Hello again, sweet friends. Doesn’t it just seem like summer is flying by? We are half way through July already, and where I live we are still just getting glimpses of summer here and there, as it has been unusually rainy for us this year. However, when it is sunny and warm out, we have been flowing through our mudroom much more than we had previously, because we’ve done a lot of work on our backyard this season!
I am hoping to show you some of it soon, though I do have some peeks on Instagram in my story highlight titled “backyard” if you want to take a look. Anyways, given this space has been in frequent use recently, I thought it would be nice to refresh it for a new season.
I wanted to share this area while we spend some time chatting about my newly found affection for the backyard and for gardens, so feel free to read on and indulge me in my ramblings if you would like, or to simply scroll through the photos if you’d prefer!
As you know if you’ve been around the last while, freshening up for a new season for me mainly means changing up foliage, as well as textiles like pillow covers. So that’s what I have done in our mudroom for the summer as well. I like keeping my denim jacket here for a little fashionable layering that’s close to the back door to grab if it gets chillier in the evening, as well as having a wide-brimmed hat available, as I prefer to keep the sun off my face in order to protect it while we spend time outside.
Speaking of being outside, with our back yard development, we have built a deck and pergola, as well as dug garden beds and planted trees, and a variety of different shrubs. Within probably a six week period, our backyard has gone from a barren area (save for some grass), to well on its way to becoming a little backyard garden oasis. It’s been quite the transformation! We’ve already hosted several people, and have sat outside together enjoying evening meals any night it’s nice out. This means our friends get to travel through our little mudroom as well.
Because we have all our new shrubs around, I have also been getting out to prune, which is a new things for me coming from having no outdoor foliage at all!
Though I do have a lot to learn, I am excited to have another thing to be able to put my hands to in our home. As I shared about in my kitchen blog post a couple of weeks ago, I have been stepping with more purpose and boldness into both my role as a homemaker, and into cultivating my femininity as a woman. A huge element in femininity is that of being nurturing – of nurturing things in our lives.
With a garden, as we tend to it’s growth and development, we are putting our hands towards something in creation, and this is a very nurturing thing to do. In this manner, we also nurture our own soul, which in turn works its way outward, and can positively affect those around us who come into contact with us.
In the same vein, I have come to realize I am much more joyful in life when I am actively participating in things that are important to me, and when there is purpose behind the ways in which I spend my time. I notice that if I ever waste my free time by sitting and watching tv or scrolling on social media, I feel very unmotivated afterwards. This doesn’t mean I can never do those things and be fine with it; I definitely need to allow for those times here and there, as I like staying up-to-date on current events, etc. However, when I do something I enjoy that also has purpose behind it, that’s when I really come alive, and for me a huge thing that I find purpose in, that is perhaps simple to most, is creating a lovely and peaceful environment in our home. It’s a way in which I feel I have been gifted to nurture those who come into our home – including my husband when he gets home from work, and even myself as I enjoy the peace that comes from the environment I create.
Whether this is spending days re-designing my pantry set up and then re-organizing it, making the bed in the mornings, or now in spending time pruning the shrubs in the backyard, these are things that feed my soul. When my pantry is reorganized, I can feel proud of the accomplishment of taking on and getting through a task that will bring further order to our lives. When the bed is made, I can enjoy the tidiness in our room, and therefore the peace it brings to mind. And when our garden is pruned and looks nice, I can stand back and enjoy the effect of what putting my hands to and creating beauty in our environment looks like. These things all nurture, and that is very feminine, and something I truly have come to love.
Another way I nurture in my daily life….
Our kitties! Since she was here while I was snapping pics, I thought I would show you how this little cutie has grown. This is Willow, and her and her brother Oliver are just over a year old. Those of you with pets like dogs and cats know – especially if you are at home a lot – that they are never far away from you. In most of the other pictures Oliver was laying on the floor mat in here just outside of the frame, haha. Whenever I am styling and shooting photos they always have to be involved, and are curious about what’s happening.
Side note on that: If you are someone who is home on your own a lot of the time, even if you are very introverted like me and don’t think you get lonely at all, I cannot recommend getting a pet (or pets) enough! You really do grow to love them like part of your family, and they bring so much joy to your heart. And for those of you who don’t have kids yet like me, it really does help to get into that process of being responsible for and nurturing other living beings, and caring for something other than just yourself.
I love how I can see my mudroom from our kitchen while I am preparing dinner, baking, or cleaning. It’s such a bright space in our home, and when I look at it I’m reminded of going outside to share a meal and chat with my husband, and with that enjoying the beauty we have recently created in our backyard, that I get to work on tending to and nurturing from here forward.
I know my last two posts have included thoughts beyond home decorating, and I am so thankful to you guys for reading and hearing me out on what I have been learning and stepping into in my life lately. I feel that the concepts of homemaking, and particularly femininity and traditionalism in that manner, are not generally given much appreciation in our modern society, so I know that it’s easy to feel somewhat alone when walking further into that journey with our lives. I am always so encouraged when I see others living in a similar manner to how I do, and doing so with purpose, grace, and joy, so my hope is that I can be an encouragement to someone else who comes across my words here. I hope that you enjoyed this post, and the pictures, and that your summer has been absolutely wonderful thus far.
Thanks for stopping by!