Hello!  It’s been too long.  For those who just subscribed in the last year, this will be your first post from me, but I assure you, this isn’t a typical post.  I almost never stray from blogging about home decor, but today is an exception.  This post won’t exactly be uplifting, but I’ve tried to compensate with some pretty pictures that I snapped the other week while trying to relearn how to use my camera.  I decided to go for a pink theme for the photos to represent love, caring and renewal, something I plan to embrace in 2017.

To be honest, I debated whether to even share this post with you or just pop back in as if I’d never been gone, but the last year has changed me greatly, and so has changed my approach to many things.  In the end, I decided to fill you in on where I’ve been.

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You might have noticed I’ve been absent for almost a year.  In fact, my last post was April 14, 2016 about the Best Vacuums for Hardwood & Carpet.  Clearly, I never intended that to be my final post.  No goodbye.  Not even any pretty pictures. I mean really….a picture of a vacuum on my homepage is never where I intended to leave off.  But life happens and things change in an instant, and that’s exactly what happened to me.  Just three days after the vacuum post, I received a call that my dad was in the hospital and not expected to live.  My heart broke.  He had just been at my house three days earlier, taking the kids to school, picking them up, and watching my daughter “perform” on the trampoline for hours.  On April 22nd, he passed away due to complications from a brain hemorrhage.  And just like that, a light in my life went dark.

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I spent the next month helping my mom, who temporarily moved in with us.  We planned the funeral and made arrangements to help her move forward.  She had just lost her best friend – I can’t even begin to imagine…But sadly, three weeks after my dad’s funeral, my healthy, happy, 40-year-old husband suffered a stroke.  It turned out it was actually his second stroke, the first had happened in early May but was misdiagnosed by four doctors as vertigo.  It was such a rare type of stroke that no one recognized the signs.  Without treatment, he then suffered a second stroke and this one permanently damaged his cerebellum and nicked his brain stem.  His stroke was the result of a genetic defect in an artery in his neck, so there was no way we could have anticipated it and nothing could have been done to prevent it.


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I then spent the next couple of months helping my husband recover, all while still trying to manage the kids and give them something that resembled a normal summer.  Lots of doctor appointments and therapy appointments.  Lots of research.  Lots of work.  Thankfully, we have some amazing friends who rallied around us and helped with the kids and my son’s Boy Scout troop brought us meals for two weeks straight.  We couldn’t have managed without the help of others and I will forever be grateful.

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Once my husband was back on his feet – literally – I finally had time to process all that had happened.  And do you know what I realized?  I was exhausted.  Mentally and physically completely exhausted…and stressed….and sad…and mad….and all those emotions rolled up into a ball and kept me from doing what I love.  I spent every moment I could with my family and taking the time to breathe.  We then muddled through a few more heartbreaks, including the death of a cousin, the death of our cat and our bird, and a car accident, so as you can imagine, we were happy to say goodbye to 2016!

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And so, I’ve been away.  I’ve received emails from some of you asking where I’d gone and I loved and cherished each note that was sent.  I may not have responded (and to be honest, I probably didn’t) but please don’t take it personally; I just wasn’t ready to share my story at that time.  I truly appreciated those that reached out, though.

 

But I’m ready now.  I’ve missed writing and photographing and chatting with all of you.  It might take me a little time to get into the full swing of things, so posts might be sporadic for a while, but I’m here.

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So much has happened around the house that I haven’t shared yet, so I’m definitely overdue for an updated house tour!  I’m going to start with the dining room, so check back Thursday for ideas on a simple Spring tablescape.  Until then…

 

Take time to breathe and appreciate the beauty that each day brings.

 

 

And to end this on a lighter note, here’s a random funny this sums me up perfectly….. :)

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P.S. – For those of you that might be wondering, my husband has made a remarkable recovery.  His brain rewired itself to compensate for the loss of his cerebellum and he is now able to walk and balance as well as he could before the stroke!  He’s even taken up yoga to continue his progress and can now balance better than anyone in our family.  He still suffers from nerve damage, though, and so we’re continuing therapy for that and hoping that in time, it will improve.  But he’s back at work and otherwise, back to normal.

 

 

 

81 comments on “Taking Time to Breathe”

  1. Hi Kim,
    This is Sharon (my IG account is @houseonheaterfield and I wrote a note on your post yesterday over there). I’m so very sorry to hear about your Dad, and then your husband. It’s wonderful that you have such supportive people that came around you and lifted you up. Welcome back! Can’t wait to see the spring tablescape on Thursday!

