Who knows really…
Well, by now we thought we would be eating breakfast at the Loveless Café, square-dancing at The Wildhorse and getting our groceries at the Nashville Farm Market. Instead we are eating breakfast in our kitchen, occasionally dancing in our living room, and getting our food from Meijer. This has been quite an ongoing process. The hardest part for me is answering everyone’s questions because we don’t have any answer to give them really. It sort of feels like we are failing. Like we talked this big game of making our dreams come true and moving to our favorite city in the world and here we stand.
Andrew and I went with a small group from our church to help with the tornado relief efforts in Joplin, MO. On the way down, I found out that some things had fallen through. I think God gave me that answer at the perfect time. He knew I wouldn’t have time to dwell on my own problems. I literally didn’t even care once we got to Joplin. How could I even worry about that when I was seeing people who lost their homes, jobs and loved ones. That experience certainly changed my life and brought me closer to God at a time that may have taken me farther away from Him.
We are in the stage now that we need to prepare to stay as well as prepare to go. It is quite a strange feeling not knowing what you will be doing in a month, let alone a week. If anything this experience has made Andrew and I live each day separately and cherish the times we are having with family and friends. If we stay we will get to be with the people we love more than anything and that is a comforting thought. We are just ready for anything right now. The waiting is killer, but we know we don’t have a choice. I’m a planner and not being able to plan is torture, but I know God is teaching me lessons every moment about patience and trust. Who knows if we make it to Nashville this year. It is a dream we will continue to strive for. We believe that we will be there eventually, whether in the near future or not. We are just going to keep truckin’ along and see what happens.
Be sure to eat
I haven’t written in awhile because, for one, I have been swamped! I am currently getting my M.S. in integrating technology in the classroom. I also just finished coaching 6th grade girls’ basketball so with that over things are finally slowing down. Throughout the last few weeks, we found out that Andrew will not be called back to work, which makes sense. They know we are moving and wanted to have someone they knew would be staying in the area. We are praying we can make ends meet until we can move. Again, we are acting on pure faith here. Which quite honestly, Andrew just told me yesterday that he likes that everyone thinks we are crazy. I definitely understand why people assume that jobs are moving us down there. The looks we get when we tell them we don’t have anything lined up at all or a place to live are, well…both awkward and hilarious! To most we seem really stupid and I totally understand that.
Things have slowed down with our house as well. We have had five showings, but none in the past two weeks. The weather is finally letting up so we can get out into are yard again and beautify things. I pray every day someone will drive by it and fall in love with it like I did when we drove by three years ago.
Last week we had our first true test of whether or not we could really do this. We took a trip down to Franklin, TN during my spring break. Beautiful weather greeted us as soon as we passed the Indiana border. We decided that this trip would not be one of tourists, but of locals. We went to Target, Kroger’s and Starbucks, you know, all of the normal things you do! The first night was nothing short of horrible. I warned Andrew that I would either be overjoyed or extremely overwhelmed and that those moods could change every half hour. The first thing we did was plug in an address of a rental home in our GPS. I instantly fell in love with the area. The beautiful sunshine and 82 degrees didn’t hurt either! This house was a little out of our price range, but gave us hope that we will find something that we could love.
That first night I was feeling pretty good. I could see us living there. Then as I had warned Andrew, my mood shifted and I was completely beside myself. Much to my embarrassment and to Andrew’s, I started bawling…I wouldn’t have been embarrassed had we been in the car or in our hotel room. Oh no, we were in a packed café during open mic night. Luckily it was dark in there! We didn’t stay for every act, because I really couldn’t control my crying. People were singing songs of going home and of their parents. Not good timing. When we got to the car, I told Andrew I could not do this. Small side note about me, I’m hypoglycemic and if I don’t eat regularly, my emotions change drastically and very quickly. So maybe I should have eaten lunch that day and had more than a tiny salad for dinner. Andrew took me through the Wendy’s drive through and got me some comfort food. Have I mentioned how amazing my husband is? Because he is incredible. I got a good night’s rest and felt much better about everything the next day and my fear has turned into excitement!
Since we have come back, I am quite at peace about everything. It is beautiful down there, not to mention the people there are crazy sweet with their southern accents. I am really looking forward to starting this new adventure with my best friend and my favorite dogs. Now to find jobs, sell our house and find a new place to live….
