In 2017 Larry and I were planning our October wedding, excited to add a new chapter in our lives. Our boys were 9 and 12 at the time, and we held a dream of finding a bigger home for our family on enough land to start a farm. We knew it would take time and that we would have to be patient, diligent and keep planning. So we started outlining a 5 year plan to get us there.
What unfolded next was surely fate and to this day it's hard to believe that the beautiful farm we call home is ours.
In August, Larry and the boys were driving to East Jordan, just north of Mancelona, he missed his turn and his GPS re-calculated the route, taking him past a large white farmhouse with a “For Sale” Sine in the yard.
He couldn't get the house out of his mind. Two weeks later, when we were in Mancelona again, he headed toward the house without saying a word. We pulled in the drive and it was perfect. An old farmhouse with a big wrap around porch and outbuildings. It was everything we dreamed of and more. We fell in love with it.
On the way back to Traverse City, Caitlin tracked down the listing and our hearts sank. There was no way we could afford the house and we just weren’t ready. We knew better. We knew it was silly of us to look at the home and get excited, but Caitlin couldn't let it go. The home just kept tugging at her heartstrings. What was the worst that could happen?
Caitlin contacted a friend and realtor to see what we should do, and also set up a walkthrough of the property. We started working with lenders and as we were driving out to walk through the house and see the farm, we were pre-approved.
As we walked through the home, we fell even more in love. The boys started picking out their bedrooms. Could we really do this? We wondered. No one else had put an offer in on the property…it had been on the market for over a year. It felt like it had been built just for us. So we went for it.
STEP BY STEP
We couldn't have imagined the emotional roller coaster that came next. Between mountains of paperwork, crazy deadlines and wedding planning, we were overwhelmed. But we couldn’t give up. Caitin took it one thing, on deadline at a time.
We started planning for the farm and Caitlin carried a copy of the listing with her. We held our breath through every hurdle offer, counter offer, negotiations, and home inspections. We grappled with what to do with our current home, navigated mortgage insurance and possible signing dates. But one step at a time, we made it though.
FIVE DAYS IN OCTOBER
Our signing date was scheduled for October 1st, four days before our wedding. Larry and I had both requested that week off of work to focus on the wedding, and it was going to be a packed few days. Literally
They were a whirlwind. On October 1st we drove out to Mancelona and signed a mountain of papers and received the keys to the house. We rented a U-Haul on October 2nd after we sent the boys off to school and we got to work packing up our home. Caitlin's parents arrived that afternoon to help and the boys pitched in once they got home from school.
When we finally finished packing, we headed toward the farm house. We were all exhausted and excited, including our cat Percy who meowed and cried the whole drive “home”.
UNPACKED AND WRAPPED UP
As we pulled into the Farmhouse we realized that if we wanted to sleep comfortably that night, we had to unpack the truck entirely as we had packed our beds first….we unpacked like crazy people, putting boxes anywhere and everywhere to be sorted later. The next day we returned the U-haul, then divided and conquered. We prepared our old home for sale, packed and moved the last of our things, started unpacking our new home and wrapped up the last wedding details.
HOME SWEET FARMHOUSE
On October 4th we left for our wedding in Traverse City, and we said “I Do” on the 5th. It was an exhausting few months and a jam packed five days, but amazingly we did it.
We took our five year plan and fit it into five days. It was incredible to come home to our beautiful farm and start living the life that just months before had been our ultimate dream.
We started our farm that month with the purchase of our first pig and her litter of piglets and we haven't looked back.