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Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

by | Jun 12, 2018 | Decorating Inspiration, drive bys

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Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

This weekend we took a quick road trip to Portland (specifically, my home town of Lake Oswego) to be at my nephew’s high school graduation party and my niece’s voice recital. While my husband doesn’t seem to miss Portland very much, every time I go back I feel homesick. It was where I spent so much of my life growing up and where we lived when all of our kids were little, so it still feels like my true home (even though we now live in Seattle!).

I can hardly believe our son Luke was in second grade when we moved from Portland to Washington! He’s spent half his life in Portland and half in Washington. He’ll graduate from high school next year (cue the tears!).

We’ve lived here in Washington for nine and a half years (as a point of reference, I started my blog eleven years ago so I had been blogging only a year and a half when we moved).

My how time flies!

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

When we moved to Washington, my daughter Courtney was in her last year of high school in Lake Oswego (she graduated from college with her interior design degree five years ago now!). Kylee had just gotten married a few months prior to us moving here (she and her husband Lance have been married for a decade this August!).

We lived on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington for the first six years we were here in Washington, but then moved to Seattle three years ago to bring our whole family closer together while Luke was in high school. Kylee and Lance and Courtney all moved to Seattle during college and have lived here in the city ever since.

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

What a whirlwind this whole adventure to Washington has been! While it is always hard to leave home and take the risk on a new life, we are happy to took that chance. So much has been accomplished and so much good came out of our move here for all of us!

Even though we are happily feeling settled in our home here, it’s still fun to take a drive by through a few of my old neighborhoods just to reminisce and check up on some of my favorite homes. And of course, it’s always fun to share a few photos so you can enjoy the drive with me!

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

This photo above is actually the last house I lived in with my family when I was in high school. It was a gorgeous English style home. This is the only home located on a small peninsula on Lake Oswego, so we had water on three sides of our home. I loved living here! It’s changed quite a bit over the years, but it still brings back so many memories to drive by.

Of course, this angle and photo doesn’t begin to capture what it looks like from the water sides. If I can get some other photos, maybe I can do another post about it sometime ( and maybe some of the other homes I’ve lived in!).

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

This house through the iron gates (above) is another one of the homes I grew up in, the one right before we moved to the lake house. It’s a lovely white colonial, but sadly I can never get a good recent picture of the front of the house because it’s so private (unless I went running down that driveway or jumped through the bushes with my camera hahah. Which I’ll admit, I was very tempted to do just to give you a better look! Maybe next time!).

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

This house behind that hedge is owned by someone I’ve always called “the Martha Stewart” of the neighborhood, since she always had a perfectly manicured landscape. I love driving by it, I’ve shared that secret gate on the blog many times!

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

Going Home to Portland + a Drive By

I hope you enjoyed this little drive by through my old stompin’ ground (what exactly is a *stomping ground* anyway?)!

Are you still living in the city you’d consider your ‘home town?’ Or, like me, have you headed off on new adventures? How do you feel about where you live now? Do you ever feel homesick? I’d love to hear your stories.

PS. I’ve heard that a sense of homesickness is a growing issue for people in our culture since we tend to move around a lot. I’m such a homebody, I guess it only makes sense that I would long for that sense of being back home sometimes.


  1. Deanna Rabe

    What beautiful houses!

    We moved to Pennsylvania 24 years ago, so it’s home now. I don’t miss California, but I miss people.

  2. Sue McKechnie

    I have lived in the big city (London. Ontario, Canada) we now live in for twice as long as the small town (St. Marys, Ontario) I grew up in with my parents and two sisters. However, I still tell people I am from St. Marys when travelling! Maybe someday, we will retire back in St Marys.

  3. Tracie

    I miss the home where we raised our children and hosted fun times with friends. I just drove by it again yesterday—it’s a 40-minute drive from our current home. We’ve lived in five different locations, yet that place is the one where my heart returns when I think of home.

  4. Holly

    Spent my childhood in a beautiful glass house on a lake in a small Wisconsin town, Oconomowoc (say that three times as fast as you can!). The house, built by my parents on a corner lot of the former Valentine estate (Armor Meats) is now gone. A McMansion stands in its place. The place was lovely but the memories tragic and painful, plane crashes and abusive step-fathers. At 21 I packed my bag and moved to Los Angeles where I really did my growing up. I do not miss that house on the lake but do miss the dream it could have been.

