Maybe I'm feeling sentimental, but lately I find myself reminiscing about the weeks before we bought this house; our home. On June 10th we will have lived here for one year, but it doesn't feel like it. We've had a baby here and a Christmas. A round of Birthdays, a wet Summer and a surprisingly snowy Winter. So, it feels strange to be thinking back, past all of that, to the time where we were still house-hunting; searching for something that would "fit" our family (literally and figuratively).
Sometimes I think it's funny, where we ended up.
Our house is small.
Swap out "cosmic" for "creative" and we're pretty much the Genie.
When we began our house-buying adventure we...well, let's be honest, since we're among friends...we had no idea what we were looking for.
Oh, we knew what we wanted...kind of.
Joseph was looking for something like this:
And I was thinking more along these lines:
Okay, I'm kidding.
But it's not that far off.
We were going to need to make some "sacrifices".
When I remember our list of "qualifications", I feel simultaneously like laughing and burying my face in my hands. We were so naive! (Ah, how much older and wiser we are now....*snort* Not!)
Just before we got married, Joseph and I had done some apartment hunting together, but we were so
nauseatingly in love excited about beginning our life together, we weren't really that discerning. Now, three years later, we were "shopping" for a place, not just for us, but to raise our children (Grayson had just turned two and I was three months pregnant with Alice) and we knew we needed to seriously start sorting our "wants" from our "needs":
A roof that was in decent shape: pretty high up on the "needs" side.
A finished basement: Umm...probably something that could move lower down on the list.
I really wanted to find a house with a nice kitchen, because I was very reticent to believe in our own DIY abilities and I knew having it professionally renovated would cost us a pretty penny (and we were already investing plenty of those into the house itself). I also didn't want to live with a kitchen that I hated for a year or more while we planned and saved for a renovation. (I have since changed my mind, but that's probably because now, with a few more projects under our belts, the idea of pulling up old tile and ripping out cabinets sounds like a fun weekend!)
We looked at a lot of different houses; mostly small-ish Cape Cods. None of them screamed "Meredith! Joseph! Come live here!" Or, if they did, they turned out to be in even worse shape than we were prepared to deal with. (We fell in love with one house only to realize, while we were taking one last look at the exterior, that the entire right wall of the house bowed outward, like an igloo. We later heard from an inspector that there were problems with the support beams under the house and he thought the whole thing should be pulled down. *wipes brow* So, we really dodged a bullet there.)
Anyway, after we toured this house, our house, Joseph and I looked at each other and said: well, this is it.
It was smaller than we were looking for (by about 300 square feet), but we were pretty sure we could make that work. Coming from a 500 square foot apartment, 830 still felt like a big step up.
But we liked the outside color (as silly as that sounds). We liked the large, fenced in backyard, we liked that the kitchen had been updated and wouldn't immediately need to be ripped apart or redone (unlike a lot of the houses we had seen). And we liked what living small would afford us:
It would afford us the luxury of tackling house projects on a finite scale. Want to re-tile the bathroom? Fine! It's only 34 square feet (not counting the tub)! Paint every room? Go ahead, there are only five.
And, just like that, we had our Little Blue House.
Don't get me wrong, there are all kinds of things that I find challenging about this house.
For instance, we have one bathroom.
This is not my ideal.
Growing up in my parents home, my closet was twice as big as this bathroom. (Oh, how unappreciative I was!)
But, there are upsides.
Have you ever cleaned a tiny bathroom? It's great, right? Takes me like five minutes! You know, once I pretzel myself in there...
Also, I do not love that our washer and dryer are in our kitchen.
But...nowhere to let laundry pile up! (Of course, it somehow manages to anyway...)
There are things I can't wait to say "Goodbye" to and things that I know I'll miss. Like this spot:
From this spot I can see my kids, almost anywhere in the house. I write a lot of blogs from this spot. Close enough if I'm needed, but far enough away not to interrupt quiet play.
This house won't fit us forever. Not without a major update, like an addition or adding stairs and finishing the attic. And, while we've toyed with the idea of making this our permanent home, right now we both agree: buying and fixing up a house is too much fun! And there are too many different kinds of houses to settle down in the first one we've ever had! What would life be like for us in a 60s-style ranch? Or a Cape Cod, with stairs! Or a hundred year old farmhouse? So many choices! So many adventures waiting!
But, for now, our children are small, our family is small, our house is small.
And we are loving every precious inch.