Eight years ago, my husband and I bought our first house. It needed some work but was heavily discounted. It had a nice-sized yard, a large kitchen, two good bedrooms and an extra bonus room. It had potential. We made it our home. When our daughters were born, we brought them home and remodeled multiple times to accommodate our growing family. I love that house. This summer, though, after years of living below our means and sticking to a loose budget, and after years of being teased for our frugal ways, we found what we can only describe as our dream home. After carefully weighing the options, we took a leap of faith and put an offer on the house. Here I sit almost three months later in my new bigger house, and I’m extremely thankful for what our family has become.
Living minimally is a pretty big trend these days. When I peruse Pinterest for home decorating ideas, I come across several posts about just how small of a space you can live in comfortably. I love the idea of being more environmentally friendly and reducing my carbon footprint and I hate having a mortgage, so I definitely understand how some of these homes (500 square feet of space with a family bed loft, anyone?) can seem appealing. In fact, our old house was just over 1,000 square feet with five of us living in it, all sharing one very small bathroom. Our living room tripled as our family room and play room (quadrupled actually, as it was also my office.) Our kitchen was also our dining room and typically where we did homework, too. It was quaint. It was charming. We are a very close family, so it worked.
I absolutely love our new house. Awaiting our closing date, though, I often had anxiety attacks late at night after tucking in our girls. I pondered if having more space (we have almost 2,100 square feet now) would cause us to drift apart. In the new house, I have an actual office, so when I work I’m no longer on the couch alongside my husband. Our girls now have an actual playroom, so when I’m cooking dinner they aren’t giggling by the fridge. I worried. I fretted. I cried. I almost dreaded losing the closeness that we had.
Bigger House, Closer Family
And then, we moved. And something very, very surprising happened. We are an even closer family than we were before. Sure, we have a bunch more space, but what that does is allow us to not be on top of each other anymore. Each of us can use the restroom without being interrupted. The girls don’t have to stand in the hallway to brush their teeth anymore. Instead of taking two hours to finish my work because I’m distracted by whatever my husband is working on, I have space to think and develop ideas, and my blog posts are done in just 30 minutes or so. Now I spend time with my husband without my laptop interfering. Everyone needs their moments of personal space. And now we can all have those moments without stealing them from each other.
This past week as I was cooking dinner, I stared out the giant window above my kitchen sink. The window was open and fresh air was pouring in. I heard gleeful screams coming from our private backyard and I watched my girls dance and run and slide and swing. I shouted out, “Boo!” and they fell to the grass in a pile of shakes and laughing. (Not every moment has been this good.) I realized that a close family doesn’t come from a small house or a bigger house; it comes from the people in the family. All my worrying was for nothing because no matter where we end up, we are home right by each other’s sides.
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Tags: big house