home: a new chapter

We said goodbye to our first home today.

It had been a long time coming and, truthfully, I spent more time over the last year wishing that someone else would want our home than I did appreciating it for all it had been to us.

We were engaged when we closed on the house five years ago. I lived there while Todd lived with some friends, and he moved in after our wedding. A few days after I moved in, we were hanging out watching football and it started to snow. Boudreaux saw the snow flakes falling through the big windows in the front and he started barking. And we all ran out side to see the snow.

We saw two snows, we brought home two babies, we had three Christmases, we hosted countless guests. There was laughing, there was some fighting, there were tears, and there were trials. We built our marriage and our family while living in that home.

My mom reminded me of the time that she was staying with Hudson while I was out of town and she accidentally locked herself out of the house with 14 month old Hudson inside.

Then there was the time that we opened our back door and saw a rooster standing in the backyard. In downtown Columbia! Boudreaux took off after that rooster and chased it down the street. We still have no idea how that rooster got there.

It was a great home and the memories are endless.

We walked to restaurants, to football games, to baseball games, and all over the neighborhood.

I cried when I told the neighbors goodbye.

When the last box was moved out and I stood in my empty, cold kitchen, I looked around. The life was gone. The warmth was gone. Our home transformed before my eyes.

It may take a few months before I can gather the courage to drive by the house. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it. Another sweet family is making memories there.

And our family is moving on and preparing to make new memories. But seeing my empty house today, I realized that the house itself is just a shell. It’s a vessel for love and spirit and life.

I am so thankful that all of that love and spirit and life will be with us no matter where we live.

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  1. says

    This made me imagine leaving the home we’re in and I get choked up…so many memories made here. You’re right though, you get to take all those memories with you.

    I’m excited to see what God has in store for you!


  2. says

    Oh Erin–this is so sweet. I’m praying for your family, transitions are never easy but remember this: you are taking the BEST part of your home with you!!! Your sweet boys and wonderful husband. Blessings to you all, what a wonderful tribute 🙂

  3. says

    Love this post! I know how hard it is to leave the house you started your family in. We closed on our first home three years ago today. My husband owned it while we dated and I moved in after the wedding. We got engaged there, we had two babies there, and spent 4 Christmases there. But where we are now is home, too. I drove by our old house the other day, and it’s still weird. I feel like I’m stalking a house!

  4. Amy says

    I would highly recommend not driving by for quite some time. We sold our first home in September and I made the mistake of driving past… with my two year old in the car. We were both a blubbering mess! Excited to hear about what the future holds for you guys! We gave up on the house hunt and decided to build instead. Have you guys looked into it?

  5. says

    I know people move all the time, but we moved from a downtown neighborhood in Columbia in May of 2011 and it took months before I felt prepared to drive by our old, first home when we were back in town. I totally get it. It’s a beautiful mourning.

    Go get some pimento cheese and pita chips from DiPratos. I’m pretty sure they heal all wounds=)

  6. says

    What a sweet post Erin! I can’t imagine leaving this home that we’ve built together and where we’re raising Rhys. It must be bittersweet but I’m so happy for your new home and all the memories you’ll make there. In the meantime, hugs to you!!

  7. says

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re writing about this. God has so many great things in store!!

    BTW, This hits so close for me! We recently moved into a new home (after 5 yrs in our first), and I still have those sentimental feelings when I see our old house.

  8. says

    I am so glad I read this. We are putting our house on the market & moving for my husbands job. I have started packing up a few things, but instead of focusing on the packing, I will be taking it all in…. so glad you wrote this

  9. says

    That house is just pretty & looks like it has so much character! I know it’s hard to say goodbye to the only home your boys have ever known, but, you’re right…home is where your family is! I’m excited for y’all as you start this new chapter!

  10. says

    what a beautiful home!
    I know how tough it can be to say goodbye.
    We still have our home in MD (getting ready to get renters in) but the day we moved out and the few times we’ve been up to check on it…it seems empty and strange. Like it isn’t ours anymore, even though it very much is. I guess with all of our stuff gone, it doesn’t seem the same.

    Best of luck on the new chapter!!!

