We Were Asked to Move Back To DC…

Van Gogh

 

About five weeks ago we were told (out of the blue) that Kelly’s agency was bringing all field agents back to DC.  This would be a mandatory reassignment. We would have until mid-September to be back in DC to still have a job.  We met in DC and our Jack was born there but we have been in Colorado for the past 16+ years and this has truly been home to us.

I had just had a group of 17 teenagers come to the studio to play for the day and as the kids were getting on the bus Kelly met me to tell me he had a bombshell.  We went back to my studio and he started to tell me about the phone call he had just received. We proceeded to spend the next 7 hours talking, praying, making pro and con lists, looking at real estate in DC, hearing the hearts of the kids and each other. We talked (and drank wine) until we could talk no more. I felt like we talked until we had our answer that very first night.

17 years ago I quit my job in DC to stay home with Jack and Kelly was the sole provider of our family. About 10 years ago I unintentionally started a small home based business making journals, paper covered letters, frames, kid’s clothes and bags. During our marriage, every place we have lived, every home we have purchased, every vacation we have gone on has been based upon distance from Kelly’s job and what works with his 9-5 schedule.  As that unintentionally started business grew over the years we always looked at Kelly’s job as safe and reliable and secure. We were always holding onto the belief that his job was there “just in case” or as a “backup”. Even if the words were not spoken it was true in my heart. I never wanted to be responsible for our family financially.  Not solely. It felt like too much.

The funny thing about that call five weeks ago is that none of us knew at the time how much we needed that call. Do you remember when I asked the Lord to help us pray for BIG THINGS?  I wanted to pray for such big things in our life, marriage, family, and business that when things started to change that only the Lord would get the credit? Well, let me tell you…be careful what you ask for! Ha!

It wasn’t long after that when we went through our home journey HERE, HERE and HERE.  We also starting hiring more help that we desperately needed and then we hired more.

Five weeks ago that call felt like something that we could go along with or we could choose differently and it would be alright. No matter what happened. I felt like if we chose to go to DC that our business would grow and change but we would figure it out. That The Living Studio could become something based out of the art and culture right here in the US.  That we could give our kids a life very different from Colorado and that it would be beautiful and good. BUT was DC how we wanted our lives and business to FEEL right now? As wonderful as DC is was it where our hearts were guiding us?

If we did not go to DC we would be scared (for sure) but we could keep this gift of land, home and studio that we feel was divinely brought to us. In letting go of what we had told ourselves was “just in case” and our “backup” was maybe keeping us from what was next for us.  We could become a true team for the first time with this business that we created together but have never been able to 100% grow together.

So, after so much talking, praying, crying and wine drinking we have decided that Kelly will be retiring from his job of 24 years.  As of this summer, Kelly will be working beside me full time to love on our family, marriage, home, land, and business.  There is a huge unknown but we are also giddy with excitement about the freedom of making decisions each day based upon what feels right for our family, marriage, and business. We are choosing again how we want our life to feel and this time we are choosing to not have a “just in case” or a “backup” plan.

We are stepping out again and expectant of beautiful things. We are scared to death. We have so many unknowns but we are doing it together and we will see where it takes us.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being a part of what we are creating. There are so many big and beautiful things coming and they are being created for you too!

 

 

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

24 Comments

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

I kind of love Mother’s Day.

I have another reason to remind my mom how much I love her and how much she did for us. Pretty much we are half way decent people because she was a rockstar…stuff like that.

I also get to get treated like a queen myself for one magical day!

Finding gifts for people I love is one of my favorite things and I have a drawer in my bedroom with little treasures I find for my dearest people.

I used to hate it so much when I would ask my mom what she would want for her birthday, Christmas or Mother’s Day. She would always say nothing. Girl, I will tell you what I want!  In all honesty though…I find myself asking my kids for very simple things that I love about who they are. This year I asked Maddy to write me a letter, Ben to write me a song (he wanted to) and for Jack to compose me a piece on the piano (this is like breathing for him).  These are the things that usually make me a puddle of tears on the floor and make me forget that Ben and Maddy were exchanging insults a few moments earlier.

