one year ago today…

Marian Parsonsa slice of life86 Comments

…we moved into our home in Rochester, MN!

Moving into the new house was like standing at the top of a summit after a long, hard climb and an even longer time of preparation, planning, waiting, and praying.  After months of uncertainty, we had arrived at our destination – a new job in a new town in a new part of the country.  Everything ahead of us was new and exciting, but also daunting.  There was so much to do!  Not just in the house, but there was the entire process of settling a family into a new area, which isn’t done easily or quickly!

After a full year, though, we feel almost completely entrenched.  There are still a few lingering loose ends and to-dos, but overall, we are Minnesotans and are embracing it.

The obvious thing for me to focus on in this post is the transformation of the house.  But, if you have been following my blog over the past year, you’ve seen a lot of that.  I will share some before and after pictures, but I thought I would focus the text on how our family is doing, since many of you have asked.

Let’s start with Jeff.  First of all, he finished his masters degree!!  Oh man, it’s such a relief to have that behind us now.  We were all ready for him to be done, so we could have more of his free time.  He is also loving his new job.  It is exactly what he wanted to do and he’s enjoying it as well as the people he’s working with.  It’s been a great match all around.

He’s also really enjoying the area and has already taken a back-packing trip to the Black Hills, a place he’s wanted to see for a long time.  He’s looking forward to getting even more involved in the outdoorsy way of life here with future camping, fishing, and hunting trips.

Living Room Before & After…

The boys are also doing great.  Of course, there are times when they miss PA.  It’s the only home they ever knew, but they’ve really warmed up to this area.  The fact that they have so much freedom in this neighborhood and friends within walking and biking distance has helped a lot!  They have made so many friends and have pretty full social calendars already.  We regularly have their friends over to play or spend the night.

They’ve also been doing well in school, even with a different teaching style (classical), having to learn Latin, and essentially skipping ahead in math.  School was more challenging for them, but they both rose to the occasion and are learning better study habits, etc.

One of the main concerns with a move was uninterrupted care for Calvin, who is a Type 1 Diabetic.  After Jeff received the job offer, the first thing I did the next morning was call the Pediatric Endocrinology department at the Mayo Clinic, so we could get him set up with an appointment.  Since Mayo is a popular destination hospital, the wait for an appointment can be long, so he wasn’t seen until October, but his team at Hershey Medical Center made sure we had the prescriptions he needed and all of his records were transferred and ready for his first appointment.  It was stressful at times, as we were sorting out insurance, but we always had what he needed and he’s now under the care of a new team at Mayo.

One of the benefits of living in a “hospital town” is that you can spit and hit a doctor or nurse.  There are so many people in our neighborhood, church, and circle of friends who are medical professionals who know all about T1D.  It’s given him more freedom to go to friend’s houses to play, since there are adults that can keep an eye on him as he’s learning to manage it all on his own.

We even had a scare when Calvin lost the control for his insulin pump (which is how he gives his insulin doses and checks his blood sugar) and two of our friends (a pediatric endocrinologist and the school nurse) were over at our house to help.  It’s been such a blessing.

He also now has two friends with T1D, so he doesn’t feel like he’s alone.

Marshall is going into middle school!  Can you believe that?!  This is the boy who used to streak in diapers across my blog photos.  He’s very excited about this year in school (the sixth grade teacher has a great reputation) and he will be in the church youth group and can participate in the Lego Robotics club at school.

Home office before & after…

So, there is me.  I love it here.  Of course, I miss living close to my parents and there are people and places I miss, but I am so glad we moved.  I love our church, our community, this house, and I have made some wonderful friends here already.  I was concerned about moving away from the support of family, but our group of friends have been so supportive.  We babysit each other’s kids for date nights and have gotten together with friends for holidays.  I have a great antiquing buddy and a number of friends I can call at a moment’s notice for help or some girl time.  I definitely have more of a life-outside-of-business here than I did in PA!

