Little Bits of Love

Hi friends. Do you miss me? Because I’ve sure missed you!

It’s been a rather quiet summer on the blog, and I feel like this chat we’re about to have has been coming for awhile now. I just couldn’t find the words or the right time to sit down and open up my heart into a blog post until now. If you’ve been around Love Grows Wild for any amount of time, you probably know that I am always posting new makeovers and projects from our little farmhouse at least a few times a week. In the last 4 1/2 years of writing this blog, I have rarely taken any time off and usually work 6-7 days a week for more hours of the day than I’d like to admit. It’s just so easy to do when you run your own business out of your home.

image via LoveGrowsWild.com

I stumble out of bed in the morning still in my yoga pants, grab a cup of hazelnut coffee, and head to my office, which is conveniently 36 steps away from my bed and only 15 steps away from the kitchen. It’s not a bad set up at all… I really have nothing to complain about! I start the day by sorting through my ever-growing inbox of emails and catching up with my Instagram friends (you’re following me on IG, right?). Then by mid-morning I get the itch to shut off the computer and dive into a project. Some days I’m moving couches and tables and lamps from room to room, trying to come up with a better design plan, and some days I’m out in the garage cutting up lumber and building a new piece of furniture that I refuse to pay 5x as much for in stores! And then there are the days that I find myself with a paintbrush and a bucket of white paint, singing to Rihanna at the top of my lungs while transforming a thrift store furniture find into the perfect farmhouse piece for our home.

At 3:30 when the boys get off the school bus I am always wondering where the heck the day went, and then I’m juggling 5th grade math homework and 1st grade reading assignments and cooking dinner all while making sure we’re headed out the door to football practice on time. Usually just before I pull into the parking lot, I realize that I’m still in the same yoga pants I slept in and have white paint covering 3/4 of my hands and most likely some in my hair too. Some of the parents just smile and laugh because they’ve somehow discovered my blog and know what I do for a living. The rest of them just look at me like I’m crazy, but it’s okay… I’m too tired to be upset about it anyway!

After sports practice, it’s a whirlwind of showers and bedtime stories and “you better not get out of bed again!” threats. I grab a mug of hot tea (or a glass of wine depending on how many people were staring at the paint in my hair that day) and head back to the computer to edit photos or write a brilliant blog post that I hope people will think is smart and witty and the most useful decorating resource they’ve ever come across on the internet. Blog, Sleep, Repeat. That was my life for 4 1/2 years.

This beautiful, old farmhouse is ready for summer with fresh flowers, relaxed decor, and plenty of sunshine. Come take a tour!

And then this summer happened. I didn’t mean for it to happen… but it did. The girl that used to wake up thinking about her next project and go to sleep wondering if her book launch would be a success suddenly found herself wanting to skip work and spend the day at the pool with the kids. Or enjoy a late night bonfire under the stars on our farm with friends. Or just be STILL for a moment. I’ve always been one of those go, go, go type of people and rarely find myself wanting to just be still and enjoy the moment. I have too much to do, too much on my mind, too much that won’t happen if I don’t MAKE it happen.

This summer has been full of highs and lows for me personally… we buried a grandmother, went on our first family vacation in years, spent a lot more time with friends, and learned that marriage is not always easy. Actually, it’s really, really hard. And for the first time in 4 1/2 years, I allowed myself to slack off just a little bit. In the beginning of July, I had a full schedule of blog posts I wanted to create for you guys. Exciting, beautiful, inspiring things that I had been dreaming up in my head… and then life got in the way. We went out of town for the funeral and a week or two later left for vacation in Michigan. And then football started for the boys, and our life got even busier. And before I knew it, I had only posted twice in the last month, and I felt SOOOO guilty about it. How could I let almost 5 years worth of hard work just sit there on my blog and not keep hustling at it 24/7 like I usually do? Why was I craving so much freedom from the stresses of running my own business?

