We bought a new house and we will be moving next month.
I cannot believe it.
After 29 years in our current home, we will be moving away from the only home our children have known.
I. Cannot. Believe. It.
I have not written about it yet in this space nor in my wider social media areas.
I did post a photo of Mt. Hood that I took while stopped en route to the new-to-us house, and I noted there would be an announcement. This is it. ish.
Why have I not written publicly about this new house, which we bought two months ago?
Writing about it in a public space makes it real to me.
Back in April of this year, we made an offer on a different house, but then decided that we couldn’t afford it so we found a reason to get out of the deal. It house and to think about moving after 28 plus years in our current house only to back out of buying it — I just didn’t think we could do it again.
Until we found the current house we bought and have been fixing up for two months.
It’s a huge deal.
We bought our first (and only until now) house in November of 1989 and moved in just days before Christmas, when I was 8 months pregnant with our first child. We brought home each of our five children to this our first home. It is the only home our kids have known. It’s the only home that they have memories of family gatherings in. It is the only home that they have brought their friends home to.
When we were in the process of working on a bid for this new house, we wanted to show each of our kids; we wanted to get them involved in the decision making process and to get their feedback. We wanted them to like it.
When the twins met us at the new house to see it for the first time, it was just before dusk on a late fall day, and it was a darker day, and when I asked my sons what they thought of the house, one of my twins said, “I don’t know. It’s not as homey or cozy as our current house. Our house is so cozy and the other house we almost bought in April felt homey, but this new one does not.”
Oh my goodness. That about did me in and almost made me not want to buy the house. Cozy and homey are two of ways I want my home to feel. My kids’ friends say to me when they come over, “Your home is so cozy and warm* and our friends who come over for the first time tell us how warm it feels in our home.
And, that my son pointed out that our new house didn’t have that feeling made me realize that my kids care about how our home feels.
So, with this new home, I have been belaboring over every little decision trying to create that very feeling that it took me years to create in our first home. The feeling that my kids notice and appreciate, the feeling of home-y.
It starts with a fresh coat of paint. But what color of paint? A warm, cozy, color that is not too dark but not too boring, a cozy feeling. I bought – and I am not exaggerating here- 53 sample colors to try out on our walls. We needed bathrooms and halls and bedrooms and family room and dining room and accent walls and I didn’t want them all the same; and then I needed trim and moldings and base and casing. Our painter is totally laughing at us and said in his 40 years of painting professionally, he has never seen quite the number of samples on one wall.
Then, I am worried about flooring, carpets and hardwood floors and wanting a warm cozy homey feel with them as well; and then we will move to light fixtures and other accessories, all to make it feel cozy and welcoming.
I so want this new house to feel like home for our kids. They care. It matters.
And yet, in the end, as my sister and my friends Kristi and Bea said, it’s where we are that makes a house a home.
Yep, so true. What ultimately matters is the love and safety and care our kids feel from us, their parents, and from their siblings here. The conversation, the interaction, the laughter, the acceptance, the feeling of belonging. Home is where we are.
Now, if I can only decide on that coat of fresh paint.
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This is post number 30 (a bit late) in my 30 Days of November How I Mom series #howimom30 – Life continues to be lived as I try to navigate this new blogging system and live life with family. I am grateful for each new day. How about you? How do you create a home? What makes a house “homey” to you? How do you mom? #howyoumom30