I was surprisingly relaxed, waiting for the realtor to share her “you’re never going to believe this” news. I really and truly, cross-my-heart, wanted what was God’s best for us and if this was a closed door, that was okay. God had something better.
Well, despite our offer being contingent upon a job offer that wouldn’t come until July 14, if at all, the sellers accepted our offer. Not only did they accept our offer, but they accepted it without any stipulations that their home would still be open to other offers. It would be officially under contract. We were completely shocked!
The one kicker was that Jeff (or one of us) needed to be there for the inspection. Since we had lots of packing to do, that meant flying out to Rochester and back in a day! As much as I wanted to see the house, I am eager to fall in love with most houses, so I thought it was best for Jeff to go. He would be much more objective.
So, after our Myrtle Beach trip, Jeff hopped on a plane to see our house with specific instructions from me to take pictures of every little thing. Open every drawer and cabinet door. My exact words were, “You cannot possibly take too many pictures.” I waited eagerly at home, caring for the boys and working on packing. (Ha, I originally wrote that sentence as “packing and caring for the boys”, but that didn’t sound quite right!)
Jeff texted me to report about the Rochester area, made the trip to Trader Joe’s to see how far it was from “our house”, told me about the endless fields of corn and soy, and how the sky went on forever.
He let me know when he arrived at the house and then…there was silence. I was starting to get nervous. Maybe his heart sank right when he walked in the door and we had just wasted money on an inspection and airline tickets for a home that only photographed well. I pestered him a little and let him know I was about to crawl out of my skin with suspense. He finally texted back with the reassuring news, “This is our house.”
The house was incredibly well built, had great bones, and was well cared for overall. It’s ripe for us to add our personal touch.
So, I started to dream about a house that I had never seen and might never own. I made the decision, though, that I was going to pack in faith. I would only keep furniture that I thought would fit in that specific house and the rest would be sold.
With the inspection complete, we then had to decide if we were going to move ahead and invest in an appraisal or wait to do the appraisal until we had the job offer and certainly push back our potential closing date. We decided we would go all in. If you take a leap of faith, you want to make sure you don’t stop halfway over the precipice!
A couple of weeks later, it was time for our visit to the church. We decided to drive out to Rochester, so we could experience the trip from PA and have lots of time to talk through nerves in the car. We also kind of like road trips!
The drive in was…eventful. One of the boys was carsick (or something-sick) all the way through Ohio, so we seriously stopped at every rest stop on the Ohio turnpike. There were major delays in Chicago, so we had to reroute ourselves a couple of times. And, as we were driving across the Mississippi into Minnesota, there were violent thunderstorms that included hail and tornados. At one point, we were both receiving weather alerts on our phones to “seek shelter immediately”. We rerouted ourselves again to drive around the storms and away from the charcoal sky.
Thankfully, the car trip was not foreshadowing. It was just a bumpy road that lead to an amazing weekend in a place we hoped to soon call home. Rochester was love at first sight for me. I will have enough landscape painting inspiration to fill endless pages in watercolor journals. The rolling green of the farm fields and the expanse of sky suits me perfectly.
The boys and I finally had a chance to see our house, too. My stomach flipped when I saw sold sign in the yard. That’s for us!
The boys went racing up and down the steps and claiming bedrooms. I was walking through the house, arranging furniture in my head. Something about me, is that I tend to look angry when I’m arranging furniture in my head. I guess I take it seriously! I tried to be mindful of that, so Jeff and/or the realtor didn’t think I was disappointed about something as I stood in a room for several minutes, stone-faced.
I meandered to the backyard and found one of the best surprises. Upon closer inspection, I realized two of the trees planted in the back were cherry trees, loaded with fruit. Cherry trees!? Are you kidding me?! I plucked some off and revealed them to Jeff. He knows that cherries are my favorite and I eagerly wait each summer for them to show up at the grocery store. It was a like a little gift just for me.
We also looked at schools for the boys and drove by the Mayo Clinic to see how far of a drive it would be to the Pediatric Endocrinologist.
And the more we drove around Rochester, the more I loved it. Lots of great shopping, restaurants, parks, all just a few minutes away. (Oh, and I’ve already scoped out their craigslist and we’re good to go!)
But, as great as the area is, it’s the people who drew us in. Through the entire weekend, we were welcomed in as old friends. Meetings were filled with laughter and good-natured ribbing right alongside honest conversations that got to the heart of a matter. And after each meeting and event, Jeff and I left, smiling at each other, silently affirming what the other knew. This is it.
In that short time, we had a taste of what our lives could be like as a part of that church and community and everything about it felt right.
On the way home, every conversation about the church, the house, the area, was tempered with the fact that it was all still up in the air. The word “if” was used very liberally in our house during this season of unknown. In our gut, we felt like it was going to happen, but it was still an “if”.
Back at home, we finished packing up our PA home and loaded the trucks. Given that we had nothing in the house, we took the time to visit Jeff’s parents in Raleigh and then booked the guest rooms at my parent’s house in Gettysburg. We closed on our PA house on July 13, the same day we were expecting to receive the job offer. Closing happened in the morning without a hitch and Jeff and I tried to occupy ourselves, so we didn’t go nuts waiting for the phone call.
We knew it would come later in the evening, so after we put the boys to bed, we sat in chairs out on my parent’s driveway. The sun had set, but it was still hot and sticky outside. Sometimes we waited in silence. Sometimes we talked. Sometimes we prayed. We both knew this phone call would set an entire chain of events in motion. Either we would be moving to Rochester or… Well, that was the scary part. We really didn’t know. There was no plan B. I know it sounds crazy! We kept acknowledging the fact we were crazy, but any time we even talked about creating a plan B, neither of us were at peace about it. Through the entire journey, we felt like God was asking us to take a step of faith, but He gave us gifts of encouragement all along the way, like our house selling without even putting it up for sale, the unexpected acceptance of the offer on the MN house, and so many affirming conversations.
It was still nail-biter as we waited.
The thick air was cut by Jeff’s cell phone ringing. It was the call we had been waiting for. Jeff picked up and, within seconds, gave me a thumbs up. I felt ever muscle in my body relax and I couldn’t contain my smile. We’re moving to Minnesota.
The past few months have felt a little like we were setting up a line of dominos and then knocking them down in totally the wrong order. But the first and most important domino was finally knocked down and then it didn’t seem to matter that the others had fallen out of turn.
It could’ve all turned out differently…
But it didn’t.
The Dash & Albert Rug Design Competition is in the final days of voting! If you have an Instagram account, hop on over and vote for your favorites! You can vote just by “liking” or double-clicking on the pictures of the ones you like in Instagram. These three are my rug designs…
Click the links below to vote (in the order shown in the picture above)…
Dash & Albert will produce the top 10 winning designs, so that’s pretty exciting stuff! Thanks for taking the time to vote.