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The Weekender: On Healing, Silly Valentine’s Day Traditions and Raising Good People

The whole family hanging out at Warren Dunes State Park | via Yellow Brick Home
Warren Dunes State Park

On Grief + Healing

We gave ourselves four days. Four whole, entire, glorious days to do nothing. A simple act (or non-act, really), to do what we hadn’t given ourselves a chance to do – grieve. Jack’s passing happened so suddenly, it felt like a horrific punch to the gut. We were in the midst of work, work, work – all of which felt incredibly insignificant in the aftermath – but we pushed through, albeit slowly. And then last week, we decided, isn’t this what Tree House is for?

I hate to admit it, but we have never had a Tree House weekend with just us when we weren’t working. Sure, we might go to that Michigan house for three days, work hard for two and take the third day off. We’ve gone with a big group of friends and stayed up late eating s’mores. We’ve also gone with friends who’ve helped us demolish an entire kitchen. And we’ve gone with family, who subsequently keep an eye on Lucy while we finish installing lights, paint beadboard and wallpaper. But just us? Just for fun? Never.

Sweet toddler running to give her mom a hug | via Yellow Brick Home
black puffer | Lucy’s snowsuit (similar)

It was just what our hearts needed. We thought, maybe we’ll tackle a couple punch list items – you know, only if we feel like it. We didn’t feel like it. We slept in and took midday naps and ate pancakes and drank beer. We watched Snowy Day (again!, Lucy says before the end credits even roll) and Marriage Story and played at the snow-covered dunes!

I often underestimate how much I need quiet time to recoup, heal. And now that we’ve given ourselves the grace to do so, we all feel so. much. better. Tree House has proven itself to be the sanctuary that we envisioned from Day One.

Note: We receive a lot of messages asking if we still plan on listing Tree House for short term rentals, and the answer is yes! We need to knock out that punch list, but we’re aiming to open up summer dates by the spring!

Other Things This Week

As I start the furniture search for the Two Flat (I can’t help myself), I stumbled across these counter stools – and wow. Love.

Speaking of which, I did order this handsome (large!) planter for Unit 1’s amazing front windows… in brown! It feels like a throwback in the best way.

The best part about this Netflix series is the design for each episode’s 3 second title card (and they’re all different). Has anyone else noticed how beautiful they are?

Julia said she loved them, and I have to agree! These are my favorite purchase of the year, hands down.

Yes, this, a thousand times this. Dressing Lucy in (mostly) gender-neutral clothing can really mess with people. But why?

Here’s a silly story: At least 15 years ago, Scott and I picked up McDonald’s french fries, Big Macs and a bottle of wine. The wine cost more than our dinner; we were broke as a joke, and the wine was our splurge! Now every year since, we skip the fancy reservations and share our annual Big Mac over a bottle of wine, but there’s just one rule – the bottle has to cost more than our McDonald’s dinner, ha! Do you have any fun Valentine’s Day traditions?

Weekend Sales

Wishing you all a happy weekend, doing whatever it is that makes your heart sing – and a Happy Valentine’s Day, friends!

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  • Jill2.14.20 - 8:32 AM

    1. Big Macs are SOOOOOO good. 
    2. My bro-in-law got me the wrong madewell hoops for Xmas (w/fug sweater, lol) but my SIL got me the RIGHT ones for my bday, bless sisters!!! (the skinny large gold ones & I LOVE them.)
    3. So glad u got to enjoy some down time! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ReplyCancel

  • at home with Ashley2.14.20 - 8:37 AM

    That planter is so good! And sometimes doing nothing is the best remedy. Keep giving your heart time to heal!ReplyCancel

  • Miruska2.14.20 - 9:02 AM

    That video of you bathing your dogs is what I needed this morning. So much love in the most mundane of tasks. Beautiful and touching but also funny, as only dogs can be. So good.ReplyCancel

  • Toby2.14.20 - 9:22 AM

    Let’s go thrifting for Two Flat! Starting at the end of this month I have nothing but unemployed time! ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.14.20 - 10:00 AM

      Wait, what! Yes! And help with our millwork, please!ReplyCancel

      • Toby2.14.20 - 10:25 AM

        Just tell me when after the 21st! I’m all about it!ReplyCancel

  • Megan2.14.20 - 9:39 AM

    We eat take-out Chinese food on our wedding china (which I was neutral about registering for and now make a point to pull anytime I feel like it!); our kids (ages 6 and 18 months) eat mac and cheese from Noodles & Co – also on the china, because, it’s just stuff and they appreciate the “fancy” feel. Though I keep a CLOSE watch on the toddler with that fragile salad plate! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.14.20 - 10:00 AM

      I love that SO much! Enjoy your takeout tonight. ????ReplyCancel

  • Kim B2.14.20 - 12:53 PM

    I am so glad you all gave yourselves the grace of that grieving time (not that your grieving is done, now, I don’t mean that.  But that you took the time to focus and let yourselves take some time).  Some dear friends of mine lost their dog today in a horrible accident (caused accidentally by a family member) and I just feel so bad for them.  Our pets are so important.

    As for Valentine’s Day, I love your tradition.  My husband works in a restaurant so he is serving fancy couples expensive fancy dinners tonight. ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.14.20 - 1:48 PM

      Oh, how sad. Thinking of your friends right now.ReplyCancel

  • kelsie2.14.20 - 1:07 PM

    We’ve dressed our daughter in mostly black/white/grey since the day she was born, and usually people would just assume one gender or the other (usually boy). There was ONE time, we went to a Sounders match, and the security person said, “OH, so sweet! How old are they?!” and I’ll never forget how strangely great that felt – for someone to not assume based on how I’d dressed her, or whether or not she had a bow in her hair. ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie2.14.20 - 3:24 PM

    We did the same thing when we had to say goodbye to our furbaby, Kingston.  You painted his portrait back in 2016 and a year later he was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 7.  We were heartbroken but knew it was best to let him go before it got too bad.  Two days after saying goodbye, we took off for small town in west Texas and took our time driving out there with no plans when we arrived.  It was our first weekend without him and we didn’t want to sit at home in the quiet.  We grieved for a year, and still do, before we adopted our sweet furry Olive girl.  Taking that year to be dog free was hard but also allowed us to be a little more free with our time and zero commitments at home.  Glad you all got to take some time to breathe and relax, looking back on it all now, it was the best decision we made in the grieving process.  Now I’m off to Etsy to find a pet portrait artist based on your suggestions for Olive!ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.14.20 - 10:45 PM

      Oh, thank you so much for sharing, Stephanie. How lucky am I to have gotten to know Kingston through working with you?! Hugs.ReplyCancel

  • lak2.15.20 - 7:30 AM

    I love your blog. I do not think that I would ever pick out the things you do, and then I see them on your blog and LOVE them.  By the way, around Christmas you talked up some socks, well I tried them and love them, so does my sister and almost 90 year old mom.  Just goes to show you can teach old dogs new tricks!  ReplyCancel

    • Kim2.15.20 - 8:08 PM

      Haha, are they the Bomba socks? Can’t beat ‘em! Lucy is even obsessed!

      And thank you. ☺️ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer2.16.20 - 10:16 PM

    What a wonderful gift to yourselves, to take TIME for you. 
    Our Valentine tradition is to get pizza from any one of several local places that make heart-shaped pizzas. Practical and fun!ReplyCancel

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