In 2015, we designed and built our dream home.
Back then it was just me and Mike. No employees. No fancy design boards. Shoot, I wasn’t even on Instagram (for any design or business purposes) or Pinterest! It was just me, my ideas and vision for the home I’d always pictured, Mike’s attention to detail, and a dream for a White House with black windows centered around a rectangular pool (Mike thought I was crazy by the way about the black windows).
Sound familiar? Yep, it’s the home that you all know us for and is the reason that most of you probably started following us.
We poured ourselves into designing and building our dream home for a year and a half, and then in August 2015 we moved in. Not long after we moved in (May of 2016 to be exact), I started an Instagram account called @ccandmikecreative. There wasn’t a plan really, other than to maybe blog a little, share some recipes, and a far-fetched idea I had to sell photography prints online. Little did I know, that one day when I deviated from trying to sell our online prints and posted a photo of our master bedroom instead, our entire world was about to change. Things went crazy; One Kings Lane reposted our master bedroom and called me a designer, asking for my design advice – ha! (I will never forget that moment). Pottery Barn reposted us, Studio McGee, House Beautiful, Apartment Therapy, and the list goes on… Mike and I were like, hold up WHAT IN THE WORLD IS EVEN HAPPENING RIGHT NOW? That was 2016, as many of you began following along and our Instagram account grew more rapidly than we could have ever expected. In 2017, we were hired to do our first two remodels for clients. In 2018, we looked at each other and said – So this is a thing I guess. And in 2019 we went all in. We knew that CC and Mike was our future and were ready to fully commit, but it was not without fear and doubt, and a whole lot of lessons that had yet to be learned.
The truth is, as millions of you guys watched along while our little fledgling business, CC and Mike, started taking off, growing, and thriving, behind the scenes we were struggling, personally.
For the first fifteen years of our marriage, Mike was the sole breadwinner and I was a stay-at-home mom who worked part-time to make “spending money” if you will. There was no pressure on me, financially speaking. I had never experienced the stress that Mike carried as the sole provider for our family. I was in the home, doing what I did. And he went to work and did what he did, and that is how we functioned. We had our lanes and we thrived in them.
Then, it all just changed. I’m talking like a roller coaster flipping everything upside down sort of change. You see, Mike had a business in oil and gas —a business his dad started in 1979— that he proudly started running when his dad died of cancer in 2009. That company was his livelihood and is what supported our family and made it possible to even build our home. But in 2015, right before we moved into this dream home that we had built together, everything came to a screeching halt. You guys, I’m talking literally right before we moved into this home it came to a screeching halt. Mike spent all of 2016 hoping and praying things would come back, but they didn’t.
That dirty, dreaded word. It was painful. It was hard, as it always is. It was excruciatingly difficult for both Mike and I to embrace all the change in our lives, marriage, and family being forced upon us due to our new business — my little side venture —growing and exploding, while Mike’s former livelihood remained stagnant. Suddenly, we found ourselves in a position we had never been before. Our family needed me to help provide, and it needed Mike to help in the home. SAY WHAT? Those were new roles for both of us, roles we both weren’t accustomed to filling and it was uncomfortable to say the least. If I’m being honest, which you know I am going to be because it’s the entire point of this post, we made it so much harder than it needed to be because we were holding onto the past instead of embracing the future that God had intended for us. We wanted to go back to what we knew, rather than step forward, into what God created us to be.
To the world, we were CC and Mike. And that truly was who we were, but there was another side we weren’t ready to talk about yet. Not until now. Behind closed doors we were fighting to adjust to our new roles — me with learning to live with the pressure and stress of contributing to our family financially, and Mike with learning to live with the frustrations of trying to work but also being needed more and more in the home. We argued more and laughed less. We fought in front of the kids more than we should have, bringing work convos to the dinner table instead of leaving them at the office like we should have. We struggled with work/life boundaries. We didn’t love each other the way we should have. We didn’t know how to love each other the way we used to when our lives looked so very different.
Why have I not talked about this before? Quite honestly, because it wasn’t anyone else’s business. Because I wasn’t going to publicly discuss the pain we were going through in our marriage and personal life until we were both ready. We’ve had a lot of healing and work to do in our lives and in our marriage to fully accept all that is this new season of our life, including the realization that it was best financially, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally for us to sell our house — the dream house that we built together. We had to die to a lot of things. And that has taken time, prayer, counseling, tears, love, and some good old fashioned HARD WORK.
But now we are BOTH ready. We are a team. And we are ready to talk about what we’ve been through, and how it’s led us to this decision to sell our house.
