As I write this, we have been in our new home for two weeks now. And I love it. I really love it. I’m beyond grateful to be here and am expectant for the memories our family will make here together as our kids grow. However, if I’m being honest, it’s taken me a bit to get here. The day our offer on our new home was accepted was full of excitement. The day after, reality hit. Moving into a new home meant that we had to leave our old home. As I prepped our house to put on the market, all of the memories flooded my mind. Sweeping the steps of our front porch had me remembering the day that Boone left the house for pre-school for the first time and the way he waved back at me wearing his teeny tiny backpack, snack cup in hand and head full of blond curls. As I scrubbed the base boards in the hallway, I pictured Crew behind the baby gate learning to crawl and then her “dancing” on her knees with her hands in the air to the music of her pink elephant. Moving the stepping stones in the backyard to mow had me thinking of our Jazzy and how she used to prefer to step on them instead of the grass because she didn’t want to get her feet wet. A million little memories that were made in this home. A million little memories that I never want to forget.
This house was our fresh start as we came out of the hardest time that our marriage had seen. We brought home two babies to this house (it snowed the day we brought Crew home!) and took turns walking them around and around and around through the kitchen, the dining room and the living room at 3am when they were newborns. We cuddled sick kids on the couch, ate Cheesecake Factory on the front porch during summer thunderstorms and threw fallen leaves in the air in November.
We ran our business out of the lower level where we saw God bless us with His provision, protection and guidance as we learned how to thrive with multiple children, work and marriage. We saw each other through disappointments and celebrated successes together.
Sometimes we fought; sometimes we yelled, but we always forgave. One time, I had a temper tantrum and threw a bag of onions into the dining room because I was angry. Glad I can laugh about that now. And I’m glad that Geoff doesn’t remember it. :)
Holidays were always special times in our home. On Halloween we would walk the neighborhood trick or treating with our neighbors,The Bowens. When Boone and Mamie were three, we let them trash our dining room with sprinkles and icing decorating pumpkin cookies. And when Crew was a few months out from turning two, she toddled around our street dressed like Ace Ventura. We threw birthday parties. One of my favorite Crew memories ever is the look on her face on her first birthday when we sang “Happy Birthday” to her. You could tell she felt special. One Valentine’s Day it snowed. Geoff suited up as Cupid and frolicked around out front delivering cotton candy to our neighbors. At Christmastime, we’d look for the “Elf on the Shelf”, have Christmas Eve sleepovers on the living room floor, and Geoff would beg me just to buy “just one more” strand of lights for the front of the house.
We made about a thousand applesauce muffins in that kitchen together, chased fireflies in the front yard each June, and cared for our foster dog Mary Jane after she was hit by a car and was thought to never walk again. And right before we moved out, we found a nest of baby bunnies and checked on them religiously until they were old enough to go off on their own.
We our taught our kids how to brush their teeth on their own in that little hallway bathroom. We gave many, many baths, read bedtime stories and between babies and disabled dog, we changed countless diapers. We told Boone to “get back in your bed…NOW” more times than I care to mention. :)
Around our dining room table, Boone and Geoff built legos for hours. We had French Toast Fridays and Snoopy Pancake Waffle Saturdays there…bacon was always involved…and I set off the smoke alarm more times than I care to admit. We gave our 6 month olds their first tastes of solids, held a crying Boone after he fell backwards from his chair making a dent in the wall with his head and listened to some really sweet prayers.
I can remember crying (a lot) from the pain, frustration and exhaustion that came from struggling to feed Crew the first month of her life. I found out I was pregnant with and then soon miscarried a baby in between Crew and Grey. We held our dog, Frank, as he took his last breath. And we lost our dog, Jazzy, a year later. We had our share of hard, painful times in that house. Times that I wouldn’t wish to go through again, but that ultimately, made us stronger and brought us closer together.
And goodness, did we love our neighbors. Bill and Erin welcomed us on one of our first days there with some kind of sticky, cinnamon baked goodness and always looked out for us. I planted a grapevine in our backyard that was a gift from Nicole. There was the day that all of the traffic from Sharon Road got re-routed onto our street…all of us congregated out front flipping out together about the cars that were flying by and schemed for what we could do to fix the problem. I’ll miss Charlotte, the dog, roaming around and popping over to say hi. Some of our neighbors we met in interesting ways. We met our neighbor Chris when a 2 1/2 year old Boone got out of our house without us knowing and wandered down to his house. I felt like the worst mother alive, but was so comforted at his kindness and non-judgement. We met Dana after a stray dog we were trying to help got loose from us and bit her dog, London, in her front yard. As we rode together to the vet, we cried together and asked God to spare London’s life. Thankfully, he did and thankfully, Dana forgave and befriended us.
Packing up and moving out of the house we called home for almost four years has left me very emotional…some of the days leading up to leaving were especially hard. Thankfully, I’ve come around and most of those feelings are fading as we start this new chapter in our new home. I’m growing more and more excited each day that we are here. There are new memories to be made and many more milestones to be had. I can’t wait to see all that God has for us in this next season.
This past Friday we had Boone’s 6th birthday party at our new place. As he sat in front of his chocolate cupcake with a Star Wars candle and we all sang to him, I soaked in that look on his face and nearly cried. The first of many new memories in this new home to be filed away in my heart. I think this is going to be good. Really, really good.