Amy Rees Anderson

Making a House a Home

We did it!  We actually spent our very first night in our new house.  We are still surrounded by boxes and papers to unpack and put away, and there is still a punch list of “to be finished or fixed items”, but we have officially begun living in our new house.

So I have to be honest, the very first night I was really freaked out at the thought of sleeping in our new house.  I had a little bit of a panic attack at the thought of leaving my old house and I was really surprised at how I was feeling.  As we moved the master bed out of our old room and over to the new house I sat in the empty master bedroom staring at the bare floor and it suddenly hit me – my daughter would never come bounding into that room again to jump into bed with us…and then I looked at the living room and I realized that my son would never again jump down from the balcony above onto the couch below and then try and pretend he hadn’t…then I looked at the staircase and realized my children would never line up on those stairs Christmas morning to come down together to see the presents that Santa Claus had left for them….and suddenly I didn’t want to leave….it was surprisingly emotional for me.  I had been so focused on getting the new house built that I hadn’t stopped to think about the fact that I would have to leave this old home behind.

It wasn’t the walls and the fixtures I would miss…it was the memories of all those special moments that had turned that house into our home.  It was a home of love and laughter.  It was a home of amazing memories and wonderful moments.  It was the home I moved to when my kids were just 2 and 5.  My kids started kindergarten in that house.  It is the house I raised my children in.  It was the home we lived in when I met my husband and my kids sat him down to interview him before he could get serious with me.  It was the home we were in when I got married to him.  It was the home our dog gave birth to her puppies. It was the home I lived in while I built my company and the home I was in when we sold my company. It was the home we lived in when we taught our children to drive.  It was the home where we had a farewell party for my son when he left to go serve his mission… That home is so much more than a house to me.  It truly is our family home.  So when it came time to say goodbye to it I was totally devastated to realize that I couldn’t take the home with me…I could only take the things inside the home…and I became afraid of losing all those memories that come flooding in at the glance at a staircase or a bedroom floor.  Yes, leaving the home for that first night was tough.

I learned a lot going through that experience.  I recognized that it’s not the house that will matter – it is the memories we create within the walls of that house that will turn it into a home.  It is the love and the laughter and time that will create those feelings of making this new house a home for us.  And so I will continue working hard to decorate the new house and to hang family photos so I can recall those memories from our old home as I walk through the walls of my new home and have it all gorgeous for our first big family memory in this new house – the homecoming of our son Dalton from his mission!  I received the official letter letting me know he will be home June 4th!  ONE MONTH FROM TODAY!!  I can’t think of a better event to create our first great family memory together in our house that we intend to make a home 🙂

Have a great Monday everyone!

PS.  Happy Birthday this last weekend to my father who turned 76!!!  WOW!  He is an amazing man and I am blessed to have him as my father.  Love you Dad!


  • Aunt Anne says:

    It is true, a house becomes a home when there is love inside. When we build our home, Uncle Buzz did not want to sell our old home…because of the memories it held. He said, “well I might want to move back to this old house.” I told him he could move back but I was not planning to. Anyway, we held on to that home for three years. It sat empty that long before he could bring himself to sell it. Good memories can be kept with lots of pictures and good recall. Congratulations on finishing your new home and hope you love it as much as the one the family grew up in…new memories to make in this home. We look forward to seeing Dalton in June.

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