|Jack and Lilly, saying goodbye to their bedroom|
Just as has happened so many times before, things worked out at just the right time. We found this house in a great little neighborhood on a cute street, Quaker Lane. The owners wanted to close within a day of our lease ending. We have 4 bedrooms and a great fenced in yard. We have a basement that is already the childrens' favorite room--it has space for all their toys and for lots of books. It will soon have an art corner for Lilly and places to park all of Jack's trucks. We want to get bean bags for them and we'll have music set up down there. We moved in a week ago, and it already feels like home. Lilly and Jack have stopped calling it "the new house"; instead, this house is now "home" and the house on S Pine Creek has quickly become "the old house."
|moving day bagels|
Saying goodbye to South Pine Creek was not easy. When we moved in there, Lilly had just turned 3, Jack was 10 months old and I was 2 months pregnant with Hannah. Jim and I were 31. While that was our home, Lilly started school; Jack learned how to walk and talk; Hannah was born; Jim and I celebrated 7 years of being married; Lilly learned how to ride a bike; Jack grew to love Thomas and trains and trucks and dirt. Hannah learned how to crawl and walk and talk; Lilly said goodbye to her toddler years and became a real little girl, who is self sufficient and a big help to me with the little ones; Jack put his books away in the "suitcase" (bookcase) and would ask us to help him build car transporters and dump trucks and acela trains out of lego; by the time we left, Hannah was in the mix, following the older two around, chasing them in circles around the house and dancing when they danced; some of Lilly's favorite expressions included "Don't Forget Cuckoo Head", telling me that Jack or Hannah was having a "grand old time," or when asked why there was such a mess at the end of quiet time, would respond with, "Mum, I mean, I'm astonished. I have no idea how this mess got here." Hannah said "hi" and "bye" to everything, especially the vacuum, which she doesn't like. So, upon seeing the vacuum, this tiny little opinionated person would walk right up to it saying, "Bye bye vacuum." Jack would tell us that he was "very so cold" or "very so hungry" to really emphasize what he wanted. What amazing little people they are, and what wonderful memories we have from that house.
Jim and I enjoyed cold beers outside while watching the little ones play in the pool. We shoveled feet of snow into mountains for sledding. We had glasses of wine on the couch together, deciding how we would like to spend the next 10 years of our life. We made wonderful, genuine friends who we know will be a part of our lives forever. We had cups of coffee on our "lazy" weekend mornings that we had to reheat 39050325987 times because it's truly impossible to drink a hot cup of coffee with three small children by your side. We had discussions about jobs and children and marriage and what's really important in life. We talked about how a house is just a house, and how it will never define us or hold us back. If we want to live abroad in 5 years, we'll sell the house. If an opportunity arises before then, we'll find renters. Whatever the circumstances are, a house will not limit us and our future.
We had every member of our families come to visit at some point over the past two years. Some for a few hours; others stayed a few weeks; and we even had a visitor for a few months, who learned to drive while she stayed with us!!! (Sorry Auntie Ells...it's too monumental not to mention). Jim's dad was known for his mysterious late night visits, arriving at 2am and leaving by 6am. We had the entire Clark family over for a Christmas party this year. Mum and Dad came over from Singapore and were once again on call when Hannah was born. One of my most vivid memories from South Pine Creek is coming downstairs when we knew I was in labor with Hannah, seeing Dad...having a quick conversation and having to stop mid way through because I was having a contraction...running (or more likely, waddling) upstairs to give Mum a hug goodbye, and heading to Greenwich Hospital at 4:30am where Hannah was born an hour later.
We have so many memories; we have pictures and stories; and now, we get to create a whole new set of memories. Bring it on, Quaker Lane. I hope you're ready for us!
|Oh, how we loved this house!|
|Everyone needs goggles when they're playing in the water table|
|watching a show, with Elmo and Dottie|
|Jack and his dump truck|
|Playing a little "red light, green light" to kick off the weekend!|
The biggest help of all
|a picnic in the moving truck!|
|The train table is our dining room table at the moment!|
|Gorgeous flowers from Marie and beautiful champagne from Mum and Dad|
|First task: get a (yellow) bike for Jack and a (yellow dump truck) helmet to ride around the new neighborhood!|
|The new bath is a hit!|
|We're officially CT residents...11 years later.|
|Hannah's favorite place. The stairs.|
|Hello, Quaker Lane!|