This week, Elsie is sharing a huge personal update (a year in the making)!
Grab a cup of coffee or tea and get ready to hear the long version of when and why I’m moving back to my hometown in Missouri.
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Elsie is moving!!!
Why we decided to move:
-We no longer have a career reason to live in Nashville
-One of our parents had a health scare
-To see Emma and Oscar more
Favorite things about the new house:
-Curb appeal, looks like a movie house
-Fireplace in the kitchen
-Lots of potential
First thing Elsie bought:
Light fixtures (vintage and new). Here are some links: Metal Lanterns / Hand Sconce / 3-Light Chandelier / Round Chandelier
What we will miss most about our home in Tennessee:
–Hewitt Garden and Design Center
-Our hidden library and library dining room
What Emma is excited for:
-Being a more present aunt
-Recording the podcast together
Miss an Episode? Get Caught Up!
- Episode #170: Twilight – Comfort Rewatch
- Episode #169: Reflections on Half Our Lives Online (And Half Offline)
- Episode #168: Design Your Dream Home – Deep Dive
Episode 171 Transcript:
Elise: You’re listening to The Beautiful Mess Podcast, your cozy comfort listen. This week I’m sharing a huge personal update a year in the making, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and get ready to hear the long version of when and why I’m moving back to my hometown in Missouri.
Emma: Dum, dum, dum, dum.
Elise: I can’t believe it. Emma was just saying, we feel like we have been talking about this for a year because it was like a very slow-coming decision on our part and something that we’ve been working on for a long time. But we wanted to wait until it was very official to share it here. So yeah, it feels strange to finally talk.
Emma: Yeah, and unfortunately we already named an episode, “Oops, I’m moving again” so we can’t reuse that, but it’s true once again.
Elise: Yes, totally. So, something that I realized about myself kind of recently, even though it’s been going on my entire life, is that I am obsessed with change, absolutely constantly. So the longest I’ve ever lived in any home was for four and a half years where we lived in our first home in Tennessee where we adopted our kids and everything. So that’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere since I moved out from my parent’s house. But most of the time I’ve moved every year or two, which I don’t like that about myself. I don’t condone it as a good lifestyle. I don’t think it’s healthy, and it’s not what I want for my kids in the future, but I’m admitting that it’s true. And that it’s something that has always been, I will always be just a person who has a lot of itch for change. So I guess I’m gonna have to figure out a way to express that in other ways.
Emma: Yeah, I think expressing in other ways is a good way to put it. Cause I actually don’t think it’s unhealthy to crave change and to want to move and to want a fresh start. I think that’s honestly like pretty normal. I just think your life’s now at a place, you know, you used to be like after high school and stuff, you’re single and then you get married and it’s just you two, and then, you know, but, and yeah, so now you have a lot more people to consider. It affects a lot more people if you move now than it used to, and so naturally I think might have to change somewhat, but I wouldn’t say it’s unhealthy to crave change and to want a fresh start. I think that’s really pretty normal. I just think there are a lot of ways to express it.
Elise: Yeah. And I do want my kids to have a childhood home that they remember as their childhood home, not like 10. I like fully admit that. But anyway, we still are where we are right now. So let’s tell this whole story because I know from just having told my close friends over the past year, I know all the questions people are gonna ask and there are so many valid questions. So to start out the story, why we decided to move, cuz the house we live in now, we completely love it. There’s nothing about it except for the fact that it’s not old, there’s nothing about it I would change, I love this home. I’m really happy with the projects we did. I added all my faux fireplaces and bookshelves and the hidden library, which is like my soulmate project of my life. And we love it here and we have nothing bad to say about Nashville. Not one single thing, not even the bachelorettes. Nothing to say bad. We’ve loved our whole eight years here and I think that we just realized after we moved here during the Covid era, that Jeremy’s career had changed. So we moved here originally cuz my husband was working on his career in songwriting. And he did a lot of songwriting. He did a lot of the songwriting that you watch on tv. If you see a movie like, what’s that movie with Lady Gaga? Do you know what I mean? And Bradley Cooper.
Emma: Yeah, A Star is Born.
Elise: Yes. Like that sort of thing where people like to sit down with a guitar and actually write a song together. People in Nashville do that all the time, and Jeremy tried that, but it is just not how his creative brain works. So he hasn’t been doing that for a while, but he would sort of work virtually with people and he was still songwriting pretty much since I met. But over the last couple years, he started this other business, which is a virtual instrument business. So it’s still in music, but it’s completely different from songwriting. But he makes like all of the sample music for it and stuff like the demos that they released to teach about their instruments. So he’s very fulfilled, he’s doing his dream and he’s no longer songwriting anymore. So once we started to realize that, we were like, you know, we don’t need to stay in Nashville and our kids are at the age where if we are going to leave, we wanna think about that now. We don’t wanna wait too long because I know all parents have different opinions, but a lot of people have told me to try to get it done as early as possible and then stay settled through their older years of school if possible. So anyway, last Christmas I got really bored the week after Christmas, as we all do. And I was sitting at the pink house and I think Jeremy was like working in the bedroom on his songs for his company. And I was like on Zillow and I know it all goes hill from here. And I fell into this thing of, for days researching like basically every city in the US where I might wanna live, and, all of a sudden I wanted to move to New York. I found a neighborhood and then I just fell down this rabbit hole that was months long where we were seriously considering moving to New York. I remember when I told Emma we were in the parking lot of Shake Shack and she was like, well, I guess I’ll enjoy visiting you in New York she felt like it was just inevitable.
