Thursday, March 7, 2013

to our first home

Dear Little House on Jessica Lane,

I've had mixed feelings about you, the silent witness to our first year of marriage.

You've seen every argument, every laughing fit, every dinner party...even the night we got engaged, with Steak-n-Shake bags littering the living room floor as Trevor and I slow danced in the kitchen. That same night that I began to panic as I realized I would soon learn to be a wife in this house.

Your back yard, I love. Those hardwood floors? Classy. (Until, of course, the vacuum cleaner salesman scratched them mercilessly.) And that weeping willow that so graciously fills our bedroom window in the summertime? Heaven.

But other aspects have been less endearing: the mysterious orange goo oozing out of the ceilings, for instance. What is that? And why does it have to be so decidedly orange, so similar in color to those hideous handtowels of Trevor's that I so long to throw away? And even more offensive is the reoccuring mold that, I've discovered, is even more stubborn than I.

And the neighborhood, well, it's interesting. The neighborhood where small children run half-naked through yards, waving their toy guns at passersby. Whose residents leave their Christmas lights up until July. Where someone was, according to local legend, stabbed to death not so long ago.

It's not exactly the stuff dreams are made of.

But in spite of these things, in spite of the mold and sketchy location, you've somehow made me feel safe. Cozy, even. You are just a little house at the end of a lane, but you have become a home. Because the year and a half I've lived here hasn't been about exquisite interior decoration or looking like a Pottery Barn catalog. Martha Stewart, I realized, would never drive to our home and tsk at the electric blue paint on our bedroom walls.

We wouldn't have had as much to laugh about if it weren't for your squeaky cabinet doors, you attraction for creatures big and small, your ability to somehow grow a mushroom out of the bathroom floor (don't ask.)

Our time in your four walls was about finding joy in living simply; in celebrating the small victories that assured us we were on our way to becoming adults ("I remembered to blow the candles out! We won't catch the bookshelf on fire this time!") It was about learning to laugh at the imperfections and appreciate what we had.

Someday soon, hopefully, I will be enjoying a washing machine I don't have to walk outside to use. Maybe even a dishwasher, if I'm lucky. But my biggest hope is that I won't ever take for granted the simple things, like the way the light in a living room becomes something out of a fairytale right around dusk.

I may grumble about you, little house, but I think you know by now I really don't mean it. I wouldn't trade the memories and stories you've given to me for anything. Not even a dishwasher.


  1. heather, you write so beautifully. also, a mushroom?? haha!!

    p.s. i nominated you for the liebster award!

  2. Heather, I seriously love this. You had me laughing and almost to tears! It speaks straight to my heart in my current season. Thank you for sharing! Meg is write beautifully!

  3. This sounds like a mixture of our first apartment and the first house we ever owned. Houses teach us a lot. A LOT. And they help us to grow. And having these memories makes the newer living spaces even better.

  4. How sweet! First homes are special and I think having the memories of the "not so perfect" home make it even more special. Too many young couples these days are buying these fancy homes (that my parents couldn't even afford) right away. They'll never have those fun stories of how they had to "rough it" in the beginning. :)

  5. this was so sweet! i love how you wrote about it so beautifully. it's where first memories are made!

  6. :) I love this post!! I actually just moved, solely because I felt God's hand in it. The place I moved into is much smaller, and simpler than my last place. I can completely feel God calling me to focus on Him, versus the lack of a dishwasher or washing machine or any of that stuff. But thank you for this post, because it absolutely encouraged me that God is present in any housing situation!

  7. oh, love this. :) beautifully written. you have a gift! :)

  8. Love this! Where are you guys moving? Have you posted that already?!? I'm sorry if you did! I will now frantically search your blog to see if you did. :) haha

    love from Phoenix, AZ

  9. I love looking back over the places I've lived and seeing what sweet memories were made during that time. Such a beautiful post -- thanks for sharing! Also it's nice to "meet" you through the link-up, I look forward to reading and getting to know more. :)

  10. I love this post!!
    It seems like you have a lovely home Heather!
    PS I also dream of not having to go outside to do laundry. :)

  11. Lovely post & a beautiful picture of you! So many memories are attached to the places where we live.

    Some Snapshots Blog

  12. You have some great writing skills. Love the imagery. It sounds like such a sweet little dwelling. Oh, and our bedroom walls are electric blue as well :)

  13. Heather, I just love your blog. Your writing style is so unique. Love this post. The first home, despite it's many flaws, is always so so special.

  14. such a good reminder that the things that drive us crazy, still can give us joy. i hope that the little apartment my husband and i live in will become this for us.

    (and a mushroom!? that's crazy and awesome. i'm sure you didn't think so at the time though.)

  15. You're wonderful. You and your home.

  16. Yay! Congratulations on your new home!

  17. I found your blog through instagram (thanks for the sweet comment)! Love your blog! Looking forward to following along. And congrats on your new home.


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