A New Mission

Emotional doesn’t start to describe how I feel about this place….

I know.  I’ve said it a million times…but I can’t help it.  I miss that house.  I get overly emotional thinking about it really.  I have just had such a hard time saying goodbye and then cutting the proverbial cord.  Weirdly hard.  And I don’t expect anyone to understand.  Excuse me while I get my box of Kleenex. 

Seriously though…that box built of sticks and steel is like a person for me.  And I’ve been grieving these last six months at the loss.  Technically speaking I think we still own the home…but that doesn’t mean that it is ours.  Afterall, we don’t live there anymore.  And I know that I should be happy to be in such a lovely place now.  I do.  I am thankful and feel blessed…but it hasn’t been home.  Not like this place was. 

Pretty much everytime I have a phone date with Sherry, I tell her how it hasn’t changed.  At first, I thought moving our bed into the room and sleeping here would do the trick.  Then Sher suggested painting to give me more a feeling of ownership…so I painted the first floor bathroom.  But it didn’t make that room mine…now it’s just someone else’s prettier loo.  Then I tried again with the dining room…same result…still not my home.  just a house.     

That’s probably why I kinda dreaded it when I found out that a recent ebay purchase was accidentally sent to our old address.  Although I had met the new family, I was worried that they didn’t appreciate our first home.  that they would let it go to pot.  That it was nothing special to them.  Is it weird that I am tearing up typing this? 

I just simply remember the good.  The lovely.   The day that these mirrors fell off the wall while Jeremy & I slept – scaring us enough to hunch behind our door with a baseball bat for a solid forty five minutes.

I remember the light in the dressing room being one of the first things I ever blogged about.  And painting the walls that shade of pink thinking that one day we would have a little girl…

And how I first ventured into the world of upholstery with those green chairs and literally almost died.

I remember finishing up this guest room just in the nick of time to be on the Nate Berkus Show.

And how Will took his first steps from the tan chair in the den to land in my waiting arms :)

I remember ripping out the old cabinets, staining the new ones, laying the floor, and installing that backsplash one tile at a time….and the nights of Taco Bell with Jeremy on that floor even before we were married. 

I remember it all.  And they are like sugar on my mind.  So this past week, I called D (let’s just call her that to be easy) to pick up all the old packages.  And it went a little something like this…

I walked over the threshold…the same one Jeremy carried me over on our wedding night…to see a rack we installed full of bookbags with a cute bench underneath…and I knew.  I just knew.  It was good.  This was just as sweet.  Different and sweet.   

The living room looks different – but comfortable for the family of six that lives there. 

I loved how D wasn’t scared to make this room her own with those mix-n-match window dressings.  She watches a friend’s baby some days and that big faux bois rug is perfect for playtime.  Plus, it’s so chic that I almost stole it…I even considered it for a second but figured that it probably wouldn’t fit in my bag.  And if she saw me, I would have to say oh this?  this wasn’t one of the packages that you were holding for me?  and then I’d pause awkwardly as I unrolled it mumbling explitives under my breath.   

And beyond the living room was the den – outfitted just lovely.  I was so proud that D created space that had similar bones to what I remembered doing there but with her own twist. 

One of the most exciting things to see was a desk in the den.  I know…some folks probably don’t think this is very thrilling but to me it was.  Here’s why – it means that they care.  They care about what their kids are looking at online.  They care about spending time together in the same room.  It speaks volumes about what is more important than making a room perfect looking – that a home is about family. 

The kitchen still looked stunning.  I was excited to see that D had even purchased the same chairs from Ikea for the bar :)

Almost as excited as I was to see cookies…yup.  D is amazing.  ‘Nough said.

Now for one of my favorite rooms…the dining room.  I heart that table.  I never would have dreamed a table that large would fit in that room…but D made it work.

And believe it or not, she got a curio cabinet for free (sound familiar?) and painted it to go in the corner.  She even followed my steps…talk about being flattered!

But my favorite rooms in the house were these two.

The first was the boys room.  Because I can see boys being themselves in here.  They are sports fans…they are imperfect…they are fun and themselves and full of life.

And my other favorite room was the former dressing room which is now D’s daughters bedroom.  This was what it was always meant to be.  This was what this room was supposed to hold. 

And as I squeezed the trigger on my camera to capture this little girls happy little room, I realized something I had forgotten.  Our time in any place is temporary.  Our time here on earth is short and sometimes sweet.  And our homes are the places we share with the ones we love.  I forgot that ever famous saying….This Too Shall Pass. 

