There are just a few things I never want to forget about this home in the midst of this transition.
1. John and I bought our first home (this home) together in 2010. We had been married for two years, lived in an apartment on Miller Lane in Fort Thomas, and were finally ready to become grown-ups; so we bought our house. Once we started looking it didn't take long to locate the perfect home on Grand Avenue and move in (after a little bit of rehab).
I will never forget sitting together on the floor of our bedroom painting the walls a pale blue dreaming of our future years together in our new home and how perfect they would be.
2. There is one particular fight John and I had that was memorable for all the wrong reasons. And to make a long and embarrassing (for me) story short, here is the gist; John had his friends over (while I went to the grocery), I came home hoping to enjoy our evening alone, I saw his friends sitting around the fire drinking (coke I'm sure), I said a few not so nice words, slammed the back door (which had a crack through the glass already), and broke the door. Yes, the glass fell out of the door and needless to say John's friends left and our night was not the romantic lovey dovey type. That night was not actually a fun night at all.
But I will never forget laughing about it later (sort of) and actually realizing how ridiculous I sounded. I learned a lesson on selflessness that evening that has stuck with me and has shaped how I handle various frustrations I may have with John.
3. Monday night dinners began in our apartment but continued in our home on Grand. As we kept the tradition alive, John's friends became my friends and soon their wives began joining us (and actually contributing as well). We shared dinner and enjoyed one another's company almost every Monday night for probably close to three years. There was a time when the group changed, people moved and new people became our "people" but we have always had those sweet, sweet friendships. They have been a huge blessing in our lives and continue to perfect our story.
I will never forget the people God placed in our lives and the memories we made together in our home sitting on the couch watching The Bachelor and eating cookies!
4. I believe we were the most nervous we have ever been when we were able to finally bring the twins through the back door and into their first home. This was one of the most precious memories I have of our home. Oh, how I longed to be in our home. After sleeping in a hospital bed down the hall from my newborn babies I fell in love all over again with our home. It was quiet and calm and the perfect place to bring them home to. They were so tiny and now that they are turning three on Sunday it is hard to even imagine them being so small. But those memories are alive in this home and I will never forget that for them.
I will never forget the memory of walking them through the back door, setting them on the floor (still snuggled up in their car seats) and watching and waiting for them to cry. Because really, what else do you do when you have a newborn and you have never done that before? You just stare and hope that you don't mess up these perfect and precious gifts you were given.
5. The twins turned one year old on August 23, 2013. What a fun day. I remember everything. I loved the circus theme (because I felt like it really matched up with our lives at that moment) and I loved that they tried their very first bite of cake in the highchairs that we paid too much for (as new mom and dads do). I printed giant pictures of them and hung them in the dining room. I bought five huge bags of peanuts (and only needed one) because it was a circus! We did up the back yard and made their day special.
I will never forget their sweet smiling faces as they were passed around to all of our family and friends that loved them so well that day.
6. Charlie is so hard to remember in this house and yet so, so hard to forget. He was only here for 7 days. But during those seven days he slept right next to me every night in a bassinet that I borrowed from my sister. I was able to feed him when he was hungry. He snuggled up in hand me downs from his brother. He slept in my arms on the Fourth of July after a long exhausting morning at the parade. He sat in the mammaroo on the back deck and watched his brother and sister play.
But I also remember waking up in the early morning on the 7th and realizing he had missed two feedings. He was not himself and I tried everything I could to calm him down and keep everyone else from waking up. I remember rushing him to the doctor and then rushing him to the Emergency Room. And from then on the memories of Charlie are not in our home.
I remember taking the crib down, replacing his blue curtains with the old guest room curtains that had hung before, and I remember crying in the closet because I wanted him back. These are the most difficult memories to face and more than that the most difficult to leave behind. I want to hold onto this house because I want to hold onto Charlie. But I know he is not here. He isn't in the bassinet that held him for 7 days. He isn't in the car seat that sat collecting dust in our basement. He isn't in the mammaroo on the back deck. He is in heaven.
I am learning that it is okay to leave this house and start a new journey and a new chapter in a brand new home. Just as this home did, I am sure our new home will have happy times as well as sad ones.
All I can say is bring it on and thank goodness we have Jesus!
Water Company, let's do this! Get that water turned on so we can stop dreaming about moving and actually get comfortable in the next place we will call home!
So long, Grand Avenue. We will miss you!