One year ago today, Kevin and I arrived in Atlanta. I was 5 months pregnant, and we had driven 3,000 miles across the country in two cars loaded to the gills. Our stuff was packed into a storage pod and would remain there for 8 months. Jude flew out with Grammy Lila and met us at my parent’s house, where we would stay for those next 8 months. Kevin was continuing his LA job remotely and part time until they found a replacement for him. It would take two months to find a job in Atlanta. He started work at his new job downtown in November on his birthday. It was a perfect fit, but a grueling commute from the far out suburbs where my parents live.
Evie was born on New Year’s day and we settled into life as a family of four, still living on the top floor of my (amazing, gracious, helpful, loving, encouraging, patient) parents’ house. By April, we still hadn’t found a house in the neighborhood we felt called to (Adair Park). We had found an amazing church nearby, so at that point at least one of us was driving an hour each way nearly every day between Kevin’s day job, church on Sundays, and house hunting.
An amazing rental house on a month to month agreement was literally dropped into our laps and so we moved in on Easter weekend. Two weeks later, the house that was to be ours went onto the market. We went under contract a few weeks after that, and we were supposed to close yesterday. Closing still hasn’t happened because of a few details still to be worked out (it’s a short sale, and honestly they are anything but!).
Within the next few weeks, about a year from when we took a huge step of faith and moved our whole life to Atlanta and decided to move into an under-resourced, urban neighborhood, we will close on our first house! And you better believe me, it was worth the wait. It took so long for us to find this house because we had already fallen in love with this amazing neighborhood, so we didn’t want to look anywhere else. We also didn’t want a house we felt we’d grow out of, because let me tell you, I am SO done with moving! Once we close, we are moving in and staying put!
Obviously, these are the before pics, but hopefully it’ll give you an idea of the layout. I’ve grouped the pics by area, so you’ll see that some are galleries and you can click through the various pictures for that area of the house.
Living and Dining Rooms
The house is a late Victorian/Early Craftsman home that was totaly gutted and renovated sometime in the last ten years. I love how they opened up the kitchen, dining room, and living room to create a huge open floor plan. As you can see, the kids love it too.
The kitchen is just to die for. I never thought I’d have a big, open kitchen like this, especially in this neighborhood, as most houses have the kitchens tucked away in the back, separated from a formal dining room. Once we get the walls painted something lighter, the whole place will just light up.
There are three bedrooms downstairs, two with private bathrooms. One of these rooms will be for the kiddos to sleep in and one will be a guest bedroom, so book your plane tickets, friends! The bedroom without a bathroom is going to be a playroom for now, and when the kids are older and need their own rooms, we’ll juggle things around a bit. There’s also a half bath downstairs off from the super wide hallway (perfect for tricycle rides), but the power’s off so it was too dark to get a picture (sooo hope we can get a solar tube in that bathroom to bring some lovely natural light in).
There’s a big back deck and a nice backyard, but unfortunately we don’t have a key to the back door yet, so I couldn’t get a picture of it. The plan, though, is to expand and rebuild the deck properly (it’s currently unsafe and not to code) and make it into a screened in back porch. It will be such a lovely place to hang out all seasons of the year, and especially when we are fighting those pesky mosquitoes in the summer evenings). The best part of the screened in deck? A slide. Oh yes, I said it, we are so going to put in a slide going from the deck down into the backyard. The idea is that we want to do whatever we can to encourage folks both big and little to go out into that yard and play. And if a pesky flight of stairs is going to stand in their way, then why not add a slide?!
Master Bedroom and Office/Loft
Upstairs is a converted attic and this is the area that will need the most work. We’ll start off by painting it ANY COLOR OTHER THAN BLOOD RED! Then we are going to knock out the wall that makes the whole place look like a tunnel and add a railing to make things open down to the stairs. This will create kind of a loft area and make the whole place feel larger. At the other end, we will put in a wall with french doors to create a master bedroom, leaving the area between the stairs and the master as our office/studio space. After putting in hardwood floors, adding some skylights to get some more light in and, you know, PAINTING IT ANY COLOR IN THE WORLD OTHER THAN RED, it will be a relaxing, productive workspace for us. This area is especially going to get some heavy use for a new ministry project that I have in the works (more details coming soon). So there you have it folks, the vision, the dream for our new home. I’m going to try to post some more pics of the neighborhood soon to give you an idea of the beauty and challenges to be found here. We couldn’t be more excited to be starting the next year of this amazing adventure!