State of the Union

A sneak peek of a project we completed this year. Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Its been a while since I really dished about life with you guys, and in an effort to get more organized an refresh some things in my world before fall I thought it would be helpful for me to share some personal and professional updates.

First of all- the business. We’ve been humming along on many projects both in the area and out of state, which is exciting. And in our new, bigger space we also have two new people, Kristen and Katie- so right now we are a team of four (plus Bax and Ollie, of course).  We hope to utilize our new space in the coming year not only for business but for other interesting endeavors too.  I’d love to host pop ups once in a while in which we can partner with vendors to show off stuff we love- from art to fashion to accessories, wine, kids stuff and more (perhaps wine AND kids stuff since those often go together, amiright?) and have a social aspect to the space. So be on the lookout for that, and if you have ideas about a pop up let me know!

Along with the new space is some new branding AND a new website dedicated to the interiors side of my business.  I’ve been working with the insanely talented Hanna of Gadabout on a new logo for Erin Gates Design that will eventually transition to the blog as well. I really needed to invest in a revamp of my brand imagery AND a site dedicated to my design business only,  and I’m glad I finally ripped the band aid off. It’s going to be awesome. STAY TUNED!

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10 Years.

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Some reflections from us both…


Today is our ten year anniversary. TEN. YEARS.  It’s hard to believe that time has gone that fast.  It feels like yesterday that we were on that awkward first date (over 13 years ago!!!) and yet I can barely remember a time when Andrew was not in my life.  At this point everything that happened before him feels like something I saw in a movie or read in a book- not something that actually happened to me.  I think that’s just what happens when you marry your best friend and everything just seems… right.

And by right, in no way do I mean perfect. Oh no, lets not kid ourselves. Marriage is some of the hardest work out there (next to raising children, I assume- I guess I’m about to find out about that one.)  Just like any couple, we’ve had our painful trials to go through and big, scary questions to face.  There were times in the last ten years when I wasn’t sure we would make it here- truly- but the one thing that kept me fighting was the idea of Andrew as a father.  No matter how big a fight or how much I wanted to light him on fire some days, I just could not shake the thought of what a magical, wonderful father he would be to a child.

And imagining him as a father would conjure up mental lists all his great qualities- trustworthy, funny, loving, selfless, driven, committed.  And it would remind me of just why we got married and why I love him so much.  And finally, we’re here. About to become parents in 8 short weeks (please come near your due date Baby Gates!)  And as you know, getting here was no easy feat either, and one that I can’t imagine having gone through without Andrew’s amazing love, support and willingness to stab me with needles (sometimes with glee) spend quality time with himself in tiny rooms with plastic cups (hey, if you can’t laugh about it, you’ll cry- A LOT).  The infertility battle was one that, while painful, brought us that much closer together.  And while I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, I wouldn’t change my path either because I think it made us an even stronger couple.  Ten years is a long time to be married before having your first child, but I am so very confident it was the right choice for us.  We are the happiest we’ve ever been and that is so important to get right before the craziness of adding a baby to your clan.

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PSA: That is a Shirt, Not a Dress.


Ok, this is my random thought for the week.  This has to be said, much like four or five years ago when we all had to band together as a gender and decide that “tights are not leggings” ( nice thong!) and “leggings are not pants”.  The 2015 version of this is “that shirtdress is a shirt, not a dress”.   Someone brought this up to me the other day when witnessing an otherwise pulled together woman strutting around in public in not only an insanely short shirtdress, but also a sheer one and was BAFFLED. I think I can safely say that  no woman ever wants a man to look at her and have his first thought be “Oh my God, she forgot to put her pants on this morning! Poor woman!”

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On Waiting.

collection of vintage alarm clocks

One of my friends sent me this article yesterday and I’ve read it twice since.  I urge you to read it, it’s so superbly done. For many reasons this story resonates with me and is something I’ve wanted to discuss for a while since finding out I was pregnant… waiting until later in life to have children.

While I have struggled with infertility, I’ve struggled even more with the decision to get pregnant in the first place.  I discussed this feeling in my book a little, but wanted to go a little deeper into it here.  As long as I can remember, I never felt a strong urge to be a mother. Even as my friends began lamenting how much they desired babies, I didn’t feel the primal urge- the deep hunger for offspring- in my bones.  When I was around little kids and babies, instead of feeling like my ovaries might explode from desire, I instead felt a little more like ” Man, I’m glad I get to leave here by myself”.  Like the author of the above article, I cherish my alone time.   As you know, I too struggle with anxiety, and am by all accounts an introvert.  Once I get out and around people I enjoy myself, but choosing to go be social is the hard part for me. I’d much rather stay home and watch Netflix with Andrew than go to a party.  Cancelled plans are my drug of choice.

At the same time as all my peers where having babies, I was birthing a career.  Right when I “should” have been having kids at 32, I was busy signing my first book deal and frantically working to keep up with demand of this blog and my long client list. I loved it, it was everything I had hoped for and more and didn’t feel like anything was missing.  Not only did I not have room in my life for a kid, I didn’t want to make the room.  But I felt this societal pressure to WANT to have kids, and I am an easy victim of peer pressure and bucking to what the media deems I should want. So we pulled the goalie, per say, and kind of half-heartedly tried to get pregnant for a year.  Knowing now what I know about conception, our “trying” was total bullshit. All those years we spent worried about accidentally pregnant, and it turns out you have like, a 48 hour window to get pregnant. And with both our travel schedules alone, this made it impossible half the months of that year.  I was never worried about it though because I was still so ambivalent about the whole thing.  Every month I would be “sad”  externally about not conceiving, when really inside I felt a rush of relief.

And then I turned 34 and started thinking, well, what if something is wrong with me? I had heard grumblings about damaging my fertility from doctors when I was being treated for anorexia in my teens, and the fear started to creep in that they were right. What if I couldn’t get pregnant naturally? What if this took five years?  I love to comply to a schedule, and so far everything had happened as it should: married at 26, first home purchased at 26, career solidly in place by 30…so the baby thing was started to fall way off schedule, and that stressed me out. So we went to see a fertility doctor who told us basically, there was no reason I wasn’t getting pregnant medically, but to speed things up since I was “older”, we should try IUI.

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My Catalog Life.


This is SUPER random, but you know when a really well curated catalog shows up in your mailbox and the pictures in it make you question your life choices? Am I the only one here?  The other day I got this random catalog, Guideboat, and as I sat in my sunroom looking at it with my “their life looks awesome” goggles on, I had a thought.  One that proclaimed “We really should canoe more.” I balked at myself- WHAT? Canoe? And then my thought process tumbled down a rabbit hole a little something like this…

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