Thinking back to eight years ago…we didn’t find it right away. It took weeks and weeks. We searched and searched. We lived at my inlaws for a month while we spent hours with our realtor, going to open houses and driving through cities looking for the perfect one. We were outbid many times and lost out on our fair share of deals. There was frustration and moments of doubt but we found it. I went to the showing alone and I just knew. My husband never even set foot in it, we just bought it. We were hopeful and excited and had no idea what the future would bring. It was ours. Our first home.
This month we are moving.
This was our first house as a family of five. I brought my babies home from the hospital to this house. We had three kids in diapers and highchairs at the same time. We went from bottles and potty training to playdates and pickup basketball games. Our kids eventually started school here. All three of them learned to ride a bike, learned to swim, and catch a ball. It all happened here.
This house holds all of our greatest memories.
When I look around, every inch of it is a reminder of the life we have lived. The back yard where inflatable pools, water balloons, and toddler slides were set up every summer. The front room (aka the toy room) where just a few years ago my kids put on puppet shows, played with blocks, and danced with Elmo. The years spent running through the hallways dressed up as firefighters, princesses, and pirates. The kitchen floor that more days than not were splattered with spaghetti dinners and spilled milk. Even the driveway where my daughter fell off her hoverboard and broke her arm last year. Every year we decorated the yard with 200 eggs at Easter and, at Halloween dressed up in matching family costumes. We had eight magical Christmases, countless birthday parties, BBQs, and late nights with friends. This house holds all of our stories.
It’s not just the house though, it’s also the neighborhood.
Our kids made lifelong friends and we made friends who became family. The kind of friends you can ask for tortilla shells when you are in the middle of cooking tacos and realize you don’t have any, or a roll of toilet paper when you are completely out (I know embarrassing!). Friends who bring you coffee when your coffeemaker breaks in the wee hours of the morning. The kind of friends who show up at your door with goodie bags for your kids when they are quarantined, or make dinner when you are sick. We all started out our journey as parents together and it truly does take a village. I could not have done these last eight years without these people, this neighborhood. It really is home.
I can’t help but cry.
I’ve been crying for a month. Happy and sad tears—sometimes all at the same time. As our family has grown, I know it’s time for more space and new adventure. I realize now that all of the memories, every small moment—even the sad ones—they are all still mine. They aren’t trapped in these four walls or even in this neighborhood. I carry them in my heart; I carry them with me. They will continue to be with me wherever we go. Years from now a picture or something in conversation will bring me right back here.
Right back to where it all began. Our very first home.