Goodbye 2014, Hello New Year!

I never really expected to write another personal post, so I will try to keep it short and hopefully at least somewhat entertaining.  The interior and events posts will continue in the new year because I still have SO MUCH to catch up on…but for now, this is the low-down on SBD ‘behind the scene.’  Growing up, my mom always sent out Christmas cards with a typed update on how the year went for the family and what kind of trouble we were all getting into throughout the course of the year.  There are just so many important people who you rarely get the opportunity to see or catch up with because life gets in the way and time slips through your hands…let me just tell you that if you make it through to the end of this post, you’re a genuinely interested trooper (or really bored).

2014 started off on a pretty low note, thinking I had cancer…literally, multiple doctors said I definitely had cancer and needed to see a specialist in Richmond.  Once I finally got in with the specialist (after 3 weeks of planning my seemingly imminent funeral), he told me the tumor, an arteriovenous malformation, was actually benign and likely treatable.  Because of the location, size, and how it affected my mobility, I had to go through 3 surgeries over the course of the beginning of the year to try to shrink and hopefully get rid of the mass.  The treatments sucked (medical procedures make me squeamish)…and didn’t actually succeed-BUT I didn’t have cancer and decided the little bit of pain in my arm wasn’t worth enduring another round of treatments.

Once that whole ordeal was over, we were finally free to move forward.  We sold our little yellow house and moved in with my parents for about a month while we continued looking for our next home…a process I will always love and loathe at the same time.  I am SO PICKY, yet I can see the potential in almost anything– then on the other hand, I am so impatient so the potential doesn’t always sway me.  Nevertheless, we stumbled on an unlisted FSBO home that was 1/4 mile from our old house that was almost twice the size, back in a nice neighborhood, with a cute little yard.  We went back twice in one day just to look around and put in an offer the following day.  They accepted our offer and we closed 3 weeks later!

During those 3 weeks, we took an impromptu trip to Puerto Rico for some much-needed surf, exploration, and a little sanity refresher.

style by design puerto rico

Since we actually had a home to return to and medical issues behind us, we finally started toying around with the idea of starting a family while we were there–what!!  I will be the first to tell you that I have never been the biggest fan of children.  I love my niece, I can play a mean game of barbies, and my fort building is on point, BUT I have always been relieved when I get to hand the child off to his or her rightful owner.  Needless to say, starting a family had been put off for a while in the Stanley household in favor of traveling and playing and spending money on silly things like boats.  However, during all of the medical issues, my dark soul could only imagine the worst of the worst situations and I knew that if anything were to happen to Eric, I would NEED a baby–his baby.  Plus we really love our dog, so the love would only grow exponentially with a human…right?

Well, Memorial day weekend came and SBD had two weddings…one of which was the wedding of two of Eric’s college friends in Manteo.  A lot of his friends are from out of town, so I believe we had 11 or 12 people in our highly-unfurnished new home that weekend (sorry guys!).  With all the chaos of that week, babies were the last thing on my mind, but in a moment of clarity we stopped and bought a pregnancy test before all the drinking began.  I then proceeded to take said test in the bathroom at the rehearsal dinner with my husband sitting outside the door.  I was pretty surprised and excited to see two very distinct pink lines, but I put my game face on and made my husband walk outside with me. I just handed it to him and made him decipher the meaning…so non-romantic, but so us.  We had to keep it from everyone at that wedding, the wedding I had the following day back home in VB, AND at the impromptu Memorial Day party we threw at our house.  All while I was DYING from this horrible cold that I couldn’t take any medicine for–and nobody understood why!  Finally, on July 23rd, my husband’s birthday, we announced that little #stanleysprout would be arriving!


Once we found out we were pregnant, the summer was a blur of trying to get our house furnished, weddings, and interiors clients…all while being extremely tired with random blinding migraines and the occasional bouts of nausea.  This fall was also jam packed with weddings almost every weekend and amazing clients who put the faith in us to handle ALL aspects of their weddings….including planning flowers and graphics!  We also have some pretty great interiors projects going on that I can’t wait to share.  In other words, time has literally escaped us.  I am still in denial that i’m even pregnant, even with only 4 short weeks left until our January 27th due date!!


As terrified as we are to be good parents (living up to the incredibly high standards set by our parents) and to love another human being so much, we truly are thrilled to meet our little lady–who seems to be my husband’s twin– in a few weeks.


With that said, I will be taking a break in the beginning of the year.  The posts will be pretty few and far between (let’s be honest, they are now too…) but I will still be answering e-mails and doing all the work necessary to keep our current clients on track while hopefully also getting some new business ;)  We will be back in the full swing of things starting mid-March when wedding season amps back up!!  If you want to follow the daily mess that is our life, I do promise to keep my Instagram afloat.

In the meantime, we wanted to thank those couples who made our 2014 wedding season so very successful!!

2014 Style by design weddings

I hope you all stay safe and have a great New Year’s Eve!

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