We handed over the keys on Monday…well, actually, we turned over the garage door openers since we couldn’t find the keys.

I feel pretty bitter/sweet about that little fact.

I totally thought I was fine.

I mean, this has been a pretty crazy journey ever since we bought our new house to remodel back forever ago.  I have gone through the whole gamete of emotions from being completely gloomy and melancholy thinking about moving away (Dave has one picture of me bawling after church one day in the process) to being so excited.  We have gone through so much crazy stuff with remodeling that helped me get so ready to move.

In the last few months we have moved to the new house and have cleared out little by little in the old, but as of last Thursday there was still a LOT of stuff there.

Our fridge broke before we left, flooding the wood floor.  Luckily insurance took care of getting it refinished but it took this to get it done:

 It was a pretty crazy process.

That created a LOT of dust.

The new owners picked out the new color.

(They picked the darker one and it looks so great all done.)

Dave and I mis-judged when the closing would take place.  We had some trouble with the appraisal so we figured it would take a while to close.  Luckily, because we were getting ready to host this:

…at our new house.  (Dave’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary weekend celebration.)

We worked like crazy people to get some things situated and to get some things in our new home and yard done before the party started.  Somewhere in the midst of it all, last Thursday we realized June 9th was Monday.

And that that little home sale we had been waiting on was going to go through that day, ready or not.

So we had three days to clear that house out in the midst of the huge extended family gathering.  And did I mention it was pretty darn full of stuff?  Stuff we hoped would find a new good home since we had to change a lot of things in our new house.

So my sweet-as-pie friends came to the rescue.

One of them had done a home decor sale before and knew exactly how to run it and brought her own stuff since she’s moving too.  Another came over one morning and saw my deer-in-the-headlights expression and stayed all day to help me move things and get ready.  Another couple came that night to help man the sale.  And when not everything was gone by the end of the night two of them helped me put on a garage sale the next morning at 6 (they brought stuff too).  I had to leave early for the extended family program stuff, and they took care of the rest.  Honestly, they make me want to cry they were SO incredibly helpful.  And I didn’t get ONE picture of ANY of all that craziness.

Not one.

The only thing I got was a quick picture of this awesome family who bought enough that they had to bring back a trailer to haul it all away.

(Elle did pictures for Melissa’s family clear back HERE…such a great family.)
So in between the family festivities we worked our tails off over there.

We took down each and every measurement on our “measuring door” on our pantry before we painted over it.

THAT was sad.

When Dave first started writing this record he vowed we would just take this door with us to wherever we moved some day.  And we really thought about it.  But we were in such a rush and we didn’t know if we could find another one like it to replace it with.  Part of me thinks we should have held out.

…and another part tells me it’s ok that it is sitting there, all painted white for the next family.  We’ll come up with another way to write that out.

Elle patched up all the holes:

Claire and Grace did touch-up paint:

The sweetest friends came to help move the remaining boxes and bulk stuff still in the garage.

I’ll tell you what, we worked hard.

And so did those dear friends of ours.

So after all that craziness I figured I’d rip off the band-aid and just skip away from that old home despite my sentimentality just to be done with the juggling.

But as I sat there taking pictures on the tail end of our crazy ride to get everything moved out of there way more quickly than we anticipated, I have to admit I shed a few tears.

How could I let that thing go?  How can I let go of where Lucy learned to walk right there in front of that kitchen island:

She would stand there for hours playing with canned food in the cabinet and learned to balance.

How could I walk away from that kitchen where I prepared ten thousand meals, my children at my side?

My children built a gazillion forts and we had hundreds of Family Home Evenings here:

There was the “time out” corner over by that map we used when the kids were little.

Later it morphed into the place to old our job charts week after week as we tried our best to teach our children to work hard and be responsible (HERE).

There was the stairs we used as our “fighting bench,”

…and where a hundred children slid down laughing gleefully in sleeping bags.

There was the room we painted together one sumer, just me and my girls (back HERE): 
It struck such a chord to see it sitting, lonely, with the duvet cover Grace and I made together (back HERE) waiting patiently for a new family.

And the pool where we used to do our “Tuesday Night Swim Club” as well as all kinds of swim parties and cake floats and after-school-cool-offs (we’re sure missing that pool these days!)

And the trampoline that has been worth it’s weight in gold with how much jumping and fun has been had there.

And let’s just take note of those pretty vines I’ve been patiently waiting to grow up to beautify that wall:

Grace found a place where she used to stash treats.  Max split his chin open on that front sidewalk and learned to dunk a basketball in that hoop on the driveway.  

That home is where we have built our family.

Back in Virginia where we lived for six years before we moved here is where we were seedlings.  We had our three babies.  We rented from house to house.  We weren’t ready to settle.

But when we got to this one we put down our roots.  It was the first home we ever purchased.

And the first one we’ve ever sold.

And it’s filled to the very brim with memories that have made our lives rich and beautiful.  It all made me think a bunch about THIS POST my friend Sarah wrote about her experience at an estate sale.  All the memories locked up in so much of that stuff we sold and in the walls of that home.

And yesterday we walked away from it on to a new adventure.

Our new adventure is going to rock.  We love our new home with all our hearts and the memories have already started heaping up in this thing.  We are so incredibly grateful for it!

But there will always be a special spot in our hearts for that great home of ours we have grown together in.

It’s where we became “US.”

And we are so very grateful we get to pass it on to a new family we think will love it as much as we have.

There’s a lot to say about a home and how it molds a family.

So grateful that one that took care of us for so long.

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  1. The family that bought your house is so lucky to get such a beautiful home with such a good fun vibe, I'm sure that your new home will hold just as many if not more memories. I just sold my very first house too and even thought I was ready and I knew when I bought it, I wouldn't be there that long, I still got a little sad when I walked out the door for the last time.

  2. I got a little teary reading it!!!
    I love the new color flooring, it looks amazing!!!
    it's such a beautiful home, i'm sure it b was so hard to walk away from, but you will also make so many new memories in your, new home.. which we need to see asap!!! 🙂

  3. Echo the above. First home, hard to walk away. So sad, but filled with a peace knowing it's the right thing to do. It's so odd to have such conflicting emotions simultaneously.

  4. Oh my heck, you had me tearing up while reading this post. Those memories are so important and so sweet! I can 100% see myself in your same shoes in the near future. We're in Nebraska/Wyoming for 7 years going to Dental School and internships and renting. And one day move to Arizona and really grow into US. You make me cry for my future change! I know this new home and are will be so wonderful for you guys! And man oh man you are blessed with such wonderful friends to help you out through all of it!

  5. No wonder you cried, this post made ME cry. I'm so glad you took the time to write it.

    Best of luck to the new owners and many happy memories to you in your new "forever" home.

  6. Great post! So cool how you are rooted in each "Present" Moment to Moment of your life. Going through life skimming the surface of human emotion would be so monotone and boring. Easy to see that your life's view is filled with every watercolor of the human experience available…which is enriching to the Growth of the Soul. Fun to read…and to remember chapters of change in my own journey.

  7. Shawni, since you were doing paint touch ups did you happen to note the paint color on the can? I have been wanting to know what paint you had on your walls for years now!!

  8. Beautiful sentiments. I felt the same about our old van when we left it behind at a dealers. It's hard to part with those places where we have so many dear memories.

  9. Oh I'm so teary!!!! Made me think how I would feel leaving my house my babies have grown up in!! As always your posts are so beautifully written. We feel every emotion!

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