The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

We have been BUSY. We’re working a ton, packing up boxes for storage, and getting things organized to move into our rental house and start our major renovation project! So if you missed the news, we sold our house, bought a foreclosure (aka The Dump) and will be renting while we renovate, and eventually, move in! HERE is the story.

We don’t close until April, so between now and then, we’ve been making our plans. We’ve measured, met with contractors, planned, and budgeted. The kids thoroughly enjoy going to “the new house” to play in the giant yard! Watching them makes me feel so good about this decision!

We’ve got A LOT of work ahead of us. Take a look at these before photos!

There’s not a surface of this place that won’t be touched, demoed, or painted. Now to share my vision, here is some inspiration!

We’re so excited for things to come! Can’t wait to share the journey with you. Happy Monday!



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The New House

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! Guess what! We bought a house!!! We didn’t get the first foreclosure we were looking at HERE. But we found one that was in even worse condition, if you can believe it! It’s a total dump. But the bones and the yard are a dream! My mind (and pinterest board) is exploding with ideas. I hesitate to even share photos because you’re totally going to judge me. Just trust me when I say, this is a GOOD move! The house is on an acre, which is impossible to find in our town, AND has a pool (which currently is acting as an alligator pond). But just think, pool — outdoor kitchen — barn. Just, trust me! Ok, so here are the photos I snapped today….

Dump with a capital D, RIGHT?! I’m so excited. Only thing is, we need to sell our house because our offer on this home is contingent upon the sale of our current home! We like to live on the edge. Wish us luck on this journey! Can’t WAIT to share updates with you all!

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Exciting Things Happening!

We have some exciting news to share! As some of you know, we are suckers for good house projects. Our first house that we bought in 2011 was a foreclosure of the worst kind. We bought that house after the market crashed, so it was WELL within budget. We lived there for 5 years and made beautiful renovations. We brought both of our babies home to that house. Those years were some of the best to date! HERE is a link to the before and after pictures of that home.

Selling that house allowed us to buy our next home which was a dream come true! A 4000 square foot, marsh view, Charleston style home with a huge yard! It has meticulous attention to detail, wood-work, gorgeous upgrades, and is in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Mount Pleasant!

So, why am I writing this post? Because, we’re SELLING OUR HOUSE! We got the itch to buy another foreclosure! I know, we’re crazy. But we love finding a blank slate and making it our own! We found the perfect foreclosure and put an offer in contingent upon the sale of this house. It’s quite possible we won’t get it as there were multiple offers. BUT, we are trusting that God has a great plan for us whether we move into that house or not. But this is officially the beginning of our house hunt! Can’t wait to keep you updated on exciting things to come!

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Snowpocalypse 2018

In case any of you missed the news, Charleston was recently hit with what I like to call a Snowpocalypse. Now, I grew up in New Jersey where snow was a common occurrence. But Charleston is just not equipped for it. I was a little snotty about it at first. The city literally shut down for three days. But then I realized that I too was one of those people not leaving my house for fear of skidding off the ice-coated roads. After all, it’s been at least 14 years since I’ve experienced several inches of snow, and I completely forgot how to function! The truth is, Charleston can handle hurricanes, but we don’t do snow. Our houses and buildings are built to withstand hundred mile an hour winds, whereas the north is equipped with everything needed to prepare for a blizzard. It seems that we’ve mixed up our natural disasters! It sure was pretty though.
On the bright side, I took advantage of being snowed in to do a few of my favorite things: baking, cleaning, organizing, and food prepping! School lunches, you don’t own me! Plus, I had an excuse to drink my body weight in coffee and stay in my PJs all day.

The kids were FREAKING out. Of course, we had no snow gear, so we had to resort to layering clothes and using socks for gloves. But, hey, we built a snowman nonetheless!

It’s kind of sad that tomorrow will be 60 degrees, and this is probably the last time we’ll see snow in Charleston in our lifetime. Well, actually, I’m not sad at all. Back to reality!

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Christmas and New Year’s

This was THE BEST Christmas ever! I know I say that every year, but this really was! Turner is 5 and Gracie is 2 and boy were they excited! We did the whole “elf on the shelf” thing, which we swore we’d never do, but it was really fun! I’m not quite sure if Turner thought he was real or if he was just entertained by the fact that he showed up in a different spot each day. 

