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Unpacking, organizing, our amazing neighbors, & a Cinco de Mayo party!

A Peek Into our Week

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re almost done with unpacking! Yay! Now to just tear down this massive stack of boxes in the garage!

I was highly motivated to get everything unpacked this weekend as I knew that we had a lot of different things coming up in the next few weeks and if we weren’t mostly unpacked, it would likely result in major chaos. And if you know me personally, you know I’m not a person who does chaos well. :)

We’re still re-arranging and organizing, but it feels good to have places for most things and most things in their places. And we’re truly loving this house! Since we signed the lease on it without seeing it in person, we weren’t sure exactly what we’d think of it, but we love it just as much as our house in Kansas, if not more. And that’s saying a LOT since we really loved that house!

Most of you know that one of my greatest concerns with moving was my kids. It was hard for them to leave Kansas and their friends and extended family there. But God has answered our prayers for friends and community here far beyond what we could have hoped or dreamed.

The family we’re renting our house from had told the neighbors ahead of time that a family with three young children was moving in, so most all of the neighbors knew we were moving here and were so excited to meet us! That’s Southern hospitality for you!

The kids have welcomed my kids with open arms and within a few days, they act like they’ve known each other for years. It’s a beautiful thing to watch them jump right into this new community.

We continue to be utterly blown away by the warmth and graciousness of everyone in TN! It’s amazing!

Weekend Recap

Our washer stopped working right before we moved and was irreparable (well, the two repair guys we had come out both said they could possibly fix it, but it would cost us more to fix than it would to replace — and they weren’t even sure they could fix it.) So we bought a new washer here, but it won’t come in until tomorrow.

Some friends here found out about this and insisted we come over to use their washer/dryer. Not only that, but they invited us to stay for volleyball and dinner.

Then yesterday, a neighbor boy whom I hadn’t met yet, saw our moving boxes in our garage, rang out doorbell, and asked if he could break the boxes down for us. I didn’t quite know what to say at these random acts of kindness. He said, “I know you’re new here and I just wanted to help.”

This kind of graciousness is everywhere here. And it is humbling, inspiring, and oh such a blessing to newcomers like us!

A Peek Into Our Week

We enjoyed our first home-cooked meal in our new kitchen on Sunday. It was fitting that it was one of our favorites: pancakes, eggs, and bacon — yum!

We’re still learning our way around here, but I’m incredibly excited by all the grocery store options and can’t wait to start learning the ropes of how to shop at Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, and more!
A Peek Into Our Week

Yesterday, I was blessed to get to spend the afternoon with my dear friend, Angie Smith. And then they invited our family to come to a Cinco de Mayo party with some of their good friends.

It was so fun — and we laughed until we cried while the kids tried to break open this very persnickety pinata. Oh the memories!

A Peek Into our Week

Sporting my new Under Armour kicks that Jesse bought for me from a sale on Zulily (yes, he’s a keeper — he knows how to work the bargains!) All the color in this photo perfectly expresses how my heart feels today: grateful, happy, and excited about life. Today: Don’t let life happen to you; go happen to life!

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  1. says

    Hi Crystal,

    Did you write a post about why you decided to move? I tried to find one but couldn’t for some reason.

    I’m also curious is you are renting out your old house or if you sold it!

    And, as someone who lives on a block with amazing neighbors, I share with you your gratitude for that. It’s amazing!

    • says

      I’ve shopped there a few times in the past and LOVE their 365 brand. It’s been awhile, but if it was like it was a few years ago, you actually *can* get some good deals there. We’ll see!

  2. Lana says

    Yay! I am so glad to hear all of this good news!

    When my husband and I go to our lake house here in SC our twenty-something year old single neighbor there runs over and helps us unload the van. It’s just the way we are and I am glad your neighbors are the same as here.

  3. says

    Don’t forget Trader Joe’s! And sometimes it’s just fun to go in and see what’s available for free samples. :)

    The Adventure Science Center is wonderful. We have a museum pass locally that gets us in for free at Nashville and Louisville.