    Warmly,
    Sharon

    • Dear Kim,

      I am a long-time subscriber and a fan of your blog and think you are a very talented designer. I was periodically checking your site last year and was concerned about you. . .your beautiful and inspiring posts were missed!

      So sorry to hear about your dad and your husband what a difficult time for your entire family.

      I send warm wishes to you, and thank you for sharing this personal news and look forward to reading your future posts.

      All the best going forward,

      Tamra Lee

  2. Hi Kim, I am new to your web sight (post down time) I was searching the web for spring decor ideas for my class room/home and happened upon your site. I am so sorry for your pain and that the past several months have been marked by unprecedented loss and heart ache. I pray that your heat finds peace thru the healing power of love and that you find hope in the midst of sorrow and comfort in the midst of pain. Mostly I wish for you that all the memories fill your heart and ease the pain.
    Sincerely, Cindi Pitcher

    • Hi Cindi,

      Thank you so much for your beautiful note and inspiring words. It’s unusual for me to share personal things on my site but it felt wrong somehow to now explain my absence. But more decor ideas are coming, I promise! :) Thank you for reading and taking the time to write.

  3. Sweet Kim, I am a new subscriber and I belive this is the first post I have received. First, I want to praise God for your husband’s recovery; you and your children have been blessed. With all you have endured, I’m sure you have found yourself unwittingly holding your breath most of the time, making the title of your post so fitting. God bless you, your husband, your children and your dear Mother. You are an incredibly strong young woman, never forget that. My prayer is that all of you continue to be blessed abundantly throughout many years to come. Looking for to your posts and enchanting photography.

    • Hi Judy,

      I never realized until I read your note that I really *was* holding my breath…almost like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thank you so much for subscribing but especially for taking the time to write. :) Kim

  4. Welcome back Kim! I was just taking about you the other day and how much I enjoy your post and all the great ideas you give me for my home.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad and then your husband.

    I wish you a brighter and cheerful 2017 and look forward to your future blogs.

    Alisa

  5. OMG< you've been through too much. This summer should be The Summer of Kim! You made it through and all those memories will stay in your heart. Be well, breathe, relax and regale us with inspiration when you have the energy!

    • The Summer of Kim?! I like the sound of that! ;) In all seriousness, thank you so much for your note and support – it truly means to much to me. -Kim

  6. Reading your story, I must have said “OH MY GOD!” at least ten times. Be well and know that, for each person who leaves a comment here, there are scores of others who are also sending you loving thoughts and prayers, but who simply don’t know what to write.

  7. Dear Kim, I am so sorry for your stuggles. My own husband (55 yo) has been on oxygen for almost 3 years, it took many trips to Boston to see specialists to properly diagnose the issues, only to find that he is beyond help. Now we also have my 89 YO mother with us and at her age you can imagine that she has multiple health problems from heatfailure an a pacemaker, after a double by-pass, to diabetes and foot problems stemming from the others. We as women tend to be caregivers, it is exhausting, but I am sure you as I , that I would rather care for my loved ones then have in some cold nursing home. Take care, Josephine

    • Josephine,

      You must be exhausted, as it sounds like you’ve had a rough time for a few years now. I wish you and your family nothing but the best. Make sure you are taking some time for yourself and giving yourself the same amount of care that you are giving to others. *Hugs* – Kim

  8. I have been trying to take this all in and make some sense of it, so super hard for me to even imagine what your life has been like. I always feel terrible that it takes something like this to make me sit up and take notice and realize just how good life is, has been and continues to be. Welcome back!!!

    • Hi Patty,

      Thank you so much for your note. You’re right – it’s funny how sometimes it takes something to go wrong for us to see and appreciate the good in life. Thank you for taking the time to read and to write a note; I really appreciate it. :) Kim

  9. Kim, I had missed you. I read a number of blogs and yours was fairly new to me but I knew I had lost you some where. I kept thinking of the blogger with the pretty blue windowpane mirror.
    I am so sorry for the heartache you have endured. May God bless you and yours.

  10. Welcome back! Thanks so much for sharing your story. Praise God for your husband’s recovery, and I pray for continued improvement.

    • Kim,
      Your post left me breathless….in sharing your pain and your story , you are helping each one of us that has a story of their own….
      Thanks you for your brave honesty, for you have given me and others a light by which to shine by .

      Love,
      Jnaet

      • Hi Janet,

        I was a bit worried about sharing something so personal but am overwhelmed by how supportive you and others have been. Thank you so much for your kind note. :) Kim

  11. Kim, thanks so much for sharing you story. I was wondering where you had gone and are so glad you are back. I’m so, so sorry for the loss of you father. I’m glad to hear your husband is back on the road to recovery! I’m praying for comfort, room to breathe, and continued improvement in your husband’s recovery. God Bless!