I spent Christmas Eve at church, singing, from 7am to about 7pm. We had 5 services! It was a long day, but it was also a great reminder about what Christmas actually represents! The kids stayed up a little later so we could have plenty of snuggle time before bed. I had all intentions of prepping cinnamon buns for the morning, but I was so exhausted. Luckily I woke up at 5 am, before anyone else, so I was still able to make them! Turner woke up at 6, but we had to wait for Gracie, so we spent time reading the Christmas story! 

The SECOND he heard Gracie rustle, he shot into her room and told her Santa came and we had to go downstairs and open presents. She didn’t quite get it, but she was excited because HE was so excited!

I feel like we collected so many toys over the years. Half of them were broken, unused, or missing pieces. So we had the kids make garbage and donate piles a few days before Christmas so we could make room for their new toys! Turner is really into drawing and painting. So we got him an easel from Target that was PERFECT! We got Gracie some girly toys, because all she plays with is trucks! And we found some board-games that they can actually play without much guidance! So after opening, we spent the entire morning playing and eating cinnamon buns in our pjs! 

Then it was a quick nap and off to Gigi’s for supper! They looked so cute all dolled up! 

Gracie’s faces are too much. Every time we tell her to smile, she does something like this:

It’s been quiet here the past few days. It’s so cold so we’ve been spending a lot of time inside relaxing! Last night we stayed in and passed out well before midnight! I even dozed off in Turner’s bed when I tucked him in! 

This morning, Gracie and I baked and prepped some food for back to school! 

It’s crazy that we’ll be right back in the swing of things in two days! School, work, rinse, repeat. My word for 2018 is “quiet“. I want to be intentional about carving out time to sit still rather than constantly being caught up in the busyness of life. I thrive in a fast-paced, to-do-list-filled atmosphere, but I have the potential to miss so much! 2017 was a great year, but I’m excited to see what this new year has in store! Happy 2018!


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Make Everyone Your Favorite

We have had some major changes in the Watson house over the past month. The holiday season always adds a (welcomed) level of chaos. But, on top of that, I took a new job that has me working outside of the house for the first time since Turner was born! To make a long story short, I owned an amazing local vacation rental company called Dewees Rentals that had grown to the point that I needed help! I had been doing this alone and working from home. It got to be more than I could handle all by my lonesome, which is a good thing!

I had cultivated a relationship with a larger company in the area over the years called Charleston Coast Vacations. I got together for lunch with the owner of that company about 2 months ago to come up with a plan that would be mutually beneficial. What we decided was for my company to join with his and to work for him as his Director of Vacation Rentals in his Isle of Palms office. It ended up being an answer to prayer in a not so obvious way! That being said, the whole first-time-out-of-the-house thing has been an adjustment.

Yesterday, as I sat in church, the sermon was exactly what I needed to hear! How does that always happen? One major point the pastor made was, “Make Everyone Your Favorite”. That hit me like a ton of bricks! I had been so consumed in my own world that I hadn’t even opened my eyes wide enough to see the people around me, let alone make them my favorite! My mind is like hamster wheel. It really never shuts off: there’s work to be done, the house to be cleaned, laundry to be folded, the groceries to be bought, the presents to be wrapped, and on and on. The whole point is, if we make others our favorite, we shine like a light in a world where there is so much chaos happening! But our small act of kindness can make a huge impact on another person’s day. What an incredible thought to ponder, ESPECIALLY at Christmas! I never want to be too busy or consumed in my own “stuff” to make an impact on others. It was the perfect reminder as I prepare for this week and for Christmas!!!

It really is the most wonderful time of the year! It’s cozy meets crazy in the best way possible. But what’s really important for me to remind myself is that we are so fortunate. Even if the day to day brings ups and downs, we have the hope of Jesus, a roof over our heads, food on our plates, and these two angels! Merry almost Christmas!

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Turner’s 5th Birthday

I can’t believe my baby is FIVE!? Where did the time go? I remember when he was born thinking 5 was so far away. I feel like it’s such a milestone! FIVE!?

I must say, he is like a fine wine. He gets better with age. He is a true first child. He’s a pleaser, a snuggler, and has the sweetest heart I’ve ever seen. I’d like to take credit for that, but he was born exactly that way. I love him more than words can describe! I see so much of myself AND my husband in him. What a joy it was to celebrate him!

