gold line svg


We Are Moving!!! But To Where???


They say you shouldn’t make permanent decisions in a temporary situation, but here we go. The pandemic has both slowed life down and yet sped things up, right? I know so many people who are fast-tracking their life, and making more huge decisions than ever before. These last 6 months have given us some perspective – time to think and reprioritize the long term life decisions that are so easy to put off when you are busy. We know how unbelievably lucky we are to be able to do that. I know that many people were/are even busier, juggling so much MORE. But for us – with production, design work, and theater at a stand-still – Brian and I had time to ask ourselves (and answer) some big questions. Now that we practically live up in the mountains full-time and love the access to nature, did we want to go back to living in LA? Do we really want to raise our kids in a big city? Do we really need to be in LA “for work”?

The answer is “no”. After 8 years in New York and 12 years in LA, truly appreciating two of the most exciting cities in the world, we are ready to move back to Oregon to raise our kids amongst our family and extremely close childhood friends, surrounded by more nature and trees (not sure you guys caught that I’m super into trees). We have been talking about it for 5 years (even looked at houses after Birdie was born), and seriously thinking about it for 3 years. We always knew that we would end up there, but with the business and Brian’s theater career it was so easy to think we HAD to be in LA. The pandemic has proved that we don’t, and while we have seriously considered raising our kids up in the mountains long term, ultimately we want to be closer to our family. We are SO EXCITED. Nervous, yes, but SO EXCITED. A lot to talk about, I know. So I figured I’d answer the questions in the order that I get them. Because I’ve been getting them …


More than anything we really want to be closer to family. Not to mention, there are some patterns you fall into living in a city. I was on a hamster wheel, addicted to being busy while being happy in so many ways and enjoying the hell out of my job every single day. But, I over-scheduled myself because that’s just what you do when you live in a big fast-paced city. Living up here out of LA slowed me down enough to get a foot off of the wheel. Once I was off, I realized that it was an addiction I needed to give up – hopefully permanently – to be more healthy. No. I’m not retiring. With Oregon being more affordable I’ll be able to make a larger impact. I want to focus on helping more underserved families in a bigger way than any individual Feel Good makeover. More to come once we get settled up there (but we do have our first pandemic Feel Good makeover in November, FINALLY, yay).

photo by tessa neustadt | from: the finished patio (with the tile!)

Are you selling your house in LA?

Yes. It’s not listed yet, but we will be selling it. Hopefully to someone who will love it just as much as we have. After living there for 5 years, it’s really the main emotional pull that has kept us here. We moved here when Birdie was 1 and Charlie was 3, and it has been THE PERFECT home for young kids. The way the house is laid out, the year-round indoor/outdoor flow, is just so wonderful to live in. The flat, enclosed backyard with no bodies of water or access to cars means the kids have some freedom. It’s fully fenced, with lots of pockets of shade and intrigue, and you can see the backyard from the kitchen so I left them unattended while I cooked, even when they were tiny. I know that is boring to most of you, but to moms of small kids, that is HUGE. Our bedrooms are all near each other so we felt close and safe, and the house is walking distance to the local public elementary school on the east side (Ivanhoe, which we LOVED).

But we can’t hang onto it and move to Oregon. Pre-pandemic, before this decision, I started finishing some rooms that I was excited about (like the living room, shared kids room). But as it became clear that we weren’t going to return to LA, I started tackling the other rooms that would need to be fixed in the event that we needed to sell (like the basement studio and Elliot’s old room). If you are a serious buyer looking for a magical family home, with a separate studio (and bath) and a shady backyard in Los Feliz (Ivanhoe school district) see the info at the end of the post.

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our feature in real simple magazine!!

Are you selling your furniture in the house?

Nope. Maybe a few pieces if I can easily replace them. But I have really come to curate pieces that we love and we aren’t starting over this time. I want almost every single thing forever.

Are you selling the mountain house?

No. As of now, I can’t imagine selling this house and we picture coming down here in summer and winters to see our friends and get away from the rain. We might rent it out, give it away to friends or auction it off for charity fundraiser weekends in between.