  12. Kim,

    I was happy to see you are back as I was wondering why I hadn’t seen your posts. I am so sorry for your loss. I have to remind myself that God doesn’t give us what we can handle but helps us handle what we are given. I am glad to hear that your husband is making a recovery. I am glad you are able to share your beautiful ideas again. I missed reading your posts!

    Kim S.,Idaho

    • Hi Kim,

      Your words are so very true….thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a note; I really appreciate it! :) Kim

  13. Glad 2016 is behind you. Not that you’ll ever forget that bad year without sadness and the pain will eventually lessen. Let spring renew you. Take your time. Don’t feel compelled to post as often as you used to. We all understand. Take care of yourself.

  14. Kim,
    My heart sank as I read your post. Yes, I wondered where you had disappeared to and missed your lovely posted.

    How heart breaking the turn of events for you and your family. So sorry about the passing of your father. And, then your hubby… oh my goodness not sure if I would have found that inner strength. So glad hubby made a remarkable recovery.

    Welcome back and hope that 2017 will bring you some joy. God bless you, Kim.

    • Thank you, Tammy! It was a crazy year to say the least and I’m glad to feel like I’m finally coming through the other side. :) Kim

  15. Bless you and your family! What a terrible trauma you have gone through. Prayers for you, your family, and your husband for continued healing and continued progress.
    Look forward to your posts!!!
    Mary Jane

  16. I wondered where you were and I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been through so much. Many prayers for your family and for you. You are a strong person, obviously. By sharing this you’ll help others…I hope it helps you to know that.

    Hugs,

    Stacey

  17. So sorry for your loss of your Father. You e really been through the mill! I’ll pray that your family turns the corner and start to see a ray of sunshine. Glad to hear your husband is doing so well. Take care of yourself too!

  18. I can certainly understand how a life can suddenly change with a family illness. I’m so happy your husband has improved and you are back to your blog.

  19. Oh man! I am so sorry! I am glad you feel ready to dip back into blogging, a sure sign that your new normal is settling in.

  20. Dear Kim,

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your father and pets, your husband’s stroke, and all your other tragedies. I am a long time follower of your blog and wondered what had happened when you went silent. I kept going to your blog thinking that maybe somehow my email address was accidentally removed from your blog list and I wasn’t being sent updates. When I kept seeing only the vacuum cleaner post, I knew it probably wasn’t a good situation. I was one of the ones that reached out in a private email to see if you were ok. I wasn’t really expecting a response, but wanted you to know there were people thinking about you. I completely understand where you are coming from. I lost my father unexpectedly and then a few months later, was taking care of my sister with stage 4 breast cancer. After her passing, I was responsible for the memorial service (she lived in California, I’m here in Michigan) and all her affairs, including selling her home and emptying the contents. In addition to some major personal issues, I too am mentally and physically exhausted. I am still trying to come ‘out of the fog/funk’ that weighs me down, but hopefully each day brings renewed strength. I pray you will continue to be refreshed and get back to what you love to do. You are one of my favorite blogs to follow! Your decorating style and DIY skills are very inspiring. I wish you all the best! Hugs!

    • Robin,

      I am truly sorry that I didn’t respond to your email but please know how much I appreciate your note. It sounds like you’ve been through quite a lot as well. “Fog/funk” is a really accurate way of describing the feeling. I hope that you, too, are taking time to breathe and care for yourself. Thank you again for your kind words and support. *Hugs* Kim

  21. I was one of those that contacted you and at that time your dad had passed away. You have truly endured some catastrophic events in such a short period of time. I pray you and your family will be blessed and as always, something good comes from hardships. If not already, I pray in the very near future!! God bless.

    • Sandie – Thank you so much for your notes and my sincere apologies for not responding. Please know how much your kind words meant to me. :) Kim

  22. What a trying year Kimberly. I know it had to take great strength for you and your family to make it thru. I am glad the hear that your hubby is doing so much better and I hope that your mama is doing well too. Glad to see you back in blog land. I too slowed things down last year and have to admit I am slow getting back into the groove of things.

    • Hi Pamela – So good to hear from you! I was just swooning over your kitchen remodel… :) Thank you so much for your note. -Kim

  23. I had just started following you a few weeks before you disappeared last year. What a terrible year you had–I’m sorry it all came at once. So glad to hear that your husband is nearly fully recovered. I hope 2017 is shaping up to be a good year for your family. Wishing you peace and enjoyment as you work to get back to a part of you that was lost for a while.

