(You can check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.)
To call this place just a home or house doesn't seem like it does it justice.
We had looked at many homes but when we walked out of this house we got back in the car and looked at each other and said, almost at the same time, "I want that house."
We made an offer, it was low, but we knew it was all we could afford.
They accepted . . . we were shocked.
The house seemed HUGE to us.
We were HOME OWNERS.
We were so young - 22 and 23.
(Painting day. Gotta love the baggy t-shirts.)
We lived in this home for nearly 7 years.
We remodeled bathrooms and laundry rooms.
We painted and made each room our own.
We hosted youth parties and had friends over.
We dreamed of all the possibilities for such a HUGE backyard.
In this house I made a scavenger hunt for Jason to find a positive pregnancy test.
We became parents while living here.
We sat Ian down in the middle of the living room after coming home from the hospital and looked at each other thinking, "Now what?"
We were no longer alone in this home.
I became a stay at home mom in this house.
On my first Mother's Day Jason bought me a swing for the backyard.
We sat in this house after hearing we were having twins and wondered how we'd all fit in here.
Jason started a home addition project with the help of many dear friends!
I grew and grew in size and as he pounded and pounded away I moved my lawn chair around so I could watch him work and watch my toddler play.
With care he took down each brick individually on the wall that we would be tearing down.
Then with care he chipped each brick clean so it could be reused by the bricker.
The day the kitchen floor was going to be laid I went into labor.
Our friends worked on our floor while we were in the hospital.
We put our kids hand prints in the cement patio out back.
A sand box was built big enough to hold many boys and many trucks.
LOTS of PERSONAL love went into this addition.
A huge shrimp boil was hosted in the backyard for all those that helped make our addition a reality.
High chairs took over the kitchen.Johnny Jump Ups hung from the large frame between the kitchen and living room.
Thomas the Tank Engine got his own table in the living room.
I was a "mom of boys" in this house.
First birthday cakes were torn into.
We kept having youth in our home and friends over.
Jason and I would sit in the backyard on my swing and dream of our house of boys growing up in such a big backyard.
I could envision full blown football games going on in the future.
Lots of balls were thrown, hit, kicked and tons of sand and dirt were played with and eaten in this back yard.
It's where we'd sit and dream about the future.
It's where we weighed the pros and cons of a fourth child.
It's where we'd wrestle with things going on in our hearts.
In this house we made the decision to take a risk and move to Utah.
In this house we told our closest friends that we'd be moving.
We all cried and then they all prayed over us.
Leaving this home was difficult.
It was a house of SO MANY FIRSTS.
In so many ways it's the home 'we' grew up in, figured out marriage, and walked FULL ON into parenthood.
It's a house we sold in 7 days flat - with many showings.
Each time we walked a couple through it and pointed out all the great things about it and all the updates we had done to it we were left thinking "Why would we move out of this home?".
Let's go back to webster's definition of home . . . "where you live at a particular time".
We lived here during this very "particular time" and it was time to go.
We drove away from this home with 20 or more friends waving from our driveway.
We let the tears flow and drove north for a new direction in ministry, a new adventure with God, and towards many unknown possibilities.
We drove to house #4.