      • says

        I’ve bought their chocolate chips but haven’t used them yet. A friend likes their spaghetti sauce and a few other things. I hope some other readers comment too.

      • Lana says

        Spices, wine, flowers, cheese, their baked goods are awesome but not cheap, dried fruit and nuts, their whole wheat flour is very fresh, olive oil and vinegar of all kinds, toasted sesame oil is the best price you will find anywhere. I love their garlic infused olive oil. Also remember that everything at TJ’s is GMO free. The ground beef in the shrink wrapped package is not good. It has a strange texture.

      • JoAnn says

        I love Trader Joe’s. Their spices are a great buy – 1.99 here and their grape seed oil and olive oil are great buys. Most of their organic produce is priced just slightly higher than the non organic. I love their taco shells and the price on their chopped nuts is pretty good as well.

      • SDR says

        It’s worth a trip to TJ’s just to buy their cookie butter.

        Wait, I *have* made trips to Trader Joe’s just for their cookie butter!

      • SDR says

        You will love living in the South–coming here (Texas) from a NYC suburb we love how warm and welcoming everyone here is.

      • KS says

        Trader joes is awesome- their bagged coffee is excellent and I think their cocoa powder is better than anything else – also their hummus dip is amazing!
        Oh and also for a treat- their dark chocolate peanut buttercups are the best!!! Mmm I’m hungry now!! Haha :-)

  4. says

    I’m just so happy for you guys! I’ll admit a little jealousy that you already had some friends before you moved though since we moved with no real friends in our new city. I had some acquaintances from years past but not true friends to have us over to use their washer/dryer. You are very BLESSED!

    SO glad the kids are adjusting well too!

    • says

      Yes, we are very blessed! One the many factors that spurred us on to making this move was that we had great friends here already (and these friends had been strongly encouraging us to move here for quite some time! :))

  5. Mylynda says

    I am so glad that you mentioned Harris Teeter. I don’t shop in Nashville often but when I come up to make my twice a year trips to the Goodwill stores, I always try to stop in there and work some coupon deals. I hope you love it! I also wanted to tell you welcome to the South. I live in North Alabama so I feel like we are practically neighbors now. I have been following Money Saving Mom for several years and I cannot tell you how many times I have been inspired by the things that you write. Thank you for being obedient to God and sharing your faith and wisdom with the rest of us. I know you probably hear it a hundred times a day, however, I want to say thank you for being so real. It is truly refreshing and such a blessing.

  6. Billene says

    Crystal with your out going personality, you are going to fit in well with the southern hospitality of the South.

  7. Heather says

    you are going to LOVE Harris Teeter. I moved a few days before you to another city… away from Harris Teeter. :( Yes, I miss my friends… but no more Super Doubles?!?! :( :( :(

  8. Megan says

    Just wait until your first Super Double Coupon shopping trip at Harris Teeter, you’ll love it! :)

  9. says

    I’m really enjoying reading your updates from Tennessee – it is such a beautiful state! We were just there a couple of weeks ago and we love how nice everyone is!

  10. Diane says

    So glad things are going so well! I have been praying for your move. I know moving can be especially hard on women but it sounds like God is really answering our prayers! We have a whole foods but I’ve never been in it. I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences there.

  11. Sondra says

    I love and miss living in the south. I’m in Illinois but from Arkansas. You should ask your southern neighbors about chocolate gravy, if you have never tried it. Yummy!

  12. says

    I love hearing these updates and how many blessings you are being showered with in your new home! I can’t wait to hear about how you guys like Tennessee once you’ve been settled in for awhile!

  13. says

    Aww reading your post is making me miss home! I am from Western NC but we just moved to California from Georgia (did you follow that :) ). We were stationed in Georgia (husband is Army) for a few years after living a few other places, and I have to say that returning to the southern hospitality was SO nice. I absolutely loved my time in Georgia, and I truly appreciated how much I love the South when we moved out to CA and that hospitality just isn’t there. It’s not that I don’t like California, but it’s just not the South!

