Wow, so much has happened in the last several months… where to begin!
Some of you may know that for well over a year Phil and I considered buying a bed and breakfast for our family to run as a family business. We spent many hours searching the internet for properties for sale that were not only profitable but also large enough to fit our entire family of 8. It was nearly impossible to find a bed and breakfast for sale that would indeed fit our family and be affordable so we decided to put that dream on a back burner for now. We still want to own a bed and breakfast some day but it will need to wait until a different season of life.
From that point we changed our focus from purchasing a profitable business to where could we move that would allow us to get out of debt (or at least a strong start), have a set up that would allow my mother (who has lived with us since 2005) to be on the ground level and allow me to be a full time stay at home, homeschooling mom. Those of you that know the Denver Metro Area housing market will know that finding this type of property in the city or her suburbs is virtually impossible.
In August of 2018, Mikayla, Alex and I took a road trip down through Texas, then east through Arkansas. We stayed a couple of nights with friends in Charleston who showed us around Fort Smith a bit. We then headed home through Oklahoma and New Mexico. We really enjoyed our time in Fort Smith so Phil and I started praying for God’s direction and will for our family. Staying in Denver was becoming increasingly impossible and we knew we needed to make some changes. On the internet we explored San Antonio, Texas, some areas in Arizona, New Mexico and finally Arkansas. We felt God was pointing us to the Fort Smith area.
At the time I worked with a real estate agent in Golden who had a ton of contacts. I told her we wanted to sell our house and after giving her a description our home in Lakewood (apartment on the 2nd floor, etc.) she got on her cell phone and 5 minutes later told me she had someone who wanted to come look at it. After a couple of showings with the same family, they made an offer and we accepted. On March 23rd we were under contract with a closing date of April 30th!
At the end of March this year Natasha, Jonathan and I piled into our Suburban and headed southeast towards Fort Smith. We spent 3 full days in the area and I looked at 14 properties, 2 of them I looked at a second time. We looked at properties all the way from Rudy on down to Greenwood. Once we were back in Denver, Phil and I put an offer down on a property in Greenwood. It had 2 acres, a full size home and a little cottage for my mom. Due to some legal issues with the sellers our contract fell through so we set our sights on a home in the city of Fort Smith.
We made an offer on the home we now own that was $10,000 less then asking price fulling expecting a counter offer. Praise God, they accepted our offer because our agent explained to them we were looking for a home with a second living area for an older relative. Our home in Colorado sold on April 30th and we did a remote closing on May 1st for our new home in Fort Smith. There was so much excitement going in our family!
Phil, my mom and 2 dogs headed to Fort Smith the morning of May 1st and arrived about 9pm. The kids and I stayed back in Colorado with friends to fulfill a few commitments we had. Phil, with a little help here and there managed to replace the flooring in my mom’s area, manage 2 dogs, unload 2 moving trailers (with the amazing help of 3 Taggart young men!) and fix some plumbing issues all while being quite sick. He was ready for the rest of the family to join him but it would be a few more days.
After finishing our 3 Spanish classes (2 of them for high school credit), a piano recital (both as students and Natasha as teacher), a violin recital and saying goodbye to some very special friends, the kids and I got in our Suburban early on the morning of May 10th with a truck full of stuff and headed to Fort Smith. It was a long drive but we were all so excited to see Phil, my mom and the dogs.
So, here we are in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Friends, until now, I have lived in Colorado all my life… 48 years! Change is hard for me… always has been. BUT, I do not regret our decision to leave the only state I’ve called home. We love living here. Of course, there are always things to get used to when change occurs but I love that I’m home full time, we have a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood (our house and neighborhood in CO were not the greatest but served our purposes) and we are meeting some pretty amazing families. We’ve even already found a church home! The Highway 71 Alma Church of Christ has been so welcoming to us and have made us feel at home.
Next post I’ll share how we are doing… what has been the most challenging for me.
Proverbs 16:3 Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.
From the outside.
One of two fireplaces.
An aerial view of our property.
The cover to our Spring Piano Recital.