I am BeachMama, lover of all things ocean and beach related. I was given this nickname many, many years ago in high school. Our family would visit the beach at the end of each summer, returning just in time for the first day of school. I would arrive in my surfer shorts, tanned and ready to start another year.
I am a beach girl at heart, but I married a guy that always dreamed of living in a farmhouse. So now, I live in a farmhouse.
I can’t believe it has been ten years since I opened my photography business! And even more than that since I first made my online appearance as BeachMama. I am so grateful for the amazing clients I have worked with over the years. I have truly done it all; from portraits to conventions, head shots, businesses, weddings, as well as newborn and maternity sessions. I am so happy to be an owner of a beautiful farmhouse/studio/crafting mecca. I can’t wait for you to come visit!
It is a joy to wake up everyday to the beautiful light that skims the fields surrounding the farmhouse. There is such a warm and inviting feeling here, that makes you just want to invite people over. This feeling inspired me to relocate my portrait business to the farmhouse. I love to play hostess. Sitting with friends and family on the front porch with a glass of lemonade and scones is my favorite way to pass the time. Sometimes I may even enjoy a glass of wine (or two) on the front porch!
If Martha Stewart, Ree Drummond and Joanna Gaines had a baby, I would be that baby. I am a crafting goddess; I have yet to meet a project I couldn’t complete. Baking and cooking are two of my favorite pastimes. You cannot stop in at the farmhouse and not enjoy something homemade.
When you do stop by the farmhouse, hopefully you will get to meet my husband, my two children and our fur creature, Bear. You will usually find Hubby working around the yard, and the kids are often helping me as assistants.
November is here and with it brings a challenge for me. Can I do it? Is NaNoWriMo still a thing? Or was that just for novels? Somewhere along the way I lost my blogging mojo, but I realized recently that I missed writing. I think it has to do with the kiddos growing up and their desire not to have me write about every little moment. I definitely has to do with work and life getting in the way.
Let’s pave the way for the BeachMama 2.0.
I am still and will always be BeachMama, however, with our move to the Farmhouse I have also become something in between. I have found that country living is a really good thing. With our neighbours being so much farther away from us, not so far that you can’t see them just far enough that you rarely hear them or interfere in each others lives, our lives have become so much simpler. I have become much simpler. I have found my love of baking again, making jams and jellies, canning and sitting on the front porch with a glass of lemonade or wine, depending on the day.
Rural living is not for the faint of heart. Going for a long walk requires carefully walking along part of the old highway in front of our house. No more quick walks to the store or the coffee shop. The kiddos take buses to school and we don’t have public transportation, which means we drive a bit more. On the other hand we don’t deal with much traffic so our drives are more enjoyable and we knew what we were getting into living out here. It also means we can get snowed in and when the power goes out so does our well pump so we have no water, thankfully it has only happened a couple of times in our three and a half years here.
The bonus for living out here are the beautiful, unobstructed sunrises. No matter if we see it every day, each new one is a gift, the sunsets are also unbelievable and a great reminder that each day comes full circle. The views are spectacular and depending on the time of year, it is always different. If there is corn in the fields, they start small and green, then grow tall, move on to a golden colour and make lots of noise in the wind. Wheat was the most beautiful, swaying in the wind, it was like watching water flowing in a river. Soy is lovely, changing from green to gold.
As November brings the colder weather and possibility of snow, I will do my best to reintroduce you to myself and see if I can find my blogging mojo somewhere in there.
Although I have been able to share this news for two weeks, I got a little hesitant. Not entirely sure why, maybe because it seems like by sharing my dream come true it would make it less real. But, alas, I did promise so I am going to share it.
I have been visiting Rehoboth Beach, Delaware my entire life. My Father has been going for almost sixty years. When Hubby and I started dating, he had to pass the Delaware test, did he like it, would he go again, would he fall in love with it as much as I did? Well, as you are well aware, Hubby passed the test. Although I dreamed of owning a beach house since I was a child, the dream was now shared. Before Hubby and I were even married we talked about ‘One Day’. We made attempts over the years, then the market went crazy and everything we ever hoped for was well out of our reach. We continued to rent our little beach house each summer, one week stretching to two and then almost three.
