When Matt and I got married in 2004, we lived in a one bedroom apartment. We loved that apartment. I cried very hard for a long time leaving that apartment because it was a sign of everything I had become. I literally came into adulthood there and made some huge decisions. But six months after getting married I was pregnant with Olivia and we knew we had to get a house. It was time to be real grown ups.
We went on the search with our sad little $80,000 budget and found exactly two houses that were not in the ghetto and in our range. The first one was in East End and looked rough on the outside. The inside was nice but the five feet of standing water in the basement was a bit of a deal breaker. We left there feeling a little discouraged, but when we saw this house in South End? I knew. I just knew it was the one. Sure, it looked absolutely ghetto fabulous on the outside with it's "siding" that looked like shingles full pecked by birds and other animals. Sure, the fence was falling down and the bushes were out of control. Sure, the front door didn't even shut all the way nevermind lock. Sure, it was so disgusting, foul, and filthy through and through. Sure, it had a bathtub I could barely get into because it was so tall and a garden house duct taped to the ceiling for a shower.
But I just knew that this was going to be ours. And after a few months, it was. We moved in a little before our first wedding anniversary and my six month pregnancy milestone.
People said we just flushed $75,000 down the toilet. The wondered what we were thinking. But we were determined to make this our home. And we did.
Then we had Olivia in September. I can't even tell you how many hours of my life I spent in a rocking chair, but it was a lot. I wore a spot on the floor and I can tell you where every squeak is in this house. I would spend hours crying as I'm trying to rock her and stare out her window to the yard and sometimes I would feel a calm come right over me.
I would spend hours walking the neighborhood with her and from day one, it felt like home. It felt like this was where we were meant to be.
Even Lenny agreed- this house was IT. He really loved the apple tree.
Matt I learned a lot about ourselves, marriage, parenthood in this house. We fought, we cried, we almost got divorced, and then baby #2 was on his way.
Awhile ago Jackson and I had a conversation about moving. He's pretty excited to have a closet in his new room, but he's a pretty sensitive little guy. He's very thoughtful and caring. His biggest concern? Leaving Lenny. Yes, he's worried about leaving our dead cat who is buried under our beloved apple tree. We always told our kids that Lenny went to Kitty Heaven and you can talk to him anytime- he hears us and will be there when we get there someday.
Jackson is worried that if we leave this house, Lenny will think we don't love him anymore and maybe we could just bring him with us?I had to creatively think of a way out of this that didn't involve bringing the carcass of a dead animal in a Uhaul so I told him that really, it's just a secret door under there. That once Daddy covered him up, a secret door opens and Lenny went through it... so he's not under there anymore.
(Life lesson- parenting is all about creative lying on demand.)
But here we are. We are literally on the cusp of moving to an unknown. For all of the headaches this house gave us, for all of the countless trips to Home Depot and all night home improvement projects, for nothing ever being the way it should have been tacking extra time and money onto every project (even changing light bulbs), and for every time I've wanted to walk away because I didn't think we'd get through it- I'm going to miss this house. I really will. I hope we have just as many awesome memories in the new one. I hope I don't regret leaving this house someday. I hope the next person loves this house as much as we have. I hope the next person has even better memories than us.
And I hope they don't ever cut the apple tree down because that will be a really difficult day. I'm just being honest.
So if you don't hear from me for a little while- I'll be without internet, I'll be hauling boxes, and I'll probably be crying. But I'll be back. With pictures and optimism for a new future. But until then, Matt and I will be spending our 9th wedding anniversary loading a Uhaul and cleaning our home for the very last time. It seems almost fitting, really.