Almost exactly six years ago we moved into our current home. It was an exciting and terrifying moment as it was our first home. Kelli and I had been renting up to that point and everything aligned at the end of 2010. I had graduated from college and we were both comfortably employed.
We knew the area we wanted to move to. Davis County. Preferably in Farmington somewhere. Kelli had kept an eye on the market for months and we knew what we wanted and where we wanted to be. When we eventually met with a real estate agent, we knew exactly what we wanted to see. Frankly, we knew the house we wanted. While we saw a couple houses, as soon as we walked through we knew it was the one. (We did have to go back because the renters were still there during our first visit which made for a shorter appointment than we had hoped, but that’s another story).
As we’re preparing now to move out, I’m waxing a bit sentimental about our first home. Not only was it our first home, but it was the home to so many firsts for us. And as I think back on them, it makes this very bittersweet. I’m excited for the next chapter and our next home, but so sad to leave this place that has meant so much to us for so long.
Here are a few of the firsts we experienced here and why it’s meant so much:
Our First Puppy. Sammy joined us within a few weeks of moving in. I’d even say he was a main driver of us moving into our own home. Rentals aren’t very dog friendly, and since Kelli grew up with dogs her whole life, it was really important to her. He was born March 25, 2011 and as soon as he was old enough, he joined our family. And from there, slowly took over more and more of our house.
My First Tile Project. The kitchen had a terrible linoleum when we bought it, so one of the first orders of business was to tear it out and put in some tile. I had never laid tile before, let alone for an entire kitchen. So it was a learning experience. Fortunately my dad had done a little tiling and we worked through it together. For many, many evenings, I’d leave work to go to the house to lay tile, often not finishing until 11pm or later. It’s funny to look back on, because we didn’t even have a wet saw (an investment we made subsequently), so we scored the tile and broke it for all the cuts. Wow, right. I’d say that this was really the beginning of my DIY experience, and really laid the groundwork for so many projects to come.
Our First Child. Probably nothing changes you more, or changes your life more, than having a child. And that was certainly the case for me. Bringing that little guy home was overwhelming. And watching him grow for the past few years. Saying his first words, taking his first steps, learning and playing and becoming a little boy. It’s been amazing, and so much of it has happened in this home.
A New Deck. This is probably one of the things I’m most proud of. When we moved in, there was a small balcony off the kitchen with no backyard access. So I planned out a massive 16X16 deck with full access to the backyard. I researched all the best practices for building decks, drew up the plans, had them approved by the city, and then ordered all the materials. My dad and I then proceeded to tear down the balcony and build an amazingly awesome deck. It went up really quickly and withstood one of the most severe windstorms I’ve seen. I think this project will always stick with me because it was really my transition to a serious DIYer, at least in my eyes. And it set the stage for even bigger things to come.
Our Daughter. Almost exactly two years after the birth of our son, along came our daughter. We got to experience so many of her firsts in our home, along with watching our two kids interact and learn and grow together. So much fun watching their two personalities play off each other. And so much more craziness.
All Sorts of Upgrades. Inside our house we’ve done so many things, it’s crazy to look back on them. Remodeling the guest bathroom, remodeling the master bathroom, refinishing the kitchen cabinets, landscaping the entire yard, putting in a patio. All big projects that did. And remember that tile floor in the kitchen? We decided to rip it out as well and put laminate throughout the upstairs. That was probably the longest project of them all. While most of it got finished within the first few weeks of starting, finishing it all (including the last finishing touches) may have stretched out beyond a year. Don’t judge.
The Woodshop. As my confidence in my ability to make things and build things increased, the number of things I was building increased as well. I made some shelves for our home office. Outdoor tables. More shelves. Soon my projects were taking over the garage. In addition to that, I realized that I wanted to dive full force into woodworking, including woodturning. So that meant we’d need a dedicated space. So we decided to build a shop. This was probably the culmination of all the projects that had come before. And it was big. About 16 feet long, 14 feet deep and 8 foot walls with a very high roof. It was spacious and beautiful. Once again, my dad, who is the source of all knowledge when it comes to building/fixing/making things, helped make this one happen. And we built a shop. It became the place where I’d spend countless Saturdays working on various projects for our own home and building up a small woodworking business, selling shaving set, rolling pins, ice cream scoops, cutting boards and other handmade wood items.
Ultimately I feel like I could go on and on for days. This home has changed us. It has changed me. It’s where I feel like I fully transitioned into manhood. Getting a dog, having children, building decks and shops, remodeling, creating businesses. We’ve grown up a lot here. And as we continue to grow, it’s time to transition to our next home. I expect that our next home will be a part of our lives that will continue to change us.
Of course, it’s not just about the home. It’s the people who you share it with, who help build it, who make it more than just walls and a roof. Fortunately that is the part we’ll be taking with us. Our puppy, our children, each other. I’m sure my dad will get roped into more projects at our new house. And that we’ll continue to make more memories than a house can handle. So I’m looking forward to that. But I’ll never forget the place that started it all.
My personal musings on a variety of topics.