Emotions and Blessings

It's gettin' REAL in the Hasenbank Household! {To the tune of my favorite rap, Whole Foods Parking Lot.} The moving truck rolls up in 10 days. {GULP!} Two weeks earlier than expected, but every day that we stay in Houston is another day that my husband doesn't get to do what God made him to do. Time to get to the Franklin/Nashville area so that he can find office space, meet people, and do what he loves! {Know anyone there? Send them his website: www.DrHasenbank.com.}

{My cute husband with our even cuter nephew.}

[By the way, no telling where this post is going. Writing is therapeutic for me; packing is not. So here I am. I need to write today. And the photos? Random ones I've taken this month.]

Here we are with all the walls, bookshelves and cabinets emptied, boxes stacked high in every corner, closing on our Houston house tomorrow, then closing on the Franklin house Thursday.

Sounds exciting, right? {My husband is excited...packing up boxes like a man on a mission, while I sit paralyzed, unable to get a grip on all that's happening.} We're chasing a dream, and that's exciting for sure, but it may take me getting there before I can really feel the "excitement" emotion.

{Gift tags designed by moi!}

For a girl who doesn't like change, disorder or chaos, this part of the dream is about to undo me. I feel like I'm about to spin out of orbit and fall into another galaxy! How to pack, endure the last crazy week of school, cram in all of our doctor appointments, get a highlight to cover all the gray hair I've developed in the last six months {entirely new for me!} and see friends and family one last time?!?!

{Playing in Uncle JD's Jeep.}

It doesn't feel humanly possibly to do it all. Because it isn't. I can't do all this on my own. I keep muttering these simple words out loud as I go along: "Help me, Jesus." In this place of utter incapability, I'm learning what He meant when He said, "My power is made perfect in weakness." {2 Corinthians 12:9}

{Sweet Laura Finley helping me package stationery.}

I'm feeling so many emotions right now...all at once. Not sure how to process them all. I cried myself to sleep last night and couldn't even figure out what it was all about. It feels as if I'm packing up more than just house stuff. More like packing up 37 years of life in the same spot...a wonderful neighborhood called West University Place. {My mom blogged about it here. She was even the mayor here once!} I was born and raised in West U, and feel blessed to have returned here with my own family. It feels like home to this nostalgic, tradition-loving girl!

{I'll miss my house and studio in the back.}

Trying to process that my friends and family aren't coming with me to Franklin. I hate saying goodbye. Not sure I can even say the words. {Crying just writing the words!} Kind of weird, but it doesn't look like we're having a going away party. We've hosted a few for friends in the past, but not sure how I'd do at the center of one. I'm more of a one-on-one girl anyway. I just wish there was a way to fit in a one-on-one visit with everyone I love between now and June 1st.

{Hallie and my dad.}

But it's not all tears and sadness around here. There have also been AMAZING blessings mixed in. Even this very morning. Here I was having this crazy "Shop My House" sale {why on earth did I decide to do that on top of everything else?!?!}, and two of the girls who came blessed me with the most encouraging words. Their words made the whole sale worth it...made me want to cry. These aren't girls I see or hear from often, so I had no idea that my blog and my life had impacted them so much...until now. I'm humbled to the dust. Thank you, sweet girls. May this blog continue to be a blessing to all who read.

{My Open House sign.}

And then yesterday, I got a surprise phone call from a woman who I've talked about several times here on the blog. She owned my favorite shop in The Heights for years, helped found Urban Market, and now lives back in New England. {Talk about someone who had a bigger impact than she'll ever know. Houston misses her like CRAZY!} Anyway, her phone call blessed me and encouraged me when I was on the brink of melting down. She reminded me of what really matters in life...of why we decided to chase this dream in the first place. It's going to be GOOD.

