We built a new house and in early September, we moved in.
The whole time it was being built I was so excited, especially at every new step we hit – framing, siding, paint, interiors, etc. To see it come together, transforming from a piece of vacant land to a fully-functional house was incredible.
As moving day quickly approached, I found myself less excited than I anticipated. I had heaviness in my stomach and on my heart. I think it had carried forward from putting our first house on the market.
Sure, I looked forward to the amenities we would be gaining: outside – a larger yard which meant our dogs finally having their own space in the form of a dog run (also known as, I’d have nice grass), and we’d be able to design a fantastic play area for Ella. Inside – the pleasantly overwhelming cabinet and storage space. Ella having a playroom, a place where her toys would at least have a home rather than being strategically positioned to look like decoration around the living room or jammed in her bedroom. And a fantastic closet; one in which most of my clothes would fit (Stephen’s, too) instead of being separated into three closets based on season.
I’m a pretty sentimental person; sometimes to the point of being ridiculous about it. I can attach sentimentality to almost anything. When we bought our SUV, I got rid of my beloved Dodge Stratus. It was a two-door, manual, grey sporty little thing (at least to me) and I absolutely loved driving it. But it was not conducive to family life so we needed to upgrade. I loved that car so much because it was fun to drive and because in my mind, it had gotten me to Denver and back over hundreds of miles of my work commute. I had never been in an accident and in my mind, I had that car to thank (and my little UNC bear keychain that always stays with me).
Anyway, even though I was really excited for all that we would be gaining by moving into our new house, it was still very bittersweet to be leaving our first home. I wouldn’t miss our garage Tetris (strategically placing the trash can, cars, lawnmower, and miscellaneous other garage crap), I wouldn’t miss the lack of cabinet space causing Ella’s bottles and dishes to come crashing down on me every time I opened the door, or the fact that I had to divide my clothes into three different closets.
But…we were leaving our first home.
The house that welcomed us home as newlyweds.
The house we raised two cats and two dogs in.
The house we watched snow storms in.
The house with the basement which Stephen and my father-in-law put their blood, sweat, and tears into finishing.
The house where we welcomed Ella home.
The house where we began our family.
As we walked out the door the last time, I looked around as 7 years worth of memories flashed before my eyes.
We always knew our little house would be a starting point for us, there was never the intention of staying in it long-term, but it was still our home for those 7 years. And now it will be someone else’s home to create a life.
As I look around at the house we’ve built I realize it is not just a house, it is a symbol and a reward for all that Stephen and I have worked for. I am proud of us and this house and what it represents. We can give our family a great house…no, a home…to grow in and to create new memories and start traditions like pancake breakfast Sundays, pizza dinner Fridays, and hold family holidays.
We can really start laying down our roots in this house – starting penciled in growing charts on the wall and Christmas cookie baking. Watching Ella walk down the stairs on her first day of school and for her prom and then as she goes to college.
It’s funny how something so material such as a house or a car can turn into something so sentimental and be tied to so many things.
Especially your heartstrings.