I’m so happy to see you again! It feels wonderful to be back in this space.
The last time I talked to you here, Aaron and I were embarking on our nomadic dream life and moving to Seattle.
Do you ever make big plans, then look back later and think:
“Well, that didn’t work out like I thought.”
At first, it was the stuff dreams are made of.
On the morning of May 1st, we squeezed into the car with our dog, Steve, and started off on our 5-day road trip from Texas to Seattle. Along the way, we got to stay in fun new places I’d never seen, like Marfa, Phoenix, Palm Springs, and Portland.
We made it to Seattle, borrowed furniture, strung up lights, and called it home. We loved it.
Truth be told, our secret plan was to keep moving after that. Six months here, a year there. Just a couple of nomads, living the life.
All that changed about a month later.
My mom called. She’d found a lump in her breast.
It was cancer.
I cried on the phone with my mom that day.
She had lost her best friend to breast cancer not two years before.
We couldn’t wrap our minds around it, and honestly, we didn’t want to.
After we hung up, I vividly remember standing with Aaron in the kitchen of our apartment, numb. I wanted, needed, to be there for her.
How are we going to make it work? I was asking. Should I fly back and forth each week to be with her for chemo?
None of my solutions were making much sense.
And then Aaron squared my shoulders, looked right into my eyes, and said, “The answer is, we move back to Abilene.”
I’d never been more grateful for him.
We scrambled, and within a few weeks, we had moved back to our dusty little hometown in Texas, a place I never thought I’d live again.
A “boring” place to live.
Ever seen those t-shirts that say “Keep Austin Weird”?
Abilene has t-shirts too.
And they say “Keep Abilene Boring.”
But, slowly, we started feeling intensely drawn to this small-town “boring” life.
We ended up surprising ourselves — and shocking everyone around us — by putting down roots. We bought a little 1930’s fixer-upper and lived with my parents for three months while we restored it.
Living with my parents had its challenges, of course. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way because I got to be right there with my mom through surgeries, chemo treatments, and most importantly, the in-between stuff.
During those long days and nights at my parents’ house, the house I grew up in, I did a lot of soul-searching.
I struggled. When you watch someone you love suffer, it’s hard to know what to do, how to feel.
I began to realize the answer isn’t either/or.
As much as we try to organize life into this or that, black or white, something always comes along and bumps into our carefully filled containers, spilling them.
All at once, I felt this truth touch almost all areas of life.
We are a little bit this and a little bit that.
It made me think of Unfancy. Because that’s what Unfancy is too, isn’t it? It’s a place where two seemingly opposite ideas mix — fashion and contentment.
I love creating my style and finding that beautifully made piece that feels so me.
I also love the peace that comes with deciding I have enough.
I had a feeling that a lot of you could identify with that mix too.
And it was then that I realized I had something on my heart again. Something to say. A conversation to share.
So that’s why I wanted to keep writing. To explore the mix. To move beyond a carefully-contained life.
Aaron and I finally moved into our home right before Christmas. We didn’t have running water in the kitchen yet, and there were a million little things left to do, but we didn’t care — we were home.
And soon after, my mom finished chemotherapy, and we cried again, this time happy tears, because all tests point to a full recovery.
I’m so happy to get to tell you that she’s growing stronger and more vibrant every day. She’s like a new person, living more boldly than I’ve ever seen her. Experiencing this new phase with her is golden.
So … when I look back over the past 8 months, I think, “Well, that didn’t work out like I thought.”
We aren’t nomads. We aren’t living in exciting cities.
But we feel like we’re where we belong — with the people we belong to.
And that was better than our plans.
A few of you have been reaching out with questions, so I thought I’d go ahead and answer them here:
Q: Are you still living with a capsule?
A: Not in the way you’re used to seeing me do a capsule. I’m not filling out my wardrobe planner every three months. I’m not counting the number of pieces in my closet.
Instead, I’ve let the structure fade and I’ve adopted the heart of it — smaller closet, intentional purchases, less shopping, and more joy.
With everything that happened over the hiatus, I have to say that clothes were the last thing on my mind.
But you know what was great?
It was like all of the effort I put into creating an intentional wardrobe the year before paid off — at times I couldn’t focus any energy on getting cute, but I had this wonderful autopilot wardrobe there for me.
I had everything I needed + loved already. So no matter how stressful things were, I got the small joy of dressing + feeling like “myself.”
So it’s still paying off. I’m still wearing — and loving — almost all of the old pieces you saw on the blog before the hiatus.
But I’d say I’m off the “capsule diet.” Now it’s just part of my lifestyle — like a healthy habit.
Q: What can we expect you to write about now on Unfancy?
A: It’ll be pretty similar, except I won’t be posting my capsule wardrobes each season. I know — it’s a bummer! But I’m excited to share my real journey with you — you know, the continuing story. And right now, for me, that means talking about what life + style looks like outside of the capsule structure you’re used to seeing here.
You can still expect to see unfancy outfit ideas with every post. And we’ll still talk about a lot of the old things we used to talk about: clothes, confidence, creating your personal style, and building an intentional closet.
One thing will be different though, and I’m super excited about it: I’m really excited to start exploring slow fashion, introduce you to some small makers, and let you in on my inner journey with it all.
I’m just so glad to see you again. I know this post was super long — thanks for reading it. :)
Now, tell me, how have you been?!
(And hey, what do you think about the new site? If you catch any glitches or typos, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)