A Year Later and a Pretty House

Hey!  Long time no connection to my blog what-so-ever! I know, I know – that is a lame thing to do as a blogger – taking a year off and all but to be honest – I wasn’t having fun on a vacation or anything.

The story is long but I will say that my family and I are in a good place now. We had moved to Utah in 2015 to be near family, which was the great thing about being out West. But after living on the East Coast for 17 years – going “home” was very weird, to say the least. I didn’t realize how much I had changed.

With all the new changes it didn’t help that my “little” boys were turning into men at the very same time we were trying to adjust to a completely different way of life. New jobs, new neighbors, new schools, more family, old friends, strange culture and a new POTUS. It was a lot to take on. I felt like a rug got pulled from beneath my feet and I could never stand back up again. I couldn’t stop feeling awkward and a bit depressed let alone inspired to create, blog or decorate. Hence – I became silent on line.

Even though I realize that it takes a good year or two to feel at home no matter where you move to we gave it 18 months and just couldn’t settle in.. Although it was so fun to get to know family better, especially my nieces and nephews, the quality time with my own parents seeemed less.

We took a trip back to VA last October while living in Utah still to see if we really did find that generally speaking – in our own view – people were more kind, courteous on the road, less judgmental and more pleasant to live among. It was true, we were not romanticizing Virginia. Living here near Richmond, VA fits our lifestyle better – we appreciate that it has more balanced political views along with diversity in cultures, age groups and educational backgrounds. We can just be ourselves here. Not that Utah is a bad place but it wasn’t for us.

So my family and I knew after that trip last fall that it would be a goal of ours to watch for opportunities to come back East as soon as we could. Lo and behold my husbands previous job position came open. He had to reapply, interview – there was a lot of competition for that position. Once he knew he had it we were so happy, but sad to leave family again. We only had two weeks to get here and that meant giving notice to our current jobs and working up until we left. We gave the boys the option of finishing 8th grade in UT or going back to the middle school they had attended in 6th grade. We all agreed to go together and start living in the area we love. So we put everything we had in storage and headed back to VA with a few suitcases. We furnished a 1300 square foot apartment with a few new and used items. It was a bit crazy and rushed but we decided to bring all of our belongings here once we move to our new home.

As we have searched around for the right neighborhood we ended up chosing a pretty lot in the school district we love and where we have a few friends.There is a club house, pool, family activities and trails. A real community feel, not centered around church (as in UT) but centered around the families that live there.
I am showing pictures of a home that I adore by Biringer Builders in Richmond, VA. Ours might look similar but to be honest, we are in the very first steps of the building process. We are happy to have secured a lot on a street we think will be nice and now we get to customize a whole new home. I am a little intimidated, even though we have done this before, I can be happy with a lot of things. I am not that hard to please (I think). If I don’t like something I change it…you know me.

Building is going to take some time though. Expected move in is not until March-ish 2018 so we will be living in our apartment until then. Which is actually pretty enjoyable.

This is my first experience with apartment living – surprisingly, I love it! Low maintenance and our complex is pretty. I feel like I am on vacation since there is a lovely pool area and a nice club house and less to clean.

I have gotten some messages that my blog was not accessible to the public. I am so out of touch with Blogger updates and know I need to play around with my settings. I’ve been sharing a lap top with my boys but my new laptop will be here tomorrow. – maybe that will make a difference in how much time I spend in front of the screen.
Any who – lots of changes. Lots of exciting things happening. I am back at the Daisy selling my furniture and home accents. It feels like we never left (except that my little boys are now taller than me with facial hair and they are both super opinionated – real teens!).I don’t know how to parent men but I am trying.

So as much as I want to say I will blog regularly, I don’t know that but I intend on sharing the new home as it progresses.

I have missed you blog friends and hope you are all doing great. If you would like to keep in touch more than my random blog posts then you can join me on Facebook HERE.

Happiness to all of you and thanks for stopping back by!


