Monday, February 11, 2013

Our First Home

In 2008 we were living in Woods Cross, I was finishing my second year of teaching kindergarten in Layton, Dan was completing his masters degree coursework at the University of Utah while working in Bluffdale, and we found out we were expecting twins. We had a lot going on but the time was right for us to buy our first home. We looked around a lot and hired my friend Dustin who I had known since elementary school as our realtor. We made an offer on a fixer upper in American Fork that was refused, so we continued our search and decided to see some homes in Lehi. The last house we saw that day stole my heart. It just felt like home. It was open and bright and clean (something that it wasn't much in the time we lived there).  We made an offer that night.

Living in that house and neighborhood was just meant to be. We made good friends, had amazing neighbors who were so kind and helpful, and we were given challenges and callings in our ward to help us grow in ways that we never expected. 3 of our 4 children were brought home from the hospital to this home. It wasn't the perfect house--it had its quirks and was in need of some updates--but it was the perfect home. We loved it and I cried for months when we had to sell it.

We loved that yard! Dan built 2 retained flower beds in the front yard using blocks he got for free from a wall that was being rebuilt by some clients he worked for. We put in pavers on both sides of the driveway to make it more functional (and a lot more beautiful). We planted tons of tulips and daffodils and peonies that I will really miss this spring. We had preschoolers, ward members, and chickens running around in our enormous back yard. We loved our grapes and cherries we grew and the big garden that we experimented with each year. I loved harvesting and sharing our eggs and veggies with the neighbors. It made me feel so productive that we could "live off the land." I learned how to make jams and can tomatoes and all of those other things that productive people do.

I used money from my preschool to update the master bedroom. I bought new dressers, hung new artwork in there, and painted the walls a really pretty color of blue. I think it was called morning jog. I sewed new curtains. But I only got to enjoy the whole thing for 2 months before we left. I thought it looked really pretty.

I loved the big windows in the kitchen, I could see the kids running around and jumping on the trampoline. It filled the house with light. Beth's sister Heather gave us that cool chandelier over the table and we bought the table and chairs from IKEA for a steal.

The chalk wall and shelves happened because Dan was sick of hitting his head on the weird shaped cabinet that had been there. I came home one night and he'd taken in down.  I loved the solution we came up with to use that space and the kids loved being allowed to draw on the wall. We replaced the stove and added the built in microwave. I loved them.

My favorite room was the living room. I loved how you could talk to people from the kitchen. I thought the open bannister thing between the dining area and the living room was so great for parties. The living room had beautiful big windows with fun striped valences I made and colorful pillows. I loved the map we hung on the wall that we got at a Davis School District surplus sale when I taught school in Layton. The yellow entertainment center was from Joel and Beth.

The bathroom was updated over the summer. We tore out the ugly pink vanity, and linoleum floor, and put in a new vanity we got for a good deal at home depot and new tile. I painted the walls while Dan did pretty much everything else. We also got our mirror cut down a little and then added molding around it to finish it nicely. I loved how it turned out.

The bedroom downstairs had been Dan's office while he was working on his master's thesis. But when Maggie and the twins were preschool age, it was the perfect time for me to start a home preschool business like I had dreamed of. We kicked Dan's office to the closet in the basement storage room and turned the downstairs family room and bedroom into a preschool toy room and learning room.  I really enjoyed teaching and being able to stay at home with my own kids. It was a perfect situation for me and nice way to make some extra money.

Maggie's room was another of my favorite rooms in the house! I painted her dresser and really loved how it turned out. I made the cute pink pom poms hanging from her ceiling from a Martha Stewart kit I bought at Michael, but they would be easy enough without the kit. The cute bed and mosquito net are from IKEA. I made the chalkboard and it used to hang in the living room before it made its way to Maggie's room. I loved the wall color but it was that color when we bought the house so I don't know what color it was.

The twins' room was also very cute. I hung the manly tool alphabet cards when the twins were babies. I  got them at hip and humble. I made the banner that said Will and Coleman for the twins' circus birthday party when they turned 3. The red cedar chest was from Dan's mom. We sanded and painted it. The big iron bed has been passed around my family for decades. I slept on it when I was little. My mom bought it at a flea market in New York in the 70s. We got it back from a cousin in New Mexico a few years ago, Maggie had slept on it before it made its way to the twins' room.

When I think of our cute Lehi house and all of the work we did on it and all of the memories we made in it, I feel sad. I miss it. But mostly I feel grateful for the experiences we had and the growth we made as a family. When we bought the house we were a family of 3, we left as a family of 6. I thought that it would be our forever home, but at least we will have those memories forever.


Amanda D said...

Your home was beautiful! You have a talent for decorating. Will we see a post about your current space?

Tigersue said...

We are going to miss you. Thanks for being a good friend. Love you always.

Vhari said...

The great thing is, is as amazing as you made that house, you're going to make this one even better. I can't wait to see what you do. Can you come fix my places? I'm amazed at the dresser, your room and the preschool, but really I love how you did the whole house! Amazing!

Andee Crismon said...

Darling! I can see why you were sad to leave it! But think of the FUN you'll have recreating it in your NEW place!!

jww said...

So many of the things you said here were word-for-word what I said about leaving our house in WA. We worked SO HARD on it. We brought our babies home from the hospital there. I thought it would be our "forever" home. It was a hard thing to accept, so I totally get how you felt. You really DID do a fantastic job on it!!! It's beautiful!! I'm glad you took pictures--that was my best move. That way, we can still look back and remember fondly.

K said...

So I just realized - now Gin will have to visit you on the WAY here.


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