Then this past February my beloved Aunt passed away. Although she is not the reason we go to The Beach, she is certainly the one who kept it in our hearts all these years. Aunt Joyce lived inland a little, but we would stop at her place for a night or two before we started our annual vacation. Even as children we would arrive the Friday night before and camp out on the living room floor all jitters and excitement with our cousins ready for our week at the beach. Aunt Joyce always dreamed of owning a house at the beach, they even owned some property in a neighboring beach of Lewes for many years, but never had the chance to build on it.
Before heading down for Easter Weekend with my Cousins and their family, we I started talking about ‘what ifs’. What if we could get a beach house and rent it out? What if we moved inland a little? What if, what if, what if? Hubby laughed at me and told me to forget the ‘what if’s’ it just wasn’t possible, we just couldn’t do it. That didn’t stop me though, I kept on my search. For the first time, I stopped concentrating on the beach town section of Rehoboth, where we rent, but out a bit further on the highway. This would change our vacations and how we did it, but we would then have a little place to call our own. That was when I stumbled on this cute little place, at least in my heart it was cute, when I was able to look past all the junk and stuff that was cluttering it up.
We stayed at a hotel on the boardwalk the night before we were to see it, I was up with the sunrise, eager and anxious. Hubby kept telling me he was just humoring me, we would not be buying it, but he knows me well and knows that I would not rest until I saw it for myself and knew we couldn’t do it.
Our drive out to the neighbourhood was lovely, we passed some gated communities, mansions a public golf course, then we got to the end, before you get to the Bay. We drove around the little neighborhood before the agent met us. It is a trailer park, I am not going to lie, we were a tad bit nervous. A trailer park?!? Surrounding the trailer park was an amazing community. We drove past the property, sitting there looking so sad and tired. We weren’t sure. Then we got to the end of the street, where there is a crabbing pier, a pool, a park and sand for the kids to play! You can’t swim in the bay for the rocks but you can wade out with your crabbing pot and catch some dinner. If you don’t feel like driving up to the beach you can swim at the pool. It was more than we imagined and I think, Hubby started to fall in love with it before we even got inside.
And here she is!! As we first saw it. She is a little old and a little tired and I can say with all honesty, she doesn’t look like that anymore… but you will have to wait to hear about that, first you need to see inside.
You walk into a three season porch, and then into the living room, where you can see Hubby and our amazing Agent Paula Castiglione from Jack Lingo Realators in Rehoboth. Paula was amazing, we know she could be out showing a $2.5 Million home, but she made the time to take us to our little home by the Bay. Paula made sure to show us a few others in different communities that were in much better shape, but really we fell in love with this one. Somehow, we were able to see past all the clutter and stuff and see how we could make it our own.
Our tiny kitchen and the front bedroom with ensuite.
The smaller middle bedroom (perfect for a bunkbed and children to sleep) and the larger back bedroom that has a full ensuite attached.
And a view of the bathroom, just to show you how it once looked.
This was our initial meeting with the place. The bright sunlight coming in and the fact that there was enough room for all of us made Hubby change his mind very quickly. He went from ‘no way’ to “YES!!!” in a matter of minutes. His mind started racing on how to fix it up and mine started racing on how to decorate it.
We have since been back many times, the inspection, the keys and the clean out! 21 Bags of garbage folks, 21!!! Nothing that could be passed on or recycled, just garbage. The owner was already taking the living room set so we told her to take the beds (I am not sleeping on those) and whatever else she wanted. Sadly she left us her old toothbrushes and quite a bit of disgusting stuff. but we got past it. We cleaned and scrubbed and cleaned and scrubbed and spent our first weekend, just doing that. Hubby has since been back, to make some flooring repairs and start laying down the new stuff. He will be making a return again to finish up as flooring is the one thing that can’t really be done with children running around. Then we will slowly start changing other stuff, like bathroom sinks and kitchen cabinets, but they can wait a little while longer, we need solid footing under our feet.
As I write this, tears are in my eyes yet again, this is my dream come true. We have a little place at the beach! BeachMama now has her Beach House!!! Follow our travels, renovations and #BeachHouse finds this summer.