To me, there is a house, and then there is a home.
A house is a structure used for shelter, made of materials, a base for people to live and gather.
A home is what a house becomes after memories are shared, experiences happen, a personal touch is added and love dwells.
As I contemplate this move to a new place, a new house yet to become a home, and leaving this home behind, I can't help but go through our time in this home and remember.
Remember the creating of the home. The painting, the decorating, the paint spills still in the carpet, the holes in the walls from rearranging pictures and furniture and the excitement of owning our first home.
Remember the parties, the laughter, the family gatherings, the footprints left behind.
Remember the wonderful friends made, leaving joy and happiness in my heart. Some of the frienships sadly broken due to misunderstandings and wrongful judgements, leaving pain and sadness in their wake. The wonderful neighbors next door who turned out to be best friends for all of us.
Remember the lessons learned. The growing and stretching of my heart and my soul. Learning more about being a mother, a friend, a spouse and a daughter of God.
Remember the ward. Working with the Activity Day girls (all 27 of them). Playing the piano for the ward choir. Ben's amazing Sunday school lessons and work with the Young Men. William finally enjoying nursery and singing the songs.
Remember the winters of Ben skiing of the roof, the hard weeks of no sun, the Christmas mornings in the front room full of excitement and joy, the snow covering our lawn.
Remember the summers. Lemonade stands. Kids playing and playing and playing in the circle. My own children outside until dark, coming home smiling and dirty. The smell of our huge roses blooming. Chatting outside with the neighbors for hours. The firework party in the circle being way better than any city firework show.
The joy of pregnancy. The hardships of pregnancy. Bringing our precious Luke home.
The kids beginning school. Seperation anxiety discovered and conquered. Mary and Sam's first day of Kindergarten. The preschool co-op with the neighborhood.
Lots and lots and lots of gymnastics. So much fun! Soccer, baseball, swimming lessons, dance lessons.
Remember teaching piano lessons. The music filling our home three nights a week. The juggle to find the time. The joy of the paychecks.
Remember the miles and miles and miles my feet have pounded throught this town. The races trained for and done. The early morning and late night runs.
Remember Golds gym, the awesome kids club ladies and Dante, Sam's good friend he made there.
Remember trying a garden. Learning to fix sprinklers. Doing a huge overhaul to make the yard the amazing place it is. Planting and growing my first flowers, and finding more joy in it than expected. Setting up our new trampoline.
Remember the fish I accidentally killed. Getting our dog Maya. Maya getting out. The dog catcher at our door. Maya going into heat. Selling our dog Maya. Getting the Guinea pigs and making a "home" for them.
Remember the scare of Sam's skull being fractured and the blessings of his recovery.
Remember selling the old Subaru and getting the new one.
And the memories go on.
And now the walls are bare. The personality packed. The papers signed. And this home will no longer be ours. The memories will stay, but the future here is done. I can feel it. My heart has already moved.
We are off to a new house, a new place. A house that has yet to be built. A house that will be ours and only ours. A house in a place we have chosen. A place our spirits have already declared home. Off to a house that we will make a home. A house we are ready to make a home.