We made it to our new house!! The roller coaster of getting here and why we can’t move in yet.

June 28, 2021

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We made it to our new home in North Carolina!! We’re in Cary, just a few minutes outside of Raleigh. It was our daughters’ first time seeing the area and the house and it was the best feeling seeing them run from room to room just squealing the whole time. My oldest said, “Can we please never move again?” I’m not sure it’s because she loves the house so much or she doesn’t want to go through what we just went through again–or maybe both. For me, it’s both!

Our journey here did not go as planned, and it wasn’t straight forward (what is, really??), but after 5 months of planning and dreaming and searching, it feels so good to be here. We had been planning to drive across the country (remember this post where we shared everything we had packed our car with?!), but my grandfather (we call him Pap Pap!) passed last week, somewhat unexpectedly although he was 98, we had to rework our plans. It all happened as the movers were packing our house and we had to make some quick decisions under a very stressful situation. (And it also made a very emotional time more emotional).

The plan was always to go to Chris’s family’s reunion in Bear Lake, UT and then start the road trip, Thursday, June 24th. But that was also the day of the viewing in Pittsburgh. I flew out to Pittsburgh to attend the funeral and Chris stayed behind to make sure we could get our other car shipped from Utah where the reunion was (I didn’t want him to road trip across the country without me!). We’d all fly into Raleigh on Saturday. Even though it felt like we were juggling a lot of emotions and plans, it all worked out. I was able to spend some time with my family in the city I grew up in and Chris had some extra time with his family, too. We all arrived in Raleigh at almost the same minute on Saturday evening. It was the best reunion and surreal to be landing in a different place as a family.

One other thing that happened the DAY the movers were packing up our house was we got word that the first day we would be able to move furniture into our new house was July 19th because the floors needed more time to be finished and cured. We knew that they wouldn’t be done when we got here because we haven’t finalized a stain, but we didn’t know it would be quite that far out. We were able to arrange with the movers to store our things for a few weeks and deliver them on the 19th. Some things we weren’t expecting to be so long without–like ALL of our clothes hahaha! But we are making the most of it.

We’re in a hotel this week while we prepare the guest house (it’s where we’re all running to in the photo above)–which is honestly larger than any hotel room, plus it has a full kitchen!, and we’re going to bunk there until we’re able to move into the house. As things came up, during this whole process, the stress kept building so much so that now that we’re here, and landed, and together, not having to unpack a house for a couple weeks actually feels nice.

I am not sure when it will sink in that we’re here for good and not just a vacation. Maybe when I drive to a new gym in the mornings before work. Or when our belongings finally arrive and we’re settled into bedrooms. Maybe when I go a few more weeks without seeing my parents or friends. Or the first time we get a sitter and hit the town just Chris and I. Maybe when I hang my first piece of art or don’t rely so heavily on the gps to get around. Or open a paint can and roll out the first room.

Home is a feeling and although I have a lot of feelings right now, the most pronounced one is–relief. More coming about project updates and what’s next this week! I just wanted to let you know we made it and we’re so happy to be here.

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What do you think?

  1. Eileen Rinehimer says:

    Love your honesty, Julia, about the reality of how such a big change sets into your head and your “new” life. It happens in bits and peices, so as to help us be our best!

  2. Joy says:

    I hope for things to flow a little easier from here on out. Take care of your selves. ❤️

  3. Tiffany says:

    Welcome to the South! I moved 800 miles to western Tennessee three years ago and my sister is in Fayetteville, NC now…the South is a whole world unto itself! Every time I move, using GPS to get somewhere and then trying to navigate back by memory and old school navigation is helpful. And exploring the grocery stores! Y’all did it, now breathe and enjoy it!! Congrats!

  4. Why did you leave Idaho? Just catching up! Idaho is my home state but I now reside in Charleston, SC – not far from you! Enjoy the east coast!

  5. Dawn says:

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  6. Linda says:

    So glad you made it. So sorry about your Pap Pap. So happy to join you on this next great chapter of your lives.

