Magnolia Avenue

We're getting a new address. We'll be living on Magnolia Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri! Our new "flat" is three blocks east of Tower Grove park in the historic "Tower Grove East" neighborhood.  I will be attending graduate school at Saint Louis University, and Kyle's plan is TBA. We still have not heard from the law school, but we have a tentative backup plan for him to work for a year and reapply for the Fall of 2011 if he is not accepted. We'll let you know on that one!

Despite all the unanswered questions, we very strongly feel that God is leading us to St. Louis. We have felt that way since about November, but He has made it abundantly clear over the last few weeks.  We can't wait to see what He has planned for us there and how we will serve in our new community. We're thrilled to join arms with August Gate, a new church plant in the Soulard neighborhood. Our good friends Josh and Kim Jones are part of the planting team.

Last weekend we went hunting for apartments. We didn't see anything we absolutely hated or would refuse to live in. Let me tell you, St. Louis has many more affordable housing options than Carbondale, or anywhere else we've lived, or anywhere we've looked at living. This apartment, however, was the first one we looked at, and the one by which we compared everything else all day.

We will be living in one of the 2nd floor flats in a 4-family flat.  The building and neighborhood are old, but in good condition. There appear to be many young(ish) families that live in the neighborhood. All the yards seemed clean and well-maintained. Nothing too fancy, but tidy. I like tidy.

This is the front of the house. I apologize for the poor picture quality. I did not take these photos. They were on the property management's website. The front yard is steep and in back there are parking spaces. So, there isn't much outdoor space to speak of, but we do have a balcony in the front and the back. There is also a patio out back for all four families to use. We weren't really expecting much, being in such a big city. We are very close to a very nice park, though! Under the house is a full basement with lots of storage and washers and dryers. I was praying we wouldn't have to live somewhere that required us to use a laundromat. I've been spoiled to have my own washer and dryer for four years!

The front door takes you straight upstairs. This is looking into the front room (too small to be a bedroom, so I think it might be an office or sunroom) and the master bedroom is on the left. All the ceilings in this place are tall, tall, tall. This is something I love, love, love. Above you is the ugliest chandelier the world has ever seen. That's gotta go! Kyle's grandmother left us a chandelier that I'd like to hang instead. (Uh, Daddy? Help, please? Bring your ladder and some tools.)

This is the master bedroom. I love this wood burning fireplace and the old mantle! You can't tell from the picture, but the room is HUGE. Anyone have a spare king size bed we could put in it? We can finally upgrade our full! I do, however, have plans to paint over that blue. It's pretty and soft, but it doesn't really work with any of our bedroom decor. 

This is the view standing in the middle of the second bedroom looking into the living room. The hallway is to the left. This room is also HUGE, not that you can tell from this ridiculous picture. We're toying with the idea of using it as our living room and using the living room as a dining room. We do not have a bed to put in it. Our current second bedroom is just an office, and doesn't hold much other than our many, many, books and our desk. We'll see...

This is the living room. Once again, it is very large. This picture was probably taken in the middle of the room. Behind you are two tall windows that bring in lots of pretty light. To the left is the second bedroom and the hallway. To the right is the hall that leads to the kitchen and the bathroom. Also, have I mentioned the closet space in this place? No? Well, we were blown away by it! We weren't expecting much with it being such an old house, but it puts our little duplex to shame.

Finally we have the kitchen. This may be the least impressive room in the place. Well, I take that back. The bathroom is not at all exciting, either. However, it will do just fine. Out that door is a little balcony just big enough to hold a chair and a few flower pots. To the right are more cabinets and the sink. Up and to the left is a nice pantry. You can see a bit of the fridge. Directly to the left is a doorway that leads down stairs to the patio out back and to the basement. I imagine that I may come to loath those stairs after some time. Kyle insists that it will be just fine. This kitchen definitely needs a fresh coat of paint. It's supposed to be an "eat-in" kitchen, but I'm not quite sure where they expect you to eat. Our (very little) kitchen table won't even fit in there. After some paint, some new hardware on the cabinets, some curtains, a couple throw rugs, and a splash of love, I suspect I'll be just fine with it.

That's all the pictures I have to share for now. I'll be sure and take some throughout the moving and sprucing process. The next few weeks are sure to be a whirlwind, and we want to savor our time here with our dear friends and family in Carbondale. I cannot even begin to imagine what our lives will be like without them. I'm not even going to go there yet. I'll cry. I'm not ready for tears yet.