nashville home renovation

We Are Moving.

May 16, 2023

nashville home renovation

We are moving this summer. A bittersweet decision we made early this spring, and have been trying to process the reality as the timeline is moving so quickly! The last three years have felt like a decade it seems. We had decided to move to Nashville prior to the onset of the pandemic, before the world shut down and the housing market soared. We thought this would be the city where we would plant roots. Even though we didn’t expect it to be our long term home, this home has been a safe haven for our family these last 3 years. Within these walls we brought home a new baby, celebrated life, grieved life, adapted, and grew. These years changed us, and altered our perspective on how we wish to shape the upcoming decade of our lives.

This past year as we started to come up on another crossroads of our oldest facing high school, we knew something needed to shift. The city of Nashville has grown rapidly, and our commute time to schools have doubled. We found ourselves feeling stuck in the city life hamster wheel. We have been burning the candle on both ends working hard to keep up with the costs of one of the most expensive cities in the south and the trying to keep up with the busy schedule of a big family. We were spending hours in the car every day for just a few activities! We found ourselves re-visiting the idea of making drastic change to buy back time for the present. We explored so many options. Moving further outside of Nashville would have still been high cost with no one we knew around us.

(The day after we moved in celebrating Rocco’s birthday.)

We both kept circling back to the same place – a small town in OH, where my mom grew up. (Gabe and I actually met in college in OH!) It’s a special town – one where we spent many summers in with endless childhood fun with my cousins. I have many family members who live there, and it’s a town where everyone looks out for each other. Gabe and I actually debated moving there even before Nashville, but were hesitant to make the big change until now. Even though houses for sale are slim to none, we were able to find our next home. (It deserves it’s own post so will share more on that soon.) It is a street over from my grandma and on the same street as my sister, aunts, and uncles. We will be a few blocks from the school, and the kids can bike and walk to the library, park, and ice cream shop. It feels surreal that a place that was a big part of my life growing up will be our permanent home soon.

(The day we brought Augustine home, photo by Joy Prouty)

We didn’t make this decision easily. For the past year, we were asking God for guidance on what felt like an impossible puzzle to solve. There were no perfect scenarios, but we weighed all of the pros and cons for what would ultimately be best for our family. We didn’t want to start over again, but we also didn’t want to settle for a life that felt like a continual uphill race. One of the biggest consolations for us was that when we asked our kids how they would feel about possibly moving to this town, each of them expressed so much excitement. (They know the place well as we have visited several times.) It felt like the push we needed to move forward with this decision.

Of course, there are definitely some difficult aspects of this – moving away from my two sisters here, further away from my family in Atlanta, and having to go back to the long midwest winters. We are going to miss our amazing neighbors and friends we have made here in Nashville, but hope to make frequent visits on our way down to visit my GA family. We know small town living will have it’s own hurdles as well. We are not seeking the perfect solution, but more so the better scenario for our family. We are really looking forward to simplifying our lives (our main new years goal), and being in a community where there is so much family history.

We sold our home before even putting it on the market via word of mouth! A big exhale for us as it saved all of the stress of having to prep it for showings. It is another family in our community who we know will love and appreciate this neighborhood! It is definitely hard to put so much of our time and heart into a home, and so quickly have to pass it on. I am not attached to much on this earth, but I’d be lying if I said I’m not gonna miss that spice drawer! (Jk the whole darn kitchen.) Mainly, leaving the familiarity of these rooms that hold so many special memories for us. It all feels raw and emotional right now, but I know the excitement will come later.

Thank you for the kindness you have shown through many of our family’s milestones. We appreciate you more than words can express.

Leave a Comment

  • I’m so happy for you! Where in Ohio are you moving? I’m originally from Toledo! We are now near Detroit. Best of luck on your move! Lots of new memories ahead!

    • Thank you so much! We are keeping the exact location private for now, but its close to Cincinnati and Columbus where I grew up:) I had friends from Toledo!

  • Valerie

    It seems like such a wise move for your family! I can’t wait to follow along with your new journey! I can definitely relate to all of the raw emotions about leaving though. Our family uprooted from the PNW last summer and moved to the Midwest. It’s been a huge change and we miss family and friends, and a familiar environment, very much! But our children are thriving here and I know it’s where God led us to be at this moment in time. I will pray for you all! God bless you Anna!

