Saturday, August 5, 2017

Six--the difference here makes

This wasn't the house where I brought my babies home. It wasn't where they celebrated first words, first steps, first birthdays. But it has been the home they're growing up in--home, sweet home.
The fall of 2010 when we decided to put a contract on this house. I framed this image and hung it on the wall of the office space in our old house while we waited for our buyer.

Erin was 3 at the time; Lanie had just turned 8. They loved walking through the crunchy fall leaves.

It is always my wonderland. The birds. The trees. The seasons. The beauty. It is a life-giving sanctuary. Whether from the kindness of neighbors or (as a dear friend and poet described) the welcoming arms of trees--it is a loving embrace.

Thank you, God. I will always be grateful that you put this property under Shane's nose and embedded it instantly in my heart. I am grateful for the bleeding hearts in the garden--and gardens everywhere; the field where I've photographed families and my own!; cookie swaps and not swaps; swim dates and poetry teas; Friday night dinners and Thanksgivings; the school room bones to write upon; the captain's bell; the smell of pines; picnics, bonfires, sledding days, leaf piles; woodsmoke that welcomes guests and the luscious heat the logs provide; gifts from neighbors and coffee at the table; cold winters and all the blankets my dad knitted and crocheted; and that barely touches it all.

We've had our own firsts here: first birthdays here; first holidays here; first days of school here. While Lanie had four years of swim lessons in life before, she first swam fearlessly here. Erin got a bedroom of her own, learned to swim, started school, rode a bike, lost a tooth--all firsts here.

This is the place where I built the Ikea chairs for the school room table and Lanie protested, "Why can't you be like other moms?!" And that was just the simple start of many changes--learning to ride a tractor, taking down trees, stacking wood, hauling mulch, and all the weeding. We remodeled the school room and painted almost every space (I still have yet to change Lanie's room--her choice--and our bedroom and bathroom still have sample swatches of a color palette I'm no longer considering!).

A sensory feast. A physical engagement with a landscape. A spiritual journey and transformation. A community.

Healing took place in this home, and growth. And while this isn't the house we built, this is the house we are building upon with love and memories.

Our first fall in 2011--she turned nine.

This summer in 2017--she is fourteen to be fifteen.

2011 in the garden on the dinosaur rocks. Photoshoot for our Christmas card. Erin would turn five.

This summer, hanging out with her favorite neighbor, Cubby. Erin is ten, going on eleven this year.

We welcomed Nella into our home--that rescue hound and her hidden happy dance. We said goodbye to Rudy. We welcomed my dad and sister's cats Comet and Haley this year, however temporary their stay.

My prayer and hope is still: That anyone who enters our home would feel welcome. That anyone who sits at our table would feel safe to share a happening, thought or feeling without judgment or ridicule. That anyone within these walls would know they are loved just as they are, and always will be. That any family member or guest would feel a sense of inclusion and belonging. 

Thank you, God, for this home. Thank you for these years of healing and growth. Thank you for the joy that awaited us here, and for meeting our needs physically and in heart.

I truly have thousands of pictures of our life here. Just very random pulls from the years--because I can't fit them all. 



2013--her first loose tooth and the last picture of all her baby teeth


2014--my all-weather girl

2015--play dates


2016--when we got the new oven

2017--good life

2017--no place like home

2017--a winter movie picnic in the living room



2017--the difference here makes


borgerfam said...

❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤🎉 happy six years,friends!!

Courtney said...

Many thanks! xoxo