So, where in Oregon ???

Well, I’m nervous to talk about it without jinxing it too much. It’s a very long story, but it’s a place that we have a relationship with and the opportunity came up recently, and quickly. The property is outside Portland and if it works out we feel is the next (and likely forever) Henderson home. Obviously as soon as things are finalized I’ll be sharing the project with you because TRUST ME, it’s going to be fun to document and watch. But until it’s 100% finalized, I’m not gonna say anymore. BUT WE ARE DRIPPING WITH EXCITEMENT.

When are you moving???

It’s still TBD as we aren’t in escrow yet on a house. After much thought, we plan on living in Lake Arrowhead until we make the official move. We know we’re going to make the move, but the details are still a little up in the air. So we are homeschooling from the mountains, while I can still commute down for shoots when needed. We aren’t trying to rush it. We are going to take it slow, not put more pressure on ourselves than we already feel homeschooling the kids (maybe distance learning, still figuring it out) and just try to keep our foot off the temptation of the hamster wheel (although I do need to write that book…).

What will happen with the business?

It’s going to be GREAT, as we’ve already made a lot of changes, working remotely for months. Turns out we don’t all need to be physically together to run a blog (even though we love being together for so many other reasons). So luckily me leaving the state doesn’t affect my team, whose jobs are mostly online. I don’t plan on hiring in Portland, because my team here in LA is amazing and work so hard. They’re really the ones who have made this remote work thing work. Sure, there will be some shifts (new faces via contributors, familiar faces coming back, more freelancers when needed) and the future is always unpredictable when you are running a small online media business (in general, not mention during a pandemic). But my team has been killing it on this blog and we have a lot of fun things planned. I’m dying to start blogging about the new house, but until then there are a lot of reveals from how each room in our LA house was styled and some design projects/MOTOs in LA that we are wrapping up.

You might have also caught on stories last week that Sara, after almost 6 WONDERFUL YEARS, has decided to pursue a full-time freelance photography career. Neither my moving or her going freelance had anything to do with one another, they just happened to line up (like I said, lots of people making big decisions). But I couldn’t be more excited for her, and if you are in LA and need an interiors photographer please reach out to her directly. She’s joining a beloved group of EHD alum, all who have really helped shaped the company you know and love today.

Are we sad to leave?

YES. Of course I’m sad to leave our friends, but we’ve stayed pretty connected to them through the pandemic (thank you, Portal). I tell them all the time that they were literally the only thing keeping us here for YEARS because we loved them so much. But we’ll always stay connected. I’m not worried about that.

What Will You Miss About LA?

I’ll miss the light. The flea markets. The amazing produce (wait, Portland has amazing food) and the weather. Did you know that most Instagram influencers move to LA for the year-round amazing light? I’ve literally met so many content creators that moved here sure, for the opportunity, but also because it’s so much easier to take good photos in LA. Fun – and true – fact. Looks like I’ll need some new skills…

The Truth:

I’m VERY sad to leave our home, neighborhood, friends, and community. Like I gushed about earlier, it is a magical, happy home full of natural light, charm and now four years of incredibly happy memories. We transformed it into our dream home with so much hard work and even more love. The energy is just so good here and so yes, I cry thinking that we may have made our last memory together here. I’m scared that by leaving, I’ll forget things, that distance will make the memories fade. Last year Charlie and I walked to kindergarten and held hands 1/2 the way. Birdie started cooking soup with me at night and put on impromptu ballet shows in the living room. We’ve danced to Moana on the patio for weeks and the kids have had so much fun in the bath that we had to eventually give them an hour curfew. We could walk as a family to the school fundraising street fair and get drinks at Hyperion Public. Heck, even our church was walking distance – Silverlake Presbyterian (I’m letting out all my secrets now. And when it opens back up I can’t recommend it enough for those looking for a nonjudgemental progressive community).

photo by tessa neustadt | from: the finished patio (with the tile!)

