Tuesday, July 23, 2013

house memories

Home is where friendships are formed and families are grown; where joy is shared and true love is known; where memories are made and seeds of life are sown. This is the place...that people call HOME.
I keep telling myself that this is just a house.  Like that's supposed to make me more prepared to leave it.  Accept that it's actually time to move on.  And it's true.  A house is just a house, it's the memories we have of living here that we will take with us.  I even have to admit, there were plenty of times I sat with my mom, or best friend or Craig, and complained about things "wrong" with my house.  It wasn't big enough.  It didn't have a finished basement.  There wasn't enough storage space for our growing family... but the truth was, I loved this house the moment I set foot in the front door.
And I have loved it ever since.  Sure it isn't perfect, but nothing will ever be.  This house had a "wow" factor for me when I walked in.  I loved this view from the front door, the huge vaulted ceiling and the loft upstairs where you could overlook the dining room.  It was stunning.  And as we searched and searched for houses in our new town, I was in search of a "wow" factor.  There just aren't many houses out there (although we did find one!) and I soon began to fall in love with my house all over again.

Go back to the day we made the offer and how thrilled we were to make it our home and build our family here.  For the eight years of memories we have created here, I will always love this house.  And I never want to forget the story that unfolded beneath its walls.
I found these on our computer of our first few weeks in the house as we were painting.  I remember working so hard on this paint job!  Craig wanted nothing to do with my high maintenance design!  Ha! I sat in this room for hours, making chalk lines, taping and painting the harlequins.  I loved it so much.
Another view of the room.  A black chair rail went up shortly after.  I always loved this room- the first room you see when you come in the front door.
It cracks me up to see how much it's changed just by getting new furniture.  We got rid of the white and switched for chocolate brown and I love the look now.
Our family room.  These were our old couches from our town home, which we sold (and wish we had now for the basement of our new house!!)  I can't get over how different it looks now.  This was probably a month or so after we moved in.  Look how young (and skinny!) Craig looks!  Ha!  I love that he's watching "Bad Santa."  This is what our life consisted of before kids!  Ha!
I feel like it doesn't even look like the same room!  Not to mention the sweet baby girl in the middle of the room... she wasn't even thought of in the picture above!  How times change!
This picture just makes me laugh.  This was our first Thanksgiving we celebrated in this house together, just the two of us.  We got a little baby turkey and Craig carved it.  I was pregnant with Andrew and we were just so happy.
I can remember when this room was just empty and the walls were white.  I had a tread mill in it, and my dresser from my old apartment that I had always known I wanted to use for a baby's room.  I remember walking on the tread mill in here and just praying for a baby so many times.  Almost 2 years later we got to fix it up like this, and it was truly the happiest I've ever been in my entire life.  There is just nothing like the day you get to bring your sweet baby home.  I will never forget that special moment, or how blessed we were.
And then getting to just watch our little boy grow and learn in this house.  The year I spent with him his first year of life, where I got to experience every "first" with him.  This house is where we spent our days, because we couldn't really take him out and expose him to germs.  I will never forget dancing in the family room to Barney songs (and Cinderella songs now with Kerigan), or baking pumpkin bread and Christmas cookies together in our kitchen, or just the many gathering with family and friends in this house.  This room also holds the memories of the terrible day we found out about Andrew's special heart.  Coming home, and sitting in this room in the dark and just sobbing for hours into the night.  
In the very same room that our sweet boy took his first steps... after 22 months of his little life, he finally did it.  Right across this family room floor.
And my sweet baby girl, same thing.  Same place.  11 months old.
Andrew's first birthday- the one we weren't sure he'd ever celebrate.
A big Curious George bash... surrounded by family and friends.
Kerigan's first birthday- taking steps down the sidewalk, after newly learning to walk.
How we so carefully set up the backyard BBQ in honor of her special day.
I can still remember this smiling face coming in to get him from his nap.  My little monkey, who crawled right out of this crib shortly after he learned to walk.
And my other smiling face... just 4 1/2 years later.
My big boy putting together his big boy bed with daddy...

The time out spot turned "play" spot!
Andrew's tree we planted it in 2007, the summer after he was born.
And the landscaping we did in 2011, the summer Kerigan was born.
Craig in front of his handywork.  Neither of us know anything about landscaping, which is why it took us so long to do it.  We had help from our great friends, who came over and helped pick things out, and dig and plant everything.
It's grown quite a bit in 2 years, hasn't it!?  We were always going to get a tree for the corner but never got around to it.
I love this picture of Kerigan by the lillies
Big brother helped us fix up his baby sister's room.

