Friday, July 20, 2012

nine and ten and happy anniversary to me

Ten years ago, right now, I was very nervously contemplating the day to come, and probably also drinking a Dr. Pepper. What I'd do differently, if I knew then what I know now...? If I knew that the only way to keep up with all my past addresses would be to look at the various places I've told Amazon to ship things in the last decade? Well for one thing I'd probably have asked for people NOT to give me furniture for my wedding...

We were up to number nine last time, and our ninth house was a little two bedroom condo on the corner of Shoal Creek and Anderson. It was the first place we owned, and it was somewhat overwhelming to be able to pour nine years of pent up homemaking into one poor little 900 square foot apartment. I mean it was probably overwhelming for the apartment. I loved it. I felt like it was MINE and I could finally make it look the way I wanted something to look (provided I spent no money, of course).  Living in that house was wonderful. I think it was a combination of many factors, the greatest of which was really the ages of the girls. Wren was 3 and 4 when we lived there, and the new freedom and ease of parenting a 4 year old was a breath of fresh air. Janey went from a baby to a toddler to a 2 and a half year old demanding her freedom and we were able to do so much that we hadn't even contemplated in previous years. We were making wonderful friends in Austin, and when we went to parties, I could spend more than 17 consecutive seconds in a conversation because I wasn't pulling my child off the stairs, or stopping a toddler from repeatedly flushing things down my hosts' toilet. The kids just all ran off in a pack, to entertain themselves, and we could be reasonably sure they'd either survive, or they'd yell loud enough to get our help. Also, for the first time in a billion years, I wasn't pregnant or nursing, and could actually drink something at parties, which was definitely nice.  We went camping and hiking and we rode our bikes around the neighborhood and got coffee and bagels and groceries from stores within walking distance- it was a wonderful place to live and I feel like we really settled into being a family in that house-- it also helped that it was barely 5 minutes away from Chase's parents' house, and we got to spend some great time with them that we're so grateful for now.

When I think of that house I think of the kitchen -- I love that kitchen. Our friend Tim made our countertops, and I found a gorgeous sink on Craigslist, and we painted the cabinets and I probably made more jam, pesto, pies, and gingerbread in the first 6 months in that house than I have since. I stripped diapers on the stove, Chase and Jane made thumbprint cookies on the counter, at Christmas we make the chipsters and the food processor flickered the lights. It was a great kitchen. I still miss it.

Onto the fantastic and somewhat temporary number 10. Where we are now. And will continue to be until the stars align and vast unknowable minutia are enough in line that we can buy a forever house. A house I will be carried out of feet first.  Because although this vagabond life has been interesting and has certainly protected us from our hoarding tendencies, I am ready to plant a sycamore tree in my front yard (if there's not one there already) and know that it can survive Texas summers because I'll be there to water it.

There's not a whole lot to say about ten -- it's made it possible for us to do a lot of things we've always wanted to do, like garden and keep chickens and bees (by we I mean I.. obviously).  It's meant we were once again able to share our house with friends and family because we had the space.  It's the house where Ben was born, and learned to walk and sort of talk (if booka booka, mooka mooka count. Which they do).  It's the first place we've had a garage to store things in... and maybe the last, since we apparently don't have the self control to not fill a garage with crap. It's a house that we have loved, and that the girls will probably always remember as the house where they hosted birthday parties and play dates and rode their bikes down to the high school in the evenings. It's been a wonderful house but I've never fully settled in. It's been 2 years and I still have some unpacked boxes in the garage. After the fun of making a place truly our home, this house has been a challenge. It's our home, but I always feel a bit reserved about it, like we're saving ourselves for our FOREVER home, you know? It's like 'you're cute and all, and we love your square footage and weird shaped yard, but... see this promise ring? We're really looking for something a bit more permanent."

So that's it. Ten houses in ten years. Here's to... significantly lowering that number for the next decade of marriage. Maybe we can shoot for 2?

1 comment:

The Williams Family said...

I love all your homes, starting with your high school bedroom. Every time I visit you, in any location, my brain is always taking pictures and looking for ideas for my own home.

Happy Anniversary! I remember coming back to your pre-Chase house after your rehearsal dinner and finding that Ramona and Buck had shredded the packing paper from all the wedding gifts. Your mom, Anne, and I were frantically trying to pick it up before you got home.

Also, I just remembered that I slept in your bed with you the night before your wedding - BFF.