  5. Rose

    We moved upstate NY 25 yrs ago. We are both from Long Island, and 25 yrs ago my husband received a transfer from his job.
    We are so happy we moved, it is so hectic on the island. It gave our girls a slower pace of living.
    The odd thing is they both live in LA now.
    But….our youngest just moved th Portland Oregon two weeks ago. She loves it.

  6. Beth RILEY

    I am home in southern Illinois to see my family home for the last time. After 51+ years, my mother needs a smaller place. Sniff.

  7. Elizabeth

    My family moved away from my hometown when I was 16, but after a decade and a half my husband and I moved back because things just worked out that way. We still dream of moving elsewhere though, we just can’t learn to live the desert! I would love to live in Portland or Seattle!

  8. Patty

    Oh my goodness, those homes are so beautiful! I live in NC and can’t imagine moving away, but both Portland and Seattle really are full of beautiful places! Home is where the people I love live! :)

  9. Melinda

    I love the area you took photos of. I love Lake Oswego. So pretty!
    My grandma’s house is on 55th and Hathorne in Portland. I love that areas homes. Rich in character and the stories my mom has shared growing up there over the years makes it even more special. It’s fun sharing with my kids. Today my cousin lives in my grandma’s old house, this makes me want to visit. :)

  10. Shelly

    Every home here is beautiful. Texas is my home but have been away from there for 40 years, just miss my family that are still there. Thanks for the view.

  11. Cheryl

    Lake Oswego is one of my favorite areas/neighborhoods in Oregon. It is so beautiful! You are blessed to have lived there and in other parts of the gorgeous Pacific Northwest.

  12. Claire

    I was born and spent the first four years of my life in Charleston, SC. My Mom was born and raised there and married my Dad who was in the Navy in 1944. As you can guess, we moved around quite a bit until I was 12 when we moved back to Charleston. Even though my husband and I moved to Maryland quite a while ago and I consider this home, Charleston is my “heart home”. I love that city and always will even though it is changed so much in the last 25 years. What I don’t miss is summer starting in March with all the heat and humidity most people associate with June or July. I don’t think I wand to leave Maryland. Our lives are here now and our daughter and her husband live here along with all our dear friends. Like you, I do enjoy going back and seeing Charleston and the house I grew up in. Thanks as always for such a lovely post.

  13. Sherry Miller

    I have always considered the town I grew up in from age 18 months to 22 as ‘home’. I headed off to college at 18, lived in other cities and had different relationships until I married my life partner at 27 and settled in my current town. However, the home we raised our daughter never felt home to me. It wasn’t until the death of my husband and a decision to retire in this community I had lived in over half my life that i settled in a patio home that truly feels like home to me. your blog has been an inspiration.

  14. Sharon

    Such beautiful homes!!!! I grew up in SC. My parents sold the house I grew up in while I was in college. They recently moved out of the house they built at that time after 27 years. My mom has early onset Alzheimer’s and they wanted to be closer to my sister. I’ve lived in Charleston, SC; San Antonio, TX; Cape Girardeau, MO; Austin, TX; Cape Girardeau again, and am preparing to move back to San Antonio. Honestly, I believe Home is where your family is so I don’t get homesick for anywhere. I look at it as God opening the next adventure for our family. Each place we have lived has its own beauty and I welcome the opportunity to serve wherever I am.

    • Sharon

      I forgot to add that I do love to drive by our old homes. We planted trees at most of them. It’s fun to see how huge they are after all this time.

  15. renee

    We live just about 30 minutes from the city we grew up in. My dad and sister are still there, and my MIL moved from there a few years back closer to us. We have no plans to move out of our area.

  16. Caroline

    Such a gorgeous place with beautiful homes! I understand the feeling of homesickness that comes over you when you return. I live less than an hour from my happy childhood home (farm) and about the same distance from our first home in the city near us, which is where our first two children were born and lived until they were 5 and 7 years old. That little house in the city, much smaller and less convenient than the house we now live in, is the house and neighborhood I feel homesick for. I think I feel that way because that is where I was a young mother, with all the joy and intensity that comes with that. We had another (joyful surprise!) baby after we moved, but that first family home is the one that tugs at my heart.

