Moving Up

July 2, 2013

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 




We're Chris + Julia

read more

What we're                   right now


browse the shop

Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

browse all

browse all

browse all




Popular Posts




Top Categories

I remember playing a board game called Cashflow way back in my early college days with my, then, boyfriend and all of his friends. It is basically an educational game that simulates real life financial strategies and situations, like investing. Monopoly on steroids if you will. So, we were all very, very cool. Anyway, one aspect of the game are the opportunity cards that present you with small or big deals to decide on. It was crazy to watch how one opportunity card transformed the entire game for a player. I remember saying to my friend, “I wish opportunities were handed out like this in real life.”–most likely as I was giddily receiving large amounts of fake cash–And he replied, “They are, I think we just aren’t paying attention or maybe don’t seize them.” And I have carried that idea with me for a lot of years. Opportunity cards!

Have I lost you? Last week, Chris and I were handed a very big opportunity card that we had to decide quickly on. And, well, it changes everything.

We are moving.

Right before I left for Indianapolis, Chris was contacted about two separate jobs for two different companies within 16 hours completely out of the blue.  He wasn’t looking, as he really loves what he currently does, but I encouraged him saying, “There is no harm in getting more information.”  And in my mind I was thinking opportunity card! He had several interviews with both companies and in the end was offered both positions–in a week’s time. Financially, one offer was better.  Although it was out of state, it was close to family and we haven’t lived close to our families since before Greta was born.  We mulled over the decision, hardly slept and in the morning, Chris accepted the job in Idaho. He starts July 15th.

If there was ever a time to cling to our mantra, right? Unlike so many of our blogosphere friends who are moving, this wasn’t in our plans and we don’t feel “done” with this house. Not nearly. And while we would have loved to wait to spill the beans until things were more concrete, hey–here’s our new house; or hey–check out this bathroom that we reno’d when you weren’t looking; we’re taking you along for the ride.  Our goal is to sell the home ourselves and have it on the market before the end of July and cross our fingers for a quick sale so we can reunite up north asap.  Which means we’ll be overloaded with projects (bathrooms, basement, carpeting, painting, exterior work, yadda yadda) until then, prepping our house for the market.  Then, of course, the roller coaster that is actually selling your own home–something we’ve never done–and finally looking for a new fixer upper and starting all over, the part we’re excited about.

With all that excitement, I have already started mourning for the loss of our first home. I have been crying quite a bit about leaving this house and our amazing neighborhood that we have fallen for over the past 2+ years.  At one point, I even asked Chris if we were making a big mistake leaving and he reassured me that no, we’re just making a difficult change. And he’s right. Better opportunity is waiting for us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

What do you think?

  1. Julia. I read this and am actually crying because of it. I am feeling every emotion right now! I absolutely LOVE what you’ve done with this house, and I was especially excited for the new tile backsplash. (Instagram sneak peeks just aren’t enough!)

    I’m so sad to hear that you are leaving, but I’m really happy that you guys get to be closer to family. That’s one thing I wish we had here in Denver. Hopefully, we’ll get to meet up one of these times we are visiting Idaho Falls! We’re en route as we type and I’m already planning to make a pit stop at Mill Hollow in the ‘burg. :)

    I really am happy for you guys! Great job, Chris!

  2. Congratulations you guys!! That’s amazing that he got 2 different job offers! Excited for you guys to come to Idaho, maybe if you’re close to Rexburg we could be friends in real life instead of me just blog stalking you! :)

  3. Steph says:

    Congrats to Chris on two out of the blue job offers!! That is great! Good luck with the selling and hunting of your new home and thanks for sharing it with your readers!! :)

  4. Anonymous says:

    so exciting :) idaho is the best kept secret in the united states!

  5. K-Krew says:

    Best of luck getting your house ready to sell! It can be exhausting – physically and emotionally. We just did all of that and then felt like we should stay in our house a little longer. Be open to whatever comes next :) I’m just going to keep repeating it to myself.

  6. I am so happy and proud of you! We made a major life changing decision recently and it’s so easy to freak out and second guess yourself. In the end, we know that we have a picture of how we want our lives to be and we’re sick of being so far from it. Sometimes the biggest and best changes just need a little push!

  7. Alisa says:

    Oh fun! I love Idaho. I have family in CD’A and always loved visiting. My family and I just moved 300+ away. I’ve moved a lot, but this was the first time for my husband and daughter to be so far away from family. It’s only been 4 days so it’s still rough, but I have high hopes! PLEASE mention how you handle the move with Greta and how she responds to it. My daughter is much younger, but she having a rough time with the transition.

