home sweet home.

tuesday marked the two-year anniversary of our move into this house.  this is significant because we have now lived here longer than we lived in our story city house.  can you believe it?  i can't - the story city house felt so permanent while we were there that it's difficult to remember accurately that it really was only for a very short time - especially when you consider the fact that the last five months of our residency were spent showing the house and packing it.  so really, we were only 'settled' there for a year and a half or so.  so crazy.

when we moved in here, i was terrified.   we had sold a 5-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 3000+ square foot home occupied by five people, and were moving into a 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 1100 square foot home that was expected to house six people pretty urgently (we moved in here 27 days before i was due with laurelai - thank goodness she was born 12 days late!), and with the potential for more in the future.  as our friends were unloading the truck and asking where i wanted them to put various things, i kept saying, 'i don't know - i don't know where it will fit!'  a week or two later, i sold a kitchen island, a bunch of chairs, rugs, nightstands, a bench, a dining room table and a bunch of other stuff at a garage sale.  a loveseat, our coffee table and side table, and a double bed all went into our basement or garage for storage.  this house just couldn't fit everything we owned (which felt weird, since the story city house always felt kind of empty - it was so large, it was really difficult to furnish).

and even now, there are some things that i've held onto that i really should get rid of, since they won't ever realistically fit - some antique dining room chairs, some antique, solid oak bank chairs, my beautiful $7-garage-sale-find blue tufted-velvet wingback (which i will keep until i die, whether or not it ever becomes useful, or practical in a house full of kids).  also, i have way too many little decorate-y items that i haven't been able to part with, but also don't really seem to fit our current house, style- or size-wise, so i know that will have to be addressed soon.  use it or lose it, right?

but honestly, i've been most surprised by the fact that i LOVE living in this tiny house that doesn't fit much other than all the people we cram in here.  i LOVE a kitchen that's small enough that, when we're ready to replace the counters and flooring, will be a pretty (comparatively) cheap overhaul because i don't have much counter or floor space.  i LOVE that stuff stays pretty organized because there isn't all that much stuff to keep track of (and having to downsize all the stuff has been so freeing!).  i LOVE that furnishing and decorating projects are do-able because a little bit of 'oomph' goes a long way in a small space.  i LOVE that the kids are never too far away, and that i won't have huge tall ladders to climb in order to clean out the gutters or paint the house, and that my yard is small enough to maintain easily.  and most of all, i LOVE that i've learned to let enough be enough - i'm happy here.

sure, there are things i would change in a heartbeat if i could.  like the fact that our 'mudroom' is just a 3'x3' landing on our basement stairs that bottlenecks every. single. time. we come home (especially when we're dealing with cold weather gear or groceries).  or the fact that, instead of usable cabinetry or counterspace, a third of my kitchen is eaten up by a banquette table that we've used, like, twice.  (so wasteful of what little space i do have, especially considering the dining room table is like two steps from the kitchen.  it seems so pointless.)  or the fact that our bathroom is ridiculously tiny and on bath nights, or whenever i decide to do my makeup, every single member of the family seems to congregate right there.  (not to mention the panic that ensues every time two kids in our single-toilet household declare at the same time that they have to poop.)

but i've learned, having moved from story city, the House That Never Stopped Demanding, everything's a trade-off.  and the price i pay for being crammajammed in the bathroom with all the littles twice a week is easily made up for with the time i save cleaning all those extra toilets and tubs and sinks and floors and mirrors.  it's all a matter of perspective, and a willingness to recognize that 'more' or 'bigger' doesn't necessarily mean all my problems would be solved, it just means that, at best, i'd trade in my current difficulties for different ones.

and not only that, but this house has come with so many unexpected blessings - an extra fridge, a gas stove, a seriously state-of-the-art whole-house water filter, new roof, new heating and air, custom cordless blinds (GREAT for kids), solid oak cabinets, a garden that actually grows stuff.  in certain ways, this house is nicer and meets our needs better than our story city house did.

so, it's not to say i'd never consider moving somewhere bigger, or adding space here if i could, but i'm happy.  i love what i've got.  and that contentment has been one of the best parts of being here the last two years.

please ignore the wonky landscaping.  there are three additional itty bitty hydrangeas you can't even see, but in a few years, there will be a bank of hydrangeas under each window.  and the mailbox planter contains purple salvia, red coleus, and yellow asiatic lilies, but just looks kind of blah at this point in the summer.  plus, i'll gradually add more plants and maybe some colorful pots.  i'm guessing these front beds will take a few years to be really complete.  but it's home, and i love coming home to this sight!

1 comment :

todd said...

Song for a Little House
By: Christopher Morley

I'm glad our house is a little house,
Not too tall nor too wide:
I'm glad the hovering butterflies
Feel free to come inside.

Our little house is a friendly house.
It is not shy or vain;
It gossips with the talking trees,
And makes friends with the rain.

And quick leaves cast a shimmer of green
Against our whited walls,
And in the phlox, the courteous bees
Are paying duty calls.