On December 23rd, two days before Christmas and right smack-dab in the middle of all the holiday hoopla and ward-splitting craziness, Dave and I bought a house…

…two weeks after the idea planted a seed in our minds.

Two months later I’m still a little bit shocked that we did it, and did it so darn quick.

You see, we have been looking for a place to build for a few years.

I should really say Dave has been looking, because I’ve personally been hanging on by my fingernails to life in general and although the thought of building is alluring, I’m not a quick decision-maker and I think building a house would be the end of me.

So we bought one that we are going to do a few things to in order to make it “ours.”
(That’s right after we bought it with title in hand…that smile on my face is actually a little bit dazed but comforted with Dave’s excitement and confidence that it will be the perfect spot to raise teenagers.)

It really is a perfect fit because it’s just across one major street from where we live right now, so although some of our kids (and me) have some uneasiness about leaving our exact street here in pleasant-ville / friend-central suburbia, they will be a bike-ride away from their bosom buddies, and will be making lots of new friends over in that other kid-haven neighborhood.

Because of that I’m thinking they’ll most probably survive the move πŸ™‚

We didn’t even tell them we bought the house for a week or so…we had to let it sink in a bit and brace ourselves for their bawling. I was all braced for it because I wanted to do it myself in some ways. Yes, I’m excited for this project and the future it holds…it really is a perfect scenario for us, but man alive I didn’t realized how sentimental I am.

Anyone related to my dad has inherited that sentimental gene, but I didn’t realize mine was so strong. Every time I walk into our house where we live right now I find something else that I just adore about it. I just love this house with all my heart. We just finished this room and this room for crying out loud, and everything surrounding us here is so meaningful to us as a family.

And I love the memories it holds of TEN YEARS of our lives: I know the spot where Lucy finally started walking at nineteen months. I think of the kitchen bar where so many projects have been done from school reports to valentine’s boxes. And the bedrooms where so many bedtime stories have been read, first by us parents and then by our stumbling, new-reading kindergartners, and followed by teenagers curled up with a good book on their own. The bathrooms are where our children have learned how to work. Max knows the pool and the yard like the back of his hand. And that yard of his has been heart-attacked and toilet-papered more times than I can count. We have held countless family home evenings filled with love in our family room and played so many games and held so many family dinners around our table, cracking up at Lucy’s antics and telling about our “happies and sads” from the day. I know the way the floor creaks in certain spots and the way the dim streetlights softly slant through the windows in the middle of the night in the room where I have nursed our babies and held them close, whispering in their ear to please not grow up too fast.

But here we are with them growing right up in front of our eyes. And having the audacity not only to not join me in my sentimental melancholy but to actually throw up some cheers about the move πŸ™‚ They know better than I do that new memories will begin, and the fondness of this home will not fade, just a new fondness will grow with the new home.

Dave jokes with me that I’d pack up and move to China so much faster than I would move across the street, and in so many ways that’s true. But that’s because China wouldn’t be giving up what we have right now.

During our post-news-giving-sparkling-apple-cider toasting only one of them put on a fake smile for this picture:Can you tell which one?

We won’t be moving until we do a few remodeling things, which Dave and I are working on plans for right now. Until then we’ll soak up this memory-laden home we have grown to love and fill our hearts and my camera with it’s beauty.

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  1. Congratulations! I'm sure it will be extremely emotional leaving that gorgeous home of yours, even if it is only a neighborhood away! I'd by lying, though, if I didn't say I'm hopeful that we'll see some of the remodeling you'll be doing! you've got great taste.

    There is nothing like a move to breathe fresh air into your life. Enjoy it when you can!

  2. Congrats! Wow, over the last few months that I've been reading your blog, I've felt like I'm leading a semi-parellel life to yours, but maybe about 10 years earlier. πŸ™‚ YW and now buying a house? That's exactly what my husband and I are about to do! I have loved hearing your positive take on your family life and focusing on what's really important. Thanks. πŸ™‚

  3. We are in the middle of doing something similar. We bought a foreclosure so that we could have the kind of space and neighborhood we could stay in forever. However, there is SO much work to be done. And we chose to move in while we do the work. You are smart to do the work before you move in! Can't wait to see the progress. I have enjoyed blogging about our adventures too.



  4. Congratulations on the new house! We are also just getting ready to say goodbye to the home we raised our babies in and take our now 4 1/2 and 6 year old across the country to NC! Moving anywhere (even across the neighborhood) looks like a big adventure! Hooray for you and the fam!

  5. Elle….isn't she the oldest? I think her smile is faking it….and that makes sense. Usually the older ones are the ones that have a hard time with things. Can't wait till you show us what you are going to do in the remodel department!

  6. We did the same thing exactly a year ago. We had no plans to do it but it just kind of fell into our laps. Although our teenagers were apprehensive about making the move (we stayed in the same ward and the same schools)it has turned out to be the best thing we ever did. I about had a nervous breakdown on the day we moved as I walked through my empty house and remembered all the great things our family experienced in that house. But now we're settled and it's been one of the best things we could do for our kids and family.

  7. I'm guessing the fake smile was from Elle. Don't forget to tell us who it was.
    Coming from a child who moved around A LOT when I ws growing up, I would be putting on the fake smile too.
    Best wishes with your new house. I bet it's going to be beautiful.

