Monday, March 29, 2010

As for us and our home...

There are many reasons Mennos have gravitated toward certain areas of the country. Though I'm sure they could not have predicted the incredible chasm between home prices on the coasts vs the Mid-West, I am willing to bet that's one reason why they've stayed in these areas!

In Wichita, KS, a couple can buy a three bedroom, two full bath home with a garage, a fenced-in back yard and several other great amenities for just over $100,000. You need only watch HGTV on a Saturday afternoon for a few hours (or live somewhere other than the middle of the country) to know how freakin' awesome that is.

In fact, those same two people can live in an amazing house like that, and after spending a year paying off every last debt except the mortgage -- including both cars! -- that same couple can live comfortably on one income, and save the other person's WHOLE INCOME!

We are so excited and blessed and grateful to be one of those couples. When Brant and I met, he was in an apartment. Before we were engaged (but when we knew engagement was eminent) we started searching for a home. And we both agreed (hallelujah!) that the home should be inexpensive enough for us to be able to pay our house payment and ALL our bills on one income, so we could save and give away the rest. Praise God and thank you, Brant!

That means we can save mightily for Emily's college fund, be generous to our church and other causes about which we're passionate, pay cash for our next cars (after we've driven these two until they're dead -- thank you, Dave Ramsey) and many other opportunities to create and give away wealth. Personally, I've never known such freedom. And we both know ALL OF THIS BELONGS TO THE LORD who can and does give and take away in His perfect timing; we hold all this lightly, and gratefully. But we're already setting ourselves up to live a life of freedom from financial debt, and we so appreciate that both of us have been called by God into the same ways of thinking about money.

So here's the house!

As an additional blessing, Brant and I discovered early a shared love of mid-century architecture and design. So this house just so happens to match our tastes perfectly. Who could ask for more??

Here's the front of the house; the front door is on the side.

Here's looking onto the back deck, which is really cool and wraps around from the area between the house and the garage, and the back yard. Lots of trees!

This is looking into the back yard from the opposite direction. There's a nice shed and plenty of room for entertaining guests, for Izzy and Emily to run and play, and for just enjoying Kansas evenings by ourselves.

Here's the living room portion of the uber-open floor plan. Note Brant's awesome vintage furniture, including the coffee table, end table and lamp. The house is all hardwood or tile. Not a stitch of carpet in the place! (We're shopping for area rugs.)

This is moving to the right from the living room area. Brant and his dad built these fabulous shelves for all our books and I went ahead and moved in my books last weekend. (It was fun to do some pre-nesting!) Eventually this will be a reading corner, complete with lamp, end table and 1 or 2 chairs.

Moving again to the right, this is the dining area. (Note again: Brant's vintage dining set.) There's a corner that was meant to house a wood-burning stove, but we don't see ourselves going that direction so we're trying to decide what to do with the big concrete thingy in that corner. The tile work sure is nice!

Moving along to where the dining area meets the kitchen. This is all one, big U shape, separated only by the half wall you see on the far right. We both really love the floor plan and it's very conducive to preparing meals, interacting with each other and Emily, hosting guests, etc. Lots of sunlight. Awesome floors. We love it!

And here's the kitchen! It's not a great picture b/c it doesn't really capture all the cool, fun aspects of the space. But you get the idea. The countertops are concrete. There's plenty of cabinet space on both sides, even after previous cabinets were replaced with those dark wood shelves. The tiling and backsplash are really great colors. We just instantly loved this kitchen, and still do! We're looking forward to preparing lots and lots of meals here!

We hope you enjoyed this photo tour and look forward to having you over in person soon!


  1. The whole house is a beaut, but I really love your book nook.

  2. I miss this house, Thanks for sharing the photos. I am glad you guys are enjoying the house.