Blogging

The Time Of Our Lives

Update: Aaaand less than 12 hours later we’re back with an update on the bottom of the post for ya. Smooth, right?

Hey there! Long time no see.

The break has been great. Admittedly a little weird, but really reinvigorating. So we’re immensely thankful not only for your support and kind comments, but also for helping put words to some of the things that we had been feeling for some time. And while the last month hasn’t been enough time to fill in all of the blanks about our future (heck, when are life’s blanks ever clearly filled in?) it has made one thing pretty obvious to us: after seven awesome years of sharing our home and our life, it’s time for our next adventure.

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This blog has been a staple in our lives for 80+ months, tagging along for all but three months of our marriage and our entire existence as parents. So we thought it would be nearly impossible to click off that urge to over-share this past month (we expected our blogging spark to come back with a vengeance). But maybe it’s us getting older, the kids getting bigger, or a general shift in life priorities – but it actually felt just right. So this break has given us the clarity (and the guts, I guess) to move on… and hopefully move the needle on that life balance we’ve been talking about for so long.

We won’t go as far as to declare this the end of Young House Love or our blogging days. Who knows, maybe somewhere down the line (when the kids are both in school?) we’ll get that burning in our bellies again – perhaps here or in a completely different capacity. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know that the most amazing things have happened to us when we’ve stretched waaay out of our comfort zone – as much as that sounds like advice you’d find on an inspirational kitten poster.

We plan to keep the blog archives available for as long as we can, and will be freezing comments soon, but we won’t be completely dropping off the planet. Some completed product designs with Liberty Hardware and Shades of Light may pop up, and our second book will come out next October. Those folks have all been amazingly supportive of our decision, for which we’re incredibly thankful.

Speaking of which – “Thank you” doesn’t come close to expressing how grateful we are for getting to share our weird little world with you guys for so long. We have nothing but love and gratitude for this whole experience – and for you. (*This is probably where we should fade up on that Dirty Dancing song*)

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But let’s not say “goodbye” let’s just say “see you on another time.”

Peace, love, and ceramic animals,
John & Sherry

PS: We did randomly snap a few fresh photos for the House Tour page over the break (some of the rooms were pretty outdated). Feel free to give the dining room’s blue trim the side eye for us (yes, it’s still there!).

Update: The same few questions kept popping up in the comments (we just can’t quit you). As for the “what are your new jobs” thing, we’ve mentioned in a few previous posts that we left the door open in our past professions (advertising/copywriting/consulting), which we can do as freelancers from home a lot of the time, while switching off on the stay-at-home parent thing. We know things like the book and products we design are driven by this blog, so we can’t live off those or anything. Didn’t mean to be mysterious! As for the Facebook/Instagram questions, we’d love to pop up there from time to time to say hi. And we hope our blog archives will be up for a good long time (we use them to reference things like paint colors, so we’d never want to lose them!).

We’re also really sorry if this feels abrupt. We’ve made a few public attempts to wind down and gain balance over the years (like when we moved to this house and after Teddy’s birth) but they’ve always been at odds with our “all in” personalities, so it wasn’t until taking this break (yet another attempt to recalibrate) that we realized we felt closer to our goal. We debated lots of alternatives – drastically fewer posts / shorter posts / no comments – but nothing felt like the version of Young House Love we were excited to carry on with. And we tried to keep today’s post light and happy (the last one felt so heavy) since this truly is a moment of extreme gratitude, despite it being a difficult decision to make.

Flawless and graceful exit, eh? Right. So here we go. Ack, we suck at this! We will miss you!!

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Less Is More (Unless You’re Talking About Oreos)

Life has been busier than ever for us – and there’s nothing like having a baby to confirm your true priorities. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately: what exactly are our goals? What are we working towards? Hoping to gain? The answer, we realized, was definitely not more blog hits or traffic or approval. Honestly we both feel unsettled by the idea of our blog growing any larger, and we look fondly back on the earlier days when we worked less, slept more, and spent more quality time with our family and friends. This little website of ours has already surpassed every expectation we ever could have had for it. So what are we chasing?

When Clara was born we were both blogging full time, but we had about a third of the traffic that we have now and we usually shared around one project a week amidst other home-related chitchat, family happenings, polls, reader makeovers, etc. It was one of the best times of our lives. We did less and had less, and we were completely comfortable. So in light of everything on our plates, this new baby boy, and a girl who’s growing up entirely too fast (cue the Armageddon music), we’ve decided to paddle back towards that.

We know this choice may directly correlate to fewer hits and therefore less income – and we’re ok with that. Sure, it’s a little scary not knowing where we’ll be in a few months or years (but we’ve never known that as professional bloggers anyway). We’ve made “risky” career choices before in the name of life quality – like leaving the NYC rat race and giving up steady salaries for blogging – but they’ve also been some of our best decisions.

Just like we did when we made those leaps, we’ve saved enough to help us sleep at night. We’ve also both left the door open in our previous professions, so even if this choice means we’ll eventually be taking on freelance advertising work again (which I did to make a living before we started this blog, and which John has dabbled with over the last few years) it’s a risk we’re willing to take in the name of bringing some balance back into our lives.

The good news is that our love of home improvement and blogging is burned deep into our hearts, and our to-do list is still a mile long. We have no plans to stop blogging anytime soon. We’ll still be posting our projects, planning, shopping, and other usual fare here regularly. But things will be noticeably different as we recalibrate our priorities (we think we’ll end up in the 3-5 posts per week range).

We’ll also be going back to sharing all of our family posts on Young House Love (sorry Young House Life). We’ve always had family stuff here – in fact some of our favorite (and most popular) posts are the personal ones about things like breastfeeding, Clara’s birth story, her photo project, this ridiculousness, and random facts about me and John. Between those types of posts always existing on our main site, and Instagram taking the place of the smaller family updates, Young House Life has felt less necessary lately, so we won’t be posting over there anymore.

We know some people will be relieved by this change of pace (many of you have encouraged us to slow down) or excited about the new looser style of posting, while others might decide to tune out – and we’re ok with that too.

We feel extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to make this choice. It’s not a decision that we’ve made lightly, and we realized that if we don’t seize it now, we may never have the chance to again. Teddy is our last baby and Clara is just a year away from kindergarten (how did that happen?!), so we want to enjoy this time with them instead of working our nights, weekends, and vacations away chasing some business goal we don’t even want.

We have no idea what the future holds, but even if the internet exploded tomorrow, we’re already so grateful for this amazing and completely unexpected journey of ours. This blog has surprised us in the most major of ways, and has led to some unbelievable experiences and opportunities, many of which we can’t quite wrap our minds around.

We still have big dreams for this house of ours and can’t wait to share how it evolves with you guys. But if you’ll excuse us, I have an almost impossibly tiny diaper to change and John’s off to buy some lumber again…

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