Maybe you want to include a little something extra with that letter, song or composition. If so, this post is for you!

1. Cashmere. Enough said. I love this shop and have so many daily household and luxury items from them.

2. It is hard for me to buy a purse when we make them and I have a closet of vintage ones BUT I would gladly accept this if anyone wants to get it for me.

3. This is an oldie but goodie but I have three and I use them each week, they will out last me, I will pass them onto my kids and they are just so dang pretty.

4. Everyone month I get a new record from the Magnolia Record Club. I have been introduced to so many new artists that are now on regular rotation.

5. While I was in Paris Maddy and I went to the most beautiful perfumery. As soon as I stepped into the shop I was surrounded by a visual masterpiece from packaging, decor, scents and intentional curating.

6. I LOVE this bike. I don’t have it but I have been keeping it’s picture around hoping that will change.

7. I love to have friends and family over and nothing gathers people like a fire pit. I think this one is so beautiful from Terrain.

8. We have a Nepresso in the kitchen and another one in the studio and it feels like a special treat each time I make one. This is a splurge but so fun!

9. I own several pieces of ceramics from Erin Clemmons and each piece is a work of art.

10. When I want to send a friend or family flowers this is the company I use because of their attention to detail. Who can resist the vintage grain sack? Not me!

11. I just finished this book and promptly suggested it to my mom. I am pretty much obsessed with Malcolm here and believe a good book is always the perfect gift.

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

1 Comment

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Living Room Before and After

We have officially been in this house for one year as of tomorrow.

That is so hard for us to believe but when we look back over the past year we can’t believe all we have accomplished in that time (and all the things we still want to do).

This home has creatively been so fun! It has allowed us to go a totally different direction with our style and to create a fun space for our family.

This home has become a gathering space unlike any home we have had.

That was what was hinted at, prayed for and provided.

If you haven’t read our home journey you can find it here:

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

We have been so busy making the house our own and creating our new studio that I have forgotten to show you some of the other house projects.

I thought I would start with our living room.

Let me show you what we saw when we first saw this space. These next photos were from the PREVIOUS OWNERS…

This space was their dinning room, the walls were all a peachy tan color and they had built in this buffet piece.

Once we purchased the home (and before we moved in) we had all the walls and trim painted Nano White and all of the window frames painted black.

I am pretty sure the painters thought we were nuts but I assured them that if I hated the windows they were going to make a whole lot more money painting them white.

The next thing we did was replace all of the lighting throughout the home.

We also ripped out the built in buffet before having the house painted.

The other two homes we had placed offers on had wood burning fireplaces and I was pretty sad that this home only had one gas fireplace (the previous owners took out one other fireplace that was located in the kitchen) and it was in the master bedroom.

It didn’t make sense for our family to have a dinning room right next to the eat in kitchen so I thought it would be the perfect place for a small living room with a fireplace.  The original plan was to add a modern wood burning stove in this space but the depth needed was taking too much out of the floor space. We went with the most modern gas fireplace we could find that would work in the space and also allow us to have the sitting space we wanted.

Here is a photo of the space during one of our final inspections. You can’t tell in this photo with our realtor but we were really excited.

Here is a photo before the fireplace was added. If you peek into the library/music room you get a peek of that space before we built the bookshelves. That will be the next before and after:-)

BEFORE

Here are some of the progress photos.

Here are some of our AFTER photos. The black special order exposed pipe/vent was worth it. It really brought the modern feel that were were wanting into the space.

This is the space were we read, have coffee in the morning and even listen to music. Because it is right off the kitchen it is the place where our friends and family also gather. The fireplace transformed the space and also helped add to the look of the space that we were creating throughout the whole house.

My best advice is to trust your gut with what you want in your home. Don’t let the painters or even friends talk you out of the ideas you have. Big deal if you make a wrong paint decision…paint again. Really. We are having so much fun and we love the direction our home is taking.