    • says

      There’s such a different feel here, isn’t there? My husband and I were talking yesterday about how people genuinely seem to love just hanging out and having conversations here. They always seem ready to stop and talk, instead of being constantly busy with life.

  14. says

    Nice to see you and family have been settling down well.. All the best!!

    I have been following your blog for few years now and I have been helped a lot personally with all the knowledge and experience you have shared through this blog. I wish you all the best for your future.

  15. says

    Welcome to Nashville, Crystal! I think you guys are going to love it here. Once you get settled, be sure to explore the Warner Nature Parks. And McKay’s Used Books is also a great place. (We homeschool for next to nothing by selling and trading our used books and media there.) Nashville is a goldmine for homeschool families!

      • Mary H. says

        Ranay is so right. I realized, while briefly homeschooling my then 4th grader, just how accepting and adapting this part of TN is for homeschoolers. Be sure to sign up to receive messages for Cheekwood as they have a Home School Day once a year. The zoo does as well.

  16. Tracey says

    welcome to TN!!! I have lived here my whole life and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else… we are a few miles south of Nashville in Murfreesboro but TN is across the board one of the friendliest places in the US…. I am so glad your happy with your move :)

    • says

      After having lived in KS all my life, I didn’t think I could ever fall in love with another state, but I’m definitely quickly falling in love with TN!

  17. Pam Smith says

    Zullily is where I get my shoes! The wait is worth it for good shoes at half-price or more! I buy the Rykas, which are not just my go-to shoe, but my beloved and only shoe since I got a pair used 5 years ago. I was in terrible pain with any shoe and even more so with no shoes at all before I started wearing the Rykas and now I can even go barefoot for several hours around the house after 5 years wearing Rykas. I swear I do *not* work for Ryka OR Zulily, but I honestly love my Rykas so much I want to give them a shout-out. Everybody should try them!

  18. Jen says

    So happy for you and your family! You can really see God’s hand in it all as it seems likes things have really come together. Blessings to you!

  19. says

    I’m so glad to hear that you are having such a good experience in your new home so far!

    I know some others have mentioned it, but I also highly recommend Harris Teeter…they are absolutely one of the best stores for using coupons! And their Super Doubles are the best!

  20. heidi says

    When we moved from NJ to AL, it took a while to adjust to the slower pace, and now I enjoy it (unless I’m in a hurry 😉 ) Love the way the bank tellers, store clerks… just about everyone is so super friendly and genuine. I know you’ll grow to love it more and more :)

  21. says

    Welcome to the South, I live in Charleston :). People here are definitely nice and the pace is pretty slow. You’ll like it and you will love shopping at Harris Teeter. If you have an Earth Fare there, that’s a good store too… they are a healthy food store kinda like Whole Foods.

  22. Monica says


    I am also moving. Our house is under contract after only 7 days on the market. One of our prayers was that if was God’s will to move us, He would time it perfectly and provide us with another home. As of today, we have not been able to find a house within the amount we are willing to pay/afford. My husband has been commuting over 70 miles daily for many years. It’s been tough on him physically and mentally. May I please make a prayer request and ask for prayer as God continues to work on our behalf to find us a home. We have less than 60 days before the buyers move in. I am happy, excited and very sad. We purchased our home 15 years ago, we where newlyweds at the time and our home was brand new. Our first and only home we’ve ever had. Moving for the first time is very challenging to say the least.

    • says

      Hi Monica,

      I’m not Crystal, but I just prayed for you. :) My husband has a long commute too and it is difficult; we’re praying about housing right now as well. I’ll remember you and pray that both of us can find something we can afford that will give our husband more time with the family too. :)


      • Monica says

        =) Thank you for sharing Tammy! You know exactly how I feel and how life can easily become stressful when your better half is not getting enough rest. I also prayed for you and your family. We have to remember that nothing is impossible for God, nothing!

  23. says

    That is how the people in the south are….we were amazed when we moved to SC! The hospitality is fabulous and we love living in the south! You will never want to move anywhere else again! :)

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