Saturday, August 11, 2012

In which I reveal our new home and interview my own self rather schitzophrenically

Some of y'all guessed it - we're in Austin!

If you are like the majority of people we told we were moving, you just sighed deeply and said, "Aw! I'm so jealous!" In fact it got to be where I was like 'isn't ANYONE sad we are moving?" because the only response I got was deep-sigh-aw-I'm-so-jealous. Even when I called to cancel our utilities, the utility cancel people would deep-sigh-aw-I'm-so-jealous.

After the sighing-jealousing, then they'd ask questions. Like this.

So why are y'all moving? 

Well, because we can. Walker's sales territory includes Austin, so that made it possible to move without finding a new job. We love Houston but we need a big ole house with good schools that doesn't cost a million dollars and that meant the suburbs and we have learned that we hate the suburbs. We're just not suburbia type people. In case you hadn't noticed.

I'd noticed. But aren't you leaving your mom, who is at your house helping you raise your kids, like, all the time?

Yes. But her sister lives in Austin and she already visits a lot and I hope she will just move up there. She already promised me she would move if she got feeble. Now let's please talk about something else before I start crying.

Are you on crack for leaving your mom?

Quite possibly. Moving on.

But haven't you only had to hire a babysitter about three times in the past nine years because your mom...


Okay, okay. Did you sell your house? Haven't you tried to move before?

YES! We have listed our house twice before, for almost a year each time, with dismal results. This time we sold it within a couple of months, to an investor. We lost some money, but probably not much in the long run. The main thing is that it is GONE. It seems like further confirmation that God wanted us to move to Austin.

Don't y'all have a lot of friends in Houston tho?

We do. We have some of the awesomnest, amazingest friends. Problem we hardly ever see 97% of them. Houston is just so stinking big, that it takes a 45 minute drive to see people, when you live in Egypt like we did. (When I told my friend Jenny I was moving to Austin, she said 'now I might actually get to see you.' And they came over for dinner last week. So there ya go.) I've made two dear friends nearby (Beth and Mitzi) but since they aren't in my neighborhood and our kids don't go to the same schools seems like I rarely get to see them anymore either.

You read that right.
We've lived here for ten years.
I've made two dear friends.

Would you care to expound upon the the deeper reasons for moving?

Why sure.

About ten years ago, I was a single girl with a gaggle of the best Christian girlfriends in the world, living in central Houston. Then I got married, got pregnant, and got catapulted to the suburbs where I knew almost no one.

Ever since, I've been desperately searching for community. I am a very extroverted (ENFP) girl who needs friends. Wants friends. I've done everything in my power to create community, and it has only led to more dismal results.

A couple of years ago, via various good, bad, or ugly means, I found myself more isolated than ever before. God took away almost every friend I had either temporarily or permanently. All I had was him.

Since then, he's has clued me in on the reasons, and the lessons he has taught me on friendship have been painful (oh so painful) but oh so wonderful. I could write a book about it. Or you could just come over with a bottle of wine and we could talk and cry until 3am, which would be a lot easier.

This past spring the Lord and I tidied up the loose ends on that there growth opportunity. And then we listed our house and then for the first time it actually sold. BOOM.


So here I am, in this town where I've seen more old friends and met more new friends in the past two weeks than in months in the burbs -- but now I have a much different philosophy on friendship.  These friendships will be different.

We moved from a neighborhood where going into town meant two hours of drive time - to one where are are downtown in 13 minutes (high five!)

We moved from a neighborhood where I never felt I fit in - to a neighborhood where I got invited to a Noonday show around the corner within a week, and I was within one degree of separation to every woman there.

We moved from a neighborhood where we never even met half the people on our cul-de-sac - to one where tons of kids live within walking distance, two little boys Shep and Ike's age live right next door, and we've got playdates lined up.

We moved from a church where for years I've begged and pleaded in vain to start an orphan care ministry - to a city where there are so many solid, amazing churches with intensive mission programs that we're having a heck of a time choosing one.

We moved from a city with little to no Ethiopian adoption community - to one where white mommies with brown babies are everywhere.

The motto of Austin is "Keep Austin Weird."

The motto of our family is "Dollahons are Weird."

For once, I don't feel like as much of a weirdo.

And y'all, it feels good.

Shep on his first day of VBS in Austin. Doing his part to keep it weird.


  1. I am so happy for you, Missy! We're weird, too - maybe we need to move somewhere else! ;)

  2. Missy! You live in my town now! I tweeted at you and I don't want you to think I'm creepy or anything...I know it's hard to move to new places and make friends. I would love to get to know you face-to-face and spend time with your children too. Please let me know how I can help ease your transition and make it even more joy-filled than it sounds like it has been in the last few weeks. Welcome to Austin! I'm glad you are here.

