and just like that…it felt like home

by | Oct 6, 2017 | My House | 62 comments

We’ve lived in Rochester, in this new-to-us home, for almost three months.

We’ve been doing a lot to intentionally get settled and entrenched in this area…  Working on projects to make this house feel more like ours.  Spending time with people to establish relationships that go beyond acquaintance.  Having kids over to play to nurture friendships for our boys.  Getting involved in the church, school, and community.

And as much as we’ve been embraced and welcomed, as much as we know we are geographically right where we are meant to be, as much as we are loving this new home…  there is still an element that feels alien, foreign.

I still have to use my GPS to get to a store and back home again.  I have yet to establish a routine for grocery shopping, meal planning, cleaning, and exercising.  I still need to change over my drivers license and find a family doctor, dentist, and optometrist.  It regularly looks like a strobe light blinking in my house as I’m playing a memory game with the light switches.  There are still unpacked boxes, missing possessions, pictures stacked in rows on the dining room floor, and about 70% of the contents of the garage are a mystery to me.  (That’s probably where the missing possessions are!)  We still make weekly runs to take broken-down cardboard boxes to the recycling center.

We don’t know our favorite restaurants or parks to frequent as a family.  We keep saying “next weekend”.

It still feels like we’re just flying by the seat of our pants, waiting for consistency, routine, and normal to fall into our lap.


And, since this has been the state of lives for several weeks, it has felt like that is just how life is going to be in Minnesota – a question mark with each sunrise, acutely aware that we’re transplants.

But Tuesday night, October 3, I was cooking dinner and I pivoted in a smooth, natural movement from the stove to the sink to deposit a dirty spoon.  I paused, realizing something special just transpired in that typically uneventful action…  muscle memory that comes from knowing the nooks and crannies of your home.

Knowing you’re home.  

And just like that, in that simple motion…it felt like home.



  1. elin noller

    Very poetically put 🙂

  2. Bonnie s

    So sweet. We bought our first home about 14 months ago and I love experiencing those little moments like you described… very comforting! 🙂 I’ve enjoyed watching and reading as you make this place home. It is so beautiful!

  3. Cheryl

    It’s hard enough to move into a new neighborhood in your own hometown area; I can’t even imagine how disorienting it must feel to move to another state. Keep on doing what you’re doing, and I hope that my home state will feel like home to you too in due time. I love that you recognized that moment when it happened.

  4. Kathryn

    You lived in your old home for many years and it takes time to build memories in a new place. It will happen. It’s normal to feel out of place as you search for…well…your place. Chin up. And delight in those little familiar movements that let you know

  5. Marsha

    We moved mid September so we are only a few weeks in. I so do hope that it starts to feel like home three months in. Right now it definitely does not. We do know this is where we are supposed to be right now because once we made the decision, it was like all the stars aligned for it to happen. However, now that we are here, we feel lost. I think it’s all the changes at once.

  6. B. Folk

    We were in our old city for our entire adult lives (up until 2013). We still have a few cardboard boxes of stuff in the garage, that will soon get re-packed into sturdier bins, as we just don’t have room in our apartment. Putting them in the bins will feel more organized and less temporary to me. I can walk around in this apartment in the dark and not bump into anything. I recognize the sounds of the neighbors’ cars, and know when they go to work (1:30 a.m.; 3ish a.m.; 5ish a.m.; etc.) and come home. I know whose dog it is barking and whose baby is crying. I have an optometrist, a GP, a “female” doctor, several specialists, a church family…and, I still sometimes don’t feel settled. I don’t know if I ever will, again, until I’m finally Home. And, that’s okay. I’m right where God wants me to be, and you are, too. This earth is not our final home. But, it can be a beautiful layover on the journey. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us!