And as you know, we lived NEXT DOOR to one of my best friends in the whole world, a sister really, with whom we shared a hole in the fence that our kids climbed through, back and forth all weekend. Who gives that up???????? Imagine how that conversation went – cut to the three hours of us bawling, with as many glasses of wine. To say I’ll cherish those years is the understatement of the century. I got to live near my best friends, school, church, and work in LA for four amazing years. But at a certain point, your priorities just become so clear. If you always know in your gut that this is how it will end, why wait?? Why put off the next phase in your life, one that you know will make your family happier, just because it seems crazy?

Here’s just a little quick trip down memory lane (don’t worry there will be more).

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: living room update – again

It’s been 4 years exactly since we bought that house. It’s been 20 years, almost exactly to the month since we left Oregon. I suppose it’s all full circle and while everyone is shocked, I think no one is really surprised.

photo by veronica crawford | from: our first ever reader event at the mountain house—a recap

As blog readers hopefully this will be a new adventure for you, too. Can one go home again? How will our kids adjust? What property could be so “us” that it drew us up there after 20 years of living a city life? I promise that you’ll understand once you see it.

I’d love to hear what, if any, large life changes you’ve made during the pandemic. I heard a quote somewhere that said, “the pressure and stress of the pandemic has opened up the cracks in our lives, and the light has come blasting through, shining the light on what we couldn’t see before (for good and bad).” My cracks showed me that I was on a hamster wheel, addicted to staying busy, and insisting on living in a city that I would never truly feel at home in. It also showed me the contentment I can feel in living a slower life, and the total joy I get strictly from my husband and kids.

BUT AGAIN WHAT ABOUT YOU????? What changes are you thinking about making or have you made since COVID???

P.S. The house isn’t on the market yet, but should be in the next couple of days – I wanted to give you guys a heads up first so you didn’t hear it second hand. If you are interested or you know a serious buyer have your realtor contact Howard Lorey at Nourmand & Associates, [email protected] DRE # 01263717. I’m so sad that we can’t have an open house like we did last time so more of you can come and see up close all the crazy renovations and updates you’ve watched online the past four years. But I do have a lot of fun updates to show you here, coming soon…

P.P.S. While the real estate photos aren’t out yet, if you are interested and want to see what this house looks like here you go: living room, kitchen/dining, powder bath, patio, backyard, primary bed, primary bath, kids room, Elliot’s room, jack and jill bath).

Opening Photo Credit: Photo by Jason Frank Rothenberg for Rachael Ray Every Day. Additional styling by Scott Horne

Fin Mark


Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Comments are closed.
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Wow! Very excited to read about your new house journey. Good luck with the sale and everything! I really love the look and feel of your house, all of them actually, and I always get so much inspiration from your blog.


Very happy for you and your family! You made me think that this pandemic (glad summer break came in addition) has brought us closer as as a family. No big changes for the moment, but it feels as the most important change anyway.


Congratulations Emily, so excited to watch this next chapter. There is nothing better than living near family!


No big decisions here (yet), but my boyfriend of 6 months and I have been having our first “where would we like to live” conversations and being close to family, friends and the outdoors has definitely become a much bigger priority than it would have been before. The pandemic just made it much more clear which things give you joy and make you feel grounded, and city life apparently isn’t it (or at least not as much as I thought).


Congratulations 🙂 Best of luck. I know many people are moving during the pandemic and I am interested to see how all these individual decisions will shape our world once everything and everyone settles down.


Big changes can certainly change the MOOD of 2020. Congrats!


Excited for you, and excited to follow along while you find another space to transform, and to see how weather and light will influence your style.
For me, I pushed up my retirement to September 1st, the day I can start Medicare, instead of waiting another year for full retirement age. I’m a HCW, and I have asthma, and I live in a red-state hotspot. I want to live to enjoy a few years of retirement.


This is so exciting! I’m happy for your family and hope the moving process goes smoothly.


