I met Diana at a friend’s home group for moms last winter and was immediately drawn to her. She was vibrant, friendly, a connector and confident in her beliefs and opinions. I have bumped into her several more times in the last year and knew she would be a great person to introduce you all to!! Here is her interview to learn more about what brought her family to Dripping and what she thinks about this amazing area…
How long have you been in Dripping and what brought you out here?
We moved to Drip in 2012 knowing that the outskirts of Austin, closer to the Hill Country, was where our heart was. I was a middle school teacher in Austin for 7 years, and I slowly began to realize I wanted something different for my kids (that weren’t even born yet). Dripping Springs ISD seemed to have a good head on their shoulders, and I noticed how they pretty consistently considered the whole child when it came time to making changes or decisions.
We’ve been impressed with how everything has been handled given the pressure and circumstances and stress that surrounds all the school boards lately.
John’s business is the other huge reason we moved out here.
His work has him driving all over Texas to different projects, but as his work grew, he started seeing that many of his clients were closer to this area in Texas. He would spend 1.5 hours in the truck coming home from being on a project all day and feel like he was almost home, then it would take another solid hour to get from South Austin to our place in North Austin on I-35. Brutal.
What drew you to moving from one of the biggest master planned communities in Dripping to living NW of Dripping in the countryside?
Belterra was amazing for the stage of life we were in when we moved there. I brought all 3 of my babies home to that house, and having neighbors that I lived daily life with literally saved me and my mental health. For that, I am so grateful, and those friendships will last a lifetime. BUT GOD. Ha! God randomly woke John and me up one day and laid it heavy on both of our hearts to put our house on the market. It was a shock because we had just decided we would wait until the Sawyer Ranch office buildings were finished before we sold and tried to find property for ourselves.
This was February 2021, so not really a buyers’ market…I was willing to wait to find our new place because I don’t prefer to spend $100K over asking price or what the property is actually worth.
He kept saying, “Sell your house. Get it ready to sell because it’s gonna happen fast and it’s gonna need to be ready.” So I started caulking, retexturing, and painting the master bath and kids’ bedrooms while my kids were in mother’s day out. I looked crazy, but I kept hearing Him clearly lead us in this direction. The kicker was, there was nowhere to go. John has always wanted more land, but Drip prices were stupid high and nothing was on the market long enough to even consider.
Mostly the prices were too high.
So I started praying and asking God questions like, “Are you wanting us to rent somewhere? Are we supposed to be homeless? Is that the next chapter in our story??” 🙂
But I kept hearing, “Just put your house up for sale and trust me that I’ll provide the next place to go. Like Abraham and Isaac, trust that you make a sacrifice knowing I am good and faithful and have a plan….and then I’ll provide the ram for you.
Do not worry, I got you.
I’m asking you to do this, and because of your obedience, you won’t regret the blessings I’ll provide, so you can tell the story about how awesome I am afterwards.” He is somethin’ isn’t He?
So y’all, we happened upon a property INSIDE DSISD that was almost 12 acres (John’s dream), at a price that was NORMAL (my dream), and it wasn’t pending. It was for sale. We went to see it on March 17, my birthday, and by that Friday, we were under contract….contingent on our house selling. Which it did. In one hour. Kind of. (That’s the other side of the God story that I love telling, but another day.) This property is the beginning of a different lifestyle for our family. A slower, more time in the car most days, and intentional time for our family.
We wanted to stay in DSISD (that was very important to us) but have a little space. BINGO!
What is the best way to meet people when you are living out in the country? How do you build community when your home isn’t right next to another one?
Well for an extrovert and Enneagram 7 like myself, it’s like someone (my introverted and creative husband) just signed me up to tackle the social version of a Ninja Warrior course.
The first week after we moved in, I made my kids walk .25 miles uphill in 103 degrees with me to our neighbor’s house because I heard they had kids too. I knocked on their door in all my sweaty glory, and that’s how we meet them.
The previous owner of the property gave me everyone’s phone numbers that border us, and that was super helpful! We’ve spent time with them, and at this point, we just want them to like us more than the previous owner because he was here for so long and left some big shoes to fill. So I give neighbors healthy muffins I make to aid in this process. You also meet A LOT of your neighbors when you’re out walking the hilly roads around here. Many of us walk/run/bike the “loop” in our hood, so that’s been fun!