  7. Amy Joanne Mogish

    Hi Marian….we moved into our home 12 years ago and it still feels ‘new’ to me, foreign. We lived in our previous ‘first’ home for 15+ years as newlyweds……. Our ‘now’ home is more beautiful, our neihbors could not be better or sweeter or nicer…..and we are making always creating and changing things as time and money allow…..I think for a few reasons it just doesn’t feel like home yet….the other ‘home’ was our first as newlyweds and I miss it for this reason, we made lots of memories….I knew every nook and cranny and had routine…..and it was finished, we did the whole thing by hand making it ours…….I know our ‘new’ home will come together and feel like home soon….I am older, we are slower, and I am trying to make smarter decisions as far as décor….trying. Enjoy the process, we are enjoying it with you!

  8. Linda

    I went through the same process as all the other posters when we moved from our first home that we lived in for 9 years with our two daughters. I thought the new home we moved to would never feel like “home”, slowly but surely it did. Your poetic writing about your feelings regarding the move adjustment is beautiful and we all understand what you’ve been going through.

  9. Kathy

    The light switch thing made me laugh. We had one switch in our house that apparently was not connected to anything. Finally after probably 5 years when we redid the foundation and porch floor we found a wire underneath the porch. Our mystery was solved and my husband used it for an outlet on the porch. Now I can turn on my Christmas lights with one switch. I’m glad you are home, and I am enjoying reading about that process for you and your family.

  10. Cayce

    I’m glad you are settling in. 🙂 My husband, 3 kids, and I moved to England 3 months ago (Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent, about 45 minutes from London) and we too are finally finding moments where it feels like “home.”

    I’ve been following your blog since 2009. Your adventures, insights, and successes have been a real honor and pleasure to witness, and I’ve been rooting for you all along! I pray your new chapter will be as fruitful as the one in Pennsylvania!

  11. nancy

    We moved across the country, away from family, and it really took a year to not feel “new.” And I hate to say, after 19 years I STILL hit the wrong light switches. No muscle memory there for me!

  12. Kim

    Nice! You described our life in the last year since we moved to a new town. You’ll get there eventually! But I have to tell you, we are still going to the wrong drawer for silverware…..still heading for that drawer where it was in the old house……

  13. Maureen

    I love that! So happpy it is home. And I love love love what you’ve done to make it your own. Your kitchen is glorious and that studio! DROOL!!

  14. Bonnie in Georgia

    Love this post, and the way you share the upheaval, transition, and a little feeling that it’s home!

  15. Kate

    We’ve been in our new state of Ohio since spring. It took me about a month in our new house to not open the laundry room door instead of the bathroom door. Every weekend for the first few months, we planned a driving trip to discover our new state. On Sunday or Saturday (sometimes both), we spent a few hours out and about just for fun. My husband is better at maps (he hates GPS) and directions, so he’d quiz me while we were driving. “What direction are we heading in?” “What highway would you take to get to X?” He wanted to make sure I didn’t get lost and that I felt comfortable quickly in our new home. I’m hoping all this new learning will keep my middle-aged mind sharp and free from dementia!

  16. liz

    I’ve moved a lot in my life and one weird thing that makes me feel like I’m “home” is when I’ve gone through a have-to-sleep-all-day-in-bed cold in my new place. Also finding secret back road routes makes me feel like a town has welcomed me into the fold.

  17. sharon

    I am amazed at how far you have come in just three months. I am looking at relocating after living in the same house for 30 years, so you are an inspiration for me. Don’t forget how much progress you have made, and you are right smack where God wants you.

  18. Kelly

    My grandma used to say that it takes a year to feel truly at home in a new house, four seasons. You’re well on your way. 🙂

  19. Elena

    It is turning out beautiful! I adore your ironstone collection and vintage chairs.

  20. Beth

    Eulalie looks right at home, too. 🙂

  21. Nancy

    It will get easier but sheesh take the pressure off yourself! You are only there a few months! All these things will fall into place.
    I moved back to my hometown after years of living elsewhere. I have to use GPS sometimes because things have changed. The kids go to a different school district than I did so I find myself learning roads I never frequented when I lived at my mom’s house. Thank heavens for GPS.
    PS- let it fly sometimes when you can afford to take the time- I find a lot when I get lost.

