Home Office Magic

Moving into a home office was an emotional choice more than anything, and one that took me almost 9 months to make.

You see, I’ve had an out of home studio my entire career. I never, and I really mean never, worked from home. Not even on weekends.

I always have had a really strong work/life boundary. I had to – I am terrible at compartmentalizing and when I do, it’s because if I don’t, it’s a disaster.

This really stems from the fact that my work and life has always overlapped for my entire childhood. My family – in construction for the first 10 years of my life and then full time cattle ranchers ever since – has always overlapped work and life. Work was life, and visa versa. And it worked! We built custom homes on land my parents owned and lived, so it just worked. We raised cows at home, and there were no “I’m off now so we aren’t going to go get that cow that got out on the side of the road” moments. It was more like, “Nicole, wake up. We need to go get the cow” and hope that we got to sleep at some point the rest of the night.

My life is full of work and home overlap – Adam works part time as a fishing guide after his day job, and that means he is gone on weekends, most evenings, and if he’s home, he’s out in the boat or shop working for the next trip.

This has always been my life, and I’ve loved it. Every second. But there was a time, when my family was grieving and recovering from tragedy and the line had to be set between work and life. Work waited, for the first time in my entire existence, and not just for me. Everyone I loved put work on hold, and came to live. It was temporary, and it was magical, and it was the hardest season of our lives.

This season, which we reflect on as “January 4th”, is the season when I found that I cannot compartmentalize. And that meant, I can’t really enjoy either piece of my life to its full potential, because my attention was never undivided. 

Don’t even get me started on how motherhood affects this – we’ve all had this conversation and Lord knows we’ve hashed it out quite a bit.

My point is – working from a studio helped me, made me, have that line. The no work at home, no home at work, line. And I thrived in that space.

My relationships were either work or friends, and when they overlapped, it normally ended in some sort of disappointment and I hated that. 

My work was work, my life was life, and I adored that balance.

Until, yes you guessed it, motherhood.

After having Joey, this balance worked for quite a while. He went to daycare at 8 months old, and for the next year, it was almost bliss. I dropped him off 2 and half days a week, and I worked SOLID during that time. When he was with me, I was with him and him only. 

But then, something in me shifted. Majorly shifted. I was yearning for him, and for Adam. My work suddenly contained a lot of life – aka, the blog, my IG, the JoJo, Mompreneur Course and ALL THE THINGS. 

The balance suddenly was off balance. And I was rocking, big time. The girls in the office were all in different life and business places than me. I was out of time, most of it spent in the car to and from home and work and daycare and gym. I was hungry and rarely had a moment to shower. I was living in work out clothes, and Joey was crying when I dropped him off.

And one day, with no alternative plan, I picked him up from daycare and told them we weren’t coming back. 

Four months and a whole lot of Joey and Nicole time talking about soul searching and big plans and dreams, I moved out of the studio I used to call my other home.

I did it alone, and I cried the entire time. I packed up my Jeep with what had been my entire career, and it all fit into one load. I moved from a 1,000 square foot studio space with dear, dear friends, and moved home to my family and into a corner of the living room with extremely slow internet.

Friend, I have never been happier. 

Instead of feeling like I’m missing out on my family, I almost feel like I want to get away. And I know, I know, that sounds terrible, but it’s blissful. Wanting to get away is so much better than wanting back in, knowing you can’t. I have finally made my home my true home. My work is my life again, and it’s a welcome addition.

But since that corner of the living room was definitely not enough for this big dreaming, career driven mompreneur, Adam graciously gave up his hunting room and helped me put together a tiny little studio, all to myself.

It’s a mere 200 square feet, and all mine.

And just as an update, I left every piece of furniture I had for the studio, at the studio. I’ll grab it whenever the girls decide to leave, but for now, it’s better loved there than in a storage unit down the street.

I did the entire home studio for under $300, and it’s just magical. Take a little tour and I hope you love its cozy, modern vibe as much as I do every single day.

And because I know you guys will want to know some of these things…

Blessing Baby A

Here's a fun fact you may not know... 

Before last Sunday, this is the list if baby items Adam and I owned:

  • A crib with a mattress and one fitted sheet.
  • A Halo Sleepsack so generously gifted to us back in April.

Literally. That's it. 

Another fun fact? Sure!

There was an extensive list of people that I had not seen or talked to since we got pregnant. NOT OKAY.

So, as you can imagine, I have been anxiously awaiting our baby shower, and behold! We celebrated Baby A last Sunday and it was just the most wonderful day in the whole entire world, ever.

We did not play games. There was mingling and champagne and tiramisu. Best of all, we don't know what this little bundle of joy will be, so there was certainly no gender specific theme, which made it TOTALLY fine that I wanted hot pink flowers and black and white stripes.

As per usual, everyone congregated on the porch and stayed there until someone had to shuffle them in the house. We had moved the furniture (ALL the furniture) into other rooms in the house and lined the big room with long tables. Looking back, we should have had a disco dance party instead of eating food. I mean, who knew Mom had that much space in her living room?

We ate quiche and talked over the noise of others talking and blew kisses to each other and had a show of hands for boy or girl votes (26 girl to 19 boy, by the way...). Rachel prayed and then a slew of phenomenal blessings were spoken by the most dear women in my life. 

It was, quite simply, the most magical experience I could imagine. It felt like a mini version of our wedding, full of joy and massive love and Jesus.

Other shower tidbits?

  • Carey cried, and then said the F word. 
  • Baby A will have lots of warm hats and socks which will serve him or her well in the middle of July. I'm going to have to keep the house cold just so I can dress them up in their snuggly booties.
  • I have a tribe that is massively talented. I walked in to the girls standing on tables, taking photos of the place settings and flowers and balloons and neon drink stirrers and stamped napkins. I don't know how I got so lucky as to have these women enhance very fiber of my life.
  • I finally found out that I weighed 7 lbs 1 oz when I was born, thanks to my fairy godmother's memory.
  • My friends have THE BEST kids. Like seriously. I opened presents surrounded by toddlers and my niece and it was the best thing ever - one was in charge of present delivery, one in charge of trash, one in charge of present organizing and one in charge of telling Heidi what the present was. Also, thanks to Avi, I now know what things are that I would have never known before... thank goodness for single digit old humans.
  • And yes, I've always loved dessert this much. It's not a pregnancy craving.
Baby A, you are already so loved and you aren't even here yet. We all will welcome you with joyous praise and celebration and you will most certainly live a life of love, prosperity and gratitude. Look at the women around you... there is no other way.

 In the meantime, bring on the last month of pregnancy and car seat installation and practice Moby Wrap tying.

Cole and Baby A