Living With Kids: Lacey Young

By Gabrielle.

There are so many moments in Lacey‘s interview that caused me to stop and marvel at the pure joy she clearly feels being Callie’s mom. I’m probably still a little tender after traveling to Ethiopia a few weeks ago, and still freshly aware that not every child has a cheering section. It’s such a gift, don’t you agree? Enjoy this special tour, Friends!

Q: Tell us about your sweet family!

A: Hi! I’m Lacey, but you can call me Callie’s mom. Callie is five and a half — you must include the half or she will correct you on it every time! — and as sweet as can be. She always has a smile on her face! She is definitely a girly girl who loves Taylor Swift, swinging, and horses. She recently started riding lessons and is doing so well. A couple other things about her:  she is very funny, she loves beets and licorice, and she is slowly but surely trying to master jump roping. She is also probably the only child in the world who won’t touch chocolate, ice cream, cookies, cake, or pie. I honestly don’t even think she has ever tried chocolate, but she has it in her mind that she doesn’t like it and she’s sticking to it!

My husband, Caleb, is a director at a production (commercials, films, documentaries, etc.) company. He works a lot of hours and travels quite often, but still makes time to read to Callie before bed and take her on nature walks during the weekend. Callie adores him and wants to be a movie maker like Daddy when she grows up. He has a huge TV for screening at his office and she thinks he sits and watches movies all day — so of course she wants that job! Wouldn’t you?!

I’m an accountant at an engineering firm, otherwise known as an office girl to Callie. Last year, I was able to move from full-time to part-time and it has been wonderful! I know I’m not alone, but the guilt that comes from not being home with your child is overwhelming. It was always weighing on me and I feel that has been lifted off my shoulders. I love being able to spend more time together. It also makes it easier for Caleb and I to go on date nights without feeling guilty about that either.

Other than being a mom, I really enjoy cooking! I would love to go to culinary school, but sometimes I think it would be scary to start a whole new career. I’m only 31, though, so who knows! We have a garden for the first time this year and it has been amazing to cook dinner with ingredients from our back yard. Callie is a somewhat picky eater, but she is willing to try anything that we grow; she’s discovered she loves spaghetti squash and rainbow chard, but we’re still working on tomatoes.

Q: Where does your home live? How did it come to be yours?

A: We have only lived in this house for about five months. We moved from a small condo that we lived in for seven years. We honestly have been looking for the perfect house ever since Callie was born, but just couldn’t find the right one. Eventually we decided to find a piece of property we love and have something built. And now here we are in Birch Bay, a little beach town in Washington.

We love living here. There is a state park and two beaches within a five minute walk. And I have to mention the homemade candy store that’s a five minute bike ride away. I love not having to get in the car on the weekends — there is so much to do right here!

The whole building process wasn’t as stressful as I thought it would be. I basically lived on Pinterest for six months! I’m not great at coming up with ideas on my own, but I definitely know what I like when I see it! My husband would be happy living in a tool shed — I’m not even joking! — so most of the design decisions came from me. He was very good support though when I needed opinions on 20 different kitchen light fixtures. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

I do have a confession: I cried for about a week after we moved in and wanted to move back to our condo! The new house was absolutely beautiful, but I felt homesick! I know that sounds so silly.

Q: What design elements make your home unique? In the build, what did you compromise, if anything?

A: Since we were moving to the beach, I definitely wanted our home to reflect that. I’ve always loved the coast. Someone once told me our condo reminded them of a cozy beach house and that was the best compliment; my husband said I was glowing for the rest of the day! We went for a Cape Cod-ish style on the outside, and a coastal/country cottage style on the inside.

We had a budget, of course, so there were some compromises that had to be made. We knew we wanted wood shakes on the exterior, but they were extremely expensive. We gave up shower tile and one sink in the guest bath to be able to do the top half of the house in shakes. We also wanted a fireplace in our bedroom, so we gave up a few other things that weren’t as important to us. If you are going to build, I would definitely recommend finding a builder that is willing to work with you like this.

Q: How would you describe your design aesthetic? How has it changed with your daughter?