  8. Good luck selling your home. I just got a new job and am looking at a new place to live. It sure is nerve wracking.

  9. Happy house hunting, my friend. I hope to get a few sneak peeks? ;) Just sayin’.

  10. Congrats you guys! Change is definitely never easy, but it does sound like you guys are making the right decision! Best of luck to you!

  11. Awww. I’m so excited for you! I had to read this to my husband as we play Cashflow obsessively. My son even plays it!

  12. Wow! What a great opportunity! How wonderful that you all will be so much closer to family. (Would you believe that Idaho is on my “To Visit” list- specifically Coeur d’Alene- because of a book I read in Jr. High?!)

    My (unsolicited) advice: Be flexible with your “To Do” list. Potential buyers won’t know what you intended to do. Prioritize what NEEDS to be done, and forgive yourself for what you can’t get to.

    After seeing your laundry room makeover, I know you are capable of transforming spaces in creative, cost-effective ways. I’m excited to see where this buying/selling adventure takes you! Thanks for bringing us along for the ride!

  13. Oh yay – so awesome you are moving to the great Pacific NW and that you are having a new adventure! Seriously, every time I read about someone moving onto a new home I get all itchy and excited and start house hunting again myself (but we have lots to do on our house before anyone would want it – haha). Guess I’ll just enjoy living vicariously through you! Congrats on acceping life’s adventure…

  14. Jennifer I. says:

    Moving is always difficult, emotionally and mentally exhausting. I actually moved away from my family to be with my husband (military calling!) and even though he’s out now, we both have found jobs and haven’t moved back. Here’s hoping that being closer to your family will be a huge comfort. And, new projects will make your house feel like home. Can’t wait to see your blog through this new journey. Best of luck and congrats on the new job.

  15. Jane says:

    crazy news! how exciting. you are brave. I’m looking forward to follow along with the changes and updates in idaho!

  16. Brandilyn says:

    Where in Idaho? Are we going to be neighbors?! Congratulations to you guys on the big opportunity. As much as the college yahoos bash Idaho, we love love LOVE it here. Hopefully you’ll be able to move in time to really enjoy this gorgeous summers, they really can’t be beat!

  17. Wow, congrats! I’m really excited for you guys (and Greta—I’m sure she’ll love being spoiled by lots of family!). Moving is emotional. My husband wants us to move for economic reasons but emotionally I just don’t want to! Can’t wait to see where your journey leads you : ]

  18. Yay! So excited to watch you guys flip a house from day one :) huge congratulations!

  19. How exciting! This makes me happy because now we can definitely come visit you when we go back for a visit! We’re actually going again at the end of August! So exciting you guys!

  20. Amy says:

    Just started following your blog! :) What an exciting journey for your family to embark on! Good luck with getting your house ready & of course finding a new one quickly in Idaho! :) Congratulations! Looking forward to following along with you. :)

  21. Anonymous says:

    Wow, Congrats Chris on the job offers, that must be a good feeling. Alison

  22. Val says:

    Wowza! Big news! My husband and I work for the same company and it is very much understood that you need to be ready to relocate at any time (with great relocation benefits, of course), so it’s always in the back of my mind. I’m always browsing the real estate listings in cities that we might be shuffled to. It is a big scary change, but being close to family is so so great, you will love it. Fingers crossed for a quick sale and an awesome new fixer-upper.

    *sniff* But all that marble! Ugh! *sniff*

  23. Holy cow! That’s so exciting/stressful/nerve-wracking all at once. I totally understand your hesitations about moving (and sadness for leaving your first house), but like you said, you’ll be close to family. And you’ll have a whole new set of opportunities to go with. I’m crossing my fingers for you for a quick sale, which with the upgrades you’ve made shouldn’t be tough. :) Good luck!!!

  24. Kristine says:

    whoa!!! this is huge news! congrats on the job. change and moving is so so hard but so good too! and being by family! nothing better!

  25. So happy for you! Congrats on the big move and the HUGE opportunity!

    It’s a tricky thing – the difference between a mistake and a big decision. Hugs!

  26. Congrats on the new opportunity! I think any HUGE change can feel like a HUGE mistake in the beginning – heck, even in the middle. But new experiences are what make this life worth living. Wishing you a smooth transition and happy house hunting – or have you already done that?!

