Life Update | A New Season of Change July 31, 2018 | I haven’t shared much on the personal front with you guys lately, so indulge me in a life update post…Here we are 5 months after our move back to Texas and I can finally say that I feel like I have my bearings. The ground was shaky for a while there and I have been in survival mode for most of 2018, but as the dust settles and God’s plan continues to unfold for our family I let my heart settle into the fact that this road has been paved long ago for us. As a quick refresher because there are quite a few of you who are new or semi-new here: I’m from Louisiana, I moved to Dallas after college. I met Dan (who’s from St. Louis) in Dallas and we were married in 2010. We both had careers here and in 2012, he was offered a job in Charlotte. I was pregnant with Landry and we moved across the country without ever really visiting. We both looked at this phase of life as a “stepping stone” so to speak and always knew that we wanted to build a life closer to our families. We spent nearly 6 years in Charlotte and honestly loved it more than either of us will admit. The east coast is beautiful, Charlotte is very up and coming and the people fully embraced us and essentially gave me this blog (my Charlotte girls, I will always be so thankful for your fierce support of this little space). After many many many prayers, Dan found a job back in Dallas that he was excited about and we decided that it was a good time to make the move closer to home. We’ve spent the last 5 months settling into our new house, learning our new town (more about that below), and establishing a new normal for our girls. Moving with small children was WAY more stressful that I has anticipated and really took a toll on us psychically and emotionally, but with lots of grace granted along the way I feel like we are thriving. A Season of Change | Moving to the Suburbs If you’d told me that I would seek a move to the ‘burbs when we lived here back in 2012 I would have LOL’d. But living in Charlotte and slowing down my pace I came to realize that I spent more time in the “burbs” than I did in the “city” and I really liked it that way. When we found out that Dan’s job would be in a suburb of Dallas called Plano, we both agreed that we would like to buy a home close by and cut out his commute. Side note: we both worked in Plano and lived in Dallas when we were here previously and the commute is anywhere from 30-60 minutes each way, which isn’t something we were willing to give up with two young kids. We truly LOVE our new area. Our home is less than 1 mile from one of the main highways that will get me into Dallas within 15 minutes, it’s less than 2 miles from Dan’s office, Landry’s school is less than a mile from our front door and within a 2 mile radius there’s a library, 5 Starbucks, Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, countless parks, amazing restaurants, every boutique fitness studio you can imagine, a kids museum and a huge mall. Truly, I have a little bubble now and it’s amazing that I never really have to leave it if I don’t want to. I will say this though, I’ve gotten lots of eyerolls about living in the suburbs and sometimes thats annoying to deal with. There’s an invisible line in Dallas somewhere and if it’s crossed at the northern most point, people assume you live in Oklahoma. It’s such an old school mindset, but it’s very much still going strong in Dallas. I’m always happy to tell people why and how we chose our new house and how it brings a ton more convenience to our family than somewhere in Dallas proper, but it’s always exhausting having to “justify” your decision when it’s actually been one of the best you’ve made in a while. A few of you have asked about the differences between Dallas and Charlotte and I will say they are starkly different. We miss the landscape, the trees and the slightly milder weather A LOT. We miss the healthy active vibe where EVERYone is outside biking, running or walking their dogs. What we do appreciate about Dallas is the endless amount of things to do. I can easily keep the kids busy all Summer but countless museums, parks, splash pads, pools…you name it…and there are always fun new restaurants opening and different spots to check out. It’s a faster pace and I like it. There are also MANY more drive thru Starbucks…and if you live in Charlotte, you’d appreciate that. A Season of Change | School! This is a big one y’all. I feel a pit in my stomach just knowing that I’m going to write it all out. My big girl is going to Kindergarten. She will be gone from me for 7-8 hours a day and I am devastated to let her out from under my wing. That sweet baby has taught me so much, brings me so much joy and really is the calm to my daily storm. I know that seeing her off to school and watching her flourish will also bring me joy, but I will mourn not having her by my side most days. She’s craving friendships (since she left all of her close friends behind in Charlotte), she loves learning and will also really appreciate structure and scheduling so I know that this is going to be a great season for her. For me though, it marks a distinct change and closes the door to an era of innocence and protection that I will never get back as her mama. A few people asked about how we chose public vs private school. Landry is going to the public neighborhood elementary school down the street from our house, which is another part of the reason that we chose to live where we did. The schools are ranked very high and are challenging and diverse which was all very important to us. Should we have stayed in Charlotte, she would have been in a private Catholic school, because our school zone there was not ideal. I think that it’s very situational and dependent on the child + the parents