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Sometimes life takes precedence in the work-life balance

    The kids had mid-winter break last week which basically meant all things work flew right out the window.

    It’s okay, though. I think I needed a week off and I always strive to find that crazy balance between being an engaged mom and responsible business-owner. This week forced me into choosing and I went with life.

    While I was away from the computer, we were plenty busy with celebrating, adventuring, house progress, family and friend time.

    Remember back in the day when blogging looked way different and it was mainly just a daily recap of life? We’re throwing it back to 2010 and going with that journal-y-play-by-play recap of the past week type of post.

    Here it goes …


    Our mid-winter break started by celebrating this sweet girl’s 7th birthday.

    I mean, what??!!! Were you here when I started blogging and she was growing in my belly? Having a daughter woke up something in me – a creative spark and passion for inspiring others – and I’ll always be so grateful to my Audrey-girl for making me a better version of myself. She is funny, sweet, a little bit sassy, loves a stage, an animal lover and a joy. What a treat to have her in our family.


    We were supposed to head up to the mountain for a day of skiing, but a last-minute change of plans found us at the rock gym instead.

    The kids have been climbing a few times, but this was my first time watching them at this gym. They are all such good little climbers! I think we found our new favorite family activity.


    We finally made a decision on carpet! We’ve been back and forth to the store, ordering samples, trying them out around the house to test the lighting and durability. The carpet will go on the second and third floors in the bedrooms and hallway and will be here in two weeks. Which means in the next two weeks, we have to move all of the furniture downstairs, remove the baseboard and window/door trim, and paint all the walls and ceilings. Our carpet installer will remove the carpet and pad, put in the new pad and carpet and then we can update the trim. The upstairs is going to look so good!


    The kids had friends over and spent the entire day outside on the trampoline, which gave me and Ryan the motivation to tear out his office and give it a facelift. This is the front office that had oversized built-ins and mauve walls. The built-ins were super functional, but just too big for the space. We took them out and gave the walls and trim a fresh coat of paint (walls: Ancestral by Behr, trim: Iron Ore by Sherwin Williams). Then we stole furniture from around the house, built a new desk and things are coming together! I’ll post the full tour soon.


    My girlfriends and I took our kids to the rock climbing gym again and then had lunch at our favorite market. While there I spotted the most gorgeous orange tree and somehow came home with it :) I still need to read up on how to care for it so if you have any tips, I’ll all ears!

    I also added this new fern to my growing collection of houseplants. I can’t stop.


    Audrey and two of her friends had money to spend and so we ventured to the American Girl store for a little shopping.

    It was such a great lesson in money management. At one point, Audrey was starting to get upset that she couldn’t get another Bitty Baby since she didn’t have enough money. It was one of those moments when your kids reflect back to you something inside yourself … just a few days earlier I was feeling bummed I couldn’t get the wool berber carpet I really wanted and had to choose something less expensive … and here she was dealing with the same real-life emotions. Thankfully, she pulled herself together and was perfectly happy with her new puppy and Bitty Baby food blender (such a weird choice!) just as I am perfectly happy with our carpet choice.

    On the way home, we decided to pop into IKEA to grab a few things. It was right off the freeway and my girlfriend Erica wanted a couple of items, too, so we decided to stop.

    Um … want to know the absolute worst idea ever? Thinking we could pop into IKEA on a Saturday. The place was insane. Only after trying to get through as quickly as possible did we realize that it was the grand opening of our new two-story massive store. Wrong day to visit. But we made it through, got everything we came for, ate an ice cream cone and played on those wonky carts that don’t push straight.

    Fun times.


    The boys spent the night with some of our very best friends who we don’t see enough (do you follow Rae’s blog and instagram? If not, you should. So much style, wisdom, love, playfulness, cuteness in one family) and so while Ryan was off picking them up, I had the house to myself for maybe the first time ever. I cleaned up the perpetually messy kitchen, vacuumed, moved around throw blankets and snapped this picture of the freshly installed drawer pulls in the studio:

    One step closer to getting that place organized.

    To finish off the break, the kids and I half-watched/half-read/minecrafted the Oscars while Ryan made dinner (still going strong with Hello Fresh, in case you’re curious or in need of dinner help).

    I’m feeling grateful for a week of time spent with friends and the kids, knocking out house projects, guilt-free lounging on the couch with a good book (a reader sent me her newest novel and I’m almost done. It’s good!), a little bit of shopping, lots of sleeping in, and a break from the regular routine.

    And now that I’m filled up on life, it’s time to get back to work :)

    35 thoughts on “Sometimes life takes precedence in the work-life balance”

    1. Emily, the first Jones Design Company blog post I read was when turned your friends garage into a cute little pop up shop. Audrey was just an infant. I have enjoyed watching your sweet kids grow as much as I have enjoyed your creative ideas, thoughts, and designs. Thank you for all you share and for the many ways inspiration.

