When Kyle and I had been married for about six years and I was very newly pregnant with Dacey, we moved from Fort Worth to San Marcos, Texas. We had not made the leap into home ownership yet, but with a new baby on the way, we thought perhaps the time was right.
Kyle and I may differ in a lot of ways, but one passion we've always shared is our enthusiasm for old homes. We looked high and low in San Marcos for an older home that we could afford, one that possibly needed a little time and attention and love to restore it to its previous glory. We couldn't find anything in that community, so our realtor suggested we move our search to the south.
In the charming town of New Braunfels (sigh), we found our dream house. A quaint two bedroom with gorgeous hardwood floors throughout, this house had already been loved back into beauty. Fresh paint, fresh fixtures, fresh finishes. It was the most darling house, complete with a white picket fence.
This was back in 2004 when anyone could get a loan for nearly any amount, and our financing was approved with no question. But it began to gnaw at us, and the more we looked at the numbers, the more we knew we couldn't afford this house. We ended up backing out of the contract, hearts broken and humiliated. I am not exaggerating when I say it has taken us years to recover from that experience. We've never entertained the thought of buying a house again.
In February, Kyle took a promotion with a different investment firm, and this meant a daily commute into Oklahoma City. More than a few people in the small town in which we live make this drive daily, and though it brought some adjustments to our daily schedule, it was fine.
Separately, God began to press on our hearts the idea of moving to Oklahoma City. It was very clear to both of us the direction was to move into the city itself, not one of the suburbs or small town communities outlying our state's capital city. When we finally began to talk about it, we both realized we had been nervous to tell the other because moving into this much more urban area brought with it a bounty of questions and issues we hadn't considered before (namely: schools).
We quietly began to work with a realtor - Gary Caplinger, the husband of a long-time friend of mine who shares our passion for historic, urban areas and our spiritual beliefs. It was wonderful to work with someone with whom we had the freedom to say, "We need to pray about this," and "We are really trying to hear from God" as our search began.
As I was getting ready to board the plane to Nashville for Blissdom, Gary sent me a link to a house that was so charming, so inviting, so cozy and so perfect, my eyes filled with tears. It was everything we had been looking for.
Throughout the weekend at Blissdom when I had a free minute, I would sneak peeks at the house again, and my heartbeat would quicken. As soon as I got off the plane after my return to Oklahoma, I drove from the airport to the neighborhood to see the house in 3D. As I drove down the street, my heart sank. They were having an Open House that day, and I was convinced someone would grab it up before we could. I parked my car in front of the house and tearfully reminded myself that if it was meant to be, it would be.
We got to see the house and it was even better than we had hoped for from what we had seen of the listing pictures. We were concerned about the way the space was laid out, especially in the bedrooms, and so I reluctantly agreed that we needed to keep looking. We saw quite a few beautiful homes in the old streetcar suburbs of Oklahoma City, but none of them were quite right.
Eventually, we asked to see the beautiful red brick again, and on our second showing, we both just knew. This was our house. Suddenly our concerns about the layout of the space seemed unimportant - workable solutions sprang to mind, and we were sold. Long story and a few delays later, and we closed on the house last Wednesday.
Complete with glass doorknobs
Of course we are beyond giddy about our new home, but we are equally excited about moving into Oklahoma City - where the streets are clean but most of them are gritty (watch the video to see what I mean). There are some pretty cool things happening in the City right now, including a strong movement celebrating the arts. The buy local movement is gathering speed, and from the inner core outward, there is a vision for both restoring historical elements of this old cowtown while aspiring to a new vision for urban development.
I'm thrilled to be joining bloggers like Pencil Shavings, Design Crush, pippin + pearl, and jeremy and kathleen in showing the world what life in OKC looks like (not a covered wagon in sight!). And so many of our friends from high school, college, and online life live in the City - how incredible to have a built-in network of friends waiting on us.
Two weeks from today is our scheduled moving day. As you can imagine, between house hunting and book release madness, life has been super chaotic behind the computer screen. In the next few weeks, I'll be featuring some sweet friends who have volunteered to fill the space here. I'm wishing/hoping/praying that by June, we'll be back into the swing of things.
I cannot even tell you how excited we are about this next chapter in our lives, even as our hearts tighten with bittersweet over leaving small town life behind. Change, as always, is the only thing that stays the same.
This is where we are moving.