The Rest of the Summer & The Summer of Rest


I’ve been summering well. I think.

After two years of fun, needed, work related, home related, dream related, unplanned YESES, I’m requiring myself to rest and say no. I’m having the rest of my life. Or at least trying. And I hope to continue it for the REST of the summer. What are you doing the rest of the summer? Maybe you need a REST of the summer too.



There have been late nights in hotel rooms with close friends, hosting a shower with dear friends, pool woes and pool side reading. We currently have a broken washer (again), a water softener waiting to be installed and only two living chickens–the ones who refused to coop and prefer to sleep in trees. Also, my car smells like a frat house.

at the cottage

This weekend is the highlight of our summer when we get to sit around at my favorite place, The Cottage, with Caroline & Greg. This is the cottage that is my muse, that I wrote about in The Nesting Place–it’s a vacation spot that feels like home, the most thoughtfully prepared place you’ll ever stay.


After almost a year of living here, I finally got around to painting the bay window in the kitchen the same way I painted the other windows in the dining room & family room months ago.

I even painted that orange door a nice shade of white. I considered black or a color for the door, but in this dark house with thin windows & a huge wrap around porch that shadows two sides, we need every ounce of white we can get. I went white again. For the door it’s just a coat of primer then two coats of paint. I think I used a satin finish.


Now that the door is white, it acts more like a frame to view the trees outside.


It’s a much prettier background for photos and for life. Why did I wait so long to paint the window & door? It took only one afternoon (including dry time) and my home feels brand new and sparkly.

white door



I also painted the hutch on a whim. It’s been years since it’s been painted and right now all of our work and money is going into the barn, so this hutch sits where phase two of the kitchen (a pantry, and lower cabinets & shelves) will one day reside. Since we’ve moved, that left door won’t close. Of course.

I’m not a furniture painting expert, I’m a furniture painting risk taker. I stay away from shiny paints and use left over wall paint and maybe some eggshell or satin paint. The hutch is leftover Simply White wall paint in an eggshell finish–same paint I use on our walls. I just painted right over the previous paint job.




I’ve lost track of the number of feathers I’ve found (or have they found me) in the past few months. Maybe they are sending me a special message, or maybe I finally have room to notice them.

under the power lines

Things are good here under the power lines. Not perfect. But that has nothing to do with good.

The trees and grass are green. The sky and pool are blue. I hope they stay that way for the REST of the summer.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. She’s alive! And the pool is blue! Sounds like you have summer covered. I like your fresh, summery attire for the wood. Probably because I love white! Hope the REST of your summer is just what you need.

  2. Love the white trim and it sounds like the perfect summer ever.

  3. Nester – I’ve just recently gotten hooked on your blog. I bought your book a few weeks ago and read the whole thing in one day. (we’re empty nesters as of June 14). I can totally relate to having a restful summer…all the kids are married and well and I sit with my husband and dog. I’m a school secretary counting my days till I go back to busyness….trying to wake up every morning and count my many blessings. Wanting to do more decorating but with a husband losing/starting a new job – being careful with finances. Thanks for sharing your life with us. :)

  4. oh good you’re back. can I just say you seem like such a great friend – you are very forgiving of yourself which probably translates to being forgiving with others…I wanted to comment for no other reason to just tell you that I just love your real-ness. I watched that vid you did when you revamped that chicks living room- that vid was just so down to earth- honestly you seem like a teen-ager who was just rearranging furniture in your friends bedroom. You just exude a very humble energy. In a blog world full of experts you stand out without trying. Have a great rest of your summer. you brighten people’s days just by being you.

    • can I tell you that that makeover was the funnest thing ever? I was SO nervous before wondering if I could pull it off, but it ended up being such a fun, refreshing change of work for me, I LOOOVED it!!! Thanks for your kind words!!!

  5. HI! I hope you enjoy the much deserved rest and read this in the fall. ;)
    I wanted to say that I too have a house with lower ceilings and windows covered by a porch making the house dark! Misery loves company!!! I live in the pacific northwest and find winter to be the most difficult time to get sunlight into the house to combat the dark gloom. I look forward to hearing more tips/tricks/ideas/stumbled upon miracles for dealing this dilemma. Thank you for sharing such realistic struggles. :)

    • yes, and you know, I wouldn’t trade that covered porch for more light, but I have to pay attention to my need for LIGHT, it affects our mood (many of us) so instead of sometimes opting for a fun color, I add in a colored pillow and paint everything else white!! I think I even talked Chad into painting the ceiling in our barn white because I’ve never met a room that was too bright!

  6. I loved this little mid-summer visit with you. Hard to believe it’s been a year since you bought the house …

    It surely has morphed into the most wonderful homey home.


