Austin and I bought our house 2.5 years ago, we were first time home buyers and discouraged by what was on the market at the time. We spent 6 months searching and searching for a house.
Just a little back story. When we first moved to Greensboro, NC we rented a house. Austin was fresh out of college, new job, a wedding (yes we got married during all this craziness), and we had just moved to a new city. We wanted to get to know the area before we made a huge commitment with buying a house. But among all the craziness and drastic changes in our life, we were happy, and content for a little over 2 years.
But this all changed after an incident where Bella jumped up on a neighbor, (who I will add was in our yard) and our land lord decided it was best if we didn't have Bella. He gave us 24 hrs to remove her from the property.
I haven't really talked about this time in our life much because it was a very dark time for me. Bella is a large dog and we do allow her to jump up on us- which I know is probably a huge no-no, but we do. So a lady, who had never really been friendly to us, came into our yard while we were playing ball with Bella, to make "friendly conversation." Bella in a playing way jumped up on her with her ball. We quickly apologized and scolded Bella.
Five days later animal control was knocking on our door. Needless to say Bella had to be quarantined at her vet for 5 days. This was the first time she had been away from Austin and I other than staying with Austin's parents- who are the only people she will stay with. Bella suffers from extreme separation anxiety. Dropping her off was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Bella's vet was amazing and allowed me to bring her bed and whatever else I wanted to put in her run. I had the whole place in tears before I left. Bella did not eat, drink, or use the bathroom for those 5 day. I cried non-stop! And then we were hit by the land lord saying she couldn't live there any more, my life came crashing down! All I could think was "What in the world are we going to do!?"
When we first moved to Greensboro, I was actually still in college in Charlotte commuting on Tuesday and Thursdays. Other than that I was home. Bella was my friend when I had none after moving to a new place where I knew nobody. Even after graduating I had a difficult time finding a job and was at home all day every day with Bella.
Some people would have just gave their dog up for adoption, some would have even taken theirs to the animal shelter. But I didn't care if I had to live in a tent, and I would if I could have my Bella. Austin parents graciously agreed to keep Bella until we found a new place. Pretty sure they were excited for this time with her. They drive 1.5 hours now just to get her to spend the night. She is well loved!
This is when the non-stop house hunting began and extreme saving. The sooner we found a house the sooner we got Bella back. We house hunted on Austin's lunch breaks, and in the afternoons for months, traveling to Austin's parents every weekend to see our baby. This went on for six months. All while saving every penny we could to go towards a down payment. No going out to eat, no concerts with our friends, we didn't spend any money we didn't have to.
Over those six months I fell into a deep depression. I hated the house hunting experience! We would view a house and I would try to imagine every way possible to make it work for us and cry all the way back to our lifeless rental. I was envious of others who got to experience the joys of buying their first home. I remember leaving Austin parents house one Sunday afternoon going back to Greensboro with tears streaming down my face and saying to Austin what did we do to deserve this. I will just say this, I cried more in those 6 months than I think I have cried in my entire life. And to top it off Austin was in an accident and totaled one of our cars during this time.
We wanted to buy a house so this could never happen again. No one could up and say we had to remove Bella. We wanted a huge yard for her to run and play in. After months of searching we found the house we live in now. Was it our dream house? No. But it was the first thing we had viewed in 6 months that we somewhat thought could work.
It took vision to see past the periwinkle living room walls, and the 90's wall paper, but the bones were good and it had been well taken care of. So we put in an offer and we were home owners 30 day later. The day we moved in we had Austin's parents meet us there with Bella. That was the first step of making this outdated house we had just bought into our home. Our family was together again and Bella had a huge yard to run and play in.
Over the past 2.5 years we have slowly transformed this house into our home. So when I wanted a sign for our stairway I didn't have to think very hard about what quote to paint on it.
"Love grows best in little houses, with fewer walls to separate. Where you eat and sleep so close together, you can't help but communicate. And if we had more room between us, think of all we'd miss. Love grows best in houses just like this." - Doug Stone
I painted this sign on a piece of wood we used as the bar top at our wedding. So it truly means so much to me. I used old chippy white painted porch banisters to frame this quote that fits our home so perfect.
Our house is not very big or impressive, and every square inch needed updating. But together Austin and I have made some of those updates and shared many moments we will never forget. Kind of like hanging this heavy frame on the wall and almost falling down the stairs. But most of all our family and love grows in this little house we call our home and we are happy!
Sorry guys! That was a long personal post. But I felt moved to share it with you as a stood looking at my sign hung in our stairway this morning. I cried happy tears, this time, for this little home of ours!
I will be sharing more of our stairway once I get it all finished. But here are some pictures of my sign finally hung- securely I will add.