Very happy news for you all! Sounds like a wonderful shift in perspective and new adventures await you all. Our dream has always been living in the south and during this we finally bit the bullet and bought land where we will build our forever home. Moving away from aging parents is a hard decision although they wish nothing but happiness for us. The decision to buy land gives us the time we need to settle things here and design our dream home. 2020 has been… well, pretty shitty, actually but what is quoted above I believe is true for many. Can’t wait to see what’s to come.

Congratulations! Our family moved from Manhattan (where we lived for 15 years) to my home town of Delray Beach, FL for the same reasons, and it was the best decision ever! So much of our identity was tied up in the city (especially since I’m an artist – no better place than NYC right?), but there is life outside of it and it’s even more fabulous than we imagined. Enjoy the adventure.


This is exciting to hear! Yay for another house to fall in love with virtually as we follow along with your design journey. My husband, two young children and I live over 4000km (don’t know what that is in miles?!) from our family, and I know that pull to be close again. I hope it all aligns beautifully for you & your family.

Wow! Congratulations!!! All the feels will be felt, excitement, sadness, even some fears of are we sure this is what we are doing? My husband accepted a new job right when the lock downs started. He was at his first job for 20 years. Then we sold out house and moved to a new city after our daughters graduation. Now we have decided to homeschool our 6th and 10th graders. Not digital learning but homeschooling as in, I am the teacher. We’ve made some big changes this year and it’s been a wild ride. I am so excited for your family! This is the year to do it!


Starting homeschooling is so exciting! Check out Wild + Free at 🙂


As a child of Oregon, who left and is returning almost forty years later…of course, you are returning! There is something that draws us…to the calm, the drippy grey, the glorious summer, the sandblasted coast,…congratulations!


As a native Southerner back in the South, I think I will always miss my WA years…The PNW is magical, for all the reasons you’ve said and more. My husband and I are still young; maybe one day we will rejoin you all!


Yay! We get to watch you decorate a new house! Seriously, though, good luck. I think anyone who isn’t rethinking how they live and work in 2020 must be living underground. If this dumb year has taught us anything, it’s that there’s no point sitting back and waiting for things in your life to get better.


So agree with you!


As a lifelong Oregonian living in the valley I totally get what you mean about the obsession with trees. ❤️🌲 Welcome back! Are you ready for the rain? 🌧


After 20 years living in Toronto my husband and I made the decision to leave the ‘big city’ and head back to my hometown. We made the decision and bought a home before Covid-19, but JUST before. We moved mid March when everything was shutting down. It’s not exactly how I imagined my move home, and we still haven’t been able to see all the people I was moving home for, but being closer to family, having access to more nature (including a small backyard) and just living at a different pace has all been worth it! I am still waiting for the move to hit me… at times I feel like we’re on vacation (a very weird vacation) and that we’ll be heading back home soon. Congrats on making this decision for your family! Good luck with the move!!


I’m from Ontario, too (an hour from Toronto)…Curious where you moved to!


Very happy for you and wishing you all the best! We are in a similar situation and have decided to leave our city rental apartment in favor of a larger apartment in a close suburb that is near my family. It was a joint decision between wanting to spend more time with family, and finally taking the leap into a fixer upper property that we could afford to purchase (buying in NYC is so unreasonable for a starter home!) If asked in January if this possibility was even on our radar, I would have totally dismissed it, but now that it’s happening I can’t wait to call our new town home and have some fun along the way!


So excited and happy for you! Honestly (selfishly) I’ve felt like this house has been “done” for years so I’m excited for new content (and hopefully a new vibe in the new house). And so excited to see how content might shift once you’re in Portland (hoping it will honestly)!

Kay S

Wow! Congratulations! It really is fascinating the way the pandemic is making people rethink big city living. I live in Canada and moved from Toronto to a smaller city with more connection to nature etc a decade ago and never regretted anything except the friends I left behind. Now I’m suddenly hearing from lots of friends who are rethinking it and considering moving away, and know of at least 3 couples who are making serious plans. I truly believe it is a better life – you don’t need me to tell you I’m sure, but you’re not going to regret it! I’m excited to watch you redo another property :).


