Hi hi … OK, so WE’RE MOVING and this episode contains the long version of the story! This was an unexpected decision that we made a little over a month ago. I wanted to wait to share the news, A. Once we knew it was really happening and B. On the podcast where I could really CHAT it out since there are so many moving parts and details. Hope you enjoy … my personal drama is 100% your entertainment this week. Haha!
You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.
-Before I begin … I get it, this is crazy. But also it’s just a house. It’s both. I simultaneously feel humiliated that we spent so much time shopping for a “forever home” only to move six months later, and proud that we took the leap to pivot when it became clear it was the right move. So anyway, feel free to poke fun at me, I honestly really deserve it this time. UGH.
-If you’re not a podcast listener or cannot listen without a transcript (we have been working on adding transcripts, by the way, apologies for the delay!), I can summarize for you why we are moving. The short answer is that during the quarantine we decided that it would be easier to move to a larger home than to take on the project of building on to our home. COVID-19 put a lot in perspective for us, and suddenly “easier” and “simple” became a huge priority. And with the virus still escalating, we realized that having our ideal office and guest space was more of an immediate priority than we felt it was when we purchased our current home last December.
-Our next episode will be about big quarantine changes. We have collected some STORIES—I laughed, I cried … it’s gonna be a doozy. If you have any stories we’d love to hear yours in the comments here or if you prefer you can email us at podcast AT abeautifulmess DOT com
-Here’s a link to Joy Cho’s post I mentioned that sent me over a cliff (not her fault, I was already headed over that cliff for sure—haha). But truly, I am grateful that COVID-19 forced me to take a pause and really evaluate our options before jumping into a lengthy building process.
-Here’s a link to our realtor Daniel Long, who is such an angel human and talented realtor.
-In the episode, I feel like I could have better described what we love about the house we ended up finding. I have always been a REALLY bad storyteller and jump ahead, skip details and generally just rush through stories and skip all the best parts. Ugh!
So here’s a little more JUICE. The new house that we found checks every single box from our must-have list, which we never expected to find. It is way more pet-friendly for our dogs than our previous two homes have been (one of our dogs is becoming elderly and can no longer do stairs), it has all the rooms on our must-have list. It doesn’t need a lot of work but it also DOES need a lot of updating—the perfect combination for a blogger like me. It is beautiful, but very much stuck in the 1990s, so it will be a fun ongoing project for us that we can tackle at a pace that fits with our life as parents of two little people. Also, the yard is flat, and the cul-de-sac is perfect for our girls, as they are both into riding scooters now. Most importantly though, it felt strangely “like home” from the first time we stepped foot inside. Our realtor, Daniel, even commented that it reminded him of our previous home, which felt right.
-So, prepping our half-moved in home to list in one month was SUPER crazy. One part fun and exciting, and one part the most exhausting month of our lives. I’m still recovering from the stress of it.
For most of the month, we didn’t even know if it was possible. Then suddenly, the last of the clean up was done and it felt like a magic moment … the house looked GOOD. Here are some links to stuff that has already gone up: painted kitchen cabinets, refreshing our deck, our painted exterior(and there is quite a bit more coming over the next month or two!)
-I’d love to hear your ideas for surprising children with a new home. We’re so excited and we want to make it special for them, especially since this has generally been a really unsettled year for them.
Whew … I feel like we just bonded on a whole new level. Haha! Thank you so much for following along. I love you! xx- Elsie
P.S. If you have more questions, leave them for me here. If we get enough questions, I might do a mini episode just Q+A and clarifying stuff from this episode!
Miss an episode? Get caught up!
- Episode #41: Emma’s Quarantine Novel
- Episode #40: Side Hustles
- Episode #39: All Things Furniture Shopping
Episode 42 Transcript
Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. Today, I have a real dramatic story to share with you about how we moved into our forever home, changed our minds, and are moving again. And I know you’re going to have so many questions. So I’m going to do my best to answer them all here in this episode. OK. So…
Emma: I can tell you’ve got a little nervous energy.
Elsie: I do. I feel like my heart is beating bad, actually. I feel kind of sick. I’m gonna barf.
Emma: I know you’ve been so nervous to tell people this news.
Elsie: Okay. Yeah. This is a very…sorry. I gotta lower my voice.
Emma: Really? Can you get down as low as me though. Can you get way down here?
Elsie: This is a very vulnerable episode. Because it’s embarrassing.