Emma: Usually when Elsie says she’s doing something, I mean, probably your husband feels different, but I’m just kind of like, well, I guess she’s doing that, so yeah. I’m not gonna talk her out of it. So, you know, it’s just happening.
Elise: Yeah, we found this adorable, like I’m obsessed, perfect little neighborhood. And we visited there, we had a realtor, we did like all these steps and my husband was, Into it a little bit, but he was way, way, way more hesitant than I was. I was definitely the one who was steamrolling the situation a little bit and he was thinking it over still, I guess. And then last summer we had a situation where one of our parents had a health scare that was very serious and very scary, and I would say life-changing in just like, it was a moment for me to realize that this part of our life isn’t going to last forever and that I haven’t been spending the kind of time with my parents and well with my in-laws and my parents that I want to spend. The other thing that also was becoming clear at that time is that Emma has a little baby and I was seeing him like five times a year when I felt like I could be seeing him like 50 times a year or a hundred times a year. When I see him, he doesn’t really recognize me, which is like hard for me because obviously, I wanna be a big part of his life, but that’s not possible in a day-to-day way when you live in another state. So maybe when they’re a little older it’s a little bit easier, but that’s another consideration I was thinking over. So, yeah, considering moving to New York was like a dream in the city way, but in a family way, it was probably gonna make our struggles even worse.
Emma: Yeah because also there are no direct flights from Springfield, Missouri, our hometown, where both her parents live in her in-laws and also me, to New York. The closest city you have to go to for a direct flight I think is Bentonville.
Elise: There are pretty much no direct flights anywhere except for Florida and one or two other places.
Emma: Which, it’s not the end of the world to have a connecting flight, that’s really not a big deal. But it’s a time of year when there’s bad weather. It just gets dicey where it can kind of mess up your trip or make it where your trip is longer, but you see your family even less, you know what I mean? It’s just another difficulty.
Elise: So anyway, I’m gonna kind of just skip over the New York part, but I wanted to acknowledge it cuz it was kind of a big part of the year. I told probably dozens of people that we were moving there and we were very serious about it for a while, but it wasn’t a long-lasting plan.
Emma: Well, what I think’s funny about that is Elsie and I have been to New York City many times for work over the years and for fun. New York is obviously a really cool city. Obviously, it’s very famous. It’s in every single movie ever of all time, basically. So it’s really cool, but it’s never a place that either of us was ever just dying to live in New York. I think everyone has a friend who’s like, big cities are the place for me. And we were never that way. So that’s just one thing that I kind of like about you is that you will open up your heart to something that you previously were like, no. Like Elsie kind of has no problem being like, oh, I was wrong about that. And now I love it. And I think that’s kind of like a fun thing about you.
Elise: Thank you. Yeah, no, I wanted to live in a Victorian house in Brooklyn, which is pretty different from living in like skyscraper in Manhattan or whatever. But yeah, it was strange because I never thought, but now I think like that’s definitely my coast. Like if ever in the future, you know? I am very attracted to that part of the country right now. At this point, I’m just gonna like visit there a hundred times because it is a great place too. Anyway, so when our parents had the health scare, and so my husband and I had a heart-to-heart. It was after we had gone on a family trip with his family in the summer. We do it like every year for the 4th of July, and we were driving home and we had a heart-to-heart where he said, would you consider moving back to Springfield? And up until that point, in that whole eight years we had lived in Tennessee, I had lots of points where I was like, maybe we should move back to Springfield because there’s like, you can’t live away from your whole family without having those points once in a while. It’s just like normal. But he had never had that before, he just was very sure that he did not wanna move back.
Emma: He’s not a big mover either. He’s kind of a settle-down kind of person, you know?
Elise: Yeah. So for whatever reason, as soon as he said it, I already knew that it was happening, and I felt like my first reaction was anger because I felt like I wasn’t getting a choice. So I said I just need to think about it for a couple of weeks. So we got home and I did my whole process, which I guess I can explain my Stalkery home process. I did this in New York too, but I went on Zillow for our hometown and I basically go through every single street and look at every single house even if a house isn’t for sale, there’s like old pictures from five years ago or something of the last time it was for sale sometimes like 10 years ago. And so I did that, there’s pretty much like one neighborhood in Springfield that we knew we liked, and then one other street. So pretty much all those houses, I have seen them if it’s possible too, and then we went there in person a couple of weeks later and did some really intense walking tours and driving by, of every single home. And we wrote down all the addresses.
