No, you didn't lose track of time. We've only been in the new house for seven months (even still, holy cow!), but the whole process started about this time last year. I blogged at the end of October last year about the very beginning of the process--the day Jacob and I went to an open house out of pure curiosity, and how I ended up loving the house. Of course, in the end it wasn't the one we ended up with, but it was the one that provoked us to get our house in shape to go on the market. While it didn't happen in time to get that house, we were more than ready when the right one did come along. Thinking back on the past year has been pretty mindblowing, and pretty much every single night I find myself thanking God that we ended up with such a great home. There are just so many things that I love about our house, things I didn't even realize I wanted, and it's awesome to realize how well things worked out.
With the same cool weather and fall leaves as I vividly remember from when Jacob and I went to that open house last year, I've been thinking back to it a bit recently. I remember the leaves so vividly because the backyard of the house had a lot of trees, almost a woodsy feel to it. And I spent a lot of time looking at that backyard, just trying to visualize how it compared to our yard, how Craig would mow around the trees, and what kind of swing set-type contraption we might be able to fit there. That house also had a lovely deck right off the kitchen that I admired quite a bit. And just the sight of fall leaves and experiencing a Sunday where it was just Jacob and me took me right back to that day. It was all very exciting. I mean, originally when we went to the open house, it was a pure curiosity thing. I hadn't even wrapped my brain around the idea of moving. It was merely the idea of going to see a style of house that I had noticed before--fairly new, slightly contemporary, reasonable in size and price, good neighborhood--and seeing if it was something that might work for us. I seriously figured the house wasn't as good as it looked and I could just move on with my life not needing to see another one like it ever again. But the house was awesome. It was in great shape, had a huge kitchen, easy access to the yard, cathedral ceiling in the living room, a finished basement with plenty of storage, great bedroom sizes, and everything was livable, style-wise...except for maybe the horrible wallpaper in the dining room. The kitchen counters could have used some sprucing up as well, but we could have managed for a while. After all the bad luck we had looking for houses the first time around, I was shocked that the first one I looked at this time around was so good.
And that was really when it got exciting. I started to think about the possibilities, what it would be like to live in a newer house that needed less upgrading, how we could decorate it, and how we'd use each room. I still had reservations, such as the massive staircase, the size of the living room, and how I'd feel about having our computer in the basement, not to mention the homeowner's association fee we found out about later, but the house was truly good enough to get us started on the path to selling ours. But just getting that show on the road was torture. I don't think I was prepared for that, but it did validate my thinking that I did NOT want to do any of it pregnant...and since we were originally hoping to be working on baby #2 by right about now (sigh), I was shocked to realize that we were getting short on time and it was a good time to get started.
We spent most of the fall meeting with realtors and trying to figure out how to best showcase our house. I remember being a tad nervous about decorating tastefully for the holidays and deciding on and scheduling a handful of improvements. I sort of recall the rest of our fall as being a bit stressful, and spending a lot of weekends shuffling off to random open houses, just in case the other one fell through or other houses made us think twice. And in the end the house we loved ended up getting an offer before we were ready. I think it was about a month after I saw it, and a week or two before our house finally went on the market. It was bitterly disappointing, and got me extra stressed that we wouldn't find another one, let alone with the right timing to sell ours. And while not everything turned out perfectly as far as selling our house was concerned, buying the one we did turned out pretty darn great. I still remember walking into it for the first time and being shocked (in a good way) at what we saw. And now that house is ours. Sure, I'd love to have a kitchen with a little more room for our table, easier access to the outside, and to have Jacob's bedroom and the full bathroom be a little bigger, but as I said, there are so many great things about this house that I can't really complain. It fits us.
So here we are a year after we started this process, nicely settled in our new house and about to celebrate our first Halloween in the neighborhood. And after that we'll have our first Christmas season, complete with the exciting but difficult decisions on how to decorate our new space. I didn't really think much at the time about how we were spending our last fall, last Halloween, and last Christmas in our old house--probably because I was doubting that we'd ever survive the craziness...or at least was having trouble seeing past it. And I obviously had no idea in the spring and summer last year that we'd never see those seasons in that house again. I think I was so stressed out by the whole process that I only took a few rare moments to think about how sad it was to be leaving the first house we had as a family. We had some nice memories there and sometimes I still find it hard to believe we'll never be back there. On the other hand, I was super excited to get into our new house and start making new memories there. We already have, and I imagine we will for years to come. It's been a whirlwind year and it's hard to believe the move is already so far behind us. It seemed to take forever in the middle of it all, but now it all seems like a distant memory, mercifully gone in the blink of an eye. What a difference a year makes...