Congratulations! My family made a very similar change 6 weeks ago. We moved from the house we had been in for 6 years, brought both our kids home to, in a nice, super-walkable, lovely neighborhood to another state to be closer to family.

It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, and I realized it was because I was choosing between two very good options. We had also been talking about it for years, and last year when my grandpa passed away it made me realize how important it is to me to be physically close to my family and for my kids to get the benefit of a close relationship with their grandparents. The pandemic only made that more clear, and frankly, it felt like a good time to move because what’s a little more disruption and uncertainty.

There are still things I miss about our old town, and I may always feel that way. But I’m also glad I’ve gotten this opportunity to clarify my priorities and to feel like I’m making an intentional decision rather than just living on inertia.


Congrats! We decided to buy our first home in the middle of the pandemic (which is obviously a very privileged position to be in) and spending time settling in for the long term here has been so good. We’d love to have more friends visit us in our new home obviously, but I also feel like I haven’t rushed to make design decisions like I have in the past because no one is going to see it but me and my partner for a long time!

Lisa C

So happy for you and the family!! Cannot wait to follow you on your journey! Wishing you the best!

I’m so happy for you and your family and really excited to see your new home and projects. I don’t think you’ll regret moving. It’s worth it for your children. Really! COVID-19 hasn’t changed my lifestyle much because I’m retired. I haven’t been able to visit my grand kids much and that’s sad but they know we love them and we will visit in person (as opposed to Online) as soon as we can. Good luck to you! Keep us all posted!


My husband and I are in the middle of moving from a 650 square foot downtown condo to a 2100 square foot rural mountain home that’s about 2.5 hours away. Feedback from friends & family has been mixed – most think it is crazy.
We’ve talked about leaving our area altogether to be closer to family who are about 1,000 miles away, and while this move isn’t that much closer to them, I think of it as a chance to dip our toes in the water of working remotely almost full-time and having more space to spread out, in a home that’s more affordable than what we could find in our city’s suburbs.
That said, as the move date gets closer, I feel the cold feet setting in. I think that’s normal with any major life change, right? Add in a global pandemic and uncertain economy, and it is a lot to process at once.
That said, anyone with tips on city-to-country moves, I’m all ears!


You might want to check the Frugalwoods blog. Mrs. Frugalwoods wrote a very helpful post in the past couple of months about a city to rural move.


Ahhh thank you so much – will do!


Following up to this… what a WEALTH of information. Thank you so much for the suggestion. I cannot wait to dive in more to her site.


Oftentimes, country people take just a little while to open up, build friendships, etc. Maybe the friendships become deeper, because they’re built more slowly?
I guess my advice would be…take it slowly and don’t throw yourself at people. Try and let them come to you, sort of.
Good luck. An exciting time! x


Thank you so much, Rusty! Our city friendship network dwindles each year as people move, and we still keep in touch with them. So, i’m very hopeful that trend will continue while we also make friends in a new community.

Kristin Silva

Congratulations! I think this is a great decision. Perfect time to make the change in terms of your kid’s ages. The older they get, the harder it is to move and leave behind their friends and schools.

We haven’t made any major life changes, but I hope that we will continue to be able to work from home more often in the future. That’s been awesome for me and my husband, and our kids love us around more too.

I’ve also been able to spend a lot of time making art, which I’ve always loved to do, but with three kids and a full time job…it fell to the back burner. Now without a commute and no kid’s sporting events or practices, I suddenly have the time. I’ve been producing a painting a week basically, and even started an Instagram account to document it. It’s been wonderful and I’ve had such a nice reception from people that I’m thinking about opening an Etsy shop to sell originals and maybe even prints. I never, ever thought this would be what I’d be doing, so the Pandemic has changed my life in this regard for the better, for sure. 🙂 #kristinsilvaart


Yaaay for you! 😍

That’s so exciting Kristin! I’m also an artist with a family and demanding corporate career, so I’ve been making efforts to schedule more time for my art. The lack of a commute during quarantine has been a blessing, but it seems like my corporate job has been even busier so it can still be a struggle. Keep on working at it, and if you ever want to talk social media strategy, or website/art business stuff, feel free to message me on IG. I’m @foxfiregalleries on FB and IG. (I just gave you a follow.)

