Farmhouse Foyer Update

The foyer is one of my favorite spots in our new house. The staircase and the original flooring and beadboard has so much charm.

The stained glass in the front door is so unique and I love that this is the first room to welcome guests when they visit us.

The wallpaper that was in there when we purchased the house had been installed by the previous owner. She chose it to bring out the colors in the door. I didn’t dislike the wallpaper pattern, but I didn’t feel like it was a little too busy and some of the historic details got lost in all of it.

I wanted to save some of the wallpaper since she chose it with such care and use it as some artwork in the foyer in a nod to Miss Patti and Mr Bob who had saved the house 10 years previous. I am so appreciative that they took on a massive project and brought this beautiful house back to life!

I chose the color Contented by Sherwin Williams. I feel like it brightens the space but also has enough color to bring out the woodwork and trim.

I have an antique schoolhouse light on its way to replace the light hanging there now and I am so excited! I love a good vintage light. 😉

I’m very happy with how this space turned out! It makes me smile every time I walk through it. Still can’t believe this is our home!

If you missed my home tour, check it out here.

How We Found Our Farmhouse

As many of you know, the journey to finding our new home has been a long and dramatic one. Thank y’all for being such supportive friends and praying for us during all of the ups and downs!

It all started when we moved into corporate housing…a tiny 3 bedroom apartment in Anderson, SC. Don’t get me wrong, I am so thankful Chris’ job provided 3 months of free housing, but it was TINY. The living room was so small the coffee table took up most of the space. We had no intention of staying in it the whole 3 months anyway, we were going to find a house as soon as we could.

We moved into the apartment in early December (well the first apartment…which had mold in it. A few weeks later we were thankfully moved to another mold free unit) and by Christmas had found THE house.

It was a 1920’s brick home that had a grand staircase, original clawfoot tubs and floors. And all of the wooden doors were unpainted and had the antique door knobs! If you know me at all…you know this was right up my alley.

It was about a mile from the historic downtown in Anderson and although it was still and hour and 10 minute commute for Chris’ work, we were only 30 minutes from our church in Clemson. Our goal was to be as close as we could to our church family and community in Clemson.

We tried to make an offer on December 26th. The house had sat on the market for over a year so we figured even though it was the holidays, the seller would be eager to sell. I even wrote a letter explaining how much I loved the home and all of the original details and that I would do my best to preserve those things.

Well no such luck. We didn’t hear a response from the seller until the first week in January. She countered back to our offer with the asking price. A “screw you” if you will. ha

It took us 3 weeks to get to an agreement and be under contract. She told us if we paid the asking price for the house she would put in a new HVAC system, since the current one wasn’t in working order. With the house being 4,000 sq feet, that seemed like a fair deal to us.

Ahhh at last we were on our way to having a home.

Then the inspection report came back.

The electrical was all tube and knob and needed updating. This would be a $30k job at least. We decided to try for a renovation mortgage to cover that cost. We loved the house and were trying our best to preserve it and have it in the best shape possible. So new electrical would be an asset if we ever needed to sell it.

We had electricians come out and quote the project, which took a week. Then we realized the seller was only going to put a small HVAC system in the house…one that would cover a typical 2,000 sq foot home. We were SO frustrated. We had agreed tp pay full price and now we felt they were not holding up their end of the bargain. And I for one do not want to live in a sweltering hot house in the South in the summer…

We told them we would get the HVAC system ourselves if they would pay for all of our closing costs (which for this house was a decent amount). They agreed and we now had to get HVAC guys out for quotes, which took even more time.

Finally we were a week away from closing. It was the end of February…which was cutting it close since our apartment lease ended March 7th. We asked for another month in the apartment and were granted it, due to the work (rewiring and HVAC instillation) being done on the house. So we were all set! Everything was lined up.

We then got a phone call from our lender. The house didn’t appraise for enough for us to get the renovation mortgage we needed. And we couldn’t afford over $40k the repairs were going to cost. I couldn’t believe it. We were going to have to say goodbye to this house.

I shed a lot of tears. We had 6 weeks to find a completely start over.

As I searched Zillow and Realtor.com for homes, there were not a lot of options in Anderson. But there were several we liked in a town closer to Chris’ work…but further away from our church.

Would it be worth cutting Chris’ commute in half and having a home we would love…but also having to start over from scratch when it came to church and friends? Chris’ commute was starting to take its toll and I was not a fan of him basically only being involved in our lives on the weekend.