{Teacher gifts. So thankful that I love to design paper goods!}

And now a blessing to beat all blessings. Remember the post where I made a mention of not knowing where we'd live for a few weeks in between this house and the Franklin house? Well, a sweet blog reader who I've only met once {bought the BELIEVE pillow from her at Marburger}, sent my blog to her friend in Franklin, who sent it to her neighbor, who "happens" to live right up the road from our Franklin home. And guess what? {I could cry.} She has offered to rent her house to us for the weeks when we had nowhere to go. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel by her offer. We'll get to familiarize ourselves with our new town without having the pressure of unpacking boxes, painting, etc. {Though of course I'm eager to get to that as soon as we can. June 30 is our expected move-in date.}

{Our soon-to-be home in Franklin.}

And then get this: when my husband saw how quickly he could pack {he's a machine!}, we realized it would be hard to live in this house much longer. {We're paying to be here after tomorrow, and it ain't pretty once it's packed!} But where to go? With all the stress of selling a business, packing up a lifetime in Houston, finishing school for the girls, saying goodbye, etc., we were longing for a little R&R. But we aren't big vacationers, and without a paycheck these days, it didn't seem wise to spend a bunch of money. But just in case...I looked on VRBO to see if I could find a deal. We've never been on a beach vacation. {If you saw how fair-skinned we are, especially me, you'd understand why!} But white sand and emerald-blue water sounds really good right about now! Long story short, found a condo in a quiet beach outside the hot spots of Seaside/Rosemary/Destin. It's called Blue Mountain Beach. Peaceful. Quiet. And home to the area's only natural food store! We'll be there on weekdays, so the owner gave us a great deal! Cheaper than our lease back agreement in Houston...and no boxes! Can't beat that!

{The girls performing on the street corner.}

{And a few kind neighbors leaving tips.}

And just when I didn't think things could work out any more perfectly, some dear friends who live in Franklin {some of the only friends we know there}, have offered to let us stay in their home in between  our trip to the beach and the rental house. Their family of five is graciously taking in our family of four. I hardly know how to thank them. We've never done anything like this...never wanted to inconvenience anyone. But there is something so sweet about allowing someone else to meet your needs. I have a feeling that will be a week we'll never forget.

{This little guy loves the Jeep!}

And a final blessing I don't want to forget: our songbird sang in church yesterday...one of her own songs. My eyes were full of tears the entire time. There's nothing sweeter than a child leading grown ups in worship. And when it's your own child, using her God-given gift? Well, friends, that's almost more than a mama can take. {My video is shaky due to the emotions I was feeling, but I'll see if I can share a clip sometime soon.}

{Sweet Hallie.}

So there you have it...emotions and blessings all wrapped up in one LONG post. If you read every word, you deserve a prize for your faithfulness!

Thank you for every prayer, every wish, every blessing, every word of encouragement. You are the sweetest blog friends. You've been a real strength to me during this journey. I hope you'll stick around to see what's waiting for us out in the country!

Hugs and love,


  1. I'm a new follower and new to Houston, so sad that you are leaving! I love hearing another blogger talk about things I know! (Like the Urban Market...I was there yesterday!) Good luck with the move and may God bless you and your family in your new journey in life!

  2. Well.. sounds like God has all the details down for you and your family. Enjoy the "time off" .
    That should give you a chance to tune in to what he has next.
    My husband and I have had the great fortune to be in the Nashville, Franklin and Leiper's Fork area
    on a short vacation and plan to return very soon. Such wonderful people, shops and couldn't ask for
    a more beautiful area.
    Love your blog.. have a nice Move !


  3. I truly enjoy reading your blog Linsey, and hope you will continue to capture all of these exciting adventures so we can live vicariously through your family during these next few blessed weeks! Good luck to you and thank you for reminding me to see blessings at every turn. :)

  4. Wow. Wow. I have been in the crazy moving space you are in. The bittersweet joy of walking into the next phase. Hang in there - the ride is wild but so beautiful. And knowing blessing is woven through each of your plans - you can't go wrong. Looking forward to seeing how the next chapter unfolds for you. x

  5. You have been incredibly busy and beyond blessed! This is a bittersweet time for you and your family. I love the boldness of chasing your dream. How many of us wish we had the courage...

    That baby boy (your nephew) is a sweety and your girls as well. Looking foward to reading the new chapters in your life story.

