Letter from the Editor | June-July 2015

Photo by Tony Bennett of Tony Bennett Photography

If you walked into our home unannounced right this moment, you would be greeted by five dogs, the smell of something wonderful my husband is smoking on the grill, the sight of photographs and paintings by talented friends, and mellow sounds from a Spotify playlist wafting through the rooms.

At least I hope that’s what you’d encounter, though more than likely once you stepped inside you’d venture into a foyer that needs sweeping, spot dust on the ceiling fans, notice carpet that could use a good cleaning, veer away from at least one couch peppered with dog hair, see a couple baskets of unwashed clothes in the laundry room and discover a relatively organized kitchen cluttered by a sea of clean dishes I still need to put away.

Welcome to our home. We live here, love here, work here and play here. Friends and family know our house is never going to pass a white-glove inspection or be featured as a residence you must see, which is just fine by us.

When we first married eight months ago, my husband and I focused on enjoying one another. In each other, we’d found home. Then, as life began to intrude, we found ourselves stressed and irritated with each other every Sunday because we’d look around and see everything we hadn’t accomplished during the week. Our to-do list became tangible proof we were failing.

Then, one night as we reviewed everything we hadn’t gotten to and Monday morning loomed over us like a storm cloud, we stepped away from the list and went out to dinner. For those two hours we didn’t think about household chores, yard work or the piles of paperwork on our desks. Instead, we laughed, we enjoyed and we dreamed aloud of what might come next. We also agreed to start looking at all of the things we hadn’t done at home as choices, not failures. So maybe I only vacuumed once that week and he didn’t organize the attic like he planned, but that’s because we’d, say, chosen to take the dogs for a hike after our shortest work day or spend a free Saturday with friends.

Quickly, our to-do list became a mix of obligations and opportunities, which made reviewing and prioritizing the list something we wanted to do. We were choosing how to spend our time and deciding what was important, what was imperative and what could wait. Our change in perspective allowed us the freedom to create a wish list of sorts without getting overwhelmed. The thought of painting the walls, finding new furniture that better fits our dog-filled life, redoing the cabinetry or creating more efficient, simpler spaces inside our residence has become a long-term project we’ll do together – one step at a time – as we see fit, even if it takes years, and it probably will, which is just fine by us. Finally.

In this, our third issue of Extol, we focus mainly on the concept of home and hope it provides you with inspiration and motivation. Thank you for taking the time to pick us up.



Angie Fenton

Editor in Chief



8 thoughts on “Letter from the Editor | June-July 2015

  1. Shannon RS Crowe

    Love, work and (fur) family is always an ongoing balancing act! But as someone wiser than me once said, “It’s the journey not the destination.” Once you have the right travel partner that is easier to recognize, I can say from experience. Geoff and my home is a lifelong project that we are thrilled to have. I was actually grateful for the 3 days we spent staining our two story deck, because I have a two story deck, and a partner who not only is willing to help, but pours me a bath and a glass of wine each night after the work! And love is work, but the best kind. I wish this sort of happiness for everyone, and am so glad you’ve found it!

  2. Keith Kiper

    And soon to add little foot and hand prints. It is call enjoying life! There are so many things we could worry about but why? I think you are on the right track and fact is it only matters what you guys think and feel about it. Take Care Keith Kiper

  3. April Hawkins

    Amen my friend ! Amen !I always said if there was ever forensic evidence needed on my house with all the people and animal hairs and finger prints ?It may take a few …months !LOL ! We love ya lady ! Keep up your awesome work but never forget to take some time for you and yours !

  4. Tracie Lloyd

    I just want to say thank you for making me look at my home in a new light! Running to doctors appointments every week, enjoying my 2 beautiful son’s our 4 dogs and trying to maintain a home what will people think has driven me even weaker and unable to enjoy the small stuff. I need to go back enjoy the laughs of camping in the living room, laughing til our bellies hurt, midnight whipcream fights, enjoy the walks with our fur kids.. After all life is what is all about and the unknown time I am given should not be worried about a little dust or dog hair it should be continuing to make memories with my little men. Thank you for the reminder. Much love and happiness to you both and your family. We are all blessed in a different light .

  5. Sandy Gatewood

    I love this Angie my house is the same with 2 cats & clean dishes in the dish drainer, clothes in the laundry basket need folding with both of us working sometimes the house gets put to the aside but we enjoy each other the house can wait. 🙂

  6. Jeffrey Bennett

    We are a 3 dog loving home and know exactly what you mean and can relate. 4 dogs when get to where were going. We pile into the pickup truck over the river through the woods to grandma’s house we go. Two in the back, a German Shepard mix with a Weimaraner and a Shitzu sitting on the top of the seat with her paws pressing into my shoulder bracing herself when I hit the brakes. We are a good mix with the misses thinking of family back home in the Philippines wondering if her family is home cooking her favorite mill to her nieces wanting coming to America for school.

  7. Corey Worthen

    Angie, great article. I read it and it sounds just like my wife and mines life. Between work, 4 dogs and my 2 daughters when I have them the chores mount up and seems overwhelming. Need to take a step back and realize what is important, and that’s your significant other, family, kids, pets, etc. . Our 4 dogs our are non-biological kids and it makes me happy to see that there are other people out there that care for animals as much as me and my wife do. I’m so happy for you and what you have achieved, happy with your upcoming family and wish you and Jason well.


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