Jeff and I bought our house two years ago next month. It was EXACTLY what we were looking for --- Built in 1923, it had the "charm" I insisted on, but the contractor/designer couple that lived there before us had done just enough renovations to make it modernized, comfortable, and relatively low maintenance. It had a lovely front porch where I could put my (much-coveted) porch swing, and a deck for Jeff's grill, tiki-torches, and lots of summer cookouts.
Other things on our list:
Large open area for entertaining. - Check!
Room for a family (one-day) - Check!
Fenced in backyard for our "newest addition" - Check!
Parking for large parties etc... (At the church behind our house... uh, is that bad?) - Check!
And, a really cute neighborhood in walking distance to restaurants/theater/etc. - Check!
It, truly, was a dream come true.
Photo & Design by Howard Chen
Now, two years later, it still has all those things. And, I truly enjoy decorating it (Thank you Mom for all the wonderful hand-me-downs), and hosting parties/bible studies/ etc. BUT... We've also gotten quite a few "bonuses" if you will.
CONSTANT yard work. (We have thoroughly killed, not one, but TWO full yards of grass since moving in. And, that "dream" deck is COVERED in pollen, leaves, or acorns approximately 94% of the time... Plus, let's be honest, Addy really prefers the air conditioner to the heat of the outdoors.)
UN-ENDING house work. (Have you ever tried to keep old, WHITE, kitchen cabinets clean? IMPOSSIBLE. How about keeping dust-bunnies and blonde dog hair off of DARK hard-wood floors?)
CLUTTER. (Seriously, this is my worst nightmare. I remember worrying that we would "never" have enough stuff to fill this house. Ahhh, my ignorance! It is amazing how much STUFF we've accumulated in two years.)
Edited to Add: And as of yesterday, a BROKEN HOT WATER HEATER. I have driven to my sister's house to shower the past two mornings because Jeff and I could just NOT accept this sad fate for our gas tank.
I know I sound like a complete spoiled brat... But, the truth is, Jeff and I maybe just aren't meant to be homeowners. (I promise you, I would have NEVER guessed this about myself in a million years.) We like the outdoors - a lot - but between allergies and busyness, we prefer the hiking, picnicking, sunbathing variety over mowing, raking, and planting. And, I am too much of a perfectionist to handle a WHOLE house, much less an old one. That's just the truth. I notice everything - every little scratch, drip, etc - and it makes me CRAZY. Also, I - of course - can't wait to start a family - but, I worry that in a big house I might spend all my time cleaning and not enough time just being a mom...
Please hear this: I feel INCREDIBLY blessed by what we have been given... Honestly, all these thoughts ARE weird for me because I always saw myself living a life just like this, and I still love entertaining, decorating, and even organizing... I am just trying to figure out if this is really what God has for us, if we just kind-of "forced" it because it's the norm.
Recently, when I am at home I feel anxious instead of comfortable and relaxed. A house just isn't worth that... Even if it is what I always "dreamed of." Maybe that's what growing up is all about... Realizing that sometimes your dreams aren't really what's best for your reality...
Right now, I'm dreaming of something like this...
(Yes, they have places like these even in my little city.)
What do you think? Have any of you experienced moving FROM a house TO an apartment or loft? Am I crazy? I'd love some input!