Casual Friday | Volume 01

Casual Friday with Kara. Catch Volume 1 over on the blog - find out about our moving plans, catch my favorite photo of the week, and more! #Childhood #NapTime #CasualFriday #HausOfLayne #KaraLayne #iPhonePhotography #ProjectLife

Alright, here we go. An all-new weekly blog series. A chance for me to share the more random parts of life at home, what’s going on with the fam, things I am loving… basically the chit chat that would happen if we were hanging out at my place at the kitchen table. So here it is, Casual Friday | Volume 01. Are you here for it? Let’s dive in.

A plot twist with our moving plans

This particular area of life has been constant discussion in our home as well as prayers. As you might know, in moving sight unseen to Nashville last summer, we were grateful to find the perfect three-bedroom apartment for all of us. And I will never forget kneeling in prayer as a family after having just completed the 1600 mile journey, signing the paperwork, and getting the keys to our first home in Tennessee feeling overwhelmed with gratitude that it was exactly what we needed for our first year here. The walls can’t be painted, the fridge struggles to hold all of the food our family needs for a week, and my office is in my bedroom, but it is cozy, quaint, and a blessing.

So fast forward and our deadline was approaching to inform our property management about our plans. We know it’s not the time to buy as the market will most likely be adjusting drastically with the current pandemic so we were thinking all along that we would be moving to lease a home with more space and a backyard while we wait for the right time to purchase our first home. We got the details from our property management on what the rate increase would be should we stay and renew our lease which, frankly, was a bit frustrating to find out last month in the midst of the COVID-19 situation and not knowing what was going to be affected by it. 

And this wasn’t just a small increase. This was like, $200+ per month type of increase. For an apartment with no backyard? No thank you. We are already paying plenty for this place. So we decided that we would be moving on and leaving our humble little apartment. We knew that our deadline to give them our notice was April 9th, sixty days before our official move out date of June 9th. Which means, yes, we would have to commit to giving up our apartment while still not knowing where we would be moving to. Because, this just in – all of the current listings are homes that are too over-priced (these always seem to be my favorite choices), not in the right area, or not something we want to live in for 12 months. We’re talking wallpaper from the 70’s and matching green carpet to boot. As a content creator and lifestyle blogger, I’m pretty sure I would be out of a job. I mean, I’m fairly good with a camera, but not a miracle worker. 

Casual Friday with Kara. Catch Volume 1 over on the blog - find out about our moving plans, catch my favorite photo of the week, and more! #Childhood #NapTime #CasualFriday #HausOfLayne #KaraLayne #iPhonePhotography #ProjectLife #HomeSchool #HomeschoolIdeas

With all of that, we knew it would have to be another leap of faith. We would give our notice to property management and have the faith that the right home would pop up when we need it to. We have been stalking Zillow for weeks on end and on our knees like crazy praying for guidance and clarity. It came down to yesterday. I was busy with other things and completely forgot about having to email property management to give our notice. Jarett didn’t walk in the door until 7:00 PM and quickly reminded me about it. We sat down to eat dinner and within the next 30 minutes, he received an email from property management stating that for all tenants with a June move-out date and because of the pandemic, they were offering to renew leases at the same rate with no increase.

Answered prayers, or what?

Jarett and I looked at each other with a look of, OK… decision made? We took a family vote last night, weighed the pros and cons which basically all equal out the same no matter which way you slice it, and sent an email to property management at 10:00 PM last night that we will renew for one more year. No matter what, we won’t be in love with anything until it’s ours, expenses with a rental home in the area we are in will actually end up being more expensive than we want, and the idea of moving with everything going on had Jarett and I both feeling a little stressed. So, here we are. One more year in our humble little apartment, 1500 square feet for the seven of us. But we can do hard things. And one more year, hopefully, for everything to align just as we need it for our future homestead.

Whew! I didn’t realize Casual Friday | Volume 01 was going to be so long-winded! You still with me?

Favorite photograph of the week

I figured this might be a good one to add to this weekly series, you know since photographs are kind of my thing!

I don’t know about you, but the past month I have felt exhausted. Not surprising when good sleep hasn’t been happening and the over-abundance of news has my emotions shot. This whole pandemic situation happened at the same time that I officially closed the doors on my branding and design business. Yes, if you missed me talking about it previously, I am now a full-time blogger and content creator.

So the exhaustion I have been feeling hasn’t been a nuisance since I am experiencing more time on my hands which, frankly, has been incredible. Running two businesses took its toll and I am so glad that, despite the financial sacrifice, putting my focus all right here and on my family is exactly what my heart has needed. Sometimes it takes me a while to catch on to things.

I’m rambling, but all this to say that I have been enjoying naps with Brooks during the day when I have needed them. It has been the sweetest, slow-down moments. Such a small thing that has brought me so much comfort and peace daily. I’m sure I need to get back to normal and functioning at optimum level again, but I’m going to soak this up while it lasts. Because before I know it I won’t have this youngest cub to cuddle with anymore. 

Casual Friday with Kara. Catch Volume 1 over on the blog - find out about our moving plans, catch my favorite photo of the week, and more! #Childhood #NapTime #CasualFriday #HausOfLayne #KaraLayne #iPhonePhotography #ProjectLife

Reignited and further fueled passion

Okay, I don’t really care to talk about this a whole lot just yet mostly because, given the current situation, people’s reactions are strong. However, something you may not know about me is that I have somewhat of a prepper’s heart. For decades now, this kind of stuff makes me excitable and I want to be the neighbor in the hood that is running their house on straight generator, bug out bags ready, all supplies on hand for gourmet meals, in the midst of a crisis situation kind of exciteable. Like, when that Netflix series years ago came on. You know, the one about doomsday preppers? Jarett had to cut me off. Because the planning, research, and Amazon supply purchasing was getting out of control. 

So, a girl like me in a current pandemic? It was reignited the desire to be more prepared for any type of situation. Not in a crazy way, although it’s easy for me to go there. But more in a self-sustaining, independent kind of way. A big reason behind our move to Nashville was the opportunity to own some land. Because homesteading, yes I am going to literally will this dream into existence by publicly stating it out loud, WILL BE IN OUR FUTURE. It’s not a matter of if, but when. We have a long way to go, but it is on our hearts in a big way. 

Is anyone else having these feelings lately? Like, this day in age we got way too far away from where we came from, kind of feelings? Anyway, I have started gathering inspiration, information, and motivation on a homesteading Pinterest board if you would like to check it out. And yes, you don’t even need to ask. I have already drawn up the plans for the chicken coop.

Casual Friday with Kara. Catch Volume 1 over on the blog - find out about our moving plans, catch my favorite photo of the week, and more! #Childhood #NapTime #CasualFriday #HausOfLayne #KaraLayne #iPhonePhotography #ProjectLife #Homestead #Tennessee #FarmLife #SouthernLiving #GardenAndGun

Something to put a smile on your face

Right now we are all glued to updates, news, social media, and getting our full on all sides of this pandemic. One of the best things to come out of it has to be John Krasinski’s “Some Good News” broadcasts. Have you watched these yet? They are a must and with the kids too! Wholesome, feel-good entertainment that put a smile on all of our faces over here. Catch it all on YouTube right here

And if you have come across any feel-good or humourous things amid the weird situation we are all in, please share them with me below in the comments! I am hoarding all of the positive right now!

If you made it this far, thank you for reading the first edition of Casual Friday! I promise to not ramble so much next time. Wishing you an absolutely beautiful Easter weekend, friend!




April 10, 2020


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