The two biggest challenges for me have been the changes to my business and finding my new routines.

With the changes to the business, I went from working outside of the home, in a studio, with employees, to working by myself (with remote employees) from home.  I also dropped the retail side of my business and took a few other things off of my plate.  These changes needed to happen, but they’ve been adjustments none-the-less.  It’s especially tricky when you have an audience following you and some of them don’t want you to change!  I went on a creative retreat in March of this year, though, and that really helped me gain focus and perspective.

I’ve also made some business connections in this area and see opportunities to put my toe back into retail when I’m ready.

New routines have been tough and I’m still working on that!  I have yet to find my stride when it comes to family routines, working routines, exercise routines, eating routines, etc.  Now that we’re moving into our second year here, I think a lot of that will start to take shape. So much of the first year is just getting acclimated and figuring out the basics like where to buy groceries and how to get to and from all of the regular spots without having to use a GPS.

Working on our house and organizing it is a part of what makes me feel at home and settled, so all of the work we’ve been doing, especially over the past few months, has really helped.


Kitchen before & after…


And, of course, there is one more member of our family – Sebastian (our dog).  He is doing fantastic.  He even has friends on our street.  He loves a middle–school girl who lives across the road and thinks she’s here to see him every time she knocks on the door.  A new puppy down the street has also befriended him and they play together in our yard.

Some seasoned dog owners said it can take a year or two for a dog’s personality to really come through and that was definitely true.  We’re seeing him becoming more communicative and playful with us.  He knows what he wants and how to let us know he wants it.  He’s also becoming a bit of a lap dog, which if funny, because he’s really too big for that.  He’ll climb up on my lap and sprawl out, though, licking my arm or hand or whatever he can get his tongue on.  He spent the first year of his life on a cat farm (after he was rescued as a stray), so we think he imagines himself as a big cat.

We’ve also found a couple of families who love Sebastian as much as we do and they’ll keep him for us when we’re traveling.

Master bedroom before & after…

So, there you have it!  A one year update on our Minnesota-versary.


one year ago today…

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86 Comments on “one year ago today…”

    1. You know, I loved the winter! I really did and could’ve even handled more snow. Winter is perhaps my favorite season. I love layers, hats, fires, soup, snow, feather comforters, etc, so this is just my speed. I wouldn’t want it year round, but Minnesota is perfect.

  1. So glad you are feeling like you are home and loving the transition. That is so important. Love all the changes to the house, so pretty.

    1. Ha! I need to get past 5 x 7’s and 6 x 8’s in order to do that! One of these, days, though…

  2. This is such an encouraging post to me. We are preparing to move in a couple of weeks. It’s only 45 minutes south, but still, it is a pretty significant change and parts of it can feel overwhelming. It’s nice to be reminded to give it all time and before you know it, it’ll feel like home!

  3. I’ve been wondering if you’ve heard from the former owners of your house and, if so, what their thoughts are on the changes you’ve made.

    1. No, we haven’t. The house was vacant for a year before we moved in and the house buying/selling process in MN has the buyer and seller at separate closings, so it was a very impersonal process. We never met them or had any direct contact with them. From what we know and have heard of them, English was a second language and they pretty much kept to themselves, so I would be very surprised if they were even aware I am blogging about their former house!

      1. Actually, it’s what county you live in that determines whether or not buyers and sellers are both present at closings, at least in Minnesota. I’ve closed on homes in four counties here, and at two of them both parties were present, the other two they were not. So glad you love it here Marian (and family), it’s fun to know you’re only an hour’s drive down the road!

  4. What a year of outstanding accomplishments and blessings! May every day and every year get sweeter and sweeter! Congratulations!

  5. Marian, Glad you and your family have settled into a life in Minnesota. It truly is a wonderful place to live for many different reasons as your have stated. Your home looks like a great refuge and welcoming to those you have embraced. Hope this coming year brings many opportunities and joy for you and your family.