    Go boldly into your future!!

  6. Hi Linsey...Wow...I'm blown away by how God has provided for you and your family. Isn't it funny that He promises He will provide, yet we are still surprised when He does? I know this happens with me all the time. Yours is truly a story of His faithfulness and provision for us. Thank you so much for sharing - it really encouraged and inspired me. I don't even have little ones yet, but I teared up at the story of your daughter leading worship. What an amazing story. That's the goal of parenting, right? Children who love the Lord :)

    I can't wait to follow you guys on this next adventure!

  7. Hi Linsey-
    I clicked onto your blog when i saw a picture of your dining room on pinterest. I was instantly drawn to your style, and then found that I was even more drawn to your beautiful writing, and your honest and transparent love for the Lord.
    As I read some of your posts, I realized that you live in West U, which is where my aunt and uncle live and where I have been blessed to spend a lot of time over the years. And now you are moving to Franklin, which is about 20 minutes from where we live! I absolutely love Franklin, and I look forward to reading about this exciting adventure for your family!
    Blessings to you!

  8. Linsey,
    I'm crying after reading your post today. As hard as this all seems to you, it's going to be wonderful! God's plan always is! Can't wait to hear from you once you are all settled! Until then, hug and love those you'll be leaving (geographically!) and enjoy your beach vacation (bring some sunscreen!) and I'll keep you and your family in my prayers!

  9. It's all come together perfectly my sweet friend, so meant to be! Like the little winding stream to the left of your new home, you are neatly tucked into God's pathway for your future. It's been so fun to watch it all unfold. Stay strong and keep on keeping it real (in the whole foods parking lot).

    Love you and will miss you lots!!

  10. You have been such an inspiration to me. From clean eating and helping my family live better to your design and passion for life. I am so excited for your new adventure and where God is calling your family. I can't wait to see and read about the awesome people and events he places in your lives! We vacation in South Walton every summer for my birthday in June! You will love Blue Mountain and the surrounding area. It will provide your family with the much needed R&R between moves.

  11. Wow! Such an exiting time for you guys! Can't wait to follow your adventures on your blog! A girl I went to Baylor with is moving to Franklin at the end of the summer so I sent her your blog - maybe you two can meet! Here is her blog: http://greencattlebeef.com/blog/

  12. Sounds like such an exciting time with so many emotions to go along with it! Can't wait to keep up with your adventures in Franklin! : ) Rachel

  13. I'm all giddy and excited and I don't even know you :)!!!

  14. linsey this is amazing! I can totally related to the pleas of "help me Jesus!" and help you he IS! I mean wow! the details of this story are fantastic! What an amazing journey! I've lived in my little town for 40 years and sometimes I dream of leaving for a sunnier place but i know that I would go through all of the same things your'e experiencing. just remember how much you'll enjoy nesting and getting settled into your new home! and try to enjoy the in between too. tHe best part though? Your sweet daughter leading worship! That's what really matters. what a blessing and a gift! I'm so excited for you!

  15. Oh my, I can feel it all right through your words. So many emotions and feelings to process and so much to do! When we were leaving for our adventure I found myself just ready to leave already and so tired of the goodbyes! At times I felt like I was on auto pilot, just barely functioning. It is hard to make time for everyone and close a chapter with so many people, all while trying to do the necessary like getting your hair done and packing up a life. I remember getting on the plane to Paris and realizing mid flight that I had forgotten to pick up my year supply of contacts! That time at the beach is going to be just what you guys need...so amazing how God knows that and prepares for it. Just when we think we are in control we remember that He is there at the finish line already. I will pray for you. Big hugs friend.

  16. Linsey, thanks for taking us on this journey with you. I remember a little over a year ago when we packed up and moved from VA to Dallas with a 7 week old in tow and leaving my family....with my mom battling cancer. It was the hardest thing I ever did. I still get teary when I look at the photo I took of the trucks leaving our house. Keep the faith that you all have made the right decisions. I feel inspired not only by your courage but also by your open faith. Godspeed as you head in this adventure!

