In high school, I took creatively liberty in my room, painting the walls and picking out bedding and decor that reflected who I was. I turned that room into a place that I always wanted to be because I loved the atmosphere that I’d created. When I moved back home after cosmetology school, it felt so good to be back in my own room, where I felt comfortable and could be happy spending every moment of every day. I had a hard time thinking about moving out again and leaving that space, that home, that I’d created for myself and loved so much. But as Joe and I got closer to our wedding day, I became less attached to that space and more excited to create a new home with the man that I loved.
Bensen loves to go to his grandma's houses and he gets excited any time he's invited over to play with his cousins. Sometimes when I come to pick him up after work, he tells me that he doesn’t want to go home, he wants to stay there. But when Emmy was in the NICU, his favorite part of every day was coming home with dad at the end of the night. He got so excited to be back in his own space that he’d run wild for the first half hour after he was home. And every morning when I was home with him, we’d enjoy our space together, whether it was playing the backyard, or running around the house. He was always with people who loved him, but his heart felt the happiest when he was at home in the space we shared as a family.
The gallery wall in our front room has a quote painted on a piece of wood that says, “Home is where the heart is.” I chose that quote because it’s always rang true for me. For three weeks a few years ago, we made the NICU home, and I miss that place sometimes because of the memories that we created and the special moments that we shared while we were there. But I was so excited to bring our baby home because then my heart was all in one place again. When we bought our house five years ago, I wondered if I’d regret it because it needed so much work and didn’t feel like home. The more work that we put into it, the more our house started to feel like a home and as we’ve continued to decorate and finish projects, we’ve loved our home even more.
When I chose my word of the year for 2019, my overall goal was to create a space where we all felt comfortable and loved to spend time as a family. Each day brings new adventures that take us away from our house, whether we go to work or school, to the store or on a fun outing. But at the end of each day, it feels so good to return back home, to that place where we can relax and be ourselves. On Joe’s days off, we’ll sometimes plan an adventure that takes us away from home for a few hours, but most days, we choose to stay home and enjoy a quiet day playing together and working on projects.
I’ve been focused on two things this year in our home; the atmosphere that I foster each day and the way our house reflects who we are as a family. My favorite rooms to spend time in are the ones that I’ve finished decorating and that have character and charm. Emmy’s bedroom only had a crib, her clothes and a little chair for the longest time. This year we added a dresser and turned her crib into a big girl bed with her own comforter. I haven’t hung anything on the walls yet, but it has been eye opening to see how much more she and Bensen play in her room now that it feels more homey. Before we made those small changes, they would drag all of the toys from her room into his and spend all of their time there.
This year we are continuing to decorate and do projects that will help bring that feeling into our home. We built a bigger deck last year and are currently in the process of overhauling our entire backyard. A lot of those changes were for aesthetic and because our old deck was falling down, but a big part of why we chose to focus on those projects is because we wanted to love spending time outside as a family and not be focused on all of the things in that space that didn’t help it feel like home
I truly believe that home is what you make it and that any space you share with the ones you love most can be home. But I also believe that your house becomes more of a home as you put your mark on it and fill it with things that reflect your values and who you are as a family.
What are you doing to make your house more of a home?