    • Oh my gosh that is a big move indeed! Seeing your children thrive is all you can hope for as a parent! I so appreciate the prayers Valerie:)

  • Kacy Gilpin

    What town? Ohio has so many hidden gems. We lived in Medina for almost two years and I miss it ❤️

  • So happy for you – I know what it feels like to have to make difficult decisions for the betterment of your family and quality of life. We were living in Washington DC and felt the same way – traffic, cost of living, exhausting. And we now live in a small town and while it’s very different, we love it for the time we get back not communting, and spending more time together. Pros and cons to everything – I miss good resturants and more things to do but I also love the nature etc. Enjoy and good luck and we are rooting for you!

    • Ah yes! I am really going to miss the Nashville parks and restaurants! Thank you for the kind words – we are looking forward to the next chapter.

  • Juliana

    Looking forward to welcoming you home!

  • I loved that you followed your intuition and heart. Best wishes on your move.

  • Kate Leonard

    Congratulations! We made the move from DC to small town 8 yrs ago (I can’t believe it has been that long already). Grocery stores and restaurants are still missed, and definitely some of the friends we left too. But the trade off is uncomparable. I love has less polarized politics are, less materialistic. But the biggest thing is definitely the community of family and friends. To have the older generations part of our regular life has been the biggest gift among many.

    • Thank you for this encouragement! These are the exact reasons we are willing to trade in some of the conveniences for small town life.

  • Praying for you and your family in this season of transition.

  • So excited for you guys! Family is wonderful and being near them is even better.

  • Marcia Hightower

    Congrats! How exciting. We just moved back to my hometown in WV from Charleston SC and people can’t believe we’d leave Charleston. BUT, we’ve never been happier. A simpler, easier life has made a world of difference. I feel like we’ve added years back to our lives. All the best with the move.

  • Rachel Miller

    Wow! What a big change. We too live small town life close to family and walking distance of library, church, parks, work, cafes and love it. Hope it does wonders for your beautiful family. ❤️

  • Lindsay

    I live in the suburbs of Atlanta now but have fond memories of New Concord, Ohio and the cozy snowy days. My sisters and I always reminisce about the slower pace of life and the wonderful, genuine people. There was not as much pressure for all of the things.

  • Annie Dee

    Sounds like a good plan. My husband’s family is from Ohio (Toledo area) and it’s a pretty state. Kind of in the middle of it all. You can get to NYC from there or the beaches of North Carolina… plus the cities in Ohio are good. Looking forward to watching your journey. Best wishes!

  • Christine E-E

    My husband grew up in Cincinnati & the majority of his family still lives in OHIO (Cincinnati, Reading & Mason).
    Although I was born & raised in California, I can sense the appeal of small town/city living. Good Luck to you! It’ll be nice to get settled before your kids are high school age!

  • Sharon Maybaum

    I think it is lovely that you are moving to a small town. Nashville is fabulous but it is a big city. We moved after 38 years in our last home to a small town in a farming community. I love seeing all the animals every day, driving by fields and only going into the city when needed. You also have a bulit in network with family in your new town, so I think it is a good move. I don’t envy you the logistics of a move but that can’t be helped. Good luck!

  • Kelly Thomas

    Prayers to your family as you embark on this move. Look forward to sharing in the process of you making this new house your home (as much as you are willing/able to share. I have loved seeing the updates you put in your current home. And yes, I’m sure you will miss the amazing kitchen.

  • Beth Drisaldi

    How exciting, Anna! Your mom and I had a great conversation at your sister’s (and my son’s) cross country meet about this special place where we know so many common people. I still have a ton of family there and the surrounding area. You’ll thrive there:). Great move!

  • Tiffany Kahn

    Loved reading your description on the new town that will become your new home. Sounds dreamy and a perfect spot for your little ones to enjoy every second of their childhood. Inspired by you! Thank you for sharing and I can’t wait to see what adventures come next! Godspeed!!

  • Vanessa Henrie Rem

    Yay! for Ohio….l live in small historical town Marietta, Ohio.
    Wishing you a smooth transition back home and a lifetime of happiness to follow.

  • Carmela

    I wish you the best, Anna! I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, surrounded by the best family and friends, left for 12 years of schooling and training (4 of which were spent in Nashville – right before it got crazy), and then moved back home with my husband to start our family. Our careers could have kept us in big cities but we are so grateful to be here. Your family will enrich your new community, and vice versa. I’m excited to see you thrive in Ohio!

  • Oh my goodness!!! I so want to throw you a ‘welcome to Ohio’ party!! We could be neighbors!!!! (We’re in between cincy and cbus). I’m so excited for you and your family on the next chapter of your journey, and am praying for you on how hard it must be to leave. Angels be w you to guide and protect you!!