  6. I have enjoyed watching your changes in your home, family,and personal growth . You are special people
    Enjoy your blessings!


  7. Congrats on your Minnesota-versary! At the end of this week, my family will have our 2-month Montana-versary, so I know exactly what you have gone through as it comes to the “side-effects” of moving to another state. I am glad everyone in your family is slowly settling into the new environment. One thing I noticed looking at your before-and-after pictures is that you seem to be slowly moving away from your signature MMS blues! There are more grays and greens in your house now than blues. Anything to do with Minnesota’s wide open spaces?

    1. I think that’s just what is working for this house. In my last house, I used white as a backdrop for my blues and whites, but in this house, grays and greens are working better.

  8. I’m envious that you have been able to make so many new friends….I struggle with it and I’ve lived where I live for 35 years. Sounds like you’ve carved out an amazing life!

  9. Welcome to Rochester, MN! I recently started following your blog and instagram as I’ve gotten into furniture flipping. I’m a pastor’s wife in Plainview, MN and homeschooling our kids too. You’re such an inspiration! I have not tried your milk paint yet but would love to eventually! I’ll be a vendor at Lake City’s Junk Crush event in September – it’s a really fun outdoor antique market, you’d probably love it. Hope you enjoy life here!

  10. Wonderful journey this past year for you and your family. A win-win situation for all. I always said it takes a year to get used to a new place and you have proved that! Carry on!

  11. It sounds like you all have adjusted well. I think it’s fun to move and start over as a reincarnation of one’s self. Your home is even more lovely since you have made it your own. I love the boxwood.

  12. Hello from England! Can I say you have achieved more in a year in your new home , than I have done in 10 years in my current house which was a 5 year project! You are so inspirational and I have enjoyed every minute of your first year’s journey!

  13. So nice that it has been such a good move for everyone. You have truly made your house a home. Thank you for sharing all you do with everyone.

  14. Congratulations on your 1st year. I remember when I moved ) several years ago ) making the same adjustments. Especially when my primary shopping area became Detroit and learning to get around.
    I miss the idea that we could possibly drop into your studio in PA, we are so happy we purchased the vintage pedal car and an Ironstone jug , when Jenna and I were there. It’s our little piece of being retailers and attending a workshop there.
    The new house doesn’t look the same at all. ( for the better) . It really does look like “ Miss Mustard Seed’s “ home. And I like the idea that your decorating and painting style has evolved over time. Gives me new ideas and things to aspire to.
    Your family does seem to have really adopted their new environment and glad everyone is happy.

    1. Thank you! Yes, I miss having my studio, but it was also a good time to move on from it.

      It’s funny that many readers have commented that my style has evolved. I feel like it’s the same, but I’m making decisions that work with this house, just as I did with the last house. I like working with a house, piece of furniture, or whatever I’m working on, instead of fighting against it. This is a suburban home with a traditional style and I want to do that justice while putting my stamp on it.

  15. I’ve been to Rochester many times, as my in laws live there. Such a pretty city. Sounds like you have settled in nicely. I love your home and all that you have done to it. I think the mural is my all time favorite. May you be blessed with many more happy years in your new home.

  16. What a nice post! Having moved out of state when my kids were young,and away from our families, I can certify that you are waaay ahead of the curve! We made it back home due to another job change but looking back I can see how it made all of us reach and grow. Our daughter who is in ed school at Mayo is deciding where to apply for residency across the country. Despite the cold she gave a high compliment to Rochester saying it is an outstanding place to raise a family. Glad to hear you agree!

  17. I live in a village just a couple of miles from Rochester Kent in the uk. If ever you feel like visiting I would willingly host your stay. Glad it has all worked out so well

  18. I liked the before better!!!……NOT!!!!! Amazing!!!! All looks wonderful!!!
    This home fits your family and “time” of life. Enjoy!!!!