And while we were wandering the house, contemplating grand-theft-rug and eating chocolate cookies and completely forgetting why we were there in the first place, I saw Will.  And you know what?  He didn’t know it.  He didn’t know the house.  He didn’t know the rooms or where to go or, well, anything.   

Later that night I realized that our new house…the one with the dirty wood floors and the weird gold fixtures and the bare walls, that house was Will’s home.  It’s the only home he knows. 

And I want to be home where he is.  I want to my home to be with the ones I love.  And so I made up my mind.  And now I am on Mission Home Making…I will make this bruised whale my own…just like I did with the old house.  I will hang things on the walls.  I will create spaces for my family.  I will make this home. 

I owe all this closure to D.  I am so thankful for her.  The fact she was excited to make my baby, her baby…even if it is just a house.  That she made me feel welcome.  That she appreciated and deserved this kind of home.   And that she was a good mom, with good kids, who did it with them as her most important priority on a tight budget in less than 6 months.  That was simply an answer to prayer.  I am glad she is there…I am glad that this home is now theirs.  And I am glad to say goodbye.     

p.s.  Whew – so much emotionally stuff makes me a little coo-coo…so go watch this video to get a detox.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh my goodness, I had tears in my eyes reading this! How wonderful that you got to see your first home again, and even more wonderful that there’s a sweet family who is obviously taking great care of it. I loved it so much when you lived there, and it’s fun to see it so different, but still so beautiful!

    My husband and I bought our first home together about a year and a half ago and have poured tons of time and work into making it ours. It’s in no way big enough for a family, so when we decide to have children, we’ll be looking for a new house. It already makes me sad to think of leaving the house that we came home to after our honeymoon, that’s kitchen floor was installed by our own hands, and that has witnessed our entire marriage thus far. I’m savoring every minute we have here, because I know I’ll miss it when the time comes to move on!

    • says

      Oh, and I meant to add that I can only hope we find a buyer who loves our first home the same way we did like you obviously have. What a blessing!

  2. says

    Katie,

    Just wanted to let you know that I get what you mean. My husband and I had 4 years in our first house. We moved out of state and got into our first house. We got engaged in that house. We were married while we owned that house and registered for things to fill it. We made it feel like home even though we were far away from “home.” Luckily, I had two things that helped me that you don’t have. First, we didn’t yet have our daughter when we lived there. Second, we moved 12 hours away when we sold it. Also wanted to let you know that you and Sherry are my distractions and inspirations on a daily basis. Coincidentally, I have a daughter about to turn 1, and we bought a new old house in April (and I’m still struggling to decorate/organize it, since I’m a work at home Mom but I certainly don’t make my money on my blog… sure wish I did so I could actually get some diy projects and stuff around the house done). Keep working on your house so you can inspire me to do mine! Thanks!

  3. says

    I actually have reverse feelings. I knew our first home would only be temporary (we built it knowing we would move in 2 years) so it never felt like “home.” Our new house felt like “home” the first night we moved in mainly because I plan on being here for the long haul.

    Good luck with the home making!

  4. Rebecca says

    I’ve been living in our new home for 14 months now and felt the same way, I’ve decorated every room in the house but still didn’t feel like it was home. Then one day I took some art down and started filling my walls with pictures of our babies, and vacations and birthday parties. Memories that will help make this home start making more memories. It took some time but I am just now feeling like this is home.
    I’m so glad that I’m not the only one out there that holds onto a house, and realizing that I’m not and reading your post will hopefully help. Good luck in your new home with your family keep the good stuff coming, I love following your blog…

  5. Jenn T. says

    Darn you, KB. Now I’m crying. And mussing my new Lancome makeup. And looking a hot mess and a half.

    But, I’m glad that you’re finding closure. Crazy the things we hold on to, huh? :)
    Virtual hugs.

    JT

  6. Pip says

    I don’t even know you Katie but I’m proud of you – follow your heart and your family, go love that great big bruised whale of yours. Isn’t it amazing how our tiny little people can teach us so much without even knowing it? Home for them is where-ever you are. Just wait, in a while, little by little you will wake up and feel at home.

  7. Whitney says

    Love that saying, “this too shall pass.” Praying that you find peace and comfort in your new home. For as many pictures as you take you should have lots to choose from to hang. Now go get hanging and turning that house into a home!