  7. Lee Harrison says:

    Welcome to Cary. We’ve lived here, part time, for 10 years and will be happy to try to answer questions if you have them. Good luck!

  8. Stephanie says:

    So happy for you that things went rather smoothly in the midst of the the chaos.
    My Condolences on the passing of your pap pap.
    Having time to “settle” before unpacking would be such a blessing.
    Enjoy your new adventure 💞

  9. Kala says:

    So glad you all made it safe and sound!! How serendipitous that you all arrived at the same time 💛 I cannot wait to see you all settle in!!

  10. Megan says:

    Oh what a ride! So glad you are almost home now.

  11. Amanda says:

    I have relatives that live in Cary. It is so beautiful there! Congratulations on the move. I can’t wait to see what you do with this house.

  12. Mary says:

    Welcome to NC! I recommend a concrete from Goodberry’s. That is sure to alleviate your stress, at least momentarily!

  13. Jen says:

    So sorry to hear about your grandfather, but am so happy to see that you’ve made it and are settling in. We recently made a similar move to the south so have enjoyed following your journey instep with ours. Best of luck and as a month long resident here, I feel seasoned enough to say, “Welcome to the south!”

  14. Vicki says:

    Wow! What a move! I’m glad you are all there even if you can’t settle in just yet. Maybe the three weeks will turn out to be a big blessing. Let’s home so!

  15. Janice D says:

    Welcome to Cary! We lived in Cary for 20 years and now live just down the road in Holly Springs. You will love Cary! It is such a great place to raise kids. Be sure to check out Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh. It is a great place to spend a hot day.

    PS. I still use my GPS all the time! LOL

  16. Shivaun says:

    You have a beautiful and wise attitude! Thanks for sharing❤️

  17. Rachel D says:

    We packed away majority of possessions for what we thought would be 3 months moved into a 2 bedroom unit and a year later after change of plans we bought an older home exactly the size we needed rather than a new build (its been 10 years updating and renovating and counting). There certainly is freedom in a smaller home and less possessions surrounding you (girls will grow quickly so only buy up in sizes). More time to spend with each other enjoy the beautiful new surroundings and weather as you explore your new city. Cleaning takes shorter time too. What a good way to ease pressure no need to rush can be right there and feel the bones but live in a cosy safe spot while construction happens. Can see Chris with a grill situation to really enjoy outdoors too. Once work area is set up think you’ll feel more settled in too.

  18. Amanda Grace says:

    I am so sorry for your loss of your Pap Pap. It sounds like he lived a full life, and had lots of love surrounding him. Any death, whether sudden or not aches so hard. I’ll be thinking of you and your family.

    Glad you and your family arrived safely in your new hometown! ENJOY your next few weeks of not needing to unpack, and just enjoying and exploring the area you now live in. I hope the turn of events doesnt affect your work situation too much. I imagine not having furniture to photograph for a home blog I’m sure can be challenging. ;) hehe. xo

  19. Tiffany says:

    Sounds crazy! Glad everything is working out. Thank whenever I move I feel like my new place is home when I go back to the old place. It just doesn’t feel like home anymore and when I go back to my new home I’m so happy to be there. Maybe you’ll feel the same whenever you go back to Idaho for a trip.

  20. Tara says:

    I know what u mean Julia. I was mentioning we were on the same time table with a move. We were right near Cary and decided after a year of bunkering down a lot at our mountain cabin we decided to make the big leap to moving to the NC mountains. I’m finally feeling relief myself to settling and feeling like we made the right decision. But, I’m with u I just let myself feel all the emotions (the ups and downs, the stresses).

  21. Laura says:

    Welcome to Raleigh! We’re in Holly Springs and have lived here 16 years. We moved from CO (and I’m from MT), so we’re definitely “westerners”, but have made life-long friends, are raising our family here and can’t imagine living anywhere else!