  19. I am so happy to hear how well things are going with your transition. I have enjoyed watching the transformation with your new house as well. I have recently moved and am struggling as this home is more “modern” than my last place. I love your style and loved how I had my old home styled with your influence. I’m really having trouble figuring out what to do with what I have in the space I am in and have it look homey and how I want it. I sure wish I had your eye for things and your inspiration and determination to get them done. You home is BEAUTIFUL!.

  20. Such a nice update! Love hearing how your sweet family has flourished in your new hometown. You’ve made such beautiful progress on your home in such a short time. Continued blessings!

  21. Hello Marian, You have transformed a very pleasant house into a most beautiful and welcoming home…a wonderful nest for your sweet family. I look back on the child-raising, nest-making, house-transforming years with great and tender love. Mamas set the mood of home for the family and make happy memories with them. It’s an honor to have so much influence in other’s lives. You deserve a big long row of gold stars for your sweet spirit and hard work! Thank you for the opportunity peek into your lives. Oh, I wondered at the glimpse of a corner of a room just past the staircase. Did you paint trees on the wall there? Love it and would like to see a picture of it. Blessings, judy

  22. Wonderful to hear about how you are all doing in your new area and home and church. It’s such a blessing for sure as it’s not always like that for new residents. So very happy for y’all! (We’re in our late 60s and moved two years ago from Williamsburg, Va to the Low Country of South Carolina to be a bit closer to our two kids in Fl and Ga. It’s been a good move but I can sense a more settled-in feeling after that second year.) You will only feel more happy as time goes by!

  23. You have done an amazing job Marian, just amazing decor! I plan on doing a lot of painting at our house and will look up your paint colors as I just love them, so calming!!! I little while ago I wrote you a note asking you where you bought the upholstered wing chair that you use at the each end of your table in the kitchen, if you have a minute to give me this information, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance and again just great decorating skills”

  24. Gosh! Can’t believe it was one year ago we were all reading about you packing your house up to move and being on pins and needles wondering when you were going to reveal your new hometown. Happy one year anniversary in your new home!

  25. You have so much talent and a great vision for your new home. I’m very impressed with what you have accomplished in just a year! Congratulations on a beautiful job! I love how you have settled so well in MN. Very friendly and welcoming people.

  26. Everything is different than your other house but, you are so right, this house is different. It all looks wonderful and sounds good for your family and that is very important.

  27. Marian, you’ve accomplished so much in the past year bringing texture, warmth and color to a house that was needing some personality and love. So glad to hear how well your family is doing. Transplanting to a new area can sometimes be challenging but you’ve pulled through like a champ. Kudos!

  28. Happy first anniversary in Minnesota. You inspire me with the amount you have accomplished with the house and everything else in just 12 months.

    You were good to post the before-and-after pictures all in one place. My overall impression is that everything you’ve touched has been uplifted, both aesthetically and moodwise. The “after” pictures are noticeably more cheerful, thanks to your ability to transcend suburban sameness.

    I hope you’ve got another creative retreat planned. The one last year seems like it was very useful for you. Furthermore, you deserve a break as often as you can possibly take one.

  29. So glad you all are settling in well! Have you made it to the north shore yet? Grand Marais is my favorite place on earth. Our trips up north are the highlights of our year!

    1. WE went up to Rainy Lake earlier in the summer to stay on an island on the Canadian side. It was gorgeous!

  30. You have done a fantastic job of getting you and your family settled. I know firsthand what that entails. My dad was a minister so we moved to four different states before I married. Then my husband’s job had us transferred 12 times. 5 times to the same city. The 5th time we got to retire.
    So glad you all are happy.

  31. Someone asked about your new home’s former owners, how about your previous home’s new owners? Do you know if they’ve made any changes to your brick PA house?

    If the former owners of our house saw it from the outside, they would not recognize it as we’ve changed so much in the five years we’ve been here. No extensive remodeling — just more decorative changes like landscaping and new siding (from beige to blue), new deck and pergola, etc.

