It’s all happening so fast! Although I knew it would, it’s still a bit shocking each step of the way. My mom and I have been hard at work packing up my house; and about the time that I stared into my first newly emptied closet it hit me that I would be leaving a house I had developed a deep sentimental value for.
I was 20 years old when we bought this house. I was 7 months pregnant with my first baby. Unexpected pregnancies at 19 are usually met with quite a bit of distress and confusion…because who has their life together at 19?? Josh was only 18! Luckily I had financed a car at 18 (probably the only time someone will call this lucky) and had 2 credit cards already, so I had some established credit. Also, I used to be extremely adamant about saving my money (I don’t know where that girl went?) so I had some money in the bank. Josh and I decided that our junky 2 bedroom apartment probably wasn’t the best option for raising our baby; and on a sunny day in July…I picked this house instead.
With the keys to this home I received a sizable sense of calm. Internally, I was very hard on myself for falling pregnant so young. Owning my own home made me feel independent and secure in a way that I’m sure nothing else could have at that time. I was thrilled to decorate Jace’s first bedroom; something else that made me feel more ready for him than is probably logical. And at the end of the day my new baby would have a place to stay no matter what. Externally, my mortgage made me look mature and prepared for what any parent knows you can’t actually ever be fully prepared for.
Just over six years later and my two babes have never called another 4 walls home. We’ve shared all of our Christmases here, and all of their birthdays. Josh proposed to me here in the living room. I entered this house as an unsure 20 year old pregnant girl, with the dresser set I’d had since middle school (still have it) and some green paint that I couldn’t wait to get on to my unborn son’s walls. I will leave it a soon to be mother of 3. I finally finished the degree that I had put on hold for so long, due in large part, to aforementioned pregnancies. For the most part… I am still young, but I am no longer unsure.
Within these walls I endured the hardships of newest days of motherhood. And then I endured them again with a toddler. Within the life that filled this house my boyfriend became my husband and our relationship strained and then it grew through the difficulties of marriage and parenthood, and then it buckled only to grow stronger again. I have not lived in one dwelling for so long since leaving Illinois when I was 13 years old.
In many ways, this house is home to me in a way that no other place ever will be. The way that my brain has structured my memories, I was basically still a child when I moved in here. Then, there was an abrupt lifestyle change when I brought Jace home…when I brought him here. It’s almost odd how my brain has categorized my life into 2 “chapters;” pre and post motherhood. So as long as I have been in this chapter of my life, I have been here.
In this house I have grown my family, my proudest and most prized possession. And it makes me a little bit sad that my children will remember very little of a space that has meant a very lot to me. It also makes me sad that our newest baby, will have spent no time here at all, save for inside my belly.
Even though I have surely grown into myself within these walls, we as a family, have outgrown this little ol’ house too. Physically, it’s on the smaller side. Considering we will have 3 children instead of 1, it’s simply too small. I remember it seemed so big compared to our apartment 6 years ago.
I’m so very sad to leave my home behind, but so so excited to start something fresh too. Of my family, I am the only one to have ever experienced seasons. My native-to-Florida kids and husband are in for both a shock and a treat. I have always missed them. I will be so happy to finally live in a world that has Octobers again.
You can follow our newest adventure on my Instagram. #RinehartsGoWest