  8. What a great thing to move into a new neighborhood. All our moves have been far ones. I bet they will come around so quickly! I tink it is Claire who is faking the smile. Please tell us.

  9. Hi! I love your blog and am a fellow Gilbert mom. In fact we know some of the great same people. I lived with Bob and Virginia on my mission in DC. My daughter Brinkely and your niece Brimley were best friends in Elementary school. But since we live in Gilbert, they were in different schools for Jr. and High School so they haven't seen each other that much. I know the Barney's and others and wish I could know you more personally. You have an amazing family and I would love to live in your ward/stake area. I'm writing you wondering about what your plans are with your current home? Will you be renting or selling? I am a single mom of five (one on a mission) and would love to talk about personally renting your home when you move, or helping to sell your home. I'm a real estate agent and am looking for ways to work in this field in addition to my day job. If you are interested, please let me know. It sure would be a blessing to me and my children. Thanks!
    – Kimberly

  10. Congrats! We're getting ready to put our first house on the market and it makes me a bit sad. We haven't found the right lot yet, but that takes a long time in our area. We'll be knocking down a house and starting from scratch (am I crazy?). I'd love to see posts of the remodeling you'll be doing. I love your style and your new home is going to be absolutely beautiful with all new memories. Luckily you'll be down the street from your old house so you can drive by whenever you want. It will probably be the same for us and it makes me happy knowing that.

  11. My guess for the fake smile is Elle – you can see it in her eyes. Your house is beautiful but your home (which are the memories you take) are even more so. Hang in there Elle!

  12. Gosh between you and Clover Lane I am depressed this Monday afternoon!

    Congratulations on the house! That is something we need to do and I have been looking for a while. But I am the same as you maybe worse. I don't know if I could leave all the memories!(and forget about the house..I don't think I could get my kids to leave that pool!

    If we could afford to send our kids to private school or to a different school system I wouldn't leave my house ever. We built the house we live in now when I was pregnant with my second and now I just had my fifth(which I never thought I would have).

    Our house is just not our forever house. I would much rather bite the bullet and find the house now that we could comfortably hang all of our hats in and make new memories(my oldest is only 8). Then be able to have our grandkids there someday and make some more.

    I know I can't wait to see what you have in store!!

    P.S. I linked to your parents blog the other day for some reason (I don't normally read it but yours is one of my tabs) and your mom had mentioned their visit with you and that you bought a house. I thought I might of misunderstood! But suspicions confirmed!

  13. Congratulations! How exciting. I can't wait to see photos of the new house. It's been 11 years and were still in our 5 year house. Real estate in the SF bay area is crazy but I am hoping that we can make a move soon as well. Here's to many happy memories in your new casa.

  14. I'm holding onto hope that the remodeling will take a few years. Ha! Wishful thinking! In the meantime my girls are trying to enjoy every free minute they have with yours while you're "just around the corner". We're going to miss having you so close!

  15. Yay, how excited you guys must be! I always wanted to move when I was a kid- but I know I would have bawled at the last minute lol. I'm thinking it's Elle too… are we right? Can't wait to see the new place; you have such a talent for decorating! πŸ™‚

  16. Congrats! What a fun, new time that will be for you guys! Honestly, I'm in love with your current house. I saw a photo of it in one of your past posts and have pinned it for memory sake. It's a beautiful cross between modern and traditional.

    We moved a few times when i was a child and my mom always took photos and videos of the house before we started packing up so we could remember it down the road. I always loved it when she videoed my room – I felt like a tour guide. haha.

    Just thought I would share the idea! Good luck!

  17. Any change, even a good one can be very unsettling. I am so pleased for you and hope that by now everyone's smile is a real one.
    I think it's Elle too. I hope it is, poor girl us all saying it looks like her.
    tons of love
    jo x

  18. Shawni….we talked a few months about about faith..I am being baptized in a few weeks! you inspired me! I hope to one day meet..though my child is grown…you make my heart, soul and faith smile…

  19. I agree with the others…I think its Elle. She may be worried that her friend will not know which lawn to 'heart' next year…Have her make some cute address change cards!

    I read your blog from time to time and love it! I think you are very inspirational and love your ideas especially on raising children.

  20. Poor Elle looks like she is in pain. I remember to this day (and I'm 63) when my parents moved from Richmond, VA to Charlottesville, VA and I was in 8th grade and I thought I would die. There was no way I was going to survive! Met my husband in C'ville, made life long friends in C'ville. I survived and I know you all will too. How exciting!

  21. axmccord, I am SOOOOO excited for you! I can't figure out a way to reach you, but I wanted to tell you how happy I am for you and I'll sure be thinking about you these next few weeks:)

    Much love,

  22. I'm so excited for your new adventure and to see how you decorate your new home! I love seeing glimpses of your current home, I got the giant fork like yours and then my hubby got me the spoon and the knife! I love your before/after of the kitchen cabinets, and so excited for your new adventure. We lived in our first home/ward for 7 years and hte past 2 years in a neighborhood just down the road and a new ward. Its tough to have those in your old ward think you "abandoned" them, while wanting to form new friendships with the new ward. I haven't read your blog in a while, but I've come looking for inspiration on sibling love, as my kids are growing and bugging each other more than they used to….

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