We called our parents and asked for their advice. Would moving away from our church be a mistake we would regret?

They both told us the same thing: having a commute that long is going to be really hard to sustain over the long haul. Having Chris in our lives more would help our family immensely. We need him.

So we started the search in this new town.

We looked at this white farmhouse 3 times before we made an offer. I don’t know what it was but I struggled to be sure this was it. Which is weird…because I’ve always wanted a white farmhouse! But I was worried it didn’t have enough bedrooms for us to grow as a family and would need to move again.

But at last I was sold and we made an offer and within two days were under contract!

Everything in this process was normal, the inspection and appraisal were done early and game back great. It seemed we had smooth sailing!

The day before we were to close, Chris got a phone call from our lender saying he wasn’t sure if we would be able to close the next day due to an insurance issue. We called them every hour trying to get updates because this time we really were down to the wire.

We had all of our furniture being delivered two days from closing and only had 10 days left in the apartment. If this fell through what would we do!?

That night was horrible. I tossed and turned all night. Why was this process so difficult?? Were we ever going to be able to buy a home and start getting settled. We were going on 4 months in this tiny apartment and it was wearing on all of us.

I asked for prayer on Instagram and I was blown away by how many messages and responses I got from you guys saying you were praying. It was truly humbling.

The next morning felt like a lifetime. Chris was texting me with real time updates as he got them from the lender and around 11:30 we got word that it had been resolved and we were still good to close! (our closing was at 2:30 so juuuust in time!)

I cannot describe the feeling we experienced when we drove away from the attorneys office and it was done. DONE. We owned our home and this nightmare was over!

I kept freaking out randomly on the way back to the house. I would smack Chris’ arm out of the blue and say things like

“CHRIS WE OWN A HOME!!”

“I CAN’T BELIEVE I HAVE A FARMHOUSE!!”

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”

It scared Chris every time but I couldn’t help myself! haha

Even though a part of me will always love that old brick house in Anderson, God knew this one was the one for our family. This house is more “me.” It’s less formal and pristine…it’s more casual and charming. The green roof feels like a wink from the Lord to me because I grew up on Anne of Green Gables and the house was always my favorite part of the story. And now I have my very own Green Gables…and Gilbert 😉

So that my friends, is the story of how God brought us our farmhouse. It was in a totally different area than we were looking and yet He closed doors to lead us to open ones. And I’m so at peace and thankful. He is so good to us.

(For a video walkthrough watch here)

We are on the move again…

I’m sure anyone who knows us is not surprised that the Mitchell’s are moving again, but we are so excited to be moving back home to South Carolina!

The way this whole thing came about is truly a God thing.

We’ve been in Columbus for three years now and the original purpose for this move was to be close to my parents and family down here. When after a year or so of being down here, my parents moved back to Chattanooga, we realized that our dream and reason for being in Columbus was no longer the same.

We still had my sister and Aunt, Uncle and Cousin here, so we weren’t totally alone but we really struggled in finding our place here. We weren’t really drawn to the area…it was the people in it that made us stay.

When I invested and became part owner in a self defense school here a year ago, we felt that this was an anchor to hold us here in Columbus. I loved my job and enjoyed working in the evenings.

But every time we would go back to South Carolina, Chris would say “Man, I really miss being here. Do you think we could move back?” And I would agree…it did feel like coming back home. But I own my own business and I can’t just drop that and move, right?

A turning point came in June when we went to the beach with Chris’ family at Harbor Island. It just felt like home. Being back with Chris’ family and being in South Carolina. That’s when my heart began to want it too.

We talked about it but dismissed it because there really wasn’t a way for me to step away from my job. We took out a loan to invest in it and had to make the payments on it.

Fast forward to August/Sep. We couldn’t get moving back to South Carolina off of our minds. Not only did we miss his family, but we also missed our church and community there. The Clemson/Anderson area is one of our favorite places in the world and we knew that’s where we want to put down roots and raise our family.

So we took a leap of faith and Chris sent out his resume. We didn’t hear anything for awhile which was discouraging but we felt like the Lord wanted us to keep being faithful where we were at and wait for Him.

He got a call from a job recruiter and he said he had some leads on potential jobs that would be a good fit for Chris.

We both kinda freaked out. Although nothing was in stone yet, just the potential of moving made me want to be upfront with my business partners to give them a heads up. We talked about it and it was received…okay. There was no promise of a good buyout but we really didn’t discuss details yet.

