DEAR BUNMI: I MISS THE VILLAGE, TOO



Wow - Today, I read the most beautiful, heart wrenching, honest, and oh-my-heavens-oh-so-true article. Man. I just can't get over it. It so perfectly and poetically voiced the exact thoughts I have had a zillion times, as I think about what it looks like to have a growing family. What the details... The day to day will be. What it could be. What I want it to be. Even before this whole baby condition happened to me... They were there. These thoughts... "Why don't we do it like that anymore?"

I have never really been one to just see how it is done and do it that way. I like to think that the steps I have taken thus far in my life have been... not profoundly unique... and not outrageously off the grid... But just "off" enough that I can trust it's not the "norm" that lead me here, but Something bigger, and Someone wiser. I'd like to hope that even if all the fish are swimming downstream, I'm the kind of fish that can handle picking up my fins, grabbing my guppies, and walking right on out of that river and over to a different stream.

All of this explode my next. big. thought... What does it look like to have children and raise a family today? In this world? In this time? In this city? For this not profoundly unique but kind of "off" fish?

My mom set such an equally poetic and eloquent example of raising children her own way, and I wonder, do I have the courage to do the same? Could I?

I adore how Bunmi so powerfully puts it...

"I miss the village I never had. The one with mothers doing the washing side by side, clucking and laughing hysterically, tired in body but quick in spirit. We'd know each other so well: annoying one other from time to time, but never staying mad long because the truth is, we need each other... I miss that village of mothers that I've never had. The one we traded for homes that, despite being a stone's throw, feel miles apart from each other. The one we traded for locked front doors, blinking devices and afternoons alone on the floor playing one-on-one with our little ones."

No wonder we are all so terrified of having children. The unknown. The "giving up" of our only familiarity. Because we no longer live in villages. We are in our own parts of town, where families don't go. We are in our own evening church services, so late that the children can't stay awake for them. We are in our own bars and restaurants, where smoking is still allowed, so the babies aren't. We are in small groups, designated for the single, the child-less, the "young." We only see a piece of the puzzle. We have forfeited the gift of the big picture. We have torn down the village, and built subdivisions.

What happened to the village?

When did it happen?

Is it possible to get there again?

Well. I have to tell you. I believe with every inch of my heart that the answer is yes. And for me, I think it is my only hope. My only option. When I think on the next few years of my life... Nothing really makes sense. Nothing seems even close to possible. But, with a village? Yes. I think I can. Maybe we can?

So here's to not knowing what that looks like... How to get there... Or where to start...

... But I think that after our next door neighbors picked my husband up off the side of the road with a flat tire today, and they borrowed cheese from us for dinner yesterday, and I am daily eating tomato sandwiches from which half the ingredients are from their garden...

... And BJ and her daughter down the street invited me to join their evening walks around the park later this week because "that's what pregnant ladies gotta do. They just gotta walk and walk and keep walkin', ya know?"

... And my dear friend and neighbor down the block is about to come over and bring me stuffed zucchini for dinner, after which we will eat my home made butter pecan ice cream that just finished setting in the freezer...

I may not have too far to go to start building.

Cheers,


SOFA POSSIBILITIES FOR UNDER $800

Find Them Here: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5

Burley and I have been playing sofa roulette for years now. During our 5 moves in 4 years we have 1) Ruined a couch with spilled balsamic vinegar while in the moving van (we literally thought all of Kansas smelled like vinegar, until we realized it was our poor couch gettting ruined) 2) Gave a couch away because though it looked REALLY retro, it also still had retro cigarette butts that showed up every now and then from the 70s... I couldn't handle it 3) Gave another couch away because we got it for free and used it for a year and then it was REALLY one of those "we got this for free" couches

And there are more stories where all of those come from.

But after this move, we decided to invest in something that will last us a bit longer. Not forever. But longer. So I have been on the hunt.

I am not really a "get a neutral sofa that will match anything and everything" kind of sofa buyer... as you can probably tell. But these were a few of my favorites that I found while search with strict orders to stay under $800. That may seem like a chunk of cash, but in sofa world, it surprisingly doesn't get you that far.

So, what are your thoughts friends? Any favorites?

Cheers,


BEST LAID PLANS | NEW HOUSE DIY INSPIRATION


Sources: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4

Well now that my huge secret is out... I feel like I can get back to life as normal.
Normal being my new house filled with boxes (half as many as there originally were, thank you very much) and me being across the country in Vegas for a week, dreaming of the fun DIY projects my husband is surely doing while I'm out of town, right? Of course.

I have gone as far as to pick out some paint samples for a few of the spaces in this new home, so I can sit with them and feel out which ones will fit the best. Mint, white, coral, and light grays included... O boy!

I am in love with our new space because there are lots and lots of windows, paneling in some of the main living spaces, high ceilings, multiple fire places (including in our bedroom... score!) and a butlers pantry in our laundry room. Shwing!

So much potential... so little time.

I am excited to move right along with making our new home feel bright, cheery, colorful, sassy, lived in and most of all, us. If I could put the style I am anticipating into words it would be like...

Anthropologie and West Elm sat down for a happy hour, with a delicious whiskey cocktail, in front of a big bright window, on a bearskin rug, listening to Johnny Cash, drinking out of copper vessels. 

Damn. That felt good to sum it up like that.

