I just joined Living Social (like Groupon). I've been researching area preschools, pediatricians, and family doctors. I've been asking around for recommendations on where to get local, organic food in season. Ryan & I made a bucket list. Ryan & I have been looking at various churches.
Why is this unusual? Because they're not for Louisville-- except for the list, entitled "Things to Do Before Leaving Louisville." Yes, in a sudden & strange turn of events, Ryan & I have had our offer accepted for a house in Greenville, SC, and are set to close on February 10th. Of this year.
Why Greenville? Well, as many of you know, I grew up in Greenville; it's my hometown, my college town (Go Furman Paladins!), my parents' town. Two of my aunts, my parents, and one set of grandparents live there, with my sisters 4 hours or less away. I still have friends living in the area, either from college, high school, or before. Why now? The short answer is "because I'm a wuss." =D
The long answer goes something like... why not now? For the past few years Ryan & I have realized that we were just in Louisville because we were in Louisville. One by one our ties to the city-- jobs, school, church commitments, close friends-- have all gone away. Meanwhile, Ryan's job takes him around the world in increasing amounts, while I can accompany him less. Being pregnant with all its difficulties (again) leads us to expect that future pregnancies will be just as difficult-- probably more so as more young children are added to the mix. Friends are amazing and willing to help (I've had friends come make meals, come help me process apples & pumpkins, take Eowyn for the day, and pray for us), but when most of us are in the same boat (pregnant, with little ones), it's hard to get help at the drop of a hat. However, the longer we stay the more roots we set down here and it's harder & harder to leave. Ryan has lived in Louisville for 14 years, and in the past 2 has re-connected with high school friends that have become dear brothers in Christ to him. While our first "wave" of close friends have all moved on, we have begun to make new close friendships...and that pattern is likely to continue.
So, we have been looking at moving to Greenville to be near family in the next season of our lives (most of Ryan's side of our family live 2- 4 hours of Greenville, too-- as opposed to the 8 they are now). It seems the Biblical "norm" is to be close to your family unless God specifically calls you elsewhere, and we have felt no such call. Louisville was the perfect place for us to begin our marriage, careers, and family, to experience life in community and enjoy getting to know a city together. Now, it seemed like time to move on, but how to know when?
We prayed that the Lord would make it clear by showing us a house that was "too good a deal to pass up" and then opening all the appropriate doors to buying it. Ryan's kept a "potential properties" tab open on his browser and we've looked at dozens of houses from afar. Over Christmas we visited my folks and went with a Realtor friend of ours, as we'd done for the past few visits, and once again ruled out all the ones we saw. However, at midnight before we were due to leave Ryan somehow saw another property online, one that looked perfect for us! He & my father raced over (remember, it's midnight), used flashlights & the car's high beams to peer in all the windows (yes, it was a vacant house, otherwise Ryan probably would have had a view of Greenville's county jail, lol). The realtor had asked us if we wanted to see any properties on our way out of town, and at this point Ryan emailed back and said "yes!" and provided the address of the property he & my dad had found. He added in a few more "since we're already in the area," and the realtor added one she thought we'd like, based on what she's learned of our tastes. Next morning we set out, and we liked ALL of them. It was the exact opposite of the day before! We especially liked the one our realtor "thought we might like." We decided to stay the rest of the day and visit a new area church plant the following morning. We were really encouraged by the church service (we could see ourselves worshiping & serving there), and the whole way home we talked about the houses we'd seen.
We contacted some mortgage brokers to see if we could even get financing without selling our current home first. Within a day, we knew we could. We made an offer on The House...counter offer... counter-counter offer... settled. Now we are gathering up paper work for the actual sale and, should our financing come through as expected, we will close on our new home 4 states away in a month. Whew! We went from casually looking at homes to committing to BUY one in less than a week, and it's left us a little windswept. It's a clear answer to prayer and a huge blessing to me-- I know my husband is moving because he loves me. That means so much.
We are excited about having a beautiful home with plenty of room for guests and more children, with an office for Ryan NOT in the middle of things; we love the idea of being within walking distance of family... we are counting up all the goodbyes that must be said in the next 2 months, though, and it is sad. We want to fully enjoy every last minute of our time in Louisville!!
A few pictures of our favorite parts of the house:
|Eowyn's favorite part: the "Belle" staircase |
(can you tell she got 'Beauty & the Beast' for Christmas?)
|The wood-burning fireplace whose adjacent arches which we intend to turn into bookshelves!|
|The partition dividing tiled kitchen from living room|
|Remodeled kitchen with beautiful tile details and tile countertops--|
I CAN'T WAIT TO HAVE CABINET SPACE!!