Emma: It is. Because I know you’re dreading it. I’m surprised…
Elsie: I’ve been dreading it, but I also kind of just want to get it over with. Sorry go ahead.
Emma: So do you want to just tell us the story from beginning to end? Or should I start with how you told me and what that day was like?
Elsie: Can you start with that?
Emma: Yes. So I mean, you kind of said the news in the intro, so that’s that. OK. Because I’m like am I spoiling it? No. OK.
Emma: So I went and visited Elsie recently…somewhat recently. By the time you hear this, it’s probably been like two or three months.
Elsie: It was a May.
Emma: Yeah. And I was very careful. Wore my mask, didn’t stop like, you know, it was very — I was very nervous to travel and see you. But I also…we had some work we needed to do. And I really wanted to see my nieces.
Elsie: We hadn’t seen each other since Christmas. I think every family’s in this situation right now where you’re like, can I swing it?
Emma: Goldie’s getting big!
Elsie: Yeah, I know. Ugh.
Emma: I was like, I won’t stop. I’ll drive straight. I’ll whatever I have to do! Anyway. So I was at Elsie’s house and the girls are taking a nap, and she’s painting some grout lines in the entryway tile and we’re just chatting. And Jeremy walks by and Elsie goes, “Hey Jeremy, I’m gonna tell Emma the news. Do you want to be here for it?” And I figured it was something random. And Jeremy would probably be like, yeah, go ahead, tell her, you know, and just keep walking and doing whatever, whatever it was he was doing. But he kind of stops and then he walks in the room and then he pulls up a chair and sits down. And I for one minute I was like, “oh, my gosh, they’re pregnant. She’s about to tell me she’s pregnant.” That’s what I thought, because I was like, I don’t know what other news there could be. And that was not the news then. Elsie was like, “we’re moving.” And I kind of looked at Jeremy because I was expecting him to be like “and I’m divorcing her.” He wasn’t, he was like, yeah, we’re moving. So then they told me all the news and I was like, oh, this is not what I was expecting also, Wow. That is still very big news.
Elsie: It’s crazy. Yeah. I’ll just start off by saying I know it’s crazy and I’m not going to spend this whole episode apologizing for it or justifying it. It is crazy and I know it’s crazy, OK? So that is out there to the side, just sitting there. So I’m going to tell you guys the whole story of what happened. And it is quite a drama.
Emma: Get your popcorn.
Elsie: Yeah, I know. I feel like this is like a popcorn and wine story.
Emma: It really is.
Elsie: OK. Ahh! So we moved right at the beginning of the first wave of the quarantine. We actually moved four days before we started staying home for more than two months with basically not leaving at all. And it put a lot of things into perspective really quickly. We’re actually going to do our next episode about crazy quarantine stories and things that during this time people have realized that they wanted to change about their lives, or that just did change, or things they realized within themselves, or dreams they decide to follow. I mean, there’s a lot it’s gonna be a really good episode. We’ve been collecting stories for a while.
Elsie: Anyway, so this is mine. So the quarantine definitely put things in perspective for us because all of a sudden we had moved, we had sold much of our furniture, so we moved into a house that was quite a bit smaller than where we were living before with very, very little furniture. And of course, we ordered things right away. But it took a really long time for stuff to come, two to three months for some of it to arrive just because of COVID and just delays. And then also just, you know, sometimes furniture just takes a long time to arrive when you order it generally. So we went into this period of having just moved in, not feeling settled. Our kids weren’t feeling settled at all. They only went to their brand new daycare for four days before they were pulled out for more than two months and basically…No
Emma: No time to make friends.
Elsie: Yeah. So they were going through a lot of grief. Well, our older daughter was going through a lot of grief of not being in her routine. She’s a very routine child. We think she might be an Enneagram one if we had to guess. She really, really clings to sameness and routine. And so, all of that was sort of like pulled out from under us and then we started the quarantine and the house, because of the way the layout was with an open kitchen to living room, and because we didn’t have furniture for some of the rooms yet, and because we didn’t have proper baby proofing in certain areas. For example, downstairs in our basement where Jeremy’s studio was, there wasn’t a door until last week. So we couldn’t let our kids play downstairs. That whole entire time because we wouldn’t let them play where they can just get into the music studio without…you know, because it’s not repsonsible.
Emma: Lots of chords and lots of…
Elsie: Lots of stuff like that. So basically the end result of what all this meant, and…
Emma: Also your office.