  7. I do remember The Cottage – I fell in love with its simplicity and the large windows that filled the walls. I love the white you chose for the doors and the hutch. It’s so fresh. Why do I underestimate the power of white? Hope you have a restful rest of the summer. xx

  8. I KNOW you need rest but I can’t say I haven’t MISSED your blog SO much. The house looks beautiful and you are so talented and creative that if everything in it were broken, it would still look amazing. Enjoy the rest of the summer but I can’t wait until you are back for good!! I have been through your book several times and never get tired of it. I have also given to friends as a gift. Thanks for sharing so many wonderful ideas and life meanings with us!

  9. Melanie Miller says:

    Hi Nester, I’ve missed you. But I’m so happy for you that you’re resting after so many intense yeses. I, too, am resting in a summer of noes and it feels like the best and longest inhale and exhale ever. The white doors look awesome and so does the hutch. ENJOY The Cottage and know that we will be here when you are ready to be back. Love to you!

  10. It is ridiculously good to hear your voice.
    And yes.
    Yes to all the nos.
    With you.

  11. Rest takes intentionality and maturity, but I can’t also believe how much FUN rest can provide. Love you and your realness, heart friend.

  12. yes, and creativity, rest only makes everything better!

  13. You got me!

    Those four painful words: “Why did I wait?”

    Why did I wait to paint that room, those windows, that door, that hutch, the porch swing?
    Why did I wait?

    Why did I wait to put those photos in an album, create that scrapbook?
    Why did I wait?

    Why did I wait to focus my energy on my blog, my job, my wife, my kids, my garden, my writing?
    Why did I wait?

    I’m not waiting any more. And my “thinking” time is being exchanged for “doing” time. Because sometimes “thinking” is a sad excuse (procrastination).
    I’m not waiting any more.

    Thanks for sharing this post.
    I needed it.

  14. You’re so smart to consciously rest. I’m a mom of 4-and my school year is so jam packed with stuff and driving and lots of cooking and doing. This summer 2 of my brood went to sleep away camp for almost 3 weeks. In my mind I was going to Get Organized while they were gone, clean their rooms out, go to the gym Every Day to get into shape. Instead, I lay on the couch and ate snack food and read. I actually felt guilty for the first 2 weeks. Then I decided I was going to revel in my slothfulness. Rest is important!

  15. I love the wrap around porch and would gladly take the shadows to have it.

  16. This is just lovely!

  17. You make elegant living look glamorous and sound fun, easy & delightful. So glad I found you!!

  18. The doors and window look fantastic! So does the hutch. I didn’t even think about painting my hutch…hmmm…school doesn’t start for another three weeks, so…LOL

  19. I am so glad you are taking time to rest for the rest of the summer I notice a bit more blue creeping into your decor :). And that ginger jar you bought the day I bumped into you at the SA, looks very nice too.

  20. We have a similar housing situation here. We live in the county and have beautiful views but they are sometimes hard to see because of the lack of light in our house. I love what you said about adding as much white/light as possible. We have similar trim in our house and I am thinking that painting it all would do wonders for our home. I am wondering if you could post a picture of the afters of your kitchen view, similar to the first shot of your kitchen in this post. I would love for my husband to see what a difference it can make. Beautiful!

  21. in bruce wilkinson’s book The Dream Giver, a feather is the sign of the dream. so whenever i find a feather or like you said a feather finds me, i always pray and ask God to show me what his new ideas are for me. it is a good book if you haven’t read. speaking of good books, i got yours last week at bebe gallini and it was one of your signed copies. thanks for that! glad you have enjoyed some rest.

  22. Love the summer house pics and the wisdom about just starting those projects we put off, resting, and saying no.

    And good not relating to perfect? Yes. I tell my four year old all the time, “it may not be perfect/exactly what you want, but it can be good.” Should probably preach that to myself more :).

  23. kathie from CA says:

    I am in love with your chocolate lab. Love the love between him and your Dad (?). What is his name and how old? Our late very beloved chocolate, Cooler, was such a joy!

  24. Good to hear from you today! Been missing you this summer, but so totally get the needing to rest. I’ve done a lot of that myself this summer! I am glad you know when to say no! That is hard sometimes to do without feeling guilty. I am learning though! The fresh paint looks great – white is classic and always in!
    Isn’t it wonderful to find a little pace like the cottage to retreat to? My husband and I have a place in Tennessee we found several years ago and we get away as often as we can just to be refreshed for the journey ahead.

