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Shifting Priorities

The moment you become a parent, your entire life changes.  In the best kind of way, of course.  Sure, things can be hectic, stressful, crazy, and every day you venture in to uncharted territory, But your mind changes. Your heart changes. And your priorities change.

Nearly 4 years ago my husband and I purchased a home after we’d moved back home to Florida from Tennessee. In the beginning the house hunting process was new and exciting, but it quickly became tedious and exhausting. One day I went house hunting alone because Michael had to work.  My realtor showed me a home down the street from the house I grew up in.  The house we saw was okaaaaay. Exiting that home I noticed another For Sale sign in a yard that was 4 houses down.  I inquired and we viewed the home the next day.  I fell in love with the open floor plan as soon as we walked in. Not to mention, the 8×9 master closet! I told Michael that he just haaaaad to see it, and we decided the next day we wanted to put in an offer.  The 4 bedroom, 4 bath, nearly 3,000 square foot home was ours! I just love every thing there is about this home itself.  We quickly put our stamp on it by adding a fence, painting, and updating light fixtures.

We were both certain that when we first opened the door to this house as new homeowners, that we were going to stay here for many, many years to come.   We bought it because there was so much room to grow!Here’s a picture of us on closing day! August 12, 2011.

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In April 2013 I found out I was pregnant with Blake. Since then, Michael and I just have realized what’s important and what’s not any more. We made the decision to send him to a premiere school for his daycare. We’ve sacrificed a lot for his early years of education. Sure, we could send him to a daycare that’s much less expensive, but for us, his education and curriculum was something worth sacrificing for. This isn’t to judge any one who doesn’t do this for their kid. I’m sure there are people who think we are crazy for paying as much as we do, but everyone makes some kind of sacrifice for their child and this is one of ours.

In the past few months we’ve talked a lot about what our next life steps are.  Do we want more kids? We don’t know. But we do know that for Blake (and any other future kids) we want what is best for them. Happiness, security, faith, love, and a good education. Security comes in many forms, but for us that also entails financial security.

A few months ago we began to throw the idea around of moving. It wasn’t a very serious idea at the time. We love the location of our home. Great neighborhood, friendly neighbors, kid-safe, gated community, and right around the street from the home I grew up in! Though, it’s a crowded neighborhood with short driveways and not a lot of parking for when company visits.  We talked about how nice it would be if we could secure a little bit of property. Now, if you know me, you know this is huge. I was the girl years ago who would’ve loved to have a house right in the middle of Times Square! I loved the hustle and bustle of the city lights of New York City.  When I visited Paris in 2007 I fell in love and wanted to live right down the street from the Champs-Elysees (if money weren’t a factor, of course).  The lively city life was my heaven. And now, here we are 8 years later, plus one kid, from my visit to Paris, and now I’d much rather choose to live on an acre or so of land, away from the city (but within driving distance).

Why? Room to breathe. A place for Blake to run around in. Privacy. Moreso, so that we can invest more money in to our future, like retirement. And so we can invest in Blake’s education.

Time is on our side, as our home as appreciated quite a bit!

The idea become more serious last week when we started crunching numbers. We had an epiphany.  Why do we need all this space in our home? There is seriously like 900 feet of it that we don’t even use. Like, the entiiiire dining room/sitting room, half of the loft, one whole bathroom, a whole bedroom, and our master bedroom, which is much larger than it needs to be.  (Not counting my gigantic closet though!–love that thing!). We have two 6-seater dining room tables, and 3 sofas for 3 different living areas.  Gosh, writing this all out makes me not like myself right now.  I’m not bragging, trust me.  I’m mentioning this to state the ridiculousness of this. All the “space” and all the “furniture”.  Why do Americans want to live so large? 3,000 square feet for 3 people? That’s…..1,000 square feet per person! I kind of want to go back a few years and knock some sense in to us. Shake myself and say “there are better things you should be doing with your money! Traveling, investing, traveling, investing….traveling, and traveling.” I want to tell myself that the amount of space you have doesn’t make your home. And that when you have kids and your family is together that you will use even less of the space you did before you had kids, because you’ll want to be together all the time, not separated, and more parts of the home will stay dark.

I mean, we have rooms in the house where we don’t even turn on the light switch for DAYS, because WE JUST DON’T USE IT.

So, after long talks, lots of praying and listening for answers,  we have decided to sell our home. We plan on moving to to the next city over where we are praying we can find a little piece of land. We want to downsize to an 1800-2000 square foot home.  If we can’t find land for what we’re looking for, it’s okay.  At least we won’t be living in a giant waste of space.

We’ve met with a realtor, and most likely our house will be on the market by the end of the week. We’ve been told it’ll sell very quickly so we should be “prepared”. We are house hunting this weekend. I’ll be honest, the prospect of moving again is daunting. I’m depressed just thinking about it. But in the end, it’ll be completely worth it.  We’re still praying over this whole situation. God could very well shut this whole idea down at any moment, and we’d be okay with that because He always knows what’s best.  I’m not stressing about it, just along for the ride. Michael and I both feel, at least at this moment, that it’s something we’re supposed to be pursuing.

I am putting my faith and trust in God. I’m excited about the prospect of all of this, but dreading part of it too. If you’ve purchased a home before, or heck, even moved, then you totally know where I’m coming from.  Oh, and moving with an almost 17 month old….that’ll be interesting.

This weekend will be very telling, when we begin our house hunt and potentially put this one up on the market.  It’s going to be a long few weeks/months, but we feel prepared for it. Kinda. I think?

Right now Blake is sleeping and as I stare at him on the baby monitor I think about his bright future. His future begins now. With us. Every decision we make impacts him. Whether this is the right move for us or not, we just pray that God leads us to what we are supposed to do.  That sweet, sweet baby in that baby monitor is my whole heart. I’d do any thing in this world for him.

Including giving up my 8×9  closet.

That’s love right there.

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