"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Our New Home

We are five days away from moving into our new digs. Five days away from the culmination of years of answered prayers - and our first night sleeping under our new roof! It's been hard for me to visualize life on the other side of this process - hard for me to picture summer nights in our new backyard, hard to for me to envision watching the boys play basketball on our new driveway, hard to envision dinners around our new dining table. I can't wait for all of it, but we've put in so much work the last several months just preparing for the sale and the move that I haven't been able to picture what it's going to feel like when we're actually there. To feel settled and in our proper place and to be able to make long term plans in a home we know is going to be ours for years and years to come is going to be such a dream - and such a relief!

We are very grateful for how this whole process came together. April was a hard month - we listed our home at the very beginning of the month, which was challenging in and of itself because of my own workload during that time. We had showings daily, busy open houses, lots of last minute meals eaten out and a number of interested parties that had us sitting on the edge of our seats in hopes that an offer would be coming in from any one of them. On April 23rd I had to fly out to California for four days for our annual teambuilding - a stressful trip for me every year - but with added stress this time because I knew I was leaving my three boys behind to keep the house clean during the showings and open houses taking place while I was gone. Flying home on the 26th, I was just grateful that the big event was behind me, and I was ready to settle into spring and warmer weather and just hoped to have a house sold sometime during the summer. That was on a Wednesday. Well, by Friday night - just two days later - we had accepted an offer and our home was sold. We were given a closing date of June 5th - and just five weeks to find a house for us to move into! Luckily, we had already started our search and had been keeping our eyes open for months just to get an idea of what was and what would be on the market. Just one day after accepting the offer on our home, we had put an offer in on another house and had our offer accepted 24 hours later. Talk about a whirlwind of a week, but we did it!

A little about this home of ours - a home I know God hand-picked just for us. I'm grateful that Cody and I agreed on this one because we have so often struggled with finding a house we BOTH like, and this one touched a soft spot in us that we just couldn't say no to. We actually had looked at the house earlier in the winter prior to ours going on the market, and it was meant to be because it was still available for us when we were ready. The previous owners had even turned down other offers prior to ours. I could say so much about how God has intervened in big and small ways over the past two months - the way He has worked out the big and small details. And the house itself needs some work but it has the size, layout, neighborhood - and potential - that we were looking for. It's going to be so fun to watch it transform before our eyes, and we're looking forward to bringing it back to the value that it could have held all along.

What I’m most excited for in our new house:

The neighborhood. It’s a quiet street with plenty of trees - something both Cody and I cared deeply about. We love a good, established neighborhood with shade and character and charm. And God went above and beyond what we asked for in terms of neighbors! A friend of mine and her little family lives just a few houses up on the same side of the street. Best of all, Cassi, James, Ella and Ivy live just around the corner. The cousins will be able to easily ride bikes and walk back and forth between each other’s houses. And Cassi is just a short walk away if I need to borrow eggs or flour… or need somebody to join me in a happy hour glass of wine. J We’re also within actual walking distance to the Dome and the UNI campus, and considering we practically live there, that’s pretty darn amazing. And we already had a friend ask if we’d host tailgating parties in our backyard. ;) God did good for us.

Our yard – especially the back. It’s quiet and peaceful and full of little trees and singing birds. It’s cozy and pretty with charming houses surrounding it, has plenty of room to throw the football back and forth, and it’s the perfect place to roast some marshmallows around a fire with friends. Oh – and we have a couple of surprises in store for the boys in their new backyard space, too. We'll be working on beautifying it with some updated landscaping, making the cement patio space a little more inviting and eventually adding some fun and festive lights for all those backyard cookouts. J
My little covered front porch. It needs a little bit of sprucing up, and Cody rolls his eyes whenever I mention it, but I love a front porch and I’m excited for evenings spent there watching the boys shoot hoops and make chalk drawings. Now to get some rocking chairs!

It’s a ranch house! It’s hard to find a good sized ranch these days, especially one with an open floor plan, but we did it! It’s what we were hoping for, and as Tim mentioned to me one day, it will be easy to grow old in this house. ;)
An attached garage that enters right into the kitchen and a bathroom. Enough said. J

The size and the space. I’m not even going to know what to do with half of it at first. We’re going from a very small house to one with two family rooms, a four seasons room and a game room. We’re going from one bathroom to three, a couple very small closets to tons of very large closets. And… a walk-in pantry!

The floor plan. It has the open concept that was a must when looking at houses, and it will open up even more when we re-do the kitchen in a year or two. Just thinking about that gets me giddy! It has an all-brick wall fireplace that just needs a good solid mantle to go with it. A huge hearth made for cozy pillows and a cute basket of wood. A very large picture window overlooking our pretty backyard. And a four-seasons room with nothing but windows. The dining area is part of the great room, and again, when we knock out one additional wall with the kitchen remodel, the whole place is going to transform. In the meantime, it’s already what we need for hosting all the gatherings we want.

I mentioned it already, but can I talk about the fireplace(s)? Another thing Cody often rolled his eyes over, but it was on my must-have list: a fireplace or a place to put a fireplace. We’re getting two! The focal point of our great room and another white brick fireplace in our lower level family room. I can't wait to decorate them and hang some stockings, too. ;)
Our four-seasons room. I have big plans for this room to make it a cozy, comfortable TV-free spot for reading, card playing or just a good glass of wine with a friend. With windows all around and a perfect view of our backyard, I know it's going to be one of my favorite spots in the house - as soon as I can find the furniture to fill it!

It’s outdated. That sounds like a weird thing to be happy about, but I’m actually grateful that we get to do the upgrades ourselves because it means we get to update them the way we want – and not how someone else wanted to. It will take time and patience obviously, but the layout, size, neighborhood and bones of the house – the things that are harder to change – are already exactly what we wanted. Now we can work on making the house shine and have some fun in the process.

I might be a little silent on this blog here over the next week or so. We're a little busy! :)