Emma: Couple of break-ins too. Just kidding.
Elise: That’s funny. And something I knew right away was, I knew that we were probably gonna move there. I was just in a phase of getting toward the acceptance of it. Because obviously, I want to, I like being around Emma and being able to do our work together instead of having to constantly travel or be really limited. Being around my nieces and nephews, there are a ton of them, are also all my kids’ cousins. That is a really big thing for us. And then being around our parents is a big thing. And I still have a grandma who is living, which is like the best thing ever. Anyway, I was open to it, but I was just trying to find a way to trick my brain into not being sad because I was really attached to the idea of moving to this certain neighborhood in New York and I had gotten too far along and it like emotionally invested. So I realized that a house popping up that was quote-unquote perfect for what we were looking for probably wasn’t going to happen because of the real estate this past year. Anyone who’s been house shopping knows, it’s like the inventory is almost nothing. Like houses just aren’t popping up and then when a good one does pop up, it usually sells immediately. So we started thinking creatively because once we realized we were gonna move, we were like, okay, well we need to move either over Christmas or over summer break because of kids’, schools, there’s no other time to move and that’s important. So, I started doing letter writing. If you’ve ever heard of this, I’ll explain what it is in case you couldn’t imagine that anyone would ever do this and then I’ll explain exactly what we did. So I had heard about a couple of success stories in the past, but honestly, for the most part, it doesn’t work. And I knew that but I also felt like it was the only option I had at the moment, and I wanted to be proactive and do something because just waiting and seeing that there were no houses that we would even look at for months and months and months and months that’s discouraging. So I was just trying to find a way to move it forward in my own way.
Emma: Yeah. Plus what have you got to, you know, might as well.
Elise: So we would write letters. I think we wrote a total of either four or five, I can’t remember. So how I selected the houses was pretty much just by location and knowing if the house was like some houses, we could see old pictures from the last time it sold, and in some of the houses, we couldn’t see anything. We just knew the rough square footage or we could just see it from the outside and we were just like, this could probably work. Yeah. We knew we wanted a little bit of a bigger house because we like to have both of our workspaces in our home. And that’s something that now that we’ve done it so many times, we wouldn’t compromise again on we don’t want offices outside of the home. Anyway, I picked a couple of houses and then my husband picked a couple of houses. And I wrote handwritten letters to the owners. If I could find their names, I put their names, but usually, you can’t. I just put owner and I knew it looked like spam. So for people who live in any kind of a desirable neighborhood, you’ll sometimes get these letters that kind of look handwritten, but they also look kind of fake where it’s like, I want to buy your home. But you can tell it’s not real.
Emma: I’ve actually also, like the first house I ever bought, which I talked about in a previous episode a long time ago, we still own it and it’s a long-term rental. I get letters all the time that’s like not someone who wants to buy the house to live in it like you. It’s more just like an investor, I guess. That’s just wanting to buy the house cuz it fits their criteria or whatever like it’s in the right neighborhood or whatever. And you can kind of always tell, cuz it does, it’ll say owner, it doesn’t usually say my name, but sometimes it says my name. And sometimes they’ll look a little more handwritten, but then you open ’em up and it’s just very like spammy. It’s just like, we wanna buy your house for the lowest possible price and keep renting it and it’s like, okay, well I don’t wanna sell it right now. So yeah, I think people get these letters and they can come off kind of like spammy.
