One year ago we signed what felt like a million papers, pulled a million strings, and budgeted for what seemed like a million dollars (which we all know was much less than a million) all to purchase these walls, the floors, and this roof. Or so it seemed. What we really purchased was a life that we never imagined we could live. It was a pipe dream in Los Angeles for us to afford this kind of lifestyle. We would have committed to private educations, an outrageous mortgage, and a lifetime of endless commuting. It was a future that we assumed was ours. Then one day we visited Austin and our outlook changed.
Within 24 hours of our first visit to Austin Brian and I had resolved that we would move to TX. Two California kids raising two California kids - I never imagined we would ever leave. But we saw something fantastic in Austin. All the beauty and diversity that we loved So. Cal. for without the cost, smog, and irate people. It was TX and that made all the difference. I grieved over our decision to leave everything we ever knew on the car ride from TX to CA and by the time we were back in LA I was looking forward to a new life. (Family and friends, please don't misunderstand - we miss you a great deal - and you will always be a huge part of our lives. I grieved for CA - and somehow, it didn't take as long as I thought. I still miss you and am working on getting you all to move here ;-).)
On May 26th we were official homeowners and by June 26th we had moved in. Here to greet us was a school system that we would trust with our baby and would teach in one year's time a very stubborn but intelligent Kindergartner to read. We were greeted by a neighborhood that would love us, take care of us, and pray for us. We were greeted by a church home that would wrap their arms around us and invite us into a thriving and growing Methodist Jesus centered ministry. We were greeted by bills we could pay and jobs we would love! We were greeted by friends we would call family. We were greeted by a preschool where our child would be the favorite. We were greeted by T-ball that didn't play on Sunday mornings. We were greeted by clouds parting and the sun shining down on us - even through the rainiest summer in TX in 50 years. The darkness of hopelessness was lifted and God had blessed our family.
So, you see, we bought so much more than a house. This past year has been so good to us. We thank all the people who helped us get here. We know for our CA family it was bittersweet. You helped us attain a lifestyle at the cost of us moving away. We are so grateful. Tonight as I walk through this massive house (much bigger than I could have dreamed several years ago) and I turn out the lights and tuck my babies in I say a prayer of thanksgiving. Thank you for TX, God; thank You for our house, our friends and our family; help us, Lord, to be good stewards every day of Your blessing on us.
In honor of this occasion I thought I would provide a tour of the house. Many of you have been asking me for photos (Grandma and Cheryl). I hope this helps.
The front door and the dining room. The dog can see the entire neighborhood from his post at the front door window.
Jenny's room/what was Reba's room.
Brian's office/our guest room. So, you are welcome to visit, but you have to be up by 8am so Brian can go to work.