It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we purchased our home – and nearly two years since we moved to Raleigh from California. At the end of last summer, we were about to throw into the towel after months of house hunting. There was nothing on the market we absolutely loved. It’s funny to remember that we almost purchased a home with great bones that needed a slew of renovations. Thank goodness we were willing to bide our time and keep patient!
Our house came on the market mid-fall last year, and I drove by alone one afternoon. I was in love and had a gut feeling it would be the perfect home for us in this season. However, I was nervous David wouldn’t feel the same. Nonetheless, I finally convinced him to set up a viewing with our realtor. Perhaps it was the staging or the natural light coming into the kitchen just so, but he loved it too!
Closing on our house signified a whirlwind of change for us. David moved his businesses out of the house, Huck turned from puppy to dog, and I started considering lifestyle blogging as a business, investing in a camera, website, computer, and courses. It’s fun to think that our move was in alignment with these other steps because I think we’ll always remember it as the place we started our businesses and where it was “just the three of us.”
Our condo was still under lease at the time we closed, so we had the luxury of a slow move-in. I can’t even tell you how often in the early days of ownership we looked at one another and said, “I love this house; I can’t believe we live here!” After several years of 1 bedroom apartments with no parking, no dishwasher, no washer or dryer, single vanity bathrooms, and extremely minimal space to host, it felt like a palace to us. I still try to turn my attention to gratitude and recognize how fortunate we are as often as I can.
One of my favorite parts about moving in was the timing: it was just before the holidays. We spent our first weeks in the house greeting trick or treaters (Halloween was our closing day and I handed out candy amidst moving boxes), celebrating Thanksgiving, decorating for Christmas, and snuggling up by the fire. We bought an absolutely massive Christmas tree (it almost touched our sunroom’s 12 foot ceilings) and had a blast dressing it up. We both agreed that an extra large tree is now tradition for this house, and I can’t wait to go pick one out again this year.
After the holidays had come and gone, we started to shift our attention to furnishing the home and making it livable. One of my greatest regrets of this past year was drastically underestimating the time and energy required to finish the house. We moved in with very little by way of furniture as we didn’t have room for much in California or in our NC condo, so it really was like starting from scratch. Selecting paint colors, furniture, fabrics, accessories, and artwork, and understanding dimension, scale, and style were a huge task that, for someone who’s never owned a home, demanded additional help.
On one hand, I knew at heart that our house wouldn’t be finished quickly. I believe that a home shouldn’t ever feel “finished” but rather evolve with your family’s growth and personal taste, loved belongings, travels, and more. My particular taste and tendency to be indecisive create slow motion progress. On the other hand, I am extremely eager for the day that we walk in the door and there’s a sense of completion and warmth: artwork and photos on the walls, inviting guest bedrooms, a place for everything, and a true sense of “home.”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m incredibly grateful for the progress we’ve made! We’ve acquired some beautiful pieces (many of which took upwards of 6 months to arrive). While it’s challenging not to be harsh with ourselves that the house isn’t complete just yet, I also know that the best things take time. We have many exciting things to look forward to as this year comes to a close and in early 2019! We plan to paint the interior and exterior of our home soon (the house’s exterior is a beachy, blue-green color, but I’m a cream and ivory girl) and have additional design help to tie everything together, which I am – quite literally – thrilled about.
I was speaking with someone recently about how the little undone things in our life can become like mini drains on our energy when they are left that way. I’ve been thinking of this often with regard to the house, which is ultimately why we hired a designer. David and I have each made checklists of all the things that are drains, be it boxes in the garage, unread emails, a decision that needs tending, items at the dry cleaners…the list goes on. Our attention has been turned so much towards our businesses over the past year that things have been pushed to the sidelines. I can’t wait to start checking off our lists, one by one, especially items related to our home.
With this said, I know in my heart that a home isn’t the brick and mortar, nor the sofa you love or the bed you sleep in, or the pretty flowers you buy every week or your favorite chair by the window. True homes are built out of memories and people. My favorite memories in our home over the past year are surprisingly simple. I’ve loved seeing Huck get random spurts of energy and run in giant circles in the backyard (he had no yard prior to this, poor guy!). We had the privilege of hosting our friends’ little girl’s first birthday party. It was sweet to watch my Mom, who has an incredible green thumb, help David plant his favorite trees throughout the yard. Most recently, we used the space to get ready on the day of my sister’s wedding.
All in all, I’m so grateful to call this house home and moving in was one of the funnest things we’ve ever done together. I’m not sure what the year ahead holds for this home or for us, but we’re both very hopeful. Moving in has made a drastic impact on our businesses, lifestyle, and marriage. I hope you feel the effects of that, somehow, through a better experience as you continue to read my blog.
Just for fun, I added a few iPhone candids from the first year in our home!