Elise: Yeah. So I would have my kids draw on the outside of the envelope, like a little crown drawing, I felt like that was like a signal to show that this is a real letter coming from a real family. I didn’t put pictures in it because I just personally hate it when people send pictures when they’re trying to buy my houses. Like when you get offers with pictures, I just think they’re awkward, so I didn’t do that, but I know a lot of people think they’re sweet and maybe I’m wrong to say that. But I just wrote basically our family has been living in Nashville for eight years and we have decided to move to our hometown over the next year so if you are interested at all and I like underlined at all, in selling your house within the next year, please let me know and I would love to discuss. And if not, you have a beautiful home, you know all that. Have a good day. And then I would leave my phone number and my email. So I got back three responses out of, I think four or five letters. So I thought that was pretty good. The first one was saying maybe next year, which was kind of the worst possible response because it’s like you can’t make any plan, but you have your hopes up a little bit. And I never heard from them again. And it was just like maybe next year, and the second one was absolutely not interested, which I appreciated them sending me a text. And yeah, it wasn’t like real friendly, but also I get it they might not have known if I was a real person or not. And then, it could be a scammer. And then the third one was, Emma was with me when I got this text. It was Jeremy’s first choice for a house, I’ll say that. First of all. So it was like out of all the houses, it was probably the best-located house and it was a house that I always drove by and like lusted after as a 20-year-old and stuff. It was just one of those houses that you drive by in your hometown and you’re like, what is that one? Do you know what I mean? Like you would love to go inside of it type of thing. And they sent me a text and it said, regarding the property at blah, blah, blah, address Elsie, I could not believe when I opened your letter with all the sweet drawings from your girls, aside from following a beautiful mess for years, you photographed our wedding in 2004. I think we might have been one of the last weddings and then she describes which wedding it is and then she said, my husband, Blank and I have been thinking of moving for a while now. And then she describes a lot of her personal situation of why they wanna move and they say, we would be happy to move forward and figure out some details. Your letter has come in such a serendipitous way that I would love for this amazing home to go to someone like your family, who I know would treasure it. So, yeah. It was one of the best moments ever. And I had been asking the universe for a sign because I was still experiencing a lot of remorse, and sadness about, just specifically not planning to move to this neighborhood in Brooklyn anymore and I was still getting over that. So when I got this text, I did take it as a sign that we were on the right path, because I just think that, I mean, I only photographed weddings for like two years when I was in my early twenties. It was my first business. I’ve never heard from anyone again. It was just a really long time ago, almost 20 years. So, yeah, I took it as a great sign, and then, after that, we kind of stayed in touch and it took about six months to be able to actually purchase the house from them. So it was a long process, but I think since that moment I knew that it was meant to be and that we were on the right path.
Emma: Sign from the universe?
Elise: Yes. Okay. So we are moving this summer and we’re just waiting to let our daughter get out of first grade before we move, and then we will probably move in June-ish. And we’ve closed on our home in Missouri already. So now we’ve started doing a few renovations there, and I don’t think it needs an overhaul. I learned a big lesson two years ago when I started a big major renovation in October. So for this home, I just wanna move in a smooth way and enjoy Halloween and enjoy Christmas. And then after that, I could see us starting a big renovation in maybe January or so. But I don’t want to interrupt Christmas or the holidays like ever again with renovating it wasn’t worth it to meet at all. So, it’s gonna be a happy summer. I realized this week that we have been planning this move and also we promised our daughter for her birthday in June that we would get a puppy. So then I realized that like I think I volunteered to get a puppy the week that we move, which maybe wasn’t a good idea, but is also now It’s sort of set in stone. She’s really excited about it.
Emma: Yeah. So she’s got names picked out. It’s happening. Yeah. It might not be the best timing, but who’s ever gonna regret getting a puppy? Come on, what can you do?
Elise: It’s true. So yeah, I feel like we got our sign. We got the perfect house for us. So maybe I should describe the house just a little bit. So we had to wait two months after we first texted the owners to go into the house in person to look, and I would say, that the hardest part of the whole process was just waiting because we had pretty much agreed with them that we would buy their home, but we had never seen it before. And there were some pictures online that we could look at, but they were older and we didn’t know, like how much had it been updated since that time. So when we went in it for the first time, the first and only time, it was October. It was such a surreal experience. We took our kids to my mom’s house for the day because we didn’t want. Like, I don’t know. I think it’s kind of hard to look at a house with kids, but also I wanted them to see it for the first time when it was either empty or with their stuff in the bedrooms. I think it’s harder to imagine for little kids when there’s like a fully furnished home. So a few first impressions, the thing that we love about the home the most is the curb appeal. It looks kind of exactly like the home from the Family stone, the movie has a little tiny bit of father of the bride. It’s just like the perfect like it looks like a movie house from the outside, which is, it’s really cute, which is like Ultimate Elsie Dream. And, you know, I like really, really wanted an old home. So this home was built in the early 19 hundreds and it is very old inside of it. The outside of it is very traditional. I think that it’s technically a colonial revival, but some people look at it and think farmhouse too, cuz it has big porches that kind of wrap. And then on the inside, it has a few incredible original features. It has a staircase that is gorgeous at the entry. It has a fireplace in the kitchen, which is like my thing that I freaked out about when I saw it and understood because that’s one of my dreams is having a fireplace in the kitchen. It’s just like the fanciest, Nancy Meyers. Yeah. And other than that, it has really a lot of potentials to be improved because it’s been renovated quite a lot and it is pretty plain. The features are pretty plain. There’s almost no crown molding and things like that that you would expect from a home, from its era. So I could see us adding a lot more like historic details, but anything that we’re keeping, and then we will definitely add more.
Emma: Have you bought anything for the house yet? Like what was the first thing you bought?
