Living with Kids in Italy: My Guest Post on Design Mom!


Super exciting news today: our home is featured on Design Mom!!! I worked on the photos and interview for this guest post for weeks, and it was thrilling to finally see it in print!

My friend Courtney suggested I be a part of Design Mom’s Living With Kids series several months ago. I was intimidated — we are not super artistic and our home is not “design-y” — but I knew I wanted to take good pictures of our home before we moved. I emailed Gabrielle to see if she would consider me, and she immediately emailed back and said, “Let’s do this!” I did a happy dance.

But then the real work started! I had to take amazing photos of our home… but I have two little children, basic photography skills (I still can barely use the manual settings on my camera…), and a never-super-clean house. But Elliott was as excited about this as I was, so one Saturday morning he gallantly entertained the kids for hours the while I photographed our kitchen from every. possible. angle.

And then we looked at the photos and I took more photos.

And then we looked again and I took still more!


Eventually I moved on to the rest of the house, cleaning rooms during nap times and photographing them, or cleaning rooms with antsy children around my knees and begging them to stay near me so they wouldn’t get in the shot for “just another minute, and then we can play.”

It’s all worth it in the end because I love these photos. (And the 800 other ones on my laptop that didn’t make it into the guest post!) They capture so much of our home, life, and memories right now. I’ll treasure these forever.

Gabrielle also asked me some really insightful questions about how we ended up living overseas, my favorite parts about life abroad, and what it’s like to live in Sicily with kids. If you want to know more about how we’re raising our kids overseas, I think the interview is a great summary. (I know you’ve gotten a lot of parenting and living overseas talk here and here recently, though!)



Anyway, if you’ve ever wanted to see a bit more of our little yellow house in Sicily, check it out here. I hope you enjoy it!

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19 Responses to Living with Kids in Italy: My Guest Post on Design Mom!

  1. Traci May 21, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    Hi! I came here from there, and I look forward to following your blog in the future. I love the pictures of your home, especially the room with the hanging quilt, and I really enjoyed hearing about your life in Sicily. It sounds like you already know this, but you’ll be glad you documented all this after you leave, and to share with your kids later on.

    • Becca May 21, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

      Thanks for your kind words, Traci! I’m glad you’re here. :)

  2. Rachel May 21, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    Becca, I love, love, LOVE your home… you make it so comfortable and friendly. I will miss you, friend!

    • Becca May 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      And you do the same with yours… which I’ve enjoyed twice in the last week! I already miss you guys.

  3. Eden May 21, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

    so exciting. glad that it was a fun process for you!

  4. Rea May 22, 2014 at 2:17 am #

    I love Design Mom’s series and I’ve read the feature about your house. It was definitely awesome and I have to say that the photos are amazing too! I especially love the views outside and I feel that you’re so blessed to have a house that you can call home. It’s a great idea to keep photos and journal of everything since your kids are still very young. I’m sure they’ll find it interesting when they grow a lil older! :)

    • Becca May 22, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      Thank you, Rea. I’m savoring the views for the final months that we get to live here!

  5. Kimberly Montgomery May 22, 2014 at 4:13 am #

    Love this post and the guest post. Your home is lovely…warm and inviting and makes me think of happy barefoot childhood days. I bet your oldest child will remember more than you may think…Your parenting style sounds loving and nurturing. It’s so great to read someone who is enjoying their now. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Kimberly Montgomery May 22, 2014 at 4:26 am #

    Oh…I have been taking pics of our house because we’ve made so many changes and we have made it feel like “us”. Anyway, earlier this year I decided to make a book via Shutterfly. I’ve used Blurb and Papercotorie for other books. Anyway…now I have this little book I can refer back to. Thought I’d share the idea with you. :)

    • Becca May 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

      “Your home is lovely…warm and inviting and makes me think of happy barefoot childhood days.” Thank you, Kimberly! That’s exactly what I would dream of it being like!

      Thanks also for the recommendations about photo books. I want to do that when we leave Sicily… but might have to make a few books. :P

  7. Mandy May 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

    I love your house tour on Design Mom and your blog! I’ve been wanting to do it for a while, finally have taken a photography course (online) and am hoping to submit everything this summer! So happy I found your blog though and will be following you. We live in Germany, working for the Army (me as a GS employee and my husband as a contractor, and I can relate to so many of your posts. We took a trip to Sicily climbing last year and I loved it. I think we’ll return again this fall. Thanks for sharing your home!

    • Becca May 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

      Hooray! You should do it! Gabrielle is so wonderful to work with, and I am so glad to be on the other side of it now with the photos to treasure. It’s especially precious if you’re living overseas, which for most of us is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’ll keep an eye out for your post on her blog!

  8. Sheila May 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    Hi, Becca! Just saw the post about your family and home on Design Mom and really enjoyed it… am looking forward to perusing your blog. I am also a military wife (husband is in Army National Guard but frequently accepts active duty orders) and mom of a daughter & son, now 12 & 10, respectively. The military certainly offers a unique lifestyle to families, doesn’t it? As you’ve written, it is easiest to accept if one focuses on the positives and remains grateful for life’s blessings. I hope you savor the rest of your time in Italy and will have more wonderful adventures on the horizon. It sounds like your kids have a great mom to count on who will make a beautiful and loving home no matter where you go.

    And a p.s. as a fellow book lover, in case you haven’t already read these… You may enjoy Tsh Oxenreider’s “Notes from a Blue Bike,” Liz Bell Young’s “In the Wide Country of Love,” and “Global Mom” by Melissa Dalton-Bradford.

    • Becca May 22, 2014 at 10:48 pm #

      Thank you for this wonderful message, Sheila, and also for the great book recommendations! I’ve only heard of the first one, but I added all three to my Amazon wishlist so I remember for the future. Thank you so much!

  9. Cathi May 25, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

    Hello! I enjoyed your post on Design Mom too. I am living in the south of France with my family and as I was looking at the photo of your pantry, I was curious where you got all of your “American” food products? is that 6 cans of Bush’s Baked Beans???? Oh man, I love those! And Hershey’s chocolate? Morton’s salt? Well, we do have wonderful French salt here, but those are definitely American brands. Just curious. After 3 years of being here, we have learned to live without our American brands but was intrigued if they sell those things in Sicily. Thanks!

    • Becca May 29, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      Hi Cathi! The way we get American food products is through the commissary (grocery store) on our Navy base. I know how you feel… I grew up overseas while my dad worked for an oil company, so we only ate local food and couldn’t believe it when our American military friends had fresh gallons of milk and canned cranberry sauce!

  10. Sabrina June 15, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    Hi Becca!

    I just found your blog! I love reading about your posts! My husband is in the Navy and we are getting stationed in Sicily later this year with our children! Thank you for sharing your experiences! Easing my nerves about moving overseas for the first time!! :)

    • Becca June 15, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

      So glad to hear this, Sabrina! I hope my blog continues to be a help and an encouragement to you. I’m so glad you get to live in Sicily!

  11. Carolyn August 7, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    My family and I are newly transported to Sicily (3 weeks). So in my search to find out as much as I possibly can about the area, I came across your blog. The house featured in this post is a house that we are considering moving into shortly! Any tips, advice, recommendations, etc. for living in Motta?

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