Do you ever have a moment where you think to yourself, “This is where I’m going to be?” It’s a strong feeling that wraps around you like a warm hug. It’s so strong that it already feels real before it even comes into fruition.
I wanted to share with you the string of events that brought Bryce and me to our new home. There’s a children’s book called Goodnight Opus that my mom read to us (Sutton and I) thousands and thousands of times. The message was you never know what life has in store for you if you don’t sometimes deviate from the plan.
Our plan was to move to Kansas City after Bryce graduated from Kansas State University in December. Yes, I know we were crazy trying to move during the holidays. How we tackled apartment hunting was first deciding on a location. We wanted to be downtown near restaurants, coffee shops, concerts, and the gorgeous skyline. Next we selected our “must-haves” into an apartment search engine. Our list contained a gym, a pool, in-unit laundry, two bedrooms, and pet-friendly for a future fur baby.
And so the story begins, where we deviated from the plan.
My dad backed into a parking space in the River Market area of Kansas City. Posted on the apartment behind us was a sign that said leasing. My heart started racing. Immediately I sprang to Google and looked at the apartment online. It was in a historical building so no pool, no in-unit laundry, and no gym. I didn’t care. On that Sunday afternoon I just knew I wanted to be there. We walked across the street for coffee. I didn’t say much about the apartment or my dream. Bryce was in California and the leasing office was closed. We were in the River Market for coffee, not apartment hunting.
Two weeks later a headhunter had contacted me. After an interview on Skype and an essay online, I was scheduled for an in person interview in Kansas City. The building happened to be on the same street as my historical apartment building. It was three streetcar stops exactly. After the interview, Bryce and I grabbed Poke from FreeStyle (it’s closed now — so sad). We parked right by the historical apartments. I begged to stop into the leasing office. The apartment for lease was no longer available. My heart sank. We chatted with the leasing manager. She asked us a lot of questions and explained that they manage three historical building in this area with over 45 floor plans. Right before we left she said there would be a possible open apartment in December. It had not been listed yet due to being under renovations. The previous tenant resided there for 15 years. She went on to say she would move into it because the views are of downtown and all the way to the river. My dream was back. She wrote our information down to give to the leasing agent. We heard nothing from the agent for a week and half.
After much nagging from me, Bryce called the leasing agent, and by the grace of God we had the first viewing appointment. We were warned the apartment was still under renovation. Bryce drove two hours to meet me in the River Market. I showed up after a spray tan appointment at the Spa in Briarcliff in my gray Walmart sweats and gold Adidas slides. It was a look. I didn’t care. I just knew this was my place and we needed to act fast.
My first impression was the gorgeous textured brick walls, sunlight dancing on the floors, and windows displaying a city I truly love. I didn’t care that laundry was down a floor or the kitchen had no island, the toilet was sitting in the bathtub, and an old fridge greeted our entry. None of it mattered. I walked in and was instantly greeted with a warm, welcoming feeling — one that made it not feel like an apartment but more like a home. It was spacious with high ceilings and wrapped in windows along the side and the entire back of the building. Yes, my heart was in full dancing on air mode. I just knew.
Bryce and I went with my parents to II Lazzarone. We weighed their thoughts and guidance over Crepa ( the best pizza EVER). The apartment had another showing the next day. Bryce and I would be in Maryville for Northwest Missouri State University Homecoming. Time was ticking and I was scared. This was the only apartment we had looked at. We had showings scheduled for Sunday at the Western Auto Building, Power and Light Apartments, and The Grand. What do we do?
We did what our gut told us to do. We applied and put down the deposit at midnight. We kept our showings for the other apartments so we could compare apples to oranges. On Saturday, we moved into our historical apartment. Our deviation from the typical apartment search brought us home.
The prior tenant, a well known Italian restaurant owner, updated our space with unique features. He actually demolished the laundry room shared by a floor of tenants. How you might wonder? He was friends with the building’s owner. So yes, we have no laundry room on our floor — that is now my kitchen. We are also greeted with an unusual piece of artwork. The masonry work has a sketch of a person’s face drawn on it. I’m keeping it. It belongs there. See if you can find it in the photos. The master bedroom sink unit itself is custom with open shelving under it. The faucet resembles pipes — very manly looking.
We live in an 1861 constructed building listed on the National Registry. It dates back to Civil War times and housed Union troops. It became a hotel in Wild West days. Jesse and Frank James were nephews of the hotel’s owners and could be seen hanging out along with Bill Hickok and Doc Holliday. If these walls could only talk! All of these details made me love the building we live in more. The connection to our past and the historical mark this building had on my beloved Kansas City brings me so much pride. It’s more than an apartment to Bryce and me. It’s our home! I had a feeling about this place the minute I spied it. Yes we deviated from the plan but the road led us home and there’s no better place than that.
Welcome to our home!
Thank you for being a part of my life journey. I hope to see you at the same time, same place next week.
Until then, spread kindness:
- Hold a door open for someone
- Let someone in front of you in a line
- Tape a dollar on a vending machine