Elise: Ooh. Okay, so far we had our closing last week and I met with a wood floors person, so I got that booked, which was exciting and I picked a specialty wood floor for the entryway, which is kind of like the diamond pattern, you’ve probably seen them like a painted on diamond pattern, but the one that we’re doing is with two colors of stain. So it’s a little bit more subtle. I think it’ll be really pretty, I hope and the thing I’ve bought so far is only light fixtures. So I asked my in-laws if I could start shipping light fixtures to their home, and I don’t think they knew what they were saying yes to. There are a lot of bots in the home that have modernized light fixtures, so I’ve been buying almost all antique light fixtures to switch. And then a few traditional ones, so maybe I can show a couple in the show notes this week. I think that will be fun. Mostly, I’ve been trying to find antique ones from Etsy and that’s been a lot of fun. That’s probably one of my top favorite things to shop for antique stuff for sure. I haven’t bought anything else yet.
Emma: Well, what do you think you’re gonna miss most about your house that you’re currently living in? Or maybe like what you’re gonna miss most about Nashville, Tennessee generally because it’s such a great town.
Elise: Yeah. Okay. So what I’m gonna miss about Nashville, obviously, like I have some really special friends here that I’m gonna miss. But as far as like businesses, I have this restaurant called spares, that’s my ultimate, we go there for birthdays and celebrations and it’s really special. We love Dinos, there are a lot of cute boutiques here. Our friend has a boutique in East Asheville called Apple and Oak. There are a lot of special places that we’re gonna miss and definitely Hewitt the garden center. It’s one of my ultimate favorite places I love, I always joke that I moved to this side of town to just be next to that Garden Center, which isn’t really a lie. It’s amazing. It’s so, so gorgeous. So I’m gonna miss so many things, but as far as our home, I think the hidden library is the thing that’s the hardest to leave. So we knew that we were not gonna stay at the beginning when we first started that renovation. So I’ve known the whole time. The other thing I’m gonna really miss about this home is the library dining room. I was so proud of that, I had so much fun putting it together, and almost all the books are spooky. It was fun, that was a dream project. And overall, I love this home. If we were staying in Tennessee, I would stay here forever. It’s a good home and it really works. I’m gonna miss so many things about it. And someone asked me like if you could transport your home, would you, and like compared to the home that we’re moving to, I think I still just wanted an old home so bad that I maybe would switch, but that’s really the only thing. The only reason so many people don’t even like old homes, you know? Where we live in Tennessee it’s not an old home area, it’s a new home area. It’s like everything’s new and it looks really nice. And so I think that whoever moves here will love it for what it is. And they’re probably not a person who wants like 120-year-old home.
Emma: But hopefully they want a very decorated home cuz yours done. Which is nice, I think. But thank you.
Elise: It’s been fun showing it. We’ve been working on selling it for a while and the feedback is usually really nice, but for a lot of people, I do think it’s a lot of wallpaper and stuff. So I think that the home will need to be either renovated or going to someone who likes wallpaper but I don’t have any regrets at all about that. Even though I know not everyone likes wallpaper. I just think it looks so good in this home. So I would rather it go to someone who just sees that and likes it. But you know, ultimately I don’t get to pick and it kind of doesn’t matter. It’s not gonna be my home anymore.
Emma: Yeah. Well, it’s not the most expensive thing to remove the wallpaper if you don’t like wallpaper. Yeah, I mean, there are way more expensive changes you could have made those people would’ve been like, oh, well, you know, that’s like true ripping out tile or backsplashes or countertops, those are way more expensive than wallpaper.
Elise: But yeah, we’re definitely gonna miss it. And it’s like definitely sad. And I could see us coming to Nashville a lot in the future, and we always came here a lot before we lived here. It’s a great place. I don’t feel ready to say goodbye to it at all, so I’m just not going to.
Emma: Yeah, Nashville is awesome. I’m sure we’ll visit plenty. It’ll be fun. And in some ways too, cuz you’ll have like kind of fresh eyes.
Elise: That’s true. There are a lot more hotels in Nashville now. When we first moved here, there were one or two cool hotels. Now there are like 10. So I think that’s cool too. We can come stay in one of the fancy new hotels and get room service and that’ll be really different.
Emma: Yeah, and you have quite a few like really good friends there, so it’s not like you’ll never visit cuz you’ll wanna see your friends. So yeah, like Ting and Jason. So anyway, I’ll say a couple of things I’m excited about.
Elise: Oh yeah. I wanna hear. Everyone wants to hear your perspective. That’s like the number one thing people ask me is how does Emma feel? What does Emma think? So say it.
