Whitby House with the Black and White Kitchen

Today, I am sharing my thoughts on closing the chapter of my life as a single mom through photos of my previous home on Whitby Lane. Plus, the vulnerability required to take root. Now that I’ve officially been married to Robert for two months, his home is our home. But first, a look inside my black and white kitchen on Whitby Lane.

The Black and White Kitchen on Whitby Lane

This black and white kitchen was truly the heart of the home. Centered smack dab in the middle of the house. Therefore, I could stand in this space and hear Adam and Sarah playing from anywhere else in the house. Sometimes, while I worked on design boards or scrambled to pack lunches. Similarly, I could always hear them yelling to ask whose turn it was to play on the iPad, as well. Sometimes, it be like that!

I wrote words of encouragement to myself with dry erase marker onto the subway tile. Especially, on the days that I needed a reminder of my faith. These words have been erased. However, the memories of Sarah sitting on top of the black and white kitchen island while I prepared dinner or helped Adam practice his Spelling words will never be forgotten. Those memories will move on with me to every house we make a home.

Thoughts on Closing a Chapter

It is ironic that I help people design their homes. I think I’ve been living vicariously through each of my clients when I help them design their dream spaces. In my own life, home feels like a fluid concept. I moved many times in my childhood and had several temporary homes as a young adult. For instance, a sorority house, my friend’s basement and even my Aunt’s spare bedroom were home for a while. Even now, I just moved into my husband’s pre-existing home.

When I was 20 years old, I interviewed for a job at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. With just my carry-on bag, ballet slippers and an inadequate coat, I canceled the return flight. Then, I set up home in Chicago. That 800 square-foot apartment was decorated on a dime and was quite the cute studio. However, I hardly spent any time there.

Later on, I did have a beautiful home with my ex-husband. The house that we brought our babies home to ultimately would see us fall apart. I remodeled a lot of that house. However, it’s riddled with too much pain for me to get nostalgic about it.

House and Home

I understand the concept of home, but I always prefer to stay gone than to come home.

Often, I feel like I was born on wheels. My personality lends itself to more of a nomad than a homebody. Even with this house on Whitby Lane that I spent my last four years raising my children and growing my business. Even still, I knew this particular home was temporary. I knew it would be a place that I passed through.

I don’t have an attachment to this house, but rather to the memories made inside the home. If you ask those closest to me, they would say ‘the cobblers children have no shoes.’ Meaning the house was usually unkempt with a hodgepodge of decorations. Mostly because, I chose and still choose to spend my resources on other things. For instance, travel and adventures with my family and friends will always be important to me.

The Vulnerability Required to Take Root

But maybe that’s all changing now. Perhaps I’m growing a deeper understanding of my craft. But, also of myself to know what it means to settle down and ‘take root.’ To be still in a place and the metaphorical garden, so that refuge won’t be found in the going out but the coming in. Perhaps, if I design a home with Robert for myself the same way that I do for my clients, I might let go even more.

The perpetual movement is a defense mechanism. I know that it is. Always has been. Being on the move feels safer to me. Change is a welcome constant. Ask me to settle down and lay roots? That makes me squirm.

I write this through tears because I know I’m subconsciously training my babies to be little restless nomads too… How odd for a designer who is uncomfortable with the concept of home? I have debated sharing this. However, I think it’s good to be vulnerable and show up for others in ways that I can. I don’t know what God is going to show me, teach me or grow in me in the next chapter. But, I know it will be in this area.

I’ve told my team that home is where ever Robert is. But now that my groom has carried me over the threshold, what if I let him put me down? What if I actually sink my feet onto those refined oak floors? There will be balance. I won’t be clipping any wings, but if you want to watch the journey, stick around.

XO, Susie

Turn It Over

You can hear more of Robert’s and my story on our podcast! That’s right! We started a podcast on Christian Parenting Network called Turn It Over. Specifically, we are turning everything over to God and tackling topics from single parenting, exes, dating, remarriage, finances, life and love, one discernment at a time. I would love to know what you think of it.


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