on making room.

Where my heart resides

I’ll be the first to admit: I always knew I was going to be the type of momma to go a little overboard on the nursery. I knew there would be a well-developed Pinterest board, a neutral color scheme, and plenty of non-baby decor items neatly arranged on top of the dresser. I knew people were going to roll their eyes at me.

Some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now.

That’s okay.

Because halfway through decorating Everett’s nursery, I realized something about the process. I realized that my attention to detail and obsessive compulsive tendencies were less about making a Pinterest-perfect room and more about simply making room

There I was—six months pregnant—folding and re-folding neat stacks of freshly washed burp cloths, having the epiphany of a lifetime.

I was making room
In my heart. In the dresser. In the closet. In my marriage. In my home. In my life.

In my everything. 

That nursery became a sanctuary for me—a place where I could let my mind wander and spend intentional time focusing on the tiny life growing inside of me. I spent hours upon hours in that room, arranging globes and hanging maps, folding onesies and stocking the diaper drawer with unopened creams and lotions. As I moved around the room shifting items on the bookcase, I wondered what our baby would look like, sound like, be like. I wondered if he would love to read like his mom and if he would be good at basketball like his dad.

With every folded onesie and pinwheel tacked to the wall, I felt a little more ready, a little more connected, a little more prepared. It was therapeutic. Cathartic. Peaceful. I found myself drawn to that room every afternoon, straightening books on the shelves and fluffing the pillow on the rocking chair. I moved the teddy bear to the left of the crib, then back to the right, then back to the left again. I carefully analyzed every item in that room, every sock, every piece of art on the walls. I could have described every last detail in a police report if I needed to.

That nursery was more than a nursery. It was the room where I made room—for him, for us, for all of it.


As I approach the ninth month of my second pregnancy, I have found myself spending more and more time in this baby’s room. I feel guilty admitting that his nursery has been more of an afterthought, but that’s the truth. I have only just now started putting the room together, with seven weeks of pregnancy left to go.

It has been hard to focus, to be intentional, to feel connected to this life growing inside of me while the first life that grew inside of me is running around the house like a monkey jumping off the couch and asking for more crackers. If it wasn’t for the fact that none of my clothes fit and I have to pee every sixteen minutes, I might occasionally forget that I’m pregnant altogether.

And I really, really hate that. 

So, for the next seven weeks, I’m giving myself permission to turn back into that crazy, eye-roll-inducing momma. I’m giving myself permission to fold and re-fold the onesies, to meticulously arrange feather decals on the wall, to sort the books alphabetically if I feel like it. I’m going to find room in the budget for a new rug, and I’m going to order that $26 print off Etsy that compliments our theme so perfectly. I apologize in advance for the instagrams that will surely follow.

But I hope at least now you see—this nursery is not about the elephant crib sheets or the adorable giraffe lamp or the dream catchers hanging on the wall. And those other mommas over there? It might not be about their birdcages and twig wreaths and vintage dresser knobs.

For some of us, it’s simply about making room.
In our hearts. In our dressers. In our closets. In our everything.


Everett’s nursery tour + Baby #2’s Pinterest board

p.s. I’m back on HuffPo today (!!!) defending two-year-olds

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16 Responses to on making room.

  1. Mariah says:

    Baby #2 has been more of an afterthought for me. Not much dreaming about the little one we will hold in a few more months, not when the other monkey is running around, there’s been states to move across and new jobs to start. I’ve got the month of December all to myself, though, and I’m looking forward to making room then!
    Mariah´s last blog post ..Not On Top of My Game

  2. Lindsay says:

    I can’t wait to see the picture tour of the new baby’s room! I’m sure no matter how much time you spend, it will still be great. I love those gold leaf decals from your instagram. Can I ask where you found them?

    • Ashlee says:

      Thank you! They are from Target, and if you want to get your hands on some, you better go RIGHT NOW. I decided after hanging the initial set that I wanted to do one more and had to go to three different Targets to find one. But bonus: they’re on clearance and only $5 right now 😉

  3. Such a true and lovely reflection, Ashlee. And like you, I spent lots and lots of time in my son’s room (though I’m much less of a skilled decorator) before he was born…and lots less time in the nursery this second time around. This post is a nice reminder that taking the time to set the room up isn’t indulgent, but a part of the bigger process. Wishing you continued health for the next 7 weeks! (I think we’re just about on the same schedule….)
    Michele @ A Storybook Life´s last blog post ..09.08.07 + 7 Years

  4. Diana says:

    simple is what makes a pinterest worthy photo and this is beautiful. Can’t wait to see the rest.
    Diana´s last blog post ..Recycle Old Books

  5. Danielle says:

    …hahah … Most of my friends and I laugh because we find ourselves saying “where’s Quinn?” And just yesterday at Emma’s soccer practice a mom glanced over and said oh there is Quinn who we thought never really existed! It’s all said in jest but just goes to show how normal it is to feel that way…in no way does it impact your love for that second baby…YOU know how obsessed I am with Quinn!

  6. Jenna says:

    This is great and so true. I feel like when our second came we put the room together so quickly that I didn’t take the time to make it HIS room, our room, a room for him. I feel like it came so quickly that we just waited till the last minute and then, BAM he was here and it was good for that moment. I’m definitely now wanting to change that around, sad it’s taken two years but I feel now he can appreciate it. 🙂
    Jenna´s last blog post ..grateful

  7. Stephanie says:

    My OCD can get a bit nuts because I have things I’d like to have in certain places. I’m sure that will grow with once I get my own house, then expand with each room, and by the time I create a nursery I don’t know what’ll happen! But this picture looks homey, and that’s all that matters in the end! 🙂

    Stephanie´s last blog post ..Review: The Giver

  8. Kaylie says:

    Hi Ashlee,

    New follower here! I am 26 weeks pregnant with our first, little Landon Levi. I have always envisioned creating an “Adventure is Out There” themed nursery for my first son, so when I came across Everett’s stunning travel themed nursery–I gasped!! It is exactly what I was envisioning for Landon’s nursery, so I can’t thank you enough for the inspiration! It’s like a breath of fresh air when you come across someone who thinks the way you do 😉

    I am very curious, though. How did you hang the paper lanterns??

    I love how they turned out, and just might have to snag that idea for above our little reading nook!

    • Ashlee says:

      Ahh, congrats! Love the name 😉 We hung the paper lanterns with tiny white hooks and fishing wire. It was not the easiest task, there might be a better way to do it? I hope that helps!

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