I just received a very special email about our house, no wait, our home

So the other day I opened my email and I was feeling really popular because I had so many messages. Then I deleted all the spam and I realized I was just popular with Bath and Body Works, American Airlines and Pier 1. Wah wahhhh. But there was one email left. And little did I know, it was going to be very special.

Let me start at the beginning. So we’ve lived in our house for over ten years now. We’ve done a lot of work on it, and now we’re at a point where we need to do more. Like we HAVE to. And we’re sitting here debating whether we should do the work or whether a different house might be a better choice. We’re on the cusp.

Pros of staying here:

I LOVE LOVE LOVVVVE our house. Like I know it’s a 1960s split level, but I love it. We’ve lived her since Zoey was tiny, Holden was born here (not literally, I’m an epidural in the hospital kinda gal), our kitchen is my favorite room in the world, and our neighbors in every direction are amazing. Seriously, the amount of nostalgia I have for this house is off the charts.

Cons of staying here:

Some pretty major work has to be done and we have to decide whether it’s financially prudent. Two of the most boring words in the English language.

And every day I go back and forth. Like one day I’m combing realtor.com. And the next day I’m picturing my grandchildren visiting me here one day.

Anyways, I’m sure you’re like WHAT was the email you received?!

It was from a stranger. A mom. Apparently she had been feeling nostalgic during the holidays and she started looking up her old houses on the Internet. And one of those houses was ours. She didn’t just find the typical realtor pictures. She found pages and pages of pictures from my blog. She got to see the family that moved in, the babies that were raised here, and most of all the love another family found inside the same house her family once lived in.   

And then she did something amazing. She looked for my email address and sent me a message filled with the most awesome pictures of her family growing up here too. They had a baby here, they raised a boy here, and they redid the kitchen just like us. As I sat there looking at her photos and tearing up, I couldn’t help but notice how her pictures were so similar to the ones I’d taken of my kids in the same exact places.

Washing our newborns in the same kitchen sink.

Making our kiddos smile in front of the same front door.

Feeding them snacks in front of the same kitchen hutch.

And starting new traditions in the same living room.

She and I spoke back and forth about OUR house and how it was the place both our families started. Where so much love happened and so much nostalgia began.

I’m not sure whether we’ll stay in this house or not, but her pictures helped me realize that either way it’s a win-win. If we stay, we’ll just build more love and nostalgia here. And if we go, then some other family will move in and make it their home. They might have babies here, they might raise children here, they might adopt a dog that’ll run around the backyard just like ours. Good chance they’ll redo the bathrooms and paint the rooms different colors, but that stuff doesn’t really matter. Someday, whether it’s soon or many years from now, another family will love this house. And once again, this house will love them back. 

One thing’s for sure. If we ever move (big IF), I’ll make sure to drop some pictures off in the mailbox, so they can see that they didn’t just buy a house. They bought a home. A very special home.

If you liked this, please don’t forget to like and share it. Thank you!!!!

There are 11 comments for this article
  1. Terry Dahlem at 10:11 am

    I’m a Realtor and I LOVE stories that show the history of homes. This made my day.

  2. Lana at 10:36 am

    This is the best story! We live in a 1928 Craftsman house and we actually had to do a bunch of digging to get a historical designation sign for it. We found the first owner/builder (fought in WW1 in some major battles!) and at least 4 more owners, learning the history was amazing. This story is the just the sweetest and I love the pictures showing how families grow up in your home.

  3. Melissa at 11:13 am

    Aww! I love this! I lived in the same house my entire life til college. My parents sold the house years later, and my sisters went back one time to see it. They still had our old skate hooks with our names above them in the basement. But the new owners had really changed the whole look and feel of the rest of the house. I’ve never been back, as it is far from where I live now, but I prefer to keep my visits back home in my memories.

  4. Audra J at 11:28 am

    I love this! I have our current house and our previous house scrapbooked. When we were selling the previous home I had the book in the entry table to show realtors and potential buyers how much work and love we put into the house. (I didn’t have any family pictures in it though. I did take this book with us to our new home.) I love seeing the changes that we make to each home and revisiting it. I should probably take more pictures of this house to show even more improvements.

  5. Suzie Metz at 12:06 pm

    I love this in so many ways!! Thank you for sharing!!

  6. Lisa at 1:26 pm

    I have felt this way always. It’s not the house that makes it home, it’s the people who live there. I ended up moving back to my hometown after college, jobs, etc., and ended up living in a house right down the road from where I grew up. I drive by my childhood home every day to get to my house. My parents have been gone for a long time, and I’ve had the question of does it bother me to drive by it? No, it never has, because my parents aren’t there anymore and it’s just a house that belongs to another family now. I have great memories of the place, but that’s as far as it goes. It’s just a house. I’ve never gotten hung up on having a big fancy house or apartment. Just as long as I have some place to hang my hat with people I love – the structure itself isn’t as big of an issue. Whatever you decide for your family will be what it’s supposed to be for you. Thanks for this sweet post.

  7. Saara at 7:18 pm

    Aww that’s really sweet! (Tho I wonder how your pix popped up in her search??)

  8. Ranie at 8:48 pm

    Love this story, here’s mine.
    We lived in our old house 29 years, both of our boys were raised in it. When we got new carpet for the family room I wrote on the floor underneath (not hardwood) our names, our dog’s name and the date. Eventually we sold it to a young couple 9 years ago. BTW I worked at the elementary school less than a mile away. Last year I had a kindergarten student who lived in our old house! His room was our oldest son’s room, his sister in our youngest. One day his mother sent me a photo of our writing on the floor when they pulled the carpet up. They had written their names, dogs name and date next to ours.

  9. Melanie at 11:47 pm

    I read Baby Sideburns all the time and I think this is my favorite one! In my fanciful way, I’ve always kind of felt like houses enjoy being lived in. For my money, a house is more than walls and roof.

  10. Christin Harding at 9:06 pm

    With a break provided by his employer, hubs and I purchased our first home when he was 20-I was 21. We lived there 28 years, raised our daughter, loved the place! Our house was where all the kids hung out, because one parent was always home. When we finally decided to move (9 years ago) 8 out of 10 people who looked at it wrote in the realtor comments “I recognize this house-I was here when I was a kid!” We had had everyone who ever visited sign her closet for all those years. We sold it 9 years ago-(took pictures of all the signatures before leaving) and moved 2.5 blocks down the same street! haha! We were able to pay-it-forward to the new owners, who now have 3 little girls, and when we drive past we see they have kept a lot of the same things. We left a playhouse (really just a shed) in the back yard, and had pizza delivery back there on a regular basis. It was a house full of fun and love and such great times. Our new house is not the same, but it’s perfect for the next chapter in our life. (a 2 car garage, most notably-no more scraping windows all winter and plenty of room for the grandkids to stay) The vibes a house carries forward to the next family is important. Keep it overflowing with love and laughter!