TTwelve years ago (how could it have been so long ago?) our family embarked on one of our greatest adventures. We moved from our hometown of Portland, Oregon to a small coastal town on Puget Sound. After being unemployed for over a year, my husband had the opportunity to fulfill one of his dreams of starting a church.
Although we never intended to stray from our friends and family, and the roots and memories that we planted, we felt that this was what we needed and wanted to do. . We packed our bags and left what we thought would be our forever home and set off on a rare winter blizzard with our second year son to start a new chapter in life three hours away in Washington.
It was a difficult season on many levels, but also a growing season for our family. The move gave us a lot of compassion for the military families we befriended in our new town and in our new little church! They often have to uproot and replant their families in a new community. They are also separated from their spouses for long periods of time. It also really put our situation in perspective.
Lucky for our family, Courtney moved to Washington about five months later after graduating from high school and starting college in nearby Seattle this fall. Kylee and her husband Lance also moved to Seattle that summer, to be closer to Luke and help us with the church. It was a big change for them, changing universities mid-term and changing major so they could start a new life in Seattle.
They made a lot of sacrifices not only to help us get the church off the ground, but also to be closer to their brother’s childhood. They had to transport us every weekend (it took a few hours one way and a few hours to come back) to help us. It meant the world to us! Like all “growth opportunities” that move, we’ve forced ourselves out of our comfort zone and inspired us to stretch in ways we didn’t even anticipate.
Supporting our family for the long term and keeping the church going has become more and more difficult. During the first two years, we knew that we had to find a more stable income for our family and that we had to close the doors of the church. Although we had a wonderful growing religious community, military families were young and moved so often that it was difficult for us to achieve stable and sustained growth.
This is the season in which The Inspired Room blog blossomed into a business that not only could meet our needs, but the needs of the church as well. What a blessing that has been! It has been fourteen years now that I put all my heart into The Inspired Room. I am very grateful to those of you who have supported me, this company and our family in any way over the years.
It was certainly meant to be that the blog started the year it made it, I had no idea how important and crucial this decision would become in the years to come. I certainly never dreamed that I would eventually become a published author of so many real live books (not to mention a New York Times bestseller, I’m still in disbelief)! So thank you again for cheering me on from the very beginning or being a part of this adventure regardless of when you joined in!
Six years ago we moved to Seattle to be closer to our daughters so Luke could start high school. We knew we only had a few years of “family reunion” before our children left and started their own lives. And we would have become “empty nesters”. We wanted Luke to have siblings nearby for his high school years, so for the remaining year of our lease on the church building, we commuted on the weekend by ferry. Many of our families were on the verge of deployment, so we chose not to renew the building or find a new location when the lease ended. Instead, the ministry has been moved to an online community and private groups.
We had planned to stay in Seattle for four years while our son was in high school, beyond that we didn’t know what the future would hold. Two years ago when he graduated from high school he chose to go to a private college about 15 minutes from our house, so we decided to stay nearby at least for his freshman year.
After having had children in our house for over 30 years, we became empty nests in September 2019. But… .it was a short-lived adventure because…. well, 2020 is here. Luke was kicked out of the dorms that spring and took online classes for his entire sophomore year. It certainly wasn’t the experience we wanted for him and it was difficult in many ways (as it was for almost everyone!), But on the bright side, we had a lot more family than we did. we never dreamed of it haha!
Courtney moved here during quarantine to save money and prepare for a possible move to Bellingham at around an hour and a half. Kylee and Lance sold their townhouse earlier this year and as soon as Courtney moved in, they moved in while they were looking for a home. It’s been a revolving door here, but we loved it!
Recently, Lance and Kylee bought a new home, so in about six weeks, they’ll be starting a new chapter in their life in a beloved home in a new neighborhood. While of course I was hoping it would be nearby so we could run around with a cup of flour or meet up for dinner anytime (I always want everyone to stay close!), The silver lining is that they are retreating to our hometown, Portland.
The only place in the world that is so close and dear to our hearts and theirs. The place where this story and theirs started. They go home.
We are so happy for them, what a memorable new season of life it will be! 2020 opened the door for Lance to telecommute for his job, which made this decision to move possible. Kylee continues to work with The Inspired Room, so that will continue as well. Best of all, Lance and Kylee (and their Bella and Leo doodles) will be close to family and friends, who are thrilled they are coming back! They even have a place in their house where we can stay so that we can come and visit with our dogs! This is an exciting idea for us because going to Portland, or anywhere, with two dogs (let alone four if we traveled with them and their two dogs) was a challenge. It’s a trip of about three hours, just a little longer than taking a ferry across the water :).
In a way, with their move, I feel like we’re coming home by proxy as well.
We have built so many memories together over the past twelve years. Our lives have been forever changed through our time and our adventures in Washington. Luke is moving this summer with friends to an apartment about 15 minutes from here. The two of us will always be here, continuing to make this home our sanctuary and a home away from home for our family. Courtney is loving this season of her life in Bellingham so we are planning plenty of day trips to visit her, family reunions and vacations, and fun trips to our hometown to see family and friends.
Life will be a little different, but we are fortunate to have a wonderful family across the Northwest! Even when I was growing up in Portland, my grandparents lived in the Seattle area, so I always felt at home in both areas. We are delighted to see our children start their own new chapter in life. We are so proud of them. It is time for them to spread their wings. My husband and I are ready to celebrate the start of empty nest 2.0 life!
More to come on this new adventure! The Inspired Room is not going anywhere, I think it will only get better! You are going to love Kylee’s new house, oh my god this is the cutest little house. So lovely! She will share it here and we can watch her take a lovely home and make it her own.
We’re opening comments today, we’d love to hear from you! How long have you been following the blog or our family? Have you had any “moving adventures”? We would love to hear your stories.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my free newsletter HERE to stay up to date! Plus, as a subscriber you get exclusive perks AND you will be the FIRST to get a glimpse of Kylee’s new home! 🙂
Follow with all of our family’s Instagrams below:
The Inspired Room (Melissa) // Kylee // Courtney // Dwell Well Collective // Jack the Goldendoodle // Doodles at Home