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A Big Family Update: We’re Moving!

moving to st. Louis - family at st louis arch

I have some big news – we’re moving to St. Louis! Here are all the details and our moving plans.

 

We’re sharing a big family update!

Whoa! We have some big, exciting news to share today. We’re moving to St. Louis, Missouri this sunmer!

 

MY OUTFIT DETAILS ABOVE:

ABLE JEANS (wearing size 26, code MERRICK15) | SIMILAR HENLEY BODYSUIT | AMAZON PUFFER COAT | ECCO SNEAKERS | AMAZON SUNGLASSES

 

A little backstory

The company Philip works for is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. We have known since day one of him starting this job (back in January 2007) that if he stayed with the company longterm, we would eventually end up in St. Louis. This has always been floating in the back of our heads, and has come up many times over the years.

Philip has had many job promotions within the company since 2007 that have moved him around, sometimes requiring a move, sometimes to a new office or working with a new group within the geographical area. We began in Salt Lake City in 2007, then his job moved us to Southern California in 2012. In 2019, we moved again to Dallas, and honestly we hoped that this would be our final stop, since we have loved it so much.

In 2020, Philip got his most recent promotion that kept us in Dallas but put him over a team in St. Louis, as well as Dallas. So he travels to St. Louis monthly to meet with his team and has become very familiar with the area.

 

Our longterm home plans…that didn’t work out

About nine months ago, a lot went up for sale on the other side of our town. It was a large property that needed to be developed and subdivided, but we sort of seriously talked about possibly buying it, selling parts of it, and then building a home on it. It came up a handful of times over a few weeks, and finally we mentioned it to the kids. They were surprisingly adamant about NOT buying this property, especially considering that this wouldn’t require any change to our schools or friends or church or anything…it would be about 4 miles from our current house, and still in the same town. They said, we love our house, we love our street and our neighbors, and we do NOT want to move.

So Philip and I completely dropped it and started having conversations about staying in our current home longterm. We decided that the boys were getting older and we wouldn’t want to uproot them as they entered high school, so I guess we were here for the long haul.

About 2 weeks later, we started looking for a contractor to build out our backyard, put in a pool, and turn this house into a longterm situation.

….best laid plans.

 

Fast forward to January 2023

In January of this year, when we were knee deep in pool design and HOA approval and sending in deposits, Philip walked into the kitchen one evening, sat down at the kitchen island while I was prepping dinner, and said, “want to move to St. Louis?”

….excuse me, what?

He proceeded to tell me about some movement happening at corporate that would open up a Vice President position, and he was pretty confident he would be eligible to apply.

Of course at this point nothing was happening, but the wheels were beginning to be set in motion.

As Philip put out some feelers at work, it was pretty evident that this was coming down the pipeline, and my biggest stress was the unknown. I had been to St. Louis twice as a teenager, very briefly, just going up the arch as far as I can remember. That’s about all I knew about the city. So Philip and I tried to figure out how I could get out there and check it out, just so I’d be prepared to make a clear decision if this job was offered to him.

My parents were coming to visit a week later, and miraculously they were planning to stay for five days. I called my mom, explained the situation, and asked if they could extend their trip by a day and stay with the kids for 3 days of their trip because we needed to go check out St. Louis. Of course they obliged.

So on Saturday afternoon, we dropped the kids and my parents off at Fos’ football game, then jetted off to St. Louis for a weekend of neighborhood hunting, church scouting, and exploring. As soon as we landed and began driving around, I felt so peaceful about being there. Geographically, it felt a lot like Texas, so the familiarity of it felt comforting. And everywhere we went people were so kind and only had amazing things to say about living in that area.

We have some friends from California who live there now, so I reached out to her to ask about the area. She was incredibly helpful, telling us all about the various areas, and we ended up attending her church congregation, met a few of her very inviting friends, and she connected us with several other people who were so, so kind. We ended up attending three different church congregations on Sunday just to look at the different areas, and instagram followers came up to me in all three congregations, so friendly and excited to say hi, and it just made me feel like I could find friends and people in this place. It was a little tender mercy for me from God, helping me feel peaceful about this potential move.