I ended up finding someone who wanted to buy my share of the business and I was so excited. This felt like a win-win to me because not only would my loan be covered but we would even make a little…and with our kitchen being completed gutted since July, we needed any extra cash to help cover those costs.

And by him buying me out, it wouldn’t set the self defense school back at all because they wouldn’t have to pay anything.

When I presented the buyout offer to my partners…let’s just say it did not go well. They didn’t want another partner and were not open to letting me out of my contract. They changed my work schedule without my knowledge and more than doubled the prior agreed upon classes I was to teach. When I called them about this they said they wanted “to be fair” and for me to start carrying my weight. I had no power because they had the majority vote and they let me know that. A lot more went on that I don’t feel comfortable going into on here…but it was pretty bad.

I had panic attacks and anxiety attacks because of all of this. One night I was up until 1am unable to stop throwing up or breathe. I kept crying and telling Chris “What do we do?! If you get that job and we move I’ll be in breach of contract and we’ll walk away with a lot of debt!” Chris told me that at this point he didn’t care. He saw how this was affecting me mentally, emotionally and physically.

We tried to negotiate some kind of buyout with them but they barely offered me a third of what my share was worth and none of the money for it would be up front. When things continued to escalate we talked to Chris’ parents and asked for their advice. “Are we stupid if we just walk away and get out of this toxic situation?” Chris’ dad said “Chris there is no price you can put on protecting your wife.” *tears*

So that’s what we did. I walked in there and gave them my share. Gave it to them. We took the hit and for the first time in over a year I have PEACE.

We know God will provide for us and we have no regrets.

(They did try to come back and offer me their original offer (the one that was less than 1/3 and it would only be a tiny check once a month for the next 5 years) but they wanted me to sign another contract that had so many stipulations and a gag order. We didn’t feel comfortable signing that and having any legal ties to them for the future.)

A week or so later after I walked away from my job, Chris got a phone interview for a plant in Greenwood, SC. They then scheduled an in person interview for that Friday. By the next Monday he received a job offer.

Our house is still under construction but the kitchen should be done just in time for us to list the house. I’m very sad I won’t even get to cook a meal in my brand new kitchen, but I know that God worked out that leak and mold issue to end up getting us a new kitchen that will be a huge selling point in our home.

We move in less than two weeks and he starts December 16th!

Everything fell into place and even though it was SO hard how it all happened, God resolved everything that needed to be resolved and took care of it.

I know that even though we aren’t in the best place financially right now that He will continue to provide for and take care of us. It’s been so cool to see His hand in all of this!

So South Carolina friends! We’re coming back to Clemson! We cannot wait to be back home!

Farmhouse Dining Room

If there is a room in our house that brings me unspeakable joy, it is most definitely our dining room. The natural light that floods through the window, the beadboard that adds charm, my new black farmhouse chairs…it all puts a big ole smile on my face. I think I appreciate it so much because of what it used to look like…scroll down if you dare. haha

 I tried to warn you! This room was a blast from the past to put it lightly. And that wallpaper was a NIGHTMARE to remove. I tried all of the go-to remedies: vinegar, fabric softener, Parana spray from Lowe’s.  

What finally did the trick was this steamer I got for $40 from Lowe’s. I got the top layer off in about an hour and a half and then Carley and I worked on the layer of glue for two nights. That was the worst part for sure. haha But we finally got it done and that’s all that matters! Buh bye 1970’s! 

Chris and I then spent the entire weekend…and I do mean the ENTIRE weekend hanging the beadboard and trim. Getting the perfect cut on the sheets of beadboard was no easy feat. We definitely got a good workout in! ha 

Once it was all hung, we stepped back and knew this was exactly what we had been dreaming about. This once awful room was now starting to feel brighter and more welcoming. 

I painted above the beadboard my go-to color of course: Repose Grey by Sherwin Williams. So far out of the 5 rooms we’ve repainted in this house all 5 of them have been Repose Grey. At least we are consistent right? 😉

I’ve been dreaming of farmhouse chairs to go with our table for years now. And one of my friends on instagram posted about Wayfair having a sale on some chairs and I instantly had to go look.

I showed them to Chris and he was on board and I’ve never been so excited for 3 huge boxes to be delivered to my door before! It’s usually diapers so this was a pleasant change. 😉

I am in love with them! They are pretty comfy too! Also thanks babe for putting together all 6 of them. *dramatically blows kiss* 

I went to an antique store after work on Tuesday and I found SO many little items that were perfect for what I was going for in this room. 