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Christine Vandormolen

Hi Holly, yayyyy so thrilled to see a new post and get an update on your family. We've been in Europe last month and before that I hurt my shoulder, so I have not been blogging much this year either… I am happy to hear you guys are back where you are happiest!!!! MUAHHHHH

Humaun Kabir

Thanks for such a wonderful post.flat earth

chateau chic

Hi Holly, What a pleasant surprise to see and read your blog post. The houses where you're buying look gorgeous and it'll be fun to follow along with you on this journey. So happy you're back,Mary Alice

Mindi Evans

Oh how I have missed you blogging! Glad you found your way back home!

Holly @ Down to Earth Style

I love hearing from readers. I get teary-eyed because I am so happy to hear from you. Thank you!

lisa f

I'm so happy your family is back in VA. I was so sad for your boys leaving their friends and school when you said you were moving back to Utah. We can go anywhere in the world for vacation and we always end up in VA. We will be heading to VA beach [north and south] then over to Keswick/Orange area. Our search for property in VA is never ending. We have a 7 1/2 yr old who is in a good school system here in MA so it would have to be a summer home. Great to see you… Read more »

Ever Evolving Home

So very glad to see you back on here!! I've missed your blog so much!!Heather

Cathy Cobblestone

So glad you are back where you feel like you belong. I have so missed being inspired by you and your DIY projects. Enjoy the home building process – I'm certain it will be beautiful. Home truly is where you heart is!

Rachel Smith

I love UT! We lived there twice, thanks to the USAF, and moved back to VA 11 years ago. We're East coast people originally and we love VA but I do miss the beautiful Wasatch mountains view out our front door and the beautiful view of the Salt Lake and valley from our deck. We are Presbyterian and loved our church family at First Presbterian Church in SLC. Still have great friends from there. Totally get where you're coming from though. Happy to hear from you and glad you're back in VA!❤


Great to hear from you again! It's been 5 years in our old new home and I still have a little wallpaper left to remove. How exciting a new home, and getting to pick out all the finishes… I'm a little jealous!! Let us know how it's going along the journey.Hugs,Pendra

Cindy Richter

Sounds like the Lord has big plans for y'all. Glad to see you back and if your new house is half as nice as the one in the pictures, it will be gorgeous. Best wishes.

Melissa Wagner

I'm so glad you are back. I always enjoyed your blog. Somehow your house in Utah didn't seem like you … and somehow it didn't seem you were happy. I'm so glad you are back to where you are happy!! Can't wait to see progress on your new cute home!


Glad you found your way back \”home\”. It's more than just a place, isn't it? Excited for you and excited to follow along! (Show is your cute apartment!!) ~Kim @IrishmanAcres

Beth Qualley

Welcome back east, Holly. I have missed you and had checked into the blog a few times. I'm m so glad you and your family are where you call \”home\”. I know you have shared what a struggle your boys were having. I look forward to following progress with your new home and lots of new projects!!! All of the best to you and your family…and \”welcome home\”.

Katie Mansfield

Wow. What a story. I'm so glad you have made it back to a place you love. I look forward to hearing more about your new home. The house is gorgeous. I can't wait to see the spin you will put on it. Congratulations.


Congrats Holly! Yes, building no matter how many times you have done it is intimidating I think. I was so overwhelmed this time last year when we were building. Love this house you featured! can not wait to see your updates. It is always good to feel at home so I am glad that your family has found out where home is.

Gee Singh Newbanks

Eeeeeeee!!!! How exciting . You are back on the East Coast! I tried the Colorado thing a few years back, and came back east as well. It's a whole different vibe. Glad to have you back 😀I am soooo looking forward to see your new home and what you will do . Missed your unique style!!Big hugs, Gee

Cheryl Thornton

Holly so nice to see you back! I look forward to seeing your new home as it progresses…Cheryl @ The Creative Me and My McG

reFresh reStyle

So glad you're back!!! Debbie