Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}Find part one of this post Staircases & Big Steps here.

In 2009, we took a big step of faith moving from what we hoped would be our “forever” home in Portland to a small town in Washington to start a church. If you read Love the Home You Have, you probably read the stories of our many moves, including what eventually led to our move here. The Inspired Room had its humble beginnings eight years ago in our 1930s English Tudor in Portland. But for the last six years, we’ve been here in Washington running The Inspired Room and the church.

Honestly, as much as we wanted to be here, that step of moving was hard on us in the beginning. Portland was home. The move separated our family (we had to leave our middle daughter Courtney behind to finish school, our oldest daughter Kylee was in college in Oregon and our son came with us without his siblings). We moved here without knowing anyone. We worked so hard over the years to make our new life here possible. After leaving our home and struggling to rebuild a life and get established here, we finally feel settled.

While my daughters eventually moved to Washington to go to school (YAY), they are in Seattle which is over an hour away from us (BOO). We were grateful to have them close enough to visit regularly, even if we couldn’t visit as often as we’d like.

Fast forward from our move six years ago to today. So much has changed in our life! My daughter Courtney and I now work full time together running The Inspired Room. We have the best time doing what we do as a team, but she still lives over an hour away by ferry. We commute regularly back and forth on the ferry as often as we can, but the distance, cost and logistics of ferry traveling sometimes takes a toll on our creative energy and time we could have spend working together.

My oldest daughter Kylee wants to help us and be a part of what we are doing (and we want her to be a part!), but she and her husband are working full time at Amazon, which makes collaborating with us challenging since the travel cuts too much into her only available hours after work or a few hours on the weekend.

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

While it’s natural and even expected for kids to head off to college and eventually get married and leave the family behind (no! stop! wahhh!), there’s something wonderful about having your family near when you genuinely enjoy being together. While we willingly sacrificed so much to move here, six years later we are now really longing to be able to get together for spontaneous family dinners on a weeknight, impromptu projects around the house, and to be able to head off on a moment’s notice for shopping and coffee on a Saturday afternoon.

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

But even more than that, we are feeling a little sadness that our son wasn’t living closer to his sisters for so much of his childhood. Amazingly, all three kids (and my daughter’s husband Lance) have remained very close. We feel very blessed by their influence in his life and that they have been able to spend quality time together in spite of the logistics of traveling back and forth across the water all these years.

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

Our son experienced so much of his childhood here in this place, growing from an adorable eight year old boy to a handsome fourteen year old young man. How did that happen? His childhood seems to have flown by in the blink of an eye. But since he’s just finishing up eighth grade and will be heading into high school this fall, we realized that while he has lived the past six years here (essentially experiencing his day to day life as an “only child”) we could still give him at least four years of closer and more frequent bonding time with his siblings if we were to move to Seattle.

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

OH MY HEART. Friends, when my husband and I started to really think about the impact a move to be near our girls could have on our son in day to day life in so many ways, when we let that possibility sink in to the depths of our hearts, there was no other choice. As a mom, I want this for him for these next four years more than anything. Our girls want this for our family.

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

I love our home now and wish wish WISH I could just stay and enjoy it for years to come (that was our plan). I keep looking around at the home we’ve created here and feeling sad at the thought that we might leave it behind. But the truth is there’s a big piece of our heart missing here. If we are willing to take the leap and make this move happen, we can bring our family back together again in so many ways after our long six years living further apart. And that feeling brings me a sense of peace about our decisions ahead.

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

At first my worry was whether or not my son would want to make the move to a new school. Of course I know a move would still be difficult for him even if there’s a big benefit (change and moving schools always is hard for kids!), but I was relieved when we recently had him shadow at a new school just to check it out and much to my surprise, he liked it. One less fear all around.

A move to Seattle is not going to be easy or without stress. I know we can create a home no matter where we go, but Seattle is crazy expensive and that part really stresses me out. We aren’t sure what house we would be able to afford. We want to be within a 15 minute drive of the girls (they will likely live in the same area for the next five years so we’ve narrowed down our neighborhood options). It’s a hard market for buyers because of the stiff competition and prices. What kind of house will we find in our price range? That alone is a scary thought.

