I recently got to thinkin’ …ironic that we write a blog about our home without ever sharing the story of FINDING our home!
So I thought I’d take some time to share! Right here! Right now!
It was 2009, Nick and I were newly married and living in Ames, IA where we met, fell in love, and got married. I was studying Interior Design at the university, and Nick had recently accepted a good job at a town an hour away.
He commuted for several months (driving into the sun both ways), and while he had a good attitude about it, we knew it wasn’t a long-term solution. And since this job was a keeper and one he planned to make a career, we began considering moving to Marshalltown. I loved my Interior Design classes, but ultimately I just wanted to be a stay-at-home mommy, so having a degree in anything seemed a little bit moot. (of course in those early days, I didn’t know how long it would take for us to start a family).
Nick grew up on a farm, and I grew up in a small-ish town… so neither one of us wanted to live in a city (if you can consider Marshalltown a city). One Sunday afternoon, we decided to go for a drive and explore all the small towns surrounding the city and just get a feel for the area/countryside and what we wanted. Buying a home is a HUGE decision, and we planned on renting for at least a year until we got to know the area and had time to save for a down payment.
We had been driving for a couple hours, just enjoying the country roads and each others company… when we came up over a hill and a glorious perfect farmhouse sitting on several acres of grass and shade trees. I caught my breath and said aloud… I WANT THAT HOUSE.
And in the next moment, we saw a For Sale sign in the yard.
Not a joke!
It was meant to be!
We pulled a u-turn and jotted down the realtor’s number on the sign, and gazed longingly for a few more minutes before reluctantly driving away. Within minutes, I had the realtor on the phone and had set up a tour for us the next day!
With the exception of some minor cosmetic issues (wallpaper borders and florescent sponge-painted walls), we LOVED the house and the 5 gorgeous acres it set on.
It seemed too good to be true, so we decided to look at a handful of other homes in the area before pulling the trigger. People never buy the FIRST home they look at… right?
Every house we looked at paled in comparison to this one.
We made a low-ball offer, because the house was listed a little out of our price-range. After some bantering back and forth and a lot of anxiety-filled days, we came to an acceptable agreement somewhere in the middle… and CLOSED ON THE HOUSE.
It was such a surreal moment that would be impossible to explain. This hunk of land, this house, this grass… OURS.
It belongs to us.
We unpacked in record time.
And the rest is history. Six days later I started a blog to document all the new and exciting changes happening in our lives (starting with this first blog post). I could have never imagined all that would happen in the few short years to follow.
Here are a few of our favorite room transformations (click on each pic below).
If you’re new(ish) to our blog, or just want to take a gander at all the updates we’ve done to our house (including before pics), click here! To read about our battle with infertility and how we conquered, click here! Our girls are our biggest accomplishment, and the ultimate DIY.
Because some things need to be done MANUALLY!
I’ll leave you with this pic below, which is one of my favorites of our house. It makes a small (very microscopic) part of me not dread winter with my whole being.
Donna Phillips says
Please add me to your email list.
Bethany Sy says
I added you!
I would love to get a floor plan of your house! I absolutely LOVE old farmhouses! Currently we own a 76 year old frame house in the rolling hills of TN. It needs so much work! We are going to start adding on and basically reconstructing the entire house. It truly needs a new floor plan. You home looks basically square which would work beautifully where our house sits =) We have to work between a mature maple tree, a young tree planted as a memorial to my baby losses, the highway and the rainy season run off/dry creek.
Mommy Wiki says
Just breathtaking! Like the houses we see in the movies. Cannot be compared with any of the houses in the city I live in…
capturing joy with kristen duke says
Oh my, what a fabulous story!!! 5 acres–seriously amazing!!!
Fun post! Your house does look gorgeous in the winter. Love the pics of you and Nick.
Kenz @ Interiors by Kenz says
Ug… I just realized I’ve missed the past several posts. I think you already know about the issue though, so I won’t bug you about it. BUT I love this post so much. House hunting and home buying makes my heart swell. I love being a realtor and helping people find their homes. Your house is AMAZING. You did so good. It’s the perfect backdrop for your wonderful life 🙂
Hey Beth, (Megan from Moxie Design here) LOVE your hair long! Good post about the house, everyone has a good story about their house, I’ll have to share mine some time too! Love the girls’ beds too, what a creative idea!
Pamela @ Little Red House says
Yep, I’m definitely already looking forward to spring! The picture of your house in the winter is gorgeous, though. Much as I dislike it sometimes, winter sure can be pretty. I live a few hours south of the Canadian border so our winters here are even longer than yours.
And hey, you live less than two hours away from some of my in-laws 🙂
Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos says
Holy cow! I bet you have long cold winters!
Mary in NY says
Thanks for sharing, love the house! Been following you a long time now. Love the beds, so sweet!
I love your house, and I’m constantly showing my husband all the new updates. We purchased our home (in the country, on nearly seven acres) in June of 2011. We are slowly updating and remodeling. My bedroom is currently yet to be mudded, primed, and painted drywall. Our kitchen has an expanded pantry with partial drywall and hideous wallboard. Our front porch isn’t covered and is probably going to be one of our biggest projects to tackle. I love coming to your blog and getting inspiration. Then telling my husband, “See how easy they make it look.”.
I love this. It makes me miss driving around on Iowa country roads. Sometimes my sister and I would drive from KC to Boone and stop in the middle of the road to smell the fields. Or my son and I would pull over near Garden Grove and stick our heads out of the moon roof to look at the stars. The winters? BLERG!!!! Go Cyclones.
Nancy Alberts says
Thanks for sharing your story. I love your blog and all your creative ideas. Thanks again.
Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos says
So neat how the house pretty much dropped in your lap!! Love it!
Bethany @ Sawdust and Embryos says
We definitely got a lucky break!! We love it here so much!
Nice! Sometimes I feel cheated out of the house-hunting experience. It might have been fun to look and decide. We lived in our house for 5 years rent-free as part of my husband’s job until we bought it and 5 acres around it. So I never got to go looking, but we got a fantastic deal. And when I take a gander at the Iowa Realty website, I’m glad I’m not in the market- anything in our price range is a mess! Though I have to remember our house was no prize when we moved in- but I like to think it is now after the major work we’ve done. We love it, so I guess it’s a blessing we were just led straight to it.
An Iowa acreage is a great place to raise two girls 😉
I was just coming over to let you know that I miss you(r posts). And there one was! Thanks. 🙂 My hubby and I went through WAY more than one house before finding the one we wanted, but it was the same way. I walked in (it’s a condo) and looked right past the hunter green carpet and salmon pink walls to what it could be.
I adore your house… so much… I look for the day where I can convience my husband to buy a home like yours… I don’t like the city (Live outside of Atlanta, GA). I love lots and lots of land… and I have dreams of looking out my kitchen window and not see my neighbor in his shower 🙁