  25. My favorite part: “Not perfect. But that has nothing to do with good.”

  26. oh, HAPPY summer, sweet friend! Think of you so often. Love thinking of y’all resting together. xo

  27. I love the white! This post oozes happiness and that is contagious…thank you!

  28. Nester, your posting came at the perfect time! I too am leaving this weekend for the highlight of my family vacation with some of our most enjoyed friends. For us, it’s camping next to a lake in Northern California or as my 5 year old called it his ‘happy place’. I’ve had the most restful summer and as it comes to a close your post confirmed that I need not feel guilty for excelling at a few things instead of barely making it in many things. I feel refreshed and ready to make the most of my family’s vacation. This vacation may not be perfect (after all it’s camping with a rambunctious 16month old) but it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
    Thank you for the encouragement !!

  29. Awww, “summering well”, that’s so nice and I’m really glad that you are summering :)
    LOVE the painted door. It looks so neat, very inspirational.
    I LOVED your book, so I am removing unnecessary things from my home in between my summering :)

  30. Yes, yes, yes!! I have so been enjoying our mornings at the pool and our afternoon reading time, what a wonderful way to relax. And with the heat being so mild I’m not wishing the summer away like I usually do.

  31. It is good that the pool is blue and not green. Had that too:)

  32. I love you so much.

    And I’m joining you in saying no to lots this summer ~ although you are seriously talking me into saying ‘yes’ to more white in our downstairs living area!

    Happy summering, friend. xo

  33. Wonderful post. Thank you! I have 1/2 of my 1st floor that I want to paint but just keep putting it off. Life is crazy-busy, but I know I just need to do it. I’ ll feel so much better if I do. Love how you painted the doors and window. Looks great!

  34. It makes me smile to *not* see you and hear you as much (that sounds all wrong.) It just does my heart good to see you example of quiet and real living. I can’t wait to hug your neck and spend some time with you this fall. Happ resting, friend. Much love to you.

  35. What a gorgeous last picture. Your summer sounds (and looks) delightful.

  36. It is nice to see your summer “nest”. My nest is 150 miles from the Pacific which is where one of my 3 daughters lives. My nest is empty and it is time to find a new nest. My summer is reflecting and connecting with friends and family as I float through the transition. My summer began with the final High School Graduation…breath… middle daughter’s wedding….breath….youngest going out to fight fires…. move youngest daughter back to her coastal Paradise….hurry up and wait.
    I am so glad God is in control and not me.

  37. I’m seeing black trim/highlights in a lot of places around your homes/projects and I REALLY love it! You’ve got the inside of window frames in this post and I’ve seen a black-lined screen door (I think, maybe it was a kitchen door). It’s pretty cool the way you draw the eye to those areas in otherwise light/white rooms but it doesn’t create a big void.
    You’re brilliant!

  38. It was relaxing just to READ this post! Thanks for the glimpse into your summer!

  39. NC is a beautiful place to rest, isn’t it? :-) We have only lived here about 1 and a half years, but we love it! We live in a town about 40 miles north of Charlotte….
    I just got your book from the library and am really enjoying reading it when I get the chance. Usually while nursing my baby. ;-)

  40. The door on that cupboard… I would check and see if the floor is level or if it is off just enough to make that door not want to close right. It may be as simple as a shim or a little sliding foot to raise that side up to make it right.

  41. I did a double-take when I saw your washing machine there. I JUST went through that with our 5 year old front load washer. I found out a few interesting things: 1. A sales person at one of our local places told my friend those machines have a 5 year life span & then they start breaking down. 2. They don’t wash well anyway, because machines need water to wash (gasp) and these “enegy efficient” machines use less water…but I noted they use **way** more time to run! I had already taken apart my washer & got to the drain pump as mine was draining only, it seemed, when it felt like it. Discovered the drain pump is just a super-magnet and not a complicate piece of machinery. Cleaned all the hoses of the slimy, stinky gunk (yuk) and put it all back together. I figured it was the motherboard. (Why do they need a MOTHERBOARD I ask??)

    Long story short, I have bought myself two, second-hand Kitchen Aide machines – made by Whirlpool – the washing machine is a top loader. These puppies will last me ages and the mechanisms are not complicated, nor are the parts expensive. I can fix ’em myself if need be! PLUS the top loader washes in about 20 minutes and uses enough water to actually wash my laundry!

    My recommendation to you is to cut your loses and go back to an old school set too… :)

  42. p.s. I love love LOVE your book! I’m reading it carefully and slowly.

  43. Susanne says:

    What an inspiration!

  44. My girls and I just found out its illegal to collect feathers, eggs or nests. Even those discarded by birds. And has been illegal for about 100years. (You may have feathers if you have a hunting license ). Crazy!

  45. Feathers have been placing themselves in my path for about a year know. Quite a lot at first, so I would be sure to take notice, now here and there, The other day I was given 3. I don’t look for them, they just show up. A spiritual friend of mine says they are communications from my brother. That sounds right to me! He passed almost 3 years ago and it makes me smile to think of him sending little messages from beyond.

Speak Your Mind