Remember when we first started being friends and I lived here?

And then?

I packed my bags and moved back to this house.

Which looks like this (except cuter now because the front has been decorated with planters and a new door knocker and benches and greenery and new landscaping).

But I digress.

Because there’s another house.

The house I lived in after I lived in this house and before I lived in the farmhouse.

Are you confused?

Oh, good.

Me, too.

But are you curious?  Do you want to see what it looks like?


Let’s be friends.

And let’s take a tour.

living room

mirror and side lamps

This is the house we lived in before we moved to Thistlewood and before we jumped back.

This is our beginning.

And the best part?

The house is only part of the story of our jump from the city to the country.


Now before I begin… disclaimer.

The house looked absolutely, positively, not-even-a-little-bit, not even remotely… this.

I wish I could tell you it did.  I love every tiny detail of this incredible transformation.  I was just there at the house this week because I’m working on a fun project with the girl that owns this house now and I LITERALLY SIGH EVERY TIME I WALK THROUGH THE DOOR.

These pictures were taken after the new owners purchased it and transformed it and made it their very own kind of incredible.


The couple that bought the house is amazing.

And I’m not overstating it. Not even a little.

vintage books

They took a house with wonderful bones and a lifetime of love…..

….and transformed it into something that looks like it leapt from the pages of Country Living.

Kind of like when you are watching the Today show and they find the one girl in the audience with amazing bone structure and perfectly smooth skin and hair that just needs a little conditioning and then they take her to the studio and four hours later she walks out looking like a supermodel.

She was pretty all along.

It just took an expert to truly make her beautiful.

living space

But I’m getting ahead of the story.

I’m already on to the next chapter…..

…..without even starting you out at the beginning.

(total aside:  you may have to read the post twice…..a good story with all these pictures can really be distracting). 🙂

kitchen   kitchen cabinetsOur story begins almost eight years ago.  

I lived in this very house with my husband and four children and occasionally (very, very occasionally) cooked in this very kitchen (that I only wished looked like this at the time).

Our lives were full and busy and my husband worked downtown with an hour and a half commute each way.

It was a full life….but we felt like we were being pulled in so many directions with so many different activities….

…..that we simply passed each other (right there at that back door)…..coming and going.

kitchen sink

kitchen pantry

And sometimes late at night when we both arrived home after a long day…..

….we would dream.

We would tell each other how wonderful it would be to live in a place where the pace was slower.

Where the commute was a five-minute trip down a winding country road and we could grow our own vegetables and bake bread every day (I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the one who mentioned that) and raise chickens and our children could run on acres and acres of green grass with a creek and a pond.

bread boards

kitchen eating area

But that’s all it was. Talk. Lots and lots and lots of talk. Sprinkled with dreams and hopes and plans.

dining room

And then one day we were sitting in church listening to the pastor and his message. He talked about praying and following your heart where you felt God was leading you and listening to that still small voice that circled round and round in your head.

And taking a leap of faith…..

….and jumping.



To this day….I’m not sure if he meant actual jumping… in leaving behind everything that you know and taking a step into the great unknown.

But I remember sitting in that service and looking at my husband with round wide eyes full of questions.

Was he hearing the same thing as I was?

What did he think? Instead of simply talking and planning and dreaming…..could we actually, really, truly….


dining room chair

Now if you read this blog—you’ve heard this part of the story before.

You’ve heard about the jump in vague terms and it seems like we clicked our heels and nodded twice and a farmhouse in the middle of Kentucky appeared.

Almost. 🙂

laundry room doorway

laundry room


I think the actual deciding we were going to jump was almost as easy as that.

Because the decision was one that came right from the heart.  The path was so clear for us and we knew we were supposed to do it.  It just required the ability to step out on faith and believe that this was God’s plan for our life.

But the details?   The actual hows and whys…

….that’s where the amazing part comes in.

seating area

vintage game

We decided to jump on a Sunday.

The next week I got a call from my sister in Kentucky to tell me about a business that was for sale.

She knew that we had been talking about moving and when she heard about the opportunity–she thought of us.

But…. she said, it was in the middle of nowhere.



As in….no stop lights.

No restaurants.

No movie theaters.

No shopping.

Just acres and acres of farmland and horse barns and chicken barns….

…and the occasional gas station pizza.

vintage hutch

 We weren’t sure if the opportunity was right for us.

It would be such a big change and even though it was what we had hoped and dreamed for….

….the funny thing about dreams is you never really expect them to come true.

So with cautious optimism sprinkled with a healthy dose of nervous trepidation….the next week we were in a car heading to Kentucky.

We wanted to see for ourselves what the future might hold.

side table

And when we arrived….we discovered that the opportunity was all we hoped for and so much more.

We met with the owners and saw the countryside and went into the gas station and bought a diet coke and as the sun set over the river at the edge of that small town….

….we held hands and talked and talked and talked.

I remember the words tumbling out….faster and faster and faster.

All those dreams spilling out at once.

And we knew.

This was exactly where we were supposed to be.

vintage bath

And so we returned home excited and a little overwhelmed and began to plan our move to the Kentucky countryside.

But first we needed to sell the house.

We mentioned to a few people that we were thinking about selling and started get the house ready to put on the market.

