Thistlewood Farms:  The House Tour and the Beginning

Thistlewood Farms: The House Tour and the Beginning

PicMonkey-Collage-House-Tour I totally feel a little Robert Frost-like today.

“I shall be telling this with a sigh.

Somewhere ages and ages hence…

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I….I took the one less traveled by.

And that made all the difference.”

It’s true.

We are walking on the road less traveled.  You know…the one with horse barns and cows and acres and acres of green pastures and hay trucks and miles of fresh air.

That road.

And I love it…..but did you ever wonder how we got here?

It’s simple.

We closed our eyes and held on tight to each other and stepped out on faith…..

…..and jumped.

Butlers_Pantry2[1]

I’ve told the story before.

And I’ll be telling it….“ages and ages hence.”

If you’ve heard it already….know that I adore you and your incredible patience.

If you are new here….I hope you enjoy our story.

I wrote this post is for everyone who ever dreamed about taking a leap into the unknown.

Family Room

This is the story of our dream.

You see….we lived in the hustle bustle world of a big city with all the lights and fanfare that a big city has to offer.  There were restaurants and shops and movies and plays and museums and malls and lots and lots and lots of stuff.

And everywhere you looked, there were people pushing and shoving and climbing to the top, arms overflowing with everything they could grab and hold onto.

And my husband was on the fast-track in a tall skyscraper in the middle of that big city with all of its fast-paced allure and overwhelming responsibilities.  And although we were happy with our hustle bustle lifestyle….we were so busy. 

Maybe too busy.

Too busy for each other.

Too busy for our family.

  Kitchen_Thistlewood_Farm

But amidst all of that busy….was a dream.

A dream of a place where life was simpler.

A place where our children could run and breathe and grow without all of the constraints of an overwhelmingly fast-paced lifestyle.

A place where the all of the busy and the hustle and bustle and the noise and the clamor could end in a screeching stand-still.

 

A place where you could see the star

Fireplace With Baskets  But the merry-go-round was spinning faster and faster.

Life was becoming one giant blur, sailing by at lightning fast speed.

And we felt like we spent all of our time and energy just trying to keep up.

Gray Hutch

Then one day in church, the pastor preached a sermon entitled, “Just Jump.”  He spoke of listening to your heart and the Lord and if you felt like there was an insurmountable dream….you shouldn’t let the “no’s” overwhelm you….you should take a leap of faith…..

….and jump.

And we heard his words and they spoke to the very center of our hearts.

And we wanted to jump as far and as fast as we could.

Dining_Room

But we were afraid.

We were so scared.

We couldn’t just jump off the merry-go-round.

Or could we? 

Spring_Master_Bedroom

The doubts were swirling around and around in our heads.

But there it was…..a still small voice saying…..

                                                          …..“jump.”

Not “jump” in all caps, but “jump” in tiny, small, timid, little letters.

  Painted-Gray-Armoire

And so we did……

…..jump, that is.

We jumped from the hustle and bustle and busy to a still, quiet, beautiful countryside with acres and acres of land to run and play and….

…..breathe.

Blue_and_White_Curtains

It has been six years since that first jump and our family continues to grow and thrive.  The move has had its challenges and blessings.

Sometimes I miss the hustle and bustle.

I miss the convenience of a drive-thru diet coke.  And sometimes it’s a little hard when everyone knows your name (and all your business).

Truthfully, sometimes I miss the busy.

And then I walk outside on a crisp, clear, June night….take a deep breath….

…..and I see the stars.

PS  To see the rest of the house tour….click here.

PPS  My wonderful, incredible friend, Gina from Shabby Creek Cottage is having a link party today to showcase everyone’s house tours.

I’m also sharing this over at Kim’s.

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Comments

  1. What a beautiful story and a beautiful home!

  2. I have always admired your home. It looks expensive yet welcoming and interesting in it’s details. What a great story teller you are.

  3. Le plus beau décor que j’ai vu. Magnifique!

  4. I love your home and your story. You are so brave for making the decision to leave the city and for actually doing it! It looks like it was such a wise choice for your family. Now will you please come to Michigan and fix my house?

  5. I have read this before, but I loved reading it again. It is an inspiring story. One that many people feel like they can’t do. I might be one of those…but it’s all good. I will live vicariously through you!

  6. Well, I have visited you many, many times but had never heard your story. Thanks for sharing it- it is scary to take those leaps-how well I know. But….what a blessing the Lord had in store for you. I love it- xo Diana

  7. I love your home…and your story. We have lived in the country since we married over twenty years ago. I don’t regret one moment of bringing my children up on a farm. The memories and time spent there are priceless…and can’t be replaced by any convenience of town life. You did the right thing…and your home is gorgeous! Thanks for sharing!~Tammy

  8. If you don’t mind my asking, what kind of job did your husband have that you could just “jump” and move to the country? Did he keep the same job or was it a change in his occupation also? I so enjoy your blog. Thank you for sharing.

