It’s not really a secret anymore. If you’ve visited my Facebook page or driven by my house, you’ve noticed the For Sale sign. In our conversations with people, there has been so many who have asked “Why?”, “Where?” or my favorite, “But you just remodeled?”
Michael and I were both living in the far north Dallas area when we met thirteen years ago. Frisco is where I landed my first teaching job, so we bought our first house here. But there has been a part of us that has always longed to be back in Dallas. Frisco is beautiful, shiny, new, and great for families, of course. But for some reason, we have just never had that settled feeling of being ‘home’.
We’ve tossed around the idea of moving south several times of the past few years. There was never a time that it made sense, financially, to sell our house. Until recently. Lucky for us, our next door neighbor is a killer realtor, Nina Bhanot. She was even featured in D Magazine! So a couple of months ago we invited her over and we ran all the numbers.
It was finally time, we decided. In this hot market, we thought it would be best to find our new home before selling ours. We had a general area where we wanted to be, we knew we could stand to lose a few square feet, and we really wanted a house with its own pool for the boys.
Someway and somehow, we found ‘our house’. Ya’ll… this has been a total God thing from Day 1. We stumbled upon it while viewing another Open House in the area. We were not even out to see that specific one. The 2400 square foot 1-story home sits on a huge lot with mature trees. It has a front drive up rather than an alley (hard to find in most Dallas area neighborhoods). Built in the 1980s, the inside of the home has a ton of quirky charm that is right up our alley. Then there’s the back. Oh my sweet heavens. The back sold me. Pool- check. Past the pool– a creek with trees and more trees. My current backyard situation has me staring at the inside of an 8ft privacy fence and that’s the extent of it.
But there is a huge list of reasons why this house should not work for us.
- Too small. Everyone keeps asking where we are are going to put everyone and all of our stuff.
- Not a lot of closets or attic for all our ‘stuff’
- No playroom.
- Dated. Cosmetically, it needs to be updated throughout.
- Old. Needs a good bit of repairs.
Regardless of all the things it doesn’t have, especially compared to our current home, there was just something about it that tugged on our hearts and made us feel like we HAD to have it.
So we put in an offer the day it hit the MLS system. The next day, we found out our offer was too low and not accepted. Hesitantly, we gave a higher offer. Again, the next day, we found out, our offer was not accepted. We were really tore up, you know? Not like we were sad. Like, we had already been envisioning what a simple life looked like for the Caneys in this tiny house and were super excited about it. When we found out we didn’t get it, it was like somebody had crushed our dream. That was 4th of July weekend and we all spent the weekend pouty and defeated. Even sweet three year old Knox kept saying over and over, “I just need to get that house with a pool.”
A few days later, Michael and I left sans kids for a week-long, all-inclusive, adults only escape to Mexico to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We had been planning the trip for a while, but it couldn’t come soon enough now with all the sadness over losing the house. Three days into the trip, this thrill seeking girl convinced her cautious husband to take a zip-lining & repelling tour in the jungle. Sidenote: if you ever go to Mexico, you must do this. I was the first person in our tour group to ride the zipline, of course. If you have ever done this you know how emotionally freeing it is. I swear, in that first 30 second ride, I almost cried 3 times. There was so much letting go that occurred in such a short time. And the adrenaline rush is killer.
So I’m sitting there, high as a kite emotionally, waiting on Hot Husband to arrive to my side of the track. He hops off, unhooks his harness, smiles at me with those dimples, and says “I bought you your house. The other offer fell through and they accepted ours. Just got the email a little bit ago.”
Oh. My. Gosh. It was like he got a re-do on his marriage proposal. I was squealing and giggling.
Over the rest of our trip we signed documents via email while sipping drinks on the beach and got everything handled.
And here we are. We closed on our new place last week. We start remodeling it in the next couple of weeks. We’ve lived through a remodel before, so this time it should be no biggie. Here’s the tricky part. We are losing 1200 square feet of house, plus attic space. Our overabundance of ‘stuff” has to go. My three boys currently all have their own room plus a playroom. Why? I don’t know, other than the fact that they can have more ‘things’. I started sorting through their toys and discovered 22 large toy trucks/cars. Not little hot wheels cars, I haven’t even counted those yet, but 22 of the huge ones. Do they need that many? Nope, I got rid of 19. We also have separate houses for all the action figures- Ninja Turtles apparently need their own house, they can’t play in the Batcave. Nope, figure it out, this is ‘merica kids, where turtles & bats can be friends. Stuffed animals? Eww, boys don’t need 13 stuffed animals each. They each get to keep 4 for sentimental reasons.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg of a purge that is about to take place. We’ve barely touched our own closets, our attic, kitchen cabinets, extra closets, and garage. Is it weird that I get this thrill of excitement every time I drop off a bag of clothes at the Frisco Family Service center? And if throwing away massive amounts of kid’s schoolwork is wrong, I don’t want to be right. With every material thing that goes, it’s like a layer of our own self-absorbed B.S. goes with it.
In this early stage of the purge, the Lord is showing us that earthly things are just exactly that. We have selfishly spent too much time and money on things that are not building memories or teaching our children’s hearts. Toys, clothes, shoes, nic nacks, holiday decor– it’s all transient. When our kids are grown, we want them to look back and not remember all the ‘cool stuff’ they were given, but the times we had together, the laughs, and the love.
So, friends, let’s do it. Purge All The Things.
There a ton of blogs out there on simplifying, minimizing, and downsizing. I will try to update on our specific process as we go. So far, it’s both scary and thrilling. There’s also the big question about the boys’ school. Details on that also to come!!