Creating a Life We Love

Creating a Life We LoveThis post is in partnership with Kathy Davis, an artist, author and lifestyle brand.

Hello, friends! A year ago, before we actually moved here, we imagined creating a room just like this. We dreamed about having a place where friends and family could come stay with us to enjoy the city or just spend time catching up! But this is more than just a room to us, it’s symbolic of why we have a need for a guest room in the first place.

Creating a Life We Love


It was over eight years ago that our life as a family began to take an unexpected turn.

Creating a Life We Love2009

Eight and a half years ago, my husband’s job ended. In 2009 after a stressful year of unemployment and uncertainty, my husband and I moved with our son Luke (our girls’ little brother, yes, they all three have the same parents and we are still married, in case that was confusing, ha!) from our hometown of Portland, Oregon to Washington to start a new church.

Creating a Life We Love

We moved to a peninsula in the Puget Sound area, about three hours away from Portland, extended family and from our girls. Courtney was finishing her senior year of high school and Kylee had just gotten married and was in college. Luke was partway through second grade, just a little guy.

The move brought a dream to life for my husband and it was worth the sacrifice in many other ways. And while the move was made with intention for the good of our family and we were excited about it, in other ways the transition was very difficult on all of us.

It was especially hard at first knowing that because of the move, our three kids would no longer live in the same city. The impact the move made on our family just about broke this mama’s heart. Being away from their eight year old brother broke our girls’ hearts too, so within just six months of our move they did something many siblings would never consider. They did something I would have never asked them to do. They (along with my oldest daughter’s husband Lance) willingly left their lives, friends and even changed colleges and plans to move to Seattle to be closer to us and most of all, to be closer to Luke.

Creating a Life We Love

Living in Seattle, they were then just over 1.5 hours away so every weekend for years and years they boarded a ferry to cross the water to our house to spend time with their brother and come to church with us. Our kids sacrificed so much to nurture their close relationships as siblings and for us as a family. I’m so proud of their selflessness, devotion to family and their maturity.

In more recent years as the kids graduated from college and got full time jobs, life was even busier for all of us. My youngest daughter Courtney started working with me full time at The Inspired Room two years ago. As our business grew in new directions, we struggled at times to find ways to work productively with the inconvenience of living in different cities.

Last spring as Luke was finishing up eighth grade, we sensed a change was brewing for our family. We had just four more years with him at home full time before he’d head to college. Part of creating a life you love is adapting and adjusting to the new seasons. You find ways to adjust and continue to nurture relationships in a new period of life. After much prayer and consideration, we decided to do something we hadn’t imagined when we first moved to Washington. But, we were so confident it was the right choice for all of us.

Creating a Life We Love
Ten months ago, we moved across the water to Seattle to be closer to our kids. It wasn’t easy (is a move ever easy?) to leave behind our home and all the changes and challenges that accompanied relocating, but it was worth it to bring our family closer together. We are so grateful to be here.

Closer proximity has definitely changed many things for the better. Now instead of minimum 1.5 hours each trip for any of us to get together, it’s a quick ten minute drive. We can easily have spontaneous family dinners, be in the same room for daily work, have more time to play and even can help each other out at the spur of the moment. Our kids have more sibling time for watching movies, going to church, playing with the dogs and just enjoying time together.

Creating a Life We Love

We can’t predict life’s ups and downs. Life often brings unwelcome or at least unexpected changes, but change can offer us opportunities for refining how we want to live. We can’t expect to create a perfect life, but we can create a life we love. We are trying to live it as fully as possible in the season (and city) we are in.

We are looking forward to more family adventures this summer and have already enjoyed hosting family from Portland in this pretty guest room. That’s why this guest room means so much to us. It’s not just a room, it’s a connection point between where we came from and where we are. It’s a tangible reminder of pursuing relationships, finding joy in the journey and chasing dreams. We may have left our hometown, but we know this guest room door will always open for the people we love.

