Monday, July 29, 2013

This house was made for memories: a goodbye

Tonight, we drove over to our house in Prairie Village one last time.  We pulled into our driveway and opened our garage door and walked into our house one last time.  Tomorrow, the new owners close on our house.  Everything is out of our house, so walking in was totally different, but I walked around it one last time.  On the floors that we picked out, the walls that we painted and the tile that we (well, Jimmy and Dave) installed.

The rooms that we laughed, cried, planned, dreamed and were all empty.  It was sad.  I cried and held my husband.  He laughed, but I know he was sad too.  Cannot believe that four years have passed since we bought this house.  I cannot believe how much our lives have changed since May 2009.  For sure for the better.  We are so blessed to have had this wonderful home for the last four years and are excited (even though I'm sad, I am excited) to pass it onto the next family.  The sweet family moving in will be welcoming a little baby boy at the end of next month.  I saw this post on a great blog that I read and just knew that I had to not only document my feelings about this house, but pass them on to the family that is moving in.  So that's what I did.  I wrote them a letter on my blog, printed it out and left it for them on the kitchen island, with a bottle of wine, to be consumed whenever they choose.  It was bittersweet walking out and I cried some more, but it is a good thing.  We are so excited for our new house that we close on in just 9 days - but driving by this house again will be very hard.

So here you have it.  Our last picture of Jimmy and I in our house on a rainy night in July.  {363 days earlier I was SUPER pregnant with Charlie - which is so crazy!!!}

Dear new owners of this house:

To say you are walking into a house that is filled with great memories over the past 50+ years is an understatement.  What I should really tell you is that you have just bought a house that was made for the best memories.  The kind that are life changing and you want to relive again and again.  

My husband and I bought this house a month after we got engaged in 2009.  I was 23 and he had just turned 25.  We had searched and searched for a house that was going to be our house for months.  When we first saw this house, I immediately dismissed it being on our list because it looked like it was straight out of the past - wallpaper everywhere, pink/burgundy walls, pink and light blue tile and dark wood paneling.  But my husband had fallen in love.  He said it had good "bones".  So I tried hard to see past it all and envision how we could transform this house into our perfect house.

Over the last 4 years, that is exactly what we did; from replacing all the landscaping and adding a cute front porch and a new driveway outside, to ripping the 2 full bathrooms down to the studs and updating them.  We painted every room (some rooms twice) and spent our first wedding anniversary ripping up the old carpet upstairs to find beautiful hardwood floors that just needed to be refinished underneath.  My dad is a seasoned handyman and with the help of him and some of our friends with talents we lacked (tiling and plumbing), we slowly but surely transformed this house into our home.

But don't think that it was the transformation projects that truly made this house a special place.  While we spent a lot of our time and money updating this house, what truly made it special to us was how it was our constant place during 4 years that were full of life changes.  As I mentioned before, we were just engaged when we bought this house.  We planned our wedding in this house - from making our invitations on the kitchen table to a pre-wedding meltdown over alphabetizing place cards (crazy bride!!) - there was lots of talk about our future together.  We even took some of our wedding pictures in this house.  And finally, we came home from our honeymoon to this house and spent hours and hours excited about our lives together in this house, wondering what was ahead of us!

From birthday parties to Christmas parties to random get togethers, this house has seen its fair share of good times.  We even decided that the wall between the kitchen and the dining room just had to go because it really didn't work well with entertaining (I'm sure you agree!).  We learned how marriage "works" in this house - or our attempt at it.  We figured out how to have hard conversations, manage our finances and sat in the family room talking about our dreams and the future.  This house saw it all and helped us learn and love each other for who we are and become a great team.

And this last year?  Well, this last year this house saw a lot of love.  This house will always be so special to us because this is where we found out we were going to be parents to our sweet little boy.  It still makes me sad to leave this house because this is where our lives changed forever.  We worked so hard to decorate his nursery just right and tried to think of everything we could do to make this house ready for his arrival.  And when he arrived the last day of July 2012 and we brought him home a few days later - this house welcomed one more child into its memory books.  This is where we spent sleepless nights feeding our little man and rocking him to sleep.  This is where we heard him laugh for the first time and watched him eat solids for the first time.  We watched him start crawling in this house and watched him take his first step.  I will never forget when I was standing at the island in the kitchen and he pulled up on my legs and said mama for the first time - my heart melted.  This will always be a special place to us because we saw our little newborn baby boy transform into a toddler in this house.  I'm positive that over the last 50+ years, this house has been the home to many families and has welcomed many brand new babies.  We are so excited for you all that this is the place you get to bring your brand new baby boy home to.  And that you will get to watch him grow here and see your lives transform as parents.  

On July 31, 2013, our little man will turn one year old and you all will be the new owners of this wonderful house.  It is a little bittersweet, but we are excited for the new memories we will be making in our new house, but just had to let you know how special our time in this house has been.  You have so much to look forward to as your family grows to three and we are confident that this house will be the perfect place.  Make sure to enjoy time together in the beautiful backyard with all the trees that we will miss dearly.  Go on walks down the beautiful streets of Prairie Village.  On cold nights, snuggle up in the downstairs family room in front of the fireplace.  

We love this house and it will always hold such a special place in our hearts for so many reasons.  We know that this house will be the place for so many memories for you all as well.

If these walls could talk, I am confident they would tell you stories from the past 50+ years of love and laughter and happiness.  We wish you all the best of luck as you welcome your baby boy into this world and bring him home to this house.  We know that this house will be all the things it was to us over the last 4 years to you all and more.  We can only hope that our next house will capture the memories and joy as this house did.

To see pictures of this house as it transformed over the last 4 years, you can always check out my blog:

Cheers to many happy memories,

Brittany, Jimmy and Charlie Carter

{Our last family photo in front of our first house}
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  1. Man, it got me again....I need to stop reading this letter

  2. So sweet Brittany, I'm tearing up at work!

  3. I'm crying Brittany! Thanks :) You are a great writer! It's nice that Charlie will be able to look at the blog and see his first house!

  4. I'm sobbing! Love you guys! Onward and upward. :)

  5. Aw, the sweetest thing ever. How beautifully bittersweet :)

  6. tears! so bittersweet! love you guys and loved this house. Can't wait for more memories in your new place! xoxoxo

  7. Stalked your blog to find this letter and now I'm super emotional about leaving mine! But like you said, it's such a good thing! Onto bigger and better!