    1. We drove by it when we visited in June, but didn’t stop in. I’m sure they’ve made some changes, but they bought it because they loved all of the things we had done. I wouldn’t be offended one bit if they changed everything, though. It is their house now and it should reflect their style, not mine! 🙂 We are still in touch with them, so I’m sure we’ll get a tour one day.

  32. Your BEFORE pictures of your kitchen and eating area look sooooo similar to mine (especially the ones that are a little messy 😋) It has been fun to see the transformation but my kitchen is now getting the side eye – lol! I love your changes! Glad to hear you have all adjusted so well and like it here. Minnesota is a great place to live!

    1. So funny!! The layout of that kitchen is great and it really was a nice kitchen, just not my taste. Changing out the finishes made a huge difference.

      Someone asked me about the messy before, but I snapped that right when we moved in and things were messy!

  33. As a lifelong Minnesotan, I feel I need to make you aware of the ‘code.’ We love the Midwest, but we try not to let the word get out. The quality of living here is our best kept secret! Enjoy your new life here.

    1. Ha…okay, gotcha. (Wink, wink.) I’m just trying to make it *sound* nice. Really, the winters are soooo bad and the people are soooo terrible and there is nothing to do and you will never, ever want to move here.

      (Is that better?)

  34. Marian, thanks for sharing your family news with us. You have had such an extremely busy year and have accomplished so much. May God continue to bless you all and make you a real blessing to those around you! We pray that you will be blessed with another wonderful year!

  35. What a lovely job you’ve done! Glad your transition has gone well. Godspeed to you and your family

  36. Its nice to hear that you and your family have transitioned so well to your new home in Minnesota. I wondered most how you make this house “You” as it was so different (and newer) than your previous home in PA. However, after a year you have clearly done just that.
    I know decorating styles are so different in every area of the county. So I am curious if you let that influence you in any way when it comes to changing out things in your home or do you just decide to go with what you love?

  37. You have done amazing things in this new home! Cannot believe how fast you have settled in! A true sign that this was meant to be. So glad all of you are doing well on this new adventure.

  38. Just gorgeous transformations! Yet only thing missing is a green plant right in that perfect spot on your mantle! I love how you’ve brought your signature style to the whole house, while staying true to the lines and architecture already there. It’s so comfortable and fresh and charming. You really did a beautiful, thoughtful, perfect job with your choices- it’s stunning!

  39. Thank you for the beautiful photos, and the updates on your move and family. I enjoy you so much. 🙂

  40. Congratulations. You have done amazing things with the house. My husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Adult Onset Diabetes. It can be so stressful. I’m glad your son has gotten good care since the move.

  41. We’re old house people, but I love how you made a standard builder spec house look more homey and unique! We’ve been making major and ,inir updates to our home for nearly 10 years and I’ve always said it’s important to listen to what the house wants in terms of colors and design. I like that you are doing the same with yours, and the result is perfect! Best wishes to you all as you settle in further.

  42. This coming Sunday we celebrate our four year anniversary of our move cross-country from California to our farm. GPS is still my best friend as I explore this part of our country. I have loved watching your progress with your home. Friends ask me if I am enjoying “making the farmhouse pretty”, and I have to reply that we are still at the “keep the rain out of the house and barns and shore up the insulation” stage, but we are making progress and I love it.
    I, too, love the winters and would take them over steamy summers any day.
    Best wishes for continued happiness!

  43. Marian,
    You have certainly made your house your home and put your wonderful style on it. This was such an enjoyable post and it sounds like the family is not just adjusting but thriving. So happy for you!

  44. Beautiful recap of the past year. I was just thinking about Eulalie the other day, so nice to see her this morning. You’ve done wonders with your house and with the adjustment to Minnesota. Happy Minnesota anniversary!

  45. I follow your blog and I can’t believe it’s been a year since you moved. When I see the room transformations all at once here, you have managed to do more in a year than most in a lifetime. So glad you and your family have made a house your home. It is such a. Inspiration!