 

When it came down to the interview

It took another two months for the company to shift things around and for this position to open, but finally it did. We spent those two months waffling about this decision. Was it right to uproot the kids? Would it be a good thing for our family? Did the benefits of the new job position outweigh all the cons of moving and raising our family somewhere else? We went in circles on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, we didn’t breathe a word to the kids or anyone else.

Philip spent weeks putting together his application for the job interview, but even on the last day of the job opening window, we were unsure about whether this was right or not. I had prayed and prayed and just couldn’t feel settled on it. I didn’t feel like it was the wrong thing, but I just wasn’t sure it was the right thing.

On the last day of the application window, Philip came into our office and said, “should I do this??” We went back through the pros and cons, and I felt like he was leaning toward NOT applying. So I said, “Don’t apply. We’re happy here, let’s just stay here!” His response was immediate…”wellllll….maybe I do want to go for it.” So I said, “Just do it. If you don’t apply, you’ll regret it. If you don’t get it, we’re so happy here, there’s nothing to lose! So just go for it.” And I could tell that was just the push he needed. He said, “I better do it before I lose my nerve!”

And so he put in his application.

One of the big pros for us at this point was that the kids are still young. Our oldest is in 7th grade currently, so he still has another year before high school. If we didn’t take this opportunity, Philip felt like other great opportunities within the company would open up in the coming years, and at that point with the kids being several years older, it would be much harder to move.

So it felt a little bit like “now or never.”

Another big pro was that Philip had been feeling a little stagnant the last few months. He’d expressed feelings of frustration to me over and over again, feeling like he needed a change, but he didn’t know what. I told him it was because we hadn’t gone on a vacation for a few months. But as soon as this opportunity arose and he saw the potential for a new challenge in his work life, it was evident that this new opportunity was just the change he didn’t know he was looking for.

We also knew that St. Louis could be our final destination, and that he could continue to promote within the company there, but be able to remain at the corporate offices, allowing us to raise our boys in one place. That felt like a huge benefit.

After a phone interview the next morning and then a trip out to St. Louis the following week to have four in-person interviews, they told him he got the job.

As soon as he told me, I just felt an overwhelming feeling of peace. We did the right thing, and it was all going to work out.

 

How the kids handled the news

The following week was spring break for us, so we decided we’d tell the kids during our spring break trip. It seemed like dropping this news bomb on them would be a little easier on a fun vacation filled with family time. Lots of time to process and talk through it with no distractions.

We went to Broken Bow, Oklahoma for spring break and rented a beautiful cabin up there, and it was magical. But this news was looming over our heads for the entire first day. On day two, it was pouring rain, so we stayed inside and watched movies, played games, and made yummy food. It seemed like the right time to tell.

We gathered the boys onto the pull out couch, snuggled up, and told them the news. There were immediate tears from our oldest, followed by him saying, “I knew it…I just knew it.” This statement was a total shock to us, and we asked him how he knew. He said he had overheard little things here and there, noticed Philip going to St. Louis a lot more lately, and just put two and two together. I told him that I was sure that was Heavenly Father preparing him for this big news. (more on that later).

As we told them about the process and our decision making over the last few months, I had sudden inspiration about how to put this news into context for the boys. They are all in advanced placement classes at school, as well as the gifted and talented education programs, and I told them that their teachers put them in those classes because their brains needed to be challenged. If they were in the lower level classes, they would be bored and frustrated. I told them that Dad was the same way, and his brain needed to be challenged, and his current job couldn’t do that for him in the longterm. But this new job would. With this explanation, it clicked for each of the boys. Of course there were still tears, but they understood that Dad’s needs were just as important as their needs, and our family could make sacrifices to make sure everyone in the family was happy and fulfilled. It was actually a pretty amazing moment that I hope to remember forever.

Shockingly, the boys took the news so well, and after one long conversation about it, we played as a family for the rest of the week, continuing to bring it up and discuss and make it part of our normal conversation as we adjusted to this news.

I had texted my family before we told the kids and asked them to say a little prayer for us. After we told the kids, I texted everyone back and told them how it went, and mentioned that B had felt that this was coming. My mom responded, “look at him, receiving personal revelation!” As I read her text, I had an “aha” moment. B had set a goal this year as part of our church’s youth program to be able to receive personal revelation! I had heard him pray about this goal many times since he set the goal in January, and it hit me like a ton of bricks to realize that my sweet 12 year old boy had received an answer to a direct prayer, and also received his own personal revelation from God. What a gift!

