When He Knows Better

I haven’t been big into sharing news lately.  It feels like if I share news and I am excited about it then surely something bad will happen and I’ll have to come back around and tell you that it didn’t come to fruition.  But, I really need a break from packing and now is as good a time as any to share that…..we sold our house and bought a house in Austin a few weeks ago.

We sold our house July 13th and bought a house Friday the 17th.  The 12th through the 16th were real nail biter sleepless nights kind of days.  We went back and forth with our buyers 5 times and ended up selling for less than we wanted.  Then we went to put in an offer on the house we wanted in Austin only to find out they wouldn’t accept an offer from us because we had to do a contingent on the close of our home offer AND there were two other offers on that house so we were definitely not in the running.  This was my “Lord what are you doing moment?!?!”  The house had literally been on and off the market for a year and then the day we think we can finally put in an offer there are TWO offers on it.  So for a couple days we looked at rental properties, took a step back, tried to figure out what God wanted us to do, and then when everything seemed to fall through we decided to write an offer for our second choice house.  Our second choice was much cheaper, but also much smaller and the way we envisioned life in Austin would have been quite different in that house, but it looked like that was the direction we were supposed to go, so we went there.

We got the letter from the lender, had the offer ready to summit and then we got a text from our realtor….surprise, the house we wanted was asking us to make a contingent offer.  So then we had to take a couple hours and really decide how we wanted to proceed, ultimately we wanted the bigger house that looked like it would fit our life much better.  We decided to go in with our best offer which was actually less than asking price and let them know that we weren’t willing to negotiate so they could take it or leave it and we felt like if they walked then it just wasn’t supposed to be our house.  They accepted our offer and we bought a house!!  There are several little “daddy God knows you” things in this house that I’ll share about at another time, but let’s just say I’m a little giddy to get in here and put our taste in it.

The ONLY reason they were willing to entertain our offer was because there were two other offers on the table and they found out the offer they were going to accept was actually contingent on them selling their house, unlike ours which is contingent on the close.  When I heard there were offers on “our house,” the one we had chosen, gotten attached to, redecorated in our minds, pinterest board dreamed about I was feeling so devastated.  I felt like the floor had dropped out a bit and I had no direction for where we would be going when we got to Austin and then God showed me that he had it all worked out and I needed to just relax and TRUST.  It also put us in a fabulous negotiating position because I was forced to become emotionally detached from the house when it looked like it would be sold to someone else, so we were able to confidently offer what we wanted to pay instead of over paying because we really wanted it.

So now we close on our house here in Illinois in a week and will be relocating to Austin in a few weeks.  I’m so lucky we get to stop at my parent’s for a week in between, I can wrap up a few things at work, relax for a bit, let my girls soak up a little more Mimi and Papa time and start doing some dreaming with my mama about how I’m going to transform our new house on a shoestring budget!  Prayers for our family through this transition would be much appreciated, especially for our Ellery as this will likely affect her the most.

The biggest selling feature of this house!  We fell in love with this backyard and Ellery is SO excited to have a "park" in her backyard.  Everything else in the house is not really "us" yet so I'll be sharing more photos as I put my  touches on it.

The biggest selling feature of this house! We fell in love with this backyard and Ellery is SO excited to have a “park” in her backyard. Everything else in the house is not really “us” yet so I’ll be sharing more photos as I put my touches on it.


The House We’ve Called Home

Before I post all these pictures I want to remind you that we staged this house before the pictures.  This is how we are living right now, but TYPICALLY there are toys strewn about and dishes in the sink, sometimes you can’t see my countertops because they are so piled with things that “don’t have a home,” you get the idea, this is not at all how we live day to day, but since this blog is very much my journal to look back on in years to come I decided I wanted to post some of our house pictures.  This is the house we’ve called our home for the past 2 years.  A lot of work went into this one.  Praying it sells quickly and to a family that will greatly enjoy raising their kids in this place.

house frontEntrykitchenFamily Roomdiningliving roomMastermaster bathguest roomEllery's RoomVaughn's RoomKids BathBasementback yard We got all our projects done except the floors, that was the next item on our list we were saving for.  I would have loved to see this house totally complete, but we took it very far from where it was….maybe someday soon I’ll find those pictures and post them.  I will miss this backyard and all the late night conversations with friends that have taken place here, hoping our next place has a fabulous backyard and we are able to create many new memories.  Hoping to very soon update you that we have sold this house and we can buy the house I have my heart set on, we’ll see!!  And if you want to see our last house, just click on the our home tab underneath this post, I seriously changed the colors this time around!