Elsie: Yeah. (laughs) The office is a big one. I’ll save that point for a second…
Elsie: …to the side because it was a big one. But so, basically we were in one giant big living space room together for two straight months, barely leaving our house. We did have an awesome porch and it did start to warm up partway through and the trees started blooming. And there were a lot of things that happened that were beautiful and wonderful and special memories. But also, there were…it was extremely challenging to be in such a small space. I think I shared on Instagram one day the picture where I had like taped our snack drawer shut because it was like (laughs) you would not believe how much snacks our kids eat when they’re home all day and bored all day, like it’s so, so, so, so different from our normal routine. So, yeah, it just put a lot of things into perspective. And then next we’ll talk about the office. So the office. Oh my gosh. I thought “no big deal. I won’t have an office.” If you’ve listened to the Foreverish Home episode, I’ll link in the show notes if not, you remember that we were gonna build on to this house quite a bit and that was our main plan, although we weren’t gonna be able to do it or logistically or planning to do it until probably 2021. But we were planning to build on quite a bit more spaces and my office was one of those spaces. So I didn’t have an office and I knew that going into it. We looked at lots of houses where I wasn’t going to have an office and it was a sacrifice that didn’t feel like a big deal to me, because in our last home, you know, I didn’t always use my office a lot of the times it was really messy. But I think just not having one, I completely underestimated how challenging it would be to not have a private place to work in an environment where I’m trying to basically speed work for, you know, we were doing the tradeoff schedule where we both worked half a day and we both watched the kids half a day. So we were spending very little time together. And we were doing a lot of tradeoff, trying to both work. And I pretty much never had a place alone to work the whole time, which I saw lots of videos of people working in showers and closets. And I know that this is not an isolated thing for me, but it’s something that coming out of it when our kids did go back to their school and we had a chance to sort of evaluate, this is a big part of where our decision came from. Alright. So the next step was as soon as our kids had started going back to daycare, we started working on our addition and we very quickly realized it was going to be about ten thousand dollars before we knew for sure if we were going to get permission from our city to even do the addition that we wanted to do. We started having plans drawn up. There were a lot of other steps we had to do that cost money. And we started to realize that the space we wanted to add on and the space that we knew for sure we would be allowed to add on weren’t matching up. And it just started to feel very scary. And I read, this was as soon as we started working on it, I read a post from Joy about her build, which she just built a beautiful home in L.A. and she talked about, you know, going over budget and things that were challenging. And so I asked her if we could chat and we had a quick phone call and she definitely didn’t say, like, don’t do it. She was very encouraging. She was like, “you can do it. It’s gonna be great. It’ll be worth it in the end.”
Emma: Joy’s amazing.
Elsie: Yeah. But she had some stories that freaked me out, because building is freaky and bad things happen and unexpected things happen. And she built her house on a hill and our house is on a hill. So I just started to have a lot of doubts. And I definitely think that it was compounded with the nervous slash exhausted energy of everything I was going through, trying to work at home with the kids. And, you know, all of that just became a, you know. I’m trying to think of a word that’s not a curse. (laughs) It became a very overwhelming feeling, in like, I could physically feel in my body. And I was like, “I don’t think I can do this. And I don’t think this is what I want.” This doesn’t feel like…it should feel like a dream. You know, that you have a chance to build onto your house and plan out every detail. And it felt more like a nightmare at the moment. So I decided on my own to look at houses, go on our little real estate web site and look at houses totally behind my husband’s back just to see what was out there. And I did this for several weeks without telling him at all because I knew he would be so upset and concerned. Because I will say from childhood, I’ve had this obsessive part of my personality, which my mom has so much to say about, that when I get stuck on something, I’m stuck and he knows about it. And he’s probably, he would be so scared if he knew I even, like, looked at one house online, but I just wanted to see what was out there. And pretty immediately I saw that if we spent the money we had saved up for the renovation on just buying a bigger house that we could have a house with plenty of space. Maybe it wasn’t as cool. Maybe it didn’t have, you know, the sunken living room. I had a lot of, like, very cool features planned out for this addition. But, we could be, you know, living in it in a few months instead of in a few years. And because of the quarantine, that felt really significant. Alright, so the next thing that happened, I think that this was in I’m going to say the beginning of May, I finally had a night when I was basically confessing to Jeremy how I felt, like maybe we should just move. Maybe this all should be simpler. You know, maybe it seems crazy, but maybe it would be easier. And he was just straight up like, no, we’re not having this conversation. We just moved here. You should have thought this through before we chose this house. All very reasonable things that were true. And I felt horrible. And we weren’t on the same page. But it was fine because we still you know, we still had a chance to build onto the house and it still could’ve been great. And yeah, we just moved six months ago. So I understood. I’m trying not to make him sound like an asshole because he’s really not. He’s the victim in this story.
