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  • Writer's pictureTara Salas

Life Changes

I started 2023 with TRUST as my word of the year. I don't always pick a word or set big goals at the New Year but coming out of the pandemic I felt like I was a little lost and in need of some intentional changes in my life.

In 2021 we purchased my grandparents home after they both passed away. The house is in a great location near Lake Michigan and we were in a good spot to buy. Our long term plans for the house were to use as an AirBnB or potentially renovate and live there. We weren't ready to make either of these moves in 2021 so we used as a long term rental. Our first tenants moved out end of 2022 and we were at a crossroads.

The township banned short term rentals so transitioning the house to an AirBnB was no longer an option. We were deciding between another long term tenant or selling our current house to move to this property.

In January 2023 we decided to test the waters. We put our house for sale by owner AND listed the other property on the rental market. This is where that TRUST word comes in. We ended up finding a tenant for the rental who only wanted a 6 month lease and it was through an agency that paid a premium. It seemed like a great option and more time for us to decide. We took our home back off the market and were happy to sit on this for a few months.

While all of this was going on I was actively trying to reduce my hours at the hospital. If we moved to the new property it would be out of district from the kids current school and I would need to free myself up to drive them. We were also back in the full swing of our busy family life and more time home for me to just keep the household running was something we were really craving. Early 2023 this just wasn't an option in my current role. I really love my job as a PA and wasn't willing to find a new job.

Summer 2023 came and I wasn't working any less and it was time to decide again on a move or what to do with the rental property. I was feeling disappointed that signs were pointing us against moving. I was also not thrilled about continuing with a long term rental, it just felt like one more thing to manage. We decided to sell the rental property. The timing worked out that my sister and her husband were in the market to buy their first house and we were able to sell directly to them!

I found so much peace in this decision and felt a weight lifted in a lot of ways knowing we were no longer considering moving. We were stepping into the fall of our oldest son's senior year and ready to lean in and soak it all up.

In October 2023 I was finally moving forward to reduce my hospital days by moving to 12 hour shifts and dropping from full time to part time. While this was still a change I wanted to make I was feeling frustrated that this didn't happen two months earlier before we sold the house and tabled a move. But we leaned into it and decided to finally do a major renovation on our master bedroom and bathroom, a room we hadn't really done much with the ten years we've lived here.

Then in November my world got rocked with some really hard news. My dad, who I'm very close with, was diagnosed with a rapidly progressive dementia at age 63. November and December I spent a lot of time grieving and reflecting and going to appointments with my parents.

I ended 2023 feeling like the TRUST was the worst possible word. I didn't think any of it went as planned. The rental house is only a mile from my parents house and my current house is 15+ miles. I was truly feeling confused and sad.

I didn't even pick a word for 2024, too many big feelings. I felt like I was starting the year raw and emotionally drained.

Then we got a call that my parents were wanting to sell their house. It's my childhood home. My parents built the house and love it. They didn't want to leave this house at this stage of their life but with my dad's diagnosis it was time. So....


We are buying my parents house and moving. It's close to Lake Michigan, has an in-ground pool and is only a mile away from my parents new place. I am absolutely amazed at the series of events that lead to this. My family, my sister's family and my parents will all be within a 2 mile radius. I'm more available to help with my reduced hospital days and my parents still get to enjoy the pool all summer without the maintenance. God had his hand in all of this and that is very clear to me.

The timing of all of this is still to be determined. We are mid bathroom renovation, remember?! 😂 We are finishing up that project and shifting focus to getting the house to market. The next few months are going to be stressful and busy and exciting and in some ways sad but I am very confident this is the right decision.

When I started The Doer and The Dreamer in 2020 I had no idea where this would really take me. I've always wanted to be a person here, not a brand, and I am happy to share this next chapter of life with you.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. When the dust settles and I have really processed all these changes I'll be eagerly planning projects to make the house OUR new family home.



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Jan 23

You should look into YoungHouseLove’s thoughts on redoing the master bathroom…lol. I’m not surprised you started that and are moving. Congratulations on your big move! I’m very sorry for your dad’s diagnosis. It’s a hard one.

Tara Salas
Tara Salas
Jan 23
Replying to

I will have to check that out and thank you!


Jan 22

Best of luck with the upcoming move but I’m sure it will all get done. I am waiting to move into a house that is delayed due to construction so will be here for all of your moving tips and tricks! I’m sorry to hear about your father’s diagnosis and am glad you’re close by to treasure time with him.

Tara Salas
Tara Salas
Jan 23
Replying to

I’m so happy to be moving closer. Thank you. I’ll definitely have lots to share about the move too!

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