This year he planned his birthday party for the first time. Usually I have a theme and matching food and am all Pinterest crazy. This year he just wanted his buddies (and Gracie, of course) and a jump castle. I must say, it was the easiest party I’ve ever planned! No frills. No fuss. Just straight up fun with his friends!

We grilled up some hot dogs, made some PB&Js, and had cupcakes. Simple and perfect! Happiest of birthdays to our sweet Bubba!

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Happy Halloween!

What a weekend of celebrating we had! I swear each year gets better and better! Turner and Gracie dressed up as Beauty and the Beast which was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! It was Turner’s idea, which is hilarious! They looked adorable, although it was like herding cats trying to get their picture! They used to pose so nicely! Now either one is crying, one’s hungry, one’s distracted, or one’s touching the other causing a screaming fit! I managed to get a few. Their faces say it all :o)

We had, what felt like, party after party! Over the weekend we had two parties AND our neighborhood parade! Our neighborhood is amazing. There are tons of kids and tons of moms that are so good at doing creative things! We had our neighborhood chili cook-off, pizza and an ice cream truck, and jump castles! The fire truck even came to lead our parade. And of course, we have a ton of kids in our house on the regular. This time was extra cute (and insane) because they were dressed up!

Gracie guarded the food like she was Queen of the Castle. And Turner just tried to sneak cookies every time I turned my head!

Tuesday was the first Halloween that we didn’t have friends over to trick-or-treat with us. We usually have the same routine year after year! A big pot of chili and cornbread for dinner and wine on the porch while we hand out candy. This year, Turner wasn’t feeling well enough to have friends over. But, by golly, we did trick or treat and we did eat chili and drink wine! It was one to remember! Happy Halloween!


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Halloween Gingerbread House

I was in Trader Joe’s the other day and noticed one of those boxed gingerbread kits in the “impulse buy” section. I’ve never seen one for Halloween before! But the thought of it excited me. I contemplated, as I stood in line, whether or not to buy one. Every time we attempt building one, it falls over, or the kids eat all the candy, or our giant dog knocks it off the counter and eats it. But I sure do love building them! So I grabbed one and put it in my basket.

I told Turner that we would build it after school on Monday. He was counting down the seconds! Yesterday, after Gracie’s nap and his quiet time, we started the festivities. We put on our Fall Music (a.k.a Nat King Cole), lit our pumpkin spice candle, and got to work! They were each in charge of kneading the bags of icing which they thought was extremely thrilling. Once they were finished, I assembled the house. We had to let it sit for a few minutes to dry before decorating. That’s the mistake we’ve always made in the past! We would start decorating, and the whole thing would collapse. I finally learned my lesson. So we sorted our candy and waited!

I put the icing on, and the kids added the candy. I think Gracie ate more than she put on the house. At one point she had shoved so much candy in her mouth that she looked like a chipmunk! I kept trying to push everything farther away from her so she would stop eating it. But she literally climbed on the counter so she could reach!

I fought the urge to try to control their decorating, but every part of me wanted to tell them what to do. You know, the way my older brother did to me as a kid? So, instead, I decorated my side and let them decorate theirs :o)

And Stew walked in just in time to get a photo of me giving them the Mom Eye threatening their very existence if they ate another piece of candy!

I’m not sure what I expected. Giving kids three bowls of candy and expecting them not to eat it is just setting them up for failure. But we finished our house! And we had a lot of fun doing it which is all that matters, right? Here is the finished product!

Now that the weather is cooler and it’s October, we’re officially ready for the holidays!

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Mom’s Selling Her House

I have to say, I am pretty lucky to have my mom so close to me! Not only do I get to see her all the time, but our kids get to see her! They love their Gigi. But even more, they love going to Gigi’s house for a sleepover! My mom and stepdad have decided to sell their gorgeous house in Summerville, SC that they built back in 2006. They are going to stay in the same town but build a smaller version. I know their new home will be just as beautiful!

We have SO MANY memories in their house in the short time they’ve lived there. I remember being in college and going there to see all the different phases of building. Stew and I started dating when they built it in ’06. We then got married and had our reception there!

We had our baby shower for Turner there and our maternity shoot when I was pregnant with Gracie!

And, of course, countless Sunday night suppers and holidays! I’m excited for whoever gets this house! It is so beautifully designed. It has the perfect balance of farmhouse meets shabby chic. Every inch of it was thoroughly thought out! Here’s to closing one door and opening another!

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