December 5, 2013

Tender Tennessee Christmas

We all have that one holiday tune that sparks a certain warm and fuzzy feeling in us this time of year. There is a song that plays in the background of my favorite childhood Christmas memories as my sister and I practiced piano duets in our family room lit by the twinkling glow of a beautiful tree. The December before I began kindergarten, my family moved to Michigan from Knoxville, Tennessee. I don't remember much about living there, but for my mom it was a place she loved full of friends who became family. Listening to Amy Grant's "Tender Tennessee Christmas" that holiday season helped her settle into a home she would grow to love just as much, if not more than the one she had to say goodbye to. Something about the song stuck, and we have continued to enjoy it every Christmas since. Although a bit odd that I have such strong emotions for a song about a state I can hardly associate with, perhaps it was life's crazy way of giving me a sneak peek into my happy future.

Our last holiday in the home that houses all of my best memories

Twenty years later, the song has true meaning for Brad and me. With orders to report to Fort Campbell in January, we celebrated my birthday weekend scoping out what is soon-to-be our new hometown. We made the road trip with hopes that we would return to Missouri with a better understanding of the area and where we'd like to focus our house hunt in January. Instead we returned as homeowners! We fell in love with Clarksville, Tennessee, a city that has it all: a patriotic military community, a bustling shopping street, a cute boutique college town, and a quaint residential area. About halfway between Fort Campbell and Nashville, Clarksville is the fifth largest city in Tennessee and one of the fastest growing in the country. We've always liked to have a bit of separation from military world, and we will be a quick drive from Nashville with unlimited entertainment, shopping, and dining as well as more nursing job opportunities for me.

We found our new home nestled on a wooded cul-de-sac in Parkvue Village, a neighborhood in the "quaint residential area" previously mentioned. To sum up how much we adore it, out of over 15 homes our realtor showed us, it was the only one that we both agreed was perfect. There is not a single thing we wish we could change or mix-and-match with other houses. It has three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms plus an office and large bonus room. It has a fantastic open floor plan, more than enough room for guests, a big fenced in back yard for Ruby, tons of storage space, an updated kitchen...did I mention lots of room for guests? Start planning your visit please!

I am so ridiculously proud of Brad and myself for working hard to earn this. It is the most rewarding feeling to recognize that the life we are building is a direct reflection of our success, savings, and work ethic together. When we signed our contract with the sellers we learned what the home has meant to them. They built it in 2009 and have since brought two new babies through the front door and will likely welcome their third just in time, a few weeks before we close on the house. I'm glad we will have the opportunity to respect their family's history and fill the house with our own family memories and milestones.

And of course, with Amy Grant on repeat, I am already dreaming about decorating our home for our first Tennessee Christmas together next year!