I had a vision for her room, and I created it exactly the way I envisioned it in my mind.  It is perfect.  Thanks to my brother in law, Jason and Craig.  I have already enlisted Kerigan's Uncle Jason to recreate the same thing again in our new house!   I will never forget putting this room together and the times I would sit in it and dream of the baby girl I had wanted my whole life.  How thankful and blessed I felt to be having a second child, when neither of them came easy.  
Bringing her home to her sweet little room.  This was the first time we put her in her crib.  She seemed to love it.
I will always remember the fun we had with our fire pit when I got it for my birthday a couple years ago.  Many evenings in the fall and spring gathered around with our family and cousins and friends.
Hosting Thanksgiving last year for the first time- Andrew loved being a special helper and setting the table.
Andrew has always loved his little room.  He would often just sit up in his bed and read books or play.

I always loved our house at Christmas.  I always liked to start early and get everything up early so we could enjoy it.  I will always remember our 8 Christmas mornings we spent here.  
Since these two were born we have loved to celebrate Christmas and stay in our home together and just relax and have a fun day together at home.
I love making Christmas morning brunch and Ga Ga and Papa come over to watch the kids open presents from Santa!
We had several blizzards where our front door was snowed shut!  Ha!
Huge snowbank, up to Andrew's chest!
Check out our front door!  I love, love, love when this happens!
But we always had fun in the summer too!  This mega pool was enjoyed by Andrew...
And years later by Kerigan!
Some of the best memories are having Craig's brother's family in town.  We will miss them beyond words.  Andrew adores his cousins and it was always so nice taking turns watching the kids so we could have date nights, or even just calling each other at the last minute to get pizza and hang out together at one of our houses.  One of my favorite memories was the "Just Dance" night on the Wii U!  Ha!
Just a couple other memories I don't want to forget... the Woody and Buzz craze and Andrew dancing around the house in his jammies, boots and hat!
Riding the gator around the neighborhood.  And I love how Craig's old pick up we sold is in our driveway... Andrew loved "daddy's truck!"
Learning to pedal on the sidewalk in front of our house...
My babies snuggling in Kerigan's bed after a bath!
This picture just makes my heart melt... 
Someone has a shoe obsession... As I was packing and sorting through them she started trying them all on!
My little girl loved her room, playing dress up and having tea parties with her baby...
And her daddy!  I love this picture so much!

We have technically been "moved in" to our new house and have slept there for the past three nights.  It's been nice having some extra time to come back and finish last minute things at the house and take our time.  Today I brought the kids back to say goodbye to their rooms for the last time before we close tomorrow.  I wanted to take their pictures in their bedrooms.
My sweet 2 year old girl standing in my favorite room in the house.  Her nursery.  I can't get over how much I love this room when it's all put together.  And I measured the distance between the stripes, and the distances from the chair rail to the floor and ceilings because yes, I plan to recreate the exact same thing in her new room because I love it so much!  I feel like it's still so new and we never got to really enjoy it and make her big girl room in it (which is why I designed it this way in the first place).
I already had her big girl bedding to match so that will be a way I can "keep" her room... sort of!
My little monkey standing in the only room he's known for the past 6 1/2 years.  He has told me a few times that he is going to miss this house.  Today he told me he is going to miss his room, and especially the monkey on the wall.  He asked if it was staying here (like I could just pack it up with everything else- Ha!)  He settled for a picture, and is looking forward to the new pirate room mommy is going to fix up for him in the new house!
He cracked me up when he started acting like a monkey and hopping all around his room!  He's been a monkey from day one- the day we brought him home to this room... to the day he climbed out of his crib... to now.  Some things never change!  Ha!
Saying goodbye to mommy and daddy's room.  What I'm missing most about this room is the room darkening shades!  I spent many-a-Saturday mornings sleeping in late in this pitch dark room!  Oh how I love that!  Ha!
It's time to move on... 
I am sitting here in a completely empty house.  Everything is gone but a last load of laundry and my computer and I'm about to walk out of it for the very last time.  I think it's quite appropriate that the computer is the last thing to go- Ha!  I had to do one last blog update before they shut off the internet and hook up at our new house.
I'm not even sure how I'm feeling, leaving behind this house where my babies have grown up.  I am so grateful for those memories which we will cherish in the years to come.  I think we are all ready for our new adventure to begin, and all of us will carry this house with us in our hearts in different ways.

For me, it's the place where my dreams came true.
Where I got to bring my sweet babies home.  

I saw this quote online the other day and I think it sums everything up...

“There is always a sadness about packing. I guess you wonder if where you're going is as good as where you've been.”― Richard Proenneke

Because it's been great.  So, so great.

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