Back on November, 2006, Craig and I packed up our life in the Eastern suburbs of Sydney and moved into a Queenslander on the far north coast of NSW. I didn’t know if I actually wanted to live in the country but I did feel certain that I wanted to live in this house! We were rapidly outgrowing our little art deco rental unit in Sydney and we needed more space. Lots of it! Our choices were: move to a less Salubrious part of Sydney so that we could afford to rent a house with yard or bid Sydney “adieu” and buy a beautiful house, at an affordable price and make a new life for our little family.

Craig grew up in the area and had always harboured the desire to return. His mother and stepfather still live nearby. After raising our children completely alone, without any family around, for three years, we decided it was time to move closer to Mama (as she’s known to her grandchildren).

Although the house was decked out with horrible furniture and a bland, tired colour scheme, Craig and I liked it the moment we set foot inside. It wasn’t like the majority of Queenslanders we’d recently checked out. It had had some walls knocked out already, creating a spacious living area. It had new wiring, a new roof and was freshly painted on the exterior (albeit in colours we don’t like – bummer!) It had a large back yard which was dominated by a huge concrete driveway that allowed for a three point turn so one wouldn’t need to reverse out into the back lane. There was no garden to speak of. But I could see potential potential potential!  I would create a lush oasis for my little girls to play in. Leila was almost three and April was one and a half. It would be perfect!

We dove in. Signed the contracts and went back to Sydney to let reality sink in.

In November 2006, we moved in.

I’ve never looked back.

x Rachael