Our marriage has been a tale of two houses.
We moved into our current house just over two years ago. And we can’t express how much we LOVE it! It was made for us! No, literally, it was made for us. We had it built just for us! It’s something we pray we will never take for granted. “Blessed” doesn’t even begin to describe our emotions in relation to our outlook on life. But before we get to far with our current house, let us give you a little backstory on our first house.
When we got engaged in November of 2011, we made a pretty quick decision that we were going to be looking to buy a house until that was no longer a realistic option. Remember when I said “blessed” doesn’t cover it? Well, we graduated college – both of us! – with no debt. Zero. None. Zilch. It’s a rarity in today’s world and one we do not take lightly. But because we had no debt, we were able to consider buying a house for when we were married.
And it didn’t take long before we found the perfect house. We mean perfect. The layout was exactly what we wanted. Very little work was needed. Great location. No cat smell (super high priority). Boom. Let’s do it! So we placed an offer on the house. Side note: This was about 5 months before our wedding. Plenty of time right? Oh wait. Did we mention it was a short sale? If you don’t know anything about a short sale, google it. But for right now, all you need to know is that it can take a really long time to process and at the end of it all, your offer can still be denied.
Fast forward 4 and a half months. And you guessed it. Offer denied. They decided to let the house go into foreclosure and we lost our perfect (we thought at the time) first home. We had 2 choices at that time: Rent or keep looking. We decided that if we could find another place we liked – even if it wasn’t a place we loved as much as the first one – we would consider that path over renting.
Well lo and behold we found one! 3 weeks before our wedding, we found one. 3. Weeks.
We closed a week later. Oh did we mention that it needed a ton of work? New floors, new cabinets. New paint. New carpets (after the water pipe burst and ruined the carpet 2 days after we closed). And we were getting married in 2 weeks!!! Yikes!
To make a very long story slightly shorter, we completed the renovations (wow…we just cut out a ton of happenings) and we were able to move all of our stuff in just in time!
When we returned from our honeymoon a few weeks later, Alyssa began decorating. She loves to decorate. She used our time in that house to find her style. But we knew we wouldn’t be there long. And as our business grew, so did our need for a business space. We were meeting with couples in our living room! And to show our wedding work, we hung our favorite portraits on the walls. We lived with pictures of other people on our walls for a year! And finally, we moved.
We built a beautiful house with a perfect space for meeting our couples and we LOVE it!!! We tell you this whole story to show you that it was no easy task to get to where we are now. And we are forever grateful for the blessings we have. One of our greatest joys is to share our home with our couples and our family and friends! We know we have been given this home to share with others.
One of Alyssa’s greatest joys is taking this house and turning it into a home. We may only be able to do one room at a time because of budget and time restraints, but maybe that’s better. Alyssa gets to put more time, energy and love into each detail. Decorations don’t make a home. We know that. But the love and care we put into each room makes it a home.
One of the first rooms we were able to complete was our guest room (see above). We believe that opening our home to others is one of the reasons we have been blessed with #thenicholsplace. By completing our guest room, we can create a more enjoyable experience for those who come to our home!
One of our most recently completed rooms is our great room. The great room encompasses a huge portion of our home: Kitchen, Dining, Living, and Entrance! It’s still somewhat of a work in progress but it has come a long way!
We will continue to decorate #thenicholsplace. That might be a never-ending project. But one thing is for sure. We want it to be a home that’s always open to family, friends, our couples and anyone we can serve. Because it’s not about us. It’s a gift that was given to us. And we pray that we will always share it with others. Alyssa will always get joy (and Ryan secretly will too) from putting up another print or choosing the perfect chair for the room. But at the end of the day, it’s less about what hangs in the walls and more about the moments that happen within the walls of #thenicholsplace.