The adventure continues…
Whenever anyone talks to me about moving to Nashville, their first question is always, “How are your parents taking this?” I thought I would take the time to address this question. My parents mean the world to me. My favorite nights are when Andrew and I go to my parents and watch HGTV and eat pizza and brownies. My mom and I always go out for random shopping trips and my dad and I spend our Saturdays in the summer at junk yards. To say we are close would be an understatement. They are not the kind of people that would stand in the way of our dreams, but they are definitely sad. They have had their moments of “Holy crap, you are actually leaving…” and “You better have rocking chairs on your porch since you will be in the south!”
I can’t tell you enough about my mom. She is one of the coolest women you could ever meet. She is always helping everyone around her and is a huge part of the community. I admire her strength, courage and her love for others. If you drive through Walkerton, you would know her house by the beautiful landscaping that she has worked so hard on through the years. She is who I get my creativity from and my love for decorating shows! I went into teaching because I have watched her work with children all of my life and been in awe of her compassion and patience. She made my childhood incredible. God matched us perfectly. I am who I am because of her. The biggest compliment someone can give me is that I remind them of my mom.
Knowing my mom, she would not appreciate a picture of her on here. But maybe I will try and sneak one someday!
When asked in my interview for my current teaching job, who is your hero, I got choked up when I answered, my dad. (I couldn’t believe I still got hired after crying in my interview!) He has been through a lot and is even stronger because of it. Our family has had our ups and downs like most families, but our love for each other has sustained us. My dad puts 150% into everything he does and takes meticulous care of everything he owns. He can fix anything. I mean it. He can completely re-wire a Jeep, build a motorcycle from parts or fix a washing machine, just don’t give him a computer…haha! He knows everything about cars and has instilled in me his love for anything with a motor. The best summer of my life was working on a 1972 Jeep CJ-5 with my dad. We would spend hours in the driveway working on that thing even after the air filter caught on fire and when it continued running after we pulled the key out of the ignition. He believed in me and knew I could do whatever I put my mind to. He believed in me even after I almost ran him over…Don’t ask. Words can’t describe the love I have for my father.
Leaving them makes me sick to my stomach and at times makes me think I cannot do this. Despite the excitement of this new adventure, I have had some pretty rough days. We are leaving everything behind. We don’t have jobs lined up, we don’t have a home to live in, and we won’t know anyone down there… People think we are crazy, I know. Andrew and I are two of those people. The fact that we are so incredibly happy here with fantastic friends and wonderfully close family members, tells us even more that this is a God thing and we need to move to Nashville. Last year when we first entertained the idea, we wanted to get away from everything and start fresh. It just feels right now and if you have read my other posts, you know that God has been encouraging us the entire way. This is scary and sad, but adventures would be boring if there weren’t bumps in the road.
We had the pleasure of meeting with a very cool woman this past Sunday. She actually had to write a paper for her master’s class about a couple that was going through a big transition in their lives. She said she immediately thought of us! She interviewed us about the entire process of coming to the decision to move to Nashville. It was a great experience for Andrew and I to just talk it through and hear what each other had to say about everything. It really confirmed things for us that we are making the right decision. Thanks, Geri!
There are always wrenches. (My dad would love that I made a reference to a tool!) The saying “that put a wrench in our plans” has a negative connotation to it. The wrench in that saying is a bad thing; something that has thrown off your plans. So in that case, we had a wrench thrown into our plans a few days ago… Long story short, Andrew emailed me during the day and said I needed to call him at lunch. He said nothing life-threatening, but serious. I knew it was something about the house. I was nervous and mad that Andrew was being so ambiguous! I called him at lunch and he said told me about the possibility that we would have to come up with a lot of money on top of closing costs and what not. We were freaking out to say the least. Can’t afford to stay, can’t afford to go. Lovely situation… So that was Tuesday afternoon…
Wrenches can be extremely helpful tools as well. My dad would say that you should be happy if you have wrench especially if you need one. We need wrenches in that we need to stay grounded and know that although we truly believe that God wants us in Nashville, this is not going to be an easy process in the least bit.
Wednesday evening we got a call from our realtor saying that we had our first showing scheduled for Thursday!! We were really excited and surprised that we had one so quickly! We got a call yesterday that the showing went very well. They had a few questions that we expected. Who knows! We are excited at the possibility that our house will sell quickly along with extremely nervous about being nomads for 3 months until the end of the school year.
Andrew ended up figuring everything out after talking to a few people. We aren’t 100% sure yet, but God has shown us too many signs…The adventure continues!
