Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, HOME SWEET HOME {1 year}

December 19, 2011....a rainy, cold day.
We closed on our new house! Can't believe it's already been a whole year!

I've wanted to write "the story of our dream house" for a long time, but I didn't mean to wait a whole year. A year later, we are absolutely in love with our home, and it is certain we were meant to end up here. God definitely had a hand in how it all worked out. 

We bought our cute little cottage on Cherry Street in 2002 right before we got married. We spent that Summer after my senior year of college painting and wedding planning. We were married in October 2002, and then moved in! (here's the house in 2002) We loved that house...welcomed our puppies, Gunner and Rudy there. And then in January 2008, brought home our baby boy, Barrett Russell. It was a cozy house, in all senses of the word. 

{Gunner-November 2002}

{Barrett's first day home-January 20, 2008}

A trip down memory lane. Some pics I took the day we listed it....
As much as I loved that little cozy cottage, I haven't missed it a single day since we moved. I just love our new house that much. I always imagined I'd bawl my eyes out when we left the Cherry Street house, but it was such a hectic time with Christmas, family here, etc. I didn't have time to think about being sad. 

Before Barrett was conceived, we had started looking for a bigger place. Found one, and put our house on the market. We had an offer right away! That's when I started to freak out! I suddenly couldn't imagine bringing my baby home to any place other than that cozy cottage. We turned down the offer, took our house off the market and were able to get our earnest money back on the new house (which we are SO thankful we didn't buy). God knew then. 

Again in January 2011, we came across a house we thought we LOVED! We looked at it several times, and put in an offer. We thought of it non-stop and imagined our life there. We ended up in a bidding war with another buyer, and we were asked to submit our "best and final offer." We didn't even know what that meant. It all had happened so fast, and we weren't even sure our financing was final. 24 hours later, we learned we'd lost the house. We were devastated! Both of us shedding tears over the stressful ordeal and losing the house. Everyone told us that "these things happen for a reason..." it was kind, but we didn't care, we were just mad and heartbroken! SURE that was meant to be our house! Even after we lost it, we still drove by daily...wishing. But, God knew then.

Frustrated, we continued looking at houses online, in the paper and driving around town almost every weekend. It was our newest hobby. Must find a house! Within a few months, we'd almost given up...considering what we could do to add-on to the Cherry Street house. Even though the location of it was not the most ideal, we did have room to expand. 

Then, in May 2011, Justin called me from work to tell me "I might have just found us a house." I could sense in his voice that he was serious. He was in a neighborhood just South of town (my parents' neighborhood) doing an install. I think he was transferring services for the lady, when she said she could run to her old house and get the cable boxes. Justin ask how far it was, and that's when she told him "just down the highway"...and started to tell him ALL about how they were down-sizing.  Justin ask about where the house was, and told her that we had been house-hunting for a long time. She pretty much drew him a whole house floor plan right there, telling him everything about it...how big her kitchen was, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. When Justin called me about it, I couldn't picture exactly where the house was. But, Justin being on that job, and finding out about the house was all God's plan. 

As soon as Justin got home from work we went to drive by it! We fell in LOVE instantly! driving by over and over, imagining what the inside would look like. Would we like the layout? The lady had taken Justin's phone number, and was going to have her husband call when they were ready for us to come look at it. They still had some things to move out and some cleaning to do. She also gave us her number and her husband's number. That made us feel good. We were confident they really wanted to let us see it before they listed it. That was in May. It wasn't until July 5th, after we still hadn't gotten a call from them, we finally called. They were still moving things, but agreed that we could go ahead and come see it. Finally, On Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 10:30am we got to see the house!! Yep, it was perfect! We ask to bring my parents back later that day, and I think we put in an offer within that week.

We listed our house that month, crossed our fingers and waited! We had our first open house August 14th, and got our first written offer on August 21st. We had SOLD the house! Well...not so fast. Thanks to some zoning codes, the buyers found out they wouldn't be able to add-on as planned, and therefore the house wouldn't be big enough, so they withdrew their offer. Shortly after that, we got another offer from a lady out of town, but it was contingent on the sale of her house. We accepted and waited. Thankfully the people we were buying our new house from let us extend our contract with them. Finally in late November, she sold her house, and we were able to get moving with closing. The last week of November 2011 we had an appraisal on our new house, and inspection on our Cherry Street house, and termite checks. 

{cleaning out gutters for inspection}

On December 19, 2011 we closed on our new house! Everything just fell into place---finding the house when we did, being the only ones to make an offer on it, buying it 'for sale by owner', and having them be patient with us as we sold our house. If he hadn't found out about the house from the owners when he did, they would have eventually listed it, and I am certain it would have been a HOT buy. In this town, there are lots of people looking for homes, and not a lot of great homes being listed. We would have been in a bidding war for sure, with lots of other people wanting this place :) 

The old owners were nice enough to let us move most of our stuff in before that though! On Friday, Dec. 16th we moved the majority of our furniture and belongings to the new house, piling it all in the garage, dining room, attic and basement. Thank goodness for our friends that helped us out that day! AND the moving truck we borrowed from friends really helped!! My friend Audra helped us move stuff all day Friday, and then spent Friday and Saturday night there with me painting!! She was a work horse! Before we even closed on the house, we'd painted the walk-in pantry, mudroom, dining room and family room! The next week, before Christmas we painted the kitchen (after we took down wallpaper), the entry hall, Barrett's room and master bedroom. I have some productive family and friends! On the 23rd, we had carpet installed. 

Here are some of our moving pictures....

had to get new appliances

B helping load the moving truck

Chippy even helped pack :)

Justin's friend, Luke, was so nice to come help with the big stuff! 

Last night at the Cherry St. house

We slept on our airbed in the family room

Took Gunner and Rudy to the new house in the rain

First meal at the new house! Wingstreet, thanks to gift cards from sweet friends!

Audra busy painting!!

A little construction to get the fridge to fit!

New parking addition to the driveway


SIX days after closing, on December 25th...we were able to celebrate our first Christmas in the new house! We had a cozy painted family room, new carpet, and even a Christmas tree! 

Home Sweet Home!!!
So blessed to have our cozy home!


  1. What an amazing story!!! So glad you found your dream home! :)

  2. Love that story and the fact you were patient in God's perfect timing!
    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  3. This is insane! That is my dad's house in the background on Cherry St. My brother lives there now. Sorry, now I'm just curious, but it may be sleep deprivation! Would love to meet you!


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