And secondly, this move will be interesting because our world as we know it would do a flip flop! Our church is here and my husband is devoted to continuing to pastor there. So should we decide for sure to make the move, the tables would turn for our family and he would be making the commute each week as needed for meetings. The girls and I would have more time during the week to work together, allowing us to invest more time into our business without commute time. And we would still be at church on Sundays, so our church family will remain a priority. That darn Puget Sound makes commuting challenging at times, but the ferry ride is BEAUTIFUL and peaceful so at least there’s that. :)

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

The thing that helps me feel less stressed about the challenges ahead is knowing that it isn’t just about moving to a new house or a neighborhood. We’re moving to our family. The goal is worth it. There’s nothing more important to us than that. We don’t know exactly what neighborhood we will be going to, and we have no grandiose ideas or plans for what kind of house we might be moving into. We just know it’s going to work out because the joy of turning any house into a home for your family always makes the journey worth it, no matter where you put down roots.

Staircases and Big Steps {Part Two}

There’s so much more to share, but I can leave the rest of the details for another time. You know I’ll want to share ALL OF THE FEELINGS that will come along with moving and leaving this home :). For now, thank you for reading and being a part of so many of my house adventures. You’re truly the best!


  1. I sit here thinking of your present home and how sad you must be to leave it! But as they say “home is where the heart is …! :-) And this VERY selfish thought strikse me – I get to follow you create a new home!!! :-)
    I wish the best for you <3

  2. Christi {Jealous Hands} says

    What a precious thing for your family! Can’t wait to follow along on the adventure! xo

  3. I’ve found that when I’ve put my family first, God always honors that decision. I’m sure He has a housing situation for you that will be just perfect in every way, and I’m looking forward to reading what He brings you.

  4. I thInk you should print this blog and include it with any offer you make in Seattle. You never know what might might move a seller to choose you! Good luck and stay true to your instincts, you are on the right path!

    • Thank you Alice! That means a lot!

      • Carbzilla says

        While this is such exciting news, I cannot recommend highly enough that you rent first instead of buying. I know you already know how crazy the market is now, but I would hate for you to get caught up in the crazy right now and lose money later. It’s truly an inflated market at epic proportions. On the low end, houses are selling at $40k over asking, high end $100k + over.

        If you rent then you’re always free to change neighborhoods once life plays out.

        Best, Tiffany (Queen Anne)

        • Definitely something we are considering and will weigh with each decision about our future too, thanks so much for your advice! It’s a great time if you are a seller but I’m hoping things will calm down a bit by the time we are ready to buy or find a house we like. If only there were more houses for sale it would make it easier on the buyers!

  5. These decisions are never easy, but I imagine there is some relief in having just made one and now being on the path to your new destination. I wish I were closer to family as well, and it has been on my mind more recently. Life is full of ups and downs, and isn’t it wonderful to be able to share them with the blog community? Wishing you all the best as you transition!

  6. Bless you, sweet friend! Isn’t it amazing to think what a huge step of faith it was for you to move to Washington–when you set sail on that Voyage, you couldn’t see very far; you were trusting an all-seeing Navigator to direct you along the right course. And you’re doing that again. What adventures await you. Thinking about this reminds me of one of my favorite quotations from John Ortberg: Peace isn’t being on a lake with no storms. Peace is having Jesus in the boat. Bless you!!

  7. Tough choice BUT family is the most important thing. You are a close knit family. I have no family so keep yours close. Blessings.

  8. Dear Melissa, This post is so timely for me, THANK YOU! I am in the process of moving after living in our “home” for 17 years. We live in an adorable Ranch home, but with two teenagers and my husband begging for more space, I decided to give in. If it were up to me, I would have stayed forever. But being “comfortable” and not making changes I know doesn’t bring growth. It is heavy on all our hearts to leave a home we enjoyed for 17 years. I have so many lovely memories but look forward to new ones in our new home together. Leaving this home feels like a ‘break-up” and the pain is real, but the joy that is to come, I hope heals my heart and yours too!