  22. Sarah Klingler says:

    Welcome to NC❤️

  23. Kandice says:

    Welcome to your new home! As someone who moved across country last year (away from family) with our small kids and in the middle of a pandemic not knowing when we’d see family again, I can say enjoy these couple weeks together of not being able to unpack and work on your house. It’ll be a nice way to settle in and vacation in your new area. It did take us awhile to realize this was home and not a new magical vacation spot, but in the end feeling like your home is a vacation spot isn’t all that bad. If only everyone could live somewhere that felt like a vacation! Good luck with the transition, and I look forward to seeing what you guys do with your new place!

  24. Melissa says:

    Ahhhh. So stressful and so many emotions. Glad you are home and feeling well!

  25. Cori says:

    Home sweet home!

  26. Carla Bybee says:

    So glad that y’all arrived safe and sound. Sounds like you need some retail therapy— clothes, furnishings, food!! Welcome home!

  27. JL says:

    Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks to move into the main house? Not only will you have a breather from unpacking, but this also gives you time to perfect the stain on your floors and peruse the house without anything in it, in case there are any more structural changes you wish to make before the furniture is delivered. If your washer/dryer is hooked up, hopefully you can wash clothes until your packed clothes arrive. Thank goodness for the guest house!

  28. RC says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Experiencing a loss in the family, change of plans, having to figure so much out on the fly – it sounds so stressful – praying things smooth out as you settle into your new home. Welcome to the East Coast!

  29. Edith says:

    Such an adventure! I moved many many times when I was growing up. Went to 4 different high schools!

    While in college, I wrote a paper about moving. The research showed that it takes 12 – 18 months to get truly acclimated to your new area and to view it as home. I found that to be true for me.

    I will also say that a skill I developed was to easily introduce myself to others and to ‘work’ a room.

    Silver linings!!!

  30. Julio says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your grandpa died. Sorry you missed the reunion too. You guys had everything planned so well but you’re showing us all that things like that happen and it’s important to look for the positive and choose not to dwell on the negative. Your kids need that! Your place looks so beautiful and it’s so awesome you have that guest house! Good luck with everything!

  31. Mary says:

    Thank you for your candidness and sharing the reality of moving. My heart goes out to your family as your mourn your grandfather and leaving friends and family. What a tender mercy to have arrived at the airport together in that way. That picture of you and your girls touched my heart. Good luck and best wishes as you navigate a new place!

  32. Donna says:

    When we moved from NC back to NY, it took 18 months to find a house (very competitive market), so our stuff was in storage all that time while we rented three (yes, three) temporary homes. While I never want that nomad lifestyle again, it was all an adventure that became part of our story. I believe a house becomes a home after the first holiday spent there with family. As for the gps, it will become routine for everything in NC! Embrace the jumbled roads!😂😂

  33. Stephanie says:

    After wanting a move in ready home this has become quite the adventure!
    Also, You should name the guest house after your grandpa! 🥰 (example “The Edward House”).

  34. Jennie says:

    Welcome to Raleigh!! We moved here 5 years ago and I still use my GPS all the time!! It can be a little confusing and buildings are always hiding behind the trees!!

  35. Carol says:

    I feel you on the living out of suitcases situation! We moved from Los Angeles to Portugal in April, and our container is stuck in Antwerp – COVID shipping issues plus that ship that got stuck in the Suez have created worldwide issues, and we’re caught up in that.

    • Desiree says:

      Hi, Carol! My husband and I are sorta thinking about doing the very same thing you just did, although it will be a few years (most likely) from now. Is there an instagram or blog that I can follow along with on your journey? I’m really interested in a boots on the ground view of it.

      Hope your container situation gets resolved sooner than later. That’s a tough one.

  36. Valerie Bromenschenkel says:

    Hi Chris and Julia,
    I found your Instagram and blog while searching for ideas for our new home in Pittsboro, NC. We are just getting started with the build so we’ll be in an apartment in Cary until then. This is a return to our childhood hometown of Raleigh. We have lots of friends and family in the area. Our 22 year old daughter will also be living with us as she begins her career as a middle school teacher. If you are looking for a babysitter, she is available. If there is any way we can help, let us know. I’m looking forward to seeing your journey as you settle in.

