Here We Go . . .

Winners of the Advent giveaway are at the bottom of the post . . .

Well, I said I wasn't going to believe it was ours until I had the keys in hand.

But I'm still not sure I do believe it.

It's been quite a journey so far, and we're only just getting started. I'm going to try to not turn this blog into This Old House, but I can't make any promises.

Mostly, I'm thinking I should see if my wedding dress still fits, because I'm going to need it to properly Miss Havisham it up around my new tumbledown mansion.

Are you ready for ALL the (before) pictures?

There she is. Built in 1920.

Nine bedrooms, built for a family of . . . three. But now we're going to fill it up.

Is that a tennis court on the left? Yes, yes it is. I don't currently know how to play tennis. (But if I had ever learned I should have been a great proficient.) Is that a cabana behind the pool? *A* cabana? What are we, savages? That is two cabanas behind the pool.

Living room:

Dining room:

Butler's pantry with original hardware and warbly glass (butler not included):

Original leaded glass windows:

And original light fixtures and fireplaces:

The kids will share the two biggest bedrooms. The husband and I will be moving into the servants' quarters, which seems appropriate somehow. We're going to turn it into a little suite, with a bedroom and an office, and . . . a chapel.

Because how could this room not be a chapel?

So, basically, the photos are too kind. It's a beautiful house, but it's in quite a state of disrepair. Fixing it up for us is going to be the work of months and years. I do like a project. We'll see if I still feel the same way this time next year.

It's a very, very big house. Nearly three times as big as our current house. It's bigger than we were looking for. And I worry I'll lose my children in it. But this was the only house we saw in months of looking that was in our price range and big enough to comfortably fit a family of ten. Twelve when my parents are with us.

I do love it. Dead rats and leaky roof and dingy kitchen and all.

And the fact that it's ours after all the false starts and setbacks and crazy banking regulations, really makes it feel meant to be.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your prayers.

We're moving the first round of boxes this weekend, but we don't figure we'll be able to actually move in for a month or so, until after we do a few repairs.


And now, I owe you some winners. For all the details on these Advent resources, see the original Advent post here or click on the title to see them for yourself. If you won, please email me at and tell me what you won so you can get your prize before Advent begins! If I haven't heard back from you by Monday, I'll pick a new winner.

1. Light for the World: A Catholic Kid's Guide to Advent and Christmas
Mountain Mama

2. Waiting in the Word: a Mother's Advent Journey
Susan Moser

3. Maple Leaf Liturgical Living Planner

4. Blessed is She Advent 2015 Journal **Digital Download**


5. The Nativity Characters in Cross Stitch
Debbie Affleck

6. Jesse Tree 3-D Printable Ornaments e-book
Use the coupon code catholicallyear to get 30% off anything in the shop through December 31st!

7. Nativity Advent Calendar to Print and Color

8. Our Family's Jesse Tree: 25 Jesse Tree Ornaments with Templates, Devotions, and Printable Activities

9. Couples Advent Devotional
Lisa Burek

10. Printable Prayers Advent
Jacqueline Meister
Kristen Rabideau