  17. What an amazing turn of events. It seems like your dream has been so blessed. Great luck with everything!

  18. Lindsey, I can understand all your emotions. I am glad writing is therapeutic for you. I wish I could express myself as well as you do.

    You will love Blue Mountain and all the places nearby. It is near where I live (two hours) so I am familiar with the area. Wish I didn't have some big things going on or I would drive down to meet you.

    I will be praying for all of you and look forward to future posts from you of your vacation and getting settled in Franklin. It is a beautiful area with so many wonderful antique shops. You will love it. I was close to your age when we moved from Alabama to Fairbanks, Alaska. I thought it was for two years but it turned into four and a half years so I can relate to many of your emotions. Leaving everything familiar to a whole new world was a big step for a little southern girl that had barely seen any snow or traveled much.

    You continue to inspire me with your sweet spirit and many talents.

  19. your journey to this place has been so beautiful to watch....such an honor.
    you've been dreaming for a while now, and to finally see God bring some of those dreams to fruition is remarkable and draws me to him all the more.

    your new home is breath-taking.....I can't wait to see it become uniquely yours and it'll be amazing to watch you guys live and enjoy the land!!!

    God gives us immeasurably more than all we could ask or even dare to imagine...{Eph. 3:20}

    His kindness and goodness are overwhelming at times....this is one of those times for me...watching him unfold his plan in your family's life has overwhelmed me with his goodness.

    praying for you to know and trust in HIM as you say your "farewells" to family and close friends. the picture of your oldest dying laughing with your dad is a keeper....my eyes swelled up with tears. I know your parents are excited and sad all at the same time. praying for them, too. :)

    enjoy that vacation!!!

  20. Hi Linsey--this is going to be a blast from the past, but I hope you remember me! Mary Kessler sent me a link to your blog and told me about your move to Franklin. Guess where I live? FRANKLIN! I hope we can reconnect and would love to show you around or help you in any way I can. Please email me at cafontenot (at) comcast (dot) net and I'll send you my cell# so you can call me if you need anything.

    So excited to see you again!
    Alison(Bailey)Fontenot--from Vandy :)

    1. OF COURSE I remember you and am SO excited that I'll have a friend in Franklin!!! Emailing you now! XO!

  21. Kind hearts are always moving. When you move, you take them in your hearts. All lovely -- God is amazing. Blessings to you,, your family, and everyone :)

  22. Linsey, As exciting as this adventure is of course it's filled with the unknown and therefore our human fears...but what little I know from our conversations you know God is leading you and your family on this journey and will be unfolding his blessings! I will so enjoy reading about your family as your new life begins in Franklin!!! Much love and hugs to you and thank you for our sweet visits about our faith and our Savior!!! Lisa

  23. What exciting news! Enjoy your R&R on the beach, walking along the shore will put you at ease.

  24. Linsey - I met a wonderful lady when I went to Pearls and Grace this year that lives in the Franklin area - her name is Sara and she was one of the speakers. Her name is "Sarah MaGee Cantrell" if you want to find her on Facebook. I'm going to tell her about your blog and have her get in touch with you. You will love her. God bless you BIG and good luck on the move.

    1. Thanks so much, Sheri! Sweet of you to be looking out for me. We're now FB friends, and I hope to meet her in real life soon!

  25. Ok, I just commented on your original post about Franklin, then I saw all the followup posts. We had the same experience with selling our house in historic Fort Worth. Overnight before it hit the market, we had two offers and the first guy upped his own offer to get it. When it's time, it's time, right?! I am so happy for you guys. The place is beautiful and it really stirred something in my heart. We want to have a place with gardens, fruit trees, chickens, etc. We're still waiting on that dream...but in the meantime, thanks for sharing your journey. I subscribed to your blog and can't wait to see more. BTW, I was just loaned a book called Blackberry Farm that's in Tennessee. Is that near you?

    1. Yes! Blackberry Farm is in Tennessee near Knoxville (maybe 4 hours from me?). It's been on my list of places to go for quite some time. Looks like an AMAZING get away...especially for food lovers!


"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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