Emma: Oh, that’s sweet. I thought it was cool that you wanted to live in New York. Like I said, I think it was neat how much you had changed your mind on it from other times we’d visited New York and I would’ve loved visiting you there. But I remember when you told me, I remember thinking. Oh, I’m just not gonna see her as much. Not because I don’t wanna visit New York or because it’s too much money or something, but ever since I had Oscar, I just have visited Nashville a lot less. It’s just hard to be away from him. And of course, we’ve brought Oscar to Nashville a few times, and we’ll stay for longer when we have him there with us. But that’s also kind of challenging in a different way too, you know? So I was just like, oh, I’m just not gonna see her as much. So I think that the thing that I’m most excited about with you moving home is I’ll get to see you more, which is great for work of course because we can batch work together pretty soon we’re wanting to do the thing with our podcast where we record together and we can film it so we can put it on like YouTube or different things like that, which I think will be really fun. But more than anything, I’ve just felt like since I became a mom, I have a lot less time to be an aunt and it makes me really sad because I love being an aunt. It’s the best, and I just don’t leave home as much or as often because when I do, I don’t see my son, and that’s always hard. And so knowing that you guys will be in town, it’s like, oh, well I can just bring him over Saturday mornings and I can pick up some McDonald’s hash browns on the way, and I’ll be goldie’s hero. It’s just easier. It will be so much easier to get in some ant time, and then also easier for work stuff too. So that’s really exciting. And I feel like we talked about this at some point, but, so after college, I moved to Los Angeles for a few years, only like three years. So not as long as you’ve lived in Nashville at all and it’s a completely different season of my life. I wasn’t married, and I didn’t have kids. Whole different age, blah, blah, blah. But I remember when I moved home feeling kind of melancholy about it at first. Not because I didn’t like Springfield, cuz I was excited to move home and work with you. We were really starting a beautiful mess back then, which it’s actually called Red Velvet, we had a local store. We do a number of things with it. But anyway, so I was excited about that. I was excited to see my family more. But I think something about living in the town you grew up in, something about it feels a little bit like, oh, I didn’t make it farther than this. Do you know what I mean? Like the literal distance, which now that I’m, maybe you don’t feel this way cuz you’re older and more mature than I was at that age. I think I was like 25 or six when this was happen. But now I don’t really even feel like it matters where I live. I think in terms of a lot more of like what I want from life as far as like a career and a family. And to me, living somewhere that’s a little bit easier to see family and just being honest here, a little bit cheaper than some other areas of the country. It makes it easier to travel and see things that I maybe wouldn’t see because if I was living in a more expensive place, which for me Los Angeles was a lot more expensive than living in Springfield, Missouri, I just didn’t have as much money to do things that I wanted to do. And I think that’s changed with both time and age, but also just like the area. So, anyway. I don’t really know where I’m going with this, I’m just sort of saying some maybe encouraging things, maybe not, I don’t know, but just like, I don’t know. I think sometimes it feels a little melancholy to move back to where you’re from, but it’s actually been one of the best things I ever did and I hope it feels that way for you. I think it will.
Elise: Thank you for sharing that. That’s really sweet. Yeah, I almost didn’t put the New York part into the story. I don’t feel capable of leaving it out. That’s why I put it in, but I almost didn’t put it in because I don’t want to get a million comments that are like, you should have moved to New York. I know that it is a bigger city with more opportunities for my children, like a more exciting place. Like I know that obviously. I didn’t want them to be compared because you can’t compare them and they should never be compared. A small town in Missouri should never be compared to New York City. But for me I don’t feel sad, I don’t think in the same way, but the reason why one of our big reasons was that once you have kids and we have a commitment to seeing our family being there for the holidays, being there, there are several times throughout the year when we’re always in Missouri. So we pretty much felt like we lived in Nashville, but we spent all of our vacation time going to Missouri and we really did, partly it was because of Covid, but partly it’s just because we don’t have enough capacity. We have hardly traveled anywhere with our kids besides going to Missouri over and over for the past four years. That is one of the reasons, I don’t know if it’s a reason why we’re moving, but it’s a big advantage of it or a big pro from the pros and cons list. Is that we won’t have to travel anymore for Christmas and for every single summer. We usually go about four or five times a year and instead of having to fulfill those obligations, we would be able to go to other places, which is what we really want to do. And then for those holidays and stuff, we would just already be there because we live there. I think that was a pretty compelling reason for us because we do wanna travel with our kids and we want to go to a much bigger variety of places. And when we thought about living in New York, which is a place with a vast amount of culture and opportunities for our kids. But we wouldn’t really be able to go anywhere except for staying there and going back to Missouri all the time to fulfill our obligation. So anyway, that is for sure a big reason. And anyone who lives away from your hometown, away from your family, who has kids I know, understands, it’s a complicated give and take and that we’re all just trying to make those two things connect.
Emma: Yeah. And there’s like no perfect place to live generally. And also like anyone who would leave you a comment like, you should live here rather than here for your kids. That’s just silly. They don’t know your kids, they’re not their parents. That’s just ridiculous. So I don’t think you really need to worry about that. I think you’re giving your kids a great childhood and lots of opportunities to see their family, to see different things in the world to develop their interests. I’m not worried about them, so you don’t need to be either.