  37. Jen says:

    We moved different states with a toddler in a blizzard. We lived in a hotel for a couple days and it kept snowing and snowing. The Patriots had just lost the Super Bowl (we moved to Boston) so our movers were in a bad mood. 😆 when we finally got everything moved in we noticed that the heat wasn’t working. 1130 pm and I’m knocking on my new neighbors door to ask if they knew a plumber. What a welcome to the neighborhood. We also left our family and knew no one. 14 years later and I wouldn’t change a thing. The biggest help for me was meeting a moms group and that’s where I met my Nee friends and developed amazing relationships. I loved one place my whole life so I was excited to experience another state. It’s such a fun adventure moving somewhere new. There’s always something new to check out! I can’t wait to see what you do with this home!

  38. Marce says:

    Welcome HOME !🏡

  39. What a whirlwind! Hope you all get some time to breathe this week after all that.

  40. MKH says:

    As an implant in Cary myself, i can confidently tell you that you’ll continue to use the gps for years to come. 😂

  41. Elle says:

    Welcome to North Carolina! It’s a great place to live.
    Years ago when we moved here, we also had our things in storage while our house was being built. The moving company let us get into our “stuff” so we could get some of our things. Not sure if protocols have changed, but something to look into if you need any of your things.

  42. Victoria says:

    We just moved across the country in October, and I’m still struggling with our new town feeling like “home”. It’s been such a huge adjustment for everyone (even our dogs!), but little by little it’s starting to feel more and more like we’re right where we are supposed to be. The hardest thing was moving in the middle of a pandemic and not being able to just go out and make friends. Slowly I’m starting to connect with people as things start opening up. Community is such an important part of feeling at home. You’ll get there. Best of luck to you and your family as you navigate this time. There will be big feelings over the next few months, but lean into one another. You’ll make it through. Sending lots of love.

  43. Bren says:

    Welcome to Cary! You’re going to love it. It was so sweet seeing the girls see the house and property for the first time. They are going to love all the nature trails and everyone will love the proximity to the beach and the mountains. Glad you’re here!

  44. Sara says:

    Welcome home!

  45. Kerri says:

    What a whirlwind- I’m sure you guys are exhausted but happy you made it safely. I love your attitude and adaptability!!! It’s also a testament to your resilience as a couple and a family. Best wishes as you settle into your new hometown (if not your new home quite yet!)

  46. Kendall says:

    So happy you’re here!! Sorry the journey has been such a beast. I live in Cary and you all are going to love it here. Sending y’all love.

  47. We moved back to North Carolina from Oregon in March. We’re in Winston Salem this time, but seeing your pics makes me so homesick for the Raleigh area. We lived in Holly Springs for 5 years. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Visit the NC State farmers market! The whole family will love it!

  48. Amanda says:

    Welcome to the Triangle!

    My husband went to high school there, and his parents and sister still live right around the corner from you. I still need GPS even after 15 years of visiting the area multiple times a year. The highways make no sense!

  49. Ashley says:

    For me, it’s always been a gradual process; whether it’s a new home down the street, or thousands of miles away, it always took about six months for that “home” feeling to sink in. It is the best feeling though!

  50. Nina says:

    It’s a lot. A lot of everything.
    So, just breathe, take it slow & easy
    and keep in mind that


    And in the meantime: we are all here with you rooting and cheering!

  51. Trish says:

    Deo gratias! Thanks be to God! God bless you Julia and your family! Everything is God’s Plan and Timing. This reminds me of our cross country move from California to Florida 3 months ago. So happy you and Chris got to meet up with family prior to arriving at your new house. You look so beautiful free and happy! What a blessing to land in your guest house. The Lord provides. Please keep my family in your prayers 🙏 as well ❤ as we are house hunting for our permanent home for our house full of children😊

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