Whole Parenting Family

Home to Me: a little about our home

Home to Me

Julie put out the call for interested writers to share about their homes, and I couldn’t resist jumping on board.

My journey to our home actually started in our home as it’s the home I grew up in. As a little girl, the fourth of five kids, I remember thinking that I never wanted to live anywhere else, that this was the safest and most beautiful place on earth. As I grew up, that fervor cooled and I enjoyed living in Minneapolis for college, Ann Arbor for law school, and Las Vegas for a federal clerkship. But it came back as my fiancé and I discussed where we would sit for the Bar, and where we wanted to raise our kids.

I was pregnant with our first when we bought the house from my parents, and when we moved in, I was largely pregnant with little extra energy to do much nesting or settling in, or making it our own. That process has taken now almost 6 years. Slowly but surely, wallpaper removed here, painting done there, a new light fixture in this room, and this room and this room, a new chair, a few new beds.

As a grownup, I still feel the comfort of safety in the house. Despite being old (101!) and large and dark at night, I can still make my way around in the absolute pitch dark, knowing all the creaks in the floorboards and all the funny noises that emanate from the furnace room below the Library. I guess I’ve got that personality that longs for a sizable sense of security, not only from the bad guys of my wildly imaginative childhood, but from anything pressing in on me from the outside world. This home is like a fortress in many ways, and I love raising my three in it.

The architecture is gorgeous, and I have to admit I do little to decorate. The handcrafted wooden walls in the first floor need no help from me, and the maple & oak flooring throughout only needs a handful or six of Persian rugs. Much of the furnishings were kindly left by my folks and our slow additions over time are in the same vein: wooden, stately, cozy, and classic.

When my two siblings who live on the East Coast come back a few times a year with their families to join up with the three of us in the Twin Cities, we all fit in–the best way to be with little cousins shrieking and laughing from morning til bedtime. One of my favorite parts of owning our ancestral home is that, the ability to house all of us and to make space for the same closeness of cousin-love that I feel with my brother and sisters.

I hope your house is a fortress, a castle, a place where you can simply let down and snuggle in. I hope your kids feel the warmth and love from the walls and your arms. I hope your house is a home, too.

An interview with Gabby from Design Mom that includes more of our backstory & photos, and a few pictures below. I hashtag the house on insta as #wholeparentinghouse if you’re there!






emily rumsey wpg

{last pic by Emily Rumsey Photography}

This post is part of the “Home to Me” blog hop, hosted by Julie Walsh of These Walls. During the two weeks from Friday, November 13 through Thanksgiving Day, more than a dozen bloggers will share about what the concept of “home” means to them. “Home” can been elusive or steady. It can be found in unexpected places. It is sought and cherished and mourned. It is wrapped up in the people we love. As we turn our minds and hearts toward home at the beginning of this holiday season, please visit the following blogs to explore where/what/who is “Home to Me.”

November 13 – Julie @ These Walls
November 14 – Leslie @ Life in Every Limb
November 15 – Ashley @ Narrative Heiress
November 16 – Rita @ Open Window
November 17 – Svenja, guest posting @ These Walls
November 18 – Anna @ The Heart’s Overflow
November 19 – Debbie @ Saints 365
November 20 – Melissa @ Stories My Children Are Tired of Hearing
November 21 – Amanda @ In Earthen Vessels
November 22 – Daja and Kristina @ The Provision Room
November 23 – Emily @ Raising Barnes
November 24 – Annie @ Catholic Wife, Catholic Life
November 25 – Nell @ Whole Parenting Family
November 26 – Geena @ Love the Harringtons


  1. Mary wilkerson on November 24, 2015 at 8:55 am

    That dining room. I swoon

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Me too. Overtime we eat in it, I think, is this really our house? Where are the servant–oh, that’s me! hahaha

  2. Rachel on November 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I love your house, and it was so fun to come and visit for the Blessed Is She. There is no place like the comfort of home! I sometimes miss the home (now tourn down) that I grew up in, but my parents at least still live on the same land so that is nice!

    • Natural Mama Nell on November 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      I loved seeing you, Rachel! That’s so comforting they still live on the same land. There’s something about our roots that’s haunting, hopefully in a good way 🙂