Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This House

 Today is the last day that this house is in our possession.  We close on it this afternoon.  It's defintely a bittersweet feeling...sweet because we sold it so quickly and for such a great price, and because selling this house means we are closing this chapter and starting the next chapter...which I think will be a pretty exciting chapter for our little family.  And bitter because this house held so many amazing memories.  We became a family in this house.
 I sat on the couch yesterday as the movers were taking all of our things out and unveiling the 1700 small plastic balls and cars that had rolled under almost every single piece of furniture and remembered...
 We brought both boys home from the hospital to this house.  Both times two exhausted parents walked through that front door and set an Eddie Bauer car seat full of a perfect little boy in blue pajamas down in this living room.

I look at the spot where Jared literally stopped talking in the middle of a business phone call and we both grabbed our iPads to record Paxton pulling up for the first time.

I remember the exact spot I was sitting on our three year anniversary when Pax was 14 months old and he took three unassisted steps into my arms and officially became a walker.

This is the wood floor that Jared installed completely unassisted when Porter was just a week old while I battled to keep both boys fed, clean and happy while fighting through mastitis.

I remember us sitting together in the living room, exhausted from two nights in the hospital with just an hour of sleep at a time, knees touching, just staring at the little boy we made and filming him while he slept.

I picture our house decorated for Paxton's first Christmas and can almost see him rolling and army crawling straight to the tree and pulling off ornaments as fast as he could.  I know exactly where he sat to open his first Christmas present.
 I remember mopping the floor of this kitchen almost every day during Paxton's phase of throwing everything off his high chair tray onto the ground.  This is where we set up his high chair for his first baby food, and where I realized I could remember the Heimlich for babies under pressure as he choked on a wagon wheel.

This is where we sat to paint pumpkins, paint valentines, color birthday cards and attempt Play-doh.  This is where I spent hours concocting Pinterest recipes that claimed to be toddler-approved, only to have Paxton throw them down in disgust, and where I slapped together PB&J sammies that were devoured in seconds.

I know exactly where Paxton stood when he licked his first beater...a beater covered in cookie dough made from the same recipe my mom always made when we were little.

This is the sink where we bathed both boys for their very first real bath when their umbilical cords finally fell off.  It's the sink where we've washed countless bottles and pacifiers and teethers.

This is where we spent the first hour or so most days when Jared got home from work...making dinner together, talking about our days, dancing around with Paxton and quoting the Office way too much.
 This is where we piled fun food and way too many drinks during family game nights, it's where friends and family gathered for cupcakes and cake balls for both of Paxton's birthday parties and for Porter's gender reveal party.

These are the light fixtures we sweated and cursed and watched YouTube videos and made more trips than we should have to Home Depot to install, the paint I applied to the backsplash one afternoon on a whim while Jared was at work to surprise him when he got home.

 This is where Paxton first sat on the potty.  It's where he pulled all the toilet paper off of the roll while I just laughed because it was his first real TODDLER thing to do.  It's where our boys had their first brother bath and Paxton laughed when Porter peed in their bathwater.
 The nursery is where our first project happened as we made the transition from just renters of this house to owners.  I had pinned countless pictures of nurseries with gray and white stripes and thought Jared and I could knock it out in an hour (spoiler alert: we didn't).  Paxton and I spent so much time in here playing and learning colors.  Every night after bath-time we all came in together and cleaned up together and Daddy and Paxton wrestled and threw balls at each other and at me.

We tucked Porter in for several naps in here...only to have him wake up screaming a few seconds later.  We both changed more blow-outs and pee-soaked pants here than we care to recount.  It's where Paxton held up his toy gorilla, looked right at me and made the monkey noise one day and took me completely by surprise.
 Paxton spent his first night in his toddler bed here.  He ran like a crazy man in circles every time his room was clean.  We stood outside that door and listened to him sing and talk himself to sleep  way too many times.
 All of the night-time feedings happened in the master bedroom...all of those middle-of-the-night minutes (and sometimes hours) spent staring at those tiny lips and eyelashes.  This is where the family tickle fights and early-morning cuddles happened, where Jared's rule of no kids in our bed rule was broken over and over.

This is where Paxton and I cuddled up when he was sick and watched Mickey together.  It's where he first said "clock" and where he and Porter spent the most time together, usually just staring at each other.  It's where Jared was holding Porter when Porter smiled at him for the first time.  It's where Jared first felt Porter kick and where we were when we found out we were pregnant with him.

Sure these memories will stick around, even as we hand the keys over to the new owner, but it still breaks my heart just a little bit to think about shutting the door for the very last time and very likely never seeing these rooms in person again.  I keep reminding myself that wherever we go we will still be together as a family.  We will always be making new memories, and wherever we are our boys will reach milestones and we will laugh at the things they do and say.  New inside jokes will happen and our boys' personalities will sharpen.  The things that made us a family did not happen because of the brick walls and the shiny new wood floors.  They grew out of our love.  But despite that, Jared and I both choked back tears as we loaded the last of our belongings up and put our boys in their car seats in the driveway for the last time.  So good-bye little house on Ridgecrest Road.  Thank you for the sweet memories, for keeping us warm and dry, for giving us a safe place to land, for containing the smells of the burned dinners and the dirty diapers and the new shoes, for letting us make you a little prettier as we lived there, for feeling like home from the very first day.  You'll always have a special place in our hearts.

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