Detail image for March 2023 Who's That Girl story.

Wife, Mom, and Artist

Written by Tawana Bain | Photo submitted by Lauren Treece Blair

As a child, Lauren Treece Blair dreamed of becoming a wife, mom, and artist. She received a full scholarship from the University of Louisville to pursue a degree in fine arts and married her high school sweetheart, BJ. While BJ went to dental school, Lauren worked in interior decorating and kitchen and bathroom design. She became a stay-at-home mom after having three wonderful girls. Lauren started to paint again with BJ’s encouragement. Her childhood dream was now a certainty, but sometimes life intervenes with its own plan. 

After being together for half their lives in a truly loving relationship, BJ suddenly passed away from cancer. Until he was sick, he ran mini marathons, played golf, and was active with their girls. BJ was just shy of his 35th birthday. Their daughters were 6, 4, and 18 months old. The loss was debilitating for Lauren. Their life as a family now only exists in the past. Everything moving forward is tainted, but if Lauren were given a choice, she would choose her life with BJ again. Even if that meant the outcome would be the same, their life together was worth it. 

Lauren has spent the past eight years trying to make BJ proud and show their girls how to put one foot in front of the other. She started working on remodeling old homes. Her three girls would visit job sites to see the before and afters of her work. Lauren also decorated several local Airbnbs owned by a friend who gave her free reign. Her design acumen began to grow as well.  

She even met someone. 

Although she had been fully committed to being alone, she started to change her mind. Lauren wanted her girls to see that there is room in the heart to love again. And she was able to show them when she met a man named Alex through a hardscape project. It was love at first sight for her, and they eloped this past April. Lauren kept BJ’s name and took Alex’s as well to honor both of the men in her life. She has found that life is still sad even at its happiest moments, and these feelings can exist side by side. Lauren is proof there is light at the end of the tunnel if you take the time to find it. 

The newly married couple is now building a “barndominium” in Shelbyville. You can follow along and watch the process come to fruition on Instagram at @laurentreecedesigns and @bluegrassbarndo.