A: Like I said before, I would call my design aesthetic coastal meets country cottage. I want our home to feel like a cozy little vacation house that we live in year round. If we go on a great trip, I try to remember what I love most about that place and incorporate it into our home.

I wouldn’t say my aesthetic has changed with my daughter, but the things I choose to treasure and display have. I now find beauty in a pile of driftwood sticks or pinecones that she has proudly collected and always make a special place for them. Since she was born I’ve filtered out objects that don’t mean anything to me and were just there to fill space. We still have a few empty walls and shelves in the new house, but I’m patiently waiting for something amazing!

Q: How does your daughter make her presence known in your home?

A: Although you may not see it, we have kid’s stuff in every room of our house! I think I’ve gotten very good at keeping toys out of sight, but still easily accessible to little ones. We do have a play room, but most of the time we play in whichever room imagination is sparked.

My daughter loves to display! She would line up every animal figure she owns if she had a big enough shelf. We always make sure we display everything she makes us; I’d rather look at a crayon drawing of a red kitty than a famous photograph of a mountain. Kid’s art is the best.

Q: Describe your favorite space in your home. How do you spend time in it and what makes it so special to you?

A: My favorite room is our bedroom. We spend a lot of time in there actually, which was never the case in our condo. It gets amazing light, morning and evening, and is just very warm, bright, and cozy. Our bedroom also contains the only television in the house, so we all pile in our bed every Friday for movie night! We use to have a no food in bed rule, but this has been thrown out the window. You just can’t watch a movie without popcorn!

There is also the ocean view that gives it bonus points.

Q: How do you handle balancing a perfect home with making the messes that we all know make a childhood wonderful?

A: I would love to say my house always looks this tidy, but that’s not the case. It is usually presentable though. With work and my family, I can’t even think about having time to go to the gym. Instead I clean for one to two hours almost every weeknight after Callie goes to bed, and it is honestly great exercise! Plus the house gets clean and I can relax on the weekends.

We love crafting, which consists of getting out every craft supply we own and just making “stuff.” Callie also loves playing house and horses and library and using the entire house as her play area. I never make a big deal about having a lot of stuff out at once, whether it be toys or art supplies. As long as she’s playing and having fun that’s all that matters. Sometimes I ask her to help me pick up afterwards and sometimes I don’t. She never complains when I do so that’s why I don’t make a big deal out of it. Caleb is another story! We hate when he’s away, but I have to admit, the house does stay cleaner!

Q: What do you hope your home and decor choices are teaching your child? What do you hope she remembers from her childhood home?

A: I hope our home teaches my daughter respect. That’s what my mom passed onto me. Kids can be kids. Things can get messy. And things can get broken. I think that’s okay as long as there is a sense of respect and meaning in your home.

I also want her to know that you don’t need a lot of money to make your house a home. We collect sea glass and shells every weekend to add to our collections that make our house unique; it’s fun, you get fresh air, and it’s completely free! We also love going antiquing and garage saling together to find little treasures for Callie’s room. These are the types of memories I want Callie to remember when she thinks of our home.

Q: What is your favorite part of living with your own daughter? What do you already miss?

A: I honestly love everything about living with her, but my favorite part is the laughter she brings to our home. We can be quite silly at times and hearing her laugh is such is wonderful reward to raising her!

It’s funny, people always ask me if I miss having a baby in the house and I always say no. I loved having Callie at home as a baby, but I have loved having her at every age. I always find myself asking her if she can stay five and a half forever…but when I look back, I have done that throughout her life. Every age she reaches seems like the sweetest, cutest, and most fun she’s ever been. When I think about her getting older it does make me sad, but I try to think in the same frame of mind I’m in right now: that I will always love her the most at whatever age she is at that moment.

Q: Please finish the sentence: I wish I had known…

A: …how important time outdoors is. We have always taken Callie to parks and what not, but now we are discovering how much fun it is to just explore nature. She gets so much pleasure out of picking wildflowers or finding giant walking sticks for all of us. Caleb and I are far from the outdoors type and have never even been camping overnight together, but it is at the top of our list for next spring! The area we now live in is huge on kayaking, so I guess we will have to try that too!


