Tell us a little about you and your family.
I could not have known the adventure I was signing up for when my husband, Jason, and I married nearly 13 years ago. Add to that the joyful chaos of our two boys, Weston (7) and Ollie (3), plus our third miracle baby boy who will join us this spring. Having owned 4 homes together and traveling the country for a season of life, it’s surprising we’ve called Alabama home for the past 13 years. Our hearts are fairly nomadic and have no desire to find a forever home until we’re old and gray.
What attracted you to living simply and how has it benefited your family?
Our life was forever changed in 2017 when we took a great leap of faith to follow my husband’s lifelong dream of living and traveling full-time in an Airstream travel trailer. Swallowing the pride that the American dream wasn’t our dream as we sold our much too large 5 bedroom home, to redefine home to fit into less than 200 square feet, was the greatest decision we’ve ever made. When you’re faced with looking at what you really need in life versus what life has made you believe you need, and knowing you’ll be paying to store each and every extra that you may want one day down the road, makes you really assess the value of every item in your home. Our hearts have never looked at things the same.
What's your design philosophy and how have you used that to create your home?
Simple, clean, intentional, built to last. We bought our 1971 original owner home a little over a year ago and completely renovated it from the inside out. Intentionally purchasing a modest home with fewer bedrooms than children we hope to fill it with has brought a calming satisfaction to our lives. Breaking the cycle of getting a larger house to fill it with more things is something we hope spills over to all aspects of our life.
When designing for the renovation, everything was kept with clean lines, from the selection of trim, to tile, to bathroom and light fixtures. We created a space where we can all be together in the living, dining, and kitchen by opening up walls where there used to be literal doors to each of the rooms.
Our tendency is to invest in furniture and decor that will last a lifetime, hopefully reducing our waste. I’m slow to decorate and put holes in my walls unless I feel strongly that they’ll be there for the life of our home. Stark decor also lends itself to a place our boys can truly live in. Every surface is welcome for toy cars to drive, soccer to be played indoors, or a comfy place to curl up and read a book. The majority of the toys are stored in the living room, completely out of sight, with the mentality that if it doesn’t fit, it’s time to clean out and share with others. This spring I’m eagerly anticipating our next large project of clearing our forest of a backyard and creating it to be the outdoor living space I’ve been envisioning since we purchased this property.
What do you love best about your home and why?
Our boys have always referred to wherever we are together as our home. Whether it be our home we live in every day, a hotel while on vacation, a temporary city condo during the renovation, or our Airstream, they’re all affectionately referred to as home. For us, home has never been a place, but a feeling, where we’re safe, warm, together, and all loved just as we are. As a bonus, it’s nice that this house we live in feels like home, for now, until the next home calls our name.
How would you describe your family's values (or family culture) in a sentence or two?
Facing every person, place, being with love, respect, and adventure. Using our southern manners to hold the door for others entering a building, picking up garbage along a hike, seeing everyone we encounter as equally valuable, looking to be the hands and feet of Christ any time we can. And we don’t turn down an opportunity for adventure or a spontaneous trip anywhere.
Audrey is a Speech-Language Pathologist, turned stay at home mom who lives intentionally by hugging her boys every chance she gets, trying to fill their bellies with enough fruits and veggies to balance out their pizza consumption, and keeping her husband’s feet on the ground while he’s dreaming big things. You’ll find her heart and soul in a constant state of prayer for all who cross her path, while listening to music, and drinking sweet tea. Her days are filled with gratitude for the immeasurable blessings that flow from above.
Follow Audrey’s adventures on Instagram @hearts.of.dixie