  11. says

    I can’t drive by the (rental) house where we brought T home from the hospital without getting choked up. And I’ve already told my husband that I may never be able to leave/sell this house even if we outgrow it or have to move. It’s amazing what an integral part of our lives that homes become. Our pastor does house blessings – maybe yours does too? Kind of a neat and happy way to get a great start in your new house when the time comes 🙂

  12. says

    First, that house is adorable. Second, this summer we moved out of the only home we have lived in since being married. Granted, it was a rental house, but we LOVED the house. We loved our landlords, the location, the large yard, the free lawn maintenance, and so much more. We saw ourselves in that house for awhile. We had known for about a year that we would be moving. When the time came (earlier than expected) it all happened so fast that I didn’t have enough time to get really sad over it. I had one moment the second time we moved stuff and after that we were so busy and I was thankful for that. I was glad that we had not brought any babies home to that home and that we found a place we love almost as much. It’s only been 4 months but I think about that house often (did the grass finally turn back to green? were the trees pretty this fall? are they fixing the bathroom?). It will always have a special place in our hearts and luckily when we visit my parents we can see it. It is just a house, but it still holds precious memories. I’m hoping we get to see it after they remodel the bathroom before they get new tenants. I’d love to see what they do.

  13. says

    What a huge change! I often dream of moving into a bigger “better” home, but at the same time, there is something so special about our first home, and I love it for what it is – the place where we started our family and our life together! Best of luck to you as you find the perfect home for your next stage of life!!

  14. April says

    How bittersweet! I just wanted to share a story from when we bought our current home. They too had started their family in our house and took great care of the older home. The day we closed the poor lady that sold it tous was just tearing up and we actually felt bad. Now that we have started our family here, I know how she felt.

  15. says

    I know exactly how you feel right now. We moved out of our first home two months ago, and while our new home is perfect for our growing family, we still miss the old one. It’s just going to take some time, and it is hard not to want to fast forward to the day when the new one will feel like home. We are about twenty minutes from our old neighborhood, and i can’t drive by yet either. Thinking of you…congratulations on the sale!

  16. says

    I have tears in my eyes. I can’t imagine the feeling I will have when we leave our own home. Although it’s small and has it’s limitations, I know that I will sincerely miss all it has been to us. We are not moving just yet, but when the day comes it will surely be bittersweet.

  17. says

    We are going to be selling our home in the near future, and I know it’s going to be very bittersweet. But in the end it’s the people who make the home. Memories go with us as we grow and change. Love this post and can’t wait to see what your future holds.

  18. says

    What a bittersweet time. It looks like a beautiful house! I’m hoping we can say goodbye to our house soon enough. It not only holds memories of ours, but it was my parents’ house…so, I’ve sort of lived here since I was 10, with 2 temporary homes in between. 🙂 But nonetheless…wish you well in closing this chapter and starting a new one!

  19. says

    I just loved your home, and am excited to see your new one! Would you mind telling me who designed your home? (The plan- not the decor. I know that was all you!)

  20. Kim says

    We sold our first home in April. I still get choked up thinking about it, but our new house is home now and we’re making lots of memories. Each day will get a little easier;) I hope you find the perfect house for y’all, so you and your boys can begin the next chapter!

  21. says

    Erin, I can’t tell you how sad I was when we first left out house behind. The new one felt cold and empty and I longed for the coziness of our first home, I would unpack boxes and put things in empty rooms and wonder if I would ever feel the same about our new house. But as the months go by and we make memories in this house the other one seems so distant and I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home, now. Now that the emotions have been set aside it’s easy to see that where ever we are, together, is home. Where ever our memories are being made, is where my heart is.

  22. says

    The thought of leaving our home and taking all the life out of it, just gets me all chocked up and it’s not even happening to us right now.

    I cannot imagine the round of emotions you’re going through. That’s a terrible feeling.

    I hope that you’re new house… wherever that might be, is amazing!

    You’ll never forget that first house. Never.

  23. says

    I know it must be so hard to leave the house you had so many “firsts” in and built so many memories inside, but it must be exciting to know that you’ll get to make a new house your home and experience so many great things with your sweet family there in the years to come!

  24. says

    I felt the same way when we moved in August! I just this last week drove to our old house to pick up an LLBEan delivery that went there by mistake! It was hard but I just wont let myself tyhink about it. the crazy part was how the DAY we moved in to the new house, I no longer thought about the old one at all , and I have not missed it either! Just the neighbors! Can’t wait to see where you guys land! I know its a hard time of the year to move!

  25. Becky says

    We moved from our first house 6 years ago and I still miss it in some ways. It was the house I walked out of pregnant, and back into a MOTHER! I think there’s always a part of you left behind in the house you brought your babies home to. And the other thing you’ll probably miss is the same thing that made you move in the first place: it’s smallness. Bigger house = more to clean!!!

    I’m with the other commenters – can’t wait to see what you do with the new place!!!

  26. says

    I am moving to Columbia and love your blog. The things you are write are so heartfelt. Could you tell me where this neighborhood is?? I am working at USC and hoping to find something close to campus and everything. Thank you!


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