My corporate employer has noticed that our entire team has been impressively productive during quarantine, so I’m hoping they will make the decision to allow some of us to go full time remote work. If they do that, my husband and I may decide to move north to some place rural away from the heat of Texas. My only reservation on that is if it will impede my ability to grow my art as a business being far from Houston.

Kristin Silva

Thank you so much! I would love to talk with you. I have no idea what I’m doing social media wise. 🙂

I look forward to it!

The beauty of remote work is that you can do it anywhere with internet. Have you ever heard of Geeks in the Woods? I’m surprised we don’t have more intellectual property creators moving here. In Southeast Alaska, there are multiple tiny remote towns with big nature everywhere. It rains enough you work when it rains and play when the sun is out. If you are desperate for big city culture you hop on a plane, but the day to day is so smooth and easy.


Congrats! I felt something was coming! My guess is you are moving to the Portland Project house you designed a few years ago?!?! Eek!


Wow! So exciting and scary. The last year for us (so a bit more than just the last few pandemic-filled months) held an unexpected pregnancy at 42 years old after years of infertility, a new job for my husband which meant a move from Atlanta to the Florida panhandle, a new church, new school for the kids, new house, and then homeschooling the ten year olds while breastfeeding and trying to keep up with a work-from-home job during a worldwide pandemic. WHEW! But God is in control and he’s got us😊 Prayers for your family, Emily!


Aww, this is totally unrelated to the original topic but as a forty year old dealing with infertility, your story just gave me a little boost to know such a thing can happen- congrats to you! Ever so slightly more on topic, this pandemic has ramped up my struggle with having moved countries- from Australia to the US- a few years ago. I’ve yet to fully settle in here, plus miss my family, and was booked to go back to Oz in March to visit everyone and meet my sister’s new twin babies…until Covid crushed that plan like a bug! Now it feels like I can’t ever get back there (I’m being dramatic- there ARE some flights but there’s also big restrictions like a mandatory two week hotel quarantine on your own dime and no interstate travel, and the general uncertainty of travel between countries) and I’m missing out on time with my family and their little ones- plus infertility makes you wonder whether you should just go all in on being an auntie just to have SOME connection… But while my American husband is up for it (ya know, work and how to wangle that aside), moving countries is… Read more »


YAY! I was hoping this would happen one day. SO SO excited for you and can’t wait to follow along.


We also left Los Feliz for a different life in Michigan. We are both professors (UCLA and USC) and while the institutions are some of the best in the world our quality of life was wanting in LA. Air quality, traffic and more traffic, a patch of grass on Russell for our child with no possibility of buying in the LA market left us searching for something else. And it was hard on our marriage the go go go pace and so much pull to compare our life to others. But there was so much to love too – Griffith Park, our Farmers Market at the post office, flea markets, etc. I had an epiphany one day. I started crying on the treadmill watching a show where a woman was foraging mushrooms and I thought I WANT THAT. I want time and space and freedom to go and do something so simple as pick some wild ramps or something. The hamster wheel of LA made that impossible for us. Another life was possible. Sure, I’m not at UCLA anymore and I miss my colleagues but here there are trees everywhere, I bike everywhere, so many parks for my kids, lakes,… Read more »


So happy for your family. Can’t wait to see the new place!!


Oh how exciting, congratulations! It’s the start of a wonderful new journey and I hope it all works out well for you and your family. I moved house just 21 days ago, and after 20 years living in cities I now live outside a small town in the west of Ireland. I’m hoping to buy a house in the near future and so I’m really looking forward to all the inspiration your new home will bring 😄

Kim B

A small town in the west of Ireland sounds like perfection. Congratulations on your move and hope you are able to buy soon!


