I wasn't quite as active in the Celebrate the BOY sew along as I may have intended. Well, there's a reason - or several, really. But let's focus on the big one.
We bought a house!!!
It's official. We are homeowners.
After years of renting both in Michigan and Minnesota, we finally have a house we can call our own. One that we aren't planning on leaving anytime soon. One in which Eli will have his own room - though I suspect he enjoys standing up in his crib in the middle of the night and peering across the room at us. There is only so much pretending to be asleep you can do when you share your (small) bedroom with a screaming, jumping up and down toddler who thinks your bed with all its pillows and blankets (and warm bodies) looks much cozier than his bare crib. A house in which Ava can fulfill her dream of a purple bedroom. But most importantly, a house that is ours.
We went to visit our new house soon after closing. In its current state it is full of echoes and promise. The possibility of empty space is so exciting and a bit overwhelming. Ava was very helpful in keeping Eli out of the fireplace, which he, like Tom Kitten, kept gravitating towards as we walked through the house as 'our house' for the first time. She dissuaded him from climbing up the stairs by putting up her "Noah block sign". (Our girl has become obsessed with the story of Noah and the Ark and insists that we call her Noah - because Noah loves animals and so does she. Naturally. It all started with this song, which we now play on repeat for hours in our house. No, I haven't gotten sick of it yet. Give me a couple more days.)
Ava also helped take pictures to document the house as it was when we bought it, before the demolition party that ripped out the contents of the kitchen and Eli's room. We'll be snapping images along the way as we step-by-step transform this place into our home. I imagine we will need these images to remind us how far we have come when the work starts to overwhelm and stretch endless before us. And I giddily look forward to the day I can set before and after pictures side-by-side in triumph of a job completed.
I'll wait to post pictures of the house until we've made some progress on our renovations - because some of the before pictures are little too scary to show. But here's a glimpse of one of my favorite parts of the house - the yard. We were so lucky to find this property, which is twice the size of most lots in the city. I am grateful for this little sliver of nature to call our own and look forward to realizing our dreams of what this homestead can become.
This will be a busy and trying upcoming couple of months, but I'm hopeful we will be ready and happy to move into our own home at the end of April. Ava made the move with us from Ann Arbor to Minnesota, and she seemed like such a big girl at the time. But really she was only a year and a half (hard to believe that she has lived more of her life here now than she lived in Ann Arbor) and didn't really internalize what was happening. She is so much more aware and attached to place now. She has moments when she says, "but I love this house" and my heart breaks a little as I reassure her that she will love our new house just as much and maybe even more. It is challenging to harness my own anxieties and fears about moving and about our new house and all the work that needs to get done. Admittedly, I don't always do a very good job of it. But it is so important to keep those thoughts in check for the sake of my sweet girl, who is now mature enough to have anxieties of her own in addition to the ones she channels from us.
It is so comforting to know that after this next move we will be establishing ourselves in a place that is ours. A place we can settle into knowing we won't be leaving anytime soon. A place where we can plant perennials and watch them grow bigger with each season. Our own home.