A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Hey friend! I’m so glad you’re here. Yes, you came to the right post. It’s not Christmas. Even though you’ll see some Christmas decor in my pics, but it’s all put away at my house now. Let me explain.

This time of year it seems we’re not only all setting goals, but we are wanting to simplify.

Besides simplicity in our belongings, I’ve been reading quite a few articles and posts lately about people abandoning their social media accounts because it’s just become too stressful to keep up with so many people who now use these sites (and of course, the stress of being exposed regularly to the unrealistically perfect lives they seem to live!). Not to mention the pressure felt by many content creators to keep up that pace and image.

Interestingly the founders themselves of these big social media sites are actually leading the way out to a simpler, more meaningful existence.

I think many of us crave a slower, simpler life…whatever that means to us as individuals or as a family. We want to feel uplifted, not more frantic. We want serenity. Now.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

I’ve even seen few people recently indicate they miss the good old days when you could just enjoy the community of a few favorite blogs along with morning coffee. Anyone remember those days?

Funny how life sometimes comes full circle, and what seemed so “new and improved” or “bigger or better” in the world doesn’t turn out to be what we want or need after all.

Perhaps we all crave returning home to enjoy more simple pleasures.

But how do we do that?

How do we get there?

What is it that we need to let go of in order to experience that simplicity we long for in our life or home?

I think definitely it’s a good time of year to slow the scroll for a bit. It’s helpful to quiet all the noise and the visuals so we can consider what it is we really want to be surrounded with.

Sometimes though I think even as we are trying to balance out the chaos in the world outside our door, we set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations for our own home.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Our Christmas tree had only lights on it until Christmas Eve. It wasn’t necessarily a design statement. It was intended to create more free time for our family. Yet while we actually enjoyed the simplicity of the tree in its natural state, we also love our simple traditions.

My son and daughter decided to pull out our classic forest & sea creatures on Christmas Eve and decorate the tree. They had fun and seeing it all decorated delighted everyone on Christmas morning. I am so glad they did what stirred their hearts at that moment as it blessed us all to see our whimsical decorations on the tree.

And honestly, it may not have even felt like Christmas happened if Jack hadn’t had the chance days later to sneak into the living room and confiscate a few of the plush animals from the tree. We do put the decorations up high, hoping this will be the year he will ignore them. I really don’t know how he goes about it without us catching him in the act year after year, but he always finds a way.

It’s become his yearly tradition, so who are we to be annoyed over the simple shenanigans he’s grown to love?

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Once again we find ourselves crawling on the floor searching for the creatures’ heads and bodies that are strewn about the room. We see bits of their furry tails dangling from Jack’s lips (all while he undoubtedly proclaims his innocence).

After the shock wears off from seeing these dismembered ornaments, we start to laugh and laugh.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

I think we feel better when we focus more on building happy memories than on creating or scrolling through perfectly serene and stylish settings.

Sometimes that means we will surround ourselves with things that establish memories and have to let go of control to keep those memories alive and close to our heart.

We’d have less to clean up and less to deal with if we just got rid of everything. It’s tempting, ha!

We’d definitely have less to do, less mess and less stress if we didn’t have pets! We’d certainly have less noise and less chaos, ha!

Paring down excess and creating a perfectly styled rooms can feel refreshing. But trying to control everything so tightly may also (inadvertently) write a generic story that doesn’t stir our heart as deeply as it could.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

The truth is, Jack sometimes unmakes our bed after I make it.

He throws our pretty pillows on the floor after I style them.

He barks in my face when I’m trying to have a moment to myself.

Jack has been known to barf on my cozy rug and scratches my charming Dutch door.

He destroys our ornaments.

Does that mean we shouldn’t have nice things? Ha!

I don’t think so. I love those things. I love those memories. I love that dog.

Those moments weave together a vivid memory of our story.

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Making peace with the ever-evolving state of our home (and the imperfect creatures in it) is sometimes about letting go of control more than it is about letting go of stuff, so our wonderfully wild life mingles with the simplicity and beauty we long for. 

A beautiful life and even a perfect-for-us home sometimes will look a little messy. It can be a little out of step with the rest of the world, or a bit out of style, or even a little chaotic. And that’s OK. That’s exactly how it is supposed to be. A home comes undone and things unravel when there is love inside. Living among the un-photoshopped candid imperfection of it all is when those happily after ever tales (tails?) of life are able to be written.

Click here to preorder my brand new upcoming book 

Dwelling: Simple Ways to Nourish Your Home, Body, and Soul. 

A Simple Life in 2019: Lessons from Jack

Find more of my books about the home right here.

Merry, Merry … Life Lately!

Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!

Hey friends! Well, I didn’t do an official Christmas tour or get this post out before Christmas. I thought I might get to it, but alas, I didn’t quite make that happen. Yet, we had a wonderful and relaxed holiday with our family! And that’s what matters most!

Just focusing on being present made the past few days so memorable.

I made lots of good food (including gluten-free and vegan Sweet Potato and Kale Enchiladas, yum!).

The cousins and grandpa played board games (this one and this one).

Our lil’ family watched home movies from when our kids were little.

We went to a Christmas Eve church service and drove through Candy Cane Lane in Seattle to see festive Christmas lights.

We all curled up on our sectional downstairs and watched the Christopher Robin movie! It was the sweetest, we just loved it. Jack loved it, too.

We still have family here, so we will be spending a little more time being present and hanging out for the next couple of days. But tomorrow I’ll be back here to show you a super simple change in our home that made me happy! And I cannot wait to hop back into sharing more about my new book, sharing my plans and house goals for this year, and some other things I’ve had on my list to talk about at the start of the year!

Enjoy these peeks at our family Christmas, and I’ll see you tomorrow, friends!

Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!

Sisal Rug / Similar Chandelier

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Chevron Cabinet / Ceiling Lights: Barn Light Electric

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Chandelier / Curtains / Similar Mirrors one, two, three / Window Shutters

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Kitchen Sources and Details / Mug Rack

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Oat Milk Lattes

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Leo (follow Leo and our other pups here on Instagram!)

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My kids, Courtney, Kylee and Luke (plus Jack, Leo, Bella, and Lily hiding back there!)

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Rug / Sofa (details) / Stool / Mirror / Fireplace Paint Details

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Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!

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Pillows

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Sofa (details)

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Rug One / Rug Two / Chair: Ballard Designs

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Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!

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Rattan Daybed (or similar)

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Lamp / Similar Houses

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Rattan Mirror / Bench: Ballard Designs

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Diffuser Details / Kitchen Sources and Details / Paper Snowflakes: World Market

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Lily…ha!

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Bella started casually walking on the windowsill…we don’t know why :) 

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Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!

Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!

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“Sleigh All Day”Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!Merry, Merry ... Life Lately!

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Find all sources in my shop here

Take my house tour here

Find books by The Inspired Room here

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