04 May 2012

Of This Old (yet Young) House

Five years.

Five years ago today we signed the deed on this, our first house.  We had not even been married a full year.  And, like most new marriages, what a rough year it was.  But we were ready to move on.  Ready to move out of our one bedroom on-campus apartment into our new home.  The new home that would bring about the next part of our real, grown-up lives.

A new house was a symbol.  It was a symbol that, though Philip was graduating, we were not going anywhere. The next chapter of our lives would continue in this same town where our love had blossomed.  This was where I worked, this was where our family would begin - or so we hoped.

I sat in that very hallway around the corner to cry when the kitten we were fostering for Philip's sister (coincidentally, also named Joey - the cat, not his sister), passed away after one short week of our care - questioning whether I'd ever be fit to truly care for a living being.  I sat in that very same hallway to cry as we made the decision for me to leave teaching, despite the opposition to our decision - I questioned whether I would ever be able to make a wise judgment.

We moved in with one stray cat we hoped to tame and now, five years later, this house has been a home to three cats, six fish, two dogs and a turtle.  Only one feline has made it to this milestone (don't worry, so far as we know, the fish and the aforementioned kitten are the only ones no longer on this earth - the others have just moved on).  

We moved into a home with three bedrooms, hoping to make one of them a nursery at some point and still have room for visitors, and in the past five years, while one room was had begun to be cleared out, only eight months after moving in, to make space for a little on on the way, the third room has spent its days as an office, a guest bedroom, an office/guest bedroom and a nursery (/guest bedroom) to two little boys.

We have spent hours pasting tissue paper to the walls of one nursery and painting blue the walls of another.  We have painted furniture in the backyard with dreams of filling the shelves with children's books and toys.

We moved into this home knowing we planned to expand from a couple to a family, but never did we imagine, as we signed those papers five years ago, we were purchasing a future home to three babies or that one of these would be born in the very bedroom where we set up our first king-size bed, right outside the bathroom where I had seen the two special lines on three different pregnancy tests.

This house has been the home of decisions, prayers, dreams, tears, plans and hopes fulfilled.  It has been the home of first steps, first words, first baths and first cries.  It has seen joy, frustration, anger and forgiveness.  It has been the backdrop to bed-time stories, late-night talks, early-morning feedings and mid-day play-dates.  It has welcomed friends, parents, grandparents, siblings, nieces and a nephew.  It has been home.

It's been quite the five years and this house has been a part of every bit of it.

Happy Adoption Day, House!

1,000 Gifts:
442. A house to call a home.
443. A loving little brother
444. Tea parties while Mom and Dad cook
 445. The sound of a husband hard at work maintaining the land God has given us.
446. Snuggles on a rough day
447. Forgiveness from little hearts
448. Grace when Mommy drops the last kiwi in the sink and has only apples left to offer.
449. Thank you notes to write - symbols of love and generosity we don't deserve.
450. Breaking out the china.
451. A baby who smiles at my singing (I don't get that response a lot)

Photo of the Day:
This was the posture Emmett took while eating his snack and watching "My Little Pony" with his sissy - hand on her back, occasionally running his fingers through her hair.  He is such an adoring little brother.  I also love seeing a possible vision for how he will treat his future bride, with a posture of protective love.

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