Dream House vs. A Home

I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m going to talk about something personal.

I don’t share a lot on a deeply personal level here on the blog. It’s not really me. I’m a fairly private person and very self conscious. I like to keep my life ‘cards’ tight to my chest. This is one of the many reasons why I wouldn’t make it as a celebrity. :) If all the world’s a stage, keep me in the shadows, well hidden, in the dark.

Art work, DIY projects I’ve done, pictures of my children, our life, funny stories about life with children, I’ll share that. But the rest is mine, ours.

However, I’m going to show a little of my hand today.

This is our house. The first and only house MJ and I have ever owned. It’s not a lot but it’s ours.

It was supposed to be a starter home. It was a supposed to be a place we would stay a few years before selling and moving on to a ‘real’ house. But it hasn’t worked out that way.

As you might know, the real estate bubble exploded, sending large waves of financial ruin throughout the county. A month before it burst, the house was officially ours.

The good part of our story is that we purchased a house within our means. It’s something we could and can afford without strain. However, with the crash, our home value sunk dramatically, making us one of many in an underwater house.

Despite our water issues, life continued on.

First Love Bug joined us and then Sweet J. Some might point to my creative collection as well. Slowly and remarkably, this house has closed in on us. We arrange and rearrange, we’ve added storage and we keep a close eye on stuff accumulation. In a normal scenario, when a family outgrows their space, it’s time to move.

But it isn’t like that with an underwater house.

So here we are.

It’s a source of heartache for me, for us. I’ve shed tears over it, the ugly kind that I only do around the ones closest to me. I try not to catastrophize this situation and, with that, everything else in my life but sometimes, in a moment of silence during the day or when I’m laying down to sleep, those calamitous thoughts sneak in and wreak their havoc. It’s frustrating. It’s a DIY I can’t do myself. At least not right now, not yet. I’m trying to stay hopeful because I know I hope some day it will happen.

But one cannot wallow forever. We have to move on and make it work.

With a suggestion from my ever-helpful mom, we have reconsidered the layout of our home to make it work better for our family. And with two weeks left before my art show goes up, I prudently got the ball rolling on the house rework last weekend, all the while MJ was trying to rein me in from a complete house overhaul. More on the house shuffle when it’s officially underway, after my art show has opened, mid-August.

Back to the painting. After living half a year with test paint color patches on the walls, we choose two entirely different colors and finally got the walls painted. My dad visited this weekend and did his grandpa duty and played with the children (who had a fantastic time) while MJ and I worked. It’s been a while but painting proved to be the holy mess making project it has been in the past. My favorite part is always the final clean up and the resetting of the house. We are planning on painting the trim and doors so there is some work left but it already looks a million times better. The basement bathroom also got a facelift and it too is substantially better. This project reminded me how much I revel in warm, natural paint hues. Mmmmm, they make me feel so good.

Nonetheless, better looking diggs is only a cosmetic fix. Moving forward is more than paint colors and rearranging. Moving on has to be a mindset. For me, it’s focusing on all the good and being thankful.

We are so blessed, so abundantly blessed. MJ and I have a home we made together and almost every inch of it has been retouched by us. We have a home that provides us shelter, safe-keeping and protection from the elements. We have a home where our healthy children happily play and shriek and make gigantic messes in. We have a home where we make and eat plenty of good food and can enjoy it with our family and friends. We have a home in a community we have grown to love, a place where we want to stay and be involved in.

We have no need that is unfilled. That, in itself, is amazing.

No, we don’t have our dream house but the reality is, not many people do.

We have something better though, we have a home.

Take care.

Thanks for letting me share this today. I promise I have a stack of projects to share but right now, all my energy is going to getting this art show up. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. :)

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Amy Christie

Amy is a wife, mother of two and a maker. Making is her thing whether it is food, DIYs or photos of her children. Follow Amy on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin, Twitter, and through her once-a-month newsletter to keep up with the latest from this heart of mine.

{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Jenna July 25, 2012, 10:01am

    Your house is where it all began. Great memories there! :) Thinking of you!

  • Jamie Christensen July 25, 2012, 7:41pm

    Once again you are my daughter……..I love you…….and I would choose you for a friend. You are a friend, a joy and a hero.

  • Dana {five30three.com} July 26, 2012, 8:06pm

    Amy, I love this post. It touches me because I “get it.” My husband and I are in the same two bedroom 1100 square foot condo that we bought in 2005. Except our office/guest room has since become our son’s room. And our living room has since become our living room/office. Everything is tight. I have new bruises every day from bumping into things. We’ve looked high and low for new homes and after much bad luck, nothing seems to work out. I have cried. A lot. Especially last summer when we were under contract on two places that both fell through – very late in my pregnancy.

    But despite our space issues and my anxiety and disturbing phobia of clutter, we have each other and we have a beautiful, healthy, happy baby boy. It’s not where we expected to be, but we’re making it work.

    You’re not alone. Thanks for your honesty and sharing a personal side to you on your blog:)

  • Kim July 31, 2012, 4:42am

    thanks for sharing this..

  • Delia August 2, 2012, 12:32am

    I loved this post Amy. I wish you would share more of yourself, although I too like to keep some things close to my heart and sacred.

    You have a wonderful attitude. I admire and respect you very much!

  • amy November 10, 2012, 5:37pm

    Love this post! I too am happy in my home but always fighting away those “dream house” wishes. I thought you would like one of my favourite quotes:

    Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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