Well, it’s official folks! We’re Johnson City Wedding Photographers and we’re so excited about it!!
Wow. How long have I been promising this blog post?? At least since August! So, here it is friends! An update on our life these past few months! SO much has happened, I feel like it’s best to go month by month. So here goes! Oh, and if this ends up being super long, I apologize! 😉
In May Usbec and I stood in our kitchen talking about what we wanted our life to look like. Torin was 8 months old and Usbec was working 12-15 hour shifts most days. He felt like he never got to see Torin and me and it was taking a toll on him. We talked about how we’d had the same conversation about him leaving Gondolier so many times we knew it by heart. We finally decided to set a goal. Usbec said, let’s be out of Gondolier and living in Johnson City by August. I’m sure my eyes popped out of my head as I said, “That’s 3 MONTHS!!” Can we really do that? He thought for a minute and said, “Ok, March of next year. August is way too soon, we’ll be realistic about it.” Little did we know, we’d actually be in Johnson City by August!
We were watching tv late one night when Usbec handed me his phone and said, “Where is this place?” I took his phone and saw that it was Stephen’s Pizzeria. I said, “Oh, that’s off the Gray exit, like 10 minutes or less from Mom and Dad. Why?” And he said so nonchalantly, “It’s for sell.” I paused the tv and watched him as he took the phone back and looked over the details. I think I knew even then, that was our answer to prayer. I asked him what all the website said and listened as he told me everything from the number of seats it held to the asking price. I then asked him what he thought and he replied that we should look into it a little more. He sent me the website and asked me to call the number the next day to get some more details. I did and actually called multiple times over the course of a week but no one answered and no one got back to us. It got put on the back burner for a little while and in the mean time we kept praying for what God had for us.
My sister and brother-in-law went in to eat at Stephen’s one day and asked for the manager. They asked if the place was still for sell and were told that it was. They were also told that they were selling because the owners had health problems and if they knew of someone who was interested to have them call them. So, we called them a day or two later and set up a time to go and meet with them. The next week, we were sitting in Stephen’s Pizzeria meeting with Stephen and asking every question we could think of. He showed us around the restaurant and then as we stood in the parking lot thanking him for meeting with us, we told him how we felt like this was an answer to prayer and that we felt really good about this. He told us that he and his family had been praying too and had asked God to send someone who would love their employees and someone who loved the Lord and would share His love through this little business. He told us that he felt, too, like we were the ones God had brought to take his place. We left the restaurant and I asked Usbec if we should go to Dairy Queen to talk about things. As he drove, we filled the space with conversation about what kind of ice cream we were going to get. I felt like I was holding back tears and was too afraid to ask him what he thought. I knew, I KNEW this was what God had for us, but I also knew, that Usbec needed to feel good about it too. Once we got our ice cream and sat down we just looked at each other. We’d already forgotten the ice cream when Usbec said, “Well?” and at the same time I said, “So?”. My tears couldn’t be held back any longer and Usbec’s smile spread across his whole face as we both said, again at the same time, “This is it.” There have been few moments in my life where I KNEW without doubt that God was orchestrating everything that was happening and where I felt God’s hand so strongly, I’d swear He was sitting right beside me. This was one of those times.
We spent the whole month of July looking for people we needed to help us to make this work. Lawyers, financial advisors, CPAs, etc. We felt like we’d take one step forward and 4 steps back and by the end of July we realized that not only did we feel like we were in over our heads, we were also dragging our feet a little. Yes we had moved before. Yes we had bought a business before. But this was different. We had Torin now and this business would be all our own! There were no other people to do the hard work for us, no one else who’d be responsible. We were it. It was scary! And so sad to know we’d have to pack up and move out of the first house we ever owned together. Eventually though we were down to the wire. Another interested buyer had come up and they were ready to jump if we weren’t. We prayed about it again and had one more discussion to make sure we were both on the same page. Then, at the end of July, we jumped in with both feet.
On August 8th, we listed our house for sell. The next day we received 2 offers. On August 10th, we packed up most of our belongings and headed to Johnson City. We closed on the restaurant that afternoon. Saturday we went back to Knoxville to pick up a few more things and accepted one of the offers on our house. And on Monday, Usbec started work at Stephen’s Pizzeria! We moved in with Mom and Dad until we could find a house here. I’m so grateful they let us stay with them. I think it ended up being about 7 or 8 weeks. We had a lot of fun living there but it was also one of the most stressful times of our lives. I can’t begin to describe the amount of stress we had. Half of our belongings were shuffled around in every room of Mom and Dad’s house and the other half were still in Knoxville or in our cars. Torin was still nursing but was slowly weaning himself (which was extremely heartbreaking to me). He also had almost a two week stretch where he was waking up in the night for an hour and a half to two hours at a time. He didn’t need to eat. Didn’t want to play. Just wanted one of us in there to hold him and if we tried to leave or tried to sleep, he’d cry. Torin had NEVER done that before, so it was difficult to adjust to anyways. We were sleep deprived, we were running everywhere. I don’t think I’ve had that many appointments in one year, let alone in a 7 week time period. And we had NO CLUE what we were doing! There was SO much to figure out and to learn and we’d lay awake at night and cry as we prayed and asked God to just help us through it. This all might be too personal, but we’re on the other side of it now and I can say God did see us through it. That season of our lives was one of the toughest ever. We didn’t handle things with as much grace as we’d have liked to, but we learned a lot from it. We know with absolute certainty that God brought us here. And despite how awful the transition was at times, we’re so thankful He did!
On September 13th we closed on our new house! For a few days we owned 2 houses and so that was a little stressful! Haha! On September 17th though we officially sold our house in Knoxville. Ya’ll, that was one of the hardest things about this whole move. I mean, I felt so sad. I cried a lot of tears over leaving that house. It was where we brought Torin home for the first time! It was where we found out we were pregnant. It was the first place Quimby had really loved from the moment we moved in. It was our first home together. Man, that was hard to leave. So, very hard. But, the house we’re in now, we love even more! It feels so cozy and so warm and we are absolutely LOVING making it our own. Usbec has a huge garage where he’s already built so many things! I’ll have to do a blog post just on the things he’s made soon! 🙂 And we have a basement!! Which also has an extra room in it that’s the office. I no longer have my office in the spare bedroom!!! It’s awesome!! Plus, it’s only 10 minutes from family and we love that we get to see them all the time! Before we moved, we celebrated Torin’s first birthday at Mom and Dad’s with a Mexican Fiesta and that was so much fun!!
We’ve settled in quite nicely! We got to celebrate our first Christmas in this house and that was so much fun! Usbec replaced the carpet downstairs with hardwood and now we’ve made it into the coziest movie room! The restaurant is going great! Usbec has a much nicer schedule now and gets to spend a lot of time with us!! I run the backend of the business and have figured out how to do all of it! So things are running smoothly now! And we’re not near as stressed!! This move was a long time in the making. Something we have prayed about since before we were ever married! We are so thankful and so excited! Thank you to all of you who prayed along with us! We’re grateful for each of you! If you’re ever in the area, stop by Stephen’s Pizzeria!! 🙂
And because I can’t post this life update without some photos of our new house, here it is!
That’s it!! I may have left out a few of the rooms, but these are the most used rooms in the house! We love our new home and this new season of life we’re in! If you made it to the end of this one, thanks for reading! 🙂
January 21, 2019