Well, it's about 11:30pm Wednesday night. Tomorrow morning the movers are coming to pack everything (we are spoiled), and then they return Friday to load up the truck. After a couple of nights at Wendy's parents' house, we're driving down to Illinois on Sunday.
It's funny, exactly three years ago, we had just finished making the ever important designer decisions that come with building a home - what color carpet, types of faucets and door handles, how much money to spend on flooring and countertops. Incidentally, we chose some sort of beige, Moen faucets, and too much $ on granite and tile. I remember thinking that, after going through all that trouble - and spending that money - we would be in this house for years and years. But guess what? No one can predict the future, and here we are 2 1/2 years later, about to embark on a new adventure, a new chapter. It is exciting.
Wendy and I are going to miss this house. We won't miss the location - it takes too long to get to Target - but we will miss this house. We spent all that time envisioning what we wanted it to look like, and then we watched it being built from the ground up. First the foundation, then the framing, drywalling, to the interior finishing. It evolved from this vacant lot overlooking a river valley into our Home. In many ways, the day we moved in still seems like yesterday.
In the short time we've lived here, we have created many memories. Some good (I finally got my own lawn to mow), some not so good (Wendy endured weeks of bed rest when she was pregnant with Fiona). Of course, most of the memories - and the pictures we have to record them - are wonderful, because they involve a certain 2 year old. Her first Birthday, first Christmas, first Halloween - all took place in this house. She learned how to crawl, walk, run, run, run - on this carpet. The first friends she ever had lived next door and across the street.
In ten years, when Wendy and I are reminiscing of our time in Carver, I know that we will remember these 2 1/2 years as good times for us. But we wouldn't be leaving if we didn't know, deep down, that we had even better times waiting for us in Illinois. Especially for me - as the only native Minnesotan in this marriage, I'm walking away from the only state I've ever known. I don't like moving away from my huge family, and it will be tough for us when we inevitably miss a family gathering or a holiday get together. But our family, the three (soon to be four) of us, will be busy making all new memories of our own.
This is one of my favorite pictures from our house. It was taken the day after Christmas in 2006, from our deck overlooking the Minnesota River Valley. There was this incredible sunrise, and everything was so still and serene except for these dazzling colors in the sky. I stood outside for half an hour, shivering in my robe and winter boots, sipping coffee and taking pictures. We're leaving this view, and this house, but looking at this picture reminds me that, no matter where you live, you can always see the sun rise.