Creating a Life We Love

The Kathy Davis brand believes everyone has a right to “Create a Life They Love.” In pursuit of that philosophy, they have become valued for the connections they encourage with their expressive painting and heartfelt, hand-lettered messages. From greeting cards to gifts, and from home to fashion, Kathy Davis products are sold in over 60,000 stores nationwide.

How are you creating a life you love? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!



  1. Our youngest just finished 8th grade, too, and is 13 and 10 1/2 years younger than his siblings. I didn’t realize we had that in common. ;) So I totally understand the “Yes, he’s ours and so are they!” type comment. ;) And we are blessed to have all our children close to us at this time in our lives. We just finished moving our son into the bigger bedroom and now have a guest bedroom that can actually be occupied! I painted the walls Olympus White which would go perfectly with this bedding! Thanks for the chance.

  2. I loved reading your story, and I easily identify with it because I moved away from home and my 5-year-old brother when I started college and have lived 2-3 hours away from them for decades. So I’ve made the drive between communities for many years. Worth it! Eventually my husband I built a small cabin so our kids could spend more time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins during holidays and weekends.

  3. My husband just retired from the military and we are currently in transition as we move closer to our parents than we’ve been able to be in the past 20 years. Until this time, we had once a year visits. Relationships are God’s heartbeat.

  4. Donna Jackson says

    We lost our job in 2009 and also had to move, but the only job my husband could find was in Doha, Qatar (THE MIDDLE EAST!). We were so sad to leave our three sons in the states, the youngest who was a junior in college. But finally we are back in Texas and making a new home in a lovely old 1926 Tudor home. One married son and his family live in the same town as us. But two more need guest rooms when they come to visit, so we are constantly in the process of updating our “old” new home to accommodate many family get togethers. Family is one of God’s greatest blessings!

  5. Melissa, I love hearing the story of your move. I had heard some of it, but did not know about your daughters being further away from you and your husband and son for a while. What devotion to family for them to move to be closer to you, and then for you and your husband to move closer to the girls. I love it! Family is so important. Thanks for sharing!

  6. mary louise says

    my life revolves around my family! our guest room is decorated with love and care. i have always favored the blue and white combo and in your guest room, it comes together beautifully!

  7. For years I was increasingly restless with my life. Frankly, I was tired of working in an office cubicle, tired of dealing with the politics, tired of doing the same projects. Nine months ago I finally took the plunge and quit my part-time job to devote more time to finding and selling antiques and vintage bits. I couldn’t be happier with my decision! Now my days are spent doing my little biz, working in my garden, writing and meeting friends for coffee. I feel like I’m living the dream. ☺

  8. I grew up in a large family and was the one that moved far away. Thankfully I married a man that knew family was important and built a guest house for my parents to come and stay the summer. Needless to say our children formed wonderful relationships with them.

  9. Dawn DeMulling says

    Just over two years ago we started a huge home remodel project on our 1920 house. It was a huge decision with today’s uncertainty, but you only live once, so we bit the bullet. We are now working on installing drywall and then the fun part (painting and decorating) begin. I love reading about other people’s inspiring stories and how they overcome difficulties. My home is my safe place and I think it is important to create an inspiring space where family and creativity can thrive.

  10. Love that you have been able to keep your family close by. I would filled very blessed if that happens to me again some day <3

  11. Melinda Young says

    I love hearing about your story! It’s all about love of family and how important that is to you.
    My husband and I live outside Portland near Beaverton. It’s right on a park and a small home. I bought it in college and never imagined raising a family in it. We’ve attempted to move a few times, however having our own business, it’s made sense to stay. It’s in an awesome location. We added on 3 years ago and love the addition, however just went round and round again about moving or adding a 4th bedroom. We have 3 boys and feel a bit pinched in the bedroom space. Needless to say the architect comes soon. It’s just less expensive for us to add on. We can’t give up how close we are to family, church, work, school and parks! Work is 5 mins away. Anyway, right now it makes sense to stay and make the most of it.