  8. Jill says

    I enjoyed your post very much. Our first home [where we brought all of our children home from the hospital] was a mobile home. We desperately wanted a ‘house’–permanent, building value, unmovable… Many years later we have that. I love our first stick built ‘house’ but it is our second ‘home’. Home is where memories are made, life is lived, children are raised. We have had so much fun redoing things here, adding this and that. When I think back to our trailer, I don’t remember all the “I wish we could get out of here” so much. I remember bath times, bed times, stories, and a crawling baby having dumped an entire box of rice krispies on the kitchen floor. Memories are the scrapbooks we carry with us all the time, adorned with all the emotion of the moment, passion of the times. So, I will cherish those years, those pages and live where God places me with joy. Be blessed in your new home….make it yours whether by paint, lighting, or a box of carefully strewn rice krispies.

  9. RouseHouse6 says

    I absolutely love this house!!!! Tears are rolling now!… I am in awe of you Katie! You inspire me in so many ways! Keep letting your light shine! I pray that we grow old and gray here, if not… I pray we make long lasting memories to take anywhere! You guys have done a wonderful job here and the love is felt in the details. Proud to call this house our “home”! God Bless and keep you close XOXO

  10. says

    Oh my gosh this made me tear up. Dang pregnancy hormones! We’ve lived in our one bedroom apartment for three years and are moving out next month. I know I will cry like a big baby!

  11. says

    Those same emotions in this post are a huge reason that I have started my own blog. It took me a long while to stop thinking of this house as someone else’s. A few months ago, on a trip with just my husband, I burst into tears during Miranda Lambert’s song, the house that built me. I thought of my kids and how this house is building them. So I will make it the best for them ~ and I know that I have some building left for me to do too.

  12. chris says

    you totally tugged at my heart strings. and you’re right, it temporary. also that d gets to have that home because you decided its so. what a blessing to have a part of a nice place for kids to be. i hope that makes sense.
    anyway, thanks a lot for making me cry you turd.

  13. Lesley says

    Wow I missed a few days of posts and had to catch up and now you have me in tears. Ironically I had been away visiting my parents at my childhood home and also did a drive by my old home before I got married and bought our current house. I do like our current home but I feel like you do about your former home. The difference is if I had a the opportunity I would move back to my old home in a heartbeat. The thing is I thought I wanted and needed this nice big fancy house to start our family when in fact we were a family in our much smaller and manageable house. I hope I can move on like you have. but if my husband said to me right now lets go back I wouldn’t even think twice.

  14. says

    Oh my gosh. Sitting here on a Friday night catching up on blogs and now I’m bawling (balling?). It’s great D is taking great care of the old house, and can’t wait to see the new house transform into y’alls home. :)

  15. Erin says

    This was beautiful! I think that package being “accidentally” sent to your old home was also part of an answer to prayer. God’s timing is SO perfect. :)

    p.s. I think I saw your evil twins minus Will in the Pittsburgh Ikea yesterday. Or maybe it WAS you and Jeremy. In which case I take back that “evil” part. ;)

  16. Karen says

    What a great post – I am tearing up. I feel the same way everytime I move, even if it is just out of an apartment I’ve lived in for 6 months. But you are so right, your home is where the people you love are:) You will make your new home just as amazing as your old one!

  17. Becky says

    I GET you! I teared up, dreading the move from our family home – which probably will not be for another 18 years. But this house is like family. Thank you for a lovely post. And I saw you on NATE and loved it! I didn’t know that was you!

  18. nikki says

    I could have sworn this post was me talking.. that is exactly how i feel about the house me and my fiance bought back in Feb. We lived in our apt 4 yrs before that and even though it was just an apt we feel like its more home than this house. We had so many good memories, and i really miss some of the set up in the apt compared to our new house. But i do like our house and i love owning something and being able to do whatever i want to it because its mine. This post really helped me deal with my issues and hope i continue to try to make this new house my own.

  19. Sarah says

    I usually check every so often just to giggle at your twisted sense of humor…but your thoughts in this post hit home with me. We moved into a new home just under a year ago from what I will always think of as my heart house. Leaving that tiny, 1000sf, 1930’s ranch with tons of history, character, giant trees, and memories was so uber difficult….especially b/c we moved into a suburbian, EVERYTHING beige home in a new neighborhood with ZERO character!
    But my 2 year son doesn’t remember the old house (even with the canvas painting of it on the mantel)…so our new home needs to be our only home.
    There are few downsides to loving your space as much as it seems you do (and I relate), but leaving a space that is the visual representation of your soul is hard. Especially b/c as a working mom with a toddler…I look a hot mess 95% of the time…but, I’ll be damned if my house doesn’t look fab!

