I’m feeling a bit nostalgic lately, so bear with me today. :) I’m coming up on two big anniversaries of sorts – by next month I will be blogging for SIX years. Crazy. And next week it will be ten years that we’ve owned our home. I can’t even believe it. Ten years and six months ago this is what it looked like:

Having my child, marrying my husband and building our house – three of the most exciting times in my life. :)

So every once and awhile I think about what I do, this blogging about houses thing, and I wonder how important it is in the scheme of life. As you can imagine it can feel materialistic at times, because decorating is often about STUFF. Adding stuff, moving stuff, spray painting stuff.

Does all of that matter? No. But I’ve realized over my years of writing about our home and others that your home and how you feel in it absolutely does. It’s nothing compared to our health, well being and family, but to me home means SO much.

I say this a lot but I mean it with every fiber of my being – your home should be your haven. It should be the one place where you feel safe. Our homes are so much more than buildings and the stuff we buy to fill them up. I think people often confuse a love of houses with a love of things. It’s not that at all, at least not for me.

My first apartment out of college.

Sure, the things are fun. (Have you been to HomeGoods??) But it’s the act of fluffing and adding and tweaking that makes me even happier.

The fact that we’ve lived her for ten years is mind-boggling to me. Truly. Before this home the longest I had lived in the same home/apartment/dorm was two years. Well, I take that back – we lived in an apartment before this house for four years. But before that for my 24 years of life I moved at least every two years.

Our first apartment. I dragged that tree up the stairs by myself.

I didn’t mind it as a kid – I’m sure I did at the time but I don’t remember it. The only time I was sad about leaving a house was when we left this farmhouse. And when I was older and had deeper roots and closer friends I wasn’t changing schools when we moved, just houses.

I have no desire to leave this house. It makes me tear up at the thought of it. It makes me wildly happy that my son has been raised her since day one -- that’s how my husband grew up and the thought of it was so foreign to me. There’s nothing wrong with moving a lot – you gain a special set of life skills from it. But if I could choose I’d want my kiddo to live here till he leaves for college. :)

My dorm room for two years. Cat posters rule.

I have a deep connection to our home for many reasons – because everything about houses is a passion of mine, obviously. I could watch, read and breathe house stuff all. day. long. But it’s because home feels like a part of our family to me. It’s the joy of having a home base. That is so easily taken for granted! 

I went through a time of about eight months (that I touched on here) when “home” was my dorm, motel rooms and my best friend’s house. That stays with you forever. There were a few times in my childhood when things hit bottom and my mom was struggling to get back up – one of those time we lived in our friend’s basement. My mom, sister and I lived in their basement (we used a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom) for a year.

As a kid it wasn’t a big deal. It’s only now that I look back and feel sadness for those times. Sadness because I now know my mom wanted so much for us at the time. But I’m also grateful, I don’t wish any moment of my life away.

Our duplex after after the basement.

This little walk down memory lane is just to say that I think our homes matter. Sometimes working on them can feel trivial, but my goodness – it’s not. Home is everything. Home is what you make it. Home doesn’t have to be perfect – making it what you want is the JOY of it! Even if it takes you 30 years to get it the way you want, how lucky are you? So lucky.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be talking about a few things “home” – my thoughts and recommendations on building a house, what I would do differently and the same and reflecting on some of my favorite rooms over the ten years in our home. Lots and before and after pics – my favorite!

Thanks for letting me look back today. :)