  12. Jennifer White says

    What a beautiful story of making family relationships a priority. Thanks for continuing to inspire this reader:)

  13. Becky coulter says

    I love your story. What a great testimony that your children have that desire to remain close, even in their adult years. Thank you for sharing that.

  14. Lovely story and lovely comforter.I have been reading this blog since 2013.I learned how to love the home I had (its rented).Live beautifully wherever.I learned how to let go of clutter (that’s a battle )that’s going on.Living in a small town makes it easier, for me to take care of my 4 year old daughter together with hospital work and blogging.Living together as a family us more important than any other choice.
    Reading this blog made me realize how you live should be an inspiration for others.Thanks Melissa for showing me the way.

  15. It was lovely to read your story. My husband and I are currently living only about 15 minutes away from my parents but we are really hoping to be able to move closer to them as soon as we can because we see them quite often and they love it when we visit with our dog so that they get to see him too. It would be lovely to be just a couple of minutes away.

  16. Christine says

    Love that comforter! I love trees a lot and fell in love with the black bamboo on the white background. How lovely! The room looks so much better now and for a tiny room it is really inviting.
    But the entire comforter set as seen in the picture below the article is really beautiful.

  17. A beautiful story of the love and devotion of family! My family all lived in this area prior to us losing my almost 16 yr old granddaughter 6/21/13. Since then, our family is fractured with divorces, moves, anger and bitterness from some. Very sad and heartbreaking ~

  18. Faye Howard says

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m creating a life I love by being more intentional and trying to listen to the cues my body and mind are telling me >> moving me toward a sense of purpose and well-being. We live about 5 hours away from my mom and though she has a guest room at our house, I would love to cozy up the space with some purpose vs. being a guest/catch-all room. This comforter would be fun inspiration!

  19. Diane Kams says

    I am creating a life I love in the midst of great change in my life. Last year my husband of 30 years who is 14 years older than had a serious illness that slowed him down considerably. As a result we are unable to do many of the active things together that we used to enjoy like golf. Am adapting to this change in our lifestyle by being thankful for our home and the other things we can still do together like run little errands and go out for lunch. I am especially enjoying our home- rearranging things and de -cluttering! Best of all I am learning to be grateful in all things and trust in the Lord.

  20. Ms. Maggie the Elder says

    Creating a life one day at a time. Sorry for being offline for awhile but life (surgery) gets you in slower lane sometimes. But now I can fully honest with those I love since I have earned my stripes. I want only to have positive energy around me. I have not only cleaned out my closets (weight loss and curve gain) but also only going with those in the happy lane of life; all others are not on my radar. And glad to be back to the land of movement!!! Hiking and swimming a ton- the weather has been up and down here- sorry about that too. But the place is greener than last year, so no complaints. Wanted to see how you are faring out in the PNW- and it seems you are doing well. Good to hear! Best to you and yours~

  21. Ha! A sporatic reader, I never quite understood all of your story – thanks for the sharing!

  22. Dixie I Noel says

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. About 2 years ago we had a job relocation move and it was the hardest bmove I have made. The first time without any of our children. And leaving grandbabies behind. It has turned into a wonderful move and time and season for my husband and myself. Keeping family connections is so important!

  23. My husband and I moved from Alberta to Vancouver Island this year. He left a very secure, albeit very stressful career, to start his own business. On top of that, I was layed off during the period we counted on my secure income! But now here we are, in the beautiful PNW! I start a new job on Tuesday, we move into our apartment in August (currently in our travel trailer!). But things are lining up! I am a classic worrier, and God has given me immeasurable peace that we are doing the right thing. It is hard to blog in a travel trailer though! Limited home decor projects available Haha!

    • We just visited Vancouver and Vancouver Island! Wow! It is so special that you will be able to live there. My entire family kept commenting that we could imagine living there. I hope it all works out for you – I have a feeling it will!
      Best of luck,
      Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

      • Thanks Michelle! We truly love it here. Our hearts have always belonged in this area – now our bodies are here too! Sounds like your heart was in Santa Barbara!