Our marriage therapist, yes we go occasionally and trust me it’s been more than occasionally at times since we became business partners (keeping it real with y’all always) — she once told us that in life, I’m like the speed boat and Mike is the cruiseliner. We got a good laugh out of that but changed the analogy a bit. We say that in life, I’m the gas pedal (all vision, dreams, passion, fire, and don’t think just GOOOOOO!) and Mike is the brake (detail-oriented, steady, reliable, trustworthy, cautious, and all HOLD ON LET’S THINK ABOUT THIS FIRST). Here’s what we’ve learned…You need BOTH to operate a car, correct? No car can run with only a gas pedal, and no car can run without a brake.
CC and Mike. We need each other. We are a dream team, when we work together. But we’ve had to fight to become the team that we are. We’ve had to unlearn almost everything we knew about how to live and function together as a married couple and we had to relearn everything. We’ve had to die to what we were to become what we are.
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. A time to to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to tear down and a time to build.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I look back now and I realize that as CC and Mike was beginning to take off, a different season of our lives was ending, but we were struggling to let it go. We were holding onto the past because it was comfortable; it was what we knew. And that was preventing us from fully embracing our future.
Maybe you can relate? God is opening doors for you, leading you in a new direction, telling you to trust him for where He wants to take you….but you are holding onto the past, reaching for something that is dying, refusing to let it go and clinging to what was, rather than embracing what is meant to be. That was us. That was CC and Mike at the beginning of this journey, reaching back and grasping desperately for our old lives with Mike being the sole financial provider and me being the stay at home mom. AND IT WAS HARD. It was hard to let go of what was. But let me tell you this:
God can’t take you were He wants to take you, if you’re clinging to what he’s asking you to let go of.
So, I guess that brings us to present day and the question that everyone wants to know….
CC AND MIKE WHY WOULD YOU SELL YOUR DREAM HOME?
Because we aren’t afraid to let go of what was anymore, so that we can embrace what is meant to be.
A season of our lives has ended. It was a beautiful season. It was a season in which I was a stay at home mom who took her kids to Chick-Fil-A and the pool and hung out with my friends every day and raised these children I am so blessed to call mine around people I will call family for the rest of our lives, our neighbors and best friends. I drove them to school. I picked them up. We carpooled with friends. I made their lunches and their afternoon snacks and was homeroom mom (just once, because I quickly realized that job isn’t for non-detail oriented creatives like myself – ha!). My husband was the sole financial provider and we really didn’t have a worry or care in the world, financially. We built our dream home. It was amazing. OF COURSE we hung onto that season of our lives. Of course we clung to it and didn’t want to let it go. Why wouldn’t we? It was comfortable. It was easy. It was beautiful. It was a blessed season that I will forever be grateful for, but I can tell you now without fear, that season of our lives is over.
We are ready to embrace our new season….the season of CC and Mike, and our crew, let’s call it! I’m a full-time working mom of teenagers. We are an incredible team making dream homes happen and serving clientele nation wide. I’m a business woman. I have employees. Mike is starting two new construction homes with a potential of two more this year and that’s not mentioning the full-scale remodels we are doing. God is blessing this company and we are so grateful. And we realize now, that we can’t step fully into the future God has intended for us, when we have one foot firmly planted in the past!
Our home, and the reasons that it made sense in 2015 when we dreamt it, no longer makes sense. We have new dreams. They involve sending our kids to college and having the financial freedom to travel and remodel some airbnbs that we could rent out to y’all! Maybe we will build a lake house some day. Maybe we will flip a lake house, or a home in our favorite place ever – 30A. Maybe we will invest in another apartment complex (yes, that’s something we’ve done and would love to do again). Maybe we will buy some land and build a wedding venue with some properties on it. Who knows! The sky is the limit really and we are so excited to see what opportunities God brings our way, knowing that we are ready for them financially and emotionally, because we had the courage to listen to God and follow his prompting to sell our home when He asked us to.
So this has turned into a rather long blog post but to sum it up, here’s what I’ve learned…..
What God wants to give you is so much greater than what he’s asking you to let go of.
God is good. He knows before we ever know. He sees what we don’t see. He’s looking up ahead and he sees the twists and turns in the road ahead, the storm raging that He’s trying to lead and guide you through. But you have to listen. If he’s closing doors, it’s for a reason. If a season is ending, he wants you to turn to Him, trust Him, and embrace where He’s leading you instead of turning around backward trying to go back to what you knew. You guys, He’s trying to take us to the promised land but often, we are like the slaves of Israel looking back and longing for the “comfort” of Egypt and slavery, because it’s what we know. He has something so much better planned if we will keep our eyes forward, walk through the desert, and trust Him to take us to the promised land.
So let’s bring it all back to that one question you all want to know….