Love Grows Wild

Slowly but surely I realized that I just. needed. a. break. For the first time in a LONG time, I opened my eyes a bit to all that I had been missing out on in life. Lunches with girlfriends that I always turned down because I couldn’t possibly get away from work for a few hours. Water balloon fights with my boys instead of squeezing in another photography session. Leaving on vacation and not bringing my laptop or checking my email every 30 minutes. I’m not sure whether I just became overwhelmed, tired, and lazy this summer or if I actually grew as a person and overcame some longtime fears of mine. But either way, I needed this summer. I needed to clear my head and my heart in order to come back to work full of drive and passion again. But this time… it will be different.

One thing I’ve learned about myself in 28 years is that I tend to have a little bit of tunnel vision. When I find something I’m passionate about, I put 110% of myself into it without realizing the effect it has on the rest of my life. I don’t want my kids to not have mom’s home cooked meals because she’s too busy working. I don’t want to miss out on amazing friendships because I feel guilty taking the time to nurture those relationships. So from now on, I’m making a promise to myself to work on balance.

This beautiful, old farmhouse is ready for summer with fresh flowers, relaxed decor, and plenty of sunshine. Come take a tour!

So what does balance look like, you ask? Well for me, it means going to the gym at least a couple times a week. I’ve never been one to workout all the time, but lately I’ve found it not only to be good for my self-esteem and body image, but it is also a HUGE relief for stress and anxiety. I’m not sure at what age anxiety started becoming an issue with me, but I find it to be crippling at times. Running on a treadmill or lifting weights makes a big difference in my mood by the end of the day! Balance also means enjoying summers and holidays with my family and planning ahead on the blog so that I can do that without guilt. Balance is letting go of some control and letting a little bit of spontaneity slip into my life. And most importantly, balance is knowing that it’s okay to shut the computer off before dinnertime and take weekends off every once in awhile. I flew out to Atlanta just a few weeks ago for a blog conference with some of my dearest blog friends, and man… that long weekend away couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I needed reassurance that I’m taking my blog in the right direction and that taking time for myself is okay… or even vital to my success.

Love Grows Wild

If you’re still with me after reading all of that… let me just say that I love you! Like I said before, I’ve wanted to sit down for awhile now and share my heart and my thoughts, and I hope I’ve given you a little peek into my world as a mom, wife, entrepreneur, and an overly-emotional, creatively passionate woman. I wanted to explain why posts have been few and far between over the last month or so and reassure you that I AM coming back!! If you follow me on Instagram, you probably haven’t missed me too much… I’m always sharing updates and bits of our life on there. (P.S. how do you like the new Instagram Stories? I think I’m going to love them!)

To wrap up this extremely long post, I just want to say that…

1) There is new content coming to Love Grows Wild very soon! I’m working on photographing our new entryway, finishing up some projects in our master bedroom, and even continuing the saga of our endless search for the perfect couch. Yep… the saga continues, folks! Thank you for sticking with me this summer, and I promise to reward you with lots of farmhouse goodness!

2) For all of you amazing women out there who feel like you have to be perfect and juggle it all, ALL the time… you don’t. If you neglect to take care of your own health and happiness, you won’t have anything left to give to the people you love most. You can’t pour water into someone else’s glass if your glass is empty… that’s a horrible metaphor, but you get the picture! Take time for you, let go of the guilt, recenter yourself, and decide what lies in the path ahead for you!

Chat again soon, sweet friends!

xoxo Liz


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Comments

  1. Tammy Lucier says:

    Relax. Take a deep breath. Those of us who feel our hearts skip a beat when we paint/make a new farmhouse piece for a fraction of the price are also wrist deep into projects! If we have children we are busy catching fireflies. Downtime allows us to get inspired. We look to you for fresh ideas, but rest assured you need not post daily! Live your life. Our craftiness is a blessing..it brings us great joy. Remember to keep the joy in what you do by balancing it with the many other aspects that are life.

    • Liz Fourez says:

      I completely agree, Tammy. Hitting the pause button is so necessary to refuel our creativity! Keep in touch, friend! 🙂

  2. Marijean Jenson says:

    I think it’s great that you took a little break. I don’t know how all you ladies that have blogs do it. I know I could not have done it when my kids were young. I’m sure glad you all do though! So very time consuming, what you do. Your kids will not be young forever, and allthough we all have to work to make a living, we all have to slow down and enjoy family and friends too !

