A long, long time coming…

Our NEW home!

I think I’m finally ready to open up about the journey we’ve been on for the last few years. I haven’t really written about it because I honestly had no idea how it would end…or when it would end. But here goes nothing.

For the last 2 years and 3 months we’ve been living with my parents. On Thanksgiving day 2013, Luke and I left Birmingham and moved to Lexington with my mom. I was set to start my new job at WLEX on December 1st. The three of us (and Eden who was only a few months along) moved into a small apartment with minimal things. Two beds, a crib, some clothes, some kitchen items, and two (very uncomfortable) chairs. Jeff stayed behind until our house sold, my dad did the same.

Moving Day (Birmingham)

Eventually, my parents’ Birmingham house sold and they purchased a new home in Lexington. Jeff still stayed behind. Our Birmingham house finally sold in April…and I was 7 months pregnant when Jeff was finally able to move up to Lexington and be with us again. He missed a lot, but we were so happy to be together as a family again.

Jeff and I decided to purchase a home 3 weeks before my due date. (A hormonal decision looking back.) It needed a TON of work…so we never moved in. I didn’t want to be living in a construction zone with a toddler and a newborn. Eden Marie was born in June and we decided to stay put at my parents place for the time being. Until…

Jeff was offered a job promotion in Savannah, GA. We couldn’t afford for him to turn it down, so he left. Eden was only a couple months old…Luke was barely talking…but he had to do what was best for our family. Since I was working the graveyard shift, and leaving for work at 2:30 am, I needed help with the children so I continued to live at my parents’ house.

Remember that home we purchased in Lexington that we renovated? We never spent one night there. When Jeff accepted the job in Savannah, I already knew I didn’t want to stay in news, full time. So, we put our Lexington home on the market and my parents did the same. They needed to get back to Columbus for their business.

Our Savannah living room suite

I left my career on Easter Day, 2015 and the kids and I moved to Savannah with just a few things. The four of us lived in a one bedroom apartment and slept on air mattresses. We had a computer monitor set up to watch Netflix, and two beach chairs to sit on in the living room…and we were SO HAPPY! We spent our days exploring Savannah and going to the beach, things that were very cheap or free. We ate a lot of hot dogs and pizza at Sam’s Club and saved as much money as we could…and we were SO HAPPY! New business opportunities arose and within just a few months … we moved to Columbus, Ohio.

Meanwhile, my parents’ Lexington home sold and they moved back to Columbus. For 54 days (yes, I kept track) we lived in a hotel. 4 adults, 2 toddlers and 4 dogs. We did dishes in the sink and became regulars at the local laundromat. The kids LOVED the laundry adventures! My parents finally found the right home in the Columbus area and bought it. Since Jeff was starting a new job and I was launching a new business we decided to not rush into something (apartment or otherwise) so we lived with my parents again. Until Thanksgiving Day, 2015…

Day 54 of living in a hotel

We found a home we LOVED. It was perfect and it had EVERYTHING. A “forever” home. We placed an offer and after some back and forth…we went under contract on Thanksgiving Day two years after we embarked on this crazy journey

I am sharing all of this with you because I am the happiest I have ever been! This is our second full week in our new home. I fell asleep in Luke’s room last night and woke up about an hour ago. I came downstairs to my new kitchen and made a bowl of cereal in my own cereal bowl. I then sat down in my new living room and started writing. I’ve now shared with you the most I have ever shared with anyone outside of my family in my entire life.

Hey, I realize what we’ve done isn’t completely out of the norm. I know there are thousands of people out there who would do the same given the circumstances. I’m beyond grateful we’ve had a warm, safe place to rest our heads for the last 2 years and 3 months. I am thankful we had the opportunity to pinch pennies and save as much as we could so we could get something we really wanted….and really, truly appreciated. A huge shout out to my parents for being so incredibly supportive, and a shout out to Jeff for living with his in-laws for so long. I understand there are others who are/have done the same thing, living with relatives…but let’s be honest: it ain’t always easy!

I remember writing a blog post two years ago about living within our means, living off less and saving money. Two years ago I never imagined where it would lead us. It’s been an incredible journey and one I can’t wait to share with our children when they are old enough to understand.

IMG_4114Can you believe I feel like I still have so much more to say on the subject? I can hear you screaming, enough already! You know, I think I finally may have my book idea: “How To Survive Living With Your Parents With a Husband, Two Toddlers, and Four Dogs For 2 Years and 3 Months” A best seller in the making.



  1. Hey Shanisty, that is a great adventure you’ve had so far….I for one hope the rest of your lives together will be a series of different adventures of a lifetime. Being a parent has it’s good stuff and it’s bad stuff but, if you stick together like your family has done, it all becomes another adventure. Very nice story, I enjoyed it….

    1. Totally! It’s been a great test of the strength of our relationship and our faith…that’s for sure! Thank you for reading 🙂

  2. Loved loved every word !! You all look like you are truly happy ! God bless you pretty lady and sure do love your pics of the kiddos and family 😇 Keep on ” clogging ” as your Dad called it .. Love your blog ! Even though I have never met you , thru WLEX in Ky I feel like you are ” family ” .., hugs to all 💜

    1. We are very happy! Thank you for following along as I continue to share the ups and downs of this ride. 🙂 hugs to you too~!

  3. Did you say you started a new business? I love this update…you can sense the peace you have in your family. ❤️

    1. I did! A small digital media/marketing company. So happy…especially to be able to work from home while my kids watch Mickey Mouse. haha. Thanks for checking in, great to see you’re doing well too 🙂

  4. Love hearing all of this! Now I know exactly where and what you guys did when you left The Ham behind. We miss you, but there is nothing like the happiness you have found in the most surprising places! Can’t wait to hear more and more and more!

    1. Thank you so much! While Savannah was gorgeous…we knew we wouldn’t be able to give our children the same kind of extended family love that we both had growing up. Miss you. So happy to see you and Dayna are doing well 🙂

  5. I am so happy to see you doing well. You and your family have earned every moment of happiness that you are now enjoying! One thing that really stood out to me was the closeness and love of your family and I think it is amazing that your parents were right there with you. That is an example that we should all strive to meet.

    1. Barry, thanks so much! Family is everything to us…and moving to Columbus was simply because of that- family. Savannah is much more glamorous, but we want our children to grow up with the same love we had growing up. Thanks again for sharing…I love keeping up with you on Facebook 🙂

  6. That was an awesome adventure. I am sure it only made you and your family closer. Most couples would not have made it through the struggles. Shows the love and strength of you and Jeff. Enjoy the pictures and stories keep posting.

    1. Thank you Anita! Absolutely, we’ve been through a lot during our marriage. Such an awesome testament.

  7. So what is your business venture and is Columbus your hometown?

    1. I own a small digital media/marketing company. Yes, Columbus is my hometown.


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