  9. I love this story, Karianne! Someday soon we’ll be jumping too. I’m really, really looking forward to seeing those stars :)
    xoxo, Andrea

  10. I jumped off 32 years ago when Los Angeles sweetheart married Small Town Boy.

    Bliss

  11. I love your story – and your beautiful home. Life does move pretty fast and I think it’s wonderful that you found the place you are supposed to be! Have a wonderful weekend!
    -Shelley

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story along with your beautiful home! Your heart is so big that it is amazing, and I adore you for it!

    Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks (!?!) at Haven!

  13. Love your story and your home. I have some of the same white cups, plates, etc.with grapes on them. They belonged to my grandmother.

  14. Such a beautiful home and a beautiful story! Everytime I read it, I just want to sit down with you and hear more details as I know there have to many more to tell. Have a beautiful and blessed weekend, Karianne!~~Angela

  15. This has always been one of my favorite posts. Mostly because not everyone “gets” us. Heck, our kids want to outright throttle us right now as they are about to be taken away from the life they know for something only their parents can visualize. It’s not easy taking that leap and it’s even harder when your feet are still up in the air before they’ve hit the other side. But it’s worth it. Every time it’s worth it. But you get it. You totally get it. And that is a true comfort to me. Truly. ❈

  16. Your home just amazes me! We’ve been in our current home one year and it seems that I’m so slow. How do you choose all of your accessories and where on earth do you find them out in the country?

  17. Amazing home and amazing story! Couldn’t be more touching. :)

  18. I sooo loved reading your story again. I go to your blog every day!!! Not kidding :) I was born & raised on farm in Arkansas. Have never lived in a big city. You are such an inspiration. Have a great weekend!

  19. You have such a lovely sense of style! Beautiful home! xox

  20. Kari-Anne, your home is stunning! Enjoyed reading about your leap of faith as well. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  21. I’d be curious to know if your husband switched occupations or if he commutes to the city? And I’d love to know the paint color in your room with the GROCERY sign. It’s so soothing. I love the gray door with that color.

  22. Beautiful Home..Love your story..Have a great weekend

  23. We’ve “jumped” a lot through the years with hubby’s job and I know my life is enriched for it. How sad I think it is that when that voice says jump, some people hesitate. I’ve always looked at it as an opportunity to see another part of this beautiful country. Fingers crossed, we may make that jump again if we sell our home. Your home is so inviting, warm and welcoming. XOXO

  24. I love this story no matter how many times I’ve read it. You have such a positive attitude but I know it wasn’t easy or without fears. Your home is beautiful, your projects divine, but most of all, you are genuine and that’s what we all love. Looking forward to my blog review next week!

  25. Oh sweet lady, we are similar.

    You will never regret jumping. The heart beats of our story is so much the same, but with a tiny different detour. We jumped from WI to NC with my parents and my brothers/spouses and bought land together.

    Our jump from the big suburbia living to a generational “homestead” is nearing two decades now. The Lord has seen us through many growing pains, but it’s so exciting when the first of the “kids” (my niece) has just gotten married and wanting to pick out a place to build their own house on this jumping land of ours.

    I envision that crafting house with some of your grand babies in it. :) (But now, we’re just getting ahead of ourselves.) It sure does go fast though, doesn’t it?

  26. Sometimes your posts make me giggle. Sometimes they make me smile, take a deep breath, and sigh with contentment. This was that time. Thank you for sharing of YOURSELF in your posts. Somehow, I think if you hadn’t “jumped,” we wouldn’t have the joy of knowing you. :)

    Have a fantastic, sunshine-filled day!

  27. KariAnne, I never get tired of hearing you tell a story, or seeing your beautiful home. Do you write books, I think that may be a gift you’ve been given. Love all of your stories. You have such a wonderful quality about you, that just makes others feel good. Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend.
    Jeannie

  28. What great story!! Your home is so gorgeous and welcoming, it makes me want to sit and have a glass of iced tea or wine and read a book.

    Cynthia

  29. Debbie Holt :

    I love your posts, and your home. I have very similar tastes. What wall color did you use in the room with the “grocery” sign? I’m looking for a creamy color with yellow undertones and just can’t find the right one.

  30. I love your home and all that it inspires. We also made the jump almost eight years ago. From a DC suburb to an island on the Chesapeake Bay. We bought a house built in 1891. One day I hope it looks like yours! Thank you!

