Driving Cross Country

Our little adventure to Virginia continues.  While we try to finalize ourselves and our home to move, get through escrow, rent out the house, and pack for temporary housing, we are also planning our trip to get from California to Virginia.

Our adventurous spirits couldn't help but take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity to drive across the country for our move.  Given the extra time we have to move along with the help from my husband's company to relocate, we are excited to make the most of this unique travel opportunity.

We are still figuring out the details but I put together a little tentative itinerary for our trip.  We have just a few days of all day travel but are trying to keep most of our days to 3-4 hours of drive time.  We will be driving our own car and pulling a trailer of a few things we will want immediately when we arrive in Virginia (our other belongings will be in storage until we can move into our house). 

We plan to take just under two weeks to get there and will be staying in hotels overnight.  It is a little crazy with a three month old but we decided the opportunity to visit parts of the country we may never have the chance to see was worth the extra challenge of driving a little one across the country.  We are excited for the memories and bonding time for our family right before we start settling in to our new life in Virginia. 

Below is our planned stops so far and I would love any input on suggestions of things to see, places to eat, where to stay, or any helpful advice for our little family of three as we drive through the following locations:

Nevada - Las Vegas / Hoover Dam
Utah - Zion National Park / Bryce Canyon National Park
Arizona - Antelope Canyon / Page / Horseshoe Bend / Grand Canyon / Four Corners Monument
New Mexico - Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Park / Santa Fe
Texas - Fort Worth / Dallas
Arkansas - ???
Tennessee - Graceland / Memphis / Nashville / Great Smoky Mountains

You can follow along with our cross country adventures over on Instagram in the next coming weeks: @domesticfash // #urkescrosscountry

Finding a Home in Virginia

Last week we headed across the country to Virginia to look for a new place to call home.  It was a quick five days yet much was accomplished.  Heading into our trip we had a general idea of where we wanted to live and what the homes were like in the area because of the trip we had taken back in January.  Thankfully the market had much better options this time when it is not the dead of winter! 

We packed way to much luggage with our first big trip with the baby.  We definitely learned a lot on how we would like to travel with kids in the future.  Since this wasn't really a vacation, it definitely was a good trial run of learning how travel and little ones will work in the future.  Since we had no expectations of what this trip would accomplish, we were pleasantly surprised at how well Titus adapted.

The flight was easy in comparison to getting in and out of the car two days straight when looking at homes.  Being stuck in the airplane for hours at a time allowed him to get his regular naps in.  And because my husband's company was sending us on this trip, we were able to get Titus his own seat on the plane.  This made things so much easier!

Going into the trip we were already pretty set on buying some land and having a home built on a lot that would be close to work.  The view was pretty spectacular (see above photo) and the convenience of a short commute was very appealing.

But even though we were pretty set at filling out paper work and committing to building a home, we still decided to spend a day with a realtor just to make sure we were covering all our options.

We had already spent many conversations about our expectations of finding a home in Virginia and we told ourselves to not expect to find the perfect house.  Life would be so different out in the country that it would be impossible to replicate what we have grown used to and enjoy about our current home.

Shopping for a home is stressful but being on a timeline and trying to commit to something in a week is a whole new level of anxiety - not to mention also trying to look at homes with an overtired two month old.  After much prayer and debate we had one last defining conversation sitting at the local Pizza Hut before we met with our realtor.

Thankfully the baby was sleeping and we were able to really focus in on what our priorities were.  It is so hard to not be smitten by all the land and gigantic houses that were in front of us.  We had so many more lofty dreams of what was available to us in our price range that was so different than the real estate in California.  It was definitely tempting to stretch ourselves past what we were comfortable with spending on a home.

So we came up with our top three priorities for finding a home:

1. It had to be close to work.

We preferred a 5-10 minute commute but were open to up to 20 minutes if everything else about the home made it worth it.  It is pretty normal in the area for people to commute 45 minutes to an hour.  Even though a short commute put us out in the middle of nowhere, we knew that it was important to our family that Brent didn't spend so much of his day on the road.

2. Room for our California family to visit.

While our family will only be visiting every few months, we knew that we wanted plenty of room for them to stay with us comfortably.  Knowing that they could be staying for a couple weeks at a time, we wanted them to have their own space - not just being put up on the couch or in a small guest bedroom.  One of the reasons we decided to move was to experience life on the east coast and this has also become another factor at enticing our family and friends to come visit as often as they would like!  We wanted our home to not just be comfortable, but a vacation space for our visitors.

A lot of the homes that we looked at had an option of a finished basement space.  We knew that this would be ideal that our guests could have their very own floor making living with family for weeks at a time much more manageable!  We love our family but we have yet to live with any of them!  This will be a new season for us as we grow our relationships with our family by having them stay with us for longer periods of time.

3. A move in ready house slightly nicer and bigger than our current home (but still in our price range).

Moving across the country is a sacrifice.  One of the pluses of moving out of California was the hope that we could have a slightly larger and nicer home.  The fact that we could even afford a brand new home on land blew our minds as it was something we would have never even considered here in California.

Plus with a little baby and Brent starting a new job, we did not need to have a fixer upper on our hands.  We wanted to be able to move in and start settling in without a bunch of house projects to work on.  And we wanted family to be able to come visit as soon as they were willing so there needed to be space for them when we moved in.

