two houses (& merry christmas)


We’re currently straddling two houses.

We’re mostly moved out of our old house, & mostly moved into our new one.

Our new house is half, HALF the size of our old one.

And we love it.

It feels like home.

Maybe it’s because Joseph & I grew up in small homes ourselves, but we never quite felt comfortable in a huge house. There seemed to be too much space. I often felt like an astronaut, floating around, trying to find my footing, but never seemed to be able to find it.

We’ve spent the last week, moving things, packing things, throwing out things, giving (even more) things away.

I’ve had enough of things.

[Funny, I know, since we’re right around the corner of the American glut of things (ie. Christmas).]

There were a few moments recently where I thought, “We are crazy! Why did we of our own volition, choose to move, right now, of all times?!” I must admit to feeling grumpy at times about the whole situation, & if I’m being honest, a bit entitled. I’m entitled to a certain kind of Christmas–filled with lots of leisure time, craft making, cookie baking–right?!

But then there was this moment.

My kids were playing outside at our new home (our new yard is about 4x’s as big as our old house, ironically). Tyndale, my 11 month old, climbed up to the window. He pressed his face up to the pane. I knelt beside him.

His chubby hand patted the window as he cooed, seeing his siblings running around, squealing as they chased each other.  His deep blue baby eyes sparkled as he gave me a wide, four teeth smile. I knelt there, holding his hand, in my warm & comfortable house.

elf on the shelf Joseph gets creative with the elf on the shelf.

The Christmas season has been a bit different for us this year.

It’s been a lot of work, a lot of chaos, & in the tough moments, I’ve questioned our choice to move (more on the reasons why we moved, in this post). But all this aside, I feel like truth has distilled before my eyes. Simple is better. Less is better. Happiness is most decidedly NOT found in things.

I hope to share more about this transition in later posts, but for now, I want to say, I hope you have a Merry Christmas. I hope you spend lots of time in the coming days, laughing & playing, hugging & kissing.

Happy holidays.





P.S. Here’s a short music video that really sums up Christmas for me. Watch & listen, & be totally inspired.

P.S.S. In typical holiday fashion, I’m taking a break from blogging for the next few weeks. I’ll be back sometime after the new year.

P.S.S.S.  Flirty Aprons (gorgeous, quality aprons) is having a flash sale through Monday 12/2270% off your entire order (yes, 70%!) using code HOLIDAY70. Check it out HERE (affiliate link).


  1. Ricki
    on December 21, 2014 at 8:40 pm said:

    I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful and healthy holiday with the family, Janae! Enjoy the new place (it sounds lovely) and get lots of that play, laughter, and hugs and kisses. xoxo

  2. April
    on December 21, 2014 at 9:05 am said:

    We live in a very modest 1800-2000 square foot home and there are 5 of us. 2 kids share a room and we have one of the smallest models in our neighborhood. We have gotten a lot of comments about “needing a bigger home especially with our big family”. (When did 3 kids mean big??) But we have tried very hard to be content w/ where we are. One thing we remember is that 50 years ago, houses were half the size they are now (probably even smaller than our current home) and families were double the size. And that was the *average*. It’s all about your perspective. If they could survive and thrive happily 50 years ago, we can too!

  3. lfwfv
    on December 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm said:

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Jenny
    on December 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm said:

    Congratulations on your new home and a successful move (almost done!). I would love to hear about your innovative organizational systems because I just know you are making magic with half the space. The part about Tyndale brought tears to my eyes, I could just picture it and you’re right, it’s the little things that matter. Merry Christmas! Looking forward to seeing more from your in the new year.