Your husband creates water features in the Hill Country, how long has he been doing that?
He has been designing and building lakes, ponds, and creeks for about 15 years. It’s incredible. His German decent gives him an advantage, I think. He has an unbelievable eye & talent for recreating the Texas Hill Country on people’s property, so it’s indistinguishable from Mother Nature.
It’s a very unique calling and job, and he loves what he does, so we are very thankful!
You are in the middle of creating a beautiful space in your backyard… What is the vision for your patio area?
When we moved in, we realized that the inside of our house didn’t have the entertaining space that we wanted downstairs. We also realized that we didn’t move out here to host people inside our home all the time. We want our family, friends, and guests to enjoy the property and to feel at peace knowing they can sit and enjoy this lil piece of Texas Hill Country.
Our hope is to have an outdoor space, using the rocks from our property as our patio, with a LONG dining table (seats for 14 people) in the upper area, a firepit in the lower area, and a couple of hammock chairs under the deck closer to the house.
We want people to be able to toss bananas to our “pet deer” (more on that later) while they relax out there, so they leave with a fun memory from this place.
Tell us about your “pet” deer…
The previous owner told us before we moved in that he had been throwing his banana peel outside and a deer was coming up and eating it in the evenings. Since we can’t do anything half-ass in our family, we now have a larger budget at HEB for ALL the bananas (and apples and mandarins), and several deer who come twice a day to eat.
We have Mama (she’s kind of a bully, but she’s the queen and super old), Judy and D’Fawn (Judy’s baby), Nubs (the spike), and Jenny who are our regulars and we know very well.
The kids even recognize them and call them by their correct names. This is great for me because I’m not ready to have a “for real” pet that I have to board when we leave town. Bring me all the deer.
What are some ways young moms can connect if they are new in town?
OH! So glad you asked! Drip has some really cute, fun, and very sweet mamas with littles if you need community! I help coordinate a group through our church (but you do NOT have to attend church to come/join) called MOMs (moms of minis).
Austin Ridge Dripping Springs knows there is a need to connect mamas in our town, so we are tackling it. We meet at Dreamland some Fridays this semester, and we will have more structured meetings like MOPS in the spring at our church offices.
It’s so chill, warm, and welcoming!
We have moms who just moved here and who’ve been here almost 2 decades. Let’s get y’all plugged into a community to find your people!
Can you recommend some of the best local places to explore? What about your favorite places for date night and family dining?
We love hopping over to Pedernales State Park or Reimers to hang out, climb on rocks, or swim in the river. It’s easy and fun for the kids to explore! We also love Camp Ben McCullough, but I almost didn’t write that in here because I don’t want a lot of people to know about it and ruin how awesome it is because it’s never crowded and it’s SO EASY for kids of all ages to have fun.
There I said it.
You won’t need all the distractions as your kids get older, but if you have littles, these are great!
Date nights are so special.
I would say go experience Trattoria Lisina in Driftwood (we got married there in the field, and the food is GOOD). Grawlix is a (newish) bar in historic Drip that will make you feel young, okay maybe not young, but at least cool again. They played Destiny’s Child Radio on Pandora when I went with some girlfriends one night, and we didn’t leave the same as when we came.
Hudson’s on Mercer has shows, and if you’re feeling artistic, they host a karaoke night and an open mic night.
What is your favorite thing about living in this area?
The community and the people who have become our family here!! We have been absolutely spoiled by the tight-knit community we have been a part of the last decade.
We support each other, root for each other, show up on each other’s doorsteps when there’s a need, and laugh at and make fun of each other. If all the people died here and it was the zombie apocalypse, my new answer would be the scenic drives and beauty that the Texas Hill Country provides via the sunrises, sunsets, and landscapes!
A 30 minute drive around here is never annoying (unless you’re in Drip traffic, try to avoid that).
There you have it! Another incredible family that makes this community a wonderful place to embed and live a beautiful life in God’s beautiful nature!
If you are just passing through this area and need some tips on the best places to go for fun, food or adventure then reach out to me!
If you are looking to move into this area then I would love to set up a time to speak to you about why you are moving and help you find the perfect place for you! Call, text or email me and I’m happy to help! 512-569-8480 firstname.lastname@example.org