Thank you, Lacey! It brought tears when I read your words about Callie growing up: “When I think about her getting older it does make me sad, but I try to think in the same frame of mind I’m in right now: that I will always love her the most at whatever age she is at that moment.” I’m going to remember that one.

And your sweet thought about displaying Callie’s artwork — “We always make sure we display everything she makes us; I’d rather look at a crayon drawing of a red kitty than a famous photograph of a mountain.” — reminds me of Barney Saltzberg’s interview when I asked him when he first realized he was great at what he did. His answer? “When I was really young, my parents professionally mounted  two of my paintings and hung them on the wall. I remember loving the time I spent painting the pictures and to see that my parents liked my work enough to preserve my artwork made me feel special.” There’s something magical about those first memories of being treated like a million bucks, isn’t there? I’m not sure it never goes away!

Tell me, Friends: What’s your first memory of feeling like you were truly talented at something? Who was your biggest fan? I always love happy stories like these!

P.S. — You can find all the homes in my Living With Kids series here. And if you’d like to share your own home with us, just send me a note! It’s a lot of fun…I promise!

10 thoughts on “Living With Kids: Lacey Young”

  1. I’ve always said about my 3 girls that I have a hard time remembering what they were like when younger because I’d have to subtract elements of their personalities to do so. Lacey has it spot on, we love them the most for who they are right now.

    I also want to say to Lacey, if you want to make a career change, do it! I left financial services at age 34 for graduate school (single mom to 1 daughter, sold my home & moved in w/ my parents) and now at 42 I am a therapist in private practice & I’ve never been happier! Take the risk if you can, it may make you happier than you imagine! AND what better role model for a young daughter but a mother who goes after her dreams?!?

    Thank you for the beautiful tour of your home!

  2. This might be my fave Living with Kids post yet! I see so many ideas I love in your home and many I have talked about, but didn’t try! Love the backsplash the one idea I have tried is my grey backsplash subway tiles and I love them so. But Have felt stuck with what else to do next- I love how you brought that color into the lighting and bowls on the counter! LOVE. And your daughter’s door knob is perfect, my 3 year old would be in heaven if we did that little simple switch to make her room more hers/ more magical. Thanks for the tour- I am bookmarking so many ideas! liz

  3. I love all the muted greens and blues accenting the neutral palate of the home — so calming.

    I had to smile when Lacey mentioned she’d like to go to culinary school as I’ve often thought about the same thing myself. I have no desire to work in a restaurant, only to cook really well for me and my family because I enjoy food so much.

    I also love that her daughter likes beets and licorice — sounds like we share the same palate.

  4. Our daughter is just turning 15 months, and my husband and I have also talked lots of times about what age she was the funnest, or the cutest, etc. We also come up with the same answer — she’s the best as she is now! It makes me happy because to me it means that we’re all growing together in love as a family :)

    I love your backsplash and the bar chairs around the kitchen island! I also love what you said, “you don’t need a lot of money to make your house a home”. Totally agree!!!

  5. Thank you everyone for the kind comments – they made my day :)

    And thank you Gabrielle for including me in this series – it was so much fun!

  6. Westchester Mom

    This post was lovely thank you both Gabby and Lacey.
    @ Gabby- I’m Katherine Kaneko’s friend in Westchester we’ve emailed each other.
    @ Callie- I am moving to Bellingham Bay, WA in one month! Not too far from you! I’m a mixed bag of emotions about that, but want to thank you for meshing these two worlds for me.
    Any advice about moving from either of you is appreciated tremendously.
    How do you do it Gabby?

  7. I loved your story about Lacey Young, Living with kids. She is such a terrific Mom and a wonderful example for her daughter. I am a bit biased though because she is my daughter and am very proud of who she has become.
    Thank you Gabrielle!

    Sally Lange

  8. Pingback: monday: best of last week | The Misadventures of Kelly and Kelly

  9. Pingback: this teal subway tile speaks to me – Home Decor

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