Hi Claire,

I so hope you and the team have been well.

You won’t believe all that has happened since receiving our First Story home!

For us, this little house on this happy street has been at the center of so much life, so much community, so much love for Jeff and me. Never before have we understood the meaning of home quite like we do now.

As you know, we moved in March of 2016—it was just us and our little dog, Pixel.

Soon after, we got engaged in October 2016 with Jeff proposing in a hot air balloon high above Spokane. I finished up my Masters in Education degree that spring and was the Eastern Washington University commencement student speaker for the graduating class of 2017. So fun! Check it out at: https://youtu.be/0nhgh8RsKOE

About two weeks after graduation, Jeff and I got married on July 1, 2017 surrounded by family and friends. The wedding was amazing, but walking back through the door of our own home afterwards--that gratitude was almost as special.

Speaking of family and gratitude, I think you must know this--we were able to connect Jeff’s sister, Rachel, with a First Story home opportunity in our hometown. And she got it! We have the same home layout just flipped and it’s always fun to see how we utilize the space in each home!

As the years went by, Jeff continued working as an IT project manager with Avista, the utilities company here. I continued teaching kindergarten at Windsor Elementary where I met a new friend named Amye, who we later recommended for a First Story home as well!

In May of 2019, I found out I was pregnant and told Jeff in the living room of our home! Soon our guest room became a nursery as we prepared to welcome our daughter. Sydney Marie arrived on January 23, 2020 and we welcomed her home to our house the very next day.

Since then, we have experienced every milestone together within our home. And because we became parents during a pandemic we spent even more time here!

First bath, first words, first steps, first holidays, and so much more have occurred here in this sweet house and continue to! We are currently potty training and I’ve never been happier to have the upgrade of laminate flooring in the living space after several potty accidents!

Sadly, my Grandpa recently passed away after struggling with COPD for several years. His little dog, Teddy, is now living with us and so our home has welcomed one more cheerful life into the fold.

After taking some time off to be home with Sydney, I’m getting back to work again at a cooperative preschool here. It’s not Cheney School District, but that’s ok—we’re staying in touch with all our old colleagues because our home is right in the middle of everything. In fact our daughter will go to elementary school where I used to teach, and I hope to go back full time then, too!

I just wanted to take the time to share with you how much this home has meant to Jeff, Sydney, Pixel, Teddy and me. Our neighbors are amazing—always looking out for us. And we get to afford to stay here—in our own town—all because of this house. Because of First Story.

It means so very much. I just don’t know where we would be otherwise.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!