Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This Little House

I remember walking into this house for the first time. I can't remember what number house it was, but I looked at on my birthday 7 years ago...in the midst of a day where I looked at over 13 houses without Nick. The realtor and I driving around a town that was foreign to me, looking for a house to make our first home.

We had lived in 3 apartments in our short time of being married and each had had positives and negatives, but this was going to be home. A place to paint, to decorate a nursery, to build a life in.

I remember walking through and knowing without a doubt that this was it. This was where our family would grow. I imagined kids growing up here, the space was perfect for kids to grow in.

Here we are 7 years later. We will move out 7 years after we closed on the house, just shy of 7 years from when we moved in. We did what we hoped, putting paint on almost every wall (only the half bath downstairs remains the same color as when we moved in). We decorated a nursery for Lucy, then for Murray, added a color to the girls room for Ginny and brought Wiley home here as well.

These walls have heard laughter and tears. We've had amazing gatherings of family, friends and youth. This house and yard have been such a gift to share with all those we love.

The location has been ideal. Close to church, walking to school once the kids were enrolled, a sledding hill down the street, parks, the pool and the library all within biking distance.

This place has been home.

It's surrounded by love. The best neighbors we could ever hope for. The type of neighbors you borrow, sugar and eggs from as well as many other random forgotten ingredients, gardening tools, other tools, their expertise and wisdom and most importantly their company, a listening ear and love. I will miss my neighbors more than words can express. They've helped me bandage wounds, driven me to the ER with a bleeding child in my lap, come to my rescue on countless occasions and been the people I've shared in daily life with.

I have spent the last 7 years of my life growing babies and nursing them. This phase of my life has been incredibly home based, focusing on my role as a wife and a mother. I've spent countless hours in this home growing babies and rocking babies. This home has certainly seen me at the greatest moments of my life and a few of the hardest. We've brought babies home here and had the heartache of never meeting a baby lost. I've seen each room of this house at every hour of the day. Walking the rooms with a restless baby or while laboring. I can close my eyes and picture the kids' rooms in moonlight, the warmth of a summer breeze coming through an open window and a newborn baby in my arms. I can picture my "big" kids asleep in their beds as I tuck them in one more time before I head to bed. I walk through the house and remember who bled where, who puked, the messes that were made, the projects created, the block towers built, the make believe worlds that were created and the cars raced across the floor and the imaginary battles fought.

As we leave this home after 7 years, Nick and I will be celebrating a decade of marriage. I feel like he and I have "grown up" here. Grown in our love and understanding of each other and of what a marriage is all about. We've learned how to fight here, fight with a purpose to reach a compromise and understanding. We've learned how to love unconditionally, to work towards a common goal and help each other be better and stronger than we could be as individuals.

This house, this home will be hard to leave.

God has a plan, a purpose in all of this. Heaven is our home. I know this. This house is only bricks and wood. Walls that will one day be destroyed. The memories, the love that was made here will carry with me. I have often been reminding Lucy in her tearful goodbyes that the love we have shared with people here has shaped who she is and will stay with her for the rest of her life. I know that is true for myself as well, but it is still tearful. Hard to say goodbye to a place that has been my world for 7 years.

This house has been our first home and I will forever carry it in my heart.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Murray Man is 6

I can't believe it's been 6 years since I became a believer that a girl can fall in love with a boy in an instant. That moment I held you, stared into your eyes and made a final debate about your name. I'm so glad we chose Murray, you're such an amazing Murray Man and it suits you so well.

You're such an amazing little man Murray. You are kind, sensitive and full of life and love. You are all boy, loving anything rough and tumble, competitive in almost everything you do. You love your bow and arrow, nerf guns and wrestling and fighting "ninja style". You also can spend hours building with legos, kicking a ball or racing around in the backyard.

I am so proud of who you are growing into. You are considerate of others and are extremely well attuned to others wants and needs. This is evident everyday in the way you play so kindly with Ginny and Wiley and on occasion used against Lucy to "push her buttons" and get her fired up, but usually you get along well with her also.

We celebrated your birthday a few days early while up in Traverse City with a Moomers ice cream cake and great friends around. The Bauer's and the Troxel's. It was fun to share your special day with them since your actual birthday Daddy had to leave for a trip.

We love you Murray Man, I can't believe you're 6! I can't believe what a smart, funny, sensitive, and strong young man you are becoming. I can't wait to see what this next year of life has in store for you. It is a joy to share  life with you and watch you grow.