All pictures done by Kelly at Look 2 Home Marketing, she was fantastic!!


Full Swing

We are in full swing of mom project week. I seriously needed a kick in the bum when it came to doing house projects. I feel like we have done nothing all summer, I’m realizing that’s because our last project was completed Memorial Day weekend. So this week is all about getting things checked off my massive house project list. I boiled it down to one attainable page for this week from four very unattainable pages. My mom came for the week and we are steadily checking things off, feels SO GOOD. Maybe, just maybe I’ll post more house pictures soon!



I’m slow to adapt, not so much in social situations, throw me in a new group of people and I’ll feel like I have friends within the hour. I like change. Sometimes I like change too much, but I’m learning to be content, becoming a mom has really changed me in that regard. I’m happy to just exist the three of us indefinitely, this is not to say we don’t want to grow our family, but I feel in no rush to change our current life. Moving to the Midwest didn’t feel like a huge change. Andrew working from home, no big deal, me starting to work part time felt normal, church life feels like we never left, but this house…that’s been a huge adjustment. We like our house a lot and we absolutely love our neighborhood, but going from an 1800 square foot one story on a postage stamp lot to an over 3000 square foot three story home on a corner lot has been a challenge. It doesn’t matter how much I clean I never feel like I’m close to finishing the chores and the tension in our home has been worse than it used to be. We were discussing this with my mother in law the other day trying to get to the root of the issue and then I had one of those light bulb moments, I get mad at Andrew because he has to mow the lawn so often. He used to mow every other week for 30 minutes in Austin, now he mows every 3 to 4 days for a couple hours. So I’m slow to adapt, but today while Andrew mows and Elle naps I realized this could be my time each weekend to focus on me. I get to blog, pay bills, I plan to start my house project list shortly, peruse Pinterest, organize, or just do something for me. Yeah, I can get used to this me time every few days. As I sit hear listening to the Adele Pandora station I’m feeling super content. For those of you who know me well you know it’s huge that I’m listening to Pandora, I finally downloaded it a couple days ago and I’m.in.love, yeah I’m slow to adapt, but I’m getting there!

My Cleaning Lists

So I’ve been asked before, and after my post on getting motivated the other day I was asked again to post my cleaning lists. So here you have it, they are kind of a work in progress. I need to redo them now that we live in a new house with different needs, but you can get the basics and tweak them to fit your needs. I bought dollar store certificate frames because a piece of printer paper fits in them. Then I scoured the Internet, found lists I liked and consolidated them to fit my needs.

So my daily list I try to complete by 5:00, yes hula hooping is on the list, I have a weighted hula hoop that works your core without killing your back. I don’t usually check them off, but they are a good reminder. My weekly is pretty well set, except I need to add ironing and mopping. Now that I have a child feeding herself I need to mop the kitchen weekly.

I know it appears I am seriously slacking, but I did a lot of these last month when we moved in and it’s just about time to do them again.

Confession: I’m not fantastic about the quarterly list. This is what I really want to get better at. Some of these I naturally do, like purge and donate my closets, some not so much like cleaning the tops of my cabinets. I need to just plan one day every quarter and do the whole list. Some of these you could do every 6 months, but I kept it simple for the list sake.

Once a year and it would be super helpful in keeping our house much nicer. Especially cleaning out the window tracks. Our last house probably never had the tracks clean and it was nearly impossible to get them looking nice. Now I just have to wipe them out once year and it’s much easier.

I hung them up together in our laundry room and can use a dry erase marker on the glass to mark the tasks off and keep reusing them.

