Remember that post I shared a while back about my journey to meet Tyler? Today I’m sharing another lesson in waiting, the one to our first home, which we bought last week. It all started in the winter of 2011/2012. We had been married a year and a half and were looking into buying a house. We found a new neighborhood we liked (though a little farther out of town than we would have liked) and a plan for the house we’d like to build. It wasn’t perfect, but it was pretty good for a young married couple. We met with the builders and planned things and then finally went out to pick a lot and were all set to put down a deposit…then Tyler got cold feet. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to be so close and to hear that Tyler didn’t feel comfortable with it. I tried to get him to change his mind, but he was pretty firm. There were moments when he’d offer to give me what I wanted, but the thought of him not being comfortable with such a big decision ultimately meant that I wasn’t comfortable with “getting my way” at the cost of his peace. So we told the builders we wouldn’t be buying because we wanted to keep saving. I could feel she thought I was a bit crazy and maybe naive that we could save what we hoped to put down and I was a little embarrassed to even say it. With that decision made, we decided to move out of our comfortable 1-bedroom apartment and downsize to a smaller 1-bedroom apartment that was a little “less nice” so we could save an extra $300 a month for our house. We ended up loving the actual apartment, but started to feel less and less safe there. We stayed for 6 months and I felt the urge to move. I was going to bring up the idea of moving to Tyler at dinner one night and as we left our apartment, someone was heading up our steps to ask if we had seen anyone near his apartment which was across from our. His TV had been stolen. Safe to say, it took no convincing Tyler that it was time to move. Just two weeks before our lease was up and right after we had signed on a new apartment, someone tried to break into our apartment. It was all the confirmation we needed that spending a little more for a place to feel safe was worth it. Our new apartment was at our old apartment complex but this time we rented a spacious 2-bedroom so I could have my own office!! It was amazing! The 843 square feet we had to roam felt like a palace. About 3 months later, we found out we were pregnant. With VMP growing like it was, the best option we found was for Vivi to bunk with us and to create a little nook of her stuff in the dining room. We’ve made this work for 9 months and felt pretty comfortable doing it. It’s taken a lot of restraint to not buy Vivi millions of toys, clothes and other “necessities” but it wasn’t nearly as cramped as I expected. However, it meant:
- tiptoeing to bed by the light of my phone flashlight so we didn’t wake Vivi
- shorter chats at night that were usually cut short by a little whimper signaling we were being to loud and interrupting someone’s beauty sleep
- dinners on the floor instead of at a table
- shoving a towel under the door each night when we brushed our teeth or took a shower so the light wouldn’t wake up Vivi
In February 2014, we started looking to buy a house by the time our lease was up on August 1. We looked all over town. Nothing seemed to fit us. And to be honest, I was semi-terrified Tyler and I was never agree on a house. We seemed to want two totally different things. Then one day, Tyler mentioned that he would like to live in Olde Towne (the neighborhood my family has been developing for 20 years and mom, sister and grandpa work at every day). I didn’t really consider this a possibility for our first home because of the “niceness” of the neighborhood and the fact that Tyler wanted a big yard.
We looked into building something. If we built it small enough and without ANYTHING besides the bare bones, we MAYBE could get it in our budget and could MAYBE be ready by the time our lease was up. Then I remembered one of the sweet families in the neighborhood had been building a bigger house in the neighborhood. Their current house was across from the park, (perfect for Tyler!) but I had no idea if timeframe would work out or if it was anywhere close to our budget. I felt a little foolish even bringing up the idea to my mom. The answer? It was the exact number we had budgeted for and we ended up moving in with 2 weeks to spare on our apartment lease. The crazy thing is, I remember walking through their house with my mom when I was home right after college and simply LOVED it! And did I mention it’s next door to my grandpa and four doors down from my parents?
The wait was ALL worth it!! It’s created in us such grateful hearts for our new home and all the little things we will get to enjoy here. Sacrifice will do that.If you are currently in a holding pattern or waiting for something, RELISH IN IT and know that it’s for a purpose.
God also showed me so much about he speaks to us through our spouse. If Tyler had not stopped us from purchasing the other home, we probably never would have moved to Olde Towne.
The passage below was a something I wrote in the notes section on my phone. The title of the note is actually called “Future Valerie.” I wrote this in July 2012, four months after we moved to the smallest apartment and about three months after we found an early renter for our office space, meaning I would now be working from our 1-bedroom home with enough paper and supplies to force us to sell off our table and make the dining room an “office” for me.
Today I had to shove 10 lbs of Kraft crinkle cut shreddings in a few trash bags because our 650 sq ft apartment is packed to the gills already with Southern Fete and now Val Marie Paper paraphernalia. There wasn’t a single place to store the 2x2x3 box so it had to be separated and stashed above the kitchen cabinets. Luckily we didn’t register for EVERY kitchen appliance for our wedding so there were a few random cabinets spilling over of packaging supplies, random decor and more mason jars than one woman, even a southern woman, should own. My immediate reaction was that I wanted to always remember this moment. Who would have guessed the business I was running was taking place in this humble home? It’s quite humbling really in every since of the word. It’s why i’m typing this note on my phone and not my blog. But I was so glad that it would one day be part of our story. This cooped apartment/office is a sign of our sacrifices for the future we want to build for ourself. One day, I’d have my own office again. But today, I’m already relishing in those future victories BECAUSE of what it takes to get there. Sometimes roughing it is fun because we know we’re testing ourself. Sure there’s a five star hotel down the road but camping sure is fun sometimes. I believe with all my heart that through God, we will make it happen.
I hope you will be encouraged by our journey instead of discouraged. For the longest time while we were waiting and saving, I cringed every time I heard someone say they were buying a home. A few days ago, I posted on instagram asking your favorite thing about your home for a little giveaway .I was blown away by the response!! 138 comments, a mixed bag of being in your dream home and waiting on SOMETHING while waiting in a less than perfect space. But I just loved that there is something to love in every circumstance!! I know many of you have asked me to share more pictures and design inspiration from and I definitely plan to share that. I will also share some posts on learning home contentment and more practical tips too. Feel free to leave a comment with any topics you’d love to see covered!!