The yard where they chased their dog and greeted their neighbors and started their walks into the city. The steps they carried their boys up for the very first time, tenderly, cautiously, excitedly through the doorway into their home, into their together. This afternoon where one corralled a roly poly and another took more steps on his own than he ever has and they all played dinosaurs in an emptying bedroom all just before yet another night they opened their home to the stories and prayers of friends they are choosing to do life beside as family. They live life to the fullest. And their home has been the vessel for it all.
So before life turns the page on the next chapter, it was here we made photographs to be art, to be heirlooms, to be a simple pause in this beautiful grand adventure. And here is why in Erica’s own words:
We were miles away in the mountains, on a trip to celebrate our first wedding anniversary, when we saw photos of the place that we’d soon call our first home. We felt so strongly it was meant for us, we rushed to the open house the moment our flight landed. When we walked in the door, a real estate agent told us the house was already spoken for. A few negotiations later, it was spoken for — by us.
We didn’t know then that it would be a place where we grew up together, dog in tow. We were young, a year into marriage and with so much we didn’t know but thought we did. We learned over and over again inside these walls about being on the same team, saying I’m sorry, and not shying away from the hard things. Tears were shed and many, many laughs were shared. We became real grown-ups here.
We didn’t know then that it would be a place where countless friends both celebrated and mourned. Where couples announced pregnancies in our living room, toasted to new jobs, prayed for answers, told inside jokes, grieved losses, ate a lot of meals, and — I hope — were always invited in with open arms.
We didn’t know then that it would be a place where we’d have our first messy home office, where our businesses began. Where we learned our trade and muddled our way through how to find our voice as a business…and how to balance that while being married and spending 99% of our time together.
We didn’t know then that someday the messy home office would be turned into our son’s room…to make way for our second son. That we would see the walls of this home at literally every hour of the day and night as we navigated parenthood. That we would find out — twice — that we were going to be trusted with sweet lives. Life-changing news that happened in the upstairs bathroom of all places, and with a flood of excited tears and a follow-up question: “is it weird if I still take a shower now?”
We didn’t know then that it would be a place where so many days of routine blended together to form an imperfect yet beautiful LIFE. Where lunches were packed, stories were read, bandaids applied, photos taken, reruns watched, games played, keys forgotten, feet rubbed, dishes washed, memories made.
And we didn’t know then that after almost nine years, it would be a place where a for-sale sign is stuck in the ground. Where boxes are piling up and closets are being cleaned. And where we had to tell our loved neighbors that we were moving. Where the word bittersweet became really real.
What we don’t know just yet is how our new home will fit into the fabric of our family’s story that is being woven together. But what we hope is that it will be a place where we continue to grow up, where friends are warmly welcomed, where business ideas bloom, where babies become toddlers who become kids who become pre-teens, where a new routine is created, and where home really is sweet.
And to the newlywed husband and wife with the dog and big dreams who are moving in to our first home and calling it your first home: we wish all these things for you, too. Love it well.