    • Liz Fourez says:

      Exactly, Marijean! I need to enjoy these sweet moments with the boys while they are little and still want to actually spend time with me before their teenage years! Lol! My youngest is about to lose his first tooth… very exciting times around our house! Hugs, sweet friend!

  3. Well said, my friend. I promise, you will never, ever look back and wish you didn’t spend time with your family. Even when your boys are teens, they need you there. And so does your hubby! My wish for you is that you find balance and take time for yourself, too. You are doing the right thing!
    I am rtakc on instagram.

    • Liz Fourez says:

      Hey girl! Thank you for sharing your IG handle… I see you on there all the time! Love that! And yes, even though the boys aren’t little babies anymore, they still need their momma just as much! Thanks for stopping by the blog, sweet friend! 🙂

  4. All I can say is – yay Liz! I’m sorry you had to get burnt out like me to figure it out. May you find the balance you need for you and your family. Right there with you, sweet friend, cheering you on. Love you, girl!

    • Liz Fourez says:

      I think we all have to live it and learn it to fully understand why balance is so important! Miss and love you too! P.S. I hope your window installer is on the mend… how scary!

  5. Congratulations! You learned a great life lesson we all need to learn! Hang in there…..the best is yet to come.

  6. You’re very natural and open mind and so I can only say that life is too short to let even one day be frenzied or frazzled and flies by if you let it; so choose what you want every day an go get it. Go on and listen what your heart tells you – it’s every time the right decision 🙂

  7. Liz, thank you for your honesty! Your blog is one of my favorites and I always look forward to your posts. Whether you post once a day, once a month or once a year I will continue to follow along. **Side note – I was at Haven as well. Wish I had gotten the opportunity to meet you in person.

    • Liz Fourez says:

      Oh, I wish you could have connected!! Conferences can be so busy and hectic, but I would have loved to say hello! Next time for sure! 🙂

  8. I am in complete agreement with everything you said! I have only been blogging for 2 years but I can completely relate to the struggle of balance you are talking about. What a blessing to be able to spend time off and enjoy family and friends! Days with kids and house projects feel so long but our kids grow up so fast!!! Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement to rest!

  9. Thank you for this post Liz. I’m so guilty of ‘needing’ to work all the time. I realized last week that summer is quickly coming to and end and I feel like I missed it. Love you and your words of wisdom…xo

  10. I’m glad you found that much needed down time and waiting patiently for you to come back refreshed and energized. They always say the caregiver has to take care of themselves first but that is always hard to do. Looking forward to your return

  11. Lisa Mothersead says:

    I just don’t think we can have everything all at the same time. And that’s ok. I gave up a career I had once really loved and never looked back. If it’s not enjoyable anymore, head to the natural direction that’s calling you. It’s ok.

  12. I think I really needed to read this blog post today. I tend to put off the important stuff in life like vacations. I think I get caught up in planning the perfect vacation and so in the end no vacation happens. Here I find myself again, not taking a vacation this year. I have many reasons but in the end, I am only hurting myself.
    I need to get serious about making time away a priority and enjoy it.
    Thanks for a much needed reminder.

  13. What a great, honest post. For many years I juggled, family, work and community work. Now I look back and wonder why I felt I had to do it all? We get so busy, we forget to just enjoy the simple things. Although one thing I would mention is that your children see you working hard, and it rubs off. My 4 children have a great work ethic, so at least that is something! I’m sure we are similar in that we will always need to be doing something – some things don’t change! I think weekly blogging is a great idea, we will look forward to reading it all the more! Take care.

  14. You are speaking for me. My blog is hopelessly behind, I haven’t charged my camera in months and I goofed off longer than I want to admit. Thank you for your honesty. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to… xoxo

  15. I love your blog, your sense of ease, and everything you do decorating. I think THIS post was the best for me. It made me feel like you are just like me, and like many of us, trying to balance it all and all the while keeping a smile on our face. Thank you!!! I hope the break brought you serenity, and a clear vision on the next months to come!!!

