My husband and I both had really rough childhoods, not a very good start in life to say the least. Many people at one point in our lives didn't think we would ever amount to much. We were angry and deeply hurt as teenagers. We could have chosen paths of destruction and we both almost did. So when I look at this picture and think of everything that happened in our lives before this point it brings me to tears. It's more then just owning a piece of property, it's the sweat and tears it took for us to be home owners, to live that dream. Something I could barely imagine as we were struggling through life, just trying to keep our heads above water. We had been working so hard for years prior to this, it felt like we finally had something to show for it all.
My husband never had a home. He moved from one place to another though out his childhood. Never the same place to rest his head. For him this was one of the biggest things he could give his kids, a place of their own. A safe place called home. To see his face, and how proud he felt when we walked though that door, that's what meant the most to me. He loved everything about the home, which was good considering he bought it with me sight unseen! Well I showed him pictures I took but that was it.
The year it took to find this house was so stressful. I had to do all the house tours by myself, pick the Realtors (I went through 3!), fill out the paperwork, everything on my own with three boys under two and a full time daycare to keep running. My bestest friend Iva saved me beyond words. My mom and other friends lent a helping hand, my husband did what he could but he had to work full time. To say I had a few emotional freak outs is still putting it lightly. I had just had a baby when we started, Atty was a little baby too being only four months older then Spike, and I was dealing with a teenager going through issues of his own. I was sleep deprived, overwhelmed, and almost about ready to crack by the time I stood on the front steps of my home. It was like a breath of fresh air.
We had no family to loan us money, no strings to pull, and honestly not a lot of money saved. But we had a great net work of friends and family to lean on for emotional and physical support, and we managed to time it just right and jump into the market at just the right time. It was scary. One of the biggest leaps of faith I have ever made. I essentially lost my job and bought a home at the same time. On the faith that I would be able to start up my business at the new location. It seemed like one of the most irresponsible, yet responsible decisions we had ever made as parents. We had three little mouths to feed, a huge responsibility to keep a roof over their heads. I had nightmares of loosing the new home and living under a bridge for months after we moved in, I was so afraid we wouldn't be able to make the mortgage payment on one income, let alone all the bills. One of the biggest things this last year has taught me... trust in God.
Our first year as home owners we encountered many unexpected things. Here is a list of some of the things that happened;
*The heater in our bathroom broke in the first week, still not fixed.
*We managed to blow up our hot tub, still not fixed.
*The top of our pond split and the crack got worse and worse. The water started spilling out in all the wrong places. The algae took over and the water got all murky and the fish were about to pack up and leave. We just (sort of) got that fixed last weekend.
*Our hot water heater went on the fritz in the dead of winter. It took two weeks for the part we had to order to make it through all the snow. Two weeks with out hot water, at Christmas time, horrid. My amazing husband fixed his first water heater and saved us all. He's awesome.
*Atty cracked the toilet tank and flooded the bathroom and hall. My hubby fixed that too.
*My garbage disposal just up and quit working and every time you would run the dishwasher the sink would flood. You would have to stand there and bucket water into the other side of the sink or it would flood the counter tops. My hubby figured out how to fix it thank goodness!
*The fan on our main heater seems to be going out, the only heat source in the house, thank goodness it's almost summer. We probably won't bother to fix it until we go to turn it back on next winter, and find out it's completely broken, because that's how we roll.
There's been many other little unexpected things that have happened as new home owners but those are the main ones. They may seem silly but we rented for so long and all we had to do was call the landlord and leave the fixing up to them, so this was a whole new ball game for us. Just last weekend when Ryder was trying to figure out how to get the pond pump to turn on again, J said "just call the landlord". Which I admit still fleets across my mind when something breaks down, until I remember, Oh Yeah I get the pleasure of fixing this myself (or at least my husband does).
This is what the front flower bed looks like this year. It was pretty empty, but I had a ton of plants that I was bringing with me. I couldn't even bring them all, because if you noticed, there is gravel everywhere. It's so yucky. This side bed was the only one with dirt in it. I made it slightly bigger then it originally was, and it was so hard to move all the gravel and weed barrier and add soil in just for a few extra feet of flower bed. When we first moved in I had all these plans to replace all the gravel up front with soil and turn them into beautiful flower beds, but after doing that little add on I was exhausted. I decided the gravel keeps the weeds aways so maybe it's not so bad after all. :) Maybe a couple years from now I will be brave enough to tackle it.
This is the front of our house one year later. I have added more plants into the gravel, and plan on added even more this year. I've got to figure out how to make it look better with out taking all the gravel up. The soil underneath the gravel, nasty. I love the house, but the yard is not a plant lovers dream. I did manage to get my husband to make me some little garden boxes on the side of the house, which is also covered in gravel. The previous owners had a love affair with gravel I fear. Not the pretty kind of rock either, just regular ol' gravel. So now I get a little garden, which is nice. Gardening is a hobby of mine, and even the little bit that I get to do is good for my soul. If I got my way I'd be in the yard all day, or at the local nursery. The inside of my house on the weekends in the summer time...not so nice.
So anyways this long drawn out post was just a way to reminisce this past year and the years prior that brought us to this date, our one year anniversary as home owners.