    1. Hey Karen! I am like, never on twitter. Going to check now!

    2. If there is a better way to get in touch, I am happy to go that route too!

  3. This post resonates deep with me. I'm a Texan currently living in Mis(s)ery. We've talked about moving to Austin. This post may have confirmed my feelings. :)

  4. We moved from Austin (actually Cedar Park) to Southwest Missouri a few years ago - my husband is a youth pastor - and LOVE it here, but really miss Austin. It's a FANTASTIC place to live. You will love it!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful (and wonderfully-timed) move! Here's to community, and finding other people who care about the things you care about!

  6. I'm coming with a 1 litre bottle of Pinot Grigio. I'll be there in two days. Don'te go anywhere! We're talkin'!! (I think I might need to hear what you learned.)

    Congrats on your move. It seems every blog writer I love lives in or near Austin. Can I be an honourable-Austinite? (is that what you call yourselves down there in Tejas?)

  7. Congrats on the move. May a great community and church be in your very near future. Maybe now God will speed up that adoption... :)

  8. Sounds like a good place for you to be! Will you post a house tour of your new place? I loved the tour of your house in Houston in the last post.

  9. I'm so glad you found your groove. I love it when God works like that.

  10. Love this post (and Austin)! If you're not creeped out by the idea of meeting someone you only know through blogland, our family goes through Austin on our road trip every couple of year, so I'll be in touch. (Feel free to say, "we're weird, but not crazy, so no thanks.) ;)

    (P.S. The folks who traveled with us - The Archibald Project - to bring Zoe home from Taiwan live in Austin. Might be worthwhile to connect with them once y'all have a timeline for Bethlehem. In this case - considering that they're still raising funds to travel with more families in the future - it's a good thing that you're in the waiting place. Here's the pics they took of us to advocate for adoption: Journey to Zoe)

  11. you're right. i'm jealous. except for the heat. which i why i'll probably always life "up north". but still.

  12. I hope you and your sweet family love Austin. I'm just sad you didn't pick Nashville. I'd be on your doorstep in a heartbeat with all my kiddos for a playdate. :) And maybe a bottle of wine for the mommys.

  13. I think it is a wonderful & well timed move. All the best Missy. Please post something about your experience in Austin.

    - Mehul
    Architectural Stone

  14. I don't know you, but I flipping love you and your blog. When I saw you were moving, I came so close to commenting, "I hope for your sake it's away from Houston ;)". But since I couldn't be sure that you weren't just moving across town, I refrained. So now I know and can say I am more happy for you guys to leave Houston than I am for you to be moving to Austin- and I love Austin just as much as any other even semi eccentric texan does. Anywho, I hope it is wonderful for you and your family there. Everyone I know who lives there, or ever has, loves it with all their heart. We live in a Dallas burb right now, but I am more of a small town lover (ignoring the lack of anyone similarly minded) and don't think Austin will ever be in our future. Cities just aren't my thang. But if I had to choose one, Austin would be it hands down. I am so glad the Lord has paved a smooth road for you to go down in confidence. Blessings!

  15. This post gives me hope for my own life/prayers/dreams - congrats on all your good news and thank you for sharing it!

  16. I am an ENFP and relationships that are real are a must! Having none is like dying a slow and agonizing death. I went through a deep painful isolation period beginning about 4 years ago. It was me and God and I wasn't happy. Then God showed me how great He really is; what a true and faithful friend He always wanted to be with me and then brought me new and safer women who have become dear to my heart. I am so glad you are in a place with like-minded crazy about the Orphan people. Blessings!!!!

  17. Wow I can relate to this in so many ways. I am an ENFP as well and friends have always been important to me since I could talk. I was watching a home owners show and the potential buyers were complaining that a sidewalk went behind their backyard and the fence wasn't big enough--not enough privacy. Whereas I wish more people would stop by and we had neighbors I conversed with on a regular basis. The suburbs are isolating and a tough place to do ministry (husband is a pastor and I do a lot with youth ministry). We're both so passionate about community development that it's tough to incorporate it in such an isolating neighborhood. I can see us moving to a more urban area in a few years...or else staying in our town but relocating to downtown.

  18. Since yall got that big ole house now - um, um, can I just come move in with you? I'll even bring a brown baby to fit in? Would love to have the friends/church/neighbor situation of the above.... one day maybe... maybe. Glad things are on the upswing girl - you deserve it!

