I can hardly believe I’m typing these words…
We bought a house!
This has been a long time coming. We have been praying about moving for over a year now, we came very close to buying two other houses that fell through along the way (with lots of heartache and disappointment), and we are convinced that God was holding out the very best for us throughout this journey. Goodness it feels SO GOOD to finally share this news! We are absolutely in LOVE with our new home!! (I promise Milly is happy about it, in spite of her face below, ha!)
For the last 8.5 years, we have lived in our beloved townhome. When we moved in, it felt massive compared to our first apartment. A 3 bedroom, 3 story townhome was the perfect fit for our life, as the first floor accommodated our garage and the NRP studio space, the 2nd floor is our kitchen / living / dining area, and our 3rd floor are our 3 bedrooms. We had room to spare!
Fast forward to 2018: we are busting at the seams! Our 3 bedroom townhouse now hosts so many wonderful people: Me, Will, our two precious little girls who share a room, our great dane Winston, my team: Callie, Olivia, Jen, our intern, our wonderful nanny, and often times brides and potential clients. Will and I both work from home (his office doubles as our pop up guest room), so on days we are all here… it gets quite fun ;).
Our journey has been so unique. We paid off our townhome back in 2012, and we believe strongly in living debt free. It has been incredible to live 100% debt free for 5 years now, and we have been saving all along the way.
And even so, we’ve had a lot of life changes along the way. 2 new babies. 2 job changes for Will. 2 maternity leaves for me.
Enter: a lot of grace that I’ve had to heap on myself. Because in all of that saving and planning, LIFE happened. And while it was my greatest dream to pay for our next house in cash, we didn’t meet the savings goals we needed to do so.
I’m going to be honest: I struggled with this a LOT. I felt immense shame and guilt for carrying that debt free banner and now going back into debt for this new house. It’s been something I’ve been wrestling with over and over. (You can listen more about that here.) But two significant things happened that confirmed this was the right step for us:
1. A godly friend of ours called me out on my pride, and how too much of my identity was swept up in debt freedom. He looked at us and said the best thing for us would be to go back into debt, to make sure our identity is in Jesus and not our accomplishments. #ouch. But man, I needed to hear that.
2. I re-learned, for the thousandth time, that contentment is never in a finish line. Contentment doesn’t ever arrive because of an accomplishment or goal. Contentment is something I get to choose: whether I’m debt free or not. Whether I’m where I want to be or not. So this next chapter of contentment is not one I would have written myself, but in laying down my pride, I’m choosing to be content yet again.
So, with ALL of that said, I’m incredibly grateful. This house is already such a blessing! And we still have plans to pay it off in 3 years or less, God willing, realizing that lots more life will happen along the way.
So here’s the story in a nutshell:
October: We began looking
November: House #1 falls through
December: More looking
January: House #2 falls through
February: More looking
March: Found a foreclosure house + put an offer on it!
May: Closed on our house, Renovations began
(I took this selfie after we looked at 6 houses in 1 day, knowing we had just found THE house.)
Here are some things I’m MOST excited about:
• A yard!! We will be living on over an acre. Winston will be BESIDE himself.
• A giant driveway to accommodate parking (instead of our current tiny shared guest lot)
• A completely separate NRP studio building – on the same property!
• A bonus room for the kiddos
• A kitchen with a farmhouse sink
• So many garages.
• Linen closets (I’ve never had one!) and extra storage closets
• It’s out in the country
• A freestanding tub (I just can’t)
• Real hardwoods
The freezing cold day we went to check out the house and get quotes for renovations
Closing day Chick-fil-a picnic!
The new NRP Studio Space!
Me inside the new NRP studio!
The Kitchen “before” : that wall is coming down to open up an island
The Bathroom “before” : it’s already demolished
Me, being a total dork. I texted this selfie to my mom and sister when we decided to make any offer on it.
So there you have it. I’m a little in awe this is happening, and just so incredibly thankful. You can follow along with our renovations and move here on the blog and on Instagram @nancyray!
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