Stay Curious.
Dig Deeper.
Nurture What Matters.
Be BoldHeart.
Enjoy Your Life.

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The BoldHeartMama desires to enjoy living out the choices that she’s made for herself and for her family. She is a relentless learner: curious, inquisitive, and open to the possibilities of her life and of the human condition. She understands that there isn't one right way—she asks questions that dig deeper to make sense of it all and to find her own path.

She pays attention to and nurtures whatever it is she really cares about, letting go of the rest (for now) knowing she can't do and be everything all at once. She embraces her imperfections in favor of "good enough"—her imperfect self, her imperfect home, her imperfect mothering, her imperfect desires—and she never stops evolving as a woman and mother. She is a BoldHeart, authentic and true to herself.

The BoldHeartMama knows there is only this one life and she's all in. She is present and engaged and making things happen. Her intuition is her guide. She seeks to be inspired and relies on her creativity and her resourcefulness to solve the big and little challenges that she and her family face together as they navigate their relationships and their world.

The BoldHeartMama is willing to take calculated risks to make her biggest dreams come true. She is living out her BoldHeart in the moment, making small moves and taking little steps that add up, and she's cultivating a good life for herself and her family in the process. Read More!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tour of Homes

Navigating The Mothership is one of my favorite blogs--it is a dose of entertainment and reality all rolled into one. Laura is mom to Bella who is exactly (practically speaking) the same age as Roscoe. Bella is one of the most "with-it" 15 month olds I've ever seen and I'm convinced that Roscoe and Bella are a match made in heaven. Laura and her family are intending to move from their current digs in Minneapolis and so they are preparing their home as a rental. When Laura posted about her current home (here and here), the response from her readers demanded more house posts and so she has been inviting guest bloggers to present their homes in pictures and words. I've enjoyed reading about how real people live from areas all across the country, and I'm thrilled to share our place with you too! Thanks Laura! Check out the other Tour of Homes posts from Texas, Ohio, Massachusetts, Canada, and Connecticut.

My husband and I met in high school, shortly after my family moved from the West Coast. He was a Northern Virginia native, and I was a shorts and flip-flop sporting California Girl. After we graduated we moved to Virginia's capital city of Richmond, and during our Junior year of undergrad we bought our very first house: a 1950's ranch on 1/3 acre of land. It cost $82,000 dollars--can you believe it? We loved every square inch of that house and the labor intensive home improvement projects that we tackled to make it our home. Our sah-weet labor of love.

After college, now married and looking for professional work, it only made sense to move back to the area in which both sets of our parents still lived, and closer to the rich job market within Washington DC's city limits, or so we thought. At that point we were feeling quite done with older house maintenance and improvements and hoped to find a more modern, and updated place to live.

We carefully considered what could be purchased inside the city, outside the city, and in the suburbs, and we were pretty quickly lured by how far we could stretch our money in choosing to live just 25 miles south of DC. We compromised our values in some ways--urban sprawl is the devil (!)--in order to buy a house that we could be proud of.

So we signed the contract, picked out the features we wanted, participated in daily drive-bys as it was constructed, and moved in just a few days before Christmas in December 2007.

Ha! This feels like forever ago!!

There is a lot to love about our current house. For instance, I love how our "street" is made up of 2 rows of homes that face each other with a courtyard in between. The road is to the back of the house and offers entry to the garages. This style of house is referred to as a "semi-detached" town home, because all the houses are connected at their garages.

A few of the characteristics that really won us over when we were debating the decision to buy this particular house was the stone front, and details like crown moulding and thick round pillars that are typical to a Craftsman Bungalow--our dream style of home. Hardwood floors, and ample space also helped to seal the deal.

This is our entryway:

The first floor is essentially one big greatroom. Our kitchen is on one side, with a combined dining and living area. This arrangement works great for entertaining. The cabinet space in our kitchen seemed unreal, but believe it or not, every single cabinet is filled to the brim with dishes, serving pieces, appliances, and cookbooks. A well equipped kitchen keeps me energized and the generous counter space makes for plenty of room to spread out and get to work at a moments notice.