Sign in the snow pile
Well if it wasn’t official by just saying it, our house is now for sale. Crazy mixed emotions. Our realtor came on Thursday while I was at school. I had prepared myself all day to see the sign in the yard. I thought I would be strong, but of course I wasn’t. It is just really weird. I take great pride in my home and to see that I am just leaving it behind is….strange, but I tend to humanize things so I feel like my house is mad at me. Stop laughing! I know how silly that sounds. The world knows now. And by world I mean the half a dozen people that go by our house a day. Our families, close friends, colleagues, boss and everyone on facebook knows. I have been contemplating when to tell my class. Andrew thought I should wait until the end of the year. I love him, but I thought that was a dumb idea. I wasn’t intentionally praying for a window, but was given one anyway.
Now as a teacher, I do not have favorites, but this particular former student brings a smile to my face every time I see him. He wears his emotions on his sleeve and I have loved watching him grow since moving on to third grade. He comes by every morning to say hello and we have a short conversation about how we are both doing. Every time he sees me in the hallway he shouts “Hello, Mrs. Holland!!” and sometimes gets in trouble because he is supposed to be quiet in the hallway, but there is something to be said for a student not being able to contain his excitement to see me. He is one in a million. J Anywho, he comes up to me yesterday with tears in his eyes. This was our conversation:
“Mrs. Holland, I heard a horrible rumor”.
“What was that sweetie?”
“Mrs. Holland, I heard you were moving”.
“We are sweetie”.
(He looks at me and puts his hands like he is saying “What??”)
After an awkward pause and me trying to come up with what to say to him:
“Mr. Holland really wants to work in music like your dad and Nashville is a great place for that”.
“Well, I just don’t like that Mrs. Holland”.
“I know, sweetie…”
He walked away and it was all I could do not to crumble. I knew that was going to be my window to tell my class. I waited until after their morning reading test. After a few moments of trying to get them to settle down, I told them that if they go by my house this weekend, they will see a for sale sign in the yard and that Andrew and I are moving to Nashville, Tennessee after the school year. There were some gasps and shocked faces. To keep from crying, I told them that they are going to be my last class at North Liberty and we would have a huge party at the end of the year. The emotions turned from sadness to excitement at the idea of having a party. I let them ask questions and the majority asked what kind of pizza we were going to have at our party. Many suggested Pizza Hut while a few thought Memories Pizza in Walkerton. Leave it to second graders to be oblivious. I think it was good that I told them. Now they will be able to help me through it. It is still completely unreal to me, but the sign in the yard validates it. The adventure continues…
This is my home. Most of my family lives within 30 minutes of me. Everything I know is here. I got my dream job out of college as a second grade teacher. So the decision to move has been extremely difficult. I am an extremely sentimental person and every little thing, like walking upstairs and realizing that my bedroom won’t be my bedroom anymore, has made for some rough nights. Last Thursday night, I had a complete panic attack, audible sobbing and all. My cries were so loud, Sunny, our dog, came running downstairs and started licking my face! I really thought I couldn’t do this. There was no way I was going to leave my family, my home and my life.
The next day, though, completely changed my life.
I had just given my students some free time because it was Friday afternoon right before they headed off to gym class. One of my students brought me a picture that he drew. When I saw the picture, I was stunned. I looked at it, and then looked at him. He looked me directly in the eyes, smiled, nodded, then walked away. On the picture was the word “Tennesee” and a picture of a mountain and a goat.
Not sure what the mountain and the goat stand for, but nonetheless I knew that God was speaking to me. The craziest part is that I have never mentioned Tennessee in my class and we aren’t even doing anything with geography! It’s funny how we think we are in control. It was an incredible moment and it completely set my fears at ease. Of course I am still extremely sad, but I really believe that God wants us there. Now to actually start this process of selling our house, finding jobs, finding a new house, saying goodbye…I’m exhausted already…
How it all started
It all started with my husband, Andrew, and I’s first trip down to Nashville last spring. We instantly fell in love with everything about Nashville and just Tennessee in general. We could definitely see ourselves living there. We knew that it wasn’t the right time for us though for various reasons.
Andrew and I had an extremely difficult year together; crazy financial stuff, good friendships dissolving, and to top it off, Andrew was laid off two weeks before Christmas. Through this time, God has been right there, speaking to me in ways I never thought I would be privileged enough to hear. God brought people into our lives, people that were right under our noses, that gave us the strength to keep going. We were given an amazing small group that has helped us move forward and has encouraged us to stretch our boundaries. And that is precisely what we are going to do!
To help me get through this process, I am going to be blogging about every step of our journey to the Music City! Our mission for this move is for Andrew to find his passion and for me to finally get the chance to live in a country song!