Is some ways it seems as if this year has flown by and in others it seems as if we have lived in this house forever. We moved on February 1, 2020. Little did we know that this house would become a place of peace from a world in panic, an area to gather with friends and hide in nature. It seems as if timing was just right for adjusting to a new home.

A week after we moved in Ryan was preparing for a weekend retreat. I wanted to pout and cry about him leaving me with three girls and a dozen of boxes to unpack. It all worked out in the end and my husband returned with a heart on fire for Jesus. My friend who sponsored his retreat told me, “the boxes will always be there but this opportunity may not.” Now I realize how true those words are, I planned on attending ACTS retreat this past Fall but all overnight retreads have been cancelled until further notice. Still with boxes to unpack a month after we moved in we went on a camping trip. As soon as we returned, Texas closed due to the pandemic.

Our backyard became our refuge and place of safety when it felt as if everything around us was dangerous. The girls stayed busy playing in their new yard, discovering new climbing trees and planning their tree house for Ryan to build. Ryan built a swing set for the girls which we attached a slide that he found in the trash while living in our rent house. It even had a ladder. He also installed a saucer swing big enough for four kiddos and a rope swing. The girls are costanstly cooking up creations with mud and flowers. Ryan built a mud kitchen made of pallets he found in a dumpster behind the trash. We found a fire pit on a resale site and were gifted a large bucket full of fairy garden items. The girls have since received fairy houses and other items to grow their fairy neighborhood.

We had already been visiting the creek in our neighborhood before buying our house. We lived in a rental just a few blocks away. Our home search always included this neighborhood but the square footage we thought we needed was not in our price point in this area. When we finally decided to give this house a tour we had looked at many neighborhoods in many different areas. I was not thrilled about the smaller size of the home and the year it was built, we had viewed the property at night and I was only about 50% convinced only because the location was at the end of the a cul-de-sac with only a short walk through the woods to the trail along the creek. When we saw the house again during the day and walked into the backyard I told Ryan I wanted him to put in the offer. 1400 square feet may seem small for a family of five almost six, but when you have the vastness of our creek beach and walking trails it has been the best home we have ever lived and just perfect for our little family.

Our first year in this house has been so special with many memories and thankful gifts. Norah celebrated her birthday, learned to walk and became an expecting big sister. Madelyn had a graduation to mark the end of a successful year of Kinder learning, she learned how to cook pancakes and eggs and became an excellent reader. Mia started her first business; a lemonade stand. She also has become responsible enough to watch her sisters and go to the creek trail by herself. Ryan and I are growing and learning as much as our children. We are mostly growing because of them. They inspire us to be the best versions of ourselves, to be better leaders and to continue to always learn. There will be many memories to make in this little house by the creek, many celebrations and family and friends to welcome.

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