Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Our Home Journey… Dwelling Two

Catch Up

Just a little journey through our 6 homes in 6 years! :)

Intro and Dwelling One

Now it is time to tell you about...

Dwelling Two

The Married on Campus Housing
(aka married dorm)

Six months into our marriage I came home one day and Andrew said, "I think that I am called to go into ministry, that we need to move somewhere so I can go to seminary."  This was not the plan when we got married, but to be totally honest, I was not surprised.  I even asked Andrew before we got married if he was sure he was not called into vocational ministry.  But even with my early suspicions, it was a HUGE transition.  I had already signed a contract to teach another year in Georgia, so after some prayer we decided we would remain in Georgia another year, Andrew would take online classes while working and we would move the next summer to… New Orleans.

The most ironic part of moving to New Orleans is that we both said that we would NEVER live there… funny how when you say those things they tend to happen.  Anyways… we moved one hot July day (why have almost all of our moves happened during the summer?) to the campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  We moved into the married family housing… aka dorms for married people.  We went from a 1100 square foot town home to a 500 square foot dorm.  Size was not the only shocker, upon our arrival we were greeted with the most sterile uninviting white walls and linoleum floors.  Seriously, I wish I had a before picture, because it was overwhelming.  I know several girls that have cried upon moving in and I don't think Andrew's parent actually wanted to leave us there. 
An after decorating shot… even the most uninviting places can become an inviting home with a little bit of effort.
The apartment had two small rooms… a living room/dining room/ kitchen and a bedroom… and one seriously old bathroom. The living room just barely fit our gigantic sofas we bought previously, but they worked well because they maximized the seating in our little apartment.  This may sound crazy, but I remember a few football games that we fit 15-20 people in this tiny space.

Our small kitchen in all its glory!
Officially, the kitchen had less than a foot of counter space, no drawer big enough for silverware and no place to put pots and pans… so we just had to improvise.  Luckily when we were moving in there was another family moving out that had built a "counter" where the fridge went and we used that and pulled the fridge out and put it against the wall.  We add red a curtain to the new "counter" and stored our pots and pans underneath… viola, super compact usable kitchen!

To me the bedroom was normal size, there just wasn't room to fit anything extra and we could even walk into our closet… so this room was easy!

The bathroom?  Blue tile that has been around for 50 years?  Yes.  A tub that I was scared to take a bath in? Yes.  No storage?  Yes.  But we got creative, added storage and I just skipped baths while we lived… a small sacrifice!

All in all we made this home work and I would even venture to say it was the coziest place we have lived.  I still look back at these pictures and loved how it turned out.  It was interesting, because even though we downsized we still had to buy a few things to make the space work.  But we also sold things we did not need anymore… so maybe we broke even.  

This second home just felt like it was ours, I still miss it!

We learned…

A picture from our New Orleans days at a parade during Mardi Gras (yes Mardi Gras can be family friendly and is loads of fun… but that is a post for another time :)).

*We did not need near as much space as we thought we did.
*We could indeed live in New Orleans (and in fact we enjoyed it quite a bit).
*We could make it in a new place on our own.
*Even in a smaller space you may have to get a few new things… every space is different.
*When you downsize you will sell/get rid of a lot of things (and store a bunch of things at your in-laws:))
*You can still entertain… even when your space is small.
*Get creative, you can make any space work.
*Linoleum floors are the pits (but not the worst… I will share that with you at a later date), but area rugs can do wonders.
*You can survive without a dishwasher and garbage disposal.  We even did not have a washer or dryer… coin laundry was our BFF.
*Bring people you love into your home often… it makes it feel like home! :)

What have your learned from your past homes?



  1. Love this! Early married stories are some of my favorites :)

    1. Yss… oh the fun of the early days… and how crazy it is that we are technically no longer in the early days!!!!

  2. I love it! The life of the Seminarian. We lived in 6 different places in 5 1/2 years, but stayed in the 6th home 10 years and the next 16 years. Life is an adventure! :-)

    1. It really is! I imagine it will be like that for us now as we buy our first home… but who knows!

  3. You made it look SO cozy! Even the framed picture and vase of flowers on top of your bathroom storage is a simple touch that makes a big difference. I never think to do stuff like that! Come decorate for me! ;)

    1. Christy… I would love too! I just feel like I have to make it homey. But really your house always looks great :)