will to thrive. I went to what would be considered terrible schools growing up (we didn’t know any different in my small town) and got a full scholarship to college and am doing just fine. If Landry doesn’t thrive in these big public schools then we will consider private. Mommy + Me Day for Breakfast, Registering for School and Shopping for School Clothes! The most significant change though has to do with Lawson girl and Dan and I deciding that more of a structured, full time child care option is what’s best for us. I’m crying as I type this. I’ve been building this business for 5 years now and have grown it through pregnancies, sleepless nights, no naps, no childcare, moves, and really stormy seasons. I’ve given myself very little grace and skipped maternity leave, pushed myself to wake up extra early and stay up way past my bedtime to make sure that it stays afloat. I’ve never worked harder for something in my life and I want to see it through. I’ve had VERY little luck with part time nannies and they all end up being way more work than they are worth due to lack of reliability and flexibility, so we are choosing the more structured group child care route and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t torn up about it. I’ll have the option to send her full time, but plan to send her Monday-Thursday 8-3. I’ll scoop her up when I pick up Landry from school and my hope is that I will have 4-5 devoted hours with the girls where I am not worried about work, or social media, or looming deadlines. I will have gotten that stuff taken care of during my structured work day (which will be a luxury that I’ve never known) and will be able to be phone down with them enjoying the afternoon. I know that this is the right decision and that she will do amazing (she loves being around other kids!), but please say a little prayer for this mama who is letting Mom Guilt absolutely cripple her. Season of Change | New Home We’ve been in our house for a little over 4 months now and it’s really an ideal home for our family. Of course, it has it’s quirks and things that we want to change, but overall the location and layout are really perfect. The ceilings are high, there’s breathing room, tons of natural light and we just adore how things are laid out. I went hard in the beginning trying to get things sorted out and decorated and then took a hiatus until a few weeks ago when I felt ready to dive back into decor. There’s quite a bit going on behind the scenes and I plan to share over the next few weeks, mainly on stories. Here are a few photos of what it looked like when we bought it. Entry | Formal Living + Dining Living Room Kitchen (staged) Living (staged) MBR (staged) Master bath (staged) Landry’s Room Playroom Looking at these, I’m thinking that it’s crazy how far we’ve come already and am giving myself a little pat on the back. It’s SO hard to move into a new house and let the thoughts of decorating it and filling it consume you. Thankfully, I was able to pull in the reigns a little and am feeling happy with the pace we are going. I will say though when I first started this blog (it was WAY more decor focused at the beginning), I was always hungry for a home project. Something to tackle, something to paint, something to refinish and now I feel the total opposite. I want to think long term, pick out things that I truly love and decorate it in a way that will make us happy and comfortable for years to come. What we miss: our yard. Our home in Charlotte backed up to a greenway, so we definitely miss the Season of Change | All the Shiny Things I have to say that being back in Dallas is quite the culture shock after 5 years in Charlotte. The pace is faster and I feel like things are quite a bit more competitive in the “keeping up with the Jones’s” way, which I didn’t miss. I actually grew to love the humble pace of Charlotte. Most moms drove mini-vans, houses were nice but humble, there weren’t as many competitive activities for kids…you get my drift. Dallas is full of Range Rovers, McMansions, and $30k millionaires. It does keep me on my toes, but it’s not a trap that I want to fall into. It’s a daily challenge to ground myself and not get caught up in all of the shiny things….living below our means, to only buying what we can truly afford and not pretending to be people that we aren’t. It’s so hard to step back and put things into perspective though, so that’s just my take on it all 🙂 Season of Change | Friends, Church, Etc. Although we’ve settled in for the most part, there’s still quite a bit to figure out…like friends, church, and how we really want to plant our roots here. Finding friends in your 30’s is not easy. I haven’t really met a good group of girls up here yet, and that’s ok. I know that it will come and in all reality I don’t have the time to be a good new friend right now. Thankfully I have my lifelong friends in Dallas and they’ve been so wonderful to include me in so many things. I am so excited for Landry to start school because I know that she is going to be SO happy to have friends again! We are also trying to figure out a new Church family. Dan and I were both raised Catholic but are both unsure that that’s how we want to raise our girls- so we are at a crossroads. Say some prayers that the Lord leads us to where we are supposed to be 🙂 Although there are many things that we miss dearly about Charlotte (especially friends) overall, we are so thankful to be closer to family, friends and home for me. We are excited to dig our heels in and plant roots for our girls. Although there are many things that we miss dearly about Charlotte (especially friends). Ok that was very long and very personal. All things that I’ve been meaning to write out and share with you guys…so if you’ve made it to the end, thank you!