  24. We lived in the Wine Country of California for ten years, but were constantly driving an hour away to Santa Barbara for violin lessons, cultural events, the beach, etc.. We left a beautiful, custom home that we had spent lot of time and money improving and making special. But, you know what they say, “Location. Location. Location.” Now, our family of five is in a small beach cottage that was half the size of our previous home. There is a TON of work to be done – and not a ton of money to do it. Still, we couldn’t be happier that we made the move. Home is where your heart is… and our heart is in Santa Barbara.
    Best & Bisous,
    Michelle from Simply Santa Barbara

  25. Kathleen bruns says

    I’m trying to help my daughter as she is buying her first home. It is a little scarey, but sometimes reaching for a dream is. I would love to win the beautiful sham for her! I love your site and it cheers me up when having a rough day! Thanks!

  26. Paula Doherty says

    I have recently simplified by taking everything off the walls and repainting in neutral, beachy colors. Just taking everything off the walls gave a calmer, more peaceful feeling in my home. I have put a few favorite paintings back up, but am otherwise living with the old items off the walls To see how I feel without them. And inspired by your fireplace temporary makeover, I removed the old brass insert and recently bought some chalk paint to go over the tired red brick. Goodbye fear!

  27. We moved 200 miles from our family when our children were in middle school and high school. We both missed our families and tried to get home as often as possible. Now our parents are all passed away except for one and she has Alzheimer’s. We still try to get home as often as we can. Our children have grown up and married people in this state. we now have six grand children, so we have come full circle now and feel totally blessed.

  28. Delores McPherson says

    Have a small room that I would like to convert from office to bedroom. This article was very helpful.

  29. Mary Collins Frederick says

    We are also in the process of moving. We are purchasing a town home to downsize our life. We are taking a huge loss on our home but it will be worth it for the future security of our family. Our home is gorgeous but the market in our area is soft and we have not been able to sell our home. We could sure put the giveaway to good use. LOve th blogMelissa!

  30. I’ve been following you for about a year and I did not know this story. I love your family ties and the love that binds. We have a guest room with TWIN beds – our home is open to anyone at any time. I just hosted an online friend who suffers from depression and needed so desperately to “get away” – I invited her here. We had a lovely visit and she left with a renewed outlook.

  31. Thank you for sharing your family story Melissa. One of your sentences talked about how life’s changes can help us to refine our life. I was particularly drawn to that wording. I am currently in a new phase of life and am trying to navigate the changing tide. I too am still married my husband of 35 years and we have raised five sons. We spent seventeen years homeschooling and it was the best decision we ever made. Our oldest son was not homeschooled for all of those years as when he was little we weren’t aware of the option. We had a wonderful experience raising all the boys. The oldest is 22 and is in the military and our oldest just turned 32. And the three in between are 24, 25, and 26. Oops, I meant to say the youngest is 22! Our oldest son has struggled in life with addiction and it has caused serious problems. He’s on the right road now, but some relationship damage resulted with his siblings. That too is getting better. They all love each other and enjoy being together. It’s nice to see them enjoy life together. But now life is so different. Our youngest is stationed in Hawaii and he can only make it home once a year, and of course I miss him so much more than words can say. We can’t afford to fly out there and I have a physical condition that would be very difficult to travel with. Our other sons are working full-time and attending community college full-time and everyone’s schedules vary. And it’s like, I feel like we are always going in different directions and I miss the family unit. But children grow up and pursue their lives and I am ever so grateful that they are healthy, happy, and doing just that. But now the decision is where to figure how we can reconnect on a regular basis. And so life has presented us with a new horizon and I do believe there is a rainbow in there and I’m going to keep on trying to adapt. Trying to create a new life as my husband and I near 60 years of age and look back with gratitude and forward with the same. Thank you for the chance to open my heart and say it. I really enjoy your blog and thank you for all your hard work and congratulations on your well-lived life. Your family is wonderful and close both in theory and reality!

  32. Vynette Rowley says

    What is your source for the gray blanket?

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