I moved back home about a year and a half ago after Jovie was born. When we had only Leston, and knew our family wasn’t yet complete, there was something that felt “okay” about not being quite settled into our lives yet. We moved from San Francisco, to the East Bay, to Portland, Oregon, where Brandon found a great job as the Executive Chef at Nike. And then Jovie joined us, and something in me went off like a siren. I wanted to be back in California. Back near both Brandon’s and my families. I had this sudden thirst to be home. But there was another craving, too. One that I suspect I had somewhere deep down all along, throughout crazy San Francisco living, and dashing about rainy, wonderful Portland. I wanted to live in a quaint, secluded, mountain farmhouse, where our neighbors were miles away and the sound of crickets (turned out to actually be coyotes) were the only sounds we heard at night.
Now, I don’t think that people are so one-dimensional as to only ever want one thing, one way of living. It’s not as though we’re given options of a dozen or so lifestyle molds and choose to jump into one at some point. I personally still think about my adorable studio apartment in the Little Italy District (North Beach) of San Francisco and whimsically sigh, missing the days of city life and 3:00am ramen. I could do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe not with two toddlers in tow, but there’s a big city girl in me who could be easily resurrected without too much of a battle.
But at the end of the day, I am happiest here. It is the version of myself who outweighs the other selves. The version who is the most fulfilled, the most authentic, the most relaxed and the most happy.
So, in the end, we packed up our two cars, two kids, chubby pug, and left Portland. We moved to North Fork, California, a town I’m quite sure you’ve never heard of because no one has. It is about 45 minutes from my family in Fresno, and exactly where my heart needed to be.
Here I’ll take you on a tour of our home, through each room, and show you the transformations we’ve made to make this wonderful house our forever home.
Family Room Before:
Master Bedroom Before:
Leston’s Room Before:
Leston’s Room After:
Jovie’s Room Before:
Jovie’s Room After:
Kid’s Bathroom Before: