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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

the process

I've been getting asked a lot about how I feel about selling this place.  The one feeling I have that does not come and go is that it's the right thing for our family to do.
There are many other feelings that have been coming and going during this process... sadness, excitement, anxiousness, joy, and more.  It feels a little similar to the stages of mourning which may sound super dramatic to you, but it is the only way I can describe the ups and downs and passing through various new feelings each day that this process feels like for me.  Some of you may not know the history of this place we call home...
This property was originally my great grandfather's.  He bought it from the original owner and then he put a lot of his own sweat and love into the place.  I have pictures of him holding me in this back yard.  He passed away when I was only one year old and soon after is when it became home to my parents and I.
It is 1/2 an acre of land with many orange trees and a big giant avocado tree.  There used to be several other fruit trees covering the property, but over the years some have sadly reached their life span.
 Fast forward many years and this same back yard was the place we got married and it's the first and only home Bryan has carried me over the threshold of.  The bedroom that I called my own as a child soon became the nursery for Grant and then became the shared room for him and Avery.
They have had the same fun that I had as a child 
on this land... playing underneath the trees
enjoying delicious fresh picked fruit
and just plain enjoying life as a kid 
with their own little slice of open space.
We've enjoyed several gardens over the years

 We've had fun putting my great grandpa's
old treasures to good use.

The back yard has been turned into many things over the years to adapt along with our family... from a big lawn for our wedding day, to gardens, to dirt bike track, and even a batting cage are some of the phases it's gone through.
I have carried on the tradition of watching the Memorial Day flyover from our backyard every year.  This is something that my dad began further back then I can remember and it always brought him joy... he loved this event every year and would happily yell for us to all come out of the house to watch.  That first year after my dad was gone I cried all the way through the flyover.  I've learned to enjoy it again and have fun watching my kids watch the old planes, but I do still miss my dad's loud and excited voice and big smile being there.
I wish I had the pictures of me as a child here or more from our wedding... but those are already packed away.  Which brings me to the part of the process we are in now... prepping to sell.  This part is no fun!  I'm sure it's the same for everyone... fixing and tending to the long list of tedious projects all of us home owners have.  That list that we easily ignore until we need to make the house look as good as possible to sell.  Touching up the paint that may not bother us while living here but will most likely bother a possible buyer. Ugh.
Having to move the home office corner out of your bedroom because its an eyesore in there and instead creating this cute yet not super functional space in the living room.  We are making good use of all that we've learned from HGTV over the years about staging a house. I'm for sure being both funny and serious.
Having to sort though four generations of things is part of this process too.  We will most likely not have two homes and a two story workshop/garage on the new property we buy so there is just not the luxury of keeping everything.  We have had to go through and decide to keep the few things that mean the most and then sell and donate the rest.  I am actually a purger.  I fully enjoy getting rid of things.  I actually do it too often to the point that I've even had to re-buy stuff.  But, it's much harder with things that remind you of past times or of people that are no longer here.
We've rented a storage unit to move out things we can part from for the time being to make the staging process easier.  The kids think the storage unit is fun while I think it's creepy.  All I can think of are episodes from Breaking Bad and Dexter while we are there and I just imagine all the weirdo things behind all those locked doors.  Eeeekkk.
Luckily I am married to a very handy man.  We are lucky that he has a dad who taught him to be a home project DIYer and is still willing to help his son with big projects like re-roofing our detached garage/workshop.
We are currently 2 or 3 weeks from our house having a for sale sign in the front yard.  I have no idea what that image will do to me.  It's safe to assume any family who sells the house they brought their babies home to is sad in the process.  So of course adding in that I was a baby here also and that we were married here and that 90% of the memories I have of my dad revolve around this property, does indeed make it more sad.  I also know that my dad did the things he did and lived the way he lived so that one day our family could use this land for the good of our family's future.  Bryan and I also joke about how my dad would have sold and left California years ago had he lived to see all that has happened financially and politically in the past several years... but that's a whole different blog post for a whole different type of blog. ;)   We know he would support us in looking out for the best interest of our family though.  For us, that is getting our nine year old son and five year old daughter their own bedrooms... getting the four of us at least a second bathroom(yes, we all share 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom)... moving off of this high traffic street...  moving into a neighborhood that has more young families and less college renters... parks close enough to walk to... our kids going to the local school they are supposed to go to and the possibility of maybe even walking to school.  We do enjoy the city we live in for many reasons and are so grateful for the home we have.  I definitely do not want to sound ungrateful for what we have.  We just can't ignore the ways our home and current area don't meet the needs and desires of our family any longer.  So although saying goodbye forever will be hard, there is also so much to look forward to and to be both excited and thankful for.


  1. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your heart, friend.

  2. Lovely sentiment and post. It's not easy, Andrea. Having just been through something like this I though I should tell you that I cried a lot when the time came to leave, but I am fine now. Even though we don't own this house up here at the moment, it still feels like home. Now, I think fondly of our first home, without getting morose.The good news is that the next house will be just as good because it will have all the same inhabitants! So it will be sad when you do leave (and make you mad when people criticize your decorating choices while you are selling…), but there are good things about moving, too, and you will love the new home for different reasons and will love continuing your family's story there. Good Luck!

  3. I just came across your blog tonight from a share from Christy of Barn Owl Primitives on Instagram. I love your garlands! And I have been enjoying reading your blog. We too are getting ready to sell our home and so much of what you wrote here is true for us as well. (Minus the family history. I can't imagine all that you are feeling with that.) Blessings on the selling process!