  19. Wonderful how things work out! Worked in San Antonio on a short contract and drove to Austin (and the surrounding country-side--like the Hill Country, the Wineries, Fredricksburg, Boerne, the Guadalupe (river)--etc) every chance I got. Love the food trucks, the Capital, drinking wine with my burger, jogging and biking and getting out. Austin is awesome, it has lovely neighborhoods..good for you!

  20. J said he was sending me to Austin with a bottle of wine or two.

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  22. I felt the same way about Houston...It was so hard to find my place and make worthwhile friendships. Everytime I'd meet someone promising it would be like 'Oh wait, you live in The Woodlands? This will never work':) Now that we've moved to Aberdeen, we have more friends than we can count, and it's like I didn't even realize how lonely I had been until I was surrounded by good friends again. I definitely feel like it's affirmation from God that we are in the right place. I'll pray that you continue to cultivate lasting friendships in Austin. And by the way, I'm jealous. Austin rocks:)

  23. Hi Missy! I've read your blog for a while and love your sense of humor and your fun family. I've never commented (that I can remember!). I live in Birmingham, and our children's pastor at our church moved to Austin earlier this year. He's at PromisedLand West Church. His name is Derrick Skelton and he and his wife have 4 kiddos and the oldest is 5. Seems like y'all might have some stuff in common :) He is WONDERFUL with children! I don't know what kind of church you're looking for, but just wanted to put a plug in for him :) Congrats on your move and I hope you're super happy in Austin!

  24. Missy. I love your heart. I love cracking up or being spoken to by your blog. I am also in the waiting game for ET. We met at the Created for Care event, I had dinner with you one night. I have totally felt you on the just being depressed about the adoption. I also feel you on the move this summer. I try to console myself with the fact that we were able to move to our dream house this summer and totally wouldn't have been able to if we were further in the process. So I hope that the thought of a new and better place to live for little Bethlehem will soothe your heart on some of those trying days. Many prayers for things to start running much faster in ET. Oh... ps. I have an aunt in Austin and I love it there!

  25. Just found your blog--- I have been up for hours reading it--- wish I had found you before but glad I found you now!!! It is fine that I lost sleep to such a beautifully written life story!! Hugs--

  26. As I've said one time or a hundred, Austin is my heart city, so HECK YESSSSSSSS I am jealous. But also way deep down sooooooooooo so so so happy for you. I know you were meant to be there. I love you and I am so happy all of these things you've been hoping and praying for are becoming reality!


  27. A whole lot of this resonates with me. For you it's Austin and for me, Franklin, but so many of the same stories. I've done a Q&A with myself so many times in my head. Never have written it out. Maybe I will someday! xoxo!

  28. So excited for you and your family. You continually make me laugh.

  29. Good grief. This makes me never want to move out to the 'burb where y'all lived, which was the plan for a couple of years from now. Ha!

    Glad you are in a place where you can thrive! So important--praise God that he led you there!

  30. Oh man. We've moved approximately (I've lost count) 102382098312 times in our 10 years of marriage. This last one (about 4 months ago) was hopefully our final for a while. And the Lord has taught me SO SO SO much about frienship. I don't even know where to begin. Those moves made me GROW up in a way I didn't know was possible. So here's to moving: I hate it, but it is the very best. (We are also in a new neighborhood that is FABULOUS--playdates every day--and getting ready for some mom dates as soon as the kiddos are in school :) !)

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  32. I've been away from your blog for a longgg time, but someone reminded me of you through a link. And seeing you moved into a rental intrigued me to find out more because we are renting too now. You see, we sold the home we lived in for 7 years this summer. Well, actually the Lord sold it in 4 months, for the price we were willing to sell for, in an impossible market in our small town. We just put it on the market to see what would happen for many reasons... one being we were underwater on the mortgage, but also because we've lived here 7 years, and have no close relationships here even after 2 three year stints at churches here. And we've been driving 50 minutes to church every Sunday for over a year and to get together with friends there (since we are homeschoolers most of our friends are from church). Since we put the house on the market, God's vision for where we should be has been about as clear as mud and we've explored decisions about if we should move somewhere where my husband could go to seminary someday and what would be financially responsible for us (Big City living= higher cost everything). And now we're talking about the place we wanted to move back to 10 years ago, but there were no jobs there at that time so the door was clearly shut. So, what's my point in all this rambling? We are willing to go where the Lord sends us, we are just waiting on His clear direction and we are free from a mortgage to do this now. Obviously, He wanted to sell our home (we weren't even sure about that) and sold it in a market that other people have moved away from only to have their houses still for sale years later. And now, we wait, albeit not as patiently as we should for our next step in His journey for us. Happy for your family being able to move to Austin!



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