Moving towards the back of the house, there is a powder room, a small pantry, and an unnecessarily huge second entry. We have attempted to decorate with a jute rug and a lovely bench that we adore, but that is as far as we have come. It's an oddly awkward space that is relatively low on our list of decorating priorities. Eventually, I would love to add a standing coat rack, an entry table, a pendant lamp, and perhaps a canvas or two of our family.

But for now, it looks like this:

Our garage can very tightly accommodate two cars, however, Roscoe's summer play toys and an expansive assortment of storage items make this an impossibility.

stairs leading up; doors to powder room, pantry, and second entry; powder room

Moving upstairs!

On the second floor, is a long hallway that leads in one direction to our bedroom, and in another to two smaller bedrooms and a full bath.

view towards Roscoe's room, view toward our room, stairs leading up

Our bedroom is my favorite room in the whole house (well second to Roscoe's, maybe). Large windows line the front, and vaulted ceilings lend an airy, luxurious feel. Our favorite painting from a life changing trip to Kauai hangs above our bed, and I have a soft spot for every piece of furniture in this room. Our son was born here, and it is the place out of all places that I am most "at home".

Our bathroom features two sinks, even though most of the time mine is completely unusable, filled with makeup, lotions, brushes, and a hairdryer. There is a walk-in closet at the end, and a teeny tiny room with a toilet that opens into yet another teeny tiny storage closet. My favorite element is the over-sized tub, and separate shower stall. The whole family can be in here at once, doing something, and there's plenty of space for everyone.

Just outside our bedroom is a laundry room--which makes all the sense in the world. The convenience of having a washer and dryer on the bedroom level is grand.

On the other end of the hall is Roscoe's Room, Little Sears's Room--which is currently a storage space with an indoor tent that Roscoe likes to hang out in--and another bathroom.

Roscoe's room was the most fun to decorate. The color scheme is a dream, and every item within was picked just for him. The nursery has already transitioned into a toddler room, and I love how effortlessly it has grown with him.

The third, and final floor is home to our loft. We added chair molding and crown molding to distinguish the space as slightly more formal, and then we set up two distinct areas: a home theater, of sorts, and a home office. This is where I do my blogging, and where I work! After Roscoe's nail polish fiasco, we are seriously considering replacing the carpet with hardwood and then finally getting to work decorating this comfy and highly used space.

Another full bath exists up here, as does a humongous walk in closet that we use for storage.

At the end of the day, the general layout of the house lends itself to shutting down each floor, and moving upward. After dinner it's bath and bedtime routine on the bedroom level, then Andy and I almost always make our way to the loft to unwind and catch up.

We've now lived in this house for almost 4 years, and when the market turned our mortgage flipped upside down. In truth, we do not love living in the suburbs. And we especially dislike paying an inflated mortgage! We've realized through this experience that we are city folk, and that we thrive on access to good food, entertainment, and culture, and that we HATE long commutes, traffic jams, and not having outdoor spaces in which to stretch our legs.

If we could do it all over again, hands-down we would choose an older, smaller house closer to where we like to work and play. Especially now that we have children to consider. There's nothing worse than having the world at your fingertips (i.e., Washington DC adventures), but finding yourself trapped behind 2 hours of bumper to bumper traffic. We would love the opportunity to have an intimate relationship with the area in which we live, and to explore our community on foot. Furthermore, it would be awesome to live in an area where a true sense of community actually existed.

For now, we're riding the market, enjoying a home that we really do feel happy to live in, and looking forward to the first opportunity to make our next move—hopefully back to California—where we can settle in long-term to raise our brood.


  1. I loved that tour of your house !!

  2. Thanks! I bet she would love an international guest post--you should submit!

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