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A bittersweet good-bye

While we are so excited about our new house, the past two weeks have been bittersweet saying good-bye to our old house.  Technically we aren’t saying good-bye – we decided to keep our old house as a rental. (Kenny is convinced the only way to keep our kids in San Diego is to bribe them with housing.)  ;)  But while we still own the house, we have been saying good-bye to living in a house/neighborhood that we loved.  Our first home.  The one I brought all of my babies home to.  It has been a happy and sad time for our family all at once.  
My parents came to help us move.  My dad brought his truck and we spent several days packing and moving all of the small stuff.  My mom brought a quilt my grandma made – the last one she made before she died – to give me as a housewarming gift.  (As if I wasn’t emotional enough!)  Our last night in the house we all sat on it together and had root beer floats.  

Addison asked if she could sleep with my grandma’s blanket that night.  

We hired movers to move all of the big furniture on a Saturday.  I snapped this picture that morning.  It was the last morning waking up with my kids in our house and Kole’s last night in a crib.  The picture is blurry – I was rushed trying to get everything ready for the movers.  But I’m so glad I took two seconds to snap it.  El was getting Kole out of his crib like she did so many mornings.  She always loved to be the first one up and to get Kole out of his crib.  Now when I look at this picture I get a lump in my throat.

My parents took the kids for a few hours that morning so we could help the movers.  The whole time they were loading our furniture Kenny kept looking at me weird.  I asked him why and he said “I’m just waiting for you to break down and bawl.”  He knows me so well.  :)  But I was tough that day.  In total work mode – ready to get the move behind us.

 It wasn’t until the next day.  When I went back to the old house to double check that we had everything and to clean it up for the renters.  I walked around room to room.

I could see my baby girls running around in dress-ups.  
I could see our evening routine – giving them a bath and putting them in matching p’j’s.  I’ve always loved bath and pj time with little ones.  It signals the day is winding down and we are all home for the night.  Together.

 I could see so many sweet moments between my kids.  Because at times like this you don’t remember the fighting.  You remember the laughing and the hugging.

 I could see all three of my babies. 

And how fast they grew right in front of my eyes in that house.  
And the tears flowed.  
And they flowed some more.  
And I called Kenny at work and said “I’m at the old house” and started sobbing.  
He knew it was coming. 
It’s not hard to say good-bye to a house.  
It’s hard to say good-bye to special memories and to the end of an era.  
A really happy era that I will tuck away and treasure in my heart forever.  
The kids have been feeling it too.  Addison loves her new room, but cried the first two nights we slept in the new house missing her old room.  Grandma’s blanket helped.  
Kole keeps asking me when we are going “home.”  He says “I’m all done at the lot mommy.  I want to go home to my house now.”  
He thinks we are having a little slumber party that’s going to end at some point.  
I can go from being blissfully happy in my new house to being in tears at the drop of a hat depending on what I’m unpacking.  
So while we feel so blessed to be in our new home, we are definitely going through a bit of a transition.  
I know it will just take time.

I also know that someday, much sooner than I can imagine, I will be walking through the rooms of our new house feeling the exact same way.

xoxo, Erin
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48 thoughts on “A bittersweet good-bye

  1. It’s crazy how we attach our memories to things. I still, after 30 years, drive by our old home and get teary about the memories. BUT, our house now is HOME and I am thankful. Can’t wait to see your grand babies be raised in the old house !! :) (Come on, you know you want them to want to get married and live there!!!:))

    Looking forward to a tour of your new home!

  2. Ohhhhh, I am thinking of you and felt very emotional reading this as I feel like I have followed your journey ( even though I am terrible and leaving comments.) Sending you lots of love and warmth. Totally understand how you all feel.

    Love Kim from Australia

  3. This post had me in tears! We are currently trying to sell our home and if it doesn’t sell we will be renting it out. I have already had so many tears for the exact same reason, so so many happy moments, hard ones too but so many great ones.You are so right, time is all it takes, but I hope that time goes slowly because I don’t want my kids growing up any faster!! Best wishes to you all in your lovely new home :)

  4. Oh Erin, I know what you are talking about – I, too am having a hard time with the kids growing up so fast! My oldest daughter started middle school this year, and,even though it is almost November, I still haven’t gotten used to it!! Your new house is beautiful, and it won’t be long before it becomes your home!!

