Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spoke too soon!

We are still settling into our house of 6 months, we recently finished a remodel of most of the main floor of our home, and I have a list a mile long of all of my dreams and plans for our house over the years to come. So imagine my surprise when my husband calls me and asks my opinion about picking up and moving from Iowa to Minnesota! I quickly reminded him of our deal (unfortunately not signed with blood or witnessed by a lawyer!) that this would be our last house and that if he were to ever mention the subject of moving, I would be granted a divorce, free and clear. Seriously, that is how much I dispise moving! My strong feelings are mostly due to the kids. I really want them to grow up someplace that they can call home and be able to build strong relationships that will last a lifetime. Also, here we have the support of my husband's entire family, who all live with 20 miles and my family lives just a short 90 miles away.

I realize that this would be a pretty stupid stipulation that we could never move again if my husband were offered a chance to take a promotion or offered a once in a lifetime opportunity, such as working abroad, so I am willing to compromise. I told him that if he were ever offered an opportunity to work abroad, we would go with him as long as the kids were not in school, otherwise he would have to travel home as often as he could in order to see us. Even though we have the verbal agreement of divorce for moving, I told him that I would be willing to relocate and take up residence in an apartment or condo that we could afford as long as we maintained ownership of this house and were back before the kids started school. I think that this really surprised him, he didn't expect that I would have put that much thought into the subject, but definitely made sense. The place where we currently live is the only place he thinks of as home because he grew up around here. He has always wanted his children to grow up and share some of the same experiences he did, such as attending the same schools. So I know that while we may have a few other "homes" in our future, we will always come back to our current home which is and always will be our forever house!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Franklin Grove, Il- Second Home

Our next house was my absolute favorite house and the kind of house I have lusted after as an adult. It was a two story home with a porch that spanned the entire length of the front of the house with a wooden swing on one end. Upon entering the house you encountered a beautiful wood staircase. To the right of the entryway was a living room. Straight through the entryway was the formal dining room (though it was never very formal, as it mostly contained our toys) and a bathroom. The back of the house contained another eating area, kitchen, and mudroom. Upstairs there were three bedrooms and a bathroom.

While we lived here, my father travelled a lot selling insurance. My mother kept her job in Dubuque, IA and would spend the week with my grandmother and my three youngest siblings at her home. She would leave early Monday morning and come back late Friday nights. As a result of this arrangement, my brother and I were left with a babysitter the majority of the time. As you can imagine,this arrangement did not work out for very long. After finishing 1st grade, in 1988, we picked up and moved to Elizabeth, IL.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Otter Creek, IA- My First Home

After I was born, in 1980, my parents brought me home to an old two-story farmhouse in Otter Creek, IA. We lived there for about 7 years, as I remember attending Kindergarten while living in that house. My younger sister and I shared a room on the second floor and my younger brother's room was across the hall. I believe that my parents room was downstairs, along with the kitchen/dining room, living room and a bathroom. I remember there being a wood burning stove in the living room. Other than that, most of my memories of living there are of being outside on the farm. We had a hog building and a couple of other barns. In the summer I remember cleaning out the hog pen area and using it to ride our bikes. In the other barn we kept two cows that we affectionately named Big Bird and Snuffleupagus. We had a small metal swingset in the back yard that kept us occupied for hours on end! This was back in the day when children had imaginations and did not sit inside watching tv or playing video games all night! We would spend hours just exploring on the farm, taking walks along the stream that ran through the backyard, catching fireflies and playing tag and other childhood games. There was a rock quarry about 1-2 miles from our home that we would walk to frequently. We climbed the rock piles and played king of the mountain. We all had little first aid kits made from camera film canisters with string tied around so that we could wear them as a necklace! Those were the days! We were so young and innocent. I don't remember what prompted the move, but remember that my father had a change in careers. As a result we were off to Franklin Grove, IL and my second house.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Why My Forever House?

In my 29 years of life, I have moved at least 11 times! And five of those have been in the past six years! As a result of the constant changes I endured growing up (houses, schools, friends), I have always wanted the stability of a house that I could call home. Some people, like my husband, had that stability and lived in the same house their entire lives. He is the complete opposite of me and loves the uncertainty and excitement that comes with moving to a new place, starting a new job and meeting new people. I was able to convince him to settle down in one spot where we could raise a family in the manner I desired by moving back to his hometown. Since he travels for his job, he still gets the excitement he craves to go and see lots of different places. We have also agreed that if his job ever requires him to relocate, which is a real possibility, he will get a condo or apartment in that city and travel back to visit us on weekends and whenever possible because I believe so strongly in creating a home for our children.

I believe that it is important to define what exactly makes a house a home. In looking online for a definition of the word, I found 11 meanings for the word home, ranging from a residence to a page on the internet.
1. A place where one lives; a residence.
2. The physical structure within which one lives, such as a house or apartment.
3. A dwelling place together with the family or social unit that occupies it; a household.
a. An environment offering security and happiness.
b. A valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin.
5. The place, such as a country or town, where one was born or has lived for a long period.
6. The native habitat, as of a plant or animal.
7. The place where something is discovered, founded, developed, or promoted; a source.
8. A headquarters; a home base.
a. Baseball Home plate.
b. Games Home base.
10. An institution where people are cared for: a home for the elderly.
11. Computer Science
a. The starting position of the cursor on a text-based computer display, usually in the upper left corner of the screen.
b. A starting position within a computer application, such as the beginning of a line, file, or screen or the top of a chart or list.
Though definitions 1-3 are central to definining a home, they also define a house, which to me is basically someplace you live. Though the presence of family to me does make a house more of a home. According to this definition, I believe that #4 most closely represents what home means to me. It is definitely someplace where I feel "comfortable and happy" because I am surrounded by the people and things that I love. It is also "a valued place regarded as a refuge" because it is the first place I want to go when I'm having a bad day, it harbors a lot of my happiest moments, and also has been central to many moments that define who I am. I have poured my heart into decorating the house for my family and I take a lot of pride in my home, so source of pride would also be a part of my definition.

There is a song by Carrie Underwood called "Temporary Home" that reveals my feelings about each of the houses I have lived in in my lifetime. The refrain goes like this:
This is my temporary Home
It's not where I belong
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through
This was just a stop,on the way to where I'm going
I'm not afraid because I know this was
My temporary home.

In this blog I plan to relay my journey through life and the many different houses along the way to my forever house. I also plan to show the transformation of our forever house into our "home".