So get excited. On the way we have a man cave shed re-do, a laundry room makeover, a living room + dining room overhaul, and eventually a nursery! Oy.

Better get back to pinning...

Cheers,


We Got Lucky



Want to know the real reason that Burley and I made the plunge to move our 5th time in 4 years?
And why I have been sleeping 22 hours per day and giving you radio silence on this blog for the past 2 months?
And why my love for the cutest blogs such as Aubrey Kinch Blog and Maiedae have now become not only crushes but necessities?
And why January 2015 is going to radically change our lives forever?

Yup. You guessed it. We are expecting to introduce a little baby Richardson into the world!!
WHAT?!
I am weeping just typing that. Still doesn't quite feel real. Or possible. Or like I am old enough to say something so serious... such as "We created human life."

After we decided to let Jesus take the wheel (and a lot of other parts) when it came to the constant question of "should we have a baby now?" he decided to go ahead and move on that REAL quick. We were surprised. They weren't lying in health class! Sex really does get you pregnant when you don't prevent it from happening. What a miracle.

We don't take it lightly. I know there are so many women who struggle in this area and it takes a long time, or doesn't happen at all, so for this huge blessing we feel.... well... beyond blessed. We don't call it a happy circumstance or just human bodies being human bodies. We know that this was God's confirmation of our trust in him. We know that this is going to be the weirdest, hardest, cutest, most challenging gift we have ever asked for.

We don't feel prepared. We don't feel smart enough. Rich enough. Old enough. We sure as hell aren't wise enough... But I know in the areas that we will fall short, the village around us, and the God that brought us all together will close the gap. Like He has and always will.

So there you have it friends. The big news.

I haven't felt sick really, but just beyond exhausted all of the time.
I am feeling much more awake and alert as I head into my 14th week (thank goodness).
I can't wait to share this journey with you as my heart and body grow and explode.

Cheers,


Weird Tips for Making Moving Easier



It's that time. This weekend, Burley and I will be making the big move from the East side to the West side. Yes. I am singing many awesome R&B songs in my head right now. Aren't you?

This week, as I have packed, trashed, Goodwill'd, Laughed, Cried, Eaten Chinese Food twice, and listened to a CRAP ton of music (are you picturing what a literal crap ton of music looks like right now? Mind. Blown).... I have thought through some odd-ball tips for moving that you probably won't find on eHow.com. These are tips for the real woman (or man) coming from someone who has moved 5 times in the past 4 years. That basically gives me a Masters in moving.

Without further ado...

DON'T START EARLY
That's right. You heard me clearly. Now, though this goes against my power/control-hungry personality, I have found that this works BEST for my mental state-of-being over all during a move. If you start packing too early, then your whole house/life will feel like it is in pieces for a REALLY long time. If you are anything like me, then the moment you start packing is the moment your brain starts spinning and you DREAM of the day that the move comes and you can gain your sanity back again. If you start this process a month before the move date, you quite literally might go crazy. However, if you give yourself 1 week per 1,000 square feet, I promise you, you will be thankful that you did. Now, in that important week, you better give yourself plenty of time and space to get the work done that you need to get done. This is not a call to procrastinate and stress. This is a call to intentionally feel crazy, eat off paper plates, and have millions of bags of trash laying around your house for only the shortest amount of time necessary (queue me eating Chinese food twice in one week).


BINGE
Yea. You heard me. I am talking full on, non-appologetic, don't care what yo' mama says bingeing. 1 Million episodes of the TV show of your choice. You thought I was going to say wine, didn't you? Come on. Now, a little wine here and there is amazing when you are packing boxes, but it can also bring your productivity rate way down. Way way down. Like 2 glasses and then you would rather sleep than even BREATHE THE SMELL of another box. So, I would go lighter on the wine, and heavier on the book or TV show bingeing. Last time I moved, I listened to a book on tape and absolutely plowed through that thing. This time, I decided to indulge in Sex and the City from beginning to end. Oh. My. Heavens. What a freakin' treat. My laptop follows me around from room to room. I am in season 4 and I started it 2 weeks ago. Yes. I am that cool. But not as cool as Carrie. I mean seriously, is anyone as cool as Carrie? You watch your mouth.


DO NOT PACK THE FOLLOWING ITEMS
In efforts to find a feeling of "I Did It"ness, I used to start with the first things I knew I could pack. Back when I was an amateur, obvi. That would lead me to the drawers, and that would lead me to the sheets/blankets/pillowcases. I would pack them up tight and put them at the bottom of the pile of boxes. Then, when it came time to tackle the kitchen, or any other breakables, I would run out of newspaper faster than you can say "peep." That was the first random short word I could think of. Strange. So, now I gather all of the towels, all of the linens, any table setting accouterment (this is my Mom's favorite word), and I put it in a pile to be used. How amazing does it feel to not only wrap your dishes up tight with thick towels at the same time that you are packing 2 things at once (towels and dishes)? Let me tell you. Amazing. And it's free. Don't you dare go out and buy packing materials for your next move. Don't. You. Dare.

And these thoughts, my friends, are my pearls of wisdom for this weekend. From me. To you. If you have a move coming I strongly suggest taking my advice, and if you don't, I am sure you will still come out alive so seriously, don't sweat it. I am just trying to help.

I love you all.

See you on the other side!

Cheers,