So happy for you! What a great move, and I can’t wait to see content from Portland, a city I love dearly and want to see more of.

My husband and I (with our new little baby girl) plan to move to Oregon soon too! We will be selling our house in St. Petersburg, FL in spring 2021 and make the move to the southern Oregon coast! It’s been a dream for a long time— we’re originally from Northern California and can’t wait to get back to a life closer to nature.


We live in St. Pete too! I’m having wild dreams of selling our house and buying a large plot of land in Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh. I’ve never even been to Pittsburgh! Being trapped in FL all summer is doing wild things to my brain…


Congratulations on a very hard decision! Covid has, as you said, definitely called on many of us to take a look at our priorities. Your post really helped me finally make my own hard decision to move. I think I’ve been pondering it for 6 years. Leaving what has truly been a dream house and the kind of home I’ll most likely never live in again, feels devastating. But I know there’s room for hope. And a few things, along with this post, just finally fell into place this morning. So thank you! Your own journey has many ripples! Can’t wait to follow along on this next chapter (yours AND mine!)

Hurray!! I’m excited for you and your family and to follow along your journey. I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since you left Oregon and I’m thrilled to welcome you home again 💚 -Best

I’m not at all surprised y’all are moving. In all honesty I’ve been expecting to read this news for a few months now. I’m excited for you! From what I’ve seen with my friends it just makes sense as the kids get closer to school age to try to be closer to family (I’m a non-breeder, but about the same age as you). And of course you’ll love Portland! I LOVE Portland! I have tons of college friends and family there and enjoyed a few holidays on the Oregon coast when I was in college.
Selfishly I’m excited for you to do another house. I just love watching it come together.
Me, I bought a Chincoteague Pony foal during the pandemic. Do yourself a favor and go buy “Misty of Chincoteague” to read to Birdie and Charlie and you’ll see why I did this. It’s the BEST story for kids to read (and it won a Newbury medal) Well, a friend and I bought him together. He’s in Pennsylvania right now and will make his big move to Texas (where I live) by the end of August.

Hope Lindau

Wow! It is so exciting that you got a Chincoteague pony! I have wanted one for many many years. You’re living my dream! ❤️

Congratulations! I’m thrilled for you. We just finished up a year in Puerto Rico where I learned pre-pandemic how nonessential it is to work in person. I run a marketing agency and while there were some bumps and surprises it was the best ever time, and living on an island forces you to slow down, spend more time outside, everything we wanted for our family. We’re back in DC to be closer to family but I’m holding on to all the togetherness and rejecting the rat race for as long as I can. Good for you to make a bold move, enjoy it!!!

Wow wow wow! Such HUGE news! I’m so excited for you guys and I can’t wait to follow along!


Congratulations Emily! Very excited and not surprised as we’ve all know for years that’s where your heart is.

My questions are: how does Brian’s family feel about the move? Did you ever consider Sacramento with all of its trees?

I’m in the Bay Area and wanting to move to the foothills (Folsom/El Dorado Hills) though I sometimes dream of one of the super old homes downtown sac and restoring it into its glory. So just a little curious if you considered this area and if there are reasons you wouldn’t move there.

Again so happy for you. I’m very excited for you all and what this new world means for full time workers who can work remote.


I was wondering about this too. It seems like Emily’s family in Oregon is really close, but it also seems like it’s been nice for the Hendersons to be able to visit Brian’s family pretty regularly.


Good luck with the move and so very excited to see your new home and what you’ll do with it. Side note – can I just say Sara’s articles were my absolute favorite from your staff? Especially over these past 6 months, I feel like she BROUGHT IT every. single. time. Sad she is leaving, and good luck to her!

Sarah Van Valkenburgh

THANK YOU for this post and your honesty!