Elise: Thank you. We’re doing our best and it’s definitely the happiest time of my life I’m excited about this next season. I think that we’ll be able to achieve a lot of our goals and be able to give a little bit more to our kids in terms of family time, traveling, yeah, lots of different things. So we had a thing down here that was like, how is this gonna affect a beautiful mess or a podcast? So yeah, I think that it’s gonna affect a beautiful mess in a pretty substantially positive way. Emma wouldn’t say this, but I can admit it, that she was like, carrying everything for a long time, especially since I had kids. But honestly before that too, she always visited me a lot more than I visited her and she would come for devoted work time. When I would come to Missouri, I wouldn’t have time to work cuz we would be doing all of our family obligations. I think that Emma was making it work for us to work long distance, and then when she became a mom, it started to become clear that I couldn’t just ask her to come anytime I wanted anymore and that wasn’t going to keep working. So we just weren’t gonna see each other as much, which also is fine. I think that we could have kept working long distance. I don’t think it was dysfunctional like we got good at it, but I think that as far as wanting to be a quote unquote brand together, just taking photos and videos together is so much harder when you’re combining it into like five times a year that you see each other. Do you know what I mean? Then when you can do it on a regular Tuesday. So I do think that it’ll probably affect our blog business and the podcast in a really positive way, just because the convenience level is gonna go up a hundredfold. Yeah. And we’re gonna start doing the video podcast, which I’m excited about. We’re gonna start recording together in person. We have done it before a few times. It’s kinda like nice like I think the energy is a little bit different and I don’t know, I’m used to this, so I don’t feel like there’s like a problem with it. I think we’ll just be like in a more comfortable routine and I think it’ll come off that way to our audience.
Emma: Yeah. I don’t know if it’s gonna feel that different for our audience. I think it will, but I think more than you think they’ll notice anything. I think more than anything it’ll feel better to us. It’ll just be easier in some ways, and maybe they won’t even see it, which is totally fine. You don’t have to see how easy or hard work is. But hopefully, it always seems easy from the outside. But I think it will be, I think it’ll feel easier for us. So that’ll be nice. It’ll be great. It’ll be awesome.
Elise: I think so too. I’m excited. I feel like, I’m also still shocked, like I’m still so surprised that it’s even happening, but I think it’s gonna be amazing and, I can’t wait to show the house, so I’ll put a little something on my Instagram today, so you can see just a little peek and yeah, over the next few months we’ll share a lot more. I’m not like Emma, I don’t feel as private about my house. I like sharing it for fun. I’m so excited. Well, let’s go on then to our new segment. A joke or a fact with Nova. All right. We’re ready for a joke or a fact with Nova. Here’s Nova.
Nova: So I’m going to do just jokes today. Okay. And then next week I’m gonna start my fact and jokes. Okay. So why did a cookie go to the doctor? Because he was feeling a little bit crummy. Oh, that’s a good one. And how do you plan a party in space, you planet.
Elsie: All right. Thank you so much for listening. I’m so excited to share this journey with you. Next week we’ll be back for part two, sharing more details about long-distance renovating, getting our Tennessee home ready to list, and what’s happening with the Pink House. We’ll also be sharing our book report for this time tomorrow. So if you’re reading in real-time, here is your warning.
Emma: Finish your book. People were talking about it.
You just come on back!
I’m really going to miss the Narnia hidden library. Aside from that, I’m excited for you both. My sister lives one floor down in the same senior building as me. She’s currently in Egypt so I’m collecting her mail.
I can totally see you moving to New York as empty nesters! There’s always time for other seasons in your life! So excited for you to have more time with your family!
Such exciting news!! The sneak peak of the new house that you posted on IG looks so gorgeous and I can’t wait to see more! What an incredible sign from the universe that the previous owner was an ABM fan and someone you’d photographed – seems totally meant to be!
I hope whoever buys your TN house *loves* that hidden library because if it was my house I might never leave that room. 😀
Congrats on the move!
I use overcast to listen to podcasts and somehow your podcast is getting an error, not loading or updating properly. Since end of January.
So sorry about that! Which platform are you using to listen to the podcast?
Congrats! I love old homes too and can’t wait until I can get my hands on one but they’re hard to come by in my neck of the woods (there’s just a lot more of those in the US than Canada). I will tell you this, as a child who had to move A LOT because my mom just constantly changed jobs and moved us around, I really don’t love change because of this so I do highly recommend you try to offer stability for your kids (especially in primary school) but of course, they will adapt as kids do, they may just end up hating change because of it (or they might not, who knows). Just wanted you to have that perspective as I lived it myself. I do hope you get to have the space to do another hidden library in your new home. It’s definitely a bucket list for me (for when I have the space for it) so I can only live vicariously through someone else!
As a New Yorker, you made the right call. The money you will save in taxes and school tuition will go so far in Springfield. Being close to family is so worth it.
I am so excited for your family! Congratulations on the move!
My husband and I moved to a small town in South Carolina after ten years in Brooklyn to be close to family and nature. We now live in a house on wooded lot beside a lake instead of in a loft with a view of only a single tree. NYC and Brooklyn are very exciting and replete with wonderful differences, but golly, it is a tough place to live.