  20. says

    Well said Katie. We are excited to follow along on your mission. Home is where your family is, and clearly, that is what matters most to you.

    xoxo,
    Jen

  21. Carolyn W says

    Loved this post! I was thinking recently that I would love to see what the new residents have done with your old house, so this was fun. But more importantly, I’m happy that you are on a mission with your new house! We have been in our second home for over 2 years, and have been working hard to update it. It finally feels like home to me, and it’s mainly because we have changed so much of it to make it our own. And I’m happy for us, that we get to see your progress! :)

  22. Joan says

    Katie, I think providence brought me to this post today, three days after I said a tearful good-bye to our home of twenty-five years. (Yes, the tears are still flowing almost non-stop.). This was the home where we brought our babies home from the hospital, watched them learn to walk down the halls, head to kindergarten for the first time, pose for prom pictures in the garden, and pack their cars to leave for college and the big world. Our home was the center of our world, our life, and leaving it is harder than I ever imagined it would be.

    We are following our dream to a place thousands of miles away – a small town in Alaska, where we are building a new home which we hope to fill with new memories while still cherishing the old. My babies are spread across the country now, and I have to keep reminding myself that change and growth is a necessary part of life, and it will all work out in the end. Still, it is so very hard.

    Thanks for your words of comfort.

  23. Kelly says

    I want you to know that this post is the first post of your blog that I’ve ever read –
    I know none of the backstory –
    and I my eyes are totally welling up with tears –
    It touched me, and I’m not even sure why.

  24. Jen says

    Maybe I’m a total sap, but I stumbled across this post and cried my way through it. Especially the end, where you talk about Will not recognizing it. We chose to leave our home a couple of years ago to move closer to family and a better job. It was the house we came home to after our wedding, sat around the dinner table and talked about starting a family, brought our eldest child home to, watched her learn to sit, crawl, stand, and start walking . It makes me sad, but their lack of recognition makes it easier in a way.

  25. says

    I totally agree about your first house, you love it you miss it, but you can’t go back. It is bitter sweet. We are moving again next week for the 5th time in the last 4 years. I still have the same feelings, they are always there. Our next house will be with one less child as our kids begin to leave home, I will be so sad to see it happen.

  26. Miranda says

    Thank you for this post.
    I’ve only just started reading your blog and decided to randomly pick an older one to “catch up” with, and this is the one and it really resonates with me. I had bought a condo back before I ever even knew my husband existed. I painted it, put a couple of pictures on some of the walls, but it was just the place that I came back to at the end of a very long work day. 5 years later I had a husband, but the condo was still someplace we just both came back to at the end of the work day (with a lot more stuff… the joy of combining households). After my son was born, it started to feel more like a home, but it was a home that we’d outgrown and we had to move. We now live in a beautiful new built townhouse that looks exactly like every other one in the 3 surrounding counties. But this is where my son learned to walk. This is where he “discovered” stairs and joy of climbing up them. This is where we hosted the family x-mas for the first time (16 people around two tables only meant to hold 6 each). I’m going to take a leaf from your book and start working on making this place my family home. Thank you.

  27. says

    This post inspired a post on my blog about the moment when it finally dawned on me that I was home. We are in our version of our first house, but I moved straight from my parents’ house, where I was raised, to my husband’s house, where he had already lived for two years prior to our wedding. Even though I’d spent a lot of time at his house and put a lot of effort into decorating, it just didn’t feel like home until about two weeks ago.

    Since your original post was written well over year ago, are you feeling more at home in your current house than you felt when you originally wrote this?

    • says

      Absolutely. I think bringing home Weston to our current house and to seeing Will react to the rental vs our house was so encouraging and just reinforced the fact that our current abode is really home :)
      xo – kb

  28. says

    I totally get it. And like I said in another post, this difficulty of letting me go is keeping me stuck in our current house, keeping us from moving on. Another BIG thing for me is that there’s so much to do. I’m not near done. There’s so much in my mind that I picture that I want to see come to fruition. I’m even afraid no one would want it because they dont see what I see.

    A personal question you don’t have to answer… one thing that also holds me back is I really dont want to be responsible for anything that goes wrong. I want to move about an hour away. I’m not going to want to take the time to come and fix this or that or pay for someone else to do it. Is there a third party business that can take care of anything for you- like you rent a landlord and dont worry about a thing? A flat rate fee regardless? A dreamer can dream I guess…

    Damnit. Now all those thoughts I had laid to bed are stirring again! I just think if i could do 1-10 I might be able to let go…

    my poor husband.

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