This was partly to do with the fact I was no longer feeling safe in our old property,
but largely to do with the life we wish to provide for our family.
We have left the condensed housing area, where we loved our neighbours,
and where we knew the shops like the back of our hands.
And doing so was not easy. We are creatures of comfort. But then we became torn.
Torn between the life we knew, and the life we could have. A gamble of sorts.
The lifestyle which would provide us with land – not an abundance –
just enough for children to run around, giggling & jumping through a steady,
glistening spray from the sprinkler in summer.
Enough land for a vegetable garden and some nice spring flowers.
We searched for only a few months, and miraculously, everything aligned
and we were gifted something magical. A home to tick boxes.
To fill glasses with frosty Ales, to fill albums with photographs, and to fill hearts
with satisfaction and security.
As the weeks ticked on and the days became shorter until we would move,
I felt my anxiety set in.
We didn’t know the area. We have friends here, but not many.
Who was at the Open Home? Who saw the house we are about to move into?
Would they target us for a break-in, knowing the layout of our home?
Would we get neighbours from hell?
Worse still – would we be considered the neighbours from hell?
We were leaving the home we made together. Not built, no.
Please know that you can make a house your home without building it from
the earth up. While we didn’t lay bricks & mortar, we made that house a home.
It was nothing but a shell until it was our home.
We constructed something so much more than a dwelling.
I was 21 when we bought that house; Pete was 24.
We had been together for 4 years and we both knew neither of us wanted
In October 2008, we moved in. In December, we bought home a puppy
and named her Abby. She was tiny in size, but with a huge personality.
Our love for her was, and still is, immeasurable. She is a part of our family,
our fur-baby, and we have enjoyed many afternoons outside throwing a
toy for her in our small and modest backyard. Courtyard, if you will.
In March 2010, we popped her in a kennel for a weekend and went on a
little holiday up north, with our first stop being the Hunter Valley.
Only a few hours after leaving our home and checking in to our hotel,
in a quiet vineyard with the sun setting over rolling hills behind us,
Pete dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife.
After our holiday, we celebrated with a small group of our closest friends.
Faces and dresses flowing in and out of our kitchen, loungeroom, backyard,
bathroom. So much warmth in one house that night.
On the 26th of March the following year, 2011, I woke up and Abby jumped
up on our bed to greet me, excited to be starting the day.
I could hear voices in my kitchen. Bodies busily preparing breakfast and
glasses being filled. I smiled sleepily and left my warm doona.
Today, I was getting married – and to my best friend.
I have more luck than most will ever know.
We laughed around the dining table while sippping champagne, getting our
hair and makeup done, overlooking the passionfruit vine growing on our fence
– planted with love by Pete’s parents when we first moved in. A housewarming gift.
When we pulled out of the driveway and headed for the Wedding, I looked back
at our house and realised that the next time I would walk through that door,
I would be a Mrs.
After the honeymoon, sure enough, I walked back through the door as a Mrs,
with Pete as my Mister. We unpacked our bags, loading the shelves in the study
with Japanese souvenirs.
Pete won a Cookie Monster stuffed toy at Universal Studios in Osaka.
I watched quietly as he unpacked this from his bag and didn’t put it with the
other random toys we’d won.
I looked down our pure white hallway as he walked in to the spare room, Abby
following at his heels. I watched him place the Cookie Monster on the bookcase.
I knew his intentions which he confirmed by explanation only seconds later.
That toy was saved for the baby we hoped we would welcome home soon.
It wasn’t long.
In June the following year, 2012, I woke to mild cramping.
It would be a long labour – 36 hours – but on the 4th of June we welcomed our
son into the world, and on the 9th of June, we welcomed him into our home.
We introduced him and Abby. I won’t lie and say it was love at first sight.
But within a few weeks, she had warmed to him, and in the months to come,
they fast became partners in crime and best buddies.
Ollie had his first solid food in this house, his first giggles, first word, first roll,
first crawl, first steps. He knows no other place of comfort.
This has been his home for his whole life (the whole 2 years of it!)
Can you feel it? The rush of emotion I felt as we signed the contract to sell?
As we signed all of the future ‘firsts’ over to new owners?
The stabbing in my heart, the insecurity, the roll of the die at which we were so
hoping to be as happy in a new home as we were there?
I knew it was necessary for us to move on so that we are able to start a new
chapter of our lives as a family unit. I knew this.
But it didn’t stop the tears from welling, or all of the memories I’ve mentioned
here flooding into my mind whenever I thought of the day I would lock the
door for the final time.
But let me assure you.. That afternoon, as Oliver played in our new backyard
and I watched on as the sun set behind him, there were no feelings of loss.
I feel I have a very strong bond with my mother despite her passing
over 10 years ago now.
And as I watched the sun dip behind those misty blue mountains, I felt her hands
extending toward me in a gesture of offering.
I felt her saying “Here is your final gift from me. It is all I can do,
and all I could ever hope to do for you. It is yours, and it is meant to be.
Do not question it’s worth to you. You have worked for this, and you have earned it.”
At that moment, every single piece of support given to us from friends and family was
thrashed upon me as if it were a water balloon, and my heart – the target.
I have never been so thankful for my Husband, Son, Father, Stepmother, Sisters,
Brothers, Best Friends, Clients & finally, Mother. The lessons I have been taught,
this amazing career I have followed, and my continued perseverance to live a
peaceful life – it is all because of them – and is the very reason we are so blessed
to be here right now.
We have grand plans for this house. Starting now.
We are home.