We moved to town near my husband’s hometown and family. Both our daughters were born here and often I think about how much harder life would be if we were still in Brooklyn with them. There’s no throwing everything in the car and running errands; you carry with you what you need, everywhere you go.
I am so impressed by parents of young kids in New York. The fear of cars alone while walking down the street would have had me tangled; I’d have to have a death grip on hands at all times!! Plus, where do kids ride their bikes and scooters on the regular? I know there are lots of great parks, but our young girls ride in the street every day because we live at the end of a cul de sac.
There is sooooooo much incredible culture and art and food and interesting people in NYC; its scope is beautiful and overwhelming. I think kids grow up a lot faster there–which can be good and maybe also not? There are so many positives to raising your children in NYC, but for me, I think smaller is better right now.
I think life near family is so lovely and beautiful, and so can life be in a smaller city. I grew up in LA and then lived in Brooklyn, so the switch to small town life was a big change for me. But after having my girls, I see what value there is in being close to family and having a life where nature is right outside.
After we had been here a few years, my sister and her husband moved from LA to be closer to us and our girls. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that, every every day.
Not that you need my affirmation, but this seems like a great choice! Congratulations!
(that’s a long comment!!)
I’m so happy for you both! I miss living next to my (only) sister but am so thankful to live near my super-attentive in-laws and husband’s siblings as well. It’s incredible to live near family, just to be able to get together on the spur of the moment, to have someone watch the kids for my doc appointments (!). So excited for you to live that daily life with your fam.
Yay I am so happy for you!!!! I moved back to the Midwest to live close to my sister a little over a year ago. I love it SO MUCH. I loved hearing your story, I lived in Connecticut for 6 years before moving by my sister! We were in the part of CT that is basically the suburbs of NYC 😂 a new Midwest friend of mine lived in NY before moving here and she summed up my feelings perfectly – it’s just SO EASY to live in the Midwest. For me, it was not easy living in New England (stores are far away, roads are old and falling apart/difficult to navigate, neighborhoods aren’t walkable, schools aren’t great, I could go on lol). I loved how gorgeous it was and I do miss all of the hiking. But the pace of life and ease of living in my new city wins for me! Plus the family time. That’s just priceless.
The star of this episode was Nova’s new segment! Her jokes put a smile on my face 😊 Looking forward to more jokes and facts, Nova!!!
Agreed! I laughed out loud and it just made my heart happy. 🙂
Congratulations!!! This is a huge move, but I love how you and Jeremy have prioritized your families and this next stage in life. Everything is a phase, so who knows what adventures or where your family will go on the one after this 🙂
I was so surprised by this news! But absolutely want to affirm you. Also, you are so fortunate that by moving to one city-you are near to your in-laws, your parents, your grandparents, *and* your sister! That is a huge blessing for your girls!
I was on the edge of my seat (except washing dishes so figuratively!) as you described finding the house. 😳😲
My husband and I often get the itch to move, but we are by my sister and my children love playing with their cousins. I did not grow up near any of my cousins, and I see how special it is for this generation!
Living in the same house the first 23 years of my life, and not liking change haha,I expected to do that as an adult for my children. I didn’t! We moved so much for whatever reasons…they are all young adults now. 2 still love to move and the oldest has been in the same place for 10 years!! It’s all a mindset and totally your business!! You are doing it for the right reasons. I think I’m going to miss your hidden Library too 🥰😂
Awesome! Good luck in Missouri, from a life long Kansan. We did the same thing when looking for a truck for our 15 year old son. Nothing was online, but on our evening walks in our neighborhood my husband kept saying, we just need a truck like that about one we passed. I finally said, I will just ask them. They weren’t ready, but texted about a month later and sold it to us.
Elise, we moved to our home state four years ago and it was the best thing for us. It took some adjustment, but give yourself grace and have boundaries. So excited for your new adventure!
Speaking of New York. Have you read The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street? It’s so good!! I think your girls would love it too. I listened to them and can’t wait to read them to my daughter one day.
Your comment about being able to see your nephew 50-100x a year versus just 5 reminded me of one of my favorite articles. Congratulations on more time with your family ❤️
Exciting! We are actually doing the opposite – moving away from family and friends for a new job in a new city because we all needed a change. But having done that before, it’s awesome. 🙂
So excited for you Elsie! We did a similar move when our kids were young, and there are so many perks to being close to family. One of our favs was swapping date nights/ watching the kids every other Friday night with my brother and his wife – we got to check in with each other, look forward to date night and the kids got cousin time. Another was definitely travel – that helped our nomadic tendencies. We’ve taken our family for a month at a time to a place and lived the best we could like a local. Our youngest is 17 now, we have five grandkids, and I’m so glad we made the move. Our family all thinks of the same place as their home.
OMG! I adore your hidden library. I’m in mourning over your loss of it, but someone is going to be SO, SO HAPPY to get it.