My husband, Jeremy, and I find ourselves often talking about the simple life. We both grew up in small towns. I grew up with fifteen acres to roam and run in and he grew up in a neighborhood with buddies he played with until dark. Our mothers were stay-at-home moms that worked part-time or have moved into working as we’ve grown. Our fathers have always been hard workers and have been there for us. He’s one of three and I’m one of two. He’s the baby and I’m the older sibling that thinks the youngest child always gets his way (hey, they do, don’t they?) My grandparents were even my neighbors and he calls his best friend his brother.
We both played sports, did scouts and enjoyed water guns in the backyard. We lived in beautiful homes that were elegantly simple. We enjoyed the spring days of Easter Sunday and dying eggs, summer days of popsicles and water balloons, the autumn days of jumping into leaf piles and carving pumpkins, and the winter days of hot cocoa and the blizzard of ’96.
We didn’t get brand new cars when we turned 16 and we had chores. We didn’t get every toy we wanted and we were sent to our rooms. We learned the meaning of no and we learned the feeling of disappointment. We learned what hard work was and we learned the true value of family.
Currently, we live on a budget and eating out is a treat. We try to find free dates and we hardly every splurge–upgrading our TV that was from the ’90s (literally) was the biggest deal ever. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that to get sympathy, because this is out of choice rather than extreme necessity. We are savers…not because we think the worst is coming, but because we would rather save for a family trip or Europe trip than make a couple wardrobe upgrades.
Everyone has their own way of live, and I truly believe that people need to do what’s best for them, so please don’t read this thinking I’m calling out anyone. I’m writing this because I want to talk about the background of my “slogan,” – Simple Life. Simple Love.
When Jeremy and I reminisce or talk of the future, it always comes back to simplicity. We see friends buying new cars, building new houses, running successful businesses, traveling the world, getting new jobs…the list goes on. And to be transparent, I am absolutely guilty of comparison. But, these conversations with Jeremy bring it all back for me.
We seek to live a life full of wonder, peace and joy. We want to travel the world and see the beauty God has blessed us with. At the same time, we envision a small, cozy house someday with a backyard where we can have cook-outs and bonfires. Those moments are where are dream life and true life live. We love game nights and it’s actually very freeing having a grocery list due to a budget. It’s freeing to live on what we have, not on what we want to have.
We dream of photo albums full of our life moments. Full of friends, our first apartment/duplex (where the washer and dryer in the kitchen, no joke), our first garden, our date nights. Full of dinners that went wrong, accomplishments, Nashville, Virginia, the world. When we look at our parents and our family, we see a beautiful picture. They are beautiful people with simple and normal lives. I don’t think simple means ordinary though, because I truly believe living simply or being simple is the hardest task of all. Living simply means living within your means and enjoying what your live holds. Our parents didn’t strike it big or make the news, but they raised families that are full of truth, love and joy.
I believe in a simple life full of real moments and not things. I believe in a simple love that is so incredibly deep, true and real. I believe in a simple love that knows marriage is hard work yet an amazingly incredible blessing. I believe in a simple life full of travels, stories and photographs. I believe that these are things and values that get lost in the “busy.” They get lost in the “I don’t have time.” They get lost in the workaholic tendencies. Yes, building a business is a lot of hard work, starting a new job is a lot of hard work, but I’ll bet you anything that people’s biggest regret at the end of it all is that they didn’t spend enough time with their family, friends, spouse, kids, you name it.
That’s my story behind “Simple Life. Simple Love.” It’ll be a new decision every day, but I plan to strive for simplicity. At the end of the day, find what really matters and peel back those layers of life that are wasting your time, and more importantly, your life.