Thursday, October 30, 2008

It was more than a house...

Why is this so hard?

I haven’t been a fan of living in Bloomington since we got here. I tried it. However, I prefer living closer to my friends and family. I just have never felt like Bloomington was “home” for me.

So, why am I sad to be leaving?

When Justin and I sold our last house we both had tears in our eyes as we left the house for the last time. That was understandable. It was our first home together. We built the house and had such great memories of that process. It was where we started our married life together. Where we built the foundation of a marriage that will last forever. So, when we were sad…we understood.

I have never felt connected to Bloomington. Never felt tied to our home here. To me, it was a house we bought so we wouldn’t waste money on rent while we lived here for a few short years. Now, all of the sudden, I realize it is much more than that…so much more.

Our house here is the purchase we asked my parents to drive two hours to see on a work night. They happily did so. I needed my parents approval (and so did Justin) before making such a big purchase. When we did purchase it and began to move in, I had a minor meltdown that our refrigerator wasn’t big enough for the area built for it. Justin immediately called my Dad and asked him to drive 2 hours (again on a week night) to assure me it would be fine. Dad picked my mom up from work and they were on their way. They were here long enough to take a look, assure me it was fine, and they returned home. I never questioned the size of the refrigerator again.

It is the same house that my nephew, Hayden, shouted “Weeeeeee” after pulling down the drive way. We have had so many jokes about our drive way with family and friends! We would like to point out that we never had trouble getting up our drive way (in the car….by foot is a different story).

This is the house that Justin and his Dad bricked our mailbox on their own (bricklaying isn’t Justin’s forte’). The mailbox was completed just in time for us to sell it (underneath all that brick, written in cement are the words "JACKSON 5-3-08"). Justin and his Dad put their handyman work to use again last week when they had to rebuild the front porch. John never tells Justin no when he gets roped into these projects. Instead, John just shows up when asked and ready to work. These are memories Justin will cherish with his Dad.

Most importantly, this is the home we were in when we decided to have a baby (actually, the deciding conversation happened in the car somewhere on State Road 37…but it started in our house). There were many nights we sat in the family room and talked about “Baby Bixler” that hadn’t even been conceived yet. We discussed our hopes and fears about starting a family during our dinners at the kitchen table.

This is the house that I took pregnancy test after pregnancy test to finally see a positive one. I paced our master bathroom to think of a neat way to tell Justin. Finally, I just opened the door and told him. We hugged, cried, and then ran to the Kroger to buy other tests to confirm.

It was that same night that we decided then and there that the baby’s nursery had to be the guest bedroom next to ours. We wanted Baby Bixler as close to us as possible (little did we know he would prefer to sleep in our bed most nights). Each night after that I would catch myself walking into the room that would soon be a nursery just to imagine what it would be like when the baby was here…I often found Justin doing the same.

As my belly got bigger and my due date closer, Justin and I spent most of our free time searching for nursery ideas. When I told Justin I wanted polka dots, he thought I was crazy. But he didn’t blink and eye. He instead drove me to look for polka dot wallpaper. I found what I wanted immediately. In a few days, Justin was on the phone to my Dad explaining our idea for the nursery, but that we would need some help. This is where “Operation Nursery” began.

I will make sure to tell Jackson when he is older (maybe when he is ready to have his own children) that his nursery was built with so much love. I will tell him Papa Mike, Grandpa John, Uncle Tom, and Justin worked so hard to get everything just right in the nursery. I will tell him of the fond memories Justin and I have of putting together the crib with my parents. I will tell him how hard Mamaw Charlotte worked on the polka dot valance for the window. I will tell him about the table and chairs coming from Grandma Marge and all about the trouble Grandma Penny went through to get the perfect changing table.

This is also the same house that I put a Christmas ornament on the tree in honor of Jackson for the first time. It was December 11th and I was 19 weeks pregnant. That morning we found out that we would be welcoming a boy in May. Justin and I went that day and purchased a Christmas ornament that read JACKSON to add to our tree. I can still remember putting it on the tree and thinking “next year he will be here to celebrate with us.”

As winter turned to spring, Justin and I celebrated Jackson’s upcoming arrival with friends and family at many baby showers. After each shower, Justin would insist we immediately put all of Jackson’s new things away in his room. I can’t begin to count the hours we would sit in there and find something to do. Even our dogs began just walking in to check things out. Jackson wasn’t here yet, but it was our way of being closer to him.

Then, one day, I woke up in labor. I can look back now and say that it was the greatest day of my life. I love my memories of Justin and me walking around the neighborhood in the rain trying to get my contractions closer together. That is a memory that will last a lifetime. I remember pulling out of our drive way and looking at Justin to say, “We will have our son with us when we return.” We did.

Once we arrived home, Justin and I showed Jackson around the house. We couldn’t wait to show him his room that everyone had worked so hard on. After about an hour or so I laid him in the bassinet and immediately felt complete. I had a wonderful husband, an adorable baby, and home filled with love.

That is when I realized this house was more than just a place to live….it was our home.


deb said... I'm bawling for the second time today.

Loved your memories. You'll make more at your next home. A house is a house...who lives there makes it "home."


Lori said...

This entry started the waterworks a little, Kristen! I'm going to miss you.

Anonymous said...

I can officially say it's not even 8:30am and I have already had my first cry!!! I am glad you will be closer but I have to say I am going to miss you being in Bloomington too. I still consider Bloomington my home and it was kind of nice having you there.