Starting Over


It's been so bitter-sweet buying this new house. While I knew for a fact that we had outgrown our little home, it was a really difficult decision to leave it. We had lived there for nine years. It was our first home purchase and where we came home for the first time as a married couple. We spent our first night as husband and wife here, raised our babies here, and put in countless hours of work, blood, sweat, and tears to make it a home.

It took us all nine years to get the house "finished". We painted and repainted every single room. We put on a new roof, got a new furnace, converted to gas, put in a new water heater, landscaped, added a garden, installed hardwood floors, tiled the shower, tiled floors, painted cabinets, put in new counters, added a shiplap backsplash, new sink, faucet, hardware, and much, much, much more. We did it all while working full-time as teachers and raising a family.

Our new house isn't going to be one of those transformations that happen overnight. We aren't full-time bloggers like Sherry and John over at Young House Love. We don't have the money or star power to call in Emily Henderson or Jenny Komenda like Cup of Jo. But I'm excited to make this house feel every bit as much ours as the last one did. Even if it takes us nine years (although I'm hoping it doesn't!) Because we're planning to live here forever. '

It helps to soften the blow a little because when we visit our friends in the old neighborhood I can see that our little house is well loved and cared for. I feel like all of our hard work isn't going to waste, and I hope that the new family who lives there appreciates it as much as we did. I hope that they make as many wonderful memories as we have. And I hope that the house is set to last at least another hundred years.

I think that Lucy has already mostly forgotten her first home, but Violet is holding onto it fiercely. All of sudden out of the blue emotions will bubble up and she'll burst out with tears and wishes that she still lived in her old house with her little climbing tree and her secret garden and her room with her cozy bed nook. She misses romping through the neighborhood with all of her friends and taking walks around the corner to the park. I think that the move has been hardest on her. We have big plans to make her room feel a little more like her old one. She misses her birds and her clouds, and she's requested that her walls look just like her old ones did.

Lucy is excited for her dots to go back up on her wall, and she seems to regard photos and videos of her old crib with nostalgia, but she doesn't have the sadness over the loss of her first home that her sister has. Two is a much more flexible age, and she's taken the move in stride. She started climbing out of her crib just before the move, and I was nervous about switching her to a big girl bed and moving her to a new house all in the course of a few weeks. But except for a couple of weeks of rough nights for Kevin and I, everything has really been a lot easier than I expected with her.

A week or two after we put our house on the market, we were contacted by Sherwin Williams and Apartment Therapy about collaborating on a room makeover. We redid our master bedroom in the middle of trying to sell the house, and it felt insane to finally have the very last room finished only to move a few weeks later. I still feel sad and nostalgic when I drive through our old neighborhood, but I don't think I'd do anything differently. Our old house was perfect for our first chapter, and it will always have a big place in our hearts, but we're ready to make this new home ours. To make new memories and start the next chapter. We hope you'll follow along for the ride! I think it's going to be a great one. xo, Lauren


  1. We are about to put our first home on the market after 8 years living here and I feel very similarly. While I haven't done a fraction of the work to ours that you did to ours, we certainly have made an amazing number of memories. Just thinking about leaving gets me teary! I LOVED your house so much and have pinned just about every photo of it as inspiration. Your new house looks like it has SO MUCH potential so I can only imagine the blog posts you'll be sharing in the future. From one working mama to another, congratulations!

  2. I lived in my previous home just shy of 10 years and I don't think there was an inch of it that wasn't touched by paintbrush, sander or replacement part during our tenure. It was bittersweet leaving but we had also outgrown the home. The plus side was we got to build our own house and are happy here--still so much to do (so many plans--too many plans!!) but my 3 1/2 year old son still misses the old house even after 8 months and often asks to go back to the red house. This house provides him so much more space but there is something about that creaky old post war home he loves. I get how you must feel about Violet's attachment to your old home...Best of luck making your new house yours and I hear you on renovating on a real timeline. I bought 21 yards of fabric two months ago to sew curtains and just took the wrapping off that came when it was shipped.

  3. Wow, these images are just lovely! I've just found your blog and so your old house is new to me. I love the use of color, the way the rooms are uncluttered without being severe, and whimsical without being overly twee. I look forward to following the transformation of your new house, and hope it will give me many ideas for my own home (where we've lived for over 10 years and, um, it's nowhere near as nice and cohesive as yours!)



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