This month, we’re toasting to Scott’s 1 year anniversary of working on Yellow Brick Home full time! It’s a milestone we don’t take lightly, and it’s a goal we’ve worked so hard for over the last 10 years of penning this blog. We sacrificed every weekend for years, most weeknights and evenings out with friends. We woke up early on Saturdays, threw on our shit clothes, and worked until sundown. And then Lucy came along, and that lifestyle (surprise, surprise!) was no longer sustainable. We knew there would be a point when the scales tipped and we’d need to make a decision about our future – for our family, for the blog, for our overall health and happiness.
As a bit of back story, we did consider slowing down the blog. We considered a more traditional job for me, a 9-5 that gave us security and peace of mind. And then we considered Scott leaving his corporate job of almost 15 years, a risk and a pay cut, but one that would also give us weekends with Lucy, weeknights that focused on meal times and books before bed. A transition that would allow us to continue to nurture old homes, get creative and use our hands – all things that fuel us. We were scared but determined to make it work, we took that leap, and one year later, we’re still asking ourselves how we waited that long. And now? We’re no longer glorifying busy. Friends, your heart knows what’s best for you. You can make it work, because you have to. As my friend Julia would say, #dontwait.
To celebrate, we thought it would be fun to document a random day in our life, a request made by many of you in our 2019 Reader Survey (thank you!). If you notice, I don’t say ‘a typical day,’ because what’s typical anyway? Sometimes we’re home all day, sometimes we’re in Michigan. Sometimes we’re meeting contractors at the Two Flat, sometimes one of us is with Lucy while the other writes.
6:30 – 7 AM
We all wake up, brush our teeth and try to remember to brush Lucy’s hair. She’s super interested in the potty right now, so we sit her on the toilet and read her a book. Her favorite is anything Elmer, and we often wake up to her saying, Elmer! Elmer! She flips to her favorite parts of the book, and we remind her to keep her hands on her knees so she doesn’t lose her balance.
7:15 – 8 am
Because it’s summer, we’ve been having breakfast every morning on the front porch! Lucy grabs her favorite stuffies to join us, and CC loves any reason to enjoy our porch swing. This morning, I made blueberry, pineapple + coconut smoothies. (These our are favorite coconut flakes!)
8 – 8:30 am
Lucy is part of a nanny share 3-4 days a week, and today is one of those days. While Scott leaves with Lucy to drop her off, I quickly finish getting ready for the day – real clothes and a dab of makeup go far in helping me to feel productive! – and then I dive straight into emails. My goal is to get through as many email as possible so we can start the work day without distractions.
8:30 – 10 am
Scott gets home, we refill our coffee mugs, and we have a 10 minute meeting about what’s ahead for the day. (Hot tip: We use the Trello app – both desktop and phone versions – to organize OUR WHOLE LIVES. It’s pretty incredible!) Once we’ve confirmed who’s doing what, I dive into editing our first Dear Two Flat vlog, and Scott puts the final touches on a blog post for the next day.
10 am – 12 pm
Mid-morning, we save our work and head out the door for a meeting downtown. It takes less time than we expected (yay!), so we treat ourselves to quick bite for lunch before heading back home.
1 – 2 pm
We make it home just in time to go over a few notes for a conference call we have at 1. This call takes longer than expected, but a hot mug of afternoon coffee helps!
2 – 3 pm
The call wraps, and we both work to finish the video and blog post we started that morning. I’m able to upload and schedule our vlog, while Scott saves his post and replies to emails and comments. Somewhere in this hour, I check Instagram for any questions or messages, and I publish our Stories for this morning’s blog post.
3 – 4 pm
After wrapping up the administrative tasks, we decide to tackle a small project – a cute outdoor sign – to get us one step closer to finishing our Tree House exterior project, which is currently in progress! We also receive a call from our contractor that’s getting Tree House prepped for paint, and we answer a few clarifying questions to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Lucy’s nanny lives nearby, so she offers to drop her off today! We gratefully accept, and as soon as she gets home, Scott gives her a snack while I respond to emails one more time before ending our day at the desk.
4:15 – 5 pm
Big City Readers is hosting a reading event at Park & Field, a favorite neighborhood restaurant with a large outdoor space. It rained on and off all day, so although the sun had started to shine through the clouds, we mostly had the place to ourselves! After story time, Lucy played with the sidewalk chalk and ran up and down the Park & Field bocce court. If you’re in the Chicago area, we stay on top of the Big City Reader pop-up events on Miss Beth’s Instagram. Events are usually free and sometimes include a bonus cocktail for the adults!
5:30 – 6:30 pm
The event is over, so we head home for one of our go-to dinners – burrito bowls! They’re a perfect excuse to eat avocados and extra veggies while clearing out the fridge. It’s an easy dish with a base of brown rice with black beans, shredded rotisserie chicken (store bought to keep things simple), and then we finish it off with all the colorful toppings and a squeeze of fresh lime. At the dinner table, we have a tradition to share our favorite part of the day. Mine is porch smoothies, Scott’s is story time at Park & Field. We can’t wait until Lucy can join in with hers!
6:30 – 7 pm
We let the dogs loose on all the food Lucy drops on the floor, then we whisk her upstairs for a warm, soapy bath. She splashes around for a good 15 minutes before we dry her off, read (the start of) 5 different books, sing songs and give countless squeezes and smooches. We lay her down in her crib by 7, and Jack and CC come into the nursery to say their good nights through the crib bars. This makes Lucy squeal with joy before she turns over and sucks her thumb.
7 – 7:30 pm
We tiptoe back to our desks one last time and check our to-do list for tomorrow. This end-of-day ritual helps us to get our minds right for the next day, and we’ve found it to be essential in making sure we’re aligned with the tasks ahead of us. It gives us permission to turn off our brains for the rest of the evening – something I’m striving to get better with!
It’s cocktail-o-clock. We snuggle into the couch and Netflix. The dogs join us – Jack loves his TV! – and I scroll through messages and comments, answer any questions that have come in, and I do my best to put my phone down after a few minutes. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t.
10 – 11 pm
It’s back to my favorite place in the world – the bed! I’m an early to bed, late to rise kind of person if I can help it (ha!), so CC and I are tucked in by 10, and Scott comes up with Jack closer to 11.
Thank you for spending the day with us! Are there any other family-centered or work/blog-related posts you’d like to see?