We bought a house!
The dream of a house can be the eternally postponed preliminary step to taking up the lives we wish we were living…If you lived in your heart, you’d be home right now.Rebecca Solnit
We’ve rented this house for almost three years. I’m tired of paying high rent when we could be earning equity.
Aaron has about a year and a half until retirement from the Air Force.
We’re settling down in Dayton, Ohio.
Having always rented a house made us feel like we never had a home. We often wanted to do updates or improvements, but we didn’t want to sink a lot of money into a rental and landlords are often weird.
My husband and I have lived in five houses:
- My little 3 BR that I bought and sold within a year in the town where I grew up. It doesn’t even count because we had just met, married, and he was going away for a year, but then we moved.
- The tiny hot ranch we rented in Texas where I had my two middle girls
- The handicapped accessible Hawaii house on Hickam AFB that the kids still call home
- The huge ramshackle rental behind the Mormon curtain in Salt Lake City, with our big vegetable garden
- The German house over the Getränke shop in a little village
Now, our Ohio suburban with a creek in the backyard.
When we moved in, our son asked us if this was our forever home. He was tired of moving. We all were and are. We didn’t know then that we would be able to purchase this house and stay here.
The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.Maya Angelou, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
I lived in the same house for my first sixteen years. We moved to another house until I moved out. My parents now live in a house that will never be my home. I have no memories there.
My husband grew up in the same town – in two houses – where he lived all his youth and young adult life. His sisters still live there. His middle sister still lives in the house where they all grew up.
It’s hard looking back at all the houses I’ve lived in, all the houses our family has lived in during our military moves. I often get confused when I am sleepy or sick, my memories getting befuddled in all the hallways and rooms in my mind.
Home is that youthful region where a child is the only real living inhabitant. Parents, siblings, and neighbors, are mysterious apparitions, who come, go, and do strange unfathomable things in and around the child, the region’s only enfranchised citizen.Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter
I can finally throw out all the boxes I’ve saved over the years since we had to pack some items in their original boxes for the movers to ship them, like our flat screen TV.
I love getting rid of the clutter! I don’t have to save anything “just in case” we might need it at our next destination.
I only have to keep things I find beautiful, special, nostalgic.
I can paint walls, update the garden, remove and replace fixtures. I can do anything I want!
At a crossroad, a kind soul asked aloud,
“Which way shall I turn? Which way is best?”
Quietly the Universe responded,
“Go until it feels like home.”Adrian Michael
How I’m Decorating Our First Home
We usually enter our home through the garage.
We have some hooks for bags, hats, and jackets.
We can go straight through another door to the backyard. I have a shoe rack there blocking the seldom used door and I don’t like it, but it’s what it is for now.
We have a large pantry where we store seldom used and bulky kitchen appliances.
The coolest thing is there is a laundry chute from my closet to that pantry and I can scoot the clothes into the laundry room!
I love having a large laundry room with lots of storage.
I have room for my chest freezer at the end of the counter. We store our baking molds, raclette, fondue, ice cream maker, and slicer on the shelf above the counter.
We often use it as a mud room since it’s right by the doors to the backyard and garage.
I have a huge pantry on the right and a big sink.
There are wire shelves over the washer and dryer and I would like to replace those with cabinets and solid shelves.
We may replace the tile floor. It seems like it needs regrouting or something.
All the flooring on our main level was updated with Pergo wood grain and it’s nice.
The cabinets were painted a weird textured grey and we plan to update those by painting the lower cabinets black and upper cabinets white. It should brighten the room immensely.
I love the granite countertops.
The stainless GE appliances are the best I’ve ever had.
On the right side is our fridge and coffee nook with the pantry we redid when we first moved in.
I love my bay windows and mini jungle in our breakfast nook.
I scored this table and chairs in Utah over ten years ago- at two different yard sales – for a total of $30!
I loathe the little chandelier and will replace it soon with something less ostentatious.
The china cabinet and dishes belonged to Aaron’s grandma.
We all eat dinner together here almost every evening.
Could you believe we lived here almost three years and suffered with these light fixtures being upside down? And I would hit my head when I washed my hands!
We plan to get a better mirror, repaint, and maybe wallpaper an accent wall, buy a small cabinet vanity in place of the tiny pedestal sink and perhaps a shelf or cabinet over the commode. New rugs too.
We have six people in our family, so all the cutesy seating arrangements for four I see on design sites aren’t right for us.
I bought a new sofa and loveseat last year. I love the sleek design. I chose the La-Z-Boy Dixie Sofa and Loveseat in Mocha.
The pink gooseneck rocker belonged to my grandma. My parents bought me the Harbor Town recliner last year.
I’m getting a new rug soon. I already have the smaller one by our sliding door to the deck and a runner and little rug at the front door.
It looks a little crowded, but it’s working for now.
I love having a brick hearth and mantel.
We have shells from our travels and some fun collected items. I love candles and lanterns.
We have this weird landing at the top of the stairs that seems like wasted space to me.
