Goodbye to our first suburban home

Yesterday marked a sad day and some tears as the sale of our house was finalized. We closed on our house in the suburbs - a place we called home for the past five years, the only home our children have ever known. Good thing the kids are adjusting a lot better than their momma -- they've slept ok and haven't asked to go back to the other house yet. However I haven't slept well in days, still trying to adjust to our new home surroundings, feeling like we are just staying here for a bit and not forever.
We still have to drive by the old house for the next month in order for Brayden to get on the bus for kindergarten at his elementary school. I don't know why it's been so hard to let go of it, and I'm more than happy and thankful we have our new home, and I know the new owners will love it - but I've been so emotional about leaving.

Flying his first kite in backyard
I keep saying that it's not so much the house but what's happened in the house -- the milestones and memories that took place there -- that I just don't want to let go of. The loudest laughter, the silliest giggles and yet the worst yelling and crying all happened for us within these walls! Brayden was just 1 when we first moved to that house in early 2008. He had just learned how to walk. He drank what he called 'gim gim' (milk) from a bottle and took his paci to bed in his crib. We read books and said prayers in his nursery rocker. He did his first coloring of Big Bird on that playroom table, and his first markers on the playroom floor! He snuggled in our bed on Saturday mornings to watch Barney. He watched countless episodes of Caillou on the couch before nap time and wrestled with daddy on the living room floor each night. 
This house was where he graduated to a big boy bed just before age 3 and where he became a big brother to his twin sisters. Brayden learned how to ride a bike in the driveway and played 'garbage man' almost every day here for a year. The neighborhood pool is where he learned to swim and at age 3 met his first best friend across the street. This home is where the twins took their first steps. It's where all the girls had their first baths, behind that monkey shower curtain... The back yard is where the kids caught their first butterfly (Brayden cried when he had to let it go), where they chased fireflies to put in a jar and where they flew their first kite. It's where we had bumps and bruises and cuts and scrapes - so many bandaids here! The swingset is where Brayden and the girls learned to swing and where we would have Popsicles every summer afternoon after playing sidewalk chalk or going on a wagon ride to the neighborhood park. 
Brayden walking in our bedroom at Lantana for first time, age 1
I watched Brayden from the front doorstep here, as he boarded his first bus to school (so many of my tears - and he was only going two blocks down the street!) This kitchen counter is where my children helped daddy make pancakes on Sunday mornings and where they left notes and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. They hung their stockings from this fireplace mantle and ripped open presents under the tree in the living room at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning. It's where we enjoyed fun parties with friends and bonfires and s'mores out in the back yard on warm, summer nights. It's where I've laughed all night on the driveway with my neighbors - some of us with a drink in one hand and a brownie in the other. 
Saying goodbye, age 6 
This home was such a comfort to us --where we'd rest after coming home after a weekend trip to South Bend or a weeks long stay in Florida... our beds here couldn't have been any more cozy! It's where we buried two pet goldfish and a dead bird who battled with his reflection in our basement sliding glass door.
This is where I cried for days after losing two children to miscarriage and where we rejoiced in the birth of our miracle baby, Payton. I know Payton won't remember this house, and neither will the twins for that matter. Eventually Brayden's memories here will fade, too, I'm sure. But I will keep memories of this wonderful home in my heart, and will always remember my babies little here -- a precious time I will never get back. 
I look forward to making our new house a home, and filling it with laughter and joys and even tears, too. I pray the memories we create here will be as cozy and homey as the ones we had here at this home.


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