It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.
(our home in 2008, before renovations)
(our home in 2012)
The time has come, to say goodbye to our very first home. I am not sure how you leave a home where the very best memories of our life together were created, but on Monday, we will say goodbye, forever.
People say that memories will always be kept close to your heart, which is true, but I feel like each room of this home physically holds memories, and we will never be able to walk into these rooms again.
So many people have stayed in our home, friends & family, for holidays or weekend visits. My mom refers to one of the rooms as “her room”. One time, I think we had 8 people sleeping in our house all at the same time. We have hosted numerous dinners, picnics, girls’ nights, poker nights, and play dates in our home.
There are so many memories, I will try to share my absolute favorites, the ones that have touched our hearts and strengthened our relationship, making us who we are as a family.
The Beginning: Renovations & Engagement
Greg purchased this home in June 2008, on his own, because after all…”I am not living with you until we are engaged.” Well, school was about to start, my lease was up, and there was a lot more room for my stuff, so I moved in without being engaged. I had also spend the last 3 months painting and helping with renovations, so I had already earned my keep.
Before we moved in, we painted every square inch of the house, ripped up every piece of carpet, (had a dumpster in the drive for weeks), gutted the basement, tile floored the basement, and ripped out the iron railings on the inside of the house. We also had a lot of help from our parents!
House renovations, was only the beginning of realizing how handy Greg really is, I love this quality about him. Over the past 4 years Greg has completed 6 home renovations himself and we have hired help for 3. Greg’s blood, sweat and tears are all over this house. It is because of his dedication to his house we have created a home. Below are my favorite renovations completed by Greg (and family too).
Game room before & after:
Railing before & after:
Kitchen before & after:
Bar before & after:
We lived in our home for two and a half months before I had a ring on my finger. Greg proposed on October 25, 2008 (the day of our annual Halloween party). It was a perfectly planned engagement. He proposed in our newly finished basement with “Will you Marry me?” pumpkins, an hour before the party started. Minutes later, my best friend was at the door (traveled in from NYC) and then, one by one, my friends arrived, and I was able to share the news and celebrate all night with them!
Halloween has been my thing since 2005 and Greg quickly joined in on my love for the holiday. Having a house allowed for a lot more décor, including my favorite, the cemetery in the front yard. This year will be Halloween party #9 & in a new house!
The Middle: Wedded Bliss & Baby
We planned a NY wedding while living in PA. Many of the wedding details were decided & created while in this home. We celebrated our bachelor/bachelorette parties on the same day and briefly overlapped at our home. All of our wedding gifts filled & decorated our home. My gift to Greg was a hand painted picture of our first home together. We were married September 5, 2009 in Rochester, NY, and returned to our home in PA.
We enjoyed a year of nesting newlyweds in our home. We planned our honeymoon 9 months after our wedding, to St. Lucia, in June of 2010. We found out later that summer that we would be having our first baby. I found out on July 24, 2010 at 4:30am, and did not share with Greg for over 24hrs because I needed him out of the house, in order to plan the announcement the way I had envisioned.
I decorated the computer room with Daddy books, pink & blue balloons, a banner that said, “Future Home of Baby H", pink & blue flowers, a cake that said, “We love Daddy”, daddy songs from a playlist on the computer and video camera in hand. He came home from baseball and found out he was going to be a daddy! Baby planned to arrive April 6, 2011.
In August 2010, we had our closest family over for a picnic. It was the first and only time where all of our siblings were in the same room, in our home. We made the announcement that we were having a baby with an adorable cake.
We spent the next 9 months in our home preparing for baby, who was often referred to as “BH”. We decided on a Winnie-the-Pooh themed nursery, just like what I had as a baby. We ordered furniture, painted the room, and filled the closest with the cutest little things.
To our surprise, BH arrived 5.5 weeks early, and we became parents overnight. Unfortunately we came home without our baby in hand, but 2 weeks later on March 14, 2011, we walked through the door as a family of three. Victoria was home!
Over the next year we spent many sleepless nights together. I can vividly remember the early morning hours, rocking V to sleep in the quietness of our home. We learned how to become parents in this home. (we are still learning…)
The End: Moving On
We have spent 4 years in our first home. Four years sounds like a short amount of time, but when you created some of the most cherished memories of your life, those become 4 precious years, years that would not have been the same if we were not living in this home together.
Ever since Greg & I started dating we would talk about our future home. The home we would raise children in, create a lifetime of memories in and grow old together in. We often would refer to it as our “Dream Home”, a home we so badly wanted, but never knew if we would actually have someday.
In the beginning of June we walked into a home and the “Dream Home” feeling overwhelmed us, we just knew, this was the one. We had saved our entire life for our dream home and now in just a few days that home will be our reality. It will become our Forever Home. The transition to our new home is bittersweet.
We will never forget the memories that were created in our first home, but look forward to creating many, many more in our forever home.
(Our New Home)
We are excited to begin this new chapter of life together as a family.