The second night in our new home, as we were sweaty and exhausted from 36 hours of unpacking and moving furniture and painting, Cody was out in the garage and I was in the living room when I heard him talking to someone outside. I stepped out our front door onto the front patio and saw James, Cassi and Ivy in their car at the end of our driveway. They had pulled up to the side of the road on their way home and wanted to check in on us - their own house just a block away. Just as they were pulling away, my friend Rachel - who lives a few houses up from us now - was walking up the street with her little boys in their stroller. I needed a break from the house stuff so I decided to walk with her the rest of the way to her house. And as I left her driveway to walk back to my own, Cody was once again standing in the driveway talking. Only this time I didn't recognize any of the people he was talking to. By the time I reached my driveway, there were four different families from around our neighborhood that had all met up and walked together over to our house to introduce themselves and welcome us to the neighborhood. We had only lived in this place for 36 hours, and I already knew that we were truly home.
We have been so blessed by God's plan in all of this. The welcoming committee in our new 'hood has been like something out of a small town movie scene. We have been surrounded and inundated by friendly neighbors - some nearby -- some a couple of blocks away -- to make us feel special and taken care of. It's been truly remarkable to experience and at times has brought me to quiet tears as I think back on all we went through to get to this point. Cody and I have both said numerous times to each other that we are so thankful our prayers to move were not answered two years ago. We love our new home and truly feel like we have found our forever place.
And we are working so very hard to sink our roots deep into this holy ground of all those answered prayers. We have painted large open spaces and big walls, re-landscaped the entire front yard, made design plans for a major backyard update, purchased new furniture and farmhouse signs, have plans in place for window and trim updates and are about to plan and design our major kitchen remodel. We have strung lights under tree limbs above our patio, mapped out a big basement project, built bird feeders for all of our new backyard friends, trapped and released a crazy red tailed hawk that wouldn't leave us alone and have received many thank yous from neighbors who are so happy to see this house living up to its potential once again.
We have learned some history of this home of ours and have discovered that it was quite the prize of a house back when it was originally built! And I'm thankful for a patient and talented husband and father-in-law that have the skillset and the desire and the passion for updating it to its modern time. We've already accomplished so much in a month's time, and we just love living here. And judging by the amount of gatherings and surprise visitors we get on a frequent basis, I think others like being here, too!
That fireplace is still a bit of a work in progress, but that is our focal point of our great room, and that mantle is such a beloved piece. Cody and Tim made it from wood out at Grandpa Don's farm, and found a way to mount our TV without any chords showing at all. That brick wall was a completely blank slate when we bought the house, and it has been so fun to bring it back to life. Sometime this Fall, we will be installing recessed lighting in that room, and will be updating all the outdated brown trim to fresh and clean white. I can't wait to see that transformation.
These two big trees were completely overtaking the front of the house, and cutting them down and re-landscaping was one of the first things we did. We will eventually be updating the shutters, the maroon paint colors and adding white railings to the front deck.
Lucy likes it here, too - almost too much. :) She loves our very spacious backyard and cries constantly to be let loose to explore.
Brandon's room has been painted, but it is such a large room that we haven't done much decorating yet. It's a massive space, and I'm still trying to figure out all I want to do with it! Jaden's room is one of our next projects.
Our main bathroom has been decorated but with three bathrooms to work on, we haven't made much progress here. This main bathroom will be getting a facelift after the kitchen remodel, but it has some old unique charm right now that many have told me to keep in place. I'm just thankful to have three bathrooms!
Just this weekend we strung the outdoor lights, and it's one of my favorite things we've done yet. Our back patio now feels like its own outdoor room, and we have beautiful landscape and fire pit plans waiting in its future.
I'll share continued updates as they happen... our labor of love will continue. I'm just happy to be home.