This is the story of our first house. We bought it when we moved back from a failed attempt to live in Seattle. It was the house we bought out of defeat, when we truly just needed some place to live. But it was also the house we bought from the desire to dream big. We had big plans for the place. We were going to transform it from ‘barn’ to ‘beach barn’ to ‘modern cabin’. In two and a half years we did transform many things. We renovated four bedrooms and put two and a half new bathrooms in. We removed popcorn ceilings and installed laminate floors and repainted every room. But at the end of the day, there was still so much to do and we realized we weren’t the family to do it.
This is also the story of the first years of our marriage. Of the countless fights at Ikea about bathroom sinks and faucets. Of nights spent dreaming and deciding how large our family should be. I’ll never forget the orange tile we didn’t replace and how dark the living room was. I won’t miss the countless spiders and broken French doors. I already miss the perfect location though, at the end of a dead end street, just a short bike ride to the ocean.
In the end it felt like the house won. We tried to modernize it and change everything, and in the end we changed more about ourselves. Perhaps moving makes you introspective. We thought we wanted the big house with two big cars and a bunch of kids. Instead we realized more isn’t more. A big house meant more cleaning and more junk accumulated. Now I long for a simpler life, with a little house, or an apartment. (Apparently we are the worst with yard maintenance). Charming and older, where we can raise our two boys and dog and focus more on that than renovations. It’s amazing how much change two and half years can bring. When we moved into the house we thought we wanted several more kids, and then maybe only one, and then brought home our last and final baby to that front stoop. We learned much about ourselves and our marriage, where we wanted to go and what we wanted to accomplish. And now, are suitcases are packed, the house is almost empty and we are ready for our next great adventure. When people ask where we are going, we tell them we aren’t sure. But isn’t that kind of exciting?
You can follow my moving saga on Instagram @shannon_oertle