  9. Rachel Baron says

    We moved from Evanston IL to our new home near Golden Colorado. It has been 18 months of challenges, but the rewards are incredible. Best of luck in your changes ahead, it seems like you’ve got your priorities straight and you’re communicating and thinking through all the details.

    Everyone will love watching as you find and re-decorate a new house/HOME. Peace, Rachel

    • Those transitions are always a bit of a stress but I believe the rewards will be worth the effort as they have been for your family. We’ve been through so many changes over the years, but we know with each one, we are in this together as a family. Thanks Rachel!

  10. So beautiful for your family. God will work out all the details. It will be fun to follow you during your journey. I’ll be praying for you all!! God bless ;-)

  11. Patricia says

    Welcome to Seattle, at the peak of the housing market. While a challenging time to be househunting, what a great opportunity to be closer as a family. We love it here (Greenwood/Phinney/Ballard area). Great library system, wonderful theaters and lots of farmer’s markets and street fairs.

  12. Jami Hemmenway says

    How exciting to follow your heart! Go for it! No regrets!!

  13. Thank you for sharing! I love following your blog and your story hit home for me today. We, too, are moving. My hubby was down sized out of a job last spring, but God provided an awesome new job for him within the hour. The only catch was it was 1200 miles away. With five kids, two in college and our financial situation, we felt it was best for me to stay here with the kids for one year. That year is almost over!!! God miraculously got us…me…thru. In 11 days we’ll be moving to a home we have yet to have a closing date (still praying for 6/1) , but I’ll be leaving two “kids” behind. My heart is torn. Just the thought of this brings me to tears so, in a backwards sort of way, I understand your bittersweet joy. I’ll be experiencing many of the same emotions so you know I’ll keep reading your blog. And since we’re buying a “fixer-upper” (there’s a 8-person hot tub in the master bedroom, a wall of mirrors in the bedroom, and a giant space that once was a sound studio). Who knows -maybe we’ll be the next Partridge family. LOL) – I’m sure to be finding amazing ideas here, too. :). God bless you on your new adventure and house hunt.

    • HA! Wow, that quite a fixer upper! What fun it will be to see that transformed into your home, that’s the beauty in a fixer isn’t it? These twists and turns in life are always interesting! Thank you so much for your thoughts.

  14. King County is crazy expensive! I have lived in Washington all my life. My parents bought their home in I think ’79 for $35,000 and it is now worth around $350,000 if we sold it as is, and it is only a 3 bedroom 1400 square foot rambler in Renton. There are great areas just outside of Seattle as well, we live in the Renton/Issaquah area and it only takes about 15 minutes to get to the city, depending on traffic of course. Good luck with the search, what an exciting adventure!!

  15. I love the personal way you have just shared…truly a home is where our family is…the rest is just our surroundings…the physical space where HOME is…bless you as you make these decisions and yes…a prayer lifted for wisdom and guidance as you seek God’s best plan for those over whom He has given you charge <3

  16. Oh Melissa,
    It sounds almost as though you were speaking from my heart.

    I think that you being the wise and thoughtful woman that you are along with your husband will come to the right decision and I wish you well in whatever it may be. Yes please,keep us updated.

  17. (I speak in love, my tone is soft…) My first reaction is “proceed with caution”. Sorry. Are you sure the family is the reason for this decision, or is the reason ‘The Inspired Room’ that the family wants to be a bigger part of? You moved to where you are to begin a church. It sounds like your husband plans to continue to pastor the church — but from a distance? I believe a pastor should be local to his congregation – for teaching, fellowship, counseling, and mentoring face-to-face through the week, not just on Sundays. Maybe find a new pastor for this congregation and your husband begin a new church in Seattle? Inspired rooms are wonderful, but inspiring hearts in the Church are more important for the Kingdom!:)

    • Believe me, we are not only proceeding with caution, but with prayer and counsel. We don’t share every detail of decisions or ministry steps here, but I can assure you we would not do anything for business or family without much prayer, careful planning and consideration for ministry potential gain or harm. We have been devoted to sacrificial ministry and that will continue as our priority.

  18. Barbara (WA) says

    I knew it was a move! I totally understand the desire to be by family without the “darn” ferry ride. May God direct your steps, each and every one!

