I felt it might be time for my readers to get to know me a little better. Although there’s some info on the About Me page, I’ve been feeling like I wanted to go into more detail about who I am and what I’m doing writing this blog. Let me first say I’m not one who really likes to share too much personal stuff, not even to my friends and family. I wake up and pray each morning and then kind of leave it all up to God and get on my way. But, sometimes sharing is valuable in growing and also as a means to help other people.
I’ve been a stay at home mom for the last 20 years. Prior to that I was a workaholic and truly enjoyed it. Although I always hoped I’d have a family I was not prepared for the overwhelming sense of purpose I felt after I had my first child. I remember the exact moment I knew that motherhood was my calling. My oldest daughter Sage was 6 weeks old and my husband was getting ready to leave for work, as he was coming to say good-by to me, he found me holding Sage and sobbing. He asked me what was wrong and I said, “Sage is 6 weeks old and lots of women have to go back to work when their babies are this age, I would be absolutely devastated if I had to leave Sage right now”. It was like a huge wave of reality hit me and I felt completely fulfilled with my place in the universe at that moment. Honestly, God never felt more real or significant as in that moment. I’m not sure why that happened but I will say I embraced motherhood and homemaking with gusto and a feeling of complete gratitude and thankfulness. Before I go on, this is not to say anything negative about women that go back to full-time work willingly/happily or to women who have no other choice. Being a mother is by far the hardest role we play and it takes a village to raise a child; we all need each other. I’d like to think that I was helpful to those working moms when they couldn’t be there and I could, like for school functions, after school activities, etc.. In fact I was thrilled to help out, it was a privilege and I would hope if the tables had been turned someone would have done it for me.
With that said, I am coming to the end of my day-to-day career of motherhood (and yes, it is a career, it takes talent and brains, not to mention nerves of steel and a heart of gold). Sage is already in college, in fact she will be entering her junior year and my younger daughter Skye has just started her senior year in high school. Anticipating the drastic change that was about to happen in my life, I approached this challenge as I approach all challenges, I first pray about it and then I set about to make a plan and lastly I embrace the change as much as possible knowing that it is the journey that makes life worth living.
Over the years I’ve become someone who’s hidden talents, and talents that I didn’t really think of as talents, have shown through as I’ve navigated through this motherhood/homemaker life. I’ve absolutely loved anything having to do with interior design and although I would not say my house is, at the moment, a showplace, I’ve always tried to have a home that is warm and inviting and makes my family happy and friends want to come over. My love of cooking and baking, which of course was a necessity, was honed over the years and I’ve actually gotten pretty good at it (thanks mom and dad for those genes), and my love of photography which started in high school got lots of use over the years. Party planning and all that went with it was completely fun for me and shopping for my girls allowed me to enjoy my love of fashion that I’ve had my whole life. Had I stayed on the career path that I was on, I would never have had the opportunity to hone skills that were innately what I feel are my passions. I know that sounds a bit hokey but I do think we all have special talents that when we tap into them, it makes sense of everything and hard work becomes something you look forward to because it’s what you are meant to do. Being a mom and homemaker made it crystal clear to me what my talents were and gave me a chance to use them all the time, and now it’s given me the direction to know what my next step should be.
Knowing that I’d be an empty nester I started to plan ahead so I wouldn’t be caught off guard. I felt like I was being asked to retire when I wasn’t quite ready to. After looking at all kinds of blogs and following along on different types of social media: Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Pinterest etc.. I decided that I wanted to give blogging a shot. Initially I started very slow, there’s a lot to learn and you soon find out that those cute little blog posts actually took lots of time, energy and talent. My thought was that I’d take time to study and learn and try my hand at it while still being a busy mom. Well, I loved it!!! It seemed to wrap everything I enjoyed into one pretty package.
Now that I knew this piece was figured out, I approached my husband and told him I’d like to blog about the remodel of our home. I’m not sure if he knew what he was getting into initially but I’d like to think he’s now on board. I’ve mentioned before that we’ve lived in our home for 16 years and it was a new build, so everything has been beautiful and new all these years but now our home is showing some wear and tear and it’s really time to redecorate to keep our home current. My dream would be that eventually I can flip homes or just acquire rental properties that I buy and then remodel, blogging about them on the way. I find the whole process fun and exciting and I love all the creativity involved. Because that is my goal I want us to do all the work in our current home ourselves as much as possible. Also, I want to give other people an opportunity to see that they can do it too. I’m not gonna lie, it can be frustrating to see many people on social media who seem to be able to remodel their homes quickly and with the most amazing furnishing and fixtures, but even if I could do it that quickly I wouldn’t, I’m kind of loving that I’m learning all the ins and outs of interior design and am having to be resourceful, creative and mindful of finances. I think the greatest design comes out of the people who have to think outside the box to get their homes to look beautiful. Honestly, I know exactly how I’d like my home to look from top to bottom and there are definitely days I wish I could do it but I really want anyone that visits my blog to see that they too can make their home special with a little ingenuity and elbow grease, like I’m doing. I’ve transformed my backyard with mostly spray paint. Had I not had to think creatively I wouldn’t have gotten my brightly colored fun backyard.
Lastly, I think it is so important that I set an example for my girls that you have to embrace change and know when it is time to move ahead, to plan and pray to make dreams come true and to not let anyone stop you from obtaining those dreams. The other thing I would like to point out is that I’m a big believer in doing things 100%, and over the years I have gotten some jabbing remarks about being a stay at home mom, as if it wasn’t enough or boring, it was anything but that. I always knew, and would share with people, that I was going to enjoy the motherhood career path knowing that there would be another career waiting for me to start at the end of this. I never for once thought, “oh no what am I going to do when my children grow up”. But it’s funny how many people project that thought on to me and I have to stop them in their tracks and say, that yes, there is a sadness to this life change but there is a sense of pride in seeing your children grow into successful adults and an excitement in knowing there are new horizons around the corner.
I plan on enjoying this last year as much as possible with all that comes with motherhood. Of course I will always be a mom but my day-to-day duties are going to change. I’m so proud of my girls and the young women they have become. They have made me a better person, my heart more loving and my faith stronger. It really has been a privilege to raise them. I do look forward to spending time with my husband that has been so few and far between with our busy lifestyle and to many new adventures ahead.
When it comes to growing this blog, I want my readers to know that my home remodel may not be the fastest but it will be interesting, informative, and most of all doable for anyone who wants to take on their own remodel. We’ll figure things out along the way and make spaces that are gorgeous and affordable, so I hope you follow along and get engaged because I’d love to hear from you too. I will also be selling my photography which I’m really excited about, I display my photos throughout my home and it really is something I love. Of course, lots more recipes, DIY projects, lifestyle and party ideas and gardening. I’m excited to expand and do this full-time, but first I’m going to enjoy this last year of full-time motherhood and will continue blogging on a regular basis.
Hope that was informative and helps to give a glimpse into my personal journey and that of Avenue Of Joy. Thanks for stopping by and can’t wait to share lots more.