We’ve moved an awful lot in twelve years of marriage. Even though it always felt like we had a good reason for moving, the moves really started to wear on us. We moved to a place that was less of a dump. We moved for work. We moved when our rent went up too much for us to afford. We moved for grad school. We moved so we’d have room for another baby. We moved for work. We moved for work again. And then a little over two months ago, we finally moved into our new house. Our house. The house that we bought.
It took a long time to get to this point, and sometimes I thought it would never happen, but it feels good to finally be here. When I finished grad school a couple of years ago and got a real job, the goal was to rent for a year or two more while we saved for a house. We knew that we wouldn’t stay in those places long, so we didn’t even fully unpack. Now we’re finally able to really settle in.
It feels great to finally be able to make our house what we want it to be. It’s great to finally be done with landlords. Home ownership comes with its own challenges and responsibilities, of course, but those are challenges and responsibilities we’ve been looking forward to for years. Sure, if the water heater breaks, we’ve got to pay for it ourselves, but if we want to do a little remodeling, we finally can.
We just finished our first round of painting, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. The kitchen was sort of a burnt orange, the living room had one dark tan wall, and the office was sort of a medium green. Now they’re all a nice beige.
(I probably should have waited to take the tape down and clean up before getting the after picture, but I was a little too excited by the results.)
Next up are the downstairs bathroom, which has an ugly wallpaper border and really terrible hand-painted gold-and-red stripes, the master bedroom, which is sort of a peachy tan, and maybe the boys’ bedrooms, though it may be a while before we get to those.
Strangely, even mowing the lawn feels more satisfying. We’ve lived in a few places with really dumpy yards, and it was hard to feel motivated about taking good care of them because I knew I was putting work into someone else’s property. In a few years we’d move, the next tenants would probably trash it again, and all our hard work would be wasted. Not that our yard doesn’t look dumpy—it was kind of brown and full of weeds when we moved in—but at least now we know we’re not just going to nurture someone else’s yard back to life and then move away again.
And that’s the part that’s still sinking in. After living in eight different places in twelve years, we’re finally here to stay. We’re not moving away again. That’s not to say that we’ll never move again—life takes you strange directions sometimes, and you don’t know where you’ll end up—but there’s no deadline on our stay before. Everywhere else we’ve lived, we’ve known that in a year or two or three, we’d be moving on to somewhere else.
It feels good to finally be home.