  19. I ditto what Richella shared… :) There is one cost I do understand and that is the distance and responsibility of travel that your husband will bear. Tim’s commute to the church was not nearly as long as Jerry’s will be, but compared to living a few miles from church the dynamics of family life are entirely different as was my involvement. I would not choose the longer commute, again. (Before ministry we both had hour commutes so we thought it wouldn’t be a big deal. We were wrong.) Thanks for sharing your exciting new adventure.

    • Thank you Diane. Rest assured we fully understand the commute as it has been a part of our life for six years. There are people here who have to make the journey every single day for their 9-5 job so it is a way of life here for many. The military families in our community are always heading out to sea or being sent away or moving here so we have a very unique dynamic at our church, everyone is always on the move! Most people have no idea which neighborhood people live here around here, people commute from all over. We have a wonderful family that has been commuting to our church from Seattle for a couple of years and our girls have done the same, so in reality, we feel like we will be growing our church community and ability to minister to people across both sides of the water!

  20. Michelle Holland says

    Oh Melissa! What a challenge, a new adventure! A house is just a house but a home is where your heart is! All things are possible with God and so I look forward to joining your family on your new venture,sure that it will be a blessing for all!

  21. As someone who had to move away from her closest brothers when she was 12, I can confidently say that your son will be extremely happy and thankful to get the chance to be near siblings again. There is a portion of your heart that withers when separated from those most similar, most close to you; you develop a new language, a new way of communication between your siblings that no one else on the face of the earth can understand. When separated from that, there is a sense of bereftness even the closest friend (or most devoted parent) cannot solve. You’re obviously wise and caring parents to see the need your son has to be near your daughters, but as someone who had that taken away from her around your son’s age, I know it will make a very large and positive impact on his life, and his future. Do not lose hope, God is moving in and through you all during this time!

  22. Hi Melissa,
    I have never commented on a blog post before, but I really related with your story today. I’m inspired to see your family taking some conscious direction at creating the life that you want. We have 3 girls (23, 21,16) and this will be the first summer that they have all been home together in almost 4 years! I know God has orchestrated this because I never could have!
    Kendal, is at Seattle Pacific University and will be home this summer. Claire has worked at Trout Creek Bible camp in our home town of Corbett, Oregon for the past 2 summers, and Haley, our oldest has been living in California. I”m so thankful that they can all reconnect and do a little more living at home together!
    I love everything to do with home and family, like you do. I help others see the potential in their homes and my tagline is , “Creating a home you love coming home to. ”
    Love your design, inspiration, family, love, home, God centered stories!

  23. This is such a beautiful post. You are so open and honest just like your wonderful daughters! I wish you and your family he very best of luck with the move!!! I can’t wait to meet the whole family. God bless you all.

  24. Melissa,
    This is my first comment on your blog, but such a sincere post needs some kind of supportive response!

    I was born and raised in Seattle, much of my family (mother, sister, 2 of 4 brothers…) and one of my sons live there. So every summer I make the trip back because I didn’t have your courage to make that change that seems so hard but is so vital. I guess it’s never too late to realize that home is a much broader term than a simple dwelling place.

    I happen to live and work in France, which makes moving very complex. But we have worked it out with the summer trips, and Seattle, well, I’m biased. It’s a great place, even with its faults.

    So enjoy your new adventure. What a blessed family!

    • Thank you Shauna, I can imagine a move from France would be complicated but at least you have a wonderful place to be and traveling to Seattle is possible for you! We can’t always have the perfect circumstances and there always seems to be a bit of a sacrifice to live the life we want! Thank you so much for your support and we are excited to see how the adventure unfolds!

  25. karen on bainbridge island says

    Well, coincidentally, our dream house, which we built from the ground up and moved into in 2007 went on the market today. For us, a move to a smaller more manageable house is the driving force. We aren’t getting any younger, and we’d rather move sooner rather than later. And the market is good, so now is the time.

    Our MLS# is 789109. Check it out! The pictures came out beautifully. Our only problem is the same one you are facing. Low inventory and sky rocketing prices. I fear we might be homeless for awhile. Homes on Bainbridge Island are receiving multiple offers…in one case 16 bids on the same house! Wow. Wish us luck as I wish the same to you on your move. Daunting, isn’t it?

