We looked and looked.... and found nothing that met even most of our criteria.
Then, just a couple weeks ago we started communication with a woman who wanted to sell a house just around the corner from us, and it had a lot of what we were looking for! So we came very, very close to buying that house last week.
But at the last minute we didn't feel peace about it -- Pete especially -- and so we ended up calling it off.
And, for some odd reason, as I looked around our own house, it suddenly didn't look so bad to me anymore.
It's funny how God confirms things to us sometimes.... I feel like maybe He's been showing us some of the extra bonuses that come with living in our house lately.
-- Strider's football team, which draws students from all over Charlotte, suddenly announced that their practices this summer are right here in our neighborhood! So instead of us having to drive him to practices 4 times a week, he can just ride his longboard!
-- Colsen's and Miles' soccer teams have had practices and games in our neighborhood the last couple of years, and now even the summer camp was here as well. Again -- no daily driving necessary!
--The backyard continues to be a wealth of fun. Just today the kids have done the following:
* climbed trees
* "mountain-biked" all over the yard
* mined for gems in the rocks (and found some!)
* examined a squirrel skull they extricated from a dead squirrel body (gross!)
* jumped on the trampoline
* played soccer
* swung from ropes
* fixed the swingset so their younger cousins could play on it. (Who says chivalry is dead?)
-- As the boys have gotten more and more into fishing ("obsession" might be an accurate word for what all of them have right now), it has been wonderful having a pond right across the street. As we were looking for new houses, the boys would always pipe up, "Make sure it has a pond near it!".... which limited our options considerably.
-- Our next-door neighbors continue to be the best gift to us. They know we've been tight on space, so they've even offered to let Strider come over and live with them the next couple of years. :) (We probably won't take them on it... well, maybe once in awhile....)
So, for now, we're planning to just stay home. We're attempting to do a few construction projects to make the space more useable and functional for us, but I'll probably still feel like I'm tripping over stuff all year.
But, as my friend is quick to remind me, even if we moved, we'd be bringing all of our stuff with us -- and ourselves -- so a new house probably wouldn't end up being quite the balm to my soul that I think it would be.
Now I have the summer, which I had reserved for packing and unpacking boxes, to make this house even more of a home!