OMG….I’m Back

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OMG…I’m Back!

OMG, I’m Back! I can’t believe it @Home With Sunflower Designs is back!

Sunflower Designs? Who? I get it. I deserve that. But it’s true, I’m back.

Where In the World Have I Been?

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve blogged, and I’ve missed you all! If you’ve been part of my blog in the past, you may remember that Mr. Sunflower Designs and I worked on our home for over 4 months last year, getting it ready to list for sale. Then we had to find a home in the area where we thought we wanted to relocate. Yeah, about that. God had other plans for us.

The community we were focused on had homes for sale, but none of them were what we wanted. Every home we looked at had multiple issues, and we would drive away thinking we’d never find what we wanted. We had been praying about it and after we left our realtor, following another disappointing home viewing, I said to Mr. SD “Let’s look in a different area!” It was a community closer to the kids, closer to my mother-in-law’s assisted living community, and there were more options in our price range. Mr. SD agreed, so I called our realtor and told her to begin looking in this other community.

About two hours later I got a text from our realtor with a link to a home that had just gone on the market that day in the community we were now focused on. We went to look at the home the next day and put an offer on it right then. It was exactly what we’d been looking for but hadn’t yet found! It most definitely was a God thing. While the rest of the selling/purchasing process did have a few hiccups, we were able to sit down to back-to-back closings in November last year. The day after our wedding anniversary, we sold our old home and purchased this new one. What an anniversary gift to one another, right?!?

The day after closing, the moving process began and it took us a full three days, with a moving van, 15 pick-up truck loads, and 5 loads on a 25-foot trailer. And that’s AFTER we down sized! It cannot be stressed enough that all the planning, purging, donating, and tossing things in general paid off.

My life-long friend came from out of state to help us unpack and get set up, and her help was invaluable! She asked where to start and I gave her the kitchen. I knew she would set it up in the most logical, organized way and she did not disappoint. It was fun spending a week with her here and there’s no way to thank her enough for her help. She was a Godsend.

And Then What Happened?

We always take a trip to the mountains for our anniversary, and last year was no exception. Just because we were in the middle of settling into a new home…pssssh, we don’t little things like that stop us! Seriously, it was great to have a long weekend away from all things house-selling, house-buying, and moving. Our weary bodies needed the break, and it was good for the soul to just be calm in a mountain cabin and watch the snow coming down.

Back home from our weekend away, it was now time for Thanksgiving, and we were hosting the family dinner the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. I was able to get the table pulled together, and we got the meal pulled together, and it was great to have family here for the first time. What a special way to introduce them to our new home.

And then it was Christmas. And then it was New Year’s. And then there was a pandemic….

Life’s Unexpected Blessings…In Disguise

When I retired from the corporate world in 2018, I spent the next 10 months launching my creative business, beginning a blog, opening an online shop on Etsy, and all the things. A part-time job came knocking on my door after those 10 months and I added that to an already not-very-retired-schedule. Juggling my creative business, blogging, and working part-time seemed like nothing too stressful compared to the hectic life I’d had when in the corporate world.

One month after beginning the part-time job Mr. SD and I made the decision to renovate our home, down-size and move. For the last 8 months of 2019, we focused on the things that needed to be done to accomplish those big goals. Early October was my last blog post because the move happened shortly after that.

In February of this year an opportunity arose to open a retail booth in our new town, and I will blog about that soon.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide shutdown, I was furloughed and later laid off from my part-time job. That, my friends, is the unexpected blessing in disguise. I spent the first couple of weeks doing the same things everyone was doing at that time. I watched the daily coronavirus briefings, watched the news, wondered what in the world was going to happen with all this. And somewhere along the way, my body, mind and soul all just raised a white flag of surrender. I’d never really slowed down upon retirement. My focus on launching my creative business was so intense, and then a blog, then a part-time job, then renovating our old home and preparing to sell it. Before I knew it, I was in the same intense drive-mode I’d been in when working in corporate, dealing with a long commute, keeping a huge house, providing eldercare for my mother-in-law who lived with us at the time, all the things. I had traded one level of craziness for another.

Since being laid off from my part-time job in April I have just let my body, mind and soul be in the driver’s seat. I haven’t pushed myself much to design anything, to blog, only to focus on letting myself get used to a slower pace. I have let myself enjoy coffee on the patio in the morning, watch the bunnies who come to the backyard every morning, enjoy the birds at the birdfeeder and the hummingbirds darting around near their feeder. I’ve walked in the new neighborhood, met neighbors, and learned to actually listen to my body and let it tell me when it has the energy to do things. And if I don’t have the energy on a particular day, I just try to go with it.

Making This House Our Home

I would be remiss if I didn’t include things about our new home in this homecoming blog. After all, this is a home décor blog. We moved from a two-story house, with a full finished basement, almost three acres, and a pool. Our new home has only ONE set of stairs that lead up to the bonus room above the garage, which has become my studio. We are now on one-floor and we have an open floor plan, which is something I’ve never had before. Decorating and arranging furniture in our new home is coming up in future blogs.

Lessons Learned

We have learned that moving is a lot easier when one is younger. I have learned that retirement is supposed to be that period of time when one allows themselves to do the things they were unable to do while in the work force. I have learned that my aging body is trying to tell me things and if I’m smart I will start listening! I’ve learned that now, out of the corporate world, I can feel free to embrace my gray hair and I haven’t colored it in 19 months. There is a lot of freedom in becoming a #silversister. And finally, I’ve learned that I’ve missed blogging! I’ve missed connecting with y’all about home décor stuff, life stuff, all the things. I hope you’ll join me on this crazy journey of life, and we can learn together.


Helping you create a beautiful home is what @Home with Sunflower Designs is all about. Each week we offer suggestions on ways to add beauty and simplicity to your surroundings, so that you and your family can enjoy your home. Until next time… #livecreatively!

At Home with Sunflower Designs helps you create a beautiful home one wreath and one space at a time.

Ann Bryant, Owner & Designer
Follow our blog @Home with Sunflower Designs

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  1. […] we were home shopping last year, we looked at several that just weren’t us. But this was the one, and we knew it the minute we stepped inside. We told our agent that day to put an offer […]

  2. […] my favorite fall decorating tips and ideas from Sunflower Designs! This is the first fall season in our new home, and I’ve had so much fun decorating […]

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