    • Karen, YOUR HOUSE IS MY DREAM! So beautiful, every detail is perfect. You have wonderful taste! I would move there in a heartbeat if I could! Want to trade ;-)? Ha. We considered Bainbridge (and it’s not fully off the table I guess since we have to be open) but in the end, we decided we need to be in the city to be closer to the girls. I know what you mean, the market around there and Seattle is crazy. Good for sellers, hard on the buyers. I’m sure your house will be sold before I finish my comment. PS. The thought of being homeless has occurred to me too. Ha! Good luck on your sale and move!

      • Barbara (WA) says

        Hi Karen, I looked up your house and oh my, it is gorgeous! Your style and details are just what I love. No wonder you, Melissa, wanted to trade homes, heheh! I am wondering a couple of things. Did you use an interior designer to help with your choices? And I am curious about the lights over the island and the table. Thanks for sharing your home and best wishes for your next abode!

        • karen on bainbridge island says

          Thanks for the lovely compliments. I did everything in the home myself. I love decorating and styling and truly, should have made a career out of it if I’d been smart enough when I was younger. I would have loved it.

          Believe it or not, the light over the island are from Home Depot. They are discontinued, but there are still a few to be had out there. I have a friend who bought some very similar from Ballard Designs online and they are even better than the ones from Home Depot. The interior is white so it reflects more light.

          • Barbara (WA) says

            Thank you, Karen, for your response and, YES, you should have gone into the business!! One more question: could you tell me about the checkerboard flooring, please? Thank you!

  26. Thank you for sharing this. All the while reading this, I kept thinking : ” it’s inevitable for your children to move on and move away” because I too, had to go thru this. But! And I say “but!” You are lucky in the fact that your’s are close. An hour away would be a luxury for me. Never dreamed my best friend/daughter would move to Georgia and my son move to Spain. SPAIN! Sooo far way. I would take an hour away in a heartbeat! I travel to Georgia 4 times a year as I cannot stand the separation, because I live in Tacoma , Washington. So I know how you feel. But I guess I am here to tell you that, you can make a home wherever you go…but it’s just not the same without your “children” with you there. I would sell my right arm for ” an hour away”. I envy you!! Best wishes for your move and I look forward to reading and keeping up with you!

  27. Having 3 married kids ourselves, we understand your son’s need to spend more time with his sisters. We have the 2 oldest,girls,living 2 hrs. apart and our married son is a 2 hr. flight away. We are all in ministry, in different denominations, and that has made things extra tough as no one can spend a whole weekend anywhere. And our son came home for the first time in 3 years b/c we decided to fly them home for Christmas and share them with his sisters. The oldest daughter has 2 little girls and a baby boy, and they made strange with him in the beginning. Which was kind of sad but prompted him to be more intentional since then to skype and call more often.
    I am concerned,too, about your hubby’s long drive. Although we live in the same town as the church where we pastor, he has another job that takes 2 days out of the week. And energy wise it’s difficult to do it all. To not always be available is a challenge as well. But as you’re in prayer about it all and doing what you feel is best, God will open and close the right doors.

    • Hi Irma! If only circumstances were ideal at all times, right? But we can trust as we are in prayer that we will make choices that honor God and support our family. My husband does not receive a salary from the church but he does not have an outside job either so his time and energy is available to minister. I can imagine that would be difficult to be bi-vocational, even for us it is hard because my business is how we provide financially for our family so we have to pour time and energy there. It is hard to do it all, but all we can do is our best and know that it makes a difference. Thanks for your comment.

  28. Marijean says

    I’m excited for you and the changes that will come on your move. It’s wonderful to be near your family. Can’t wait to see the magic you make in your new home !

  29. Exciting and scary at the same time. I’ve always believed family should all live as close as possible. Mine is dwindling and I’m so fortunate to have my only son live close by. I live alone and I don’t know what I’d without him. God is leading you to it and He’ll see you through it. Looking forward to hearing more about your adventure. God bless you!