    • Sharon Rexroad

      Nancy — I’ve been back in my “home”town for three years now, and I so agree that GPS is my friend. I’m starting to househunt and the realtor took me to whole neighborhoods that were just country roads when I first knew this place. Sorta disorienting. I keep being afraid that I’ll start a sentence about something around town “well, when I was a kid…”

  22. Sarah

    My “we are Home moment” was the first time a new friend called out my name in the produce department at our local grocery store. No big fanfare event but it is memorable. A comfortably routine moment in most daily lives that signaled we were home.

  23. Bernie

    …and its good to be home!

  24. Sharon

    What a sweet recognition of home….with the holidays coming and memories soon to start in your new home, you will truly realize that you are home!

  25. Deborah Raney

    I love this post. I remember that moment…that feeling that we WERE home…in our current house, too. And we’re coming up on 5 years here. I’m loving watching your beautiful home come together, and I continue to be amazed by how much you manage to accomplish in a day!

  26. Maryanne

    You made me cry – tat was beautiful. Home is such a special place.

  27. Julie Briones

    I have no idea why this made me cry. 🙂

  28. Lisa Marutz

    Welcome Home ☀️

  29. Nan, Odessa, DE

    There is no place like home and we are glad you are finding yours!

    Get those kids to school, pick a restaurant for lunch, get in that car and drive and drive and drive.
    You will find your way, your favorite spot for dinner following church, and park to try THIS week end.
    Make a date with your family for the park! Talk to people about their gym or recommendations!
    You are going to be okay. II know, I have faith in YOU.

  30. Connie

    I know that feeling well….. After living in our former home for 25 years and raising our two sons there, we moved.

    I was happy to make the new house a home and lots of the way it looked was already our style but you know how it is. 😉 Painting, fixing things that should have been done by former owners, etc. etc….. And yes, I even cried one or twice thinking, “What did we do???” I missed our beautiful yard I’d turned into an English cottage garden over the 25 years of living there. I missed other things too and yes, some of our good neighbors.

    One day after a year and a half of living in our current home, but still not everything in place, as I was driving back from an appointment I realized I’d said to myself “I can’t wait to get home.” As of this coming January 1st we’ll be celebrating 6 years here….and I still forget which switch operates one light in the family room! 😉

    The Midwest is sort of “famous” for people who are genuinely concerned about you. (We live in ND.) You’ll be part of them sooner than you think. 🙂

    Blessings to you and your family.

  31. Linda Charlton

    Like, big like. I have live in PA 99.5% of my life and am so ready for a move. I am longing for Phoenix where I lived for a year in my 20’s. As summer fades to fall, I am dreading the cold and snow, changes in plans due to inclement weather, heavy coats and fear of falling on the ice. I know you prayed for guidance, as did Marty from A Stroll Through Life. I think I need to do that as well. If a door doesn’t open, it’s not your door. Thanks as always for your inspiration.

  32. Jenny K

    We moved to Montana for a pastor position a few years back. It never felt like home and we never found rythmn with or things. We came back to Florida to our home so thankful for all we didn’t appreciate prior. Homento the beaches and familiar and lived surroundings! The Lord showed us so much and we are thankful. Just like hurricane Irma that recently passed over us- he ileads us and shows and is constantly grooming us to be like him 😉 hugs and blessings to finding your groove Parson’s Family!

  33. Cathy

    Moved. Ack to my hometown after 35 years. In the next two weeks we go on vacation & the painters will do the house. Got out cars & dl after 6 weeks. I have found drs. Scheduled knee replacement after New Year. I miss my old neighbors & haven’t found the old home town very welcoming. Making dinner in Suyfir 12 to celebrate 2 birthday & a baptism. Maybe after Christmas. My town is very clickish that hasn’t changed in 35 years oh Well Welcome Home to me!

