November 14, 2013

Closing a Chapter

We closed on our first house today. Overall, it was a fairly simple process. We were under contract two days after being on the market, and aside from a few hiccups along the way, it all went very smoothly.

But as we close on our house today, I realize that we are closing a chapter in our lives. We bought the house a few months after being married, and I couldn't wait to get in and unpack those beautiful wedding gifts and finally use all of our new appliances. We bought a bright red washer and dryer and I imagined using the "baby clothing" setting down the road. We shopped for furniture in almost every room, because, ironically, we were moving from a condo about the size of our current abode. We grew as a couple as we made decisions together, cooked together in our kitchen, decorated and completed numerous house projects along the way.

Like many homeowners, I'm sure, we wanted to make improvements and at times had a pretty long list of "must-dos" and "would-like-to-dos". One thing we always said about our house was that it had "good bones" and we didn't need to do anything too crazy like knocking out walls or reconstructing living spaces. (However, I totally admire you if that is something you've done in your house!) We did renovate all bathrooms and updated most other spaces with simple things that made a big impact, such as lighting and painting. We fenced in our yard for Sadie and eventually Bailey, and we bought a grill, which would be used time and time again in the years to come.

Our first year of marriage was also the first year we spent in our house, and it was so special. After the first year, we decided we were ready to expand our family. That is a long story for another day, but we entered into a new chapter at that point. The first real obstacle we had faced as a couple was that we were having trouble getting pregnant. I was diagnosed with PCOS and we weren't sure how long it would take to become pregnant. We sought help at a nearby clinic, and, much to our delight and surprise, we became pregnant soon after with our sweet boys. If you've been reading the blog for any amount of time, you know what happened next. Losing our twins completely shook our world, as did struggling to become pregnant and having three more miscarriages over the course of the next year and a half. I think about the time we spent in the house prior to all of the heartache, and I am so thankful for that time. It was just us and we were making our house a home,  and I know now God gave us that time as a blessing and as a support for what we were going to endure in the future.

Through every moment of uncertainty, our house was always home and that was constant. I have cried more tears in that house than anywhere else in my life, but I've also made some of the happiest memories there, as well. We had so much fun and loved our neighborhood. We made lifelong friends with our wonderful neighbors. We had dinner parties, Christmas parties, birthday parties, and just-because parties. We carved pumpkins and decorated for Christmas and made s'mores in the backyard. We planted flowers and picked up leaves and played in the snow. We found and humanely rescued a mouse, found a snake in the house (eeek, that one still gets me) and watched deer, bunnies and other critters roam our backyard.

As I reflect back on our time in the house, my mind thinks about the memories made there more than the house itself. This reminds me that while I have had a hard time letting go of that chapter, I'm not letting go of the memories and friends made there. Those remain with me and always will. I'm thankful to a house that truly became our home, like a member of our family. I hope that the future homeowners will love and appreciate the house the way we did. I hope they make lots of happy memories there and that they really enjoy the special neighborhood they are in.

As we enter in to a new chapter, I wonder how I will reflect on our new home. I wonder if I will nostalgically write about the memories and friends made here. I hope so. Each new chapter is a chance to learn new things, to grow and become better. I hope and pray we are able to grow our family, as we have been trying to do for the past three years. A house can't fulfill those dreams. We just have to keep doing the best we can, enjoying the home we have, appreciating the people we love.

We will always, always, have a sweet spot in our hearts for that brick house on Cotton Creek.


1 comment:

Lisa Maples said...

I was so blessed to see you and TJ walk through the entire process of getting married and finding the house. It was the perfect spot for many years and now it seems that you are growing where you are planted. I miss you so much in Charlotte and cherish every moment we had teaching across from each other for five years. - Lisa

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