When I was in high school and college, my dream was to be a book designer like Louise Fili for a big publisher in a far away city. I hung on to this dream until I decided my love for my family here in Laurel was greater than my desire to leave them. I had to learn for myself that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. And so began my mission to bloom where I was planted, here in my hometown. To find the magic in where I was standing. I started this journal on January 1, 2010 and it became an important part of my life over the years, from leaving my day job, to starting my own stationery company, fighting a chronic illness, buying our forever home, struggling with my fears about having children, and eventually finding ourselves in front of a camera making a TV show for HGTV.
I have missed this journal since I stepped away 3 months ago. I worried some days if things happened and I didn't document it here, if I would remember it happened at all. I've been bolstered by so many of you who have sent lovely comments on instagram and email saying you wish we would write a book.
One thing I couldn't reveal to you here is that since May 2017, after a secret meeting in New York, Ben and I set to work taking the memories from 8 years of this journal, curating the moments and days into longer stories, but not just from my perspective—Ben's too. Did you realize he has a minor in English and creative writing? It's been a dream for both of us to write a book since we were college kids. Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Hemingway (!!) said they wanted this book and that I would be allowed to design it, inside and out, so my wildest dream that sat on the shelf so many years has come true. And I can't believe it. After all this hard work, I can finally show you our book that's coming out in October:
And so, I'm sitting here at my desk, writing a journal for the first time with a squishy, giggling 3-month old baby girl in my lap. In the coming weeks I'm going to be easing back into my writing here, joining all of our new contributors who have done a great job taking up my slack. I won't be writing daily, I want to focus on Helen and what she needs, but it feels good to process my days and keep writing this story that we're so lucky to be part of.
Read our exclusive interview about the book at People.