Meet MJ and Happy - Kissing Tree
Jan 08th, 2024

Meet MJ and Happy

After MJ’s husband passed away, her daughters urged her to sell her home in Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood and move to something smaller and more manageable. Unfortunately, it was the beginning of the pandemic, and choices were limited. MJ and her 8-year-old Sealyham terrier, Happy, were able to find a large apartment in Austin’s Mueller neighborhood, but it never quite felt like home. Both Happy and MJ missed their large yard and garden, and a few years later, as things started opening up again, they began to explore options outside of Austin. 

Love at First Sight

A friend recommended Kissing Tree in San Marcos, and MJ and a girlfriend went to check it out. “When we first saw it, I fell in love,” MJ says. “The Hill Country was so beautiful and peaceful. Some of my friends said, ‘You’re too old to build a house,’ but I felt like I was home here, and I knew this was where I wanted to be.” 

Building the Goodwin

MJ loved the Goodwin floor plan for its kitchen and huge pantry, and her daughter who is a chef helped her choose her features and finishes. Kirsti Peffers served as MJ’s Customer Guide during construction, keeping her updated with frequent pictures and updates. “My girls could only take me down there so much, so I depended on her,” MJ says. “She’s a godsend. So sweet, just the kind of person I needed at the time. I was so appreciative.”

Settling in to Balmorhea

MJ moved into her new home about 4 months ago, and she couldn’t be happier. “It’s a wonderful house; I never get cramped in it,” MJ says. “This whole thing is perfect for me.” She has also enjoyed getting to know her neighbors. “We were all moving into Balmorhea at the same time,” MJ says, “It doesn’t matter what your age is, we’re all new here together. There have been cul-de-sac parties, and one lady put together this 13-page document with recommendations for everything from doctors and barbers to TV repair people. People keep asking me if I need anything and offering to help. I’m telling you, the people here care about each other – they’re all so friendly. Everyone is in the same place, and it makes for easy living.” 

Happy is Happy

MJ isn’t the only one who’s enjoying life at Kissing Tree. “Happy is so happy here,” MJ says. “When we first came, I told him, ‘That’s your yard,’ and he looked, and then looked back at me like he couldn’t believe it. It took him a week to go to the back of the yard!” MJ has already done some landscaping work on her front yard, and now she’s focused on making the back into the oasis she dreams it can be. “I’m putting in the backyard now, and I’m so excited,” she says. “My yard is what makes me happy.” MJ’s plans include adding a greenhouse to keep plants warm in the winter as well as rosebushes, fruit trees, and a 20-foot oak tree. “The tree is already 18 years old,” she says with a laugh. “I wanted it to be a certain width and height, and I’m old – I don’t have time for it to grow. I can’t wait 20 years on this.” 

Small Town, Big Heart

Now that her home and yard are more settled, MJ is looking forward to getting more involved in community activities in the new year. Be sure to say hi if you see MJ and Happy walking in the neighborhood or playing at The Dogwoods, Kissing Tree’s dog park! “I don’t golf, but I’m going to start doing more things,” MJ says.  “If you’re bored here, it’s your own fault!” MJ is also really enjoying exploring the new area. “I drive through San Marcos and I love it,” she says. “I found a church, and it’s so nice to be in a small town. Kissing Tree itself is like a small town, and that’s where I wanted to be. I love it here!”

Want to find your own slice of happiness here at Kissing Tree? Explore homes that are ready for move in or find your floor plan.

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