Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful
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Where It All Began.

1800s farmhouse england farmhouse garden pond travel

Six years ago I found myself packing up our belongings into a 30 foot pull behind camper and making the 1,500 mile trek across the country. Two humans, two dogs, and a lot of hope for the future. We lived in that camper until we found a home and set out making a little piece of Texas our own.

                              Our farmhouse in Texas at Christmas.

But then something quite unexpected happened. You know how they say, you don't appreciate something until it's gone? I got a hardy dose of that lesson when my first child Jackson came home. I had a real longing for my mother who lived 1,500 miles away. Not only to talk to her about first time mom fears but also to share in the joys of everyday life with my beautiful baby. The internet nor phone can begin to be the same as in person. I wanted to sit at her table with a cup of tea and my son sleeping on my lap. I missed home. But the truth is, I never really liked where I grew up. The scenery was beautiful and the people were nice but it was boring and the winters were harsh. I always wanted to live near a city where I could have the best of both worlds. But children change you. It sounds cliche but it's so true. My dad passed away ten years ago from cancer and it killed me that Jackson wouldn't know him. How could I also deny him the opportunity to have tangible, real relationships with his grandparents, his immediate family? Then the next thing that pushed me was our trip to England last June. We stayed in the most picturesque village in The Cotwolds, in a home older than America. Next to it, a stone church where a knight was entombed, the bells ringing out every hour. Women in crisp linen aprons had baked pies in their windows and their wash hanging on the line. There were gardens with flowers spilling out in every direction and stone walls with secret doors that led quite possibly to the garden of Eden. It really was that perfect.

                                          Our trip to England 2019


I thought to myself "What am I doing with my life?" In those moments I saw with perfect clarity what I was really wanting for myself and my family. My husband Dan and I have always loved old homes and their stunning architecture. We wanted land. We wanted a home that had years and years of stories held within her walls. We both wanted dinners with parents and siblings, Jackson to be able to make cookies with his grandmas. And so just like that, the "For Sale" sign went up on our Texas house. 

We agreed that we would begin our search outside Philadelphia. We would still be close to the city but also less than two hours from where we grew up. Best of both worlds. In the meantime, we did all the repairs on the Texas house to get top dollar when we sold. Late one night I was searching online for houses and there she was, the ONE. Lily Brook was built in 1803, a stone beauty sitting on a bucolic 6.5 acres. I fell in love with each passing picture of the listing. I excitedly woke up my husband to show him. The next thing I knew Dan was on a plane to Pennsylvania to see if this house was as pretty in real life. We video chatted as he drove me around the area virtually which looked as close as you can come to The Cotswolds in England. It makes sense since the English settled here and built what they knew.  Then we walked through Lily Brook and that was it! I had a vision for this beauty. 

Thankfully the previous owners had been very careful not to ruin any of the details that would make Lily Brook's history fade with modern design. This was despite the fact that they wanted to sell her because they wanted to live in a subdivision. They weren't gardeners either which leaves me an incredible task of making this property really shine. I'm both excited and a little intimidated to take on such a large adventure. I'm glad I visited all those gardens while in England for some serious inspiration. So that's where we are at now! We are finally 98% unpacked and now the work of making Lily Brook our own has come. To be her caretaker is a dream come true. 

                                     Looking up at Lily Brook from the pond.