Potential is such a smooth talker isn’t he?! “Hey, baby, do I know you? Cause you look a lot like my next girlfriend!” Ha ha! I’m such a sucker for potential. Also, have to say I LOVE that first comment and reply and the fact that they actually came back later and rewrote their flub. CLASSIC! Your response was perfect. Obvs this Anonymous person doesn’t follow your blog or they would know they have completely misjudged you. Oh, and one more thing…I would love to come hang out with you in your worst office ever (or even the barn) and get crafty! You are so inspiring!

  28. Nester, you are a beautiful person. I felt that this post was the opposite of materialistic. You are grateful for what you have and willing to work with an old toilet (yuck!) and less than ideal circumstances. Especially after I fell in love with your last office, this room was shouting “man dungeon!” but I know you will make it a beautiful place.
    Also, I am a freak and started tearing up when I read that they did all this for you while you were gone. They missed you so much, I can tell! What a wonderful gift.

  29. My 17 year-old Chick, Roxie, will be going on her first mission trip to Guatemala in June. She worked and saved all last Summer, and since basketball season will be over this weekend, she has been putting in applications all over town for a job to earn the rest of her mission money. You see, God has a plan for my Chick and she is determined to follow it to the letter. Money will not be an issue. God is taking care of that detail.

    She has a huge desire/burden to go on this particular mission trip…

    And while it is scary for me to let her go to another country, in my heart of hearts I know she is going to learn to “dance in the kitchen.”

    It will not surprise me one little bit when, upon her return, as she follows God’s plan, she will “dance” in many places during her lifetime… whether in the United States and/or other countries.

    I’m so glad you went to Uganda and are continuing to share your experiences. It is helping prepare my heart for the eight days in June when my child will be far, far away from her Mother, but so close to her Heavenly Father.

  30. Nester, I also have potentialitis. I have tried several cures including: practicality, financial reality, and necessity but they have proved ineffective. Being probably 30 years older than you and with completely different circumstances in my life, I now know that all those humans who have peopled my life who are my exact opposites are been divinely ordained to be with me for my good. I still look at a dump and see what it could be, but I have also begun to learn that I don’t have to have a gazillion $$ to do it. I now love and embrace my potentialitis and am grateful for the “it’s not possible” humans who come alongside me. I really like your posts.

  31. How sweet that they got the project going while you were gone! Mine would have been watching sports all week and every single thing in the house would have been dirty! I know all the wild animals are going to miss their shelter, though. :-)

  32. Nester, I love your office, granted I know you’ll make it great! And the idea that your family did all of that while you were away makes it even better. Enjoy what you have! Life is too short not to do so.

  33. So fun! How exciting to have an office that’s separated a bit from the house. I’m sure it’ll be nice to shut it down at the end of the day and enjoy some time off with your fam. :)
    Can’t wait to see what you do!
    PS boo rude comments!!!!

  34. What a wonderful surprise for you to come home from your trip to find all that work done In your office. What a thoughtful loving family you must have! I know all kinds of great things are going to come from there!

  35. I am thrilled for you. The love must be thick and pure in your new office. :)
    Already….look how that white paint has done so much to encourage and bless so many….and it all started at home, your home, and it’s spilling into homes all over the world. My heart.

    M…I’m grateful that I have a tiny little room with a small cozy chair…just my size…to blog and connect with the world. Nothing in it is mine except for my laptop….not the room…not the house. That is supremely difficult….and God doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to change it. But…he saw fit for me to have a tiny room to be away from the fray for this here blog thing. I really meant it when I said I was grateful. I have 3 large storage lockers full….my whole life….3 states away. For four months I’ve learned how little I really need. The question remains….when I finally move to that elusive new job and get settled…will I forget what little I really need? I hope not.

    Now go live with love and abandon in that beautiful ‘new’ white space. [hugs]

  36. My entire house was “potential”. We’ve been s…l…o…w…l…y working on it for the past 9 years and we are about half way done. I know have a love/hate relationship with potential :)

  37. I am so inspired daily by your posts and your blog. I am in the beginning stages of wifehood, home ownership, adulthood, etc, but I hope that in a few years down the road after I have kids and maybe we’ve moved onto some land somewhere, I will have the wisdom and grace that you have in the way you care for people, for your family, and for your home. Also, I can just see the memories that office is gonna make…whether it is the world’s worst or not!
    -Chandler –

  38. Love this post, as I did the one before. I am excited to see what you do with it because I know you will transform it into something beautiful. Thank you for putting Uganda and Compassion International in our hearts. Your blogging is a blessing to me and so many others as you can see. Dance on!!!