As we sat around the fire at the cabin on Sunday night, the younger boys ran off to play in the yard but B stayed with Philip and me as the fire died down. I decided this was a great time to bring up this connection that my mom had helped me make. As we talked, I asked him if he realized he had received personal revelation. He looked at me with big eyes and said, “no I didn’t even realize that!” I said, you also received a direct answer to your prayers!

It was one of those moments where we felt God’s presence so strongly, and I could tell that he realized God knew him and was watching out for him. It was a life changing moment for both of us. I felt so grateful.

 

Back at home

Phew, are you still reading?  This is getting long winded.

Over the last month since spring break, everything has moved at lightning speed, with everything falling into place perfectly. It just continues to confirm to me that we’re doing the right thing.

Philip went back out to St. Louis for work and met with a realtor there, went through a few houses (after looking through hundreds online) and found us an amazing house! I’ll share more about it soon, but we have a house!

And if you’re stressed about the fact that we bought it without me seeing it, don’t worry…Philip has literally bought all our houses without me seeing them. He’s trustworthy.

We planned a trip out over Easter weekend since the boys had Good Friday off of school, so two days after buying the house, we flew out there as a family to introduce the boys to St. Louis. They loved it. We got to visit the new house, we attended an Easter egg hunt with our new church congregation (where everyone was so kind and inviting), we went up the arch and visited some other fun places in the city, and then on Sunday we attended our new congregation where the entire very large youth group and primary group got up to sing (separately) so we were able to get a really good feel for how many kids and youth there are in our congregation. We are SO grateful there are so many youth and kids, so it will be immediate friends and community for the kids. Miracle after miracle for our family.

The following week, we came home from our trip, listed our house here for sale, and sold it within four days for over asking price. Truly we could not be more blessed.

I have felt overwhelmed by all the changes and demands and decisions that have come our way over the last four months, but truly I feel so peaceful and excited about this move.

I’m devastated to leave our friends and neighbors and home here in Dallas, but I know we’re going where we need to go, and that there are good things in store for us there.

 

What next?

The next few months will be crazy around here with the end of school, a few planned trips, and then moving in June. Thankfully the company gives us a relocation package, which includes packers and movers (we’ve done this twice already and it’s a game changer), so hopefully things will go fairly smoothly on that front.

However, we can’t get the keys to our new house until August 1st, unfortunately, so we will be living in temporary housing for the summer in St. Louis and making it work, whatever that looks like! I guess get ready for some capsule wardrobe content, because I’ll be living out of a suitcase for 8 weeks.

I’ll still be blogging and styling and creating content, but you’ll be seeing a few new spaces and I’ll be getting a little extra creative over the next few months as we live in limbo.

Thank you, thank you for your support over all these years…lots of good things are ahead!

 

 

49 Comments

  1. Natalie S. says:

    One of my best friends lives in St. Louis and I have absolutely fallen in love with the city every time I’ve visited! It is gorgeous and so family friendly. There are so many amazing things to do with kids! (The zoo, city museum, magic house, science center, botanical gardens). It has all the amenities of a big city with a smaller town feel, and you’ll love the beautiful seasonal changes. (if you can’t tell, I’d move there in a heartbeat if our work circumstances allowed it, haha). so excited for you!!!!

    • Joe Standford says:

      do not move to saint Louis, it’s the.murder capital of the state and the saint Louis police will not respond to calls.
      check crime statistics for saint Louis.
      from someone who grew up in Saint Louis and had three bikes stolen and home robbed.

      • R webb says:

        sorry to hear that happened to you joe, but it really depends on where you live in pretty much any city and state. plus crime can happen anywhere unfortunately. st. louis is not a bad place to live. i’ve lived here my whole life and have raised my family here in the suburbs and i love it. even in the city there are many safe places to live.

    • Mary Hugon says:

      I grew up in North St Louis 50 +years ago. I feel it was a good City back then. If you have to Work in Saint Louis.. live As far away from the city as you can for safety…. but then you got some of the worst commutes and drivers in the country.

