The One With this Little Home

Can you put into words what this past 10 years have been for us in this little home, babe?

There are too many memories to bring into focus.

I could talk about the time we first bought it and drove 12 hours with our idealistic mindsets and our grocery store furniture I made you rearrange every year and the walls I made you paint.

I could talk about the hours we clocked writing lesson plans on the couch or the times we tutored our neighbor’s granddaughter. I could talk about that time we had a roommate to save money and pay down debt, or the dinners we hosted for new budding friendships.

Oh, Remember that garden that never was? Except maybe that big pepper I got that burned my tastebuds off. There were so many nights of long talks with our beloved neighbors out there in the street in those early years, actually still even now.

All because of this little home. 

But then, there was one of our hardest days here. The day when you found me in the one and only tiny bathroom after our miscarriage. This little home that night somehow felt too big in that moment. You shuffled that crib up to the attic the next day but we both knew it was still there.

This little home of ours. Almost too many memories to put into focus.

Time passed. Repainting happened again and again.

We’ve probably slammed a few doors and said some things we’ve regretted in this space between these walls but oh this little home of ours.

Do you remember bringing home Maeve? That first night when I found you asleep sitting up holding our 8lb wonder…how did that even happen? And how is she now a Kindergartener? Our deep thinker, world changer, compassionate, hopeful one…she’s been rooted here and grown here.

All in this little home.

If I’m quiet enough I swear I can hear you roasting coffee in our backyard even still, over and over again. Smoke bellowing into our neighbors yard. That’s where Enderly Coffee began. How could we have predicted where we are now just a few years later? Being able to put a coffeeshop literally a walks away from here. I know some days we wish it could be simple again, but the start was here in this backyard.

We decided to start teaching and end teaching right here.

In this little home.

The lines we’ve added on the wall to track Maeve got a bit more crowded in this little home didn’t it babe?

Do you remember bringing Raeya home and your roasting equipment was in the nursery? All the years of rocking and nursing our babies…and oh sweet Raeya. Sunshine, joy, stubborn, beat to your own drum Raeya. She gets us laughing and helps us find the light in this little home each day, even when we are all crowding each other.

There’s been food on the floor, writing on the walls, slips and falls, crawls, running, and stomping.

All in this little home.

Then there were the parade of people with special badges and papers, getting us official. And then there was the call and the entrance into our journey of foster parenting the past 15 months.

We started adding her growth marks on the wall after a year and she wears the clothes of our girls and rests her head on that same crib that once held our broken dreams, then Maeve, then Raeya. Our sweet baby A. Courageous, resilient, happy, restored, healed. Name meaning LIFE.

All in this little home. 

How many pushes on the swing have we given and how many neighbor kids have played and asked questions in our yard? And when Ms. Connie died almost a year ago things shifted here didn’t they? Walking past her home day after day has been hard.

Our girls have noticed it too.

But then the tiny yellow house next to us started to burst with the life of dear friends and it all clicked. Neighboring well is at a whole new level, one I begged for in those early days and finally here it was. There’s been countless dinners…”you bring this and we’ll bring that,” after bedtime hang outs (still trying to forget the tequila night, please don’t remind me), and the random kitten that showed up right as the last box was being packed.

So how do we stay good-bye to this? To our little home? How will we turn the key and leave these floors that each girl have learned to walk on?

I’m fully aware that people move houses everyday of the week but for us we know that so much of who we are and who our girls are has been shaped in these walls. And so the thought of closing the door is brutal but I know that the exhaling into the possibility for growth in equally beautiful.

Do you remember my word of the year, babe? 

DWELL. (read that blog, babe it’s a good one, you read these things don’t you?)

The first way I described it was “To DWELL in the house I am in, creating a presence of love and acceptance.” 

It wasn’t on my radar that this wouldn’t be the house I’d be dwelling in at the end of the year.

But it’s time and we know that the growth is a good one and helps the tension to hold onto the many dreams for our family. And we’re so grateful for this new house. It’s literally giving me breath again to think of dwelling there.

What might I write 10 years from now of this new place and the ways we’ve dwelled there?

I remember when we left Michigan 10 years ago. Do you remember how you put Murphy’s soap on the floor on accident and we slid across it with our socks before setting out to Charlotte? I’ll never forget your eyes that day. They were filled with tears. Not for that home but for the memories we shared our first year of marriage. How could we have ever have imagined what was waiting for us 10 years later…

…in this little home.

And now here we are. Packing boxes once more…our kids doing the sliding this time. And we’re almost ready to write some stories on the walls in this new space.


We have to close the door first,

holding the space of those memories,

the hard ones and the glorious ones.

It’ll be hard to do, right babe?

You’ll hold my hand, I know this to be true. And my eyes will join yours filled with tears just like 10 years ago but this time we’ll have 3 more sets looking at us waiting and ready.

Are you ready?

Little home, thank you.

We will call this place our home,
The dirt in which our roots may grow.
Though the storms will push and pull,
We will call this place our home.

We’ll tell our stories on these walls.
Every year, measure how tall.
And just like a work of art,
We’ll tell our stories on these walls.

Let the years we’re here be kind, be kind.
Let our hearts, like doors, open wide, open wide.
Settle our bones like wood over time, over time.
Give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.

A little broken, a little new.
We are the impact and the glue.
Capable of more than we know,
We call this fixer upper home.

With each year, our color fades.
Slowly, our paint chips away.
But we will find the strength
And the nerve it takes
To repaint and repaint and repaint every day.

Let the years we’re here be kind, be kind.
Let our hearts, like doors, open wide, open wide.
Settle our bones like wood over time, over time.
Give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.
Let the years we’re here be kind, be kind.
Let our hearts, like doors, open wide, open wide.
Settle our bones like wood over time, over time.
Give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.
Give us bread, give us salt, give us wine.

Smaller than dust on this map
Lies the greatest thing we have:
The dirt in which our roots may grow
And the right to call it home.

North, Sleeping At Last






3 Comments Add yours

  1. Aunt Ashley says:

    I feel ya sis and I can’t wait to see your new home someday soon!


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