CELEBRATING 6 YEARS AND SHARING SOME OF OUR STORY!

In an effort to be more transparent in this space, I would like to start sharing more of our personal journey alongside the pretty photos of interiors. I’ve realized that other designers that I care to follow not only have amazing style and talent, but also a lot of the time they are willing to let people see the messy, behind the scenes that make us all human and give us something real to connect with. So, here’s to being vulnerable and exposing the craziness that is our life!

First, a little back story…

My husband, Brian, and I are both from the suburbs outside of Kansas City. Brian moved to Nashville, TN in 2007 and I followed in 2009 to study at O’More College of Design. We got married in 2013 and in 2015 we bought a home in Kingston Springs, TN (just outside the city).

Photos from our wedding in June 2013

Photos from our wedding in June 2013

Our home in Kingston Springs is just far enough from the city to have some land, but still only 25 min drive to downtown. We bought the home knowing that we wanted to change pretty much everything. It was in great shape structurally, but cosmetically it needed some attention. We spent the next two years pouring all of our time and money into that house and loved (almost) every second of it! In early 2017, we learned we had a baby on the way and operation GET HOUSE BABY READY was in full force! Once Fall came around, we were so excited to finally have the majority of the big projects on the main floor completed and we were finally able to relax for a second and enjoy our hard work and soon our baby boy!

Our home in Kingston Springs, TN

Our home in Kingston Springs, TN

Progress photos of our home. We really did tear everything out!

Progress photos of our home. We really did tear everything out!

Things finally came together though!

Things finally came together though!

Well, baby Miles came along (and all the accompanying hormones) and then we (I) decided life felt a little too settled and we should mix things up! I wanted our families to experience the perfection that was our new little baby and felt like we should try and find a way to spend more time near them. In an attempt to have the best of both worlds we decided to try splitting our time between TN and KS. We both are self employed, and so the idea wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility. Brian was traveling a lot for work anyways and besides client consultations I’m able to do a lot of work remotely. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for us to spend a few weeks at a time in KS and stay with family. We figured it would be similar to that, but just with our own place to stay now.

I’m pretty positive Miles will not sit this nice and still for me next time I try and pack up our house . . .

I’m pretty positive Miles will not sit this nice and still for me next time I try and pack up our house . . .

So, we started looking for homes in the KC area and in March 2018 we found a home near family in Lee’s Summit, MO that could fulfill our experiment of spending more time in the Midwest. We wanted to buy instead of rent because we love working on home projects together. In hindsight though we should have rented since this whole thing was a short term experiment. Especially because we ended up in a house that was newly remodeled due to the competitive and high priced market. So, we haven’t felt able to take on any renovation projects since we wouldn’t see much of a return on investment with the short time frame and the fact that everything was just updated (it’s just wasn’t done in our style).

Our house in Lee’s Summit, Mo

Our house in Lee’s Summit, Mo

This experiment has proven to be much more difficult than we anticipated, but we have learned a lot in the past year. One big lesson we are learning is that there is still value in things outside of financial gain. Sometimes you have to forget about all the numbers. Not allowing ourselves to take on any home projects (one of our biggest shared passions) has been a big blow to morale! So, even with the uncertainty of how much longer we will be in this house we are going to go ahead and start some small renovation projects to regain a part of ourselves that we’ve desperately been missing!

I’ll share the upcoming projects we decide to take on in this space!

Some other takeaways from this experiment have been. . .

  • Traveling with a kid is SO much work!

  • If your dog is used to having 1.5 acres surrounded by woods to spend all day roaming around on then she is going to hate you when she visits the new MO house that is a small fenced in back yard.

  • You know how they say don’t make any big life decisions within 6 months of a major life changing event happening. Such good advice. Going to try and remember that for next time! Ha

  • Sharing a house with a kid is not so easy. We’re renting 2 rooms to friends in our TN house and they have taken great care of the home when we are not there (!), but trying to keep your child from creating complete chaos in a space that you now share with others is not so easy!

  • We’ve been reminded of all the reasons why we love Nashville, even if it’s completely different now than when we moved there 10+ years ago.

  • and lots of others things...

Entertaining a toddler on a plane is a work out!

Entertaining a toddler on a plane is a work out!

Most importantly though, this season has given Miles lots of quality time with extended family and we are very thankful for that!

So for now, we are weighing our options and deciding what feels like the next right step for our family.

I’m excited to start sharing more of our experience with bouncing between states, upcoming home projects and how we are navigating this crazy, exhausting, and exciting season of life!

Amanda TotoroComment