Sources:

Chandelier: Restoration Hardware

Couch: Restoration Hardware

Table: Old Glory Antiques

Leather and metal chairs: Urban Outfitters

Pillows: Etsy and Nordstrom

Painting: Stephanie Lee

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Acts of Service Advent Tree

For the past few years we have used our Acts of Service Advent Tree during Christmas and I always get a lot of questions about it.

Even though this post is an oldie I still think it is worth sharing again!

This idea originally came to me while I was watching Anne Marie’s Twig Tree video in Home for the Holidays.

She was creating a small twig tree to hang on the wall and I knew right away that I wanted to make it big and hang acts of service off of it.

We sat down as a family and we started brainstorming things we could do as a family.

I typed all of the acts up in Word and printed them out.

We cut the acts of service into strips and folded them over to get them ready to stuff into the stars.

Our stars are made from craft paper using a star template I found online.

We (my mom) started to sew them all shut with the acts of service inside but my machine was driving her NUTS so I told her we could go with Plan B.

Always have a Plan B.

For half of the star we glued them shut with a glue stick (only getting glue around the edges to keep the glue off the acts of service) and we used a white gel pen to make thread marks on the outside.

It worked for me and possibly saved my mom’s sanity.

If you are going to hang the stars as shown …make sure that whether you sew or glue them shut that you include the end of the string in the star before you close it.

I then just randomly hung the stars on the twig tree.

I hope to do this each year as a family because

1) who needs more candy each day through December

2) who doesn’t need more times in their lives to think of others and find fun ways to show kindness

As much as I love, love, love the month of December if you are not careful it can turn into just shopping, eating too much and sugar comas.

I feel like each time we so something like this we take a huge exhale, slow down and focus.

I am thinking we will keep it up year around and have weekly acts of service.

I will let you know.

Thank you for asking about this and thank you Anne Marie for inspiring this project.

 

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Modern Farmhouse Christmas Home Tour

We truly wait until after Thanksgiving to pull out our decorations for Christmas (and we are still pulling them out).

We will be adding to our home over the next week but today is a great start!

We are all so excited to celebrate the birth of Christ, to get ready for a new year, to intentionally choose how to spend the season and to gather for our favorite traditions.

This is our first Christmas in our new home and we love seeing our Christmas decorations in this new space.

I believe it takes years to pull your home together and we are only 9 months in. We are having the best time making this house our home and can’t wait to see how it evolves.

I am honored to once again to be a part of Jen Rizzo’s Holiday Housewalk.

This year Wayfair is sponsoring the housewalk and we are excited to have them joining us!

This whole week is such a gorgeous gathering of so many incredible bloggers as they share their homes dressed up for the holidays.

Welcome to the first day and if you are coming over from Fox Hollow Cottage I am so glad you are here.

I love to decorate simply for the holidays, shop the house, use what we have and only add a few new elements.

I have also learned over the years that perfect is never as important as the people coming through your doors and those that live under your roof.

My heart is that our home is comfortable and cozy.  I also want to be surrounded by things we enjoy and use.

Welcome to our home.

(This is our acts of service tree that we bring out and use each Christmas)

The Library and Music Room

This is the space where we listen to music but also where the children practice and play the piano.

The light in here is amazing and one of the many reason we fell in love with this home.

If you look over that railing you will down into the kid’s study area and that photo is coming up.

Our School Study Nook

This area is over the railing behind our library and we have converted it into a study area for the kids to use their laptops, do homework etc.

Our Living Room

We went to the tree farm the day after Thanksgiving and picked our three trees (our art studio art tour will be coming later this week).

We got as far as the lights and the kids said they loved it just like that. We are giving it a few days to see if they change their minds. IF they do we will be sure to share here on the blog.

I kind of agree with them.

Our Kitchen

I am just realizing that I never took wide angle images of our kitchen. You can see more image HERE and  HERE and HERE.

Our Family Room

You can see more photos of our Master Bedroom dressed up for Christmas HERE.

Thank you so much for taking a peek at our home.

Come back later this week when we share our studio dressed up for Christmas!

You have more homes to see and the next stop is Beneath My Heart!

I am excited to make the new house our home and to share it with you along the way!

Thank you so much for stopping by!