Emma: He really is. You’re the asshole (laughs).
Elsie: Right! Ok.
Emma: No I’m just kidding.
Elsie: A little bit! So, yeah, he was just like, no, I’m not up for this conversation and I don’t want to go down this path because I know that if I even give you the smallest amount of a maybe, that we’re moving. And so I was like, OK, that’s fair. And yeah, I basically just felt sad and overwhelmed. But we still had solutions in front of us and it was fine. And I was just curious if…I mean, there’s so much time. I was like, why don’t we talk about it in the fall time or at Christmas? Because I felt very sure at that moment that I didn’t want to go through the addition and I just didn’t feel like I had it in me.
Emma: Well, I also think living in a house while you’re going through an addition with young children is tricky. People do it. I’m not saying like no one does it, but there are…when you’re doing that extensive of an addition, there are times they’re going to need to turn off your power and your water for a long period. And…
Elsie: No, we were definitely gonna have to move out to have this amount of work done. It was one hundred percent for sure. We were gonna move out for several months.
Elsie: So, yeah. He was like, nope, hard no. And then I waited two weeks and he wanted to talk about it some more. And then he wanted to look at houses online, and then he called his parents and they magically…
Emma: Did you a solid.
Elsie: They magically did me a solid. And they said to him, well because they had been to our house one time and they said, well, I think you could maybe move to a neighborhood where the kids could walk to other kids’ houses is what they said, because our neighborhood is very hilly. And I see older kids around and stuff, but you would never see a little kid walking down the street in our neighborhood ever. And so just that conversation with his parents really shifted how he felt. And after that, we started we e-mailed our realtor who definitely thought we were insane. Daniel. Yeah. I would have Daniel on the podcast again soon. Or for the first time soon, because he has some crazy stories. So two days after that, we started going to houses with gloves and masks fully outfitted just to see what was out there. And I will say we wanted to stay in the same area, in the same school district. And Jeremy..oOne thing that he felt super strongly about is that if we were going to move school districts, that it had to be this summer. And he wouldn’t even consider moving school districts because he because of our oldest daughter is so…she’s just been so unsettled.
Emma: She has a tender heart.
Elsie: And we just didn’t want to do any more than we had to do. So we ended up only looking at two houses because there really just wasn’t anything that…because the main thing that we wanted was a house that didn’t need very much work done to it. You know, in the budget we had in mind with, as you can imagine, a list of like 20 must haves, like a very big list and a very small amount of houses being listed on the market. So it’s… COVID is like a very strange real estate time. It’s definitely a seller’s market because. Yeah, let’s talk about that for a sec. Just in case anyone hasn’t heard about COVID real estate. And this could be different in your area, but in both of our hometowns in Nashville, surrounding Nashville and in Springfield, Missouri, it’s a very big sellers market just because there’s not as many houses going up for sale and the ones going up for sale have a ton of leverage to sell for a good price. And sometimes really quickly, sometimes, you know multiple offers.
Emma: Yeah, I think it’s two things. It’s that a lot of people have kind of reevaluated their home because they’re wondering if we are going to be home more in the future. And so, you know, especially if they have children, they’re just really evaluating like, what does it look like if we’re at home a lot more? Because we just did that and we may be doing more.
Elsie: Big time.
Emma: So it’s that, and then the other thing that I think it is, is interest rates are so low right now.
Emma: So a lot of people are taking advantage of that, you know, refinancing or if they’re like in a position where they were considering moving, maybe anyway, they’re like, oh, this may be a great time because we can get a really great interest rate and that will save us a lot of money in the long run. So I think it’s kind of a combination of those two things. But I don’t know. I’m no expert. These are just my own personal observations.
Elsie: No, I. I feel like we only looked at two houses because there were only two houses to look at that were interesting to us at all, which is crazy because normally this time of year is the big selling time. But yeah, there just was very, very little. So I was surprised. Another thing I’ll say is that when I first told Jeremy, I thought maybe we should move, I was saying maybe we should move in a year or two. Maybe we should, you know, slowly fix this house up. I can live without an office, but I don’t think I want to move in, move out, do the whole addition, live with the unexpected unknowns. I think I’d rather just keep that money and just buy a bigger house. And he was very much like, if we are moving, we are moving right now. Half of what we own is still in our garage in boxes, which is true. We never unpacked.
