One year ago today we closed on our house! It was one of the happiest days of my life. After five years of apartment living and one year of being “homeless” while our Minnesota house was on the market, we were definitely ready to make the move into a house that we could call our own and stay at for a long, long time.
There are many reasons owning a house is pretty dang awesome. And I never want to take them for granted. Our apartment situation was great for what we needed when we first moved in. And it worked for us quite well the first few years. But last spring we knew it was finally time to move on. After a few whirlwind weeks of looking at every possible available house in town, and a couple of disappointments, our awesome realtor and friend helped us grab up our house just hours after it was put on the market. It was worth the wait!
The Best Parts of Our First Year of Home Owning (again)
No Downstairs Neighbors!
Our last year in the apartment was pretty rough. We had an extremely cranky old lady living below us who had complaints about everything. I lived in a constant state of anxiety about how loud the boys were being. And they’re ALWAYS loud. She freaked out if any water or dirt or toys dropped from our deck onto hers, so I wasn’t able to keep up my container garden or let the boys play out there anymore. It was just getting too hard to constantly be worrying about how our family life was affecting the people around us. I love that it’s no longer a concern. The boys can run wild through the house and nobody cares! Well, it’s kind of annoying, but at least it’s not bothering anybody else. I hate confrontations with people and it gives me such peace of mind that I no longer have to worry about sharing a building with somebody else.
One of the main requirements on our house hunt was getting a house with a decent sized yard. We had plenty of room to run and play at our apartment, but people were always watching us. ALWAYS. I craved a yard of our own. And while our yard here isn’t huge, it’s big enough. Big enough that the boys have plenty of room to have adventures and small enough that Greg can mow the whole thing in 20 minutes. I hope that someday, maybe, we can fence it in to get a little more privacy. But it’s definitely better than nothing right now!
One of our first yard projects last summer was putting in a big sandbox. It’s provided many hours of entertainment!
We also have the perfect two trees to hang a hammock in between. This was our trial hammock, but Caden got one for his birthday last year that they’ve played on more than anything else in the yard.
We also have our garden! This year we’ve expanded quite a bit from the tiny plot we carved out last year. The boys love to garden and I always think it’s so exciting to grow your own food. I’m hoping this will be a productive summer project for us to work together on every year.
Our yard also provides us with a tiny little patio behind the garage for a table and chairs. We have our freshly planted fruit trees. My two flower gardens. And a long driveway with additional space for kids to play on.
Friends! Neighbors! Friends for Neighbors!
One of the most exciting things about this particular house is that one of Caden’s best friends lives three houses down. While we haven’t seen him in awhile (I think he’s scared of Annie 🙁 ), the boys go through phases of being inseparable with him. They also spent every waking minute last summer playing with their other friend Willow and the kids her mom babysits for. There were rarely other kids in our apartment complex, so it’s felt so incredible that they had instant friends to play with anyday, anytime. It’s always a concern when you’re moving to a new place and wondering who you might be stuck living by. But I think we really lucked out!
Walking to School!
I think I’ve been more excited about this than anyone else since it’s something I was never able to do growing up. But we live a mere four blocks from school. And it’s awesome. I LOVE that we can walk there. Except for the coldest and iciest days of winter, we’ve walked just about every single day to and from school. It provides us some extra conversation time and also gives me a jumpstart to do some exercising every morning. I used to occasionally walk in this area of town and dream about living here, assuming it would just never happen. But it did! I love how close we are to everything. And Columbus is so small we could walk just about anywhere in 30 minutes or less.
One of the coolest aspects of home owning, is that we can throw bigger parties! Not that we’re huge party people, but it’s certainly nice to have the option. We had our first party on 4th of July last year. Since then I think we’ve had a party for my brother’s birthday, a couple parties for Caden’s birthday, a party for my sister-in-law’s birthday, a Halloween party, a party for my dad’s birthday, my Favorite Things party, my mom’s birthday party, a Valentine party, and a couple of parties for Shepard’s birthday. It’s been a full year! But really fun! I think I need to throw another party soon because it’s the only reason we ever have to deeply clean the house. Things are getting pretty messy these days. 🙂
I think the greatest part of our house is having multiple living areas. Even though there’s only four people in our family, it really helps to have the room to spread out when we want to do different activities. We have the large family room in the back of the house where we eat, watch tv, play video games, etc. Then we have the quieter and prettier living room at the front of the house which is mostly for reading or playing with legos. There have been multiple rearrangements over the past year to make sure everybody has spots to call their own, but I think we finally mastered the perfect set up. At least for now!
My favorite area continues to be this little nook by our candle fireplace. I love reading here. Caden loves reading here. Annie loves napping here. It’s cozy and girly and I just love it.
I also love that the boys have their own rooms here. I don’t love that those rooms are messy pretty much all the time, but at least the mess is contained! I think Caden especially really needed that place to call his own. I’m so glad that he has it.
A top priority when we were looking for a house is that it needed to have a room or clearly designated space where I could set up shop. I’m in this sewing business for the long haul and desperately wanted a space that I could just be creative in. And so I took over the formal dining room. It didn’t feel that great at first because I’m smack dab in the middle of the house and everybody needs to walk through here constantly. But now I’m kind of glad for its location because it keeps me from secreting myself away from everybody else. I may be doing my own thing, but I’m still right here. This room alone has already gone through so many transformations in just a year. I added a folding work table last fall. And then at Christmas my in-law’s gave me a much nicer wooden table. So now the room can also double as an actual dining room when we have people over. I love the dual purpose! But it’s definitely great as just my sewing room too.
Can’t have dogs at apartments! 🙂 I was hoping that when we got a house I would one day be able to get a dog. I expected it would take me years to wear Greg down, but ten months in we got our Annie! It’s definitely been an adjustment and a lot more work than I was expecting. But she’s added to our family and now I can’t imagine life without her.
It’s been a good year! I look forward to many, many more years here filled with tons of beautiful family memories.