Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Home Anniversary.

Today marks four years in our home. Four years is the longest we've been anywhere, and I think it's safe to say we've established this as our home. I would bet lots of money that we'll be living in this house for a long, long time.
(Close-up of the new house color - Ron's finished painting the front. He's painting our house this summer! He's awesome. Here's what it looked like the year we moved in.)

When we first moved in four years ago, we definitely thought that by now we'd have started to think about where to move next. For a more permanent home (bigger, newer, fancier). As in, this will do for now but not forever.
It's funny how things change. We don't have a big house, or a very new house, or anything really that spectacular. But what we do have is a house that in four years has turned into our home. I could go on and on about the events and moments that have made that happen, and most of them would have to do with my children, because what I've realized is that they really do make this home for me. This is the only home they have ever known, and there is something magic about that. I am giddy thinking about them coming home from college to sleep under this very roof, watching their own kids maneuver the very steps they slid down backwards (should we just leave the baby gates up?), crowd around the same dining room table that I've been eating at since I was some single-digit age.

I am sentimental. I am not all that patient, but have learned that over time we turn this house into just what we want. Over time, we call on this house to do different things for us, we live in it differently. The play areas of the toddler days will be the hang-out spots for the teenagers to come.

And when they are both gone off on their own, this is all the house I want, and these walls hold the memories that will sustain me until they come home again.

This is what our home looks like today.
I'm sitting on this chair now. I love the print of Monterey I found at Goodwill.To my left across the room is this vignette atop our wine bar. I got the orchid for my birthday this year, the white vase was my grandmother's, the box is a treasure of Ron's from my parent's travels abroad. At times I notice it has disappeared from that spot and will find it next to Alla's bed, full of beads or rubber balls.
One of my favorite walls in the house, over the playroom bed.
I could not be without the gallery we installed in the hallway, you see it right when you enter the front door and get closer as you walk up the steps.
When you live in a smallish space, you have to get creative with organization. This is the best idea I've ever borrowed from Katie! I think having it actually inspires the artists in them.
A watercolor from Fisher.
Alla's drawing of me, and those are not curls she gave me, but tangles. She told me so.An Alla watercolor of a castle.

Children have a way of prettying things up. Alla made me this 'necklace' for my book/magazine basket and I think it might be there forever.
This little nook in our room houses a vanity that is quite ugly and dated, but highly functional. There's a mirror on half the wall, an out of reach cabinet for medicines, and a lower linen cabinet.

I left it unadorned for quite awhile but then decided to pretty it up, and now the space makes me smile every time I come into our room. There's an art print by Amy Rice, a photo Ron took of Fisher in my belly, and an early Alla watercolor.
A close-up of the Amy Rice artwork. It's printed on a page of poetry by e.e. cummings.

The house has its quirks. Things that need fixing, painting, re-doing. But it's ours, it's home. I love dreaming here, staring out at the walls and imagining what they'll become.


Megan said...

I think you have a fabulous house. It is very Killins! I like the green by the way. Lovely!

Cathy Bolander said...

That's really sweet. I think of our house as a home as well since all of my children have been born here & this is all they know but deep down I know this will only be our 1st house so I envy you in a way. And I think it looks really nice.

Norina said...

You know JJ I totally feel you on this one. We unfortunately had to move last year and I told nathanael we have to hurry and get to a "forever house" because I need to live in a house my child/ren will always "know". We are in a very nice place in a great neighborhood too is not huge or fancy but could be a great forever home...we're just not sure yet of our options.But prior to kids I did always think of biger and better. No I just want forever :) So maybe? I am sure you remember my parents home and although it's in the hood lol it is really sweet to see Zech play in the same yard and ride his bike in the same driveway I did 30 years ago :). You are creating such a safe place and foundation for them. What a blessing! Thank for sharing. Your house looks fabulous. Great paint job Ron!

erin said...

Absolutely beautiful writing J.J. Thank you for making me appreciate my home for the memories it holds.

Katherine said...

I loved this post so much, J.J. Bigger, fancier, newer is soooo overrated. Your home is beautiful. And I'm totally stealing the artline - I think I recognize the hardware from Ikea, right?

Katie said...

Well I'm so glad I could help make your beautiful home even more beautiful! :-) Wish we could have seen all the changes firsthand this summer. :-(

Next year definitely. Kudos to Ron for painting the house. I'm totally impressed!

Amy said...

Your home is so beautiful and so you and this was so wonderfully written. And I'm so sad that my boys won't have this for another 9 years!

Susan Weinroth said...

love love LOVE this post JJ. Your home is one of the warmest and most inviting that ive ever been in, and full of fabulous decor inspiration on top of that! :) I am so envious of your knowing that it's your 'forever house'... LOVE that. and i love the new paint color from Ron - awesome!