I've had this post partly composed on my phone for months now. But coming to my computer to sit and type it out, I've been putting off. I want to have it to read back on, but I don't want to write it. Because when I write it, it becomes real. And this reality, as great as I know it will be for all four of us, is just hard. We leave for PA in less than two weeks, which means many goodbyes have been said and are continuing to be said from now until then. And as we empty our house ... our home ... I know that leaving it will be one of the hardest goodbyes to make. What a wonderful 7 years we have had on Spruce Street. It will always have our hearts and will forever be a piece of "home".
Though I could never truly capture all the meaning and sentiment these walls hold for us, I wanted to reflect on and celebrate with words some of the precious memories we made here. Our first home.
Husby and I both called in sick to work one day and went out driving around looking for houses or land to build on. That is something we never did, call in, but we were under a lot of stress and big changes coming at the time and just needed a time out. A day off. To just be together and go exploring. And so we did, and we ended up out in "God's Country", as Husby always referred to it, and just a few short weeks later, we had a contract signed and a plan drawn up to begin building our very first home together.
It was nothing short of perfect.
We drove out almost every single day after work to see the progress being made on our house. It was one of the most exciting things I had ever experienced. We had lived together in a teeny tiny apartment for the first two years of our marriage, so the idea of having an entire house was like a fairy tale. I was the luckiest girl in the world.
The move in date was just a week before Medical School began. I had started my job at the school several weeks before, and everything just fell into perfect place at the perfect time. A true testimony of God's constant provision for Husby and me. I remember after the first day of medical school, both of us coming home (we rode to and from work/school together - yet another enormous blessing), and falling down together on the couch ... laying next to each other and talking about all that was happening and how seriously tough this road ahead of us was going to be, and him telling me of this relaxation technique he had learned that day, and then both falling asleep and not waking up until 8pm.
We started this entire road of Med School right here. In this living room. Together. And now we've finished it. Here. The same place that it started. Here and together. What HUGE years this house has seen us through. The good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the hard and the easy. This place has been our haven. A refuge.
I'll never forget the time we came home from work and I was in a mood and I slammed the car door with such vigor and might that the entire garage shook. Husby told me right then and there that I was never to act that way again. (And I haven't.) :)
I look around my living room and I am reminded of our very first Christmas here. I'd never seen a room so beautiful - lit with the soft glow of the tree and the love that radiated between Husby and me.
There were so many family birthdays celebrated here after going out to eat as a big family. We've hosted holidays - Thanksgiving and every Halloween. I've hosted baby showers for friends and family. It's been the best little gathering place.
There were unexpected adventures that popped up like the giant ice storm that knocked out most everyone's power except ours and my brother and sister-in-law moved in with us for a week. And bird getting trapped in our laundry room and giving the evil eye to Husby as he peered in between the french doors, to name a few.
We had two years in this house, just the two of us, and then this house that we came home to after work and relaxed in on the weekends, finally became home as we became a family.
I walk into the master bathroom and I can see the young, overjoyed, weeping little Whitney kneeling on the floor beside the shower as she read her very first positive pregnancy test. And I look at our bed and I see me gently waking up Husby and telling him he was going to be a Daddy, as we cried and prayed together.
And then I walk into the guest bathroom and I see the shocked, emotional, yet completely overjoyed Whitney a few years later reading yet another positive pregnancy test, as her husband held her in his arms and her tiny little two year old walked in and she told him he was going to be a big brother.
And bringing those precious, perfect little babies home.
The memories of those newborn days. Those amazing newborn days. Some of my most favorite days of life. Family filling our home, my parents staying with us to help us navigate the waters of new parenthood, and abundance of food in the kitchen, and the most content feeling in my heart that I have ever felt.
Staying here - at home with my newborn babies and relishing in those days. Those moments. My only care in the world being feeding them, changing them, kissing them and holding them. Just me and them most of the time. Bonding. Figuring one another out. Growing. Loving. Being.
These rooms hold the moments of all of their firsts: rolling over, their first crawls, first steps, first words, first haircut ... they all took place here. At home.
And as our baby boys are growing, huge milestones have been met here. Levi learned to ride a bike out in our cul-de-sac, as our neighbors stood out with us cheering and screaming as if he was their own. Levi's first little neighbor friend lived next door, Maddox. He called him "Maggots", because he couldn't say it, and little 3 year old Levi was devastated when he moved away. My children have learned everything they know here - counting, reading, colors, songs ... but not only that, so many life lessons about sharing, being a friend, loving.
We've had countless play dates and dinner parties here. Friendships were formed and nurtured. Fun and laughs echo across the rooms. Life and relationships, enjoyed.
I think of the excitement I had of decorating two nurseries and a big boy room. Birthday parties that were so carefully thought out coming to life as we filled our home with everyone who loves and cherishes my sons. Memories. Such precious memories.
When I stay up late, like I'm doing tonight, and hearing the midnight train blow through town - the eery sound of it's horn both haunting and comforting all at the same time.
Every inch of our front yard and back yard being explored by two little boys, running and screaming and absolutely loving life. Our yard is such a source of joy for them!
And Levi, growing in such wisdom of the Lord and there in his room asking God to be Lord of his life!
These walls have seen laughter, joy, and an abundance of love. It's also seen fear, worry, and tears. It has seen a young couple become parents, and two little boys become brothers. It's been the safe, peaceful dwelling on this long, winding path we've been journeying, to get to where we want to be.
I know that this is just brick and mortar. That the "home" is the people in it. I know it very well. But, I simply can not leave this place - our sanctuary - without a proper goodbye, and a "thank you" for being the best little house I could have ever dreamed up.
God blessed us with this home, and I pray that the next family will enjoy it as we did - creating new memories for these walls to see, and more laughs to echo ... even in the silence.