  17. Sue Davies

    My husband and I were both born and raised in a small college town of Morgantown, West Virginia. We lived briefly in Newark, Ohio where our son was born but moved back to Morgantown to build our home in the country. Our daughter was born there. When our children were 15 and 8 we moved to Florida on the Gulf Coast. We all love it here and wish we had come sooner, My daughter and I recently traveled back to Morgantown to visit my two brothers and their families. It was amazing how much it has grown. We drove out to the county where our first house was and where we spent 10 very happy years only to find it has been torn down and replaced with a modular home. I was sad to see it gone as we had many happy times when our children were small. It’s nice to go home again but none of us would want to move back as we love Florida.

  18. CC

    Me husband and I (and our young kids) currently live near the town we were raised in and although we love being by family, our hearts have longed to be in New England for some time. We’re just waiting for the open door to move there. We’ve lived away from family before and it was hard but also healthier for us. It probably sounds odd to say we *want* to move away from our hometowns but I guess when God puts a dream in your heart it doesn’t always make sense ?

  19. Jen

    Those are some beautiful homes. So pretty. I feel homesick for my city (and old neighbourhood) almost daily even though I’ve been in my new spot five years. The plan is to move back, though, and in the meantime, I’m trying to figure out why God put us here! XO

  20. Claire

    Wow, beautiful homes! Living in London, one can only dream about spacious homes like this…and those amazing gardens too. I am half a world away from my family and good friends and I miss them every single day. We don’t want to go back, but we don’t want the busy London life either, so next year we are going to be brave and go for a huge lifestyle change and move to the mountains. Gotta live this life of mine ;-)

  21. Jennifer

    Ruth Bell Graham wrote:
    My home address? Christ. In Him I dwell, wherever else I be. As a bird in the air, as a branch in the vine, as a tree in the soil, as a fish in the sea. He is my home.
    My business address? Here. Little piney cove or London, Corinth, Calcutta or Rome, Shanghai or Paris. My business address? Wherever He puts me, but He is my home.

    From the book After the Boxes are Unpacked, which I am reading after moving from my hometown with my husband and our young daughters. I am using your books and blog to make our new house a home?

  22. Mindy Northrop

    I was born and raised in Portland. Our family picked up and moved to rural Oregon, right outside McMinnville, last summer and I don’t regret it for a second. I get claustrophobic when we go back in to see friends and family, and can’t wait to get back to our new wide open spaces. I feel like I’m where I was meant to be my whole life.

  23. Deb smith

    So funny you are writing about your hometown Portland which is the area I lived in for almost 20 years. I was a southern girl from Mobile, Alabama. My children spent most of their growing up years in Portland. Even though I love the Northwest I can totally relate to that feeling of being homesick. So good to look at the pics you share from my second home,Portland❤️

  24. Jennifer

    Oh my gosh! I had no idea Lake Oswego is so beautiful! And the homes you’ve lived in , Wow!!

  25. Marilyn

    I check out my previous homes on google maps street view – such fun! Also Zoopla in the uk is good for checking interiors if the house has been put up for sale ?

  26. Cheryl

    I’m a “born and raised” Texas girl, but my husband and I retired to Tennessee three years ago for a less expensive cost of living, and to be halfway between my family and his in New York. I love the tall green trees and mountains we have here, but Texas will always be home!

  27. Julie Kolln

    HI Melissa,
    I was born and raised in LO…..and recently returned. I recognized your childhood house on half moon bay immediately – it has always been one of my favorites on the whole lake – lucky you! We lived off South Shore during my childhood and spent many many evenings boating on the lake. Great Post!

  28. Lauren

    What a great post! You let me do one of my favorite things, drive through beautiful neighborhoods but vicariously through you :)That was awesome!
    Those homes are obviously owned by people who love gardens because they are pristine and full of personality. Even if we love our own home or the path we are taking it, seeing what others do is great food for thought. Thank you, I will save this post for inspiration!

  29. Jennette

    I also am from Portland and have lived up in Seattle Area for over four years now (6 years away from Portland), and am finally moving back to Portland! Like seeing all these pics, getting excited to buy a house with lots of character in NW or West Hills.

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