Let me introduce you to our farm. We are moving in on Thursday and are so excited to put down roots here. We sold our last home on August 24 so we’ve been living the nomadic lifestyle for three weeks so it will feel extra special to be in our own space.
Our three must haves for our next home were that: it was close to town, the ceilings were high (nine feet in most of this house) and there was plenty of space for events and animals (almost five acres plus 12 acres of conservation land bordering the farm). It felt crazy to try to go for it because we had all these plans to finish our house and even a contractor lined up to build our portico in August. But this property hit the big three for our goal list which is hard to come by in Manchester so we went to look. We prayed on it for a while because it felt like such a drastic change in so many different ways and we didn’t want to jump into the wrong thing.
We’d had a sad spring and summer during the entire time we were prepping the house to sell and selling it. I didn’t get into it on the blog or on social media because it just felt like so much and I’ve had a hard time processing. Our neighborhood was such a fun place to be with the kids all running all around to play during the pandemic; one neighbor with grown kids even fixed up his treehouse for all the neighborhood children to use as a hangout spot. I will always remember that time as being one of the sweetest times in our family’s life… but in a period of two months (April – July 2021) the six kids in the neighborhood that Drew, Elle, Vera and Gray were closest to moved.
Shortly after Elle’s best friend moved her mom died unexpectedly. This summer there has been this real heaviness as our family has struggled through this unexpected death and have tried to be a safe spot for their kids to land. I’ve seen God orchestrating the steps of this move so clearly with everything from the way the timing worked out to the financials to the location and even our housing for our three week nomadic adventure in between the two houses.
Overhead view of the farm, some of the 12 acres of conservation land next to it and the Atlantic Ocean
Exterior view of the chicken coop
Barn with six stalls
Vintage Bowling Alley in the Barn
I am eagerly anticipating community events like a kids’ running club or an art event in the barn, transforming the greenhouse into a spot for dinner parties or maybe a wedding and raising our kids knowing the responsibility that comes hard work (this is AJ’s biggest goal having grown up on a working dairy farm). These big things are so fun and will be the kind of things we remember for years but daily I want the comfort of a open door where friends feel like they can just pop in, grab a cookie and sit down at the island to debrief their day while their kids run around happily.
There were so many times this spring and summer I kept asking God for help. Death, moving, loss of friends… it felt like too much and continues to feel heavy at times. Elle’s friend’s regular presence is a tangible reminder to have this new home be a safe haven. It doesn’t have to be perfect or have trendy décor, although you know I love making our homes feel like us. The most important thing I can do is let our home become a place where each person knows how loved they are no matter if they are facing the death of a parent, a mean child at school, rejoicing at a win in cross-country or celebrating their wedding day. I want this home to be a place that restores people so that they are ready to go out and tackle everything God has given them to do.