  24. Good Morning, Kim, Wow, life can turn on a dime, cant it. My Dad passed away 2 weeks ago. It is hard, and sad, and at the same time, we got the message from my husband’s doctor, that he thinks my hubby has a tumor in his lung. For someone who has NEVER in his life smoked, and has no outward symptoms, it was a shock. He had a bad sinus infection, that complicated to pneumonia, and in the ex-ray found the mass. Appointments abounded, but had to be cancelled when my Dad passed. Now, we are back to making those appointments with the pulmonary specialist, and so on. Life has a way of interrupting us when we least expect it. Our faith is seeing us through this, and I know it did for you as well. And your right, some things have to come to a stop for awhile. I am happy to see you are back and I will be including you all in my prayers. God Bless for a continued full recovery for your husband. Blessings on all of you.

    • Sue,

      I am so sorry for the loss of your dad and now for the horrible news about your husband. I hope that the pulmonary specialist will give you some good news. Life can be difficult when you’re hit with hardships in rapid succession, so I wish nothing but the best for you and your family. *Hugs* Kim

  25. I’m new here too. So sorry to hear about your tremendous loss and your husband’s illness. Very happy to hear that your husband is continuing to recover. Ah, the power of yoga!!! Looking forward to seeing what you’re up to. Welcome back :)

  26. I am so sorry for, and can relate to, the terrible year you’ve had. It seems 2016 was a less than stellar year for everyone I know and those I’ve never met. It’s said that bad things happening is cleansing (I, personally, would prefer to be a little grubby) and, therefore, preparing the way for good. I wish this for all of us.

    • Hi Sheila – You’re right, I think 2016 wasn’t a good year for many and I’m sorry to hear that you were among them. Hopefully, 2017 is proving to be better for you. I actually laughed out loud when I ready your comment about being grubby. Yeah, I think I’d prefer to be a little grubby, too. :)

      All the best, Kim

  27. Dear Kim
    It’s impossible to imagine the onslaught of emotions that have taken you by force this past year. What a testament to your courage and spirit that you back again.
    I wondered from time to time why I no longer got your emails – and now sadly, I know.
    Taking time to really breathe and to be in the moment is something those of us who have lived through the unthinkable have in common. We come to realize just how precious each breath is and how important.
    I wish you peace and strength in the coming months.
    jeani

    • Hi Jeani,

      Your note rings so true and I appreciate your kind words. Thank you for taking the time to drop me such a sweet response. :) Kim

  28. Kim, until this very moment, I was one of the thousands who read your post and didn’t reply. But then I realized I had to in order for you to know how many of us appreciated you sharing your story. Many of us have had our share of these types of events (usually not all in one year), while many have yet to experience this kind of heartbreak. Your story reminds us all to appreciate those we love and each day we are given with them. Be assured you have made a difference in many lives by telling us your story. Thank you. I wish you peace and healing.

    • Hi Gail,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write me such a kind note. I really appreciate it. :) Kim

  29. I have missed you and I am sorry you have had to go through so much in your life. I am sending blessings your way and pray they help. Welcome back.

  30. Wow! Thank you for sharing! You have been through so much, and have seemed to recovered well! I am so glad! Yes, life can turn in a moment, and we need to be so grateful for every precious moment! Glad to have you back! Kudos to you and your husband. I used to work with stroke patients so I know what recovery is like!

    • Hi Leigh,

      I have such respect for those that work with stroke patients because it can really be difficult, as I’m sure you know. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. :) Kim

  31. Kim, the night of your post, I happened to pull up your blog to show my cousin your tv gallery wall. I was THRILLED to see a new post and couldn’t wait for a quiet moment to read it. As someone already commented, I, too was holding my breath as I read your heartbreaking news. I am so deeply sorry for all that you have had to endure the last year. You really didn’t owe us all an explanation, but thank you for being so honest. You’re a gem and I’m glad you’re back to blogging about your creative and beautiful decor ideas. I continue to keep you in my prayers, specifically that you would continue to have the space to breathe and heal and the courage to keep on keeping on. <3 Sara

    • Hi Sara,

      Your note is very special to me and I so appreciate your taking the time to write. Thank you with all of my heart. :) Kim

  32. I want to thank you so much for sharing your story. I know you will be an encouragement to others who walk similar paths and I have so much respect for your vulnerability.

  33. So sorry fir the loss of your father n for all that’s come your way. I will b praying for u n your family. Joshua 1:9,Psalm 121🙏🏻❤️

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