I love this blog, and have been a reader for many years. My fiance (now husband) and I moved from Florida where both of our families live to Orange County, CA right after college nearly 4 years ago to follow our dream jobs, which are now pretty much entirely online. We’ve been sitting in our small apartment on laptops all day for the past 6 months contemplating why we live in the state we live in when our families are so far away. We are both homebodies, love nature and greenery, and the pandemic has made us realize where our true priorities lie. We want an affordable house with a yard (that we can renovate using your blog’s advice, obviously), lots of family time, and lush/green nature galore!

We were just talking about how this pandemic could change big-city dreams of many college graduates when you realize how important proximity to family truly is. This post validates our thoughts!


Big news for you and big news for Sara too! I will SO miss her voice on the blog! And please please please tell us that Sara will continue to be a guest and share her home renovation progress with us. It’s just not fair to dangle a kitchen/back yard reno in front of us and then never let us see the end result!!!

Really happy for your family returning to Portland and embracing all this pandemic time has revealed to you. I hope so much that our country and world will be forever changed for the better with the truths this pandemic has brought to light. We all need to slow down, get off the hamster wheel and focus our energies on creating a new reality in which racial justice is our number one priority.


YAYYYYY Welcome back to the PNW! I cannot wait to see the new house and what you do with it!!! We live in WA and would never leave the PNWonderland (except to move back to France, my home country – I’m waiting to see what November 3rd will bring to make that call). We have been so thankful to live in a such a beautiful place during the quarantine, it definitely helped calming our anxiety down.


Haha! Lucie- as another foreigner living in the US, I totally feel your comment of seeing what happens Nov 3… and living in dried-out Denver, I’m dreaming of a trip to PNW to get some moisture back into my skin and greenery into my eyes! Who knew one could actually get tired of constant sunshine?!?

Wow! Wow! Wow! Totally didn’t see this coming but how exciting! I’m so happy for you and pre-pandemic WE were house hunting in Portland looking to leave Minneapolis! Ha!


Gah! Why did this make my heart leap so much? Maybe I’m secretly a quiet/mountain/quiet loving girl at heart (wait, yes last year we moved from Minneapolis which I love to a quiet wooded suburb complete with deer that eat my plants- never looked back). I’m excited for your fam, it’s so clear from your Instagram stories you’re all so happy in nature. Aaaaand selfishly I’m excited to see you do another house. On our front? We moved less than a year ago and welcomed little girl #2 2 months ago, I’m ready for some quiet. And hopefully soon some wine around the bonfire with friends.


My sis made the decision to sell her house and buy a residence in my senior living building in the middle of the pandemic. She was always planning to sell and move … someday … so she was already downsizing. She bought in Seattle and prepped and staged her house and garden (sold in 6 days). She moved here and now the last box is unpacked (pictures aren’t up yet) but most things are in their final position.
It’s working out for her, even if she can’t mingle as much as we’d all like. Darn pandemic!


Happy for you! My parents are from Oregon, but all my siblings and I were born and raised in San Diego. After living there for 20+ years, my parents and sister moved to OR in 2007, my brother in 2008, and my husband and I in 2011. We’ve never looked back. Historically, we’ve all been in different parts of the state, but when we had our second baby three years ago, we moved closer to my parents for more help. Flash forward to the pandemic, and we closed on the house and 1.5 acre lot right NEXT DOOR to them last weekend. It is every bit as worth it as you think it’s going to be. Big hugs as you make this bittersweet transition!

Jordan G

Well this is exciting news! I can’t wait to follow along! Wishing you a smooth transition and easy home sale!


I Can’t wait to see the new property!! Exciting! I hope whoever buys your home loves it as much as you and boy will they be lucky to have had you work through all those designs in the past. Who gets that when they buy a home?

I can absolutely see why you would move, despite all that holds you in LA. One of the things that always seems hard to me about that city is the focus on how we look physically, for women in particular, and then the concomitant focus on trying not to care. It’s almost harder when you fall into the blonde pretty category, IMO. That might have nothing to do with why you are moving, but if you’d like a random extra reason from a stranger, now you have it;).


As an LA native i think it depends on where in the city you live and who you mingle with.



Go To Top