I do not have these in printable form, but lucky for you I stumbled upon THIS last night and she did an amazing job making beautiful free printables to make an entire house binder. It’s amazing and I would love to do this someday. I am by no means an excellent house keeper, but I decided it was time to try, so don’t look at this and think I have it all together, I DO NOT.

Dining Room Redo

Here it is folks, our first finished room, well it’s almost finished. To be perfectly honest I highly doubt any room in our house will ever be completely done, I like to change things up, but this room is done enough to show you. Our dining room was the one thing that almost prevented us from closing. The former owners took the crystal chandelier, replaced it with a $10 boob light and were in breach of contract. They lied to our realtor, but luckily we scoured our contract the night before and they paid for us to get a new light, honestly they ended up paying for the entire room makeover because I only spent half of the money on the light.

Here is the picture from the listing of the house:


And here is what it looks like today:


I personally find it hard to believe that these are even the same room. Andrew and his dad worked their butts off last weekend to complete the wood paneling. Thanks to our friend Steve for letting us borrow all the tools to complete this. Andrew and I spent this weekend painting it and I did the touch ups yesterday. Check that project off the list, 1 down, 1 million to go…

Curtains: IKEA
Gray: Sherwin Williams Serious Gray
White: Sherwin Williams Snowbound
Light: Floor Sample purchased from KBL (brand unknown)
Table: Ashley (OLD)
Paneling Inspiration: HERE (minus the top shelf)

Cause for Silence

I haven’t been quite sure what to write, how much to share or how to tell about the whirlwind we’ve experienced over the last few days, but I decided while Ellery watches her shape DVD I would attempt to tell you about the roller coaster ride that has been our life over the last few days.

We decided kind of last minute to make a trip up to Champaign/Peoria area on Friday. If you were not informed you are not alone we only told like 3 people. We just weren’t sure what our house hunt would look like and we definitely didn’t want to over commit ourselves, so I apologize for any hurt feelings, they were completely unintentional. We left after we got word from the realtor that the couple would be making reasonable requests and we figured it was safe to drive up before their option period because we really needed to pick out a house and put in an offer if this whole thing was going to go as fast as it appeared.

Saturday when we were about 3 hours from my parent’s our realtor called and informed us the buyer had backed out because they were freaked out about a couple things in our inspection report. We were shocked. We literally have done almost every single line item from our inspection 2 years ago and the others we had appointments to fix over the coming week or two. We were appalled that they were unwilling to let us fix the couple issues, but they would not work with us and decided on Sunday that they definitely wanted to back out. We signed our termination papers over lunch and our house was officially listed. In 24 hours we had 9 showings. One of which revealed that it appeared we had carpenter ants in our attic, which obviously was not there when we left on Friday! I’m so thankful this realtor contacted our realtor to let her know the issue. We had the pest people out and they think when we had our roof replaced on Monday it disturbed a nest and that is why we suddenly had an issue. Luckily it’s a quick cheap fix, but before we had the resolution it was very stressful.

The reason cited for the couple backing out of the contract was a minor water leak in our showers, $150 and an hour later a plumber fixed those two issues. This couple lost out on our house over a one hour repair that we were absolutely willing to fix! Now we can see that it was such a blessing they backed out. We signed off on an even better offer last night and feel confident about this next inspection now that we’ve had a plumber fix the issues. Also because we didn’t have an offer on Sunday when we looked at houses we couldn’t put in our offer on the house we really want and yesterday they lowered the price for a second time. In 10 minutes we’ll be signing our offer with the realtor and hopefully we’ll be buying the house that I’ve already started decorating in my head. We are on quite the ride right now, but I’m so glad that Andrew is in the car with me and we are holding on together! We close April 30th now instead of the 9th and I’m great with having a few more weeks to pack and spend time with friends and family in the Austin area. I hope to have great news in the next few days!!

Could This Actually Happen?

