The Key to Making a Place a Home

I don’t want my title to be misleading. This isn’t the magic answer to solving all of life’s problems. Although that would be nice :).

Instead, I’d like to think of it a little differently. A key opens something and that’s it. What is on the other side is left untouched unless we do something about it…step in, take it out, enter…whatever it may be we must act to receive the benefit that the key gives us!

This little piece of advice is a key for you and your family. Hopefully what you do with it will unlock your own happiness! No pun intended!!!

I can’t tell you the key until I tell you my story first! It will make more sense that way…

Four years ago our family left the beautiful mountains and valleys of Idaho and set off across the country, away from family and friends, away from school and church, away from everything familiar. Yep…we were moving far away. It was the craziest thing our family had ever done. We had no family to go to or familiar face to welcome us, but we had a house and a job which was all we needed to start a new chapter in our lives. We were alone on this new adventure, and at first, that was OK! We were excited! I can honestly say that at times I felt like I was on some adventure ride at Disney World.

Disney World

Everything I did was new and fresh and I was soaking it all in. Then reality set in. It only took four months before this new home became my worst enemy. Ok, so you might think I’m being overdramatic, and maybe I was. But if any of you have ever been through a major move, you know that it isn’t always easy. Every little thing felt like a big thing. I wondered when the newness would wear off. I asked myself over and over if it would ever feel like Home. It didn’t help that our new HOME- North Carolina- was now the most religiously, culturally, ethnically diverse place I’d ever lived.

I began to ask too often why we were here.

What I did next was a lifesaver for me! I had this idea and I decided to act on it.

And before you get too excited I have to put in a disclaimer: it was super SIMPLE…okay I can proceed!

North Carolina Adventures

I got a poster board and some alphabet stickers, slapped each letter on there and tacked it on our wall in our kitchen. Above the poster I wrote “Our North Carolina Adventures”. And that’s it! I told my family that we were going to start researching all there was to do here and in surrounding states. We would create a list of what we discovered and every time we did something new, we would record it on our poster. The monster was now unleashed and I was on the hunt.

Seriously I started looking on the internet for every festival, museum, amusement park, zoo, restaurant, and historical place that I could find. I searched everything from free and cheap to expensive. That way we could set goals for the more pricey things.

What I found shocked me. There were so many amazing things to do, to enjoy, to love! I realized that we were one hour from the famous Smokey Mountains and only three hours from beautiful beaches. In a days’ time we could take a trip to Orlando, Atlanta, or Charleston to name a few. We discovered our family’s LOVE for Southern BBQ and cooking, and our fetish for banana pudding and Fried Apples. (Seriously the best food EVER)!


We went gem mining, held kangaroos, zip lined, toured WWII battleships, defied gravity, looked through huge telescopes in the middle of the night, and attended our first NASCAR Race! We hiked through caves, floated down rivers, went to a Broadway musical, flew on roller coasters, and toured plantations. When I recall all that we have done together I am happy. The new memories I was creating were removing the bad ones. I was beginning to tolerate, then like, then love my new home. There was so much to enjoy that I couldn’t possibly dislike this place. I realized I was the lucky one to enjoy it.

Did you catch the key? That’s right: Creating Memories!

The Key to making a Place feel like HOME is to CREATE MEMORIES

Recently I reflected on my time in Idaho. When we had moved into our first home, it wasn’t easy. I didn’t know anyone or felt I belonged, very similar to how I felt here, but I had come to love Idaho! And I loved Idaho because I had done the same thing I was doing in North Carolina. It was the Tetons and elk, the winters and snow machines, the huckleberries and night skiing, it was Boise and train rides, BYU-Idaho and concerts, it was ice blocking and sledding…it was the good memories that made it my home. It worked in Idaho and it worked in North Carolina. It turned my dislike into love and my despair into joy.

All it took was CREATING MEMORIES!!!! I can honestly say after four years, I’m HOME!

So now you have the key. What memories will you create today with your family?


This appeared first on Real Imprints

Just a few pictures from our latest adventures!!!!


caves 2

caves 3


chimney rock

gravity 2