Today we close on our very first home. I couldn't have imagined the emotions that would come about. I knew it would be somewhat sentimental, but my heart is on the verge of bursting from emotions and memories we've made in this home over the past 5 1/2 years. We are so very excited to be moving to a new home with more space, but I will definitely be leaving a piece of my heart within these walls. I remember when Adam and I first started house hunting. We were newlyweds living in our small townhouse (that we loved and I still miss it). We were so excited and ignorant at the same time about the process of buying a house, but we decided to contact a realtor. I remember walking into this house and thinking how much I loved it. I loved the open concept, the laminate flooring, and the oversized deck. I walked into each bedroom and imagined where a crib would fit and how our future children would grow and play. I wanted a home where we could have our family and friends over often. After two failed contracts on other houses, we found this home, and decided it was for us.
It was so fun picking out paint colors and deciding just how we would have our very limited assortment of furniture. When I found out I was pregnant with Callie, I was chomping at the bit to start planning her nursery. Owls, owls, owls!! As her room came together and my belly grew larger, I would sit in the dark, rocking in her nursery, anticipating her arrival. Singing to her, praying over her, and imagining her lying in my arms instead of nestled in my womb. I still remember the paint color, "Cinderella's Ball Gown". Goodness, how fitting for our four year old princess now. That sweet nursery, has turned into a toddler playground. That little squirmy baby that slept so peacefully in our first purchased crib is now on the verge of starting preschool. Where a diaper stacker hung, there is a backpack in it's place. I remember opening her closet and staring at how small the pink clothes were that hung. Now it's bursting with long dresses, coats, suitcases, and board games. The little one who kept us up all hours of the night our first few weeks together, now brushes her own teeth, goes potty solo, and jumps into her own bed. I still sing and pray, but she sings to me sometimes too. Sweet memories, I'm hanging on as tightly as I can.
The same for my second pregnancy, our bedroom, or when I would hang a new family picture. Each added touch was something that represented us. We've entertained, hosted small groups, had birthday parties, derby parties, Christmas get togethers, summer cookouts, and even had a baptism done in our bathtub. We've said goodbye to a puppy when he was picked up by the new owner and we've watched our other one turn more white over the years. We've had our share of leaks, squeaky floors, hot and cold days when our heater and AC have gone out, and times that I've really wanted to scream from feeling so cramped. Adam and I started this ongoing list, "In our next house....". The blanks have been filled in by a lot over the years; "we'll have more closet space," "I have to have a bigger kitchen," "we will have two sinks in the bathroom," "we need a garage." There have been a lot of complaints and things we would change, but I would argue they were so few and far between. We know the blessing this home has been to us. The too shallow of a sink where I gave my babies their first baths was perfect. The smallest room in the house became the perfect size for a second nursery. Our always cluttered, never swept basement, houses our girls clothes, toys, and our things from years of living life. We have never had a spotless house. You could walk in on any given day unannounced and see that it's been a house very much lived in. Many nights, dishes were left in the kitchen sink and strung out on the counters. Laundry piles have been bursting from closets while we stepped around them to get out the door. Dust has collected and dog hair has been lying in corners before I pulled out the swifter. I can proudly say, we've neglected some housework over the years to make sure we're living our life with our babies.
As we turn over our keys today to new owners, I can only hope and pray, they build as many fond memories as we have. That they have a home full of love and cherish each passing year together. Boxing up each room is very bittersweet, mainly because it takes me back to that year, that moment, when I decided to put that item, picture, or piece of furniture where it is. We are looking forward to the many years we'll have together as a family of five in our new home. A home where we'll bring our third daughter into our family. A home where we'll be able to host a community group with our church. A home where we will watch our girls grow from babies to school age children. A home that will host many slumber parties and girls' nights. A home where Adam can play pool and ping pong with his buddies. A home where, above all, we can show love, kindness, hospitality, and the love of Christ. I will always be thankful for the years we've been growing in this home together. The walls that have seen us laugh uncontrollably and cry out of deep sorrow. The bathroom floors that have held up the splash bath parties and the hot shower waters that beat on a sore back after long days of work. The neglected yard that has been overshadowed by long grass more often than not, but that many children have run on, giggling and kicking balls. The worn deck that has held up to many burgers, dogs, and barbecued chicken on the grill. Our cabinets and pantry have been filled with food, formula, and everything in between.
These walls have taken a beating, this home has been lived in and loved, and I can only hope it will miss the life we have given it. We will surely miss the life it helped give us.