Our House Story

This is the story of our house.

Our House Story at CreatingThisLife.com

It’s not the biggest house you’ve ever been in. Or the smallest.

It doesn’t sit in an exotic location, but rather the suburbs of Kansas City.

front porch

But we think it’s a special house, and we knew it was ours at second sight.

Pink-Dogwood-at-CreatingThisLife.com_

In the Spring of 2001 we were considering a move when a house went up for sale in a neighborhood that many of our friends – and even some of our family – lived in.

Those same friends and family went to our church and their kids went to our kids’ school.

We loved that.

The house had a lot of curb appeal.

We loved that too.

Entryway-sideview

My good friend, Vicki, who lives in the neighborhood, went with me to check out the house during an open house on Mother’s Day afternoon. We met the owner, took a flyer, and toured the house.

When I got home I told Tom that the house was nice, but wasn’t for us. I tossed the flyer.

Mothers Day Photo Display at CreatingThisLife.com

But at some point we decided to go back and see the house together.

And it began to grow on us.

Traditional living room at CreatingThisLife.com

It wasn’t that the house wasn’t wonderful; it was. But it was different from the other houses we’d seen and it took us a while to see ourselves there.

Eventually we couldn’t see ourselves anywhere else.

Candle snuffer will bell jar candle

The thing that made the house feel different to us – the thing we eventually came to love – was that it felt like an old home even though it wasn’t.

It felt like it had been there forever, even though it was only nine years old at the time.

Dining room wine glass chandelier

And this is where I have to give a big thanks to the couple who had it built, the same couple we eventually bought the house from.

They had a lot of vision.

Picture wall at CreatingThisLife.com

Vision that included pocket doors.

And transom windows.

Built-in bookcases.

And a brick front porch.

Piano-Room-Tree

They built it with a lot of separate, distinct rooms, like a room off the living room with French doors and an arched window. They were using it as an office, but I saw it as our piano room.

kitchen-view

They infused it with a lot of charm too.

Like the built-in wine rack above the fridge.

Two fireplaces.

And lots of crown moulding.

No Sew Cafe Curtains

And this new-but-old house with a lot of charm sat on a lot that had an old tree line that ran the length of it.

Pretty quickly this house started to feel like ours.

Kitchen window view

Tom and I have always loved old houses. We went through open houses in old parts of town before we were even married.

We watched This Old House on PBS as newlyweds.

Kitchen windows view

But we’re practical people too. And not especially handy. So when we were ready to buy our first house, we built a house in a new neighborhood instead of buying an older home in an established neighborhood.

We regretted it almost immediately.

But we stayed and brought our babies home from the hospital to that house and it became our home, if not the home of our dreams.

Kitchen View

Twelve years later we had a chance to have the best of both worlds: a house that felt old, but wasn’t.

And in a neighborhood full of friends and family.

kitchen-view

A neighborhood that was right next door to the high school that our kids would someday be attending.

We loved the idea of cutting through the field between our house and the football field for Friday night games, and then having a bunch of kids cut back through the other way to hang out on our patio after games.

stone patio at CreatingThisLife.com

We were starting to develop our own vision.

Football field in distance

And things worked out really well too. After a brief negotiation, we agreed on a price with the sellers. And our old house sold in six days.

This is where I should tell you that all three families – the sellers of our new house, the buyers of our old house, and us – were moving, at least in part, to be closer to our respective churches. That makes me think there might have been something else at work too.

Family Room TV View

Now – almost 13 years later – we’re entering another season of our life.

Family Room Lamp

Those Friday nights with a patio full of high school kids are fast coming to a close. And occasionally we’ll think how it would be nice to have a house with a master bedroom on the main floor or a bigger pantry or a three car garage.

But this house feels like where we’re supposed to be.

Master Bath

So as we update the house and make changes to it, I try to make it a place that supports the way our family lives now.

And I try to keep in mind that vision of an older home that the original owners first had and that we loved.

And I love sharing it all here on this blog, because – for us – this house is a really big part of creating this life.

See our house in pictures here.

Comments

  1. Nancee Stewart says:

    Excellent! Your home is a home because you have infused it with faith, family, and friends. Not to mention exceptional taste in furnishings and decorating! I am thrilled to have stumbled upon this blog. I’ve tried to subscribe to it above but it did not “take.” Please add my email address to your blog, as I want to read all future endeavors! Thank you for being so inspiring to those of us that are mere “peasants.!”

  2. I love older homes. I too, loved them as a young girl and going to Open Houses on a Sunday was a hobby of mine. Your house is absolutely darling! Love all the details you’ve added to each room. You’ve made me think I might want a house again…
    xxoo beth

  3. You have a beautiful home. I found your website while researching home colours, and then just spent some cosy time enjoying your pictures. I feel that I had coffee in your house. 🙂 Thanks.

  4. Bonnie Schantz says:

    I found you while reading your post on Unbound, where I also sponsor a little girl from India. I read about your research with Charity Navigator. I love your home. I live in an old home (circa 1904) on a farm. A few years ago we bought a new home in the city an hour away, for when we retire. It does not give me the warm feeling that the farm does. We live in both places, but the farm home will always be home until we can no longer take care of two places. Your home seems to fit the bill, warm and cozy, but new enough not to be a fixer upper! Congrats!

  5. jackie alcaraz says:

    I found your website earlier today while searching for cafe curtains. I re-visited tonight because of some photos and some things you said on your blog that struck a familiar cord. I too am currently living near my church, which is next to the school that my children attended. I too, have a St. Francis statue underneath the tree, my 1st born has the same photo in her baptismal gown with the black background, I have a similar chandelier in my dining room and I also love old homes and I actually live in one (built in 1947). But oh sometimes I wish I had a newer home that has an old soul like you! Lastly, yes “This old house” was definitely a must watch in the late 80’s/90’s for me too….

    I hope to visit your site often so I was trying to subscribe but the subscribe button didn’t work. Kindly add my e-mail address to your update list. Thank you!

    • Hi Jackie. What a nice comment. We have so much in common. I think your subscription to the blog went through fine.

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