Seriously. Ten moves in the 11 years that we've been married. My last blog post, which was too long ago, calls our previous move the 7th, but I left out the moves to and from my parents' house. Onward. Center Street, Privet Place, Cedar Falls Drive, my mom's house, an apartment, my mom's house (again), Harvest Creek Road, Shanklin Street, Alder Street, now this. When we moved into our last house, we were downsizing, which I've blogged about before. We liked our house. We LOVED certain elements of the house. We made that house 100% ours and redid every bit of plumbing, electric, paint, landscape, you name it. It was wonderful and we were happy there. We potty trained Hank in the backyard, before it was anything but dirt. Jovie came home from the hospital to that house. We had major fights in that house. We even had a few loving times in that house. The girls were 7, 6, and 3 when we moved in, and it was inexpensive compared to where we were before. For the first time, we were able to put down a considerable amount of cash and our payment was less than the new Yukon XL we almost bought (glad that didn't happen). I mean, look at this transformation!
So here's the story:
Last summer, Kevin's wallet was stolen from his truck. Even after 11 years of living in California and NOT Idaho, he still fails to lock his car doors (more on that later) which makes it quite easy for his things to get swiped. Not even realizing that anything was stolen, Kevin received a phone call from a woman named (let's call her) Kathy, who informed him that she had his wallet. Apparently, the thief threw the wallet onto her front porch. Kevin went to pick up the wallet and started chatting it up with Kathy. After expressing his love for the house (and the fact that I would love her house), she invited him in and gave him a tour of her home. She and her family had lived in the house long enough to raise their two daughters, and would be moving sometime in the next year. At one point (who knows how accurate this is), there was a family with 4 daughters who lived in the house. Kevin came home and told me about the house. I started stalking, immediately. I mean, not stalking. Researching. I am a creep. There. I loved the house, but knew that we'd never be able to afford to live on the South Side of 24th.
Months go by. We dump more time, money, and love into our home. We work and go on vacation and raise kids and act as taxis and work out and everything else that comes along with life. One day during my lunch, I decided to check out Realtor.com and the house popped up! According to Kevin (he mixes up the details, often), the house wasn't going to hit the market until the next spring. Well, there she was. And for a hefty price. We went to look at the house just after Christmas of last year. I didn't say anything as we toured. All the moulding, you guys. And the beams. And the built-ins. When we walked out, I told Kevin, "When I stood in the living room, looking at the dining room, I couldn't breathe for a second. Like, I could see Christmas happening in there..." He immediately said (because that's what Kevin does), "Okay, we are in. Let's list our house." Um. Panic. Weeks go by. We decided to pass on the house, which I had loving named The Parenthood House because it reminded me of both Adam and Kristina's and Zeek and Camille's homes on my favorite show of all time. Even with all of the good vibes and the not being able to breathe (not literally, of course), we had to stop looking and just enjoy our home that we had spent so many months making beautiful. Just live and breathe and take it easy for a minute.
As the next months went by and I had eventually stopped thinking about the house--and by not thinking about it, I mean: I kind of dismissed the idea of moving and starting all over, but I still looked at the listing every single day. Probably multiple times. We were good; we enjoyed our house, started building an outdoor kitchen, finished the amazing deck and ginormous flower boxes, planted an incredible garden, and things were simple--you know, minus all of the stuff that comes along with marriage, parenting, work, and other obligations.
More time passes, and the house is STILL listed but with a much smaller price tag. One day, my friend and coworker, Cecilia, told me, "My mom and I drove by The Parenthood House and (I can't remember who she said it was, specificially, but someone we went to high school with--we will call her Jill) Jill was walking out with her realtor!" UM. NO. NOT HAPPENING. Jill is not living in The Parenthood House. Ever. That night, I remember telling Kevin something like, "Babe, I know that we agreed to stop with The Parenthood House, but I think that we should just try. I feel like I will regret it if we don't list our house and see what happens..." Obviously, he was super down with that idea. I haven't quite figured out if Kevin really likes spontaneity or if he just feels like it's easier to agree with me than to actually have to deal with me! Whatever his reasoning, it works.
We listed the house. It sold within hours. The buyer asked for a 30-day escrow. Of course we agreed. The girls and I packed up and went to Idaho for several weeks, Kevin packed the entire house by himself (which he says was easier than having us both there with all of the kids), and we moved. It was painless. Surreal. I still have moments of panic where I think that the former owners will come back and we won't get the house, but we HAVE the house. It feels like home. We are nowhere near unpacked, and we haven't put any special touches on the house, yet. But, still, it feels perfect. I believe in so many things, and weird little signs and coincidences like the wallet thing and the 4 girls thing and the Parenthood thing just make my heart happy. We were immediately embraced by our neighbors who placed a giant Welcome Home sign above our porch and who have brought us cards, plants, meals, treats, and so much love. I feel welcomed. I feel home. Now, let's seriously make this house dreamy.