  46. Great blog today, M. When I was growing up in Dallas, TX, my parents home was all brick with a green trim called Lambert Green. This green color reminds me of that and it is a pleasing and warm color that contrasts well with the decor. What is the name of the color?

  47. Home Sweet Home! I have enjoyed “working” with you on your new home. You are amazing.

    We had a dog very similar to Sebastian. Lambeau was his name…we are Green Bay Packer fans. I have always said he was the best dog on the planet. Loved his family and made friends wherever he went. Sounds like Sebastian has the same attitude.

  48. You are such an inspiration to so many. I just moved to a new state and it really helps hearing your experiences and motivates me to get out and meet people. I’m also encouraged by your house transformation. You transformed it from a house to a home. Beautiful job!

  49. I’ve recently painted my kitchen Stonington Grey after your recommendation and love it! What other colors have you used to coordinate with it?

  50. Marian,
    I very much enjoyed your update on how your family is doing one year after your move to Minnesota. love your home and decorating stories but hearing about how the move has affected each one of you including Sebastian really made me smile!
    I live in Wisconsin just an hour from Rochester. Welcome to our beautiful corner of the world!

  51. Love the transformation! It can difficult to make such a long distance move. I’m happy for all that it is going so well.

  52. Your house is beautiful! Would you mind listing paint colors you used for each room? I’m sure you listed them before but I would have to scroll back through your postings to find each one. Thank you!

  53. Hello Marian,
    Your “core is so true” to your style. The evolution of Miss Mustard Seed (Mirian) is inevitable as hopefully for all of us. A new environment is a new opportunity to explore. Please continue and I love that your blog followers explore too. This is fun…!!! We are inspired by each other, always! 💛

  54. Hi Marian, I just love this post — both the personal and the House before-and-after’s. And the comments you’ve left are just as good as the post. Congratulations on an immensely productive year!!! Lucketts will still never be the same without you and I wish your retail business would come back nearly every day, but I’m thrilled to see how great you are doing, so I will try to be less selfish. 😉
    Keep up the great work and the great posts!

  55. What a difference a year makes! Your home is lovely and has definitely been “Marianized!” I have been following you for years. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for you!

  56. Marian, in one year you have done more to that house than most people do in 10 years. I love watching the transformation. I kept looking at that dining room and was wondering what in the world is she going to do with that square box of a room. You would put a few things in the room and ponder. I would be looking at it your posts and IG feeds wondering ok, how is she going to make this room more spectular than the dining room at the old house. Then, the painting of the walls, the painting and removal of the doors on the blue hutch, etc. and the choir began to sing!!!! It was stunning!!! Miss seeing you at Luckettes but glad that I purchased lots of Ironstone from you over the years and that blue step ladder that I treasure in my home. Glad you are enjoying MN. I traveled there for almost 20 years while working for 3M.

  57. Always! alway! always so inspiring Marian!!
    I love your blog, fantastic post with all the before and afters, you did a great job!
    Nice to read that you are all happy there!

  58. Awww, Marian. I am so happy for you! I remember reading in one of your posts that if we’d been with you since your bandana days, we’d been with you a long time – I was surprised! But wow, yes, I guess I’ve been reading you a loonnng time now and watched your business grow and change and unfold! Thank you for all the wonderful things you share.

  59. WOW I ´ve not had time to get much into blogs for a long time, we moved 3 1/2 years ago from Kansas City to our home country, Panama in Central America. Our lives have changed so much, I am not doing much of decorating , but today I looked you up to find out that you are in a new house, and how much you have accomplished already!!
    It is looking Mrs. Mustard Seed´s style. I Really liked your ideas and have gotten inspiration from them. Blessings to you and your family.

  60. We’re making a 12 hour move from Alabama to central Florida. See how you’ve made your new house a home gives me hope. What is the white you use on your walls? Its such a nice soft color

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