If their own space is any indication, I’m pretty sure Nic Teasley, custom home builder, has found his calling. The home he shares with his wife, Meredith, is beautiful (those wood floors!), but also incredibly inviting (and that’s by design!). I know you’ll love this peek inside their modern farmhouse in Tennessee as much as you’ll love their thoughts about the ways marriage has refined them, why they love their home’s layout, and why a budget is important to them!
The couple: Meredith (34) and Nic (32) Teasley
Years married: It’ll be 7 years this September!
Children’s names and ages: Rachel (2 ½) and David (6 months)
Where you live: We live in Brentwood, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Nic is a custom home builder and Meredith is a work-from-home mom and a wedding/family photographer.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Living on opposite sides of the country (Nic in California and Meredith in coastal Virginia), we got matched online, met in person five weeks later, were engaged six months after we met, and tied the knot in Santa Rosa Beach, FL, just five months later.
What is your favorite part of being married? Hands down, our friendship. We really do love hanging out together. Now that we have two small kids, we cherish our date nights and time away together even more.
Tell us a little bit about where you live. We built our home in a fun little 8-acre forest in Brentwood. I wanted to live in a neighborhood, and Nic wanted to live out in the country. Where we are is the perfect mix of both! We are in a subdivision, two minutes from the grocery store, but our home feels like we’re far away from everyone! I would love to stay here a long time and raise our kids here, but I knew marrying a home builder most likely meant building multiple homes and moving several times. Our future plans include building again, potentially moving into a fixer upper, and investing in future rental properties.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Discuss what’s really important to one another, and be willing to compromise on everything else! I like to fold towels a certain way and Nic likes to do dishes a certain way, so we have tried to keep a teachable spirit with one another, focus on the big priorities, and enjoy figuring out what it means to make our home reflect both of our styles.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? We love our open-concept living room and kitchen. We host our church small group here. We can watch college football in the fall while making dinner. The kids can play while we clean up the kitchen. Friends congregate around our big island. It’s just laid back and comfortable, which really fits us well.
What most makes your house feel like home? The people inside make it home for us. We are learning to hold everything with open hands, including our house, which means we make less fuss about the details and more about our family relationships and community.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? We splurged on some of our furniture, and saved by finding items Nic can build himself, like both of our office desks. We also have several family heirloom furniture pieces that we hope will always be a part of our home. For unique additions to our home, we love the Nashville flea market and local shops, and have really tried to incorporate family pieces when we can!
How do you remember your wedding in your home? We have photos displayed, and an album that even our two-year-old daughter loves to enjoy. At our wedding, we provided small towels at the beach for our guests to use with sandy feet. Several years later, my sweet mom sewed baby bibs out of those same towels. We get to think of our beach wedding each time we use those bibs!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? We would register for fewer items, but would be more specific with those we do place on the registry. Because we registered for so much, we ended up with a hodge podge of incomplete (and sometimes unnecessary) sets of items.
How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? Um, yes. Truth be told, as two self-employed small business owners, we geek out on the budget! Financial freedom is incredibly important to us. We both struggle with living within the budget at times, but we also both value it immensely. We went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University as newlyweds and worked to pay off debt together, while learning to prioritize giving, saving, and eliminating frivolous spending. Our next big goal is to live in a paid-for home with no mortgage, and our budget really helps us stay on track with that goal.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Rather than registering for fine china, we opted to register for everyday white Fiesta dishes, and we still use them daily! We have always wanted our home to be laid back and welcoming, so we don’t regret that decision at all.
Who cooks dinner? We both would say, “I do!” and it honestly depends on the day, because we cook quite a bit. We are both self-employed and work from home, so there are days when I do the cooking and other days when Nic takes charge in the kitchen. We would both claim that Nic is definitely the better chef! ;)
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We cook some form of a Mexican dish at least twice a week. Our favorite right now is chicken tacos on corn tortillas with pineapple salsa. On the weekend, we love to grill on our Big Green Egg and invite friends to dine with us.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I recently started reading 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake. She includes lots of great recipes, and I love how she teaches about nutrition throughout the first half of the book!
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Communicate! We believe communication has been one of the most important factors in making our marriage work. When you’re on the same page with life priorities, it helps you have grace with one another as you work together to balance those things and set expectations. When in doubt, talk it out together.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Honestly, we would say you just need to go out and have a date, even if it’s last-minute or unplanned. In the first few weeks/months after a new baby, our favorite date night was always a casual dinner out (usually Mexican!) and a stroll through Target with a Starbucks drink in hand!
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? It’s amazing how much humility and selflessness are required to really make your marriage work! We were both a bit surprised by this. It’s also surprising how much God uses both marriage and parenting to sanctify us!
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Nic is definitely a handyman, and I can’t count the number of times he’s fixed something for me or helped me tackle a project he had no interest in, because he knows I’d be frustrated and up a creek without his help. I try to serve Nic by keeping up with the laundry, because it’s one chore we both really dislike.
Do you have children? We have two small children. Rachel is two and a half, and David is six months old. Life is crazy for us at this stage, but they are both an absolute joy!
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… spend your money wisely and save, but go on lots of adventures, big or small, before kids come along. Now that we have a toddler and baby, we spend a lot more time at home. We love being home, but wish we had taken advantage of date nights that don’t require a babysitter, walks through the neighborhood when it’s not kid bedtime, and other fun adventures while life was a bit simpler!
This year, our family is most excited about… believe it or not, planning our next house adventure!
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? Our home is imperfect, just like us, but it always will be, and we are okay with that. Our faith in God is the most important things to us, so we want our home not to be about us, but about sharing His love in our home. We are slowly learning that everything we have belongs to God, and we have to work daily to shift our focus from earthly things to an eternal perspective. When we do, it changes the way we see everything, from our conversations with one another to the way we parent to how hard we work to how decluttered our home is before we invite guests in. Perspective really does change everything! Completely unrelated… our floors are the single most asked-about item in our home. They are 10″ Alabama heart pine, a request I made to have a small piece of Alabama in our home.
A little reminder: we’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!