As I was walked through Michaels a couple of week ago I passed a display of cute farmhouse décor—it reminded me of the Pioneer Lady stuff, with whimsically painted flowers in reds, yellows and turquoise, framed in rustic wooden and metal frames. I picked up a sign that said “Kitchen” and another that said “Home Sweet Home”, realizing that I didn’t really need either, but was enjoying the browsing anyways.
That’s when my moment of browsing led to a moment of panic…Wait, I can’t buy this stuff. We’re moving out of our house, to another state, and are going to be homeless in a couple of weeks!!!
It might be slightly melodramatic to say we’re going to be homeless, but we did just sell our house and we don’t technically have another one yet (small details, right?!). It’s the home we’ve been in for 12 years, and I’m feeling ALL.THE.THINGS about this transition. I vacillate between peace and curious excitement about the adventure and panic about the unknowns.
Unknowns like not having a house or knowing where my kiddos are going to school yet next year. Just small details, right?
It feels a little crazy, but it’s something we’ve been talking about for years and so we’re giving it a try, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy, and as a matter of fact, now that it is upon us it all feels a little surreal.
Am I ok with moving out of the house we’ve been in for 12 years?
It’s the house we moved into when Ava was 2 and Ella was 6 months old.
The one where Ella’s chubby little baby legs crawled up and down the stairs and where all three girls learned to swing on swings on the swing set we bought a year after we moved in.
Where we planted 10 vegetable gardens and I watched the girls pick and eat cherry tomatoes with reckless abandon every summer.
The house where we’ve had 12 Christmases—the magical ones where the girls were little and believed in Santa, and we sprinkled reindeer dust on the back patio before going to bed.
Where I walked up and down the street, over and over again, with wagons and tricycles, bikes with training wheels and scooters. Where they all eventually graduated to bikes without training wheels and now take bike rides together with each other.
The sentimental part of me wants to sit in this place, physically and emotionally, and make sure I do an accurate job of recounting every little thing that has happened in this house before I leave: Every memory, moment and million bits of family-life-mayhem that has happened under this roof over the last 12 years.
I contemplated getting out one of my journals or a brand new legal pad and walking through the house room by room and creating a bulleted list of every memory that comes to mind as I sit in each room—I know. I know. But, this is how I process life—in my head, or on paper. On paper tends to be better for me, because it makes me feel less crazy.
This season that we’ve lived here- it’s a season of life that has gone by in a blink of an eye. We’ve all changed in this house, matured in this house. Heck mine and Scott have both started turning gray in this house (aka: we're getting old!).
This is the house where I have spent one of the most formative decades of my adult life, and as a matter of fact I realized the other day that I’ve lived in this house longer than any other house in my 42 years of life. Yet, while I’ve lived in this house longer than any other address in my entire life, it’s the season of life that has gone the fastest…like sand through an hourglass.
This is the house I lived in during that season of motherhood when I was too tired and weary to believe the sweet older ladies who proclaimed things to me like, “The time goes by so fast. Enjoy the moments,” or “I know the days feel long (like really, REALLY long!), but the years are so short.”
And all I wanted to say to them was, “If you really know do ya wanna come over and babysit this afternoon, because I’m really tired!”
Turns out they were right after all.
Here I am packing up our house realizing how very fast the years have gone. I’m not completely sure I’m ready to return to the toddler days—I feel like every momma should get some sort of medal for surviving that season, but I am feeling a little nostalgic and sad about the baby clothes I just sent to the Goodwill, and the princess dresses that might still be in a bin in my basement because I didn’t have the heart to get rid of them all.
I know in my heart that this move and transition is the right thing for us right now, but it certainly doesn’t make it easy. It’s the proverbial ‘when one chapter ends, another begins’, except this feels a lot bigger than a chapter…maybe it’s a volume that is ending and another is beginning. Maybe.
I’m planning to post here weekly over the next few months as we move- I’m going to call the series of posts “A Life in Transition” and label them by number so that if you want to follow along in chronological order you can.
The why and how of this move are another story all together. I’ll share all about that in more detail in my next post, but the gist of our life right now is that we’re moving to Charlotte, N.C. in a few short weeks and it’s crazy, and wild, and bittersweet and all sorts of things I both expected and didn’t expect it to be.
The good news is that I have faith in a God that is in the expected and the unexpected details of our lives and that none of it is a surprise to Him. I’ve been holding fast to that truth and will continue to do so over the next several months.
Stop back next Monday to read the story behind how and why we decided to relocate right now, and how important prayer has been every step of the way.
P.S. Moving With a Family, Tip #1: My sister gave me this incredibly helpful tip about taking photos of our house when we were getting ready to put it on the market. Take pictures of your house one room at a time, over the course of several weeks because if you're anything like me, trying to get the entire house clean on one day and stage is for photos is virtually impossible.
Here is a sneak peak of the day I took pictures of my office, which is generally scattered with all manner of books, papers, homework, permission slips, binders and any other type of paper clutter you can think of!
To capture this "clean" photo...