But, a home is made of LOVE alone.
"If you lead a good life, go to Sunday school and church, and say your
prayers every night, when you die, you'll go to Athens."
—GEORGIA FOLK WISDOM
We must have been really, really good...because we are going to Athens now (as opposed to when we die...)!
This has all happened so very, very fast. Rob was approached at work about being interested in moving to Athens, interviewed a week later, got a verbal offer 4 days later, got the written offer (a LONG) 2.5 weeks later and started just two weeks later. How many times can someone say later in one paragraph? So, from July 5th when he interviewed to today, August 14th, we have gone from considering a move to being under contract on a new house, in a (sort of) new town.
We aren't really the kind of people who move. We don't move very often...some people move every few years. We built our house that we live in now and have lived here for 7 years. We *might* would've gotten the itch to move recently, but the market just isn't what it used to be, and without this relocation, a move wouldn't really be the best financial move for us. No pun intended :).
I'm not a real fan of change, either. I don't like to change jobs - being the new kid isn't fun and it's just a pain to change insurance, 401(k), pension, benefits, etc. Moving is kinda the same thing...utilities, cable, internet, forwarding mail and changing addresses on everything...the list goes on. It's a pain. I'm the kinda girl that likes things just so...and changing them takes a whole lot of effort. Did I mention moving with three kids under three? THANK THE GOOD LORD FOR PACKERS AND MOVERS!!!! If I had to pack up this house, I'd just lay down on I-75 and be so thrilled when an 18 wheeler ran over me. This change, however, will be wonderful. Closer to "home" AKA Momma and Daddy. Closer to Rob's parents. Closer to Rob's brother (it's still 2 hours closer to Charlotte than we are now :)). And, did I mention, we are moving to Athens? Hello.Football.Season. Hello sweet college town.
We went under contract today on our new house. While not technically in Athens, it's a mere 10 minutes away in the country :). An acre lot....oh, how I am dreaming of a garden. And, my kids making "leaf houses" in the back yard like we did as kids...and playing kickball in the front yard...and being safe to run up the street to the neighbors house without me panicking that they will get hit by a car. No, I do not live in an imaginary world that we will be safe because our new 'hood is surrounded by farm land...but, it's going to be a different kind of safety. A little slower, a little less crazy, a little bit more wonderful. We will now be able to go to Nanna's or Annie's after church on Sunday like we did when I was little. Some of my very favorite memories are getting to Granny's on Sunday after church and being soooooo hungry and Pawpaw loading my plate up with homemade waffles and bacon and cheese eggs (did I mention I recently found out I have high cholesterol?). Get ready, Grandma's - we're a comin!!!
Change does not happen without a little bit of nostalgia, too. When Rob and I built our home, 8-ish years ago, we were young, newlyweds. We had a dog, and a houseplant. The past 7 years in this house have not been a fairy tale. But, you know, LIFE isn't a fairy tale. This has been our first home. It's where we had our first big fight. Where we became "parents" to our 2nd dog. Where we loved and lost our stray kitty and her kittens. Where we celebrated both of our 30th birthdays. Where we prayed and waited and grieved and celebrated the pregnancies of our children. Where we became parents, once, twice and three times. Where we were first Santa, and the Easter Bunny, and the "Valentine's Man" (does anyone else have that?). Where we took Molly trick-or-treating for the first time. Where we had all 3 of our children's first Christmas's. Where we joined a church as a family. Where our children were baptized. We have a lot of friends here that helped us through the past 7 years. Friends that loved us through infertility and were there to pick up the pieces when things didn't work out and who were there to celebrate not only our pregnancies but our babies. Friends who will let our dogs out and take care of them if we decide to stay at the lake for one more night. Friends who will meet you on the porch on a perfect spring or fall day to enjoy a cold one. Who will pop in for coffee on a random morning. Who will have coffee with you religiously once a week when you have newborn twins and a 2 year old and need some adult interaction. Who will hold your twins and let you take your 2 year old on errands for some "special" time. Who will bring you meals when you are sick. Who will take your child to school when you have 2 newborns. Who will hug you when your child won't ride with them to school. Who will be your child's adopted Grandmother, Aunt, cousin. Who will love you through the very un-graceful days of pregnancy. Who you will celebrate 70 years of life with. Who you will carry with you in your soul forever.
When we leave this HOME we've lived in just 21 days short of 8 years on September 8th, I know it won't be with dry eyes. Some days, I wasn't sure we'd make it out of this house alive (at least not both of us)...And, today, I really can't believe we are leaving. I know it's only brick and mortar (and hardiplank and sheet-rock), but I can't hardly imagine my life not inside these 4 walls. Thank you to all of you who have made these past 8 years so wonderful.