We bought the farm

Well, we did it. As of 10:03 am this morning, we bought the farm.


Here' where the house will go.


I’m from a small town near the coast of Washington state called ELma, population 2,900. To be perfectly honest, I spent the first 18 years of my life vowing to move away and never return. It’s tiny, it’s rainy, and it’s not stiletto friendly.

But life is a funny thing, and fourteen years out in the real world has taught me a thing or two about what I really want. I want family. I want animals. I want to be able to run out to the car in my undies without worrying that the neighbors might see. I guess you can take a girl out of the farm, but you can’t really take the farm out of the girl.

We’ve always planned to end up somewhere in the northwest. Then, shock of all shocks, over Christmas Jason suggested we start looking for property–in Elma. Elma? For real? I really had to sit down and ask, am I ready to make that kind of commitment? It was the first time as an adult that I’ve considered moving back. I always thought we would land in a bigger city because of Jason’s job. But the commute is totally doable, and quite frankly, you can’t get this in the city.

Yeah, that's our trout pond. And those hills? They're Capital Forest. This will be the view from our back deck.

It might look ugly right now (these photos were taken in February), but in the summer it’s breathtaking. We found ten acres six minutes from my parents, and it had our name written all over it. It’s taken us over four months to finalize this deal. We wanted to be sure, to check every T and I for the appropriate crosses and dots, and pester the Heavens just in case this wasn’t the right decision.

But let me tell you, today I feel absolutely amazing. I’m going home. My kids are going to grow up with scads and scads of cousins, they’re going to be Eagles, and I can’t believe how happy I am about the whole thing. We’ll have a chicken coup and a cow and maybe, someday, if my kids are willing to put in the time and effort, a horse. And best of all? If we are really smart and really frugal and super duper careful, we’ll come back from Germany and build our dream home right here on our own piece of Heaven.

In Elma.

On The Back Ten.

Best. Day. Ever.


  1. Beautiful, Annie. And you deserve it. Just be careful with the water and your kids, ok? I have personal experience with it and want to make sure you’re vigilant :).

  2. I went to Elma last year and thought it was a cute town. I would actually love to take my husband there for a date night.

    Congratulations on your purchase!

  3. Yeah! So happy to have you close. Is this that piece off of the freeway up on the hill? Because it is not what it seems from the road. I love it, it’s beautiful. Ten acres will be so fun, but the best part is the little pond. Love it.

  4. You don’t want to wear stilettos anywayz do ya?

    That’s a beautiful piece of heaven! I’m excited and jealous. I would LOVE to have chickens. They are really entertaining.

    Lucky girl!!!

    How long in Germany?

  5. Jeannie says:

    My sister in law is from there…hehehe She’s a lot older, so you wouldn’t know her, but small small world….

  6. Oh yah thats wonderful Annie! It is funny how it turns out in the end, you almost always end up back at home. I know we would like to as well, but were pretty sastified with Lacey right now 🙂

  7. Congrats, Annie. I would love to live close to my family — any of them. And land on which to build a dream house?! AWESOME!!!!

  8. Hooray! It’s absolutely beautiful, and I can’t lie, I’m completely jealous.

  9. Stephanie says:

    It is so beautiful! 10 acres will be so nice to raise a family on! And a pond! We looked and looked in Ohio when we were ready to buy our home there and found a piece of land with a pond on it, but we got outbid on it. Now, we are in UT with way less land. Maybe someday. I think it’s good for kids to have room to run and explore. Kevin grew up on a farm and I love taking our family there to visit. Congratulations!!

  10. I grew up on a farm . . . . and love that I’m not there anymore BUT . . . . .

    I’m GLAD you are glad and hope you see that home on your new acres soon! (and I’d love to see you sneak out in your undies!!!! too funny)

  11. That is soooo thrilling! Our attempt to move back to my neck of the woods in the TriCities, WA (from DC) was disheartening, yet a nice way of Heavenly Father letting me know I would be okay wherever we were planted. (And yes, I do believe we were meant to be friends even though you probably couldn’t bribe me to wear stilletos!) So come hop to this side of the pond for a bit as your dreams forment!

  12. I’m so totally (in the best way) jealous! It looks so green and beautiful, and I bet you don’t get dust storms there! Could you build a little wing for me?

  13. Wow, congratulations! I am so incredibly jealous right now. I want to live on a piece of land just like that. I love it. I’m so happy for you!

  14. Wait – that’s Sasquatch country isn’t it?! What happens when you come back from Germany and find some teenage Big Foot having a pool party in your trout pond? Seriously. You should plan for these eventualities. (What I’m trying to say is, “CONGRATULATIONS – that’s awesome!!!”

  15. Wow, Annie! That’s all I can say! Exciting (and surprising!) news!!! That is beautiful! Awesome for your family!

  16. How nice, now that you’ve bought the farm you have a great place to kick the bucket, I mean play kick the can. So much to say about Elma and so little room, but I do love it there. Just last weekend there I fell asleep listening to the frogs, good times.

  17. All I can say is AMAZING……..absolutely gorgeously amazing. I can just see you running to the car in you undies (tee,hee) You’ll still find a place and a time for your stilletoes cause that’s how you roll.
    Surrounded by family…..support….beauty….nature. and I hope you get that horse.
    soooooo excited for you.
    how long will you be in Germany? before you can start to build

  18. you bought it!! So exciting! It’s absolutely gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it with a big wrap around porch and a swing set. Congrats!

  19. Wow!!! Congratulations! I am so excited for you! You definitely deserve it! Have a grand adventure in Germany, then come “home”! Yeah!

  20. ANNIE! YOU’RE COMING BACK TO WASHINGTON AND WASHINGTON COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!! now we’ll live closer to each other…well, eventually anyhow. seriously, like 5 hours tops between us! so when you want to come play in the desert you’ve got a pal here. and maybe the next time i’m over to olympia we can meet up for lunch or something. 🙂

    p.s. i’m jealous of your trout pond, and all the green trees you’re surrounded by there.
    trees are my goal in the next 3 years. lol.

    happy weekend to you & your family. and congrats on the big purchase!

  21. Congratulations Annie! I know this is what you have been dreaming about. It will be a fantastic place to raise your kidlets– and when their bugging, you can actually send them out to the back 40 and never hear a peep from them until dinner time. Lucky girl! Now all you need is one of those dinner triangles!

    I have a present for you, will you email me your address so I can send it to you?

  22. Denys Gallentine (Brumbaugh) says:

    Annie-Congrats….I don’t know if Elma will be able to contain you, but I’m sure it’ll be a fun adventure. I don’t know which of you or my Dad will have more fun torturning each other. Two extroverts in the same room? yikes! 🙂 It’ll be fun to see you from time to time when I come up to visit. PS Your house looks gorgeous! I love your furniture and your views from your windows. When is moving day?

  23. I’m so happy for you! This is so great!!! Now that I said that (and meant it!), I gotta tell ya…I’m a little choked up right now. I want this so much! I want tons of acres six minutes from my mom’s house. I want my kids to grow up with scads (I’m guessing that means a lot?) of cousins. I want a trout pond. I want, I want, I want….to NOT spend my days in stupid Utah County.

    Please tell me I can come visit you up there! And speaking of getting choked up…you’re leaving in like 3 months and I haven’t seen near enough of you. Sob 🙁