Two days later I was standing in the back bedroom and I saw a car drive by.

And then it drove by again.

vintage bath sink

vintage bath sofa

And as I stood there and watched it drive by….I knew that I knew that I truly, truly knew….

….this was the couple that was going to buy our house.

Twenty minutes later they knocked at the door.

They introduced themselves and mentioned mutual friends that we had….

…..and how they had heard that we were thinking about moving and selling our home.

vintage iron bed

guest bedroom

guest bathroom

And we invited them in and talked and talked and talked and gave them a tour and laughed and talked some more.

And at the end of that amazing, incredible, wonderful evening…..

….we agreed to sell our home.

And three weeks later we signed the final contracts and packed the last box and bid our home goodbye.

Without even a sign in the yard.

And now?

We’ve moved home.

We live here—-right down the street from the house I just showed you where we lived in after this one and before the farmhouse.

And we are still friends—the new owners and my family.

Isn’t it amazing how life comes full circle?

I could have never, ever, ever imagined the journey we would take.

And just between us?

I wouldn’t change a step. 🙂

I wrote about our journey and moving and jumping and how I learned to celebrate all my imperfections in my first book.

So Close to Amazing.

And it’s on sale today for the lowest price I’ve seen.

Happy day. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Carrie Carrie

    WOW...that's all I have. Beautiful homes, beautiful friends. Some things are And, last year when we were in Kentucky picking up my daughter from Fort Knox, we never did get to search for any good gas station pizza! Boo...

  2. Image for Linda Linda

    Good morning, I love to read your stories and I know that I’m going to smile. And then chuckle. And then laugh . Thank you for starting my day with a smile !

  3. Image for Denise Cox Denise Cox

    Wonderful, touching story! M goodness, you are so blessed to have such beautiful memories... and a blessed life!!!

  4. Image for Regina Merrick Regina Merrick

    I love your story so much! It touches me that a little time in KY inspired you to write your stories, because you know what? You're one of my favorite story-tellers. Love you, Rockstar!

  5. Image for Christine Yost Christine Yost

    I love all the houses ! They are all lovely and wonderful in there own way! I was hoping you could have posted the outside of all three as well! It would be interesting to see. You do a awesome job ! It’s always nice to see what others do with what they have. Sometimes even the smallest change in a home can make a difference. Thanks for a great post always.

  6. Image for Claudine Claudine

    I just loved the story when I read it in the book, and love it now, complete with a house tour!! I needed this today, darling! I needed a “jump”! With love and gratitude, Claudine

  7. Image for Alice Gnzlinger Alice Gnzlinger

    I'v learned that when you invite God ino your life and you follow His leading that click,click, click, He smooths the way and everything falls into place. I teared up reading your post because it as so sweet, you and your loving husband holding hands and talking it through. And following the dreams God gave you. And then bringing you back to the house you grew up with and friends, friends, friends. God bless you and your family. Sweet sweet post.

  8. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    What a beautiful home that you jumped a farmhouse filled with love and beauty. And now, you have once again created beauty and a home filled with many memories and room to create and add more. Thank you for sharing all of them with us. But most of all, thank you for sharing your heart.

  9. Image for Katheen of Woodstock Katheen of Woodstock

    So enjoyed this blog today...The house is amazing and you re the ones who set the stage for this couple to love and buy it..We too moved from Jacksonville, Fl to Woodstock, Ga ...The Lord Called us to a church here...And since then so many amazing things happened that only He could have done... As I read your words...I felt like I was there the you wrote it...Blessings

  10. Image for Irene Irene

    What beautiful houses and so elegantly styled ! I just love how you decorate! So inspirational. I live in the uk and I bought your book a few weeks ago and I'm trying out new ideas especially with trays ! Love them and thank you for this blog I so look forward to reading it xx

  11. Image for Terri Terri

    Loved reading this story again... with pics this time !!! Awesome!!! It's just amazing... for sure how God has woven all this together in such a marvelous way ............... just for you and yours !!! Beautiful

  12. Image for Connie Connie

    This all happened because you trusted God! He opened and shut doors when they were needed. I know, He did the same for me when I needed to sell my 150 year old house that I had spent 17 years renovating as my forver dream house. We had to leave due to DH's health issues and He placed us in a condo in a town (where we never thought of living due the high cost) and we are five minutes from are daughter. God is so good.

  13. Image for Jeanne Jeanne

    Having dreams that you never dream will come true...I never thought about it like that, but how very true. Such a lovely post. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    What a beautiful home! Wonderful memories and an amazing story! (I have fond memories of our homes too. And there's one more little amazing house for our story - it's close to being ready. We just need our turn to jump!)

  15. Image for Caryn Caryn

    I watched the owner grow up down the street from me in San Antonio. He went to school with my son and the played on the football team!

  16. Image for PJ PJ

    This is such a beautiful story of honoring the seasons in our lives and being appreciative of the changes that life brings.

  17. Image for Audrey Johnson Audrey Johnson

    What a wonderful story of how things do come full circle. Thank you for sharing your story. It is inspiring to know that there is always a plan that God has for us, even if we don't know it yet.

  18. Image for Julie Blanner Julie Blanner

    A great reminder to always listen to your heart. You never know where your journey will take you and who you'll meet along the way that will become part of it.

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