There’s been a lot happening around here and I’ve got some big news to share with you guys. If you read this post you already know that we sold our A-frame in Palm Springs in hopes of finding a larger primary home for our family. With the birth of Clover we suddenly outgrew our small LA 2 bedroom house. As you might also remember we temporarily set Clover up in the play room, then gave her the master bedroom but the bottom line is we feel like this house is no longer working for us and owning two small (1,000ish sq ft.) homes in different cities no longer felt practical, especially in these first couple years of having two kids we would hardly be able to use a vacation home like you’d want to. Relaxing and unwinding on the weekends doesn’t really happen with a toddler and a newborn. So the search was on for a new larger primary home that works for our family and where Rupe and I can have a bedroom again. HahaSo here she is!! (I can not wait to paint over that red btw). All 4,300 square feet of her. I think we may have gone overboard in the space department and I will probably now lose the kids but Rupe and I tend to make overly dramatic changes. Speaking of dramatic changes… the house is in Michigan!!! After looking for about a year and almost getting houses all over the map… literally, (we put offers down on houses around Los Angeles, Austin, and a couple others in Grand Rapids and we were either beat out by timing, offer price, or once we got all the way to inspections and the house had a crumbling foundation and was falling down a hill) we ended up narrowing in our sites on Grand Rapids, Mi and found this property.
I have to say it is no ordinary house. I think half the reason it takes us so long to find a new house is because I look for things that the typical homebuyer is not looking for. I want the kitchen and bathrooms to be ugly and dated (the more outdated the better!) and I look for light. A light filled house or at least the ability to open it up to make it a light filled house is top on the list. I also look for unique features that aren’t seen in every other home. Most of all, I like clean lines but character, which can be a hard combination to come by. This house, however, has all of it. At least, as far as I can tell from the photos. Yes, we haven’t even seen it in person. Essentially, in our complete sleep deprived desperation, we bought a house off the internet and will be moving our family across the county in less than a month. NBD
I just read an article which said not to make any drastic life changes in the first 6 months of having two kids (boy did that ship already sail) and now I know why. We bought the house when everyone was sick, I hadn’t slept more than 2 hours in a row for 5 months ( I am still having a hard time putting two sentences together. haha Seriously my brain is MUSH), our nanny who normally works three days a week was gone for almost a full month (we had no other help), I was still running a business and fitting in work whenever wherever I could (plugging along through the greatest brain fog), Rupe and I were alternating mental breakdowns… it was a definite low point. I think we were looking for a way out, whether it made sense or not. And yes, now that Clover hit 6 months and she is sleeping through the night as well as napping longer than 40 minutes, everything suddenly got SO much more manageable but while we were definitely a bit hasty, I’m excited for this next adventure and really excited about this house.
So why Michigan? While we may have been hasty in the purchasing of the house we have talked about wanting to eventually move to Michigan for our family at some point, so it wasn’t completely out of the blue (just a bit more sudden and a lot sooner than we thought). After living in California for over 12 years it will definitely be an adjustment. Yes yes, the weather is grey and cold for almost half the year but I’m looking forward to experiencing the seasons again. And as much as I’ve travelled and as many gorgeous places I’ve seen, Michigan has some of the most natural beauty. It flies under the radar and I didn’t realize just how beautiful it was growing up, until I was gone for a few years.
The number one reason we are moving is for our kids. I had an amazing childhood growing up in Michigan with room to roam, easy access to nature, great schools, family around, and a slower pace. I want my children to have that too. If we never had kids we would probably live where we are in LA forever, but I feel like if we didn’t give Michigan a shot for them, I would always wonder what could have been. If life would be easier with more space, a little less hustle and with some family not far away. Also Grand Rapids is a smaller city but it has a growing creative community that I am looking forward to being a part of. It was even #1 on Vogue’s list of cities to buy a house in 2018 and #20 on New York Times list of 52 places to visit in the entire world in 2016. So you all have to come visit! we’ll have the room. 😉As pretty as Michigan is and as much as I am counting on it being easier to have family around, I honestly don’t know if I will be able to hack it in the winter there. I haven’t lived there in almost 15 years which is almost half my life and all of my adult life. I am not sure how to adult in Michigan.
I love our LA neighborhood and the friends we’ve made, which is why we are keeping our LA house, just in case. Really, that isn’t even a joke. It was the only way Rupert was able to convince me to move across the country. We will be renting it out and giving Michigan at least a one year try. After a year we will reassess and see where we are. I can do most of my work from anywhere (I rarely leave the house right now anyway) and I will still have my business based out of LA, so I’ll be traveling a bit more, but now feels like the perfect time. Before Archie is in full-time school and while we are both working from home (Rupe just recently went freelance and currently takes phone meetings in his car since there is no space for him to work. ha). I also didn’t get a chance to even take maternity leave this time around and I want to be able to enjoy my kids while they are so young. Work has been incredible so I won’t complain but I am hoping the move will help me find a bit more balance. The future is wide open and I can’t wait to see what is in store. One thing I know for sure is a whole lot of renovations on the new house. We are calling it #samuelfamilyfixer.
Next up is a full tour!
And if you got bored and stopped reading after the first paragraph here is the cliff’s notes version.
#1 we bought a new house (basically off the internet)
#2 it is in Michigan
#3 we are keeping our LA house and renting it out for a year to give Michigan a try
#4 we are moving our family to Michigan next month to give our kids more of what I had growing up. Room to roam, nature, family, and hopefully a slower pace.
#5 my company will still be based out of LA and work will continue as usual (but hopefully a little more balanced)
#6 are we insane? yes, probably