This we believe…

There’s about a million home blogs on the internets, aren’t there?

home blog wordle

Well, maybe not a million. But it sure feels like it, doesn’t it?

If you think about all the blogs in all the other niches we play with–simple living, lifestyle, frugal living–there’s a whole lot of people trying to get your attention on the same topics we’re writing about.

Which raises a really good question:

Why pay attention to us?

While we definitely appreciate a blog with great projects and photos and writing (and strive to deliver the same) we think it’s not really those things that get us to go back to the blogs we follow.

We think it’s the blogger’s beliefs about family, and living, and home.

That’s the foundation of our blog, the base upon which all our content is built. Our beliefs inform everything:  What we do, how we do it, and what we decide to write about.

So, if you want to know whether we’ve got anything worth saying to you, or if we’re the kind of people you want to hang out with on a regular basis, you’ve gotta know our beliefs–and, if the questions we find compelling are the same ones you’re trying to answer.

So here they are:

We believe in today. Life is too short to waste any days wishing for someday–the day we have a better job, more time, a different home. Today is the only day we’ve really got, and we want to make the most of it.

What have you got today and what are you going to do with it?

ella sprinkler

 

We believe in small pleasures. Eating a warm cookie with a cold glass of milk. Arranging our favorite flowers in an old canning jar. Cooking dinner while dancing to the songs that got our hips moving back in high school. (That would be chocolate chip, sunflowers, and Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock -n Roll.”)

What are your small pleasures?

sunflowers in jar

 

We believe in big dreams. Making a cool home that’s comfortable, pleasing, frugal, and fun. Raising smart, kind, generous, creative, happy kids. Creating a raucous family that plays hard, works easy, and loves deeply.

What are your dreams?

cane and will carrying table

 

We believe in second chances. For everything–art, furniture, houses. Routines, habits, beliefs. Families, people, dreams. We’ve done lots of things wrong in our time. We believe it’s not too late to get them right.

What in your life would be better with a do-over?

twister

 

We believe good enough is good enough. Would we like to have a tidy house with no fugliness? Would we like to be always-patient, understanding, thoughtful parents who never lose their tempers? Would we like to pay all our bills on time, never run out of toilet paper, and clean spilled stuff in the fridge as soon as we see it? Sure, sure, and sure. Do we need all of that to be happy and healthy and generally OK? No.

Good enough is good enough. Perfect is crazy-making. Not to mention boring.

What is good enough for you?

messy table

 

We believe that every human being has a need to create, a drive no less important than the ones to eat, to sleep, to mate.

What do you long to create?

door coffee table top view

 

We believe in celebrating and satisfying our creative drivein whatever form it takes–whether that’s writing a poem, painting a landscape, composing a song, baking a pie, tiling a wall, or designing a table. We believe that doing so is necessary for each of us to be happy, healthy people.

How do you satisfy and celebrate your creative drive?

art line

We believe that all creative forms have value—that a place setting or a meal can be as important and meaningful and beautiful as a poem. Really.

What’s important and meaningful and beautiful to you?

muffins with strawberries

 

While all creative forms have equal value, we believe that some creative expressions have more value than others. You know that poetic place setting? We think some are the equivalent of greeting card drivel, but some—they are the place setting equivalent of Roethke or Oliver or Neruda.

We believe in examining and exploring our values because they’re our compass, and it’s hard to get where you want to go without one.

What are your creative values?

4 plates with flowers

 

We believe in becoming. We believe that all of us are good enough–more than good enough–just as we are, but that living well is about growing into who we haven’t yet become. We believe that the opposite of becoming is spiritual death.

Even though we love a good zombie flick, we don’t believe in the walking dead and we certainly don’t want to be the walking dead.

What are you becoming?

 

We believe in discovering, curating, and figuring out what we love. As opposed to shopping, decorating, or figuring out what everyone else loves. This is why our home is filled with old furniture, personal art, and sentimental mementos.

What fills your home–and how did you choose it?

mod vase

 

We believe function and meaning should drive all our decisions about home. We want a home that looks good, but it’s more important to have one that works good and feels good. It’s why we have a library instead of a dining room, and a bookcase filled with books, not tchotchkes. (But we do have tchotchkes…and we can tell you a story about every single one of them.)

What drives your decisions about home?

fireplace mantel, facing toward library

 

We believe in being who we are (as opposed to who others think we should be)–because we believe that satisfying the quirky, creative, soulful being we’re all carrying around in the suitcase of our bodies is the only way any of us is ever going to be happy and do good in this world.

How do you express who you really are?

 

We believe in fun. We’re damn serious about making a good life, and we’re damn serious about not taking it all too seriously. We believe in laughing a lot while we’re trying stuff out, messing up, doing over. (And in making goofy Cabbage Patch Doll faces while hanging out in the back yard with the kids.)

What’s your kind of fun?

 

We believe in story—the telling of them, the reading of them. We believe in the power of story to shape us, to comfort us, to teach us, to connect us. And that’s why we’re telling ours here.

What are the stories you want to tell and read?

 

Most of all, we believe that how you do home is how you do life–and that everyone can have the life and home of their dreams. Even if your house is not your dream home, and your life doesn’t look much like you once hoped it would.

Do you do home the way you want to do life?

living room toward stairs

 

And when it comes to blogging, we believe this:

What we’re about doesn’t really matter unless our story can help you create the stuff of your dreams.