    • TRP says:

      Congrats? St. Louis has some great spots. Downtown is not that safe. Please be very selective on where you choose to live

  2. Diana says:

    Can we all just give you a big hug and collective sigh over how much mental load you must be carrying/carried. Im so excited for you and your family, growing up near STL it really is a lovely place, sprawling but lovely. Wishing you all the best and all the peace over it!

    • Lisa says:

      AS AN ADULT, I HAVE LIVED IN 5 CITIES IN 4 STATES AND I WOULD CHOSE STL OVER AND OVER AGAIN. I WAS HESITANT ABOUT RELOCATING THERE BUT STL QUICKLY BECAME HOME.

      STL is a grrat place to live and to raise a family. There is so much to do, the mid-western kindness makes you feel immediately at home, you’ll experience all 4 seasons, and it is a good location for travel.

  3. Jill says:

    Merrick, i’m so happy for yoir family and got a little teary eyed while reading your big family update. I hope the move goes smooth and i look forward to following along. Xo

  4. FELICIA says:

    Wow, congrats to you and your family! I read this and realized ive been following and loving your content since before your texas move! Thanks for all the good reads and the wonderful family example and insights – i have one baby boy and really love reading your parenting and family content. I often think aboht how i can go about making sunshine for our home 🙂

  5. Viki says:

    You are so brave! What a heavy load You have Been carrying! With your faith and strong family, I know you all will do well in st Louis.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. I hope someday you will write a book about it all.you have such a personable way, you feel like a good friend. Best of luck and keep sharing❤️

  6. Libby says:

    Hahaha. We’ve been going through something similar since october. My husband started a job at a new company at the end of march, but his commute is over an hour. we are looking for a house closer, but are having a hard time finding something we like that doesn’t have power lines running through the backyard. ugh! so glad you are feeling more settled. i look forward to your blogs through your move.

  7. Ashley says:

    What a whirlwind! I lived hearing the play by play of how it all worked out. Isn’t it funny how when things are right, everything just falls into place? Im so happy that ita going smoothly for you and that your kids are feeling happy and at peace about it. Cant wait to see your new house!

  8. Kristin says:

    I shared on ig that we’re west of st. Louis. We moved here 7 years ago from dallas, before that we were in southern california. When you get here i invite you to my moms group to talk about style! Seriously, i think you’d be great. Good luck with the move!

  9. Jenny says:

    Congrats on your exciting news And the promotion for your husband! What an amazing story of God’s provision and his hand upon your life. St. Louis is wonderful! My family lived there for 5 years before moving back to the east coast and we have a similar story of how God took care of all the details. The best is yet to come and I wish your family well! Looking forward to seeing more of your journey and it will be neat to recognize the landmarks.

  10. Stephanie F says:

    Congrats! we moved this year and we were also in love with our old area but something was calling us to do something different. My son is also in grade 7 and although he had a bit of an adjustment it’s going well now. Best wishes! you always know when it’s the right choice :).

  11. Kaylie says:

    I’m not sure why this made me tear up! You guys will be great up there and will be making your own sunshine 😉 and spreading lots of goodness too. Your brave boys will be awesome too. i love the idea of the advanced placement for relating the SITUATION to your boys!

  12. Robin Webb says:

    i’ve been following you for years merrick, and when i saw your pic on this post in front of the arch i said “no way!” I’ve lived in st. louis my whole life and am now raising my own family here. it’s a great place to live and raise kids, lots of great public and privat schools. we love it and i hope you will love it here too! best of luck with your move!

  13. Kristie Wilson says:

    What a beautiful post. the twists and turns, love the personal revelation for your oldest son. Your family is wonderfully blessed. Best wishes for the move and limbo living.

  14. Lesie says:

    Welcome to sT LOUIS Been here since 07 love it!!!! God bless and safe TRAVELS

  15. Sorry to hear about your experience says:

    UNFORTUNATELY, THIS IS OCCURRING MAINLY WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS OF ST. LOUIS, NOT THE VAST MAJORITY OF ST LOUIS COUNTY, WHICH IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT LAW ENFORCEMENT ENTITY. I’M SURE YOUR PRAYERS & FRIENDS HAVE GUIDED YOU TO A SAFE AREA FOR YOUR FAMILY. GOD BLESS YOUR NEW LIFE. ON A PRACTICAL NOTE, SINCE YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO SETTLE INTO YOUR NEW HOME FOR MOST OF THE SUMMER, THERE IS SOO MUCH TO DO WITHIN A 90 MINUTE DRIVE OF THE CITY/COUNTY THAT WOULD BE PERFECT FOR YOUR FAMILY. ONE OF MY PERSONAL FAVORITES (& RELATIVELY NEWLY OPENED) IS PICKLE SPRINGS. WELCOME TO THE AREA.