BUT CC AND MIKE, WHY WOULD YOU SELL YOUR DREAM HOME?
Simply put… because God told us to and this is an act of obedience and faith.
When it sold in 48 hours it only further confirmed the choice we had made. The freedom and peace we are already beginning to feel, is only further confirmation.
We are excited to dream new dreams, begin a new season of our lives, and bring you along on the journey as we make our new house a home.
We are so excited for the beautiful family with a house full of kids who will get to raise their family and make memories in this house that will always be our dream home, because we dreamt it together, made it a reality, and then God used it in our lives to start this business and take us on the most unexpected journey imaginable.
But we realize now that it was never ours to hang onto, even though perhaps we wanted to. It was a gift for a season of our lives but now that season is over, and it’s time for us to give it to someone else to enjoy. It’s time to let it go so that we can move confidently forward into the future God is calling us to.
So to answer your next question…
BUT CC AND MIKE WHERE WILL YOU GO?
We are excited to announce we will be moving into our Maplewood Remodel and hope that you will follow along as we move into this house that is so far from ready – ha! – and do what we do best, turn it into a dream home for the next family who will live there and perhaps raise their family at Maplewood.
Mike has two weeks to get this place ready for us to move in and I believe in him! I believe in US! It will be far from done when we move in but I promise you, when we get done with it, it’s going to be amazing. In typical Miller fashion, we are moving in TWO DAYS before school starts. BRING. IT. ON.
Sure hope you guys will follow along with us for the ride! The before and afters are gonna be something else I tell you.
Thank you for being here. Thank you for making this journey possible. Thank you for letting me share my heart with you guys today.
And most of all, if there is anyone else out there who has faced financial uncertainty, major life changes, fear and doubt, and perhaps, you’re struggling with holding onto the past rather than embracing the future that God has intended for you….you are not alone. The Millers have been there. We hope that us sharing our story helps you find peace in knowing that beautiful things happen when you let go, and let God and always remember….
What God wants to give you is so much greater than what he’s asking you to let go of.
Love y’all long time.
Here are some other questions you asked answered:
HOW DO YOUR KIDS FEEL ABOUT THE MOVE?
They are all very excited. We made this decision together as a family, in fact. We all went over to the Maplewood remodel and discussed the pros and cons of selling our house and moving and made a list together and prayed about it. It was a unanimous decision that we would just try to sell both houses (Maplewood and our current house) and trust God in whatever he decided. Our house sold in 48 hours for full asking price with multiple offers, so we took that as the answer if you know what I mean. HA!
My kids understand that our business requires work from them. Much like I was raised, watching and helping my dad on job sites, my kids will experience the same. (See photos below). My dad flipped and remodeled homes when I was growing up and would take us to job sites. When I started dating Mike, he taught him the trade. It runs in our blood, I guess you could say. With my daughter already designing complete rooms by herself and my sons doing tile work, job clean up, and more, I guess you could say we are continuing the family business. Except now, we have some pretty fancy design software to help show Mike my “visions,” a few million people following along with us, and some pretty incredible employees who help make everything so much easier, and so much more fun! Pretty crazy where life leads.
Oh and by the way, that’s my dad with the afro in the pictures below. And that’s me with him on job sites when I was little then him teaching Mike the family ways when we were in high school. Mike’s mom and dad have also been a huge part of our journey, believing in us and even loaning us money to do our first fire damaged flip house when I was pregnant with Easton. So it truly is a multi-generational family affair!
WHAT WILL YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR HOME?
Without a doubt our neighbors. I can’t even really talk about it.
Other than to say they are family. We have raised our kids together. And I refuse to let our zip codes change that. Period.
Oh and my built-in coffee maker. We are going to have to work on that. It is a daily pleasure for both Mike and I to get our morning cup of coffee, but it is pretty costly to put in a built in unit. We chose not to do it since this was a remodel but now we are having serious regrets since we will be moving into Maplewood and don’t have one. Mike says we are going to just get a tabletop coffee maker. I have some ideas for how we could do a built in. Stay tuned for who wins…..Come on guys, you know how this is going to go don’t you?!?!
BUT WILL YOU REVEAL EMMY’S NEW ROOM SHE DESIGNED? AND THE HOMEWORK ROOM?
Yes! Photography is scheduled for Emmy’s bedroom tomorrow. We will fully reveal both rooms I promise. It might be after we move though!
Alright that’s all I’ve got! If I missed some of your questions leave them in the comments and I promise I’ll try to address them.
Again, thanks for being here, each and every one of you. Without you, none of this would be possible. And although we didn’t see it coming, there is nowhere else we’d rather be.
OKAY I GOTTA GO PACK. But for reals. TWO WEEKS, y’all!