  31. I am looking for my place to jump to, now. I am using you for inspiration, sweet friend, xo Laura

  32. I love this! I have house dreams that I really hope happen some day and when the time is right, I think I’ll just do what you did and jump right into my dream. Great post :)

  33. The most beautiful house (and home) in Blogland – hands down!! Love you

  34. Your house is gorgeous and your fearless “jump” is inspiring! I cannot wait to meet you at Haven.

  35. Your house is one of my favorites in blogland. You have such wonderful taste. We have lived both lives and when it comes down to it I prefer the slower life and time with family. Nothing is more precious then time with those you love. Money is temporary status leaves but Family is forever. There are things I miss about living in a bigger city and things I don’t and vise versa for a small town. God brings nice people wherever you are and it is a risk. At times I have felt like I was a corporate missionary going to meet and befriend people wherever the Lord took us. I don’t like being so busy that I miss doing this because of such a demanding job. Your kids will remember your love and your time. I love your sign “I Hope You Dance” Can I ask were you got that from?

  36. I love your story…I am glad to read it again! I am glad you jumped in ;)

  37. Thanks for sharing your story and your house. You are living my dream in the country… with horses in the back yard. ONE OF THESE DAYS PERHAPS. In the mean time I will live vicariously through your blog!!

  38. What a beautiful and inspiring story! We moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta a couple years ago, but I don’t think that jump was quite far enough and we are itching to jump a little further next time :) Thank you for sharing your story and your home. I really enjoy the stories you tell and the way you write. Have you ever thought about writing a book?
    ~Katie

  39. I never tire of looking at your beautiful home, Karianne! It looks full of comfort and love. Great inspiration for following your dreams. I think that first step is the most difficult but “the jump” can surely be worth it!

  40. Lovely!

  41. You know that I love you, but know I love you even more! How did you know that we are battling with this very same thing! Thank you for sharing your heart today. You have made my day better. I so wish that we were neighbors-we would be awesome together!

    Happy Weekend!

  42. I so love your story. My parents were “jumpers” and I pray that when we hear the whisper we will be brave enough to jump too. ♥

  43. I never tire of reading your story, Kari ~ the gift of a simpler life that you’re giving your children is priceless and will keep giving back to you and yours forever. We’re inching ever closer to our own JUMP as our kids are growing up and leaving us… our goal is a simple life to share with our someday grandbabies. :) In the meantime, could I come hang out with you for a spell?? ;-)
    xo Heidi

  44. I love hearing your story Karianne! And always love seeing pictures of your beautiful home as well, it’s perfection! Have a great weekend!

  45. An oldie but a goodie! I always enjoy your house tour!

    :) Linda

  46. You jumped through that hoop of fire and made it out to the other side of a bucolic life of family and home….and you have made such a beautiful home and life together with your hubby and raising your family “down the road less traveled”….Just love seeing your home Kari….Have a great weekend!

  47. You have such a gorgeous home Karianne! You’ve done a beautiful job designing and decorating! Thank you for sharing it!

  48. i adore you. no, really. i do. the leaps — -taking those leaps and jumping out of faith. not knowing the road ahead or the outcome or the destination but letting God lead… because being in the wrong place is still being in the wrong place!

    love this story. so glad you share all of your stories.

  49. Isn’t the country wonderful? For all the reasons you listed. . and more. I have lived in both places and LOVE the country. My favorite part here in Lancaster County, PA. is the Amish horse and buggy’s that pass by the house on a daily basis. The sound of horses hooves is still one of my favorites. Make it a great day, my friend.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  50. What a blessing a “jump” can be! Life to the full! Melissa

  51. awesome story that resonates deeply with me at this point in time…thank you.

  52. I’d read this story over and over… because truthfully getting to the busy of where we are is the furthest from our own dream but it’s closer to home than we were… So I am waiting on the Lord to allow us that jump!! And I will wait and wait, for His timing is better than my own!! Enjoy your stars!! And as always your home is beautiful!!!

  53. Two of my favorite quotes…
    Jump and the net will appear. Burrows
    “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!” Goethe

  54. Oh Karianne, you ALWAYS inspire me. This post is …..I don’t have a word. I have to say though, that my HUBBY is the one who FINALLY jumped. I had been NAGGING him for at least 15 years to move. He HATED the idea. We had been in our home for 29 years, had COMPLETE privacy but I was LONELY!!!! Finally we did it, took that leap of faith and it IS the best thing we did in MANY years. Our story is not typical, lots of STORIES and baggage here…… so being here is GOOD for us. I love your story, your BEAUTIFUL home. and would be willing to BRIN G you the soda from the drove through!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XO, Pinky

  55. We are celebrating our 37th Anniversary this month and have just “jumped” or started a new journey into a new “forever” home to us… it is 44 years old and has not been decorated since then, so we are taking a BIG leap of faith that we are up to the task and have come a long way in a short amount of time, but I need to “Pendra-ize lots and lots more! Thanks for all your inspiration, there is not a room in your home that wouldn’t be a dream come true for me!
    Hugs,
    Pendra

  56. Graceful and beautiful. Inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story, your dream. I won’t soon forget Jump.