  • Daria Dunivan

    When I read that you were moving to a smaller town life I thought of Michigan. I was born in Michigan and have live there, Charleston , WV that is a nice city to grow up in. I moved to Atlanta after a divorce to be closer to a sister and her family. I do not want to stay in Atlanta. We have a cottage in MI on a private late and have been on that lake going on 5 generations with very close friends on the lake. It is my happy place and home to me. There are still gravel roads around which I love with small town that are so charming. Ohio can be very much like that. The kids will love the snow. More and more people want to slow down and enjoy life and not the rat race.
    I will be looking forward to your new adventure and wishing you the very best.

  • Natalie Hayhoe

    Oh wow, this is such big news for your family! I follow you from all the way up in Alberta, Canada. We too are moving from a big city to a small-ish town in the southern US, albiet a town that is also growing rapidly. But it’s all relative. I feel reassured in our decision just reading about the next chapter in your families story.

  • Carla Filla

    Congratulations! I admire your willingness to listen to your hearts! It’s such a fleeting time and being in the car commuting is so hard. We’ve moved a few times for reasons that often felt uncomfortable but “right” so I get the struggle! We look forward to watching your journey and seeing what home you all transform next!

  • Betsy Reser

    Born and raised in central Ohio! Welcome back to the heart of it all ­čÖé

  • Best of luck… Living in Wisconsin I agree the winter’s seem never ending.

  • Zee Green

    Everything coming full circle! Congratulations to you and your family. I’m sure you will
    Be very happy and continue to thrive. Being around family is very special, especially for and with the little ones.

  • Big decisions and big growth! I’m excited for your family! I love the thought and prayers that you put in, and I’m sure it will be so wonderful!

  • I think your family is awesome. You are on an adventure together. You can’t be together forever so enjoy. IT is nice to know that there are families like yours out there. God bless

  • Christina Yep

    Dear friend! My heart is full of hope for you! There is always MORE goodness when God is at work. Your capacity to discern as a couple and family, and give your “yes” at every season and stage has inspired so many of us to have the courage to make shifts in our own life. Thank you for humbly sharing your heart and your journey! We all know there is something special awaiting you there that could not be in any other place, and we can’t wait to be a small part of it, even if just your cheer squad;) Between the gift of learning from your early entrepreneurship, your years of building up of the blogging community, your remastering of your homes and your new Maris Home endeavor, we are wild for the Liesemeyers! Hopefully the prayers of all your thousands of IHOD friends and family will give all your hopes, dreams and plans WINGS! (And obliterate all fears and obstacles.) May His blessing be upon you for a thousand generations!

  • Josephine Spellman

    I have followed your blog for a few years without interacting but just had to comment here after seeing your posts about your move and new home. What a beautiful life you are building for your big beautiful family. May God bless you abundantly for your great generosity and obvious faith in Him. As a fellow midwesterner (Iowa), I commiserate about the winters you will face, but in good time you can be like me and flee to the South for long stretches of those winter months!😎

    • Josephine – thank you so much for such an encouraging note! We are so grateful for this open door and have a lot of hope for what is to come. Winters and all;)

  • I have been following you since you lived in NYC and it has been exciting to watch your family grow and the homes you have created in different places. We moved to Austin from CA ten years ago. This city like many has grown too big, too busy, and too expensive (the same reasons we left CA). Our son had an amazing high school and college experience here…one we will never forget or regret. We knew he would be moving elsewhere for a job after college so we began looking at new places. Franklin was on our list… until we visited. It was such a quaint town with beautiful countryside and my husband had a great job offer. In the end, though, we saw it becoming another Austin. Sadly, that is exactly what has happened. Since then one of my daughters has moved to her husband’s hometown in Upstate NY for his residency after Med School in TX. Our daughter with us here in Austin wants her babies to grow up in a slower environment and near family so we decided to all move to the Northeast. We leave at the end of the summer. Like you, it is a bittersweet decision. Leaving friends we love and an area we once adored is hard, but we know from our last move there are new friendships to be made and new adventures to be had. Moving out of your comfort zone also shows your kids that you should trust your instincts and follow your dreams, even if they scare you. My husband and I were born and raised in CA as were our kids. We left when we were in our 40s. If we can do it so can you! Congratulations on following your heart and setting a beautiful example for your kids. Praying for a smooth move for all!

  • I absolutely LOVE your new home! Just the couple of pictures you shared are amazing, I love the porch (wow) and the light over the dining room table. And the backyard looked so peaceful and I can imagine hours of play and picnics by your beautiful family. I pray God’s best for your move and and settling in a new home. (Thanks for letting us come along as you navigate this huge new adventure.)

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