  30. I applaud you! I think you’re moving for all the right reasons. One thing you didn’t mention was your children’s grandparents. Are any of them close by? If so, they may be a future consideration, too. Just something else to think about. I know the Lord will guide you, as He seems to already be doing. And of course, He will provide the right home for your family. Blessings!

    • Thank you Marilyn! Their grandparents still live in Portland, so the move to Seattle will be the exact same distance for visiting. But the good news is it will make it easier for them to see ALL of us when they visit, rather than having to ferry people back and forth to get together. Even when we all go to visit Portland it’s a challenge that we are not all starting in the same place, there has been extra travel time to all get in the same car. Really, being closer together is better all around! :-D

  31. What will Jack and Lily say?? :)

  32. Lisa Porter says

    Family is everything. And being closer means more support- both ways. When your children start having children, the blessings of being closer by to help and love are the greatest rewards! ! Best wishes!

  33. I am so interested to see how the intricate timing of buying and selling works out for you. We are in a similar situation but across the country – Boston are – high prices, hot market. If someone sells their house first, then what? You don’t want to feel pressured into buying something that you don’t really want, or pressured into a bidding war. We are hesitant to jump into the water because of this very issue. Short term rentals seem so hard to come by, and when you have a dog, that’s just another complication. Ugh! I hope it works out for you. So far, we’re just watching on the sidelines until we figure out what to do. Best of luck, I’m sure it will turn out magically!

    • UGH! Yes, ALL THE SAME CONCERNS. It’s hard to believe I’m even considering all this because it does seem overwhelming, but we decided it is now or never for us so if we are going to go, we are diving in. We might sink but I hope all everything will work out. It is scary! Good luck to you as well.

  34. I think it’s a wonderful thing that you want to move near your girls!!! I am sure the extra time you will have with them is priceless!!! The fact that your son is willing to make the move is huge!!! Praying that God will continue to guide and bless you with this new chapter! I also can’t wait to see you decorate your next place;)

  35. …blessings…laney

  36. mary friederichsen says

    I ordered your book nd it arrived yesterday. It is wonderful and I am enjoying it so much!
    I wish you well on this new adventure and look forward to all of the wonerful things I will read and learn from you as it unfolds!
    I am sending you prayers for courage and peace, and much happiness in the new home. Just thinkng about the fact that there is a new home out there waiting for you is exciting!
    Having Faith that the Lord will guide you there will help ease the fear that this may bring. If it is to better your family it is always the right decision!
    Blessings and Hugs,

  37. Melissa, I wish you and your family the very best. Wow, that is a hard decision but relying on God to show you the way is the best decision you can make. Once settled I feel certain you will be happy because your motive is doing what is best for your family. This move coming just when you got rid of all the swine!!! hee hee (:

  38. I always tell my students, begin with the end in mind. Picture yourself, thirty or forty years from now, and imagine all of the things you would think you might have made you happy and what is most important as the sun starts to set on your earthly life. Things like jobs and possessions, body image, level of success, etc. always take a back seat to the treasures that fill our hearts with joy and love. Usually this means family and friends- relationships- become front and center. I love the Mumford and Sons lyrics that echo, “in these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”

    Your home is so gorgeous and reflects the creativity that God gave you to make a beautiful home. I am one who knows the importance of having a peaceful and relaxing home. But, truly, the walls that hold us on earth will eventually blow away like the dust. What remains is our treasure and what we take with us into eternity. For so many of us, our home means our spouses and children. They are what define the home in our hearts. Don’t be afraid, Melissa. God will plant you in a spacious place again. It just means a little change in the tide and a toe in the water. Trust Him and He will bring it to pass.


  39. I graduated from college and moved away from home when my little brother was ten. I tried to visit often but it was difficult. We are 12 years apart in age but he was always the first one to the door to greet me when I drove in the driveway. :) I feel like I missed out on so much of his life. Eventually, I moved back to the area and had to rediscover who he was. The cutest 10-year old redhead on the planet was now this grown-up man of 20. A year ago he became my housemate and we have had so much fun! Now our relationship will change slightly as he and his fiancee’s wedding is this summer but I wouldn’t trade these past five years for anything. Bravo for making a hard choice but how wonderful for your family!

