Feels like home to me

Good luck getting that song out of your head…I hummed it silently for the duration of our all-too-short stay in Melbourne…but really, what a refreshing few days in a city that I’ve never been to, but that strangely felt familiar. Perhaps it wasn’t because of the city itself [[they still drive on the opposite side of the road, have adorable accents and cafes too cute for words]], but more because of how we spent our time in said city.

Katie, ‘Amazing Katie,’ as the American cousins have formally dubbed her, and her equally amazing mate, Gary, truly made us feel right at home. We read and cooked and worked out in a real gym [[!!!]] and did laundry and talked about our dreams and guilty pleasures and had friends over and did Tuesday night at a food truck and a local watering hole and explored the city by foot….

and….we did wine country…and it was amazing too.

The thing about wine country is that it really doesn’t matter where in the world you are, as long as your palate and mind are open to new grape varietals, the people you’ve trekked with were well chosen, the sun is shining and there’s cheese to be paired.

Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley is one of the great wine regions of Australia, where Chardonnays [[still not my fave..not even in Chardonnay land]] and Pinot Noirs take the cake, so you know it was dang near top of Kara’s and my list of things to do while in Melbourne. What better way to recoup from a great road trip, than indulging in a few tastings, afterall?

Indulge we did and at home we felt. Cheers to amazing people, amazing reds and a home away from home.


As I sit on my couch with the fireplace roaring, blinds wide open, sipping my morning cup of coffee and looking out at a quiet morning fog roll across the gully, I cannot help but thank God for the millionth time for this place….this villa…this haven.

This has been home for 11 months. It impossibly seems like no time and forever.

We didn’t even want to move. We, being my sweet Kara and me [[‘my sweet Kara’ because any other description comes up short–not my roommate, not a best friend, not a sister, not a confidant or a crutch in life’s most weary moments–none of those terms do her justice….so for now she’ll just be ‘my Kara’]. We were happily settled in homes that we created with people we cared about. But that’s the funny thing about ‘settled’–sometimes I think God doesn’t want us to settle in the comfy places. So he pushed us out of the cozy and into the ‘oh.my.gosh.’

That my Kara and I had each other to lean on in this new ‘uncomfortable place’ was no accident. In fact, this is one of the greatest blessings I’ve yet to witness.

Enter, The Villa.

Stupidly overpriced, half the size of our previous homes, a crappy carpool and a half away from our city-offices, no yard for Romeo to run around in, [more to come on him]…This is The Villa.

But Villa Life? That’s a whole different story. Villa Life is nearly impossible to explain, for it’s actually a ‘feeling’ and not a ‘place.’ But here we go…to understand me, my Kara, and ‘growth and grace,’ you must first understand ‘Villa Life.’

This place is beautiful. It’s tiny and my beloved bedroom furniture doesn’t even fit in my own bedroom, but it.is.beautiful. The kitchen is a #cleaneats creator’s dream. The dark wood floors match our puppy’s brindle coat. Our furniture and decor blended beautifully to make it feel HGTV-ish. The floor-to-ceiling windows brings the outside in. Our grill and pallet furniture and herb garden make the front patio a Pinterest-inspired sanctuary. But the best part is the back deck. It’s about 10×15, with two simple lounge chairs and a fire pit. A small space, with a few key ingredients. Put simply, it makes Villa Life.

When my Kara and I are dancing around the kitchen prepping dinner, with red wine flowing and John Mayer crooning, with the french doors wide open and locals biking down the trail in our back yard, and the air smells like summer and your skin tingles from the sun beating down on our deck….that’s Villa Life.

When after dinner you sip on yet another glass of vino, lounging in those chairs [arguably the best investment of the year] and the Pacific Northwest sun starts to set on another summer night, and you drum up a baby fire in the fire pit [second best investment of the year] and swaddle up in comfy blankets with Chateau Ste Michelle’s nightly concert floating through the backyard….that’s Villa Life.

When you’d rather spend Memorial Day Weekend at home, than anywhere else. When you can hop the back fence and run for hourslove in either direction on the trail. When you can walk to more wineries than is even necessary. When you can watch bald eagles and hot air balloons from your deck. When your kitchen has a built in wine rack. When your friends, any random conglomeration of friends for that matter, can gather and play cards and laugh and make memories. When your favorite guitar player has weekly gigs in your back yard.

When home brings you back to earth, breathes life back into your soul and makes you feel just.plain.good….yeah…that’s #VillaLife.