...I'd probably take a match the whole thing!
(no, i didn't put my kids in there. Though that would have kept the house MUCH cleaner! I mean the precious Christmas stockings that i hand cross-stitched and show off at every chance i get. Like this one.)
My mother-in-law came the week before our house went on the market, and she was so extremely helpful i have NO idea what i'd have done without her here. She read endless books to and played endless games with my littlest ones. Not to mention all the cleaning and organizing she did! I really can't imagine a more helpful person to have come to visit at a more helpful time. Everyone should have a Marie come help get their house ready to sell!
And of course, all the credit for the decor and beauty of my house goes to my friend Gina. She had already beautified my front room a few years ago, but the rest of the rooms were a little lack-luster. She brought a van full of flowers, pillows, throw blankets, curtains, art, towels, etc and gave my house an extreme make-over.
As usual, i forgot to take many "before" pictures. I did snap a few of the kids' room. These give you an idea of A) how we managed to fit four kids in one room (can u see James' pack-n-play under Grace's loft bed?)
and B) how insanely messy it often was. Do these kids not have any parents???
The Guest Bathroom
|I'm going to miss this awesome faucet!|
Guest Room (previously known as Reid's office)
Guest Room/Craft Room
And here is that stage that I believe i promised photos of quite a while ago! Behind the curtains there's a rod with dress-ups hanging on it, bins with props and hats and shoes, our water shut-off valve, our sprinkler shut off, and the wizard of oz.
The entire house felt more like a museum than a home. My kids couldn't eat, play, sit or breathe without me yelling at them. I wasn't sure how many days I could possibly live like this, which is why I was so grateful that we went under contract in less than 36 hours! We had 35 showings in two days, with 6 offers, all at or above our asking price. That is INSANE!!! But the market here is crazy. People all over the country are realizing that it's the best place on earth and flocking here by the thousands! It is a great time to sell. (not a great time to buy...but that's not what this post is about)
I was surprised at how emotional we all were when it came time to actually accept an offer and sign a contract. The girls and I were in body-shaking face-wrinkling tears about the whole thing. The reality that we'd actually be leaving this home that we have loved so much, and the people here who we love so much was such a hard reality to accept. I truly wanted to just back out, lose our earnest money on the new home, and stay here. I mean, look at this house now--it's beautiful! Why wouldn't I want to stay here??
Luckily Reid was coherent enough to ignore me completely and sign our life away. That really is what it felt like. Not only have my kids done all of their growing-up in this house, but i really feel like I've grown up in this house. I've gone through major identity crises, I've loved and lost significant people, I've brought children into this world and, quite frankly, come close to taking them out. Within the walls of this home are most of the greatest (and hardest) memories of my adult life. And I am so, so sad to leave. In our neighborhood are some of the greatest friends and neighbors known to mankind. At our schools are caring, loving teachers who adore my children. At church we're surrounded by amazing people, peers and mentors.
Why in the world are we even moving??? That's what I've asked myself about a hundred thousand times in past few months.
It's only when I talk to my friends who are on the tail-end of child-raising that I feel more confidence in our choice. And when I think about our little hobby farm and orchard and gardens. And when I imagine my kids getting bigger (which I am in real denial about), enjoying the bigger spaces to spread out and invite friends over. I do think this is the right and best move for our family. But i'm sure glad that there were contracts and deposits involved, otherwise I'd have backed right out. A hundred thousand times.