We've done quite a bit of work to the place. But believe me, we have a lot more to do. Funny how that honeymoon stage doesn't last. Now there are things about the house that drive me nuts. Things I liked when we first got the place. The "cute" entryway is now tiny and cramped. The white tile flooring is now cracked, impossible to keep clean, and cold. But I love my home. Because it's a home.
I have lived here longer than I have ever lived anywhere in my life. My roots have taken hold here. My kids will live here, in one house, until they move out on their own. We have cut down trees, planted trees. Changed the landscape. Put in a wood-burning fireplace (how did it not have one in the first place?) and a front porch (how did it not have one in the first place?). We have painted walls. New siding, roof, windows.
There is so much work still to do. But the ongoing nature of the projects around here are part of what endears it to me. It's growing right along with us. It's messy a lot. Because life is messy. It's cheerful almost all the time. Because we are a happy family. It smells good in here.
The house is getting smaller as my kids are getting bigger. There are three bedrooms upstairs. All occupied. One by two adults, two by ever-growing, messy boys. There is a bathroom upstairs that my hubby tiled. It almost always has toothpaste globs in the sink that I have to wipe out. There are almost always nerf darts on the floor of the hallway. There are pictures of my kids from each school year on the hall upstairs.
The main floor has my office. My room. MY room. We have a house and seven outbuildings with a caretaker apartment. This one room is mine. I have claimed it. Hubby and kids can have the rest. There is also the living room, the dining room, a bathroom and the kitchen. Again, always filled with signs of life. There are random photos and artwork hung on the walls. The pillows on the couch are almost never on the couch, but on the floor from the kids goofing around. The dining room table is almost always covered with folded laundry. My kitchen is big and bright. It has the most life of any room in the house. It's where hubby and I sit talk over a couple beers late into the night, him pacing around and me sitting on the counter. It's where by brother cooks when he comes over. It's where I taught J how to scramble eggs. It's where my kids sat on the floor the other night carving pumpkins.
We put in a fireplace a few years ago. It's a big brick one in the living room. Now our TV hangs on the wall above it. You all know how I feel about TV. So the living room is one of my happiest places. It's where I curl up on my chair to watch my shows. It's where we holler and jump around during Vikings or Gophers games. Very soon, it will once again be the home of the Christmas tree and an obnoxious amount of Christmas decorations. My living room is where the kids play video games. Where they eat snacks on their little trays on the floor. Where they have little mini slumber parties when mom lets them sleep in the living room. My dining room is where I hang out and chat when people come over. I have a scratched up dining room table. It's scratched up because it's well used. We do use it for meals. But it's also a place for laundry, scrapbooking, homework, board games, picking at placemats over coffee while we talk about family drama, school projects, blowing out birthday candles.
And outside. My big open yard. Where my boys are growing up. Where they learned how to swing a bat, throw a football, climb trees. Where hubby drives his tractors, his skid steer, the golf cart. Our fire pit. Where countless family members and friends have hung out, talking, laughing, roasting marshmallows, throwing peanut shells in the fire. Where we have blue jays all winter long. Where we're constantly watching out for a legendary wolverine. Our outside home is divided up into sections--the park, where the fire pit and swingset is. The football field, a big rectangle of open grass. The "beautiful forest" (so named by Nephew1), where the kids have their "hideout". The pasture, the driveway, and many more sections. The boys have mastered driving a golf cart around. Every winter hubby piles up snow for a giant snow mountain for them to play on and slide down. And all year long there's random stuff around: balls, bikes, nerf guns, frisbees, toys. And hubby stuff--tools, shovels, hoses, buckets, work gloves.
It's home. All of it. It's often messy. It's often noisy. Sometimes it's frustrating. It's never finished. But it's always home, and that makes it like Heaven to me.