That’s what I asked our realtor Saturday when she stopped by to help us complete our paperwork. We decided we would put our house on the Market March 1st. We wanted to get our roof done and finish painting the back of the house. Saturday at 1:00 we had a showing, their realtor wanted to show them before it went on the market. She had stopped by earlier in the week with another client who decided to pass, but she thought this couple would love the house. We left the house and said a quick prayer, “Lord, if this is the couple meant for our house please let them love it and buy it today.” We went about our day and honestly had no expectations. At one point I’m sure we joked about how cool it would be if we were done selling our house before it even began, but had no serious hopes, we knew in order to sell it before it went on the market we would have to get a full price offer. Around 4:00 on Saturday we got a text from our realtor saying they wanted to put in an offer. Still with low expectations we were cautiously optimistic and we went through the process of getting all our ducks in a row with paperwork and utility reports. Our realtor came over, picked up the paperwork and got all the official stuff going. Sunday evening Andrew and I were sitting around hanging out and I happened to check my e-mail, we got the offer, it was good and with a couple minor tweaks our house went under contract yesterday. Our closing date is 42 days from today!! For those of you math challenged, like myself, that’s April 9th. Yes, you read that right, we sold our house before it even went on the market. We still obviously have some things that need to happen before it all totally goes through, but we are excited and moving forward. The inspection is later this week, a few of our windows are being replaced and the appraisal has to be completed, but we can’t wait for all of that to choose our next house so we are in official house hunting mode. We appreciate all your prayers, friends, we know this whole process is not because of what we have done, but because of what God is doing. We could use a few more from you so here is what we need specific prayer for over the coming weeks.

– That the inspection would come back fairly clean, there is no way it’ll be spotless, but we are praying for a good report.
– That the house would appraise for the purchase price, I don’t know why, but this part has always stressed me out, I guess because I can’t do anything to fix this.
– That all the financing goes through in a timely manner, for us and for them.
– That we feel at peace with whatever house we get. We have a house picked out that we are both thrilled with, but ultimately we want to be in the right location for God’s plans and I don’t want our love of this house to cloud our judgement.
– And probably my biggest stress right now, that the move will be smooth. I’m not kidding when I say we have 3X the amount of stuff that we did when we moved here. We are packing and loading ourselves and it has stressed me out since day one! We have a gigantic couch that I am not sure how we will fit in a truck with all our boxes.

We met the buyers last night and I am so much more ready to hand over the house. They are a sweet newlywed couple and they seem so excited to live here. Makes it feel more like I’m giving someone a gift of a home instead of feeling like I’m just leaving one behind.

Now you know if I’m a little sporadic in my posting I’m either packing or purging!

It’s Just a House

That’s what I tell myself every single day. Every morning I wake up and tell myself it’s just a house, but my words have not taken root in my heart yet. It’s just our first house, our first big purchase as a married couple, we haven’t even purchased a car together. It happened to just be the house that met all our wants list, the perfect compromise of a house. I knew it was ours before we walked into the house. It’s just the house that we spent countless hours working on, I would guess we are somewhere over the thousand hour mark. It’s just the house we brought our first bundle of joy home to. I know it’s “just a house,” but to us it’s our home. I know we will have a home again, it took me a year to feel at home in this house, so I’m hoping it takes less time in the next one.  I am not quite prepared for the criticism that comes with selling a house.  Our next door neighbors told us it was the most demoralizing time of their lives, great that’s just what I need!  Despite these feelings we are still really excited about this move and I look forward to showing you pictures of our new house whenever we find it and buy it.  My sweet friend Shanyn took these beautiful pictures of our house.  If you live in the Austin Area she is awesome to work with.  I would recommend to never try selling your house without professional pictures, trust me we have been looking at a lot of houses.



Ellery’s room


Guest bathroom


Kitchen and hearth room


Looking out from the kitchen

Family room

Family room

Master bedroom

Master bedroom

Master bedroom, looking into bathroom

Master bedroom, looking into bathroom

Master bathroom

Master bathroom

Hearth room

Hearth room

Back yard

Back yard








Ellery Wynn’s Nursery

I have been waiting for the nursery to look perfect, but she’ll be 5 months on Friday and it was done before she was born so today is the day. I didn’t stage the bookshelf, the changing pad is my back up and I took photos with the iPad because it’s easier, so without further ado, Elle’s nursery…