Emma: Yeah when I went to visit, they had already been in their new home for a couple months and I didn’t want to…I didn’t say anything because they have young kids so they don’t have time to unbox. I understand, you know, but I was really surprised when I got there. I was like, it feels like you didn’t move in at all. And then when you told me the news, I was like, oh, okay, you’re just not on unpacking because you’re planning to move soon. So that makes sense. But yeah, I was kind of surprised because there was, it was not unpacked. But, you know, I was like, well, if they’re busy, you know, they got to watch their girls. I don’t know, they don’t have time to unpack. But no, it was that they were moving. They had some news to share.
Elsie: The twists and the turns. OK, so the day that Emma left, we went to see two houses.
Emma: I almost stayed to see them, but I didn’t want to be driving in the dark. So I was like, I gotta get on the road because I just wanted to, like, make it home quickly, you know? Anyway…
Elsie: I wish you would have stayed above this part would be more…
Emma: I know I really wanted to, but yeah.
Elsie: So one of the houses was very practical. It definitely like, covered all the bases of all the different rooms and it made a lot of sense. Both of the houses were in good neighborhoods. Both the houses were culdesacs, both of the houses were about a mile away from where we’re living now. There wasn’t really…but the first one was very practical. It was like a two-story nineties brick kind of average looking McMansion. That’s the term the people use here and it had, I thought, had a ton of potential, but Jeremy just felt like he just couldn’t see it. He just would…he would walk in and he just did not like the feeling of it. And I think it was just the era of the home was just really hard for him to embrace when we’ve been living in mid century homes for so long now.
Emma: What was the second house like?
Elsie: The second house, we almost didn’t see it because I felt like it was just like, too crazy.
Emma: A little too fancy?
Elsie: Too fancy. I wanted to see it because I felt like it was my ultimate perfect dream house. But I was like, nervous too. And I don’t know, I guess I just didn’t want to see a house that we weren’t going to seriously consider. But…
Emma: Yeah you don’t want to fall in love and then you couldn’t get it.
Elsie: Yeah, but also, I was pretty sure that if we saw it, it would get it out of my system because ninety-nine percent of the time, you know, you see a house online and you are so infatuated with it and then you walk inside, you’re like, eh, you know, it’s a little bit better in photos, like that’s a really normal thing to happen. So anyway, we walked into this house and our friend Ting was with us and as well as Jeremy and our realtor, Daniel. And as soon as we walked in, we weren’t even past the entryway, Ting was like, “Elsie, you have to buy this house. This is the house.”
Elsie: And I just, like, knew that it was it’s just it just was. Yeah. It just, it’s just the perfect, perfect house and it still has, like, things that need to be fixed. Things that could be way cuter. But as far as like having all the potential and all the right places, it has that. So, yeah, as soon as we are closed, I will show either some pictures or video. I’m not sure. And kind of give you all a tour. So, yeah, we found the house we made an offer. Got our financing. The banker was kind of like, oh, so you just buy your house six months ago? And we explained our unique situation. And then came the very challenging, very fun part is that we got our house, our current house that we weren’t even really moved into, ready to sell in one month. And we had a one…
Emma: Yeah, that’s crazy.
Elsie: It really was because Emma came as we said, like the day that we went to see the house we ended up getting is the day that we pretty much decided and knew for sure that we were going to be moving. That was one month ago from now. So, and now at this moment, our house is under contract and we got four offers and it actually…it worked! It happened. But for the first, I would say three and a half weeks of that one month, I didn’t know if we could do it. It was so much stuff so quickly. We had the house painted, we finished really every room that wasn’t finished. I painted a bunch of stuff myself. You’ll see tons and tons of blog posts. That’s why I have so many home posts, because we finished so much so quickly. Like I painted a bathroom vanity by myself. Collin installed this whole wet bar by himself for the first time. We just did all this crazy stuff that was the first time we’ve ever done it. Collin made this amazing paneled ceiling in our living room that I feel like really, really made the house, like it brought the house up to its full potential.
Emma: It’s very beautiful.
Elsie: Ah, thank you. So…
Emma: Yeah, you painted the kitchen cabinets. That’s already been on the blog. We could put a link to that. Anything that’s already on the blog, we’ll put a link to it in the show notes. But yeah painted the exterior, I don’t even know when we’ll get to see. She has these built-in bookshelves in one of the girls’ bedrooms, and I don’t know if that’s even going to go on the blog, but it’s really cute.
