For as far back as I can remember, I have loved all things home. As a child, I remember the way our house smelled of cinnamon in the fall and lilacs in the spring; the I way felt when I walked through the front door and flopped onto the sofa with a loud exhale finding a safe place to land after a long day at school. I recall special celebrations and the details that made them that way. In a bedroom I shared with my sister, I expressed myself through paint and posters, prints and patterns. In college, I covered the walls in my little corner of the room with magazine pages, cards and quotes. I wanted to not only be inspired, but to inspire others. I knew when I felt more inspired, I not only worked better, but felt better. I think this is universally true—our spaces evoke feeling and emotion.
After I married and we were in our first apartment, I blended our wedding gifts with the hand-me downs to create a space that was just ours. When we struggled to start a family and a health scare multiplied the stress, I made the difficult but daring decision to leave my corporate career as a marketing manager to pursue a more creative path. Ultimately, I hoped for a greater work-life balance and became the Home Manager at our local Anthropologie. While most everyone was obsessed with the clothing (for good reason), I was instantly drawn into Home, creating displays and vignettes that told stories and evoked emotions through engaging the senses. Unfortunately, the work-life balance was not much better, nor were my odds of becoming pregnant. When my father passed away, I poured myself and my grief into making the townhouse we moved into after our apartment a little sanctuary for us and for family and friends to gather and enjoy. I understood home is more than what we put on our walls—home tells a story, I was writing the first chapter, both disappointing and hopeful, and ours.
When I became pregnant after the long season of waiting, the joy and elation we felt was brought to life through the dreamy clouds I painted on the nursery walls and the books I thoughtfully chose for the shelves. I had turned the page of our story to write the chapter I hand longed for—Mama. As parents, new chapters of our story came quickly as our sweet son grew. Four years later, our little family expanded overnight by four more boys born together (yes, quadruplets!). In those early years we endured much—the heartbreak of childhood cancer, the rollercoaster of infertility (again), the surprise of becoming pregnant with higher-order multiples, and the endurance required to bring them into the world. Through it all, the words of our story came through tears on our pillows and whispered prayers into the sleepless nights. It would have read as a sad tale if not for the peace and love we felt through it all, as if we were being carried by the very hands of Christ. Our home was tied to heaven and the Holy Spirit was present between our walls. It was then I took what I believed about home one step further—our home has a soul. And for as much as we enjoy making our homes look good, we must tend to the heart of our home, what we build between its walls and let in our doors.
Chapter after chapter, through all of the firsts and the lasts, I see our story in every corner and crevice of our home. There has been more joy in our loud and boisterous home than I could ever have imagined. The celebrations, the special little moments, the heartfelt memories, even the days we’d like to erase have shaped and strengthened us. As we now find ourselves in the midst of navigating the peaks and valleys of raising five teenagers, we have been given glimpses of who our boys are becoming. We see the tangible fruit of everything we pour into our boys, the evidence it really does matter. From this further-along view, I see the roots of our home grounding our sons in the choices they make and the way they live—imperfectly, but purposefully. And the way we parent—also very much imperfectly but always with enduring love. As our oldest son embarks on his final year of high school, I see the roots our boys will always carry with them as the write their own new beginnings and chapters.
So when you stop by this little space online, or find me on social media, you’ll hear bits and pieces of the story of A Rooted Home—the story of our actual, real life. I commit to sharing here what I have first lived out—with transparency and truth in hopes you feel encouraged and less alone. While A Rooted Home was born from the heartache our family endured, it was built by the way we continued to fight for one another and the life we planted on the foundation of Jesus. We know there will always be things to fear in this world, but we don’t have to be more afraid of the world than we are in awe of God. I hope this will always be the key takeaway from our home, our story, and yours.