Words cannot express how excited I am to finally see some progress on our “house.” (I say “house” in quotation marks because as of yet no actual, physical, visible progress has been made on building of said house. It’s all still on paper and in my head.). I have wanted to build a house forever; my husband…took a little convincing. But now he’s totally on board, and frequently says, “This house is going to be awesome.” We refer to it as the Forever House, or sometimes Zona – the name my daughter came up with out of the blue. We like the idea of our house having a name, like Tara. But in my head, it’s just home.
I have always craved a place that was truly my own. As a child, I longed for a playhouse, a treehouse, a bit of space that was completely mine. I loved building forts. I begged my parents to buy an RV and park it in our side yard so I could have a place to play. I loved the books Mandy and The Boxcar Children, and envied those lucky orphan children with places of their own!
I am also very affected by the space around me. While my husband could care less about clutter, dirt, style, decor, etc. – give him a comfy chair and a computer and he’s happy – I have to have everything just so. I like arranging things to make them more visually appealing, I hate clutter, and I find it hard to live in a space without trying to improve it. It also really affects my mood; I find it very difficult to concentrate in cluttered spaces, and get very anxious when everything is disorganized. A little OCD? Yes. A little hard to live with? YES. (Sorry, babe!) But at least I make things pretty!
Of course, when I grew up and moved out, I could arrange things however I wanted (until I had kids, that is). I had a place of my own. Several of them, in fact. But the problem was, none of them was forever. First a dorm, knowing I would leave after a year. Then a college apartment, with plans to graduate after three more years. Then med school, residency, rental houses and apartments, plus a few hurricanes thrown in for extra moving goodness. Even when we owned the place we were living in, we knew it was only for a short time. There was always a deadline, a timeline, a ticking clock in the background. When we finally move this last time, it will be my 15th move in 31 years (ok, ok…32). I crave a home, not just a house. I want my kids to have memories of the house they grew up in. I want them to bring their own families back someday. I want them to show their kids the pantry door with their heights marked in Sharpie, the window they broke playing catch, the place they carved their first crush’s initials on the windowsill. I want to have my touch in every wall, every paint color, every leaky faucet and squeaky stair. I want every surface of the house to be burnished with memory, with meaning, with family and love. I want to build a home.
A Forever Home.
Since I’m not really sure how to go about doing this, I guess I’ll just have to begin. I’m writing this blog for a couple reasons: to chronicle the journey of building a house, to have fun with a few crafty/DIY projects, and to hopefully do a better job of recording, and remembering, our lives.
We are at the (not-quite) beginning of our house-building process. We have the lot, plans, engineering, and the contract with the builder. Our construction loan is being approved next week (hopefully). Habitat for Humanity came to assess the existing house on the lot today, and can begin the process of dismantling it next week. I will post some pics of the house as-is, and then after deconstruction. After our loan is approved we can file for our demo permit, and then the real fun begins! We also have a meeting with the plumbing store on Monday to choose our plumbing fixtures. It seems a bit early, but the builder said it was the first set of things that needed to be chosen, and we are DETERMINED that construction will not be held up because of a decision we need to make. Oh, and did I mention that we want to be in the house by Thanksgiving? A tight timeline to be sure.
Words cannot express how excited I am to start construction. I will write a separate post explaining why exactly this means so much to me, but at the moment, let’s just say I am VERY excited. Like not-being-able-to-sleep-the-night-before-Christmas-at-Disneyland-times-a-million excited.
Want to come along for the ride?