Seeing my home through someone else’s eyes really let me appreciate it more. Rather than looking at all the things I want to change, I saw colorful bedrooms, happy play areas and cozy reading nooks, bright sunny spaces, and the smiles on my children’s faces. And I’m so glad we have these photos now to document how our home looked before we moved.
Because when we come back, everything will be different.
When we moved in to this house, the basement was completely unfinished — concrete walls and floor, exposed ducts and pipes, and a bare light bulb with a pull chain hanging from the spooky, cobwebby ceiling. It took us years and countless hours of hard work, but we finished it ourselves and have loved this great open play space for the kids. We even made a little house under the stairs with windows and curtains and a kitchen set made from old cabinetry.
Already, though, the kids are getting a little too big to play in there. When we come home, they’ll definitely have aged out of the play house. The whole basement will probably become more of a rec room, and my babies won’t make me plates of felt food in their play kitchen anymore. But I’ll always have the pictures and the memories of my little munchkins in their house under the stairs.
B’s room has changed so many times over the years. She’s a big fan of rearranging furniture and changing things up. In fact, between the time when we got the house photos done and the time they were published, she rearranged her room again. But as we packed up stuff to get ready for the move, as we decided which things to ship and what to store, we took the art down from her walls. And the Sarah Jane prints that have hung in her room for 8+ years — they went into storage. She loves them, she says, but she feels like they are for a little girl’s room and that’s not what she is anymore. It’s the end of an era, and it broke my heart a little.
Then there’s this old girl. Lael, our fat, snuggly kitty who predates both our children and our marriage, has gone to live with someone else. We didn’t want to put her through the trauma of an international move. So a friend of Matt’s has taken her in, for which I am infinitely grateful. But I miss her. She was my baby before I had babies.
This guy is gone too — off to live with my parents while we’re gone. Oliver the pup is now a Massachusetts resident, being spoiled by my Dad, who has started making handmade, organic, from-scratch dog food. He’s snuggling my nephews and niece, hanging with my Mom on the couch, and we’re missing him terribly. But he’s definitely in a loving place, and we know it’s better for him than if he moved with us and had to go into a kennel every time we traveled.
Change isn’t always easy, and it will take a while for us all to adapt. In the end it will work out and we’ll move on. And these pictures are a treasure now, there to remind me of the way things were.