For almost exactly six years, we’ve lived in a 100 year old farm house on 150 acres; it has been an incredible home on a beautiful property that has served our family well, (sounds magical, right? It is!) but for many reasons, the time for us to move on has come. But truth be told, I’m still torn. I’m beyond excited for our new home – closer to everything we do, more spacious, a bit nicer – but, also, sad to leave this place we’ve come to know and love (you can check out bits and pieces of the farmhouse right here). When we were first signing on the dotted lines, I had no idea the onslaught of emotions that was soon to follow.
Our moving process happened bizarrely fast. From the time we decided to move until we were actually in our new home took only six weeks. Perhaps the quick turnover has something to do with the (literally) overflowing emotions, but I’d venture to guess, no matter the process, moving tugs at the heart strings when you least expect it and for a plethora of reasons:
- It’s where my babies were babies! So much has transpired in that little old farmhouse in the past six years. We moved in on May 15, 2010, when our oldest (and at the time our only), Max, was just 3 months old. Since then, it was there we lost a baby and welcomed 3 more. It was there I learned my Dad passed away and that we were given the new life of an adopted son. It was there my husband tore his Achilles and launched his business. It was there, I’ve experienced seasons of darkness and the most magical light. It was there the walls have felt like a prison and a castle; growing through the early years of motherhood feeling isolated and taken captive, while almost regal in all gratitude to be home with my gifts. It was there that each baby learned to walk, talk, go on the potty (not the babies yet) – and peed on the floor 🙂 Memories that I will carry forever happened there, in that home. It was all there!
- And now we’re here? Seriously, I could not be happier about our new home. It’s a dream – the house itself, the location (close to our church, my husband’s work, the beltline!), the local attractions (pool, parks, splash pad, downtown) – but as a parent, it is natural to question our decisions because it’s not just me I’m affecting! Our yard is about 99.8% smaller (and I’ve thought so many times, “Who moves their kids off 150 acres?!?!”) but now we can walk to so many places, have neighbor kids with which to play, and be part of a community! I want so much for my children, but I most importantly want them to grow to be people of faith, integrity, kindness, and generosity. I want them to be in a home that feels like home, where they’re safe and loved, where they’re comfortable and where their friends feel comfortable. And while it feels like that’s what we’re leaving, I know that is just a feeling that comes with time and fully believe all this can be accomplished anywhere, in any physical house.
- But, speaking of the comfort that comes from longevity…SIX years! We’ve lived there for six years. At this age and stage of life, I haven’t lived anywhere for six years since leaving my parent’s home. This had never dawned on me until a couple of days before closing. I kept thinking, “Why am I so emotional and attached to this place, I’ve lived lots of places since ‘leaving home’ and starting college?” Every place has held memories, but this is the first place with roots. For years I’ve thought of what would come after this starter home: when we would leave, where we would go, what our next house would look like; but it turns out thinking of moving on and actually doing it bring about entirely different visceral responses. And moving on means…
- It’s the end of an era! My husband and I are moving into that “next” house. We’re no longer 24 and just married, eating off of milk crates and making due with all hand me down furniture (scratch that, second-hand furniture is still definitely my favorite, but I digress). In our previous house, we did some basic cosmetic work, but floors were still slanted and the bathroom was still rocking Milwaukee Brewers’ colored tile! For all the years I’ve despised that tile, now I’m ironically going to miss it. Isn’t that always how these things work? Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic for the many cosmetic and other updates of our new home (like having a dishwasher!), but moving has brought graciously gentle reminders toward gratitude and contentment; there is no PLACE that will make me happy, it’s the people with whom I’m in each place. And as we leave the farmhouse, it’s like stripping off and saying goodbye to our “first-home-young-married-life-starting-a-family” selves and greeting the next stage with the excitement and apprehension that comes with the unknown.
This is the short list of angles from which our mixed emotions might unexpectedly ambush, but to be honest, there was a much longer list that I will keep between my husband, myself, and my journal. Tonight, is the third night I’ll rest my head within these new walls. We’re still clearing things from our old house, and today, as I walked through the empty rooms, with all the pictures off the walls, it was impossible to contain the tears. I am confident in this next step, even as I sit here writing, it feels like we’re right where we’re supposed to be. But that doesn’t mean I won’t mourn what came before; in fact, as I fully remember and appreciate our last home, it seems I’ll more fully embrace and enjoy all that is to come.