  57. Karianne, I have always adored your home, I can imagine myself living there, got a spare bedroom?

  58. I love it. I love everything about it, especially that you were obedient, and God blessed that!!

    Anna :)

  59. Gosh, a pastor could lose a congregation fast that way! = D

    Loved this story of how you came to be a country gal.

  60. We made “the jump” two years ago from Toronto to a small town. We live in town so still have some of the conveniences like drive-through cokes, but the change has been immense. From corporate world flying all over the nation to full time home renovator, gardener and blogger. Life is grand.

  61. How sweet and whimsical your description of your decision. Your home is staged beautifully, like a catalogue…so where do the kids live and touch things and spill things and make the memories? As a young mom, I wanted white furniture with jewel tone accents. My mother, now 91, warned me then: children never throw up where they are supposed to. So I switched to pretty chintzes when pregnant with my 2nd child, because she was right :) These pictures are such a lovely retreat and you are so creative, it encourages all your blog fans. So happy you get what so many of us would like, space, quieter living, and cleaner air. Blessings to you:)

  62. Beautiful! I’m so glad you jumped!

  63. Gorgeous pictures of your beautiful home, so glad you decided to take the jump! ~Diane

  64. I enjoyed your story. I know that when you hear that voice you have to follow and I know you are happy you did. Your house is so lovely. Dianntha

  65. We don’t have a lot of things in my small town. But I wouldn’t change it. I grew up in the hustle bustle of Southern California. With everything within arms reach. I don’t miss it. At all.
    Life in my little town is just perfect for our family.

  66. Beautiful home…and story. So glad you JUMPED :)

  67. How about a room for your little o’l friend from Boston? :)

  68. love your home…never get tired of hearing your story.

  69. As just one of your raving fans, I can say that our lives have all been blessed by your “jump”. Thank you for being brave, for taking a chance, for putting it all out there for us to see. You are one crazy amazing lady!

    Take care,

    Trish

  70. I love this! Your story and beautiful home are both inspiring!

  71. I just adore how you write… I feel like I went on the journey with you. And of course your home is gorgeous!

  72. Seriously beautiful! Your home and your story. Thank you for sharing your inspiration Karianne, all around. :)

  73. KariAnne! Your house is just breathtaking! It’s so gorgeous!

  74. Your home and your story are so interesting and such a fabulous reminder to listen to the still small voice of the Lord. I would love for you to link to my ongoing party “Inspire Me”. – - -http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/06/168th-inspire-me-tuesday.html This is truly an inspiring post. Hugs, Marty

  75. You, my friend, are quite the awesome story teller. I just want to hear more and more. And when it comes to your house, well more is not enough either. How blessed you are to live in such a dream home. xxoo

    PLEASE come over and share your post at our Home{work} Wednesday Linky Party. :)

    xxoooooo

  76. Your home is lovely and your story is even more beautiful. Sometimes the BUSY drowns out the still quiet voice of God. I’m still learning how to quiet myself so I can hear, while living amongst the noise and chaos.

  77. I feel the serenity and happiness ooze from your pictures.Your home is beautiful and your story is heartwarming and inspiring.

  78. Simply….beautiful

  79. I’m so glad you and your family took the ‘jump’ Karianne, not only for your family’s happiness but also so that I could get to know you, my sweet friend!! ‘Two roads diverged in a wood’ is one of my personal favorite poems; being a military family we walk along the ‘road less travelled’ as well! It’s a great road to be on in life! Your home is absolutely stunning KariAnne – every little detail, I can tell, you put a lot of thought into! Building such a cozy and gorgeous ‘nest’ for your family is a marvelous achievement, our families are the most important thing in life! xo Heather

  80. Your home….your story….always a pleasure and a pure joy to tour. I absolutely adore your style Karianne and your talents.

  81. I love this post…your story is inspiring…JUMP…love that! Your house looks so soothing and beautiful…you must love looking at it everyday. Come link up to centerpiece Wed. And share this post on my blog http://thestylesisters.blogspot.com/2013/06/dr-suess-party-and-centerpiece-wednesday.html
    Karin

  82. Lovely story. We too jumped off the band wagon and found our little piece of the dream in Northern Michigan. It takes a lot of faith and a lot of brave, and for some reason, not everyone makes it. Congratulations on making it!

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