  40. This is SO exciting!! I’m so happy for you. I’m reading your book right now and I am SO in love with it! I am going to share it on my blog and everywhere I can. Anyway, I can’t wait to see what you find in Seattle. And how you decorate it. :)

  41. West Seattle!!! : )

  42. I like the words you spoke…I feel at peace. The Spirit whispers; I feel at peace. Peace is a big part of knowing that what we are choosing is right.
    Family is everything. I too have had many moments of looking back and moving forward…. what a treasure to be-able to be all together as a family. I know how hard it can be to live far from those you love. 2 of my children live in other states.
    Hold on tight….and please do share this adventure with us.

  43. Denise Jarman says

    You can trust that God knows just the house for you! I live in Australia and my two sisters and I live in three separate states. We only get to see each other about once a year :( I have friends that live in Federal Way and I remember them taking me on a ferry to an island. Would that be where your daughter lives? Are you thinking of Federal Way ? That is the only suburb of Seattle I know. I really liked Seattle and thought I could easily live there – if I ever wanted to leave Tasmania!!

  44. Can’t image a better reason to move. I’d give anything if my brother’s family lived closer and our kids could have had more time together.
    You’ll find the right home; God will be your guide.

  45. Dawn Acero says

    Congratulations on following your hearts! You have very lucky kids who know they are loved!!

  46. Oh man! My heart beats anxiously for you! I feel the same way. We live a tunnel apart from my mom, dad and sister. Sometimes the tunnel is so bad it can turn the 15 minutes drive into HOURS. Family is too important. Your heart knows it’s the right decision.

  47. I’ve been enjoying reading all of your home stories. You have a beautiful family and are lucky to have your daughters work with you. I’m sure this is a very unsettling time for you full of uncertainties, but from reading your blog and book I know you’ve had all sorts of moves and uncertainties. It always seems to all work out in the end. Whatever home you have you’ll make beautiful!

  48. What a great post! I’m so glad everything worked out for your family. I love the quote, “Happiness doesn’t have just one address.” This is so true.

  49. Susan A. says

    What a fabulous journey you will have! Excited for you! Will you help me? On your blog you featured a home from the 1800 or 1900’s from Cape Cod I believe. I loved that house and would like to see the pics again. I think the outside was gray? Will you share what month that house was featured on your blog? Could not find it the other day! Thanks Melissa!

  50. What an incredible journey you are embarking on! Blessings to you and your family as you travel this next path in life. I’m loving your book and from your words I believe it will all work out…God and family…can’t go wrong with that combination!

  51. Melissa I support this decision a million percent! I am within a half hour of my three adult children/grandchildren and wouldn’t have it any other way. The positives to the move far outweigh any negatives!

  52. I hear your heart(s) and congratulate you on the change ahead! Very exciting. When you’re involved in ministry, there are so many details to consider. I don’t blame you a bit for wanting to be closer to the girls! Plus, now I’ll see you more when we come to Seattle! (SPU here we come!) Love you, friend!

  53. All the very best as God leads! Sounds very exciting and very challenging! Well no one ever said that life would be easy.

  54. Maria Newell says

    Hi Melissa! It’s so great that you want to be closer to your daughters! And if your son is willing to move at his age, I say go for it! You have a beautiful family! This must have been a difficult decision because you had put your heart and soul into making your house a home for your family and for everyone to see. I wish you happiness with your new adventure! I hope you will be able to continue to share your adventure with us, by showing us how you make your new house a HOME! :)

  55. Mary Rosellini says

    Hi, Melissa! I totally missed your post about the impending move to Seattle. Like so many of your devoted followers/fans, I can’t wait to see where you land. I have confidence that wherever it is, you (and your girls) will make it an amazing home filled with warmth and love. Have you told Jack/Lily yet??

    Best wishes to you…

    Mary (the Polar Bear lover)

  56. Thank you so much for sharing your story! As someone who moved around a lot growing up and now as an adult am facing some pending decisions on where to settle my future family, I really appreciate everything that goes into this decision and just how challenging it can be. I wish you the best of luck in this move and know it will be the right move for your family!

