This month brought about so much change for us. If you’ve been keeping up with us, you’ll likely have heard that we were blessed with the opportunity to move into a house unexpectedly, so our month has been busy with sudden packing and moving, and doing our best to settle in once more. I’m not sure I’ll have tons to say in this journal, because honestly I’m just exhausted and not feeling terribly inspired at the moment, but I can promise the usual: lots of photos… So do read on!
Moving is always a drag, but when you’ve moved together like Taylor and I have as a couple twelve times just since we met six years ago, it’s morphed into something else entirely. Detestation, possibly? Some moves were happy (moving in together as newlyweds), some were difficult (unsteady housing situations as a missionary family), but God has always provided.
Through it all though, I’ve always dreamed of not exactly that “forever home” so many Americans work towards, but really just a dream of finally staying in one place for a decade or so. Actual unpacking of things in their entirety. Throwing away all the boxes, because you really aren’t going to be using them in the foreseeable future, even far, far out. A deep settling as a family and the shaping of a home together.
I’ve waited for that home since I first met Taylor and fell in love, anticipating the unfolding of our lives together. I’ve waited for that home as I’ve carried and birthed two babies now. I’ve waited for that home as I’ve moved back and forth across oceans, as we slowly have figured out this whole “life in ministry” thing that is so, so confusing at times, and never really straightforward.
And suddenly that dream was just dropped in our lap. I wasn’t truly looking for it yet, just hoping for one day. Dreaming of getting out of our third story apartment, having our own garden and yard, the kids having their own rooms (we were all four of us crammed into one bedroom there), and dreaming of a private study/office for Taylor and his work.
The opportunity arose, things moved quickly, and now we live in an actual house! No shared space with neighbours, our own yard, enough room for us all to grow into, so no need to move ever again really, as long as we intend to stay in this city (which is indefinite, at this point).
It’s overwhelming, because a month ago I never would have anticipated these dreams of mine coming true. Yet here we are! There are three bedrooms, so enough room for all of us as needed. Cassian’s still bunking with us for now. But Margot has her own room for the first time in her life. Which feels weird… but not as weird as now waking up to her standing over me each night at 2am chattering quietly (okay, creepily) and needing to be ushered back to bed in her own room. ha! She’s adjusting, but she loves her new “Margot’s own room!”, and private play-space full of books, lego blocks, a doll house, and more.
I walk around our new place just amazed we are paying the same rent here that we did for our tiny apartment. The house is so spacious that there are many stretches of bare, blank wall that need some filling in. But we’ll slowly add here and there over the coming months. We are in no rush now though, because we have our own place. So no matter how long it takes to finally get bed-frames so we can stop sleeping with mattresses on the floor or to get the stacks of books off the floor everywhere finally onto actual bookshelves or to get bathroom mirrors, it’s all worth it in the end. Our hearts are just bursting with gratitude. God provides. And often when you were least expecting it.
One of the biggest highlights of this home is the lovely garden in the back. We have so many plans for planting and designing a garden next spring, and creating a fun play-space for the kids as well. I think the greatest aspect of our yard though is how accessible it is. In our old apartment it would take quite a bit of effort to get the kids dressed in the right clothes for the weather and then down all those flights of stairs, while juggling toys and drinks and such. And then our old yard itself was quite beautiful, but not entirely safe for kids. There were many steep hills that would quickly drop off into bushes and thorns, and a sharp drop off from an overhang too. So it required constant eyes on them at all times, since the kids are so young.
This new yard is just so lovely though. Perfectly safe and enclosed. And so easy to get outdoors! The entire back wall of our little house is just glass windows and doors, covering that side of the kitchen and the living room too, so we can always get outside quickly.
That first week we after we moved in was that special last golden week October usually contains, where the sun and the earth are giving each other one last embrace. The kids played outside in their new yard for about 3-6 hours a day for that week, truly. It as wonderful. The perfect welcoming gift from our new home. We ran around barefoot and soaked up the last of the warm rays of light, exploring every nook of the garden together.
The weather has now turned quite cold though, but we got a taste of what life will look like here in warmer months, and I must say that I’m already eagerly anticipating Spring and summer next year!
I’m sure quite a few of you remember that when Taylor and I first got married we adopted a couple of Pugs from a dog rescue organization. They were both saved from awful circumstances. We loved those dogs dearly and had every intention of bring them here to Hungary with us. However, it took a bit longer to get here than expected back then, and the female, Hazelnut, was getting older and older and we were concerned about her doing well with the flight over and adjusting to life here. And the male, Humphrey, was just so traumatized from his early years, that he never fully adjusted to life outside of the puppy mill. We ended up making the hard decision of returning Humphrey to find a home where he could have the constant (and I mean constant) care that he required. Hazelnut was taken by Taylor’s sister, where she is living out her days in comfort and love. We even got to visit her once! I miss my little Pugs so much!
All that to say. We’re a dog family. We love animals. We’ve wanted to get a dog over here for some time, but always said it was just not going to happen while living on a third story apartment. I don’t know about you, but the thought of walking a dog up and down that many stairs that many times per day just to go potty… yeah, not happening. At least not while having kids this young and trying to juggle all of them.
So as soon as we found out we were moving to a new house with our own garden, we immediately started entertaining the thought of getting a dog! We were so excited! Maybe it’s a lot at once, but we don’t mind the extra work. We’re in constant chaos mode anyways with a one year old and a three year old already. So we started looking around at Whippets available nearby. They’re the sweetest dogs, really great with kids, gentle, and just big couch potatoes after they get one decent stretch of exercise per day. So that kind of dog would fit in so well with us! We love our time out in nature walking for a long while, and then cuddling up at home to read or do some other quiet activity.
We soon found a litter of Whippet puppies and Taylor drove out to see them. He brought home a sweet little female puppy, who we named Twig! She’s really mild-mannered and adjusting so well. She’s doing great with house-training, honestly a lot better than I thought things would go. We love her so much already! We decided to get a puppy because the small size would be less intimidating for the kids, especially Margot since she is a bit wary of dogs at times. She gave us permission to get a dog as long as it’s a “quiet dog”. And Twig surely is.
Other than the puppy and the new house (because that’s honestly quite enough for one month), we’ve just been getting back into the swing of studying language and settling in and enjoying the Autumn sights all around us. Hungary is beautiful this time of year, and I’m really enjoying taking photos with my new camera.
We’ve gone out driving a few times around the Hungarian countryside, just to take in the sights. It’s such a beautiful time of year, as the farmlands are settling down for the rapidly approaching winter season. I particularly love the colours surrounding us during this season: muted greens and yellows, and so much brown and grey.
We’ve also been a bit sick the past week, which is why this journal is late in coming out. I think just the stress of the big move, adjusting, and Cassian hardcore teething has made it so that none of us are sleeping very well, and that always takes a heavy toll on our immune systems. We’re slowly coming around though now.
As always, thanks for keeping up with our small adventures in Hungary, as we adjust, adapt, learn, and grow together.
– Helen Rose