My family wishes you a Merry Christmas!

******

I would love to have you check out my creative network where I have over 70 free and paid for online courses.

It is truly a lifestyle network with courses about home, cooking, bee keeping, art and so much more!

Come on over…

Coming January 4, 2017 is our new FREE series Salt + Light.

Some of your favorite creatives and bloggers will be joining me for this FREE series!

Come on over and read all about it. We would love to have you join us!

You can pre-order the devotional now that will compliment the study!

To join this free study you just need to be registered at jeanneoliver.ning.com (registering is free).

Once you are on the site you will find this study, free videos (business and art), my Creativity Takes Courage series and new online courses along the left hand side of the page.

You will find all of our courses/videos under the COURSES heading.

To register for Salt + Light

1) Go to COURSES along the left hand side of the page

2) Go to the bottom of the course and click “view all” to find Salt + Light

4) Click on Salt + Light

3) Click the +join button on the upper right hand side

4) All of the details are on the page and you are all set for the study to begin on January 4, 2017

Tell your friends!

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Home for the Holidays SALE!

One of my most popular online course is Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}.

This three week course is all about the heart of home and how to make the holidays all about the people you love.

I wanted to offer this beautiful and rich course at a 50% off discount for the next 48 hours.

For the next 48 hours you can get this course for $34 (regularly $68)!

This course is no longer live and is INSTANTLY available!

*There are 65 videos. 30 project videos and 35 discussion videos.

These are incredible videos that include everything from cooking, gift giving and decorating

*Tons of beautiful house photos from each of the nine women

*Supply Lists and PDFs for each project

*A digital recipe book of the recipes shared in this course

You will have lifetime* access!

Course Description:

Join eight of my friends and me as we celebrate loving on your home, friends and family through the holidays.

You will be encouraged as you hear honestly from each woman about the times things did not go as planned during their holidays.

You will hear honest discussions about their own journey of hospitality.

You will walk away inspired as you hear about the traditions and special moments from their childhood and how they create special moments with their families today.

You will be able to watch beautiful videos with gift giving ideas, decorating projects and favorite family recipes.

We all want to create authentic moments with our friends and families.

We all desire for the ones we love to leave our homes knowing that they were welcomed and loved.

My hope is that this course will help you slow down and find the joy and beauty in the holidays.

I promise you that this course will help you look at your home, your traditions, your family and opening your doors in a whole new way!

Won’t you join me in Creatively Made Home {home for the holidays}?

The teachers in this course are some of your favorite bloggers (or they are about to become)!

Here is a peek into what you will create in this INSTANTLY available online course.

I am so excited to open my doors to friends and family again this year!

Just seeing these photos makes my heart skip a beat and makes me excited to love on those in my life in sweeter ways all year long.

To read more or register click HERE.

******

For people that are not already in the site here are directions:

To take a class on Jeanne Oliver’s creative network please follow these instructions:

1. Become a member of jeanneoliver.ning.com (this is free)

2. Once your membership is approved you can watch free art videos, the popular free interview series Creativity Takes Courage and even pay for more in depth courses.

3. Want to take an online course? We currently offer 75 courses and free videos and you can find them all along the left hand side of the main page under “Courses”. If you do not see the course you are looking for please click the “View all” at the bottom of the list.

4. Click on the course you are interested in, click the +join in the upper right hand corner, pay and you will be instantly in the course.

5. If you have ANY questions please email contact@jeanneoliverdesigns.com

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes

Pumpkin Pancakes and Apple Cider Syrup | Our kids LOVE these

I am pretty much addicted to anything pumpkin so when fall comes around we turn to some of our pumpkin favorites.

Pumpkin pancakes with apple cider syrup is a fall staple for as long as I can remember.

THIS is the recipe that the kids ask for on special occasions and especially during the fall.

We made ours gluten free but tweak it anyway you want to make it your own.

We hope you love them as much as we do.

We thought it would be fun to share the video of us making them from a few years back.

Isn’t Benny the cutest!

Be a deer and
leave me a comment.

Read More About

Learn About Upcoming Classes