  5. Oh my goodness, you almost had me crying! Im not a crier but that post was very heartfelt. My mom had to sell the house we all grew up in, after my Dad passed and I remember going through the rooms and we talked about all the good times. Time is on your side, for a nice transition. Time gives up the memories to build and the time to transition. Congratulations to your new Happy Home! :)

  6. Great post. You had me teary. Raising children and watching a family change is very bittersweet. But, as you said, so many more incredible memories ahead in your gorgeous new home. I hope that happens today! Congratulations!

  7. I remember when we moved to our house my son kept asking the same thing. We went to visit our neighbors about a week later and he climbed the steps to the front door and wanted to go in! It took a couple of weeks and our new house felt like home. You guys will get there in time :)
    Your house is beautiful by the way and I can’t wait to see more pictures!

  8. Oh, you’re making me cry too Erin! I’m so happy for you and the beautiful house you’ve built. But I totally feel your pain of leaving the old one behind and how much of a transition it is for the kids!

    We were supposed to move in the spring (fell through so we’re staying put now) and the one thing I dreaded the most was leaving our current home. Like you, the home that I brought my kids home in and where we shared all the early years together as a couple and as a family. My son was so happy when he heard we were staying… he doesn’t like change any more than his mommy :)

    I know you’ll get there… with time and patience. So will the kids… because you’ll be helping them make new memories while honouring the old!

  9. I’m so glad you posted this.
    Even exciting changes are sometimes hard.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Congrats on your new home!
    As you make new memories, we’ll look forward to enjoying some of them with you on your blog.

  10. I had the same issues when we moved a few years back. We too kept our house as a rental and it is just so sad going back and seeing others living in “our” home. I always remind myself what a good problem that is to have though, I am very blessed :)

  11. I have tears in my eyes now after reading this and seeing these sweet pics of your adorable children. Like you said it’s just the transition that is hard but you all will get through it quickly. I still remember when we were signing the closing papers on our current home (our 1st home but a starter house) that the former owner was crying. She kept apologizing and I was just a little concerned that she was so upset to be selling her home. But this was the home she had brought all her babies home from the hospital to. And now I’ve done the same thing so I will totally be in this same boat when we ever move from this house.

  12. My friend sent me an email to look up your blog. We are building a house too. I can completely relate to your feelings on leaving your house full of memories. So hard! I have loved seeing your new home and all the fresh colors and ideas. Thanks! Here’s to happy new memories to fill your home. :)

  13. Erin, I had the exact same feelings when we sold our first home 2 years ago. I think saying goodbye to it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. BOTH my husband and I cried! It was almost exactly the same situation – our first house, our HOME, the little house we brought 3 babies home in. I would even walk thru when it was empty and I was alone and talk to the walls! It was very hard.

    My daughter was 7 when we moved and she still misses the house and also cried the first couple nights. It does get easier with time. I think it will be easier for you than it was for me because you truly got to build a dream home that you designed and there aren’t a lot of “compromises” you had to make. You have a lot of fun times ahead! You will always have the memories of your beautiful first home.

    I also feel selling our first home was a serious growing experience (for me) – it taught me about getting too attached to walls and things. Sounds cliché but it was a learning experience.

  14. Your post made me tear up too. We have been in our new house for 6 months now and Noah still asks somedays to go back to the yellow house. He is 4. Noel is 2 so she probably won’t ever remember it. The memories are what pull at my heart. Mike knew I was going to breakdown too and it was when everything was out of the old house n the emotions had to come out. The hardest part is to see how fast the kids grow up. Ugh more tears. But now comes the fun part of organizing! Amy in Wisconsin.

  15. Oh, this post makes me so emotional! I know exactly how you feel. When I was in high school we moved from my childhood home- the home that both my brother and I grew up in and also the home that my mom grew up in and my grandparents built!

    It was so hard to leave- and I hated the house we moved into at first, because it wasn’t the same. Now, I can’t imagine my parents moving from the house that they live in, the house that they built and we moved into all those years ago, but they are trying to sell it!

