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I keep getting asked “when are you moving?” or “I thought you moved already” when I see people I know from school, etc.
If you’re a loyal reader of this ol’ blog, you know that we recently bought house #4, an 1886 Victorian in Wisconsin. We are making the 1,000 mile move for my hubby’s job and to be closer to our families in the Chicago area. However, with it being the middle of winter and the untypical amount of snow Wisconsin has been hammered with, it’s almost impossible to have the movers deliver all of our stuff right now. So we are waiting out winter in North Carolina.
It’s kind of an odd place to be in life. To have sold your home, had the movers take every last thing you own (except the absolute bare minimum essentials) and move into a temporary living situation all while you own a new home, a full days drive away, but not being able to live in it. It’s just weird. Weird because Clayton and I jumped on the homeowners bandwagon when we were super young. At the age of 23, after being married 2 months we bought our first house. Clayton surprised me with an accepted offer on Valentine’s day – on the house that has been my favorite until quite possibly now. We definitely weren’t living the typical 23 year old life. We were anxious to be “adults”. Every day, for 3.5 years, I drove home to that house and pulled up our really long gravel driveway on 2 acres, I always felt in disbelief that that house was actually mine. It was a dream come true. We renovated the entire thing and absolutely loved it!
It will forever hold a special place in my heart because our first two children were born here, I had the best job, and I learned how to be a grown-up with my hubby 1,000 miles from our closest family member. Definitely a huge milestone in the game of life!
3.5 years later, we were transferred to South Carolina for my hubby’s job. We were young and excited to take on another adventure and buy house #2. So we did! Our Georgia house sold on the day I went into labor with baby #2 and Clayton was 5 hours away in South Carolina. But I pride myself on being tough, and our 21 month old daughter and I drove ourselves to the hospital in the middle of the night during a thunderstorm on back country curvy roads and waited for the baby to arrive. Thankfully, Clayton made it in time for the birth of our son! p.s. check out these super cute online baby shower invitations
We moved into house #2 with two teeny kids and enjoyed the next two years here. In fact, this house sold exactly two years later to the date on our first showing! Our next transfer took us to North Carolina where we bought house #3 and lived there for 6.5 years.
This house made lots of debuts on the blog while we renovated the entire thing! Every inch of floors, walls, cabinets, counters, etc were redone. It was a lot of work – all in between my husband getting his MBA, me having baby #3, 2 of our dogs passing away, family vacations, weekend trips, soccer games and just a crazy busy life. We put everything we had into this house, it wasn’t always fun (heck, who am I kidding, it was almost never fun) but the end result was beyond fabulous and we are now able to enjoy the rewards that that house provided when we sold it. And because of that…I’m forever grateful and thankful for the opportunities of how much we learned along the way.
While I’m anxious to be out of this apartment and reunited with all of my stuff (man, as nice as it is to not have to clean our cluttered mess day in and day out) it’s pretty hard to be living without any of our household goods!
So as we are on our farewell tour of the South, I felt it was only appropriate to announce our new address and our new adventure to our closest family and friends in a big way with customized stationary cards that I made using Basic Invite, the same company that I made my little man’s preschool graduation announcements with.
I am a sucker for snail mail. I mean who doesn’t love to receive something exciting in the mail other than bills and credit card offers?!? Aside from the beautiful floral design that really paired great with the photo of my house, I loved that they were so easy to create and were able to be completely customized on both sides for my big announcement! Their Pinterest page is loaded with super cute ideas for every occasion! And for all of the people that you may have lost touch with over the years, Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows you to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media and request your friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in your account and can then be selected during the design process.
While our new house is buried in snow right now, the house sits on 3/4 of an acre in the heart of town on a street lined with beautiful Victorian homes.
We are within walking to distance to the pond where you can go ice skating, walking distance to downtown where there are numerous cafés, restaurants, boutiques, dance and music studios, antique shops, and more. While Clayton and I were up there a few weeks back, during the Polar Vortex, and the high for the day was -25 (yes, you read that right!), we walked to a German dinner club that serves mostly German food. I enjoyed German nachos loaded with brats, sausages, sour kraut, and more. It was super good…but waaaay filling! I’m definitely going to need to get back into running if I plan on eating out often!
Because of the age of the home, I’ve been asked by almost everyone, what kind of condition is the house in? Do you have to do a lot of work? My answer is always the same. Yes! It’s totally livable and in fine shape, however, we are not normal people so we have big plans for it!
We have already hired a flooring company to go in and sand and polyurethane all of our hardwood floors – they are original to the home and are on the main and upper levels. Even though we have installed, sanded, stained and polyurethaned our own floors before, we have decided it is best to pay to have it done before all of our stuff is delivered. Moving out all of your furniture, etc is not an easy task! So, as much as it breaks my heart to pay an absurd amount of money, it will be worth it! We are also having special carpet put into our basement. The padding is attached to the carpet making install a lot easier and it does not use a tack strip, which is great because our basement floors are concrete. You can literally roll up the carpet and remove it if you would like. It’s super cool!
And as much as we were wanting to avoid a full kitchen reno again, we have pretty much signed ourselves up for another full-blown project. We are most likely (down the road) going to swap our sunroom with our kitchen. This will give us a larger area for my dream vintage-inspired kitchen!
We are also going to have a 3+ car garage built that will match the beautiful exterior of our home. We have a 2 car garage already …but we have a lot of stuff between vehicles, big boy toys, kid toys and tools. And because winter lasts so long up there and can be super brutal, it’s really important for us to be able to park inside. So, the garage is a must. Plus, we are going to live here for at least the next 14 years (when our youngest is ready to go off to college), so we might as well do it right!
Then aside from painting and putting our own touch on the house, there really aren’t any other projects…but I know us, and we will make projects!
As sad as I am that the countdown is on, and the reality of us moving away from what we have known for the last 12.5 years is setting in, I am really excited for our new adventures! We’ve had such a wonderful life living in the South and we will miss it tremendously, especially our friends. But, I’m thankful for all of the life lessons learned here, for the way I’ve grown as a human, for breaking me out of my suburban lifestyle shell and for making Clayton and I a family unit that is self-made and never had to depend or rely on others. Looking back, there of course have been super hard and stressful chapters. There have been super happy chapters. And there have been chapters filled with lessons. But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t change a thing. I would 100% tell my 22 year old, just graduated college, jobless, about to be married self to be courageous and adventurous all over again. Follow your dreams, be smart, be determined and never let the daily stressors get between you and your love. Life is too short and it is much better lived with someone you love while you accomplish dreams together!
I know that all of our past tackled projects are going to help us turn this new house into the home of our dreams, where we raise our kids, make fantastic memories and live a purposeful life.
A huge thanks to my BFF for helping me snap all of these amazing photos of my cards at her house, on many of her beautifully painted furniture pieces.
You can find more photos of the new house HERE and be sure to subscribe for updates as we share our progress on the house!