Going Back to our Roots

The longer I live, the more I see patterns in my life. Our biggest life changing decisions and events always seem to come in May. I have no idea why this is.

It all started thirteen years ago, in May, when Brandon bought an engagement ring. 😉

(Although, on second thought, maybe it started the May before that. . . the one where I packed up my car and left Nebraska to move back to Arkansas, in order to see if this thing with Brandon was going anywhere. 😉 )

Twelve years ago, May brought our graduation from college and our first “real” jobs in our hometown.

The following May, we quit those jobs, packed up our car, and headed to Virginia for a travel nursing gig. We left our hometown in search of adventure and never looked back. 

Eight years ago, May found us changing our lives drastically yet again, as Brandon took his oath and became an officer in the United States Air Force. Once again, we packed our bags and headed out in search of adventure.

May 2016, we decided to become hobby farmers. We spent our last night in our Mississippi home of 5 years, moved into our RV, and headed to Ohio in search of our dream farm. When we found it, we named it Benedicite, meaning “an invocation for a blessing.” We couldn’t have found a better name for our little farm. Our time there was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. 

Last May, we realized it was time to leave the farm. We realized that what we assumed was “forever” was actually just for a season. We knew we had to simplify our work load, and that we had to choose between the farm or Brandon going to graduate school. We also began to tentatively talk about moving back to Arkansas so that our kids could grow up close to family. Brandon applied for a handful of jobs in Arkansas and we decided to see what happened. Once again, this started us on a life changing course, leading us to where we are now.

This May, we decided yet again to change our lives. Exactly eleven years later, we’re moving back to our hometown.

Moving back home was not on our radar when we initially decided to move to Arkansas. We both craved mountains, nature, and beauty that our hometown simply doesn’t offer. We wanted to be within a close driving distance of our families, but we didn’t want to live there! We never even looked for a job or house there. It wasn’t in our plans. 

But then, last fall, all of our plans fell apart. The sale of our farm fell through and we subsequently lost the chance to purchase the gorgeous dream farmhouse we had found here in Little Rock. As dramatic as it may sound, we found ourselves grieving the loss of so many hopes and dreams. We regretted our decision to sell the farm, even though we still knew it was the right decision on paper. It’s impossible for me to put into words just how much our farm meant to us, how much we loved that land and lifestyle, and how painful this situation was. Yes, we made the choice to leave, but we lost part of ourselves in the process.

Then our beautiful German Shepherd was diagnosed with a terminal disease, and we were soon grieving the loss of him as well. We sat in our car after the vet gave us the news, and all I could think was, “I can’t lose anything else. I just can’t.” We lived in denial for a couple of weeks until it became painfully obvious that keeping him with us any longer was beyond selfish. Saying goodbye was still one of the hardest things we have ever done.

With broken hearts, we rented a tiny house in the city and settled in for a cold, sad winter. 

Cold and sad indeed. It was truly the hardest season of our lives. 

But the beautiful thing about life is that winter never lasts forever. Spring came, and with it, new dreams. 

Back in March, on a visit home, I said to Brandon, “You know, sometimes I think it would be really nice to just live here. Visiting is great, and I’m glad we’re just a couple of hours away, but we all enjoy being here so much that I keep wondering why we’re living in Little Rock.”

He said, “I’ve been waiting for you to say that. I’ve been thinking the same thing for a few weeks, but I didn’t want to be the first one to say it.” Of course.

We lived with that thought for awhile, quietly looking at houses online without saying anything to anyone. Then on our next visit home, we asked my Mom (a realtor, which is quite convenient!) to show us a few. On our next visit we looked at a few more. . . and finally, on May 2, I found the one. We made an offer a few days later, it was accepted, and we will be moving home this summer!

Home. It’s a crazy thing. I never thought I would call our hometown that again, but it feels right. We’re ready to put down some roots. This time, I’d like to plant a bed of asparagus that I actually get to harvest.

At least until the next adventure comes along. 😉


  • Whitney Schreck

    You are one of the bravest and most courageous people I know. You’re journey is unique, admirable and full of refreshing authenticity. My hope for you is this next chapter will provide you plenty of relaxing exhales from all the anticipatory breath holding you’ve endured the last year. Love you big.
    Always in your corner

    • Courtney

      You are so sweet, my friend. Yes, I’m hoping for plenty of relaxing exhales too! It has been a difficult year. But I’m excited about the future. Love you too. Come visit soon!

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