When Dad Says He's Proud.

The other night Stevie and I were having dinner out on the back porch. We didn't turn on any lights, so the table was aglow only by the filtered light coming in the screen from the setting sun. And by "having dinner" I mean we were eating yet another Amy's frozen pizza. Because lately I'm having a lot of days where cooking just seems like an enormous task along with staying on top of my wannabe-toddler. He's into everything and honestly, I find myself worn out by his energy at 8am. 8am people!

Sometimes I just can't.

But we were finally at the end of this particular evening, the baby was in bed, and we were enjoying a bit of wine. Whew. It was nice. We were exhausted. This house hunting thing has been more of a process than we had prepared for. We are so excited, but this particular evening, we were so wiped out.

Then my dad came out on the porch. Because, you know, we live in his house.

He sat down and said the nicest thing.

"You know, I don't worry about you two."

We smiled and nodded. My dad is such a funny, poignant, external processor. He kept going though.

"I like that you two are making your own decisions, and don't need advice from me all the time. You know I'm always here for you, and I like when you ask for my advice, but I like it even more that you don't have to ask for it anymore. Because you're adults and you're making good choices."

This statement really struck me. "You're adults and you make good choices." When did we stop going to our parents for everything and start believing that our choices are good choices? Because Stevie and I are both a little bit closer-to-homers, in the sense that we tell our parents a lot. In the 8 years of our marriage, we've had so many phone calls with both sets of parents, no matter what stage or phase or state we lived in, and we were always running things by them. Asking for their advice. Telling them what we were thinking about doing. And it's not like we've really, consciously, stopped doing that.

But I guess, on some level, we have.

And my dad is good with it. He's proud. He thinks I make good choices.

Heart swell.

There is nothing like hearing your dad say those affirming kinds of things. Simply put, there is just nothing better.

No matter who you are or what you're up to, whether you're close with your parents or haven't spoken to them in years, there is something inside all of us humans that wants to hear our dad say, "I'm proud of you." We all want it. And now, being a parent myself, I am more aware than ever of how much I want my son to know that I am so pleased and proud of him. I know I'm not a dad, so the impact is different, but still. I want to make sure to live in a way that my family knows I am proud of them, withholding no love. I want my kid to feel that same freedom I've felt, to be who I am transparently with my parents. To let them love me for me, not for some edited version of me that I only want my parents to see.

Because it feels really good to live fully, to parent my child and be as engaged as I know to be, and to have my own parent applaud me for it. It feels like I can fly. Actually, I think I am flying.

I just wanted to share this because a lot of you have parents that you want to relate to. A lot of you are already parents, and you're like me, figuring this gig out. And a lot of you are trying to find the balance between being a good son and daughter, and attempting to be an even better mother or father. I want to tell you that you are doing an AWESOME JOB. And if you are proud of your kid, probably the greatest thing you can do today is just to tell them. Because my dad told me and I am so grateful he took the five minutes to do that, and to tell me why he was proud. I've honestly been thinking of it all week.

Happy Friday to you, friends.

*The cover photo is a picture I took of a graffiti wall in NYC this past week. More about our trip up on the blog on Monday!

I Thought I Should Tell You.

Photo by  Rachel Koontz .

Photo by Rachel Koontz.

I hope you had a Happy 4th of July weekend! I love this part of the summer, the absolute center of the season when bathing suits are appropriate apparel pretty much everywhere and a makeup free face is the only kind of face to have.

I thought I should give you a little update about what's been going on in our household lately. It's been wild. And I'm not exaggerating.

Some of you know that my husband's job has taken us to a few different locations over the past several years, and we are coming up on another year of opportunities. Oh, I'll just give it to you straight.

6 weeks ago, we were considering a move to Madrid. Remember that little trip we took?

4 weeks ago, after making the tough decision not to move to Madrid, we considered moving back to New York. We considered options in the city and in upstate.

2 weeks ago, after deciding not to return to New York, we decided to stay put right here and live in our suburban hometown.

I was probably the most surprised of all. Because I actually wanted it. And I've never wanted it.

1 week ago, we put in an offer to buy a house here. So did 2 other people. Our offer was rejected, and i cried over the loss. Someone else is picking out a couch to plop right in front of that John Wieland-designed fireplace. Drat.

Now I have to interrupt myself and say that, while it is a bummer to miss out on the house, I'm pretty sure that my tears weren't solely over brick and mortar. Or in this case, a celestial collaboration of stone, siding and heaven's own paint choices. The sheer emotional exhaustion of the potential scenarios truly had my panties in a twist. MOVING TO MADRID. LEARNING SPANISH. MY BABY LEARNING SPANISH. HOW TO I BUY GROCERIES IN SPANISH. JUST KIDDING. MOVING TO NEW YORK. MY BABY ON THE SUBWAY. SO MANY GERMS. SO SO MANY GERMS. JUST KIDDING. STAYING IN THIS HOMETOWN. WHAT. I NEED A CIGARETTE. OH WAIT. I DON'T SMOKE.

It's kind of been a lot.

Thankfully, I've learned to roll with the punches and detach from old dreams and get on board with new ones. Good or bad, that's the stance our little family has taken lately. We aren't going to ignore our bummed-out feelings. But we are going to get excited about the new potentials.

I'm not done yet though.

Yesterday we put another offer in on a house. This one is special. Idyllic location, charming farmhouse-esque features. Only problem, it's a short sale. That's a really misleading term for what it actually means. We've been advised that it could take the bank 3 months to respond to our offer. So. We wait. We keep house hunting. We do that dreaming thing. Oh, did I mention that the house is a borderline dump and needs a ton of work?

The house is a borderline dump. It needs a magnificent amount of work.

I'm not being cute. Like every room of the house needs major amounts of attention. In over our heads with a fixer upper? Yeah probably. But such is life, amiright? If anyone knows John Wieland's availability, that would be great. Or Jonathan Scott. He will do just fine. Actually, Stevie truly sweats about my crushing status on the Scott brothers. I NEED CABLE AGAIN.

Whew. That's really all I wanted to say. I just wanted to fill you in! We are here, living on the southside of Atlanta, for at least another 12-18 months. And although it's been a whirlwind, whiplashing journey to arrive at this conclusion, I AM SO HAPPY. My baby gets to hang out with his cousins. My husband gets to jump into his dream role at work (did I mention? He's super amped about this new role. Side note.) We get to stay close to our family and make more memories with our hometown friends. And I get to dive into some new dreams. I'm brewing over some things now :)

Life is crazy and good. Crazy good, actually.

Thanks for all the love and support, friends!

PS - Oh, and I forgot to mention that I went blonde. And got a new car. When I said that things are happening, they are!

PPS - If you haven't already entered my Sonnet James dress giveaway, you should! This rad giveaway ends Tuesday at midnight!