    It’s weird how a house can become a home so quickly, your kids will settle into it and not want to go back to the old house- it will just take time!

    Good luck to you, and enjoy every second of the unpacking and organizing process!

  16. I moved out of my house in May but because my husband and I got divorced and he kept the house. I was so emotional packing! Yes, it’s just a house but like you said it’s the memories there! It was the house we built, where I too brought my babies home and also where I grew into a woman! Your new house looks amazing! You will make new memories in your new home and love it as well! Good luck unpacking and organizing!

  17. Aww… This will be me soon as we’re getting ready to leave our house of 12 years this weekend. So many memories. Enjoy your new house, it’s beautiful!

  18. It has made me feel SO much better hearing from you all today. I’ve loved all of your stories – you get it! We’ve all gone through this same sort of thing. Your comments have cheered me up immensely. Thank you so much everyone.

    Nonny – ha ha.. yes! That’s the plan! :)

    Kim – thank you so much. I loved hearing from you today.

    Emma – thank you! Did you find a home? Congrats to your family and good luck with the transition. We will go through it together. :)

    Susan – middle school!? I don’t think I’d be getting used to that either! And I’ll be in your shoes before I turn around. It’s hard that they grow so quickly. :(

    Valerie – congrats on building!

    Amber – I’m sorry to hear about everything you’ve gone through. Change is so hard! Good or bad change. Thank you for your sweet comment.

  19. For God’s sake Erin, I had to run up and get tissues! You have me bawling. I remember feeling the same…I was doing all fine in the new house, so excited about all the changes, and then about a month into it, I went on a bike ride with Abbey and rode by the old house, and was bawling so hard (thank you sunglasses) that I could hardly make it home. Jeff thought something terrible happened, but I just cried for about an hour, on the back patio, and said, “I want it back!!! Buy me the house back!!!” Like Father of the Bride Part Two. The adjustment just takes time and that’s all. So sweet..I remember that picture of Kole in that froggy towel, seems like just yesterday! :)

  20. Just like you built your new house, you will build new memories. Tuck the memories from the old house in your heart. You may not live in that house anymore, but your sweet memories will always live with you.

  21. I know what you are going through. We just moved into our dream home 4 weeks ago after living in our old home for over 15 years. We moved in just the two of us and left a family of 5. I really do not miss the house but I too miss all the memories we made there. The front porch that I took every Holiday picture of the kids.

    I am looking forward to seeing pictures of your new home!

  22. I went through that each time our family moved when I was growing up, quite often I might add. I cannot even begin to imagine packing up a house and moving with so many memories attached with the kiddos. We moved in our current home when Elie was 2 1/2 (she is now almost 24). It may happen in the distant future, but I kinda hope not, at least for now. Being in the home they grew up in is comforting now that one is on her own and the other at the university.

  23. Crying over here!!! It will all pass soon Erin, and you’ll be making new memories. The kids are still so little, and you have so much to look forward to in the new house. I remember all the old pictures you posted. So sweet and a good reminder of how fast time goes.

  24. Your post made me sad! Be thankful for all of the good memories and all of the photos you took to capture them. You will make tons of new memories in your new house in no time! Christmas will be extra-special this year =) Just a thought – do you think it would it help Kole to see your old house without any furniture in it to help him know that he doesn’t live there anymore? Or would that just confuse him and make him sad? Just something to think about.

    Hang in there and work on unpacking! WE WANT PICTURES! =)

  25. Congrats on the move Erin! Your new home is gorgeous! I knew exactly how you felt when I walked through my empty house after we moved out. And my little boy also kept asking when we were going to go home. And now we’ve been here for almost a year and it’s fun to have started making memories in our new home. Enjoy!

  26. I’m feeling sad too as I read your post today. Change is always hard for me… I like to plant my roots… and when many memories are attached to a place, a home, especially where you brought your babies home, it’s hard. Children are more resilient than we realize, and maybe us too? In time, your kids will remember your current home as home and certainly many more memories will be made there. Your family is still young. Once you start making those holiday memories, birthdays, etc it will become home in no time. :)

  27. I totally relate to this post. We have been in our new home, new town for three years now and I still feel sentimental about our old house. The day we had to turn over the keys to the new owners, I walked through the house one last time. I had just spent the night before scrubbing every surface. It was completely spotless and shiny. I took pictures of every room, from lots of angles. I still look through those pictures every now and then and get a little melancholy. Houses mean so much!