So after we committed to our priorities, we were able to see things more clearly.  Though a beautiful view and land sounded wonderful, they were not on the top of our list of importance.  We discussed what it felt like when we purchased our current home and were reminded that we just knew it was the right one.  We did not expect to find a perfect home (no home is perfect) but we told ourselves we needed to feel right about it.

There is definitely a difference between compromise and settling.  We were willing to compromise some things as long as we were keeping to our priorities.  But we didn't want to just settle out of urgency or pressure.  We prayed and trusted that the Lord would help us to know what the right house would be for our family in this season.

I wish I took a picture in that Pizza Hut lunch buffet moment.  Because honestly it was a huge turning point for us.  We then set out for a full day of house hunting.

After hitting a few houses we came upon this lovely farmhouse style home just around the corner from Brent's work.  We stepped inside to a lovely little home.  A fairly open floor plan, three bedrooms, a giant front porch, plenty of trees, and all on two acres.  It was beautiful but was it the one?

We headed down to the basement expecting to not find much.  But instead the basement was completely finished including a full size bathroom.  Most of the homes that we looked at with basements were unfinished, so this was quite a surprise to find.  I looked at Brent and told him, "this is the one."

We headed back outside to look at the backyard.  A nice sized detached work shop on top of having a two car garage.  If you know Brent, you know how patient he has been at waiting to have his own garage.  Having a garage and a shop is definitely on his dream home list.

We continued to look around - a giant yard, amazing trees, and tucked away to feel a little more private.  We immediately discussed how great it would look to string our outdoor lights back there.  We looked at each other and said, "this is the one!"

It was so much more than we could have ever expected yet it had everything we needed.  It fit all of our top priorities while also exceeding what we could have ever dreamed of.  It is amazing what we can be blessed with when we have a little patience and set our priorities straight.

We ended up looking at a few other homes but I couldn't get my mind off of this one.  We decided to go back one more time to confirm whether or not we were ready to make an offer.

We decided we wanted to make an offer and found out that they were also getting two other offers.  We were full of anxiousness as we tried to consider our best and smartest bid while staying within our price range.  We decided what we were willing to pay and had to trust whatever would happen was meant to be.

I am pretty sure I didn't get much sleep that night and it had nothing to do with the baby.  My mind raced as I started thinking about the dream of living in this home.

The next morning Brent let me take a little walk around the hotel while he stayed with the sleeping baby.  It was so good to breathe in the cool crisp autumn air.  I walked amongst the cornfields that our hotel backed up to and I prayed a little prayer of faith and contentment over whatever was to happen with this home.

After a well needed moment for my soul I returned to the hotel room where Brent broke the good news.  While I was gone he got word from our realtor that they had accepted our offer!  We literally turned in the paperwork the night before and found out the home was ours the very next morning!

What a sigh of relief on top of the excitement we had over our new home in Virginia.  We thoroughly enjoyed our last two days before we headed back to California with the peace of mind knowing we have a home to come to.  Having where we are going to live figured out makes things a million times easier.  Plus it gives us something to very much look forward to.

We are in amazement over how things all just came together.  The timing of it all was beyond our control and we are so thankful for the blessings God gives us through our obedience to trust him.

We have returned home to California now and are getting all our moving affairs in order.  While one major element of finding a home is checked off our list, we have been bombarded with the long list of things still left to do.  It is so easy for me to stress out and try to control everything.  But if I have learned anything from this house hunting trip, it is that I have to let go of trying to have things all together on my own.  This is such a hard discipline for me but also a very freeing one.

We are thrilled about our new home.  And you know I cannot wait to share everything about it in the coming months!  Little farmhouse in Virginia, here we come!

Our Days Are Numbered

We have begun finalizing the details of our move to Virginia.  We will be moving by the end of next month with a trip before then to go look for a home.  Things have all happened rather quickly now that we are down to the wire and we are in a bit of a frenzy preparing to leave.

The house is in disarray as we purge, organize, and pack.  We are preparing our house to rent and planning our first cross country flight with a two month old.  I try to take advantage of every minute of the baby's nap time to feel like I am making some sort of progress on the long to do list we still have to tackle.

Sadness has started to set in as our family tries to soak up these last weeks with us.  Everyone is taking advantage of lots of baby snuggles and I cannot help but feel guilty for taking away our baby from our family.

I know we are doing what we are supposed to do.  We have known about this move for over a year now.  Yet somehow the preparation doesn't take away how hard this move will be or make it any easier to leave so many that we love.

Our days are officially numbered and it feels like each one quickly slips away.  Having a move date has officially given us the accountability to tackle things that we have been putting off.  Yet these past two months of living life with our baby boy has been a welcomed distraction to the reality ahead of us.

Despite the heartache of leaving, so many things are aligning in our favor, reminding us that this move is a good thing.  We continue to be blessed with good things that are all proof that we can trust in an unknown future.

There seems like so much to say but not enough time to say it.  I've been looking back a lot to the past few years and all the good stretching, growing, adventures, and experiences I have had.  With a new child in our lives on top of moving across the country, I see the close of one season in preparation for another.

So many memories within the walls of our little home is coming to a close.  I know home will be made wherever my family is at.  But I will miss our sweet little home where we began our marriage and family.  It's been a good seven years.

Photo: from our East Coast trip in January when I was two months pregnant!

Catch up on our whole Virginia move story here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...