Thursday, October 8, 2015

This House...

Our house is cluttered with boxes and toys and loads of messes today. We are leaving California and as I move from room to room, my heart is breaking. I've been on the West Coast for 13 years and while I feel like living in this state has really defined so much of who I am, I feel like this house has made Jarred and I who we are in so many ways. It has seen us through a lot. We moved in month nine of marriage.

We've learned each other in this place. We were still in the honeymoon phase when we moved in and let me tell you, this house has seen it all :) I distinctively remember the day we signed the escrow papers and the moment we walked into our first owned home. I remember the late nights debating over paint colors and which room would eventually be our nursery… someday. I remember dreaming about the little "fixes" we wanted to do to our little place and how much better it would be when we sold it. None of that happened, of course. We have laughed and cried and prayed and argued here. We have grown and taken steps backwards and we have solidified who "we want to be" in this house.

We spent many nights on the couch with a glass of wine watching "New Girl" and laughing until our stomachs hurt.

Monday and Tuesday mornings we cook breakfast together and linger around the table while we eat. Our kitchen has been one of our favorite places to spend time together - cooking and talking and laughing.

I will never forget the 5am excited walk from our bathroom to wake him up and tell him "You're going to be a DAD!" I just couldn't wait until he woke up to tell him :) No way!

Every Thursday night this house had a crock pot full of delicious food cooking and 10 college gals filling up our living room talking about Jesus and real life and becoming a little family. I remember those 10 gals FREAKING OUT when we told them we were having a baby. One of my favorite moments in this house…

About six months into my pregnancy, I'll never forget the Thursday night I sat on the bottom of the stairs and wept listening to my dad tell me over the phone that my mom might have cancer. One of my college gals happened to get there early that night and she sat on the bottom of the stairs with me and just let me cry.

I remember the exact corner of the couch where I was sitting when my dad called the next day and told me my mom had pancreatic cancer and I needed to come home. By God's grace, my sweet friend Cheryl was right there with me. I remember feeling numb and then feeling Holland move inside my belly and thinking that I had to be strong and get through this because she was counting on me. I had no choice but to do all I could to protect that little life while we dealt with all of this from miles away.

I remember sitting on the bedroom floor with packing our suitcases and I just sobbed and sobbed knowing full-well that my mom may not make it through this battle. And will never forget Joel walking into our bedroom and just sitting on the floor with me. People's presence means everything in the hardest moments.

On May 26th, 2014 our little girl came into the world and my mom was there - the strongest woman I know looked past her own pain during chemo treatment and came to us for a week when our girl was born. I don't know what I would have done without her. I'll never forget when she and Jarred and I walked in from the hospital with our tiny tiny girl.

My mind is laced with memories of sleepless nights in our bedroom with our newborn daughter and my in-laws tirelessly helping us around the clock for weeks because of my complications from my C-section. This little house became their second home.

Over our 3 years in this neighborhood, some of our friends have moved in and become our neighbors and some of our neighbors have become our friends. We've spent many warm evenings watching all the kiddos fight over toys play outside and have swapped dinners at each others houses.

This house is where our little gal learned to say her first words, where her daddy made her giggle for the first time, where I first heard those tiny feet running down the hallway between our bedrooms, where she first "shared" all of her meals with Maggie the dog, where we spent countless hours watching netflix when sleep didn't come easily, where she learned her first words and came around the corner each morning saying "Ma-Ma" when she saw Maggie sitting downstairs.

I won't soon forget the 3am laughter and fun that ensues on monthly poker night. We've had to move to a location where it won't wake kids up, but i'm so grateful that Jarred has had the chance to be in a community of guys who truly loves to spend time together.

It's a place where we've had the gift of hosting many overnight guests… for one night or for six months. We have loved the people who have lived and stayed with us in our little home and the coffee and wine conversations that come with it.

Walking away is hard; it always is. While there are definite things to look forward to, we know that goodbyes carry a weight that feels heavy. We grew up here and became us here. My heart is grateful.

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