  16. Amanda says:

    We moved last year from Wichita, KS to Western, Colorado, sight unseen. similar circumstances about work, renting short term, and the movers. hang in there – what a fun time for you all!

  17. Whitney Van Tassell says:

    What a beautiful post! Congratulations this will be a fun new adventure for you and your family! I loved hearing all about Benson’s experience with his prayers being answered and receiving his own revelation about this huge life change for your family. Can’t wait to follow along your journey.

  18. Matt Renfro says:

    welcome to St. Louis! My name is Matt renfro and I am a local painting contractor specializing in high end residential work for homeowners. I just came acroos your post from today about moving to STL. I am a small local company and can provide references from pretty much any area you are moving to in the metro. please reach out if you are interested in getting a quote! you can check out some of my work at facebook.com/mrpainterstl. hope to hear from you soon, and good luck on your big move!

  19. Maddie pizoni says:

    Wel to STL i also live here and i think yoy should chec out Webster Groves i’m From there and i went the webster schools From k-12 and had a really good experience!!

  20. CATHERINE says:

    So happy foe you!!! I went to SLU and have the best memories. The city (downtown) is really trying to make a come back, but the areas right outside near Wash U are so so fun!!! And the outer suburbs really are BEAUTIFUL. I hope ylu guys find your forever home! The boys will love the snow!

  21. Kristen says:

    Hello! i MOVEd to stl from Dallas 7.5yrs ago from Frisco and moved my mother last year. we love it here! i have lived in the city since i moved here and while there is normal city crime, it’s really not as bad as what people say. i love living in the city! there’s so many fun things to do here. also this city has some of the best PARKs! keep an open mind because you will hear how bad things are in the city but it’s really just like any other city but seems worse because it’s a smaller city.

  22. Therese says:

    welcome!I am a st. Louis NATIVE. I have lived here my entire life. I wish you and your family the best! God bless you all!

  23. Michael says:

    I’m a farm boy from Missouri. Stl is high crime in most but not all places. I’m curious what type work your husband does, I’m a born again Christian with a MBA in finance and being a Christian which you sound like he is too. millions of businesses are now against God heavily. I haven’t found zero opportunities out of thousands that allow any type of religious people near them. I’ve seen multi thousands be fired after they heard them sat they went to church.

  24. Belinda says:

    welcome to the St. Louis area! we moved here about 5 years ago with our 3 girls for my husband’s job as well. there are plenty of things to do here for both adults and kids. good luck with the move!

  25. Kristen Duke says:

    WoW, loved reading all of this! We had a similar big family move almost 3 years ago from Austin, Texas to Colorado, we had lived in round rock for 17 years! and just like you said, we just felt drawn here after a series of events, moving is fun and adventurous and hard and scary, and I love ththat your son was able to have that special experience of personal revelation, and that you were able to point that out to him. Encourage him to write it down! He may need to reference back to that when times are hard. Send me a message if you need anything anytime!

  26. Anne says:

    This is the first time seeing an article by you, as far as I recall, and I must say, my heart was warmed by your journey and and how you shared this. I came to tears as you shared about your son receiving his personal revelation. THanks and blessings to you all.

    • Andrea says:

      Welcome to St. louis! I was
      Born and raised here. I am new to your blog i must say. it
      was in my Google feed. I enjOyed READING and look FORWARD to hear more about your journey. Best of luck with your move ans CONGRATS on the job promoTion.