Elsie: No, it is. It is. It’s coming out soon. Yeah. If it hasn’t been up by the time this podcast, everything will be up within the next few weeks. Yeah.
Emma: And you had, dunno, a little update to the back porch. Not a ton compared to some other things you did, but a little bit. So you really did a lot of stuff in the house for how short of amount of time you were there?
Elsie: Yes, it was the..this has been the, what I would say, the craziest one-eighty pivot decision we’ve ever made in our lives. Even when we decided to move to Nashville, that feels small compared to this, just, you know, moving into a house, changing our mind and then getting it ready to sell so quickly. I feel like it taught me that I could do something that I didn’t even know I could do. Like, I’m not interested in being a house flipper at all, but I felt like I was one for this last month involuntarily.
Emma: Kind of on accident.
Elsie: Yeah on accident.
Emma: Well, on that note, I bet a lot of people are curious if you don’t mind sharing. Did you…are you going to lose a little bit of money, are you going to make a little bit of money, are you going to break even based on all the updates you did to this house?
Elsie: All right. So as far as money goes, I feel like…so we broke even. I’ll just say that at the beginning. So we ended up selling it for quite a bit more than what we bought it for. But we also spent quite a bit of money updating it really quickly, and we lost quite a bit of money on realtor fees. So with those two factors in there, we are breaking even. And I’m very pleased with that. But just because of the fact that we didn’t plan to do this, like we should have lived here for at least three or four years, not for six months, you know. So I feel like we were fortunate to be able to break even. And I would not have expected to make a big profit.
Elsie: And I feel like I improved the house for the next owner, too.
Emma: Yeah, I think so. I mean, I like all the cosmetic things you did and a couple of the functional ones, too. I think they were all nice additions to the home for sure. In my opinion. So what do the girls think? Have you told them that you’re moving? What do they know? Do they care? Are they even really aware of that?
Elsie: I don’t know. So we’re kind of saving it. We’re telling Nova that we’re gonna let her “pick” our next house and then we’re going to take her there and let her basically feel like she is picking it. And we know that she’ll pick it because it has a swimming pool. And that’s basically the only thing that she could ever dream of. It’s the number one thing in the house when we were shopping last time, we looked at a couple of houses that had swimming pools and then we didn’t end up getting one and she always kept bringing up. So, yeah…
Emma: She does love swimming.
Elsie: So she is going to love it. But yeah, we haven’t really told them yet because we’ve kind of just realized that for their age that the way time moves, it’s maybe just better to wait until it’s really happening.
Elsie: And try to explain it.
Emma: You should put a bunch of like pool floaties in the pool when she goes to “pick” the house. So then she’ll be like, oh, I like these too. And you can be like, they come with the house itf you pick it.
Elsie: I know I feel like we need to bring the swimming suit and the little life jackets and everything with us. Yeah, it’s we’re very excited to take the kids for the first time. It will be magical.
Emma: Oh yeah. They’re gonna love it. They love swimming. They love the Florida house. So It’s gonna be great. And my big news is I’m moving there because I want a swimming pool, so I’m just going to move in with Elsie’s house. (laughs)
Elsie: I wish! That is the other COVID thing. So maybe I’ll say a couple more things about just like our COVID reasoning. One of the things is just having, okay, So the main things that we were missing that we wanted to build on were space for guests and an office. Those were like the functional things that we were really missing. And Emma did come to stay with us and stay in our makeshift guest room. And it was…it is a little challenging. And I think that having a really legit guest space, again…we just realized that that was really important to us in sort of the immediate future because we don’t know what the rest of this year is gonna bring. Our school district has told us to be prepared for possible homeschooling. And, you know, in case things do kind of lockdown again, we want to at least have the option, you know, have options for a family to come and stay with us if they chose to. Yeah, guest space and office space. It’s like it’s my dream come true. What more can ask for?
Emma: Pool, I guess. And then you’ve got that.
Elsie: Yes, swimming pool. Which don’t worry, a big baby safety fence: first step.
Elsie: Okay. Well, I feel good to have gotten that off my chest because this has been such a crazy year. I feel like 2020 is just such a shit show already. And I know that some people are going to judge my choice. And you know what? I just accept it for what it is. I’m just happy to, like, get it out there. I’ve told my friends my reasons. And if you’re my friend, maybe you can understand. And if not, it’s OK. I accept it because really, was my judgment impaired? Yes. Did I do something crazy? Yes, I did. Right? It is what it is.
