Not Yet

We had plans to move this summer. We created a list and even started checking stuff off (but not much): clean the walls, repaint the trim, fill holes in the drywall (thanks, kids), wash the cabinets, purge the closets and toy room, replace the carpet, and a few other odds and ends.

We saw a few houses we liked, but not loved.

And then…nothing.

I knew it would happen as soon as summer hit. We would stretch beyond the walls of our house into our yard and never want to leave. Sure enough. That first warm day after working around the house, we pulled out the bag chairs and beers while the kids played, positioned ourselves under our anniversary tree, and the feeling washed over us: we weren’t ready to let go just yet.

The view to the back when we sit under our tree.

Our house is not tiny; in fact when we walked through it that first time twelve-and-a-half-years ago as an engaged couple on a budget, we thought it seemed huge! A bi-level with a finished upper-level: two bedrooms and a bath, an open-concept kitchen, dining, and living area with an unfinished downstairs: large potential family room with drywall, but nothing else, a laundry room, and the potential for a third bedroom and second bathroom. It was brand new still being built. There was no lawn or any landscaping to speak of. It was snowing the first time we saw it.

I was moving from a tiny single-level house that my grandparents owned that was over a hundred years old. Its beginning was two chicken coops literally pushed together for a long-distant aunt who was coming to live on the family farm. We had to add a stand-up shower in the “mudroom” because the bathroom was just a toilet and sink that my grandpa had put in himself (which, let’s face it, is better than an outhouse). There was no laundry–I still took my stuff to my parents’ house every other weekend. Heat was a giant heater/boiler thing in the middle of the living room that was LOUD and HOT when it was on. In the summer, I cooled the whole place with one window AC unit.

So our current house seemed ginormous compared to that. Plus we were about to get married and had no idea if we even wanted children. This place was perfect.

Now we have three kids and all their stuff jammed into this house. The boys share the room downstairs and Alice has the second upstairs bedroom. There is stuff crammed into every closet, drawer, cupboard, nook, and cranny. I curse at the lazy susan every time I have get a plastic storage container and they all topple over me, or I pinch my finger trying to cram everything in before it swings around.

I blow a gasket every time I open the pots and pans cupboard and stuff slides around and falls on my toe. I sigh when I open the hall closet the we converted into a pantry when I see how jam-packed it is when looking for the popcorn popper. My counter tops are full (which I hate. I like bare, neat counter tops). There are always piles of change, Pokemon cards, and pebbles (ahem, Charlie) on my island. There is a play kitchen in my real kitchen. Books are exploding off shelves.

Things are not ideal.

But right now, the deck is my personal space. There are no stairs going down to the backyard and there is nothing but my chair and the grill out there. It’s sort of a kid-repellent and I love it.

Sometimes these goobs haul chairs back by me though. I suppose I’ll keep them.

Our yard looks better than ever thanks to Cortney’s hard work out there. He expanded the sandbox for the kids, and created a new perennial garden for me. We are talking about ditching the patio table we never use and getting a picnic table we can move around–I’d like it to live under our front yard tree.

Right now–in this moment–we are comfortable and content.

And honestly, Cort and I just can’t find what we are looking for in our price range. We absolutely do not want to settle. We plan on this being it: our home until our children put us in the The home.

We know we don’t want less land than we have now. We want a master suite, preferably on the main floor. We want main floor laundry. We are ok with the boys continuing to share a room while Alice has her own, but we know we would like an office area with a desk and book shelves, so at least one more bedroom than we have now. We know we would like a larger kitchen/dining area. Cortney wants a front porch and I want a back deck. We would like a three-stall garage or at least an out building where we can store the lawn mower and various lawn care things.

I need lots of natural light. Cortney needs a special place for his beer fridge (and craft brew collection, ahem).

We want to be in the kids’ current school district.

I’ll be starting grad school again soon, so maybe it’s not the best time to take on a move right now. Some day, because this is not our forever home.

It’s definitely our home right now, though.

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