We’re living for us, but we’re writing for you. 

That said, we don’t write for everybody (although lots of different kinds of people read us).

We write for those who…

  • Want to be intentional in making a home.
  • Like a good story (because we wrap most of our ideas in the blanket of story).
  • Are as interested in the why of a project as the how of it.
  • Don’t have all the answers, but love exploring the questions.
  • Want to stay and linger awhile.
  • Aren’t put off by occasional snark, strong opinions, and irreverence.

Want a standing invitation to hang out at our place?

If this sounds like your kind of blog, we’d love to have you over all the time. 

We’ve got a couple ways of letting you know when we’re up to something new. We hope one of them works for you.

(And if ours doesn’t sound like your kind of blog, thanks for checking us out. Hope you’ll drop in again.)

11 Comments

  1. Rachel
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 13:26:19

    Moving into an 70s fixer-upper soon and found your blog. Love your approach to life, house improvements and your intentional focus on the *important* elements of the day-to-day–sustainable, fulfilling, happy and full of love! Look forward to following you from Bozeman, MT…

  2. Rita
    Feb 19, 2013 @ 18:42:28

    Hi Rachel–Welcome! We hope you grow to love your split-level as much as we do ours. You’ll have to let us know how it goes for you.

  3. Janice
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 11:56:29

    I just discovered your blog when it was mentioned on Apartment Therapy. I’m starting fresh after a divorce, moving to a new (for me, not him) home/city to join my future husband. Both of us were married before for over 35 years so we’re seriously thinking about how to rehab and adjust the furnishings of his house to reflect our plans for the future together. He and I both LOVE what you wrote about home projects (How we do home is how we do life). As he put it after reading your article, “We shape our houses, and then they shape us.” And, I think, vice versa.
    Incidentally, I love the hooks next to the vanity in your renovated bathroom (from the recent article about your shower curtain). Can you tell me the source?

  4. Rita
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 12:26:21

    Hi Janice–
    Best of luck to you as you start a new chapter (book?) in your life. Because I’m not sure which hooks you’re interested in, I’ll tell you the source for both. :-) The ceramic hooks (that hold jewelry) are from World Market. I bought them last summer, so I’m not sure if they still have them. The wooden hooks (that hold robes) is the Molger hook rack from Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30154595/).

  5. Cheryl B.
    Feb 28, 2013 @ 16:44:28

    I also found you via Apartment Therapy. Your words and sharing touched many places in my life, mind and heart. I have a site/blog that’s been in development way beyond my initial “publish” goal date. You’ve reminded me that perfection was not my intent, but by reaching for it, I’ve wasted so much fun and sharing time with others. Your site has refreshed me and I am back on track to publish, SOON!

    I’ve subscribed and look forward to future posts. Thank you!

  6. Rita
    Mar 01, 2013 @ 08:16:35

    Yay! I know just what you’re talking about. I consider myself a perfectionist in recovery–which means it’s something I have to constantly attend to. So glad to know that our work here is helpful to you–and I hope you’ll let us know when your blog goes live. Looking forward to checking it out.

  7. Millet Bruce
    Nov 13, 2013 @ 06:12:51

    That is exactly what I am aiming for, decorations that have both function and meaning, that I can tell a story about and that, if possible, I made myself, not the ones that a designer picked for me. I am also in love with vintage finds and in your words “giving second chances”, discovery the hidden purpose and beauty in things.

  8. Lesley
    Dec 26, 2013 @ 09:47:48

    Rita, I might be your twin. I’ve just found your blog, and the similarities we share are starting to pile up including our profession, our motto (good enough is good enough), and our lapsed Catholicism. Our old house is a low-slung ranch we are renovating with a guiding principal called mid-century urban rustic, and my husband and I share your values. We see our home as the perfect metaphor for our relationship. I look forward to exploring your excellent blog further.

  9. Silver Rhealm
    Apr 26, 2014 @ 12:44:42

    Hi I am Silver and have noticed that you are great in gardening and was wondering if you have any recommendations on how to revive dead grasses in the front yard. Since the grass in front of my yard have all been stepped on numerous times. Due to that, the grasses have withered and I happen to have no clue on what to do. Will I need to buy some type of product to revive/grow them back? Or do I need to simply water the leftover grasses that have survived in hope of the grasses growing back and spreading as they do in minecraft.

    Thank you for your help!

  10. Cane
    May 01, 2014 @ 14:40:03

    Silver,
    I’m not a lawn expert but every year in spring I get out my metal rake and rake out any dead stuff and moss from my lawn. I then add some fertilizer. It looks horrible for a couple of weeks but the grass comes back thick and lush. For small dead spots you can buy grass patch at home depot. You simply remove the dead grass and apply the patch right to the dirt. Water frequently and it’ll fill in the bald spot. I’d stop in a local garden center though as they’d know about any issues related to your geographic region. Good luck!

  11. Ulli
    Nov 09, 2014 @ 08:50:02

    Dittos to: “function and meaning should drive all our decisions about home”. Love your site, and happened to enter it on your bathroom drawer project. My first thought was “these drawer fronts should be on hinges. Funny to see that just a little further down on the page, you guys had the same idea. Reading your blog this morning has been an epiphany in many ways. Thanks for blogging your story. I will visit again.

Leave a Reply