Other homes with our similar floor plan have four bedrooms upstairs, but we have only three. Our middle girls have always shared a bedroom.
Thanks to everyone who helped me create this space!
Aaron’s grandma’s chair with the kids’ bookshelf.
Photos of our parents and grandparents watch over the kids.
I plan to get some tall houseplants since it’s pretty bright from our foyer windows.
I just added a floor lamp too.
We have a tall vaulted ceiling that I have no real ideas what to do with. Maybe a center beam?
We plan to paint the walls a pale grey and perhaps get some crown molding.
I ordered some navy and beige paneled drapes to match our new bedding (from Target).
We finally got a new mattress set – after twenty years!
I’m still in love with my bedroom furniture and I couldn’t find any better. No need to update it when it works great.
Not in love with my crooked wedding pics over the bed. We have so much wall space and I have few ideas.
My middle girls share a room with bunk beds with one window overlooking the backyard. They hate it, but it’s the way it is. They share the hall bathroom that has two sinks.
My son has the other upstairs bedroom with two front windows and ceiling fan. We gave him that room because they bunks wouldn’t fit any which way and the fan would have been dangerous for the top bunk. He uses my bathroom but we may have to reevaluate this soon.
We love having a finished basement.
I like having the TV and video games tucked out of sight.
I have the kids’ white erase boards on one wall. I have the three kids’ desks where we do any formal homeschool lessons, mostly math. My home office is upstairs with all my bookcases is in a room opposite our dining room.
We bought a used elliptical very cheaply from an older couple moving away and it’s awesome.
Our sectional sofa is still holding up ok after 10+ years.
There is a wet bar that I want to update with a new updated counter, faucet, and hopefully a narrow refrigerator in place of the pantry or a short beverage cooler in place of a cabinet.
My eldest daughter, almost twenty, has a bedroom and bathroom to herself in the basement but no windows.
We have a large front yard. We’re tackling the clover and weeds and trying to grow grass in the bald spots.
We have a little garden beside the garage where we get the most sunshine. We have peas, spinach, lettuce, green beans, cucumber, yellow squash, radishes, and carrots.
Our back yard slopes down to a lovely creek. It’s very shady.
We’re updating slowly as we can afford it.
We added pretty stepping stones and pine wood chips to a muddy area.
I plan to turn the sand pit into a Japanese shade garden.
We plan to sand, repair, and repaint the deck in brown or gray floor with white railings.
There is a firepit surrounded by too large gravel. I want to place some flat stones around it for a seating area.
Hostas are poking through the wood chips on either side. We need a new fence and I think I will prefer a picket instead of rail and wire.
Four walnut trees are coming down next month. You can see two on the right. The walnuts fall on our deck and it’s dangerous!
It’s really quite scary knowing we are responsible for all the maintenance on this home.
We know we need new siding and deck repairs. Most of the inside is in fantastic shape and we just want to make some updates.
We got a 30-year VA loan and I wonder if it will ever get paid off.
Elemental Blessing For A New Home
Before a human voice was ever heard here,John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us
This place has known the respect of stone,
The friendship of the wind, always returning
With news of elsewhere, whispered in seed and pollen,
The thin symphonies of birdsong softening the silence,
The litanies of rain rearranging the air,
Cascades of sunlight opening and closing days,
And the glow of the moon gazing through darkness.
May all that elemental enrichment
Bless the foundation and standing of your home.
Before you came here, this place has known
The wonder of children’s eyes,
The hope of mornings in troubled hearts,
The tranquillity of twilight easing the night,
The drama of dreams under sleeping eyelids,
The generous disturbance of birth,
The anxieties of old age unclenching into grace
And the final elegance of calmly embraced death.
May the life of your new home enter
Into this inheritance of spirit.
May the rain fall kindly,
May daylight illuminate your hearts,
May the darkness never burden,
May those who dwell here in the unseen
Watch over your coming and going,
May your lives of love and promise
Refine and deepen the mind of this land.
For a New Home
May this house shelter your life.John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us
When you come in home here,
May all the weight of the world
Fall from your shoulders.
May your heart be tranquil here,
Blessed by peace the world cannot give.
May this home be a lucky place,
Where the graces your life desires
Always find the pathway to your door.
May nothing destructive
Ever cross your threshold.
May this be a safe place
Full of understanding and acceptance,
Where you can be as you are,
Without the need of any mask
Of pretense or image.
May this home be a place of discovery,
Where the possibilities that sleep
In the clay of your soul can emerge
To deepen and refine your vision
For all that is yet to come to birth.
May it be a house of courage,
Where healing and growth are loved,
Where dignity and forgiveness prevail;
A home where patience of spirit is prized,
And the sight of the destination is never lost
Though the journey be difficult and slow.
May there be great delight around this hearth.
May it be a house of welcome
For the broken and diminished.
May you have the eyes to see
That no visitor arrives without a gift
And no guest leaves without a blessing.
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