  27. Cammie says:

    Welcome to St.Louis! Reading through the comments section was interesting. There’s a thread of truth in the cautionary comments but there is a whole big ol’ bucket of truth in the positive ones. Been here for over 10 years AND I FELL in love with it in the midst of its strife, just as God has done with us. My husband and I are Raising our adorable child here in an amazing school DISTRICT and we also are a part of an amazing church family.. We are definitely blessed! I would say St. Louis is like your favorite aunt, the fun one, the one that is adventurous, sweet, frustrating, yet endearing. I hope your time here with your family is filled with many joyful memories and adventures. : )

  28. Aimee R says:

    Welcome to stl!! If you’d like to know more about the schools, we are in the area and spend lots of time helping families navigate schools. Feel free to email.

  29. Marie says:

    I have lived in st louis my entire life. I have 3 kiddos that have loved all the schools they have attended here. We absolutely love our church community as well! St louis is a great place to raise a family. Midwest values in a big city. I am happy to give you any advice and suggestions!!

  30. Amber says:

    I am so excited for you. Thank for sharing the details of how this all came about. I APPRECIATED that you shared your decision making process. I am also (selfishly) excited to see all the colder weather fashion solutions you come up with next!

  31. Amy says:

    Welcome to stl. THere are so many things to do here. you will love it.

  32. Mark Tomlinson says:

    Moving a family can be stressful.
    I have lived in the St.Louis area all my life. crime is a issue in the downtown areas, but there are great areas outside the city in which to live.st.louis country has some great areas to raise a family. so welcome, and we wish you the best

  33. Jenni Weber says:

    welcome! I live in st. Charles just outside stl. we’re glad another family is here and wanting to be part of the community

  34. Lori Berdak Miller says:

    welcome to the area. so much to do for free, great food. name a sport, it’s here. great people. and God is in control!

  35. Emma says:

    So excited for your family! I loved this post!! We were actually going to look at houses in a new area last week when my husband got laid off from his new job. Im a little relieved it happened before we bought a house though! Here’s to hoping he gets a better job and we’re able to find a house soon. So happy for your new adventure!

  36. Kristen Allsup says:

    We ARE HAPPY to have your family in STL! I live in west County (Wildwood specifically) with my husband and 2 kiddos and we love it here. Feel free to email me or message me—i would love to connect and help make your move less stressfuL!

  37. Meagan says:

    Welcome to St Louis! I’ve been here since 07 and my hubs is a native. We love it and we happily raising our family here. There are pros and cons to every area, but OVERALL it’s a nice place to be. Lots to do with kids, great sports, fun boutiques, good midwestern folks. Our companies are both HQ’d here so it will be home for the forseeable future, and we make the most of it,

  38. Renee Cunningham says:

    i MOVED to st.louis back in 2017 and its been a BLESSING FOR me and my family. Follow God and you will be fine. I live in lake st louis. 40 mintues outside Of the city.

  39. Stl born & raised says:

    heck, the crime? been here my whole life and just gotta be aware and smart.
    my complaint is the HUMIDITY…. lol

  40. SEMFILLEV says:

    IF YOU’VE RECENTLY MOVED TO NEW YORK AND ARE IN NEED OF A GREAT BARBERSHOP, LOOK NO FURTHER! OUR CITY BARBER SHOP IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO GET A FRESH HAIRCUT OR A CLEAN SHAVE. OUR SHOP HAS A RELAXED AND WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE, SO YOU CAN SIT BACK AND ENJOY YOUR GROOMING EXPERIENCE.

  41. Carrie says:

    I grew up in St. Louis (st. Peters/st. Charles area) and It’s a great place to live! You will love it! My husband & I were married in the St Louis temple, so it will always have a special place in my heart. My parents are still in St Charles & my BROTHER lives in Maryland Heights. There are zillions of thibgs to do there and its just an overall great place to raise a family. Youre going to love it!

  42. sTEPHANIE says:

    Merrick,as a long time follower of your blog, I was shocked to find you were moving to my hometown! I think you will find it a beautiful place to raise a family. As others have mentioned, there is so much fun and cuture around you, it’s a wonderful. I Am also so proud of you sharing your testimony of how God is moving in your family’s lives. For our good and his glory!

  43. Ada says:

    A great chance to start from scratch and in a new place. My family is also planning to move to a neighboring state, to a bigger house. Now this is important, because we are waiting for replenishment and we are planning to start a large family. Choosing a moving company was difficult, but we managed to find https://goodmoversusa.com/ who already offered a good price

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