A Love Letter to the Family Home

A friend recently visited our new house and noted that it’s much smaller and more humble than our old house.: “You gave up that big, beautiful kitchen for…this…country kitchen?!” She was incredulous.

Let me explain.

We used to live in a great house in a great location, but with a tiny yard (3,500 square feet, postage stamp yard). We were surrounded by people. Some people were nice. Some people were cruel and petty gossips. Our dog barked at the neighbors. When everyone else bought RVs*, I knew it was time to go.

Dad Q visited a tiny town for a work conference; he stayed at an Alpaca farm (truly) and was obsessed with moving out of our claustrophobic neighborhood. One day, while curse words and cigarette smoke drifted from next door and into our bedroom, Dad Q decided it was time to at least try to sell. We were in an okay position to sell after just three years because a) we bought our house bank-owned and b) we’d fixed it up quite a bit.

So we did give up our giant kitchen for a country kitchen. We gave up hugely vaulted ceilings for low ceilings. We gave up hardwood floors for carpet and a three-car-garage for “just” two. Can you say First-World Problems?

old ceiling

Look how high!

Old House/New Hous

Old House/New House

Old Yard/New Yard

Old Yard/New Yard

Giant Old Kitchen/Quaint & Tiny New Kitchen

Giant Old Kitchen/Quaint & Tiny New Kitchen**

Sometimes I get caught up in someone else’s vision–we don’t have granite counter tops, our house has a choppy layout by modern standards, our showers still have the original shower surrounds, blah blah blah. But life is all about perspective and I like to think about what we gained. There’s a lot of work to be donebut we’ve already started to make this house our home:

Dining Area Before & After

Dining Area Before & After

Living Room Before & After

Living Room Before & After

We’ve been here in our new town for a year and the neighbors keep a respectful distance. We live next to the pool! The stars are so bright here at night. In contrast, I recently found out that one of our old neighbors built a wall so they couldn’t see our old yard. Four dogs live in our old, teeny tiny yard. I don’t think I’m missing much.***

*Peer pressure is still a powerful thing, even in adulthood. 

**You should have seen this kitchen before. My dad installed the microwave (no small task) and everything has been repainted. 

***Aside from an awesome church and a few good friends!

3 thoughts on “A Love Letter to the Family Home

  1. Good for you!! Your ‘backyard’ is breathtaking. I would totally do what you did. I very much understand your decision, even though I love my neighborhood and neighbors. The peace really appeals to me. We live on a downhill to our neighbors behind us, and their builder built a deck that is way over our ‘privacy’ fence. So they can look right down into our yard, and in fact, they can’t help but look.


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