Emma: I think it’s gonna be a good thing for your family, so whatever!
Elsie: I think so, too. And I feel what I’m so grateful that we can move into a place that I think really can possibly be a forever home to us.
Emma: Cool. I’m sure everyone can’t wait to see little peeks.
Elsie: Yes. OK.
Emma: Once Nova picks it (laughs). Well, we will give more updates on how the move goes and everything after our closing day. I think we’re going to be moving around the first week of August just in time for kindergarten. Thank you so much for listening and for supporting us along the way. This is only our 42nd episode. So thank you to everyone who has left us review, subscribed or told a friend.
Create a dollhouse similar to your new home that the girls can decorate. Paint the walls, etc.
P.S. I love your decorating style!
We had a very similar experience the past couple years while looking to add on to our previous home. That’s part of the story of how we ended up with THREE homes. Thankfully, I just sold one. It is very personal and very heavy to have put so much heart and soul into a home thinking it’s the one, only then to need to leave it and move on.
Thank you for sharing! Being vulnerable is hard.
How exciting! I think if it feels right then who cares what people think! But I agree that it’s wild to move in and out of a home in 6months! I went crazy and I moved out of an apartment back home with my parents while I house hunted for 10 months and then I moved into my house almost exactly a year later. That was super stressful and crazy so I can’t even imagine how you felt. I will say though that I loved all the changes you made in such a short time. Can’t wait to see what your new home will look like!
I love your moving story and the example of following your gut. We made a similar decision when we moved with 2 small children, and we also moved to a cul-de-sac. When they were little we took chalk and made a little city in our circle. We had a gas station and library, a toy store, etc. My kids would ride around our chalk city on their scooters and had a blast. It was the best!
If it’s not right, it’s not right! We’d been planning to move in spring, but with the housing market as it is now, we’re prepping to put it on the market at the end of the month!
When do you think you’ll get the keys? Are you able to move straight in or do you have work to do first?
I have been waiting for you to spill the deets on this! My husband and I have been living in a tiny, one bedroom rent controlled apartment for 7.5 years and during quarantine we got the crazy idea to maybe buy our first home – and we close in just a few days (eek!). We keep asking ourselves – IS THIS CRAZY?! – but if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that (LITERALLY) anything can happen, so we’ve got to move forward with life as best we can. It feels like such an insane time to make such a big decision – but at the same time, the right one.
Also, and I hope you take zero offense to to this, but ever since you started sharing this home, in my heart I felt like it wasn’t your family’s forever home (I know I am just a random internet stranger, haha). Maybe it was because I loved your old house so much, I don’t know, BUT I’m very excited to start seeing details on this new one. Congratulations and good luck with the move!
first of all, I have been following your blog for years, and I LOVE IT! Although it always inspired me in many ways, I never imagined that it will inspire me to let go of things easier. BUT the decision of yours to let go of your forever-ish home is so impressing and brave, I will always remember it from now on when I have to make decisions. So congratulations on your new home and especially on your capability to make this choice. By the way I was working at night and was super tired when I saw your new podcast episode, but I couldn’t wait until the morning to listen to it, so I got to bed at 3 a.m…. but it was totally worth it! All the best from Hungary,
Thank you for sharing your story and congrats!!! I found it to be a validating and liberating reminder that we can change our minds. It sounds like it was the best move 😉 for your family and you should not be apologizing for any of that. We’ve been house hunting for over a year to be in a good school district/walkable area as our kiddo is about to start Kindergarten this fall as well. We had it stuck in our heads to find a “forever” home which recently deterred us from putting an offer in to a home that we loved and would have been amazing for at least 5 years (and have seen been really bummed about it)…so the big lesson learned was to let go of this “forever home” idea which puts unnecessary pressure when the reality is that priorities change with different seasons of life. Best wishes on the move and enjoy the pool!
Hi, thanks for sharing. No shame in moving again & doing what is right for you! I’m just wondering about the term “forever home.” Listening to the earlier episode & before hearing your new news, I just felt like using that term might put too much pressure on things. I’m a renter & am used to moving every few years for work. Recently I got a permanent job but still can’t imagine looking for a forever home. There is just too much unknown! But maybe we are just in different stages & think about plans differently. 🙂 Just wanted to put a different perspective out there. Life is a journey!