  16. Don’t ever feel guilty about blog posting. If you still enjoy it, post when you can. Your family is your priority, and your happiness and well being are equally important. We will enjoy your IG feed and a blog post when you can.
    *Smiles*

  17. I’m not sure why we women feel guilty about taking time off! We shouldn’t – we need breaks to – time to connect, recharge, and be renewed. This is such a heartfelt post; wonderful, thoughtful, and honest. It is so important to have balance. However often you decide to blog will be good – I know I will enjoy reading it whenever or however often you post. Big hugs and hang in there!

  18. Lynda Ramage says:

    Glad to see at your age you have realized what is really important and what you hope to achieve. Life is precious, but short. Faith, family, and friends have always been what I try to put first. And, in the end, that is what matters. I’m in my 70’s, but still enjoy entertaining, working in my yard, helping with community projects, and doing crafts. Just take time for yourself to do what pleases you. Go have lunch with your friends. Like Cheryl said, we as women especially, “feel like we have to do it all.” (And we can!) But, take time to smell the roses. Best of luck to you and thanks for sharing some of your life with us. It’s always nice to make new friends. Blessings, Lynda

  19. I’ve felt the same this summer, Liz! Okay for the last year, haha. Sometimes we have to take a break to recharge and NOT feel guilty about it. Easier said than done. Thanks for sharing. You have a beautiful heart and of course home 😉
    Hugs, Jamie

  20. Even if you post monthly, or heck even bi-monthly, I will be oh so happy to read your blog and catch up with you. Don’t miss these days with your boys, cuz it will be an aching reget you’ll carry in your heart the rest of your days. Once these days with them are gone, they’re gone forever! We’ll still be out here – we can wait. Peace! “Better to have joy in a cottage than misery in a castle”…

  21. Good for you for ‘taking time to smell the coffee’ ! Enjoy your new less stressful life. k

  22. There’s “never” enough time girl so stop & enjoy yourself & your beautiful family. I feel that pressure everyday. At 64 I constantly feel time running out to do all the the things I always wanted to do. But I’m a survivor & if there is one thing Leukemia taught me, is to stop & do at least one of my bucket list things at least once a month so for the past couple of months, I renovated my house (at least my wonderful husband did) & I’m enjoying shopping for new things & refinishing some old things thanks to you & your ideas. Love u girl!

  23. Great post! Love the honesty and I think so many woman can relate! Sometimes I feel like I step away too much and cheat my business and readers but when I look back in twenty years it will be worth all the little memories we’ve made… not the extra recipes or projects I dreamt up! You have to take time for yourself and your family first to truly appreciate and be passionate about your work. Your readers will wait patiently! 🙂 P.S. I’m just curious how your days looked a few years back when you were first starting with two little ones at home?! I have a two year old and find it so hard to balance being a stay-at-home mom with running a full-time business! Would love any advice! 😉

  24. I’ve been there (not with a blog but with volunteer positions in scouting) and burnout isn’t pretty. I’m glad you took some time to refuel and regroup and no matter how frequently or infrequently you’re posting in the future I’m still hanging around as long as you’re willing to share with us. On a side note I see those pillows again; love em!

  25. Love this! I have admired your work from Pinterest and working with Rachel “Maison de Pax” and self- care is SO important. I am so glad you took this summer to step back and build rich memories with your kids and marriage. 🙂

  26. Discovering the same things myself! What sweet relief it brings!

  27. Love your decision! Your family is more important than blogging every day and the kids grow so fast. As a mom myself, I love reading blogs like yours but don’t have enough time to read a post every day from a few different bloggers. So blogging less often gives you more time and your readers more time too – win/win!

  28. I have followed you on instagram for a while but this is my first time visiting your blog, and first post I have read. I love it. I love that I read this post first. You sound like an amazing woman and I can’t wait to dive more in to your blog and purchase your book on Amazon!! Keep doing at you are doing girl!

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