Hello, friends. I’m going to get right to the point, because my emotions are high as I type this, and I’d rather not cry into my laptop if I can avoid it. This week we are packing up and preparing to leave our beloved first house.
And moving to Texas.
It’s a big move that has been in the works for months, but things weren’t totally finalized with the sale until recently. With all the work on The Bookshelf Styling Class and trying to wrap up local design projects, I just kept things quiet about the situation and tried to get through this hectic month. Since we close on the house next week, I think it’s safe to say it’s a “done deal”.
This may seem a bit out of the blue, but we’ve actually had our house on the market since September. After years of debating a move back to my hometown of Sugar Land, Texas my husband’s work situation finally worked out a way for him to relocate and keep his same job. It’s a decision we’ve really wrestled with for years, and now feels like the right time to try.
This move is so bittersweet.
In Texas we’ll be close to my immediate family, and it will be a good career move for Stu. But we are leaving behind a town we love and a community of friends who have been like family the last 14 years. I came to the Midwest as a naive college kid. I had no idea I’d end up making a life for myself here, much less purchase my “dream cottage”. As we are packing up all the final boxes this week, I’ve had so many memories come flooding back about how a home can affect us on a deeper level.
It’s crazy how a home can feel alive. How you become so emotionally attached and dependent on its presence in your life. Over time it seems to develop a personality and you interact with it not as you would a soulless structure, but rather as a family member who just doesn’t speak.
Some people just wouldn’t understand that, but I know you do.
At times it even feels like you’re in a long-term relationship with your home.
This is the home I dreamt about as I moved from one crappy apartment to another in my post-college years. This is where I brought my baby home in the middle of a Missouri blizzard. It’s where our family of friends spent Easters, Halloweens, and more Saturday pot luck dinners than I can count.
It’s a home that healed the wounds in my heart from growing up as a teenager whose parents could no longer live under the same roof.
It’s where I tapped into creativity I didn’t even realize existed.
This is the home where I learned how to live authentically in community with others, laughing together and then helping each other deal with life’s blows. A desire to create a place of belonging led to my understanding of designing a home for community. Out of that came a new career and clear purpose as I guided other women to do the same.
(Lest all the memories be rose colored here, I also learned that old homes will always have crooked floors, make strange noises, need major repairs, and require way more TLC and tolerance than newer homes:)
Interacting with this house has shaped me profoundly. I feel a strange mixture of heartache and gratitude as we leave it.
Will they repaint the front door? Will they prune the peach tree right? Will they do the kitchen renovation that I never got around to??
The ironic thing is that we are leaving our first house to move into my childhood home. (So. Many. Feelings.) I’ll have lots more details on my “new” old home soon, but for now I just want to give a little love to our 1940’s Tudor style cottage that made my humble home dreams come true.
As a tribute, I rounded up some of my favorite posts that share memories in this house…
Want to skip the packing? NYC Movers can help.
My first party in the house (and very first blog post!)
DIY artwork in the guest room (which soon became a nursery;)
When I made a bold upholstery move with chevron and it ended up on Design*Sponge.
(Oh, chevron…A hot love affair I would later regret.)
When I made a faux log stack and loved my fireplace 100x more.
Gemma’s nursery reveal and thoughts on “messy parenthood”
Our living room update (toy-free, but still kid-friendly)
When I finally gave myself a budget and a deadline and redid our master bedroom.
2015 Holiday Home Tour (I will REALLY miss having Christmas in this house…)
The mudroom that became my home office.
And the most important lesson that my home ever taught me.
It crazy to look back at how much in my life has changed since we first walked in the front door of this house. Six years ago I was a naive and enthusiastic newlywed with no clue how to approach a marriage or a home. Now I’m leaving as a wife, a mom, and a designer with a desire to help others create a space they love.
As I worked and changed the landscape of this home, turns out I was the one being shaped.
One thing I can say with confidence is this…We are both leaving each other better than when we first met. And that’s really all you can hope for in a love story, right?