  27. smhinckley says:

    So the offer was golden! Congrats! When we moved from SLC to Tucson I cried for a whole month. 10 years in Tucson was the BEST thing that ever happened for us. I can’t wait to follow your adventures in your new place. It was SO fun to meet you in Indi. You’re such a sweet genuine girl! Hugs! -Michelle

  28. Jenn Leigh says:

    Moving is never easy but it definitely seems like its the right choice for the two of you at this point in your life! Congrats on the new opportunity!!! The blog will help you remember everything amazing in the first house – I bet your glad you started it now!

  29. Change is so hard. There’s no doubt about it. You are leaving a home you’ve grown to love and have spent endless hours fixing up. But remember–home is anywhere your family is. You are moving so close to family, something I am so envious of, and think of the daily interaction Greta is going to have with grandparents and cousins. So so wonderful for her. You guys can do this!! Order endless amounts of gluten-free pizza. and TRY and get some sleep each night.

  30. This is so exciting! My husband works for a company that has offices all over the world, and sometimes we chat about how his work life would change if we moved to , say, San Fran or NYC. Not that I’d want to leave my neighborhood or cute first house, but like you said, sometimes better things are out there! Good luck!

  31. Leaving a little piece of ourselves and our hearts with every twist and turn in the road is bittersweet! I am happy for you guys and can’t wait to see where this opp cards takes you :)

  32. Congrats. That is really exciting news and I am hoping your house will sell quickly. I am hoping to learn something in the next few posts, since we are thinking of putting our house on the market FSBO as well.

    Good luck on your new endavours and thanks for taking us along.

  33. Crazy! I’m mourning the loss of your amazing kitchen a little, I’ll admit. I’m sure the next owners will appreciate all of the hard work you’ve put into the place though!

  34. Ang says:

    Congratulations on all the big changes! This is so exciting! I can’t wait to read all about your new adventures!

  35. Emily says:


    So happy for you, Chris, Greta, and Charly (Charly *will* be going with you, right?). Moving is overwhelming and exciting and so much more, and I can’t wait to follow along with your journey! What kind of place do you see yourselves buying in Idaho? Are the real estate prices comparable to Spanish Fork?

    • It seems that way, huh?! And, of course!!, Charly is coming with. Not even a question. Our new town’s prices are pretty comparable to Spanish Fork although I think they are considered overpriced for being in the middle of nowhere. However, we found our current home (in sad condition) for a steal and hope to find the same up north.

  36. Tanja says:

    Wow – that is huge news. CONGRATULATIONS! I am looking forward to following along on the ride.

  37. Congratulations! I’m excited that you’re bringing all your readers along for the ride!

  38. Callie says:

    Soo exciting!! You will love Idaho, yay PNW! Although oops I guess one or both of you must have lived there before if it’s near family ;)

    We just sold our house FSBO, so all the ToDo’s sound super familiar to me! We were moving out of the country three weeks after putting it on the market so I was not sure how it was all going to work…but it sold in 13 days and after spending 7 days at a family wedding we came home and crazy-packed for 7 days before flying out ;) From what we saw (well, in Oklahoma) the market seems to be really picking up, and of course how gorgeous your home is will seriously help with selling quickly!

    I still need to write a post about our FSBO experience (also our first time!). But if I learned one thing, it’s don’t be afraid to price your home higher than the realtors say. I know you’ll want to move quickly, and supply and demand is probably different in different places, but still. At my husband’s insistence we priced our home 8k higher than the realtor estimated, and we still had three offers in the first week! Best of luck with the process!!

  39. Anonymous says:

    Happy to follow along on your journey. Don’t worry about it being a mistake its all in Gods hands anyway. Congrats to you both.

all the latest

We believe we should all love where we live.

We’re a couple of homebodies, working to uncover the home our home wants to be. And we’re so happy to have you here. 

HI! We're Chris + Julia

read more

Load More

Reader Faves

SHop all

What We're                     Right Now

What We're                 Right Now

Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop. 


looking for inspiration? 

A reader recently asked me if I’m starting to fully embrace traditional style and whether we still consider our house to be a “modern Colonial” and why. It was a really great question and so timely — I had really just been thinking about my approach to this home and how my style has changed […]

Can We Send You Our Love Letter?

Another way for us to stay in touch! Joining our weekly newsletter gives you access to exclusive content, never-before-seen photos, your questions answered, and our favorite DIYs. Sign up below!

Follow Along on Instagram

Welcome to our online community where we've posted home, DIY, style, renovations, and family since '09. Renovating our #cljmoderncottage in Idaho and headed for new adventures in Raleigh, NC. #cljfam #cljtransformations