As I’ve begun packing our belongings over the past few weeks, I’ve been struck with the number of things I’m going to miss about our country home. Surprising things that I never would have guessed just a year and a half ago. Though I look forward to our new home with incredible amounts of hope, excitement and gratitude, I can’t help but look around this space and feel just a little bit of heartache.

I haven’t moved very much in my lifetime. My baby to young child years were spent in a small house in Norwalk that I barely remember and really wish that I did. Photographs of a pudgy little blond girl (me) and a scrappy big brother are about all that help to jog the memories out of me. We moved to Yorba Linda when I was about 5 and I lived there until I was 19. I remember every little detail from the first moving day to the last. I really loved that house and that community, which is why I will always consider it to be my hometown. Then came the move that shook the world – the big move to Visalia. You have to understand, that was earth shattering to me at age 19. I was a typical Orange County teenager loving college life at Cal State Fullerton. I thought my parents had kind of lost their minds. But (after a few not-so-gentle jabs) I felt God calling me to follow, and I did. Then, there was that brief, but amazingly fun year in which I moved out with my best friend, but I returned home once again, where I stayed until meeting Ryan.

The move out to our little home, as man and wife, was just as earth shattering as my move to the valley. A new house to nest in became a great joy and still a constant source of stress in our lives as we adjusted to not only life in the country (bugs, mice and a 60+ year old home), but life living and sharing with someone else, and marriage in general. We made it through the infamous first year and have started to really thrive in our home. This blog has documented that whole process. Well, the parts that I cared to share with the world at large. When I’m feeling kind of nostalgic, I like to look through the archives and see where we were 6 months ago, or a year ago. In this house. Making memories.

The first meal I cooked for us

Our first Christmas tree

Gopher hunting on the front lawn

The day that Jackson arrived

Cold winter nights where we warmed by the fire

The weekend trips that we’ve come to love

I’ve been packing just a few boxes a day as we prepare to move. Something about trying to do more than that just makes it overwhelming, and kind of scary. I’m not sure I’m ready to say goodbye to this place, but I’m overtaken by the joy of what our new home will be. I pray that we “do it justice” and always value the incredible blessing that God is giving us. Regardless of the hard work and sacrifice it’s taken us to get there, how undeserving we truly feel. May it truly be a Home SweetHome.


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