On Monday we will finally close on our first house here in Florida. Can you believe it? I can’t. I can’t believe that this time last year we were struggling to make ends meet, fearing our unexpected pregnancy, wondering where we were going to live, and trying to put our lives back together after our move. Such change in such a short amount of time. Now, we both have jobs that we love and, more importantly, that pay the bills. We have a beautiful baby girl whose dimples and gummy smiles make both of us melt. And we’re actually enjoying living in Florida. The only thing that is the same this year is that we are still packing. And soon we’ll still be unpacking.
Packing and unpacking.
I feel like we’ve done that so much in the past year. We packed our beautiful home in Connecticut and unpacked at the tiny, horrid rental house. We packed that horrid rental house and unpacked at my parents house. We packed at my parents house and unpacked at our safe, cozy rental house in a better part of town. And now we’re packing up that house and moving to an even better neighborhood and a house all our own.
I think that’s my favorite part about buying this house. That it will be the last time we unpack. I drive through our new neighborhood occasionally and pretend I’m driving home. I pass by the elementary school and I smile to myself as I think that this is the first time that we know where we will be when Bean starts school. I pass by our new neighbor’s houses and I smile to myself as I think about how our kids will grow up next door to their kids. And I smile as I pass our new house and think about you and me, sitting on the big back deck, rocking side by side, watching our babies become adults.
But as happy as I will be to unpack at that new house, I know that the packing and unpacking for us isn’t completely over. We’ll pack and unpack countless diaper bags. We’ll pack and unpack suitcases for family vacations. We’ll pack and unpack Bean and Gracie’s school backpacks and lunchboxes. Every Christmas, we’ll pack and unpack ornaments we’ve collected from our adventures. And down the road, maybe we’ll pack and unpack desks and offices as we move on and up to new jobs. Or maybe we’ll pack and unpack bags from that trip to Machu Picchu we never got to take. Then, much later (though I’m sure it will seem like in a blink of an eye), we’ll pack and unpack boxes of Bean and Gracie’s awards and trophies from high school. And then we’ll pack and unpack cars as we load our babies up and take them to college dorm rooms.
Packing and unpacking are just part of our marriage. We put away the lows and carefully store the highs and then we move on to open new experiences and adventures together. In the years we’ve been together, we’ve packed and unpacked our bags next to each other countless times as we begin and bring to a close different journeys we’ve shared. Some of those memories make me laugh, some make me sad, and some make me warm from the inside out.
So, as we get closer and closer to packing and unpacking when we move into our new house, I just wanted to take a minute in the middle of all the chaos to tell you how much I love packing and unpacking with you. I know that sometimes that excitement and anticipation can get overlooked, what with all the potty dances and bedtime stories and middle of the night feedings. And sometimes when we’re signing endless stacks of paperwork and faxing bank statements and copies of pay stubs across Kingdom Come, I might forget to stop and tell you how happy I am. But I think you should know that. You make me look forward to change. You make me happy about change. Of all the reasons I love you, that one is pretty high on my list.
Here’s to moving boxes and suitcases,