Hi! I agree… I probably will stay away from using that term mostly now. It’s true- you just never know!
No judgement! You gotta do what you gotta do for your family. I’m just shocked you guys were able to complete all that work in one month! You’re amazing!
Great story, thanks for sharing and being vulnerable. I am going to tell my husband about this to make some of my wild ideas seem less wild. One question…where is the new pink sofa going to land?!? hopefully you are taking it with you to the new digs!
When I saw your IG post about moving, I thought it must be about Emma. Today was the first opportunity I had to listen in, and I’m surprised, but I understand, too. BTW, it’s the first time I listened to your podcast (although I’ve read your blog for years). I really enjoyed it; it’s like having coffee with 2 friends. 🙂
I am so happy you shared this! You hit me right in the heart when you said it was somewhat humiliating to announce your move, because I felt that way recently too. We spent a year building our “forever home” from the ground up, only to realize a year and a half later that it wasn’t working out at all. We traded in that brand new house for a very old 70s house and I’ll admit that I was embarrassed to announce it to anyone. I constantly got the “but you JUST built that house!” And every time I heard that I blushed a little. But we are settling into our new forever home now and this one feels right. Thank you for the very relatable look into your personal life, I’m so proud that you shared this.
So happy for you and your family on this next chapter! I also don’t think you should feel embarassed – I feel like Covid has made a lot of people reevaluate their home and how functional it is for them now that they have to spend SO MUCH more time in it. My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying our first home and the must have list is so much different now from what it was 6 months ago.
Best of luck on the move!
I can relate! All my life I pictured myself in a historic home in the downtown area of my city. Last year I came thisclose to buying one, but as the process moved forward it began to sink in just how much WORK it was going to be. I was also regretting just how much I was trading off (space, closets, 2 car garage, etc.) just to have a ‘cool’ home. Fortunately water damage was discovered literally the day before closing and I was able to back out. 6 months later I found the perfect, 15 year-old home for my family in a decidedly un-cool suburban neighborhood. I’m so thankful it all worked out the way it did. Sometimes you gotta get the thing you think you want to realize you actually want something totally different!
I’m so impressed by your openness! I haven’t listened yet but I’m an Enneagram One and this kind of change would have me wanting to hide in a cave, even though, rationally, there’s nothing to be ashamed about! COVID-19 has just changed absolutely everything and I admire that you guys were able to adjust your expectations AND share with all of us here! Keep up the awesome work here and on the podcast! I love listening to you two!
Life has changed so much in the last few months and looking from “above” (in Canada) at the US I am so scared for oyr neighbours to the south (your situation is insane). So no one can blame you for realizing that yoy may need something else in the now rather than the future. Enjoy the process (again) and don’t fret the small stuff.
Oh Elsie, I FEEL YOU with this one…. so many similarities.
We have a 3year old & Just had our 2nd child in mid March, right as everything shut down. Fast-forward to my husband now working from home and being isolated from friends & family living in a 1000sqft cottage…yeah. It was time to move. We had to stage our house to sell and house Hunt with two children & virtually no help!! Luckily we are currently in contract on our old house & on a new home that’s twice as big (and near our friends!!) Congratulations on doing what is right for your family!
Wow Congratulations Lauren!
Although I definitely exclaimed “what?!” when I saw the pod pop up on my feed today I think it will be a smart decision. My hubby and I just moved into a new house in May, also over COVID time, and I do not envy a second move in all this madness. However, after you rip this bandaid off it sounds like it will be a better fit. TBH it didn’t seem like you totally were in love with your current house. All the updates you’ve posted have been super cute, but it kind of felt like you were making the best of it. Every time you talk about it on the pod you kind of qualify your statements with “this is just phase 1… or, I don’t have the space…” I think not unpacking boxes is kind of a subtle clue from your subconscious! You have to make a house decision so fast, it’s so understandable to find out it’s not the right fit. We made the decision to put in an offer in like an hour, because the market here (Lawrence, KS) is nuts too. Luckily, I’ve fallen more in love with my new house as we’ve lived here. It could have just as easily gone the other way though.
Anyway, I think once you get to the other side this will be the right move for your family. Can’t wait to see what you do with it. Excited to see the new pink couch in it’s new home too. Love your work.
Awesome. Loved the episode! Girl, you are not crazy. Crazy would be not listening to your gut and having the courage to live boldly and bravely. Best wishes! P.S. I agree with Emma, you need to place some pool floats to seal the deal with Nova, maybe a pig floatie?