    2. Emily! I Love your style so much. Every time I’m on your blog I come away inspired to paint or revamp something in my own home! Can you tell me the specifics on those beautiful drawer pulls? I have been looking on amazon and there are so may variations. I want to get the right ones! Okay…off to paint something!

    3. Sounds like a great week! I’m so impressed with moms who can run businesses and be engaged moms, I’m sure it’s a hard balance at times. I was a full time working mom, but after getting pregnant with my 3rd kiddo and moving back to Seattle I decided to stay home for awhile. Kids are 8 months, 3, and 5 now and I’m toying with starting up a small business – but man, it’s so tired in here all the time after they go to bed! Ha!
      Also – random but I saw your daughter and her two friends at Ikea on Sat. Thought it was Audrey but wasn’t sure until I saw these pics. My husband and I also thought we could “pop” into Ikea with our 3 kiddos – it was a disaster. I don’t think my husband will ever set foot in Ikea again.

    4. Gina

      Wow! You accomplished a lot! When you asked about how long we have been reading your blog, I honestly could not remember. But I do remember the day I found it. I was searching for ideas for a wreath and found Pinterest. You had posted a wreath you made there. I had no idea what Pinterest was at the time but signed up that very day and of course the rest is history! So, I have been following you for a long time and have enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks for your constant inspiration! Love the office!

    5. Christy @theharperhouse

      Loved seeing that orange tree! After college, I accepted a job in Ft. Lauderdale, FL but was dating someone back home in IL. Well, 6 months later I couldn’t stand it any more so he flew down to help me move back home and on a spur of the moment we decided to buy an orange tree as a reminder of my FL days.

      Fast forward 18 years later and the orange tree is still alive and kicking living happily in my parents’ greenhouse, and that guy who helped me move is now my hubby of 17 years :) Now you have me wondering if we should move our orange tree back to our house!

    6. Loved this post ;). And the one a while back about your son’s 13th birthday. Love these real life posts. And I’m DYING TO LEARN the secret to the inside orange tree!! SUCH a great idea! I would love to know how this turns out ;).

    7. Your posts have sent me into a little plant-buying binge of my own lately in our new house. We have very little natural light in this home, so of course once I started researching what would do well here, I had to have them all. :)

    8. Haha! Clean, paint, rearrange, birthday party, rock climb, IKEA on grand opening and NOW you are ready to work! I am exhausted just reading this!! You ARE so inspiring and truly a breath of fresh air!! Your blog is always my first to check each day 🙂 Thanks Emily!!

    9. What a fun week. I loved those times when my kids were little! Two questions…..where is the new two story IKEA? and…..I saw the Hello Fresh reference, have you ever tried Wildtree? It is myna favorite way to cook ahead, fast, easy and all organic. I do a quarterly workshop at my house or friends houses now just because it is so easy and the food is so good. Let me know if you want to know about it. BTW… I feel your pain on the carpet chic, I had my perfect bedroom carpet chosen only to find out it was not in the budget and had to downgrade. It was so soft and plush on my feet! Waaaaaa!!

    10. Great to hear about your week of adventures and just wholesome good fun. I just checked out the book you were given and put it on my wish list. Hope to see you review it on Amazon once you finish it. I’ll look for it there. Love the color on the wall in your husband’s office, also the trim. You must get a lot of light in that room with the deeper colors. I’m trying to choose colors for our kitchen and can’t decide. I’ve been thinking/looking for months now. We have a craftsman built in 1921. I am not sure how many layers of wallpaper are on there and the counters are the ugliest ever. I do have counter top picked out. Thank goodness. Oh and happy belated birthday to Audrey. That little beauty looks just like her mom.

    11. So glad that I am not the only one with a wee obsession with house plants. (And do not think for a minute that I did not notice what looks like a ZZ plant in your IKEA basket!)

      Great post!

    12. I can’t wait to see before and after pictures of the lower office. You guys are so brave to power through IKEA on opening weekend! How was the new building and the displays? Before moving to Seattle, I’d only seen two-story IKEAs. We’ll be braving the new IKEA soon as we need a dresser for our new baby- the first girl in my husband’s family for at least two generations. Happy birthday to Audrey!

    13. So nice reading your blog and that you had a good week. So many other blogs that I followed I have deleted. These days it seems like a contest to show things decorated one way, and doing it differently the next, plus selfie pictures. Your blog is so wholesome, normal and welcoming to read. I always look forward to it.

    14. Hahaha! I have to laugh at your plant purchases (I even saw more in your IKEA cart!), because I can totally relate!! Just the other day, my Mom was visiting and saw two new succulents sitting on my counter, waiting for containers to be planted in, and she asked, “Where are you going to put these ones!?” I’ll find a place, I love fresh plants “greening” up the place!

    15. Love this! Life is always happening and sometimes it’s good to take a break and just enjoy the moments. Loving that color by the way. You’ve inspired me to give it a go on my laundry room cabinets. I just picked up a sample to try it.

        1. I would love to know about carpet too. We need to replace our entire upstairs and we have three boys and three pets. I want to love my decision

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