Sweet home.

Has it really been a year already?

I was reading lovely Kate’s recent blog post about unpacking boxes into her new home, searching for wedding dresses, and reveling in her newly-engaged status. I’m so excited for her! What an incredible time of life, filled with new beginnings and massive life milestones. And that was me, a year ago.

Next week marks our one-year anniversary in this house! Last February, the sparkly addition to my left hand was just over a month old. John had lowered himself to one knee on the top of Bishop’s Bowl at Sundance Resort on the second day of 2012. Happy birthday, indeed.

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One month later, our lives were filled with moving boxes, bubble wrap, and packing tape. Our tiny terror beloved puppy had been with us just two months– we could still pick her up and tote her around. After 9 months of watching our future home become a reality, we were about to unpack our stuff into a shared space, combining our lives and building our future.

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There’s something amazing about building a home together. Every accomplishment and new stage is cause for celebration. Breaking ground! Pouring the foundation! A framed skeleton! Real walls! Every time we drove up the hill to see the house, something else was completed. I remember being able to envision the finished product a bit more easily with each step. It was exhilarating and incredible to share it with my future husband.

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Building a house can be difficult and stressful. You’re addressing random issues as they pop up and changing things all the time. You’re selecting tile and carpet and paint and details, not really knowing what it will look like when it’s all put together in the end. Then you’re picking out furniture and unpacking boxes, finding homes for beloved treasures. You’re filling cabinets and decorating shelves. You’re hanging art. You’re watering plants. Neighbors stop in to welcome you. Room by room, the details all make sense and possessions find their place.

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Somewhere along the line, it ALL COMES TOGETHER. The house feels less like a shell and more like YOU. Before you know it, you’re welcoming family. You’re making meals and hosting get-togethers. Your door is open and guest rooms are full.

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You’re exploring the neighborhood and surrounding trails. You’re taking in the view, watching the hillside change as the year progresses. You’re thanking every singing bird and memorizing every sunset.

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You’re celebrating birthdays and new trees and first snows. You’re clinking glasses on various special occasions- or for no reason at all.

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As you settle in, the house becomes the backdrop for everything important. It’s the launching pad. It’s shelter. It’s security and warmth and comfort. It feels our gratitude and welcomes us back when we walk in after a trip away. These walls hear every giggle, every shout, every sob, every sigh. Every passing day gives the new house life, and it becomes a HOME- filled with family and friends and new memories and LOVE.

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We’ve had an amazing year here at our new digs. We went from a hopeful engaged couple with a puppy to sharing a last name and most of our bed with said puppy. It’s time to fill our home with a family of our own. Hopefully, there’ll soon be first steps and the first lost tooth and the first day of school. We’ve got more milestones to hit and glasses to clink, and our house will be there for all of it, silently surrounding us like a big bear hug. Whether we live here for 5 years or 35, it will always be where we began our life together. What an incredible first year it’s been.

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Happy birthday, beautiful home. To many more.

Clink.

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