When a House Becomes a Home

Home sweet home

Home sweet home. Image: Creative Commons user Slightly Everything

We moved into our new home at the beginning of April. It’s coming together. Our furniture finally arrived about two months ago, but we still have a laundry list of projects to complete and there are no pictures on the walls yet. Please don’t judge, we work opposite shifts and only have free time when the kids are asleep. And husband would earn a one-way ticket to the gazebo in our suburban backyard if he tried to hammer ANYTHING at nap or bedtime. Trust. Oh, it’s cold out, you say? Well, you woke up our children. Take a cue from Survivorman: go build a fire with some sticks, cover yourself with a blanket of pine needles, and snuggle up to the beagle for warmth.

Anyway, back to the story of our house. When you’re searching for a home, people say that you know the right one as soon as you walk through the door. It’s like love at first sight. You find it and your heart just fills up. Try as you might to maintain perspective, rational thought takes a backseat to emotion and you can’t help but picture your future there. If I’m being honest, I didn’t feel that way about our house initially. Sure, I liked it, but I didn’t have that magical experience during our first visit.

The house is a 1970s bi-level with hollow-core doors and a 1990s kitchen, complete with faux green marble counter tops. (Dear People of The 90s: what were you thinking with your materials choices? Green marble laminate? Come on now!) The mental picture of my dream home was completely different. It was a hundred years old with natural woodwork and arched doorways and wide pine floors; a fixer that needed paint and polish. Basically, the complete opposite of my husband’s dream home, which was built last week and furnished in metal and glass and other sharp stuff with modern fixtures and clean lines.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a whole host of positive features in our home and I am SO very grateful to be here. But if you’d asked me when we started our search if we’d end up in a house like ours, I would have said no.

We scheduled our first walk through, spent some time checking out the rooms and the property, and I remember feeling excited but not over the moon about it. And then something interesting happened in the days that followed. The more I thought about the house, the more I could picture our family there. Celebrating holidays and birthday parties and swimming and playing in the yard and watching our kids grow up. My feelings towards it evolved until it became our home in my mind – a tiny piece of the American Dream with so much potential. And that’s when I knew it was right. We put in an offer and after a few days of negotiation, we were under contract on our home in the ‘burbs.

The closing was 12 hours after our second baby was born because we’re effing insane and the timing worked out that way. I granted Power of Attorney to my husband and sat in the hospital while he signed all the paperwork. He still complains about his hand being sore from signing his name and my own on 2342 documents… HIS HAND. So sorry about your hand, love, I’ll try to remember not to schedule our next closing on the day after I’ve PUSHED AN EIGHT POUND HUMAN out of my body.