Creating Our New Home

We bought a new house, but we’re not living in it just yet… Why?

Because of rooms like this…

Nothing says move in ready like coral colored border.
And this….

Our foundation needed a little bit of help.
Oh, and this is the pile of carpet and draperies we pulled out of the house…

1964 called. It wants its drapes and carpet back.

And we continue to learn new things that keep us from moving in. They’re piling up and so is the cost. My contractor is probably tired of hearing me ask: “How much is that going to cost?!?!” And my parents are kind enough to let us stay with them and pretend it’s no big deal. 

It’s stressful in a way I can’t explain. These aren’t just little issues that keep popping up. We’re dealing with major problems, but luckily everything is fixable. My kids miss their house. W asks every day about his toys and when we’ll get to go home. We’ve avoided play dates with our neighbors because it would just be too hard for W. I drove by the old house the other day to pick some mail up from a neighbor, thinking I was safe with just B and A. And as I turned the corner, passing our old driveway B started yelling “Home. My house! Home!” Our home - the only house our kids have ever known - is no longer ours. The heated floor that made our winter days so cozy, the mural Matt labored over for weeks, the new kitchen that I finally finished all belong to another family now. And we have a house that we don't even live in.

But, here’s the thing, we bought this house because of what it will be, not because of what it is today. We bought this house because I fell in love with it. I could see the house in five, ten years - not in 2013. And that’s why we bought our old house, the house we cried about leaving. I saw the same things in that house, the same potential that I see in this one.

I want my kids to remember this house fondly. I want it to be filled with laughter and fun and warmth (even without a heated floor). We bought it because it was a house that allowed us to put our mark on it. We will have to touch every inch of this house, whether with paint, refinished floors, new windows, appliances, tile… The list is endless. But, this allows us to create our own family home, not step into the choices of someone else.

I hope it all works out the way I envision it. I hope it is everything I feel like my family needs. And, most of all, I hope my kids always feel like this house is their home. I hope they'll come back and visit from whatever part of the country or world they're living and always feel that fullness inside of them.

This post was inspired by the novel This Is Paradise by Kristiana Kahakauwila, a collection of short stories that shares a view of Hawaiians few tourists ever experience - one of Hawaii as home. Join From Left to Write on August 8 as we discuss This Is Paradise.  As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


augreport said...
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Jessica said...

I like what you said about buying the house for what it will be. We moved all the time when I was growing up and my mother used to say "your home is where your family is."

Cindy Fey said...

Hang in there. It's going to be beautiful and so worth it. House renovation requires the patience of Job.

Jennifer Wolfe said...

To me, you're doing exactly what makes a house a home - putting your spirit into it. Good luck - it will all be worth it in the end!

Michelle L said...

Good luck renovating!

Kristiana K. said...

Aloha e Lisa,
I love what Jessica said about a home being where your family is, whether it's at mom and dad's for a little while or, in the near future, when it's in your renovated home. Good luck on the renovation!

Nae said...

Wow..I wish that I had that kind of vision and home improvement spirit! How totally awesome! Good luck with your renovations..I have no doubt it will be exactly what you want when finished :)

Calvin said...

That's true. It's rare for anyone to get their dream home right at the start. Or rather, our home is what we make it to be. Good luck with the renovations (you're right; that coral border on the walls is a bit of an eyesore). It'll take you some time, but it'll be all worth it.

The City Block Team