  57. Lynn in FL says

    Family is everything, so your decision is the right one! You cannot replace memories of childhood, and giving your son and his sisters time together will be so precious to them! And sharing a business venture with your daughters…what could be more fun than that! Wishing you the best, and looking forward to sharing the adventure with you through your posts!

  58. Oh my – have only just had a chance to read this post. Really inspired by how you have taken stock and thought through how logistics and location are affecting you all as a family. Thats a brave and wonderful choice you are making. We can take great comfort and solace from our homes but they are bricks and mortar and don’t have a patch on loving each other and being family. Your post has so blessed me and got me thinking about all of that. Are my present choices bringing my family together, creating those bonds, allowing that time. Thank you as always for sharing your story. Look forward to hearing more and a new house to decorate – yaay!!

  59. What a huge decision! I hope you find the perfect house in Seattle! I live in Eastern WA, but I’m familiar with Seattle prices. Crazy! Praying God leads you to the perfect little place. Blessings!

  60. My husband and I are considering a move for his job. While nothing is for sure yet, with each small scary step forward, it feels more right. Reading this and from your book helps ease a broken heart to leave my house. I lived in my parents home the majority of my childhood and my current home as long as I’ve been married. I don’t know what it is like to move and it scares me. But if you can leave your beautiful home, so can I. Thanks for sharing this journey with us. I look forward to what’s ahead!

    • Aw, I can imagine how hard this must be for you! It’s hard for me too. I really want that sense of a forever home but I guess that’s what heaven is for right? :) Each step is scary but I think you start to detach a bit as you get further along, at least I do. Even though you’ll miss your old place and I know I’ll miss mine, we will find joy in what’s to come! I’ll be following along with your journey and am glad we can share in this experience. Take care Ashley!

      • Linda Grubbs says

        I’ll follow you wherever you end up…(well, not in a stalking kind of way….ha-ha) I mean I’ will continue to follow you and your lovely family through your blog…can’t wait to see what’s in store for you all. You are one of my favorite bloggers and of course there is Jack!! (love that sweet face!)..He makes me smile.

  61. I don’t blame you one bit. I would do it in a heartbeat. I kept waiting to read what would happen to the church – and then, well – you would still be there! I can’t wait to see your new life. And I”m wondering how I can blog with my daughter. Wow. the possibilities!


  62. Hmmm, we are in Port Orchard! And I am wanting to move closer to the airport where I work as a Flight Attendant. Would you post on your page when you put your house on the market? Maybe there is some divine intervention at work!!

  63. Melissa, I get it. I loved our old home that we just left to move back to S CA all while dealing with a brain injury diagnosis. I have felt overwhelmed, sad and also elated knowing that God has a plan for us and for me personally. I am rising to the occasion by making plans for our new smaller home (without staircases because of my injury) and finding a place for everything from our former home. I have chosen to look at this new chapter in my life as a blessing. Much of this attitude comes from you, so thank you for that! You and your family are in my prayers. I hope you enjoy the journey and many blessings come from it.

  64. Your children are blessed. Thankful you guys are making the move to be nearer to them. I know your son will love more time with his sisters.

  65. Melissa, such a surprise to learn you are moving! After all your steady commitment to doing what you love in life, the results you brought about in changing a spec house to your lovely home, to say nothing of the tremendous success you’ve achieved through the foregoing, it’s difficult for ME to leave it, never mind how it must feel to you!! But after reading, it’s clear that it’s simply time to move on. Family reasons, being able to be together more often, that’s a no-brainer. I wanted to share with you, hoping it’s a comfort, that we moved from Ohio to New Hampshire in 1998. My son entered the junior high here for a couple years but it was soon time for high school. It turned out well–we all credit his high school experience as a critical and very positive time. Now a grown man of 30, our son sports a bumper sticker of it still. I’ve always been so glad the move came when it did in his life, with high school being a time apart anyway. The timing could be just that providential for your son and your family, too. I hope so. ~ I am a less frequent reader than I was because my home improvement passion has pretty much spent itself–with pleasing results that I credit you with for the know-how and confidence. I remain, however, a big fan and wish you the BEST in the next chapter of your life.

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