  39. lovely post on melding different cultures, economies, parts of the world. most of us just want to do the best with what we have.

  40. What a gift of love! As to space, we live in this first world and when we move between the “worlds” of plenty and poverty even of spirit, we experience paradigm shifts and the adjustment can be hard. Guilt doesn’t do much good but sharing, praying and doing what we can where we are with what God has called or nudged us toward is obedience. I love your attitude and heart. Speaking to the hearts of women here and in Uganda is a worthy call of your attention and focus. Kepp on keeping on!

  41. Oh, I love the paint. What a sweet/hard working group of men you have there! I can’t wait to see what you will do with the space. The amazing chair is a fun clue. It would be an investment, but it would be nice to trade the tank water heater for a tankless to save space for your awesome sink/craft area.

  42. Ahhhh soooo much potential. What a lucky lady. Can’t wait to see it all come together.

  43. Amy Kinser says:

    I love that your family loves you so well. Thank you for sharing.

    Blessings to you as you dance. :)

  44. So, I was going to post yesterday, but I think today is more appropriate, in light of previous comments. I’m a Young Adults pastor at a church out west, and my thoughts in response to yesterday (and today’s) posts were how much I love the fact that you are using what you are gifted and talented in, and at the same time, you use your gifts and talents to highlight real life. We were never meant to be one sided/single focused creatures. The age group I work with is very focused on who they’re becoming – and that can quickly be all about their skills/talents/career. On the other hand, there are those who have a hard time operating outside the spiritual/non-material world and living in the practical. One of the biggest challenges I face in leading this very formative age group, is working with them to be both – who God created them to be by being the best at what He’s called them to do, and awakening their spiritual lives to be a positive impact on society. We compartmentalize so easily – either one or the other. It’s refreshing when I see people who can do both, I can be a mom and yet touch my neighbors, I can be an exec and use my education and position to touch those who may seem untouchable. You can be a great blogger and still teach us that we need to look outside ourselves and impact humanity for the better. It doesn’t have to be one or the other! In my short year of following you, I have seen you do both . . . its refreshing and its what we were meant to be! Thank you for being you in all areas, and not shying away from you passion for home improvement or your passion for those less fortunate! Thank you for being healthy!

  45. After all this fun-happy-beauty I am going to have actually work in my “office” today, my desk in our chilly converted garage/cottage rather than at my kitchen counter. Going to go turn on the heaters now . . . Yes, accepting the invitation to dance. :)

  46. Love all your posts! I enjoy how you are tying in Rose et al and their lifestyle to ours. I see the point: Rose has created a beautiful life for herself in her own way. We each have the ability to create a beautiful life for ourself in our own way. And, your blog has empowered us to accept that beauty is not perfect.
    Also, seeing your blank, empty office has solved a problem I’m having with my “serenity room” as I call my workspace. It has gotten completely cluttered and I’m moving things from one space to the other and not accomplishing order. I see now that I have to remove everything and start from scratch.
    Thank you for all your inspirations.

  47. Lots of potential! God bless you and help you to dance! Nice job family!

  48. So excited for you and your new space! What a special blessing for your husband, boys, and parents to work so hard to have this ready for you to “do your thing” upon your return. Can’t wait to see how you transform that space. Oh, and that deer head hanging on the wall? It just cracked me up! My mama was not a decorator by any means, but if there was a lonely nail in the wall, she was sure to hang something on it. And by something, I mean anything. She didn’t care if it “went” with the space or not. What a sweet memory you conjured up for me! I suppose she was doing exactly what you’ve been saying, “Dance in your space, wherever that space is!” Have fun dancing in yours!

  49. I am so loving the potential of your office. I love your heart and dedication. I have been a reader since sometime in 2008. Getting to meet you briefly at the barn in November was a highlight and made me love you even more because it was evident that your heart shines with love and compassion. I can’t wait to see what potential you unearth in the back room of your barn – I know it will be a wonderful space. And not to beat a dead horse, but how anyone could read this post and all your previous posts and think of the world materialistic is beyond me – they must truly have been confused on which blog they were commenting. :)

  50. i’m so excited to watch the space take shape. yay for primed walls and your family!

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