The Sense of Home

1024 683 Lauren Kennedy

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been quite the year. Alongside the craziness, there have been so many important silver linings. I look back to the beginning of quarantine, and I remember thinking over and over again how I didn’t want to miss the positive parts and what we were supposed to learn, shift, and observe. I wanted to keep my eyes and heart wide open.

As y’all might know after following along with us here on the blog, we purchased our new home in November of 2018. We closed three days after the Woolsey fire, which caused significant smoke damage to our home, burned down the home next door along with two other houses on our street. It was a wild undertaking. We moved out of our previous home in LA in February of 2019 and started renovating our new home. As we were told, renovation takes way longer than expected + adding fire remediation and doing all with a nontoxic approach devised an entirely new level of time, research, and logistics. I think my half glass full mentality from my excitement to start this project didn’t want to believe that, but man was it true. It actually took four times longer than we were told. Because of this, we doubled our stay at a hotel, then moved into an apartment with one of our best couple friends – we both needed a 6-month place to stay, so it was a perfect way to save some money in the process. We moved into our home in October 2019 with a lot of moving parts still + we didn’t know if any of our previous furniture would work, and it turned out most sizing was not suitable (insert tear emoji here). We began the furnishing process about a month later in December with COVID-related delays on shipping, and I can now say we are almost complete (mid-November is the last delivery-hooray)! What a process, but truly we feel so grateful we had this opportunity, learned so much, and are extra appreciative to be settled.

I am extreme homebody, so this year I really had to develop a new sense of home – and while my circumstances were different, I realized that so many are also experiencing this at the current time. I learned that any place can be a cozy home. This past year, we lived in a hotel room, an apartment, a room above a garage, and our home (which was quite an organization nightmare and an endless list of to-dos), and every place felt just as doable and cozy and perfect for the time. I was forced to go against my comfort, and I am so thankful because it always transforms my perspective and increases my appreciation.

In my opinion, one of the most amazing parts about the pandemic restrictions has been the time at home. What a learning journey for traveling, working men/women to be at home with the fam more, for marriages to exist side by side 24/7, for kids to be out of school and sports, for jobs to be lost or relocated to the house. Not to mention, it left space to think and process and reflect on what is important, which can be super uncomfortable but ultra-redeeming.

It has been so interesting to watch how everyone copes so differently. Jase was FaceTiming his buddies non-stop, using the stay-at-home orders to develop funny social media content while grieving the loss of not getting to use his gift and passion of hosting. I, on the other hand, am an innate introvert, so with the tragedy set aside, being homebound was my version of heaven. I was trying new healthy recipes, discovered a biodynamic organic farm that is 15 minutes from our house, saved emotional energy from having to decide on a social plan, and had more quality time to connect with my family and friends virtually. Oh! And puzzles! And my work has always been at home, so my adjustment was a little less severe.

Also, I was grateful for the unifying feeling that every single person was in this together. We were both more alert to reach out to others, to take flowers to the neighbors, to thank the mailman. This whole journey has taught me two things that no other circumstance could have taught me: be grateful for ALL services, provisions, people, and love – and, ANY place can be home. Perspective is everything.

To see more of our home renovation follow along with our Making A Home series, right here on the blog.

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