I’ve spent the last few days erasing the signs of (our) life from our house. Wiping this, painting that…small fingerprints, works of art and smudges of color that somehow had become part of the walls, floors, doors of our house without my notice. It’s surprising how those little things escape your notice till you look at them through the eyes of a stranger.
Some of you already know why I’m looking at my home with a critical eye.
After 12 years of living in this space, of creating a life with each other and a community with our neighbors, it is time for us to move on to a house that better fits the needs of our growing family.
I’m still a little surprised to be saying that out loud.
It happened so fast and yet so providentially. We’ve talked on and off about the likelihood of needing to move at some point since the latest addition to our family. It has just never been the right time before now. But a few weeks ago, as we discussed the possibility, we discovered we’d both been thinking about the same real estate agent. We called her and very soon decided to move.
As we prepared our house to list and I walked around examining the rooms that have been our home for the last 12 years – almost our entire marriage – I found myself feeling unexpectedly emotional at the thought of leaving the walls that have witnessed so much of our lives.
Robert and I came here as newlyweds who had no idea what life would offer us. Yet, through all that we have experienced as a couple, as parents, as children, as lovers, our home has been our refuge.
We have laughed uproariously with friends here.
We wept over losses that you and our neighbors have felt with us.
We brought our first baby home in bewildered wonder that we had been turned loose with a baby. (Yes, that small one has survived our ignorance!)
We welcomed two more children at home with the help of a midwife, feeling more confident in our ignorance with each new arrival. Ha!
Yes. I meant to say that.
We discovered that using a floor sander is a lot more complicated than the guys at the rental place told us. One punched wall later and super-dusty us taught us there are times you just need to HIRE the right person! And, yes, the dust has cleared.
Rob and I have grown up in a lot of ways in this house and we have grown together in it. Love, loss, grief and joy have all been present as we made these rooms our own.
Aside from the inward experiences we’ve had in our home, the best gift we’ve received from living here so long is the privilege becoming true friends with those who live in the adjoining spaces.
When we moved into our small town home community, we had no idea how long we’d be here nor how we’d eventually view the people we initially saw as “just” neighbors. Today, we realize how lucky we are to have enjoyed such positive relationships with the long time residents here. They have become more than neighbors. So many of them are good friends.
Rob just finished a term as president of our HOA board and being actively involved taught us a lot about how important it is to invest our time and energy in our community. He and our fellow owners did more than just improve the value of our homes, they encouraged others who were previously uninvolved to jump in and continue to make this a peaceful and beautiful place to live.
As we list our home and get ready to find a new place to live, it is the thought of not seeing my neighbors daily that is the hardest adjustment. I love knowing not one, but almost all of the several dozen people who live here. I enjoy walking across the lawn and catching up on the little details of daily life.
I have been humbled and awed as I’ve watched several of my neighbors adopt older members of our community over the years, checking on them daily and offering meals or rides to the doctor. They are neighbors in the best sense of the word.
We may leave this place but we will keep those friendships.
This has been a heart wrenching and exciting month for us as we’ve gone from merely thinking of leaving our home to deciding to list it. It’s hard to leave a space that is lovely and familiar and from people who are dear to us. Plus, it’s surreal to have strangers walking through your home and thinking of making it their own. I feel a little vulnerable opening this space to everyone.
These walls are not just a house to us, they are part of our journey, the joy and the pain, the laughter and the life. I painted these walls while pregnant more than once. Our children were born here, have only lived here.
I have to keep reminding myself that it is time for someone else to make it their own.
While we make our choice with truly mixed emotions, we know it is a good change for us so we are embracing it.
So today, we need your help.
I am sharing our story with you because it’s our hope that this place that has been our home won’t just go to an investor. Instead, we’d love to pass it on to someone who wants a home and a great community where they can put down some roots.
If you know of someone who needs a home, would you pass it on to them? Interested parties can contact our realtor, Keslie Halonen.
Here’s a little tour of the space we have called home for so long.
I wish I’d taken “before” pics of the old brown carpet, the fluorescent pink and blue stenciled flowers in the kitchen and the very, very ugly old bathrooms. Alas, lucky for you, they’re gone.
Please take a moment and share this post. You never know who might be looking for just this space!
Welcome. We’re tucked into the center of this small property in the heart of Central Phoenix, near the Murphy Bridal Path and trail 100.
Our kids learned to swim here.
Love our tile.
Our living room. We hid the rocking horse for the picture.
You can actually see mountains out this window but I couldn’t take a pic of the room and the view. Give me a break. I’m using an IPhone for pics!
Here’s the “fun” room. Notice I took the pic in the morning – BEFORE the toys escaped their containment.
The kids love the waterfall faucet.
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