  28. Erin, long time no see :) Maybe it will help that the holidays are coming up – not a better time to start making new memories and make it feel like home.

  29. Beautifully written. I cried for you. I love how we tend to remember the good and fun memories in places. And yes, soon you’ll be making them in the new house.

  30. Erin & Kenny,
    Congratulations on the new house! I’m so excited for you guys. Thanks for sharing a little piece of your life with us.

  31. You are all so good to me! Thank you so much for taking the time to cheer me up. It means so much to me. I read each of your comments twice. :)

  32. Just as well I was eating chocolate when I read your post Erin, otherwise I’d be bawling too! I can relate to all of it. You are such a lovely Mum. Congratulations to you both on your lovely new home. I guess you’ll soon be creating some new Halloween memories in your new neighbourhood – enjoy! xx

  33. I feel bad for you that your feeling a bit down, the good thing is that you have your blog so you can look back on your memories in that house which will keep them fresh and alive. When you find yourself getting sad about it, try and do something to keep busy and not think about it. Your kids are still young and you have plenty of time to see them enjoy their childhood in the new house. It will be great and at least you can still “own” your first home so that might make it a little easier. Hang in there!!!

    Also this is totally random, but you mentioned the new tv for Kenny, I was going to suggest buying him the breaking bad series set…its around 200.00 and totally worth it. Unless he already has watched the series? I started watching it and had a marthon, its that good. Anyway it would be a fun gift for him and you to watch on your new tv!

  34. I felt the same way when we moved 2 years ago from our first home that we totally fixed up and brought our boys home to. We have that house as a rental too, and I was sobbing as I drove away the last day! 2 years later, and we’ve got new renters and it’s totally less sad, as we’ve made wonderful new memories in our new house. You have lots of special memories to come :) ~gina

  35. Oh, Erin. I totally understand where you are coming from. My husband and I are currently building a new house and will be moving in 2 months. It is going to be a very bittersweet move. My husband built our current house himself when we were newly married. Our house has so many memories…Nate and friends helping construct the house, bringing home our new puppy (now an old dog), bringing home our first born as well as our twin boys. The excitment of the new house and building can be all consuming, but I know once moving day is here, we will all be sad. My boys are 4 now, so I hope they understand that we won’t come back to the old house. I don’t think I will be able to handle those questions! I also think something that makes it tougher for both of us is that we aren’t moving FOR something like a job or to be closer to family. We are moving because we out grew our home. Good luck to you and your family in building memories in the new house.

  36. We are so happy to be moving to San Diego in December! Wish I had found your blog earlier, we are gonna need a rental ( La Mesa would be nice).

    When my twins were four, we moved from NY to TX-and while my daughter was all about a new bed/room/decor
    ( her mother’s daughter for sure)my son would ask every day when he was going back to his “real house…”

    It didn’t last too long, but it would break my heart every time he said it. Enjoy your beautiful new home! I’m glad I found your blog :)

  37. Oh yes, I remember how hard it was walking through the empty house and finding a little Polly Pocket in the girls’ old closet. :-( Even the big boulder out front where the kids climbed and sold lemonade made me tear up. So glad you can build many memories in a home you can stay in for a very long time.

  38. We have moved many times and I know how emotional it can be–and you’re right–it’s the memories that get you. :)

    I’m so glad to hear that you have finally moved in though! Once you are settled, I’m sure you’ll be glad to get back to “normal” life. :)

  39. First of all, your new hairdo looks awesome. Good for you and I am so proud of you! Woot Woot. It’s so nice to do an all around change. Even though your new home is amazing it’s so hard for it to feel like “home” again. In a couple weeks you all will feel much better. I recently moved and it took me a while before I could get use to a new routine. I just rescued a dog from a shelter and he is having a hard time adjusting too. I know how you feel. This to shall pass. (hopefully)

  40. Thank you so much everyone! Such kind, heartfelt comments. You are all the best and have made me feel so much better during this transition.


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