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Personal Update About our Move to Idaho

Tim and I were raised in N. Idaho and we’ve come back to spend time at our cabin for years.  We had been planning to move back and enjoy country life as a retirement plan but there’s nothing like the Coronavirus pandemic to force you to take a hard look at what you’re doing and where you want to go.

This is a follow up post to my moving announcement in August.  I’ve been getting a lot of questions about our move, the 2.5 acres of land we purchased, COVID here, how the kids are doing, and how the new house is coming along.  I thought it would be a perfect time to give you an update…..and what a whirlwind it’s been!


So to recap the timeline: 

In March Tim stopped traveling, I stopped working, and the kids were fully remote in school.  I don’t need to tell you how that transition was as you were all struggling to hold things together too. 

In June we found land after looking for a couple years.  We wanted something close into town but private enough to give us space and that country feel we were missing.  We were all excited about the possibilities!

By mid-July we made our decision to move. We talked and debated for over a month about whether we should speed up our plans to move, but also wondering if we were being crazy with a knee-jerk COVID reaction to things.  We were so fortunate to have flexibility on our side – Tim can work anywhere, I can expand my business here while still working with Seattle families, and we felt the kids would be fully remote anyway so why not?  The kids were on board with starting fresh and we decided to go for it!  


Sooooo….we packed up our entire life in two weeks, sold the only house the kids have ever known, and moved to the cabin in August.  During COVID.  It was nuts and I don’t recommend it.  But we were all excited!  We found a sweet rental home through friends’ help and got the kids registered for school ASAP.  We moved in 1 week before school and got Tim set-up with a dining room home office.  I scheduled out monthly dates to travel to Seattle for my family sessions and we all got to work.


The kids have been in a hybrid learning program here, with half the school going on M/T, Wednesdays all remote, and the other half of the kids going TH/F.  At one point the district was pressured to go fully in-person but for the high-schools that only lasted two weeks.  Extracurricular transmission of the coronavirus through sports and other activities was a major cause for concern.  

All kids are wearing masks, distancing and taking all necessary precautions while in school and it seems to be going well but it is highly stressful for everyone involved.  Ella has had 3 covid tests already (all negative) and I know of a few teachers who have had tests a couple times!  Currently, the schools are experiencing staff and sub shortages due to quarantines.  (Reach out to me if you want to know more about COVID here.)

I have to admit though, that the kids have both benefitted greatly from in-person learning.  They have been able to get to know their teachers, take a break from online learning, meet new friends, and participate more in class.  Overall, I am happy with hybrid learning and how they have done with the transition.


We are working with several local contractors and our awesome Architect/friend, Chris Patano, designing our dream home.  We had to get the land surveyed and had several concept meetings with Chris before deciding on a Modern Rancher design that is highly influenced by the 50s and 60s midcentury look.  🙂 We have been doing a lot of researching (on Dwell, Houzz, Sunset, and Atomic Ranch), planning, conceptual design, and interviewing at this point but it’s been fantastic! 

As soon as I get some more final designs I’ll show you here or on IG, but think open concept surprise, a wall of windows with indoor/outdoor living, wood beams, and more!  This winter we will get the design finalized, get bids, build out our team of contractors, and get the permits approved.  We hope to start building April 2021.


Tim has been really really busy and sometimes that’s tough when working from home in a small rental with your whole family there.  But its not a big deal and busy is good, busy is job security, and busy is a nice distraction sometimes!

I traveled back to photograph many awesome families each month this Fall after taking a COVID test.  The block scheduling worked pretty well all around and also gave me down time to work on the move and the new house.  I plan to start booking Idaho business in the New Year and continue monthly visits to Seattle in 2021 so reach out if you’d like to chat about it!

That’s about it here!  I hope you and your family are well and healthy and happy.  I am thankful we are nearing the end of what has been a tumultuous year and am looking forward to what 2021 may bring.


Kim Hildebrand