We just said goodbye this morning to Uncle Andy & Alex. They flew up to Boston from sunny West Palm Beach and landed in between two blizzards. While it might have been colder than they typically enjoyed, the boys delighted in their shared company, snow fights, and skiing. Alex did great his first time on the slopes and I cannot wait for Henry to join in on the fun next year. We played outside every couple hours and bundled up our southerners in all the winter gear we owned. It was so nice being able to spend so much time together and Henry and Owen loved every second of it. I hate having family far because these moments always make me heartsick for more. When it was time to say goodbye, Henry was so sad that the only consolation was promising to go down and visit them this summer!
We have been in our house for a little over a month and feel pretty settled but also feel ready to start tackling some of our “projects.” I guess every house is a “work in progress” as you inch slowly closer and closer to your vision for the space.
The first room we are working on is the playroom. Since moving in we filled it with a new couch, rug, bookshelf, and coffee table. It feels fine for right now, but it is also exploding with toys. One of my goals for over my March spring break will be to purge and donate toys. The boys have accumulated so many things from holidays and birthdays and just random gift giving. This room clearly shows they are loved by their grandparents and aunts and uncles who shower them in gifts. And we are incredibly grateful for the “daycare” we have been able to set up, especially since my mom watches the boys at home many days during the work week. The room keeps those boys busy busy. But it is time to start saying goodbye to some of things in order to streamline the work that the kiddos do in there. And, a lot of the baby toys can be phased out with Owen inching closer to his first birthday.
We also was to change the drapery which seems like an easy task but the previous owners bolted down those window coverings in a serious way! They are going to need some work to take off the various brackets that they deadbolted to the walls and then we will need to patch and paint, and find new curtains (although we might use our blue and white curtains here from our previous house) and then paint the walls, ceiling, and the trims (we want those to be white). So a lot to do to freshen up the room but while it might seem daunting, David and I are not in a rush. We see this as our forever home so we are excited to get started and will work through this patiently.
We are a little novice in the fire department but when you have a functioning fireplace you have to use it, right?
It took us a little while to get it lit. We let it burn for 20 minutes, and we nervously worried about the ashes/embers for hours.
But now that the first one is behind us, I think we are ready to have cozy nighttime fires more regularly.
Sometimes I avoid taking “risks” with the boys because I worry that in the midst of being far away chaos will strike or that naps and meals will be so messed up. But you know what?! Today was really awesome, dare I say magical! The boys were totally into the aquarium. We did not have a single fuss and we stopped at every tank, observed this world and even did lunch and double diaper duty. Lesson: take more risks with these two, they can totally handle it.
One week ago, we moved in to our new house. It feels like we have been here a whole lot longer! Maybe it was spending the holiday here that cemented this location into our family or just the hectic first week which “settled” us in. Regardless, this place is starting to feel like home and there are very few items of discontent here. We are getting accustomed to the quiet and the space of this “country” feel and I never want my winter break to end. Can I just hibernate with my hubs and littles here until spring?
Seeing the boxes makes it hard to really soak up what is going on. The denial is REAL. When will it hit me exactly that we are moving away from our first home together? The emotions started to bubble up Thursday night. Henry and Owen were sitting in the tub together and both of them were laughing as the water splashed up into the air and it hit me for a moment. We are leaving this happy home. This was the last tub they would have together in that bath. And as I type it out now, I feel that same wave of nostalgia for all things about this space and time. We have been consumed all Fall with the process of moving. The numerous open houses one attends to find the new place, the offer, the negotiating, and the endless paper work and phone calls that mark this process were so distracting that I did not have a real chance to savor this HUGE transition. Now with only 24 hours left in our first home, I just want to sit in its stillness, and remember its details, and hold onto the images of my husband, children, and dogs living in this space. Last night, I held Owen in my arms and nursed him to sleep while rocking in our chair and thought as he cuddled in that he would not remember this place. We sat so intimately in this room for 8 months and every night we had this time together. Sitting in the dark to just cuddle while he drifted off to sleep. I laid him in his crib and cried, because I know this is just a place, but this transition is harder than I anticipated and all the feels are so real. David and I then played with Henry in his room and read him stories. He chose a classic: Goodnight Gorilla. We read it three or four times and both David and I exchanged glances about the sweetness of our routine here. Yes, it will transplant to the new home, but my heart felt a little sad as we kissed Henry goodnight for the last time in his first room.
Five years ago, a couple of newlyweds playing house bought this home. We awkwardly stood in front of the sale sign and posed for a selfie when across the street our neighbor shouted hello, jogged across to us, and offered to snap it. Little did we know that we had not just bought a home but we found dear friends. Surrounding our house were “Warriors.” Three families who welcomed us immediately into their circle and took us out for a welcome dinner. Despite living on a busy road, this community was connected. Our neighbors shared not just cordial waves from driveways but stories, dinners, parties, fire pits, and laughs for five years. When we were snowed in, we walked to each others’ houses, played games, and drank wine in our pajamas. In the Fall, we stood around a fire pit and in the summer around the BBQ. We had each others’s backs, and watched our neighborhood. We closed each others garage doors when one of us drove off forgetting or checked in on our houses during vacations away. I never felt alone because I knew our friends were just steps away. Obviously, this friendship doesn’t end with us moving a few miles away, but I will miss this closeness and the encounters and outings that just happened sporadically because we were near one another.
Before the babies arrived, this house was quite empty. David and I were paralyzed by design decisions. The house was new and the walls had no holes. Every thing we hung was a painstaking process and felt so permanent. We moved in here from a one bedroom apartment in Brighton and had no furniture to fill it. We slept on our mattress on the floor for almost two years because we just could not commit to a headboard! We spread out our little bit of furniture throughout all the rooms which meant we put our dressers in separate rooms so at least every room had a piece of furniture in it. Of course, slowly we filled the spaces and having the babies helped as toys began to spread like a fog layer throughout the house.
This house experienced some crazy home “improvements.” There was that epic wall experience! In trying to put a fence up in our yard, we contracted for a 70 foot long and 4 foot high field stone wall to be constructed. A 3 week project turned into a 5 month ordeal in which our yard, our neighbors’ yard, and our front of the house was torn up completely. The mason never came, always lied, fought, and left us all in the dark through the process. It was a mess, a joke, and when it was finally finished a relief. Of course, the wall looks beautiful now!
This home though saw so many cozy nights together, date nights home and pajama nights with the boys. The dogs have come to love this space. They lounge in the sun, they bark and romp in the yard, and they race up and down the stairs. We have hosted Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and parties, and playdates and enjoyed the warmth of friends and family. In this house, we celebrated birthdays and anniversaries and took more walks through our neighborhood and park than we can count. We have sledded in the winter down our little hill on a box, and shoveled the snow the year it reached over 100 inches. And most importantly, we had our babies in this home, we became a family here: first Henry and then Owen. I remember feeling my first contraction with Henry, waking up in the middle of the night full of excitement and fear. And racing off to the hospital. I remember bringing him home and wondering how to do this parenting thing. I remember coming home from work on April 11 and wondering when I would have baby 2? Then 20 minutes later racing off to have Owen and BARELY making it to the hospital. When we brought Owen home, our family was complete. It just felt so good to settle in to our new life together.
Now we are leaving and it is exciting for our new chapter but hard to say good bye to the walls that house all of this. We can easily drive by and see the house and see the ways in which the new owners make it their own, but I will always feel razbliuto for this home. It is a good home, it has solid bones, it is a special warm place in a great neighborhood and it helped us become a family. We will always miss you home! Good luck with your new people and welcome them as you took such good care of us.