  34. mary

    Loved your story today and everyday of course. Thirty six years ago we had just finished restoring our lovely

    greek revival home and made the decision to move to another state for a business opportunity. Tears and more tears. Coming here was somewhat okay because it was another small town and another old house. People were very kind and welcoming. …… But I couldn’t wait to go back to visit old friends. Time when on and on………… Had we stayed
    where we were we would have had the same house but not the business that we have now and has flourished. Our youngest son runs it now. I have met so many interesting people and broadened my horizon etc. Glad we did it.
    But the old house still occupies a space in my heart forever. Enjoy your journey. And because you have children you meet people through school and of course your church family too. At least you didn’t have to go there “cold” and wonder how you would ever make friends as they now come to you with your church etc.

  35. Lisa

    I just got goosebumps!!

  36. Becky Delson

    Marian, I am so curious what the previous owners of your home think of all the changes. Do you ever hear from them? Are they among your readers? Are they enjoying the transformation and your journey as much as the rest of us are?

    • Marian Parsons

      No, we haven’t heard from them and I do not believe they read (or are even aware of) my blog. We are so thankful for the beautiful house we were able to buy from them, though!

  37. Beverly Ozburn

    This post really made me smile. I lived in the house that I raised my children in for twenty-plus years. Then, sold it and was displaced for a month floating here and there with friends and family until my new house was completed. My furniture and belongings other than my computer and my clothing was all in storage. Then, I moved in my new house – five days before Christmas! Immediately I felt at home because I was surrounded by my belongings and had chosen this house and visualized where those belongings would fit in this house. I’ve never felt more comfortable than when I was there!

  38. Jackie King

    Perfectly stated! We moved a month and a half ago to a home on the water after 27 years in the home we raised our children in. Although, not as far a move as you, I feel the same way. I want to be able to instantly make it mine, but I realize making it your own takes time and patience. The best of luck to you. Your home is beautiful!

  39. MaryLisa Noyes

    I’m so happy for you! It’s a good feeling to know this is YOUR home and the slate is being changed to reflect your family!

  40. Karen

    Thanks for sharing what so many of us have experienced at some point, and thanks for the reminder that sometimes is the littlest thing that helps us turn that corner. I’m excited to hear about the adventures that await you.

  41. Pamela

    boy can I relate. we’ve been in our new home/town for 4 months and exercise, cooking healthy, normal routines, knowing where to go to get what has me unnerved. haven’t even unpacked my jewelry and keep wearing the same half dozen pieces I traveled here with. I thought it was feeling homey and then this morning, WHAM, like what are we doing and will it ever come together and for Pete’s sake SLOW DOWN cause I can’t keep up with all the hats I have to wear. I’m with you in this, not for the faint of heart.

  42. Kathy Riddle

    I recall after we moved that I felt like we were “on vacation” and soon my husband would probably say, “It’s time to go home now!” That was 14 years ago. After repeated muscle memory experiences, I felt like I was “home.”

  43. Mary S

    What a lovely sentiment! Rome wasn’t built in a day – so it’s process and look how far you’ve come already!! Everyting is going to be just fine! 🙂

  44. Lynnette

    It will fall together, every piece of your life. We moved from a small town after 20 years to the big city…joined a new church. And just the other morning, after two years of membership, walking into my Sunday morning class it felt like family. I still have yet to decide on fabric for living room drapes…but each milestone is a treasure. Enjoy each one!

  45. Marlene Stephenson

    Very well put, welcome home.

  46. mary

    Isn’t it interesting that none of us know each other but share the same sentiments about our past moves etc. and all want the best for this lovely family in their new home. Welcome home…………M.

  47. Teresa

    Moving is one of the hardest and most stressful things you can go through especially when you are moving halfway across the country. I am so happy that you and your family are getting settled and love your new home and surroundings. It must have been very difficult to leave behind your parents, friends and church family for the unknown.

