I feel like I’ve been waiting for this particular summer my whole life. Living in a farm house in the country and settling into this new chapter with my family is enough to make my heart burst.
I know I haven’t talked much about our home despite it consuming most of my energy. (If you take my class regularly, you hear about it all the time!) Honestly, I think I’m still in disbelief. For me, this house is a dream come true. I feel a deep sense of place here as if this exact house was always meant to be.
I promise to share more of our home soon. In the meantime, life is rolling right along and we’re trying to figure things out as we go. We did a lot of yard work this spring. I ripped out all the pachysandra and ferns surrounding the house, weeded all of the garden beds, and got hazed by a mean case of poison ivy. Silly me thought poison ivy only grew in the woods. It was so bad I had to go on oral and topical steroids. I looked like I had spent hours in a makeup chair for a sci-fi movie. It was truly traumatizing! Lesson learned.
Between the yard work and the gardening, we’ve been spending the majority of our time outdoors. It’s been a real joy discovering all of the plants and flowers on our property. We had hundreds of daffodils pop up along the edge of our woods this spring. They looked magical! And I was in peony heaven in May. Most recently, we planted a hedge of limelight hydrangea which I’ve been rage spraying to keep the deer away (found this product and it works like a charm). Anyway, they’re about to explode with flowers and I’m really not sure life gets any better.
Inside the house, things are moving slower than I’d like. Jim just finished painting the entire house. He started in December. Now he’s a family friend. The house feels like a blank slate, which is refreshing and overwhelming. The truth is, I don’t want to rush and decorate the whole house all at once—I want to wait for the right pieces and allow them to find me. But sometimes I feel impatient and wish the house was finished, even though I don’t actually want that.
I pulled together a little list of the things that have defined my life as of late, as well as some of the pieces I’m still waiting for.
1. I’m holding on tight to the idea of lobster rolls on the beach. This picnic basket is the perfect way to transport things like napkins, cutlery, and rosé!
2. I’ve invested in several pair of gardening gloves. I don’t touch anything without gloves anymore because you never know what you’re allergic to.
3. We spend so much time outside. A garden hat is a must.
4. I’ve learned a lot about pruning, most of which is philosophical. I feel like I always have a pair of garden pruners in my hand.
5. This pot looks almost identical to the one I inherited from my grandmother. I was the first thing I styled on our book shelves and every time I look at it, it feels right.
6. I’m still on the hunt for dining chairs to go with our 9 foot farm table. I honestly don’t know what I want but trust that I’ll know it when I see it. This chair is a good contrast to the rustic vibe of the table. We’ll see…
7. I’m loving pinstripes and feel endlessly inspired by traditional English decor. This arm chair is a dream.
8. I need three jute rugs: one for the dining room, one for the living room, and one for I don’t know where. Okay, I only need two. This diamond pattern would be perfect for the dining room.
9. We desperately need a classic library floor lamp for our den.
10. I own approximately five million pieces of vintage decor (like this big cloche) waiting to be styled. Right now most of it is in our cellar. I’m slowly creating little vignettes around my home that tell the story of us.
11. A favorite candle of mine! Even when nothing feels finished, a candle somehow pulls everything together.
12. I’ve been so inspired by the beautiful river scenes in our town. One of my goals is to paint a big landscape similar to this for our formal living room.
13. I have no pictures of our family and friends anywhere in our house! I need to get on that asap. But first, I need new frames!
14. This console table is exactly what I envision for our foyer. I want to put big market baskets underneath and maybe matching lamps on top with a big bouquet of flowers in the middle. The dimensions are tough because it can’t be too wide or we won’t be able to open the front door. Plus I want something vintage, so I just have to wait for the right thing to come alone.
15. I found the perfect harvest basket at a beloved local shop. I use it all the time for picking flowers and branches.
What else? Let me think.
I mentioned in my newsletter and on Instagram that I’ve been trying to embrace a friendlier relationship with time. I feel like I’ve been on a treadmill for a year. I just want slow down and fully experience each moment. On paper, summer seems like a great opportunity to practice this. In reality, our calendar is somehow packed and there’s already too much to do. I had this whole fantasy meme in my head, like Elf planning the perfect day. “First, we’ll make homemade ice cream sandwiches. Then, we’ll dine al fresco every night. Finally, we’ll eat lobster rolls on the beach.”
The fantasy behind the fantasy is about surrendering to time rather than trying to control it. Surrender is tough for me. I can visualize things so clearly and I work hard to achieve my goals. But in hustling to manifest what I see in my mind, I inhibit the spontaneity of life and the joy of going with the flow.
My goal for this summer is to prioritize more stillness. I want to slow down and savor this adventure. Time will only move faster and there will always be too many balls in the air. The question I need to continuously ask myself is how can I connect to the home within? My entire practice is about unpacking this question in my everyday life, on my mat, in my relationships, and amidst the chaos of it all. For me, life is about living this question and discovering who I am along the way.