I love this little knick knack shelf I found to display oils and succulents.

I also found the 1920’s mirror that’s in the pictures above and I’m obsessed with it. 

I hung my all time favorite drop cloth curtains and it’s amazing how curtains just finish off a room perfectly. I want to add these to our front den too.

I got these plants and hangers from IKEA.

And this is my favorite accessory to my table, my three little loves. Aren’t they pretty?! As long as they are around my table, this room is complete. 

Kid’s Farmhouse Kitchen

Chris’ parents bought the kids an adorable kitchen for Christmas and they are obsessed with it. 

The only problem was it was a little small for three children to play with at once and you know how well toddlers share…

So I knew I wanted to add some kind of extension to it so that they could have more space to play together and cook.

I looked at several stores for a table the right size but couldn’t find one, so during naptime yesterday I decided to just build the dang thing! haha

Chris had shown me how to use his nail gun when we worked on our dining room and I’d used a miter saw once before so even though I’m scared of loud noises and tools that could potentially sever my limbs off, I figured “What could go wrong?!”  

It only took me about an hour to make and while very far from perfect (I told Chris not to look too closely…he’s a judger haha) it works and they love it! I stained the top and painted the legs white to add some cuteness to it of course. 

I found the blue cabinet at an antique store and knew it would be perfect for their kitchen. The green shelf used to be at our coffee bar at the Munro Ave house and I figured it would give them a cute place to hang their mugs. 

It makes me so happy to watch them all play together and use their imaginations. There are still battles with sharing and the cute little cabinet has become a torture devise for tiny fingers in the wrong hands (aka Elliot) but I hope this space becomes a favorite spot in their childhood adventures.

This Thanksgiving I don’t feel like being thankful

We are on the road to South Carolina to spend Thanksgiving with Chris’ family. Our mini van is packed to the brim. This is our first road trip as a family of six, since we welcomed our two year old foster son, B, into our home two weeks ago.

As he was having his fourth meltdown in only the first hour of our trip, I found myself looking out the window trying to tune out his piercing screams.

I don’t feel very thankful.

 I feel tired and drained. And frustrated and like I’m not doing a very good job.

Learning to love a little child who comes with all kinds of hurt and trauma was something I thought would come much more naturally to me. I absolutely love children and I’m extremely empathetic.

But these two short weeks into foster care have opened up the abyss of my selfish heart. In moments where I should be kind and understanding, I find myself clenching my teeth and sighing heavily. In moments where I should be patient, I am not.

I find myself becoming protective of my biological children when I see them struggling with their new brother and not understanding why this complicated little person is acting the way he is.

When your four year old wakes up from his nap, and then after 5 minutes around his foster brother asks to go back into his room, your heart begins to hurt. It’s been hard not to have an “Us vs him” attitude when stuff like that happens.

So in all honesty, I don’t feel thankful. And I don’t really want to try to be thankful.

Now I know that isn’t right. And I need an attitude adjustment. ha So naturally with it being Thanksgiving tomorrow, I decided to search the word “Thanksgiving” on my Bible app and let the Holy Spirit do His thing on my heart. ha

And no surprise, I found some verses that brought on the encouragement AND conviction.

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High; Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.””‭‭Psalms‬ ‭50:14-15‬ ‭

I’ve read this verse a million times, but the word that stuck out to me tonight was sacrifice. A sacrifice of thanksgiving. Okay Lord I see You. Sometimes it’s painful to be thankful. Sometimes it takes work and toil to be thankful.

“But I am afflicted and in pain; May Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high. I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please the LORD better than an ox Or a young bull with horns and hoofs.”‭‭ Psalms‬ ‭69:29-31‬ ‭

When life just flat out sucks and praising and being thankful is the last thing on our minds, when we do it out of a sincere heart…it’s worth more than any other sacrifice. God sees me when it’s painful to praise Him, when its excruciating to be thankful. And when I walk in obedience and do it any way, He sees that too. And it is a pleasing sacrifice to Him.

So as we gather and celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, if you’re afflicted, if you’re weary, if life is downright hard and you would rather just cry, I encourage you. He sees you. You are not alone and I promise you, you will not regret crying out to Him with a heart of thankfulness.

And just remember, I’m right there with you.

PS. Also please know that I realize my “affliction” pales in comparison to the suffering many are going through right now. I just wanted to share where I am at in this moment and hope these verses could encourage those going through the real fire. Always feel free to shoot me a message and I will pray for you.