    Your last home had become such a part of you and your business. I know it took a lot of faith to make that leap and it wasn’t easy. We have been in our home for over 25 years and sometimes to this day I will still dream that we moved back to our first house we bought after getting married. I cant figure out why I dream this because I love our current home. Guess I need some psycho-therapy to figure it out.

  48. Norma Rolader

    You will have it all coming naturally soon! You have accomplished already so much! God bless and keep going

  49. Elizabeth

    I still feel like I’m a stranger in our town, and we moved here 2 years ago! We have friends, a church family and homeschool group, but it still feels foreign. I guess moving from 7 months of snow to endless summer is just a bit unnerving, and takes a lot of getting used to.

  50. Kathy Dupuis

    You are such a,beautiful person! Your post choked me with tears. I know how you feel.

  51. Trish

    I have to let you know how much this post meant to me. I know every feeling you described. In the last 17 years of marriage, we have moved six times. The last one, to our forever home. We have been here four years, and landing in this exact home was an answer to a prayer, a dream come true, very long in the making! We still have unpainted walls, bathrooms and kitchens half complete, gardens in the the throes of transformation! Like you, I look for the small, but deeply tuned assurances of home…and am grateful for each one. Though often small, to me they are the stitching holding all the work of updating, repairing and settling into a life (again), together.

  52. Karen

    love LOVE this post! I chucked at the bit about the light switches! I’ve been in my home for 20 years, and I still question which is which! Some actually do absolutely nothing, I recall my electrician telling me he was going to do this because it’s easier to add switches when you’re building vs when you’re renovating. So there they are…

  53. Ruth

    Home is where your family is. The rest is just extra.

  54. Diane

    Hi Marian, I have been getting all these ads for bet.m, endasa ? and others on your page the endasa one is fluorescent pink and its horrible, amazon ads all sorts of ads and its so disconcerting and distracting it makes you feel like not reading your blog!

    • D.

      Diane, I don’t think that’s anything the blogger (in this case MMS) can control. I personally don’t get the ones you are describing while on her site. Right now I’m looking at State Farm and Cottenelle bath tissue ads – who knows how they get there!! It most likely has more to do with your chosen search engine, your email host, the google profile on your web address, etc. Hope they go away soon.

  55. Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life

    That feeling of home is the BEST feeling!! I’m so glad you are settling in. The house is looking incredible, and the “rhythms” will come!!
    Be blessed, my friend!!

  56. Wendy

    It took a good solid year for us. In fact, it was longer than that with the GPS. I relied on it for a good long time, and it was fine. We’ve lived here four years, and it’s just been the last year or so we’ve been truly settled. We had a goal of one year to complete every bit of our remodeling, and I’m glad. It was a busy, hard-working year, but it was a relief to have it done. We took occasional weekends off from projects that first year to explore, but most of our exploration came the second year. We spent most Saturdays exploring something new, either in our town or cool day trips. Those explorations made us feel much more connected to our new region of the country. My driver’s license was something I just deemed unimportant. I decided to just change it once it was time to renew. It would have worked, too, had I not let it lapse, but I learned the hard way that out of state license holders do not get a 30 day grace period once they expire (yes, I had to re-take both the written and driving tests 😂). So, in my experience, it takes a year. Give yourself lots of grace until then. I’m a nester, and I was so glad I concentrated on my nest and got it finished that first year to free us up to live our best lives from there forward. I would worry and fret and feel forever unsettled with constant projects hanging over my head. And the first year flies by!

  57. Stacy

    I’m not sure where you are looking at for a church home, but iMd love to recommend Harvest Bible Chapel Rochester. It is full of wonderful people & the most lovely sr. pastor, pastor’s wife & family. ❤️ Blessings!

  58. Donna

    This made me smile! When your house becomes your home, it’s an awesome thing!

  59. LInda

    When I read about your moving I imagine you have fresh perspective on moving from when you were a military child. I love your new home and hope you fee like more settled in the community. Helping out at your boys’ school I see a great way to met other moms and to get a feel for the pulse of your new community.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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