At 8 AM tomorrow morning, we will pick up a U-Haul and once again do our best to embrace change. One might ask how I could be so hesitant when we're going from 1200 square feet to a whopping 4500 square feet, right next door to my favorite sister. With this move, we will gain quite a bit but we will lose a whole lot more... temporarily, of course. In just a few short days, my parents will enter the mission field for 18 months in Guatemala City, treating the oral surgical needs of local missionaries and orphans. Tears are starting to form... so I will save this topic for another day.
We aren't certain what the future may hold, but tonight might easily be our last night in this house. Five years ago, our move back to Portland was a surprise to both of us but the prompting to move was a blessing nonetheless. Having a home to fix up and make our own has also been a growing opportunity and brought us closer together. Just a few months before Londyn was born, we finally closed on this townhouse and after a record breaking number of trips to Home Depot, we were able to move into our very first home. I often reflect on who we were and what little I knew about life, love and my faith. I was the typical young LDS woman, smitten over my smokin' hot Marine (who I barely knew) and was giddy to play house. My life was all about date nights, decorating the nursery, folding lovely little pink outfits, trying out new recipes and waddling with as much grace as a I could muster in my third trimester. Life was normal. Life was naive and wrapped perfectly with a bright and shiny bow.
In my 27 years, I have been humbled by many life lessons. As a mother and a wife, I have learned many eternal lessons. The difference I find between life and eternal lessons is that life lessons are things learned that effect our relationships and ability to cope here in this life. Eternal lessons are things learned that my spirit needs to know and understand in order to achieve a fullness of everlasting joy. Most lessons are not easy to learn. If they were, we'd already know them. Most must be learned with pain and heartache. These walls that have been our home have witnessed so much unconditional love, sacrifice, pain, laughter, work, frustration, grief and peace... some even at the same time. We brought both of our baby girls home to this house. We've watched Londyn grow into a beautiful little girl in this home. We (mostly Andrew) have tackled many home improvement projects here in this house together. We spent almost three precious months here with our sweet Zoe. Every inch of this home reminds me of her. I have special memories of rocking her in her room, feeling her shallow breaths against my cheeks and listening to the dull sounds of the feeding pump on at all times. At one point, our entire downstairs was filled with an oxygen tank, numerous tubes, monitors, syringes, meds and of course, your regular baby items. Our memories with Zoe are few, but most all of them were here.
It's true what they say, "home is where the heart is." No matter where we live, how large or decorated it is, what's important is the people and the relationships that are in it. It's the memories that we make that will be with us forever. Not the walls.