Faith & Family, RenovationsThe Next Chapter March 16, 2019 About a week ago, I shared on social media that we’d closed on our next “home.” I know some of you have been expecting it soon knowing we’re approaching our two year anniversary in our little stone cottage. And I pretty much shared this was coming around this time in my last story video about our journey toward financial independence. But some others were like, “Wait, didn’t you just buy this house?! ” I know, y’all, how has it already been two years? Time has flown for us. We started looking for the next property after Christmas knowing our two-year anniversary was coming. We wanted to give ourselves plenty of time to find the “right” thing because this time around, we felt our desires and list shifting. But every other time we’ve looked for a house, it’s landed right in our laps immediately! So I think we had expectations for that to come quickly. We searched and searched. We looked at so many houses that were all completely different situations, renovation levels, and locations for months. There were a lot of great options, but we were so prayerful during this journey and after seeing every great house, we both would feel anxiety instead of the peace we’ve always felt God bring when it was right. There were many reasons on paper that properties weren’t a fit, but the biggest factor was the missing peace. Our desires and list have shifted. I said a year or so ago that we felt like we were reaching a turning point in our renovation and debt adventure (watch our renovation and debt series here). And we’ve continued to feel it. The debt being paid off from our four flips and the stage of our growing family made us start craving a season of settle. And as our kids have grown, what we want for them has started to become defined. Here were our hopes for this next spot: 1.) More nature – It’s no secret that this is a really big deal to us. While we’ve loved living in the city for the last seven years, we’ve continually craved something a bit different for the next season of our family. 2.) Longer term – While we weren’t (and still aren’t) ready to say this is our forever house, we do want something longer term. This will be the first home we’ve moved into WITHOUT knowing we’d sell at the two year mark to pay off debt. For us, a longer term house has a different list attached to it like a tiny bit more space for our family to grow as much as God leads. And location played a big role in that as well. And so after much looking and searching, an opportunity popped up and God laid all the pieces in place! Who’s ready to see the next chapter in The White Buffalo journey, HOUSE #5! Yep. WE’RE BUILDING A HOUSE!!! While we’ve long had the dream to one day buy land and build our family home, we knew we weren’t there yet. But after house after house fell through, we started to think maybe we should try something different. While we loooooove old houses, we’ve also always wanted the experience of building and designing from scratch to learn from. We stumbled on a sweet neighborhood that met all of our location requirements while house hunting and fell in love! It’s an older neighborhood with some newer homes built in. It has a variety of house styles and much bigger lots than in the city (we’re talking half an acre – it feels GIANT to us haha!). It’s extremely wooded and hilly and feels like you’re out in the mountains. We looked at an old ranch in this neighborhood last in our search and were so sad it wasn’t a fit mainly because of the neighborhood. While it wasn’t our land in the country yet, it felt like such a happy medium between our current tiny, flattened city plots and future nature-filled dreams. After that house fell through, we couldn’t get the neighborhood out of our minds and were riding through and noticed a lot for sale. There are three lots in the whole area still free and one happened to be on the market. It’s so wooded and even though it’s winter and the leaves are all off the trees, it immediately felt like my very own little enchanted forest. And this special little spot rooted itself in my heart. And I felt it. PEACE. This felt like the next spot for our family, one we could love and cultivate and settle for as long as we wanted. This felt like home. We got advice from trusted contractor friends, put in our offer, and before we knew it, IT WAS OURS. The lot used to be owned by the house beside it and it is FULL of plantings. They’ve moved on now, but they must’ve been avid gardeners. In addition to the 40-50 trees on the .6 acre lot, there are so many plants. Rows and rows of daffodills and little carefully laid rock walls. There are about 20 forsythia plants and twice as many azaleas. I’m just giddy to see it all come to life as spring arrives! We’ve been spending a lot of time out there, on our land, just dreaming and making plans. Rosie stays buried in the flower beds picking fist-fulls to take home and put in vases. We’ve spread them around our house and have been enjoying them so much this last week. I was staring at them one morning and teared up when it hit me, “These came out of “our yard.” Such a small thing to many, but it’s something I’ve never had and always longed for. We’ve loved our adventure to renovate, flip, and pay off debt. But it didn’t come without hard parts and sacrifice. One of those for me was that my “making of home” was always cut short. We’d go through a crazy renovation season to get it mostly done. Then pass out and try to reset our life for six months. Then get a little energy back to start settling and finishing rooms. Then six months after that, it was time to start looking again and our energy and attention would shift. Planting plants, watching them grow, and having some to clip for the house has never made the list. And that’s okay! We’re so grateful for where our journey has led us. But already, this fifth White Buffalo home feels like the sweetest finale to our debt journey. We’ve left each house before with a list of rooms unfinished and unshared here because the goal was always the debt journey…sharing it all here was the icing on top and there was only so much energy to go around. But I’m so excited to be somewhere for much longer to let a home evolve slowly, to plant plants, and live life and then to have time and energy to share it all with all of you who so lovingly follow our journey! We’ve absolutely loved exploring there so far. And funny little Dax, I didn’t even realize he had my sunglasses when Chris was snapping these. I’m absolutely thrilled to make a sweet home in the woods for this family of mine. They’re different here, somehow slower and more in tune with the world God created. The neighborhood is a bird sanctuary and every time we’ve been there, there have been birds flying constantly overhead and all of the sweet chirping drifting on the breeze. It’s special and feels like God wrote us a little restful love letter with this one after our crazy journey to get here. We’re busy now making plans and starting to figure out exactly what this house needs to be for the land and for our family. While it’s felt a little overwhelming to try to design a house from scratch, I am LOVING it so far. And I’ll share more as it unfolds! While this feels like the finale to a piece of our adventure so far, it’s the beginning of another….one to make a special home for ourselves and to have the capacity to take on new adventures, channeling that wrestling within us outwardly. We cannot wait to see what God does in the coming season! CLICK HERE to watch our Renovation & Debt series.