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Monday, August 12, 2013

The Heart of a Home

When Michael and I first set out to find a house, we had a wish list of things we wanted our home to have.  And like many websites suggest, we organized the list into negotiables and non-negotiables :

Negotiables:

-Front porch
-Space for lots of parking

Non-negotiables:

-Built prior to 1940
-Curb appeal/potential
-Garage/space to build garage
-2 full baths
-3 or 4 bedrooms
-livable kitchen and baths that need updating
-Within 20 min of work
-Basement

And, of course, like any first time home buyer, we had high expectations and were not really willing to negotiate.  But obviously, we did.  You can see that we did NOT buy a home built prior to 1940, nor did we buy a home with a livable kitchen/bath that only needed a little updating.  BUT, every other hope and wish for our home was, or will be, a reality.  If you are interested in learning more about how we came to buy our house, you can read this blog post.  

But above any feature our home has/will have, Michael and I wanted to make sure there was one absolutely non-negotiable element to our home.  We wanted to have a home that is open to people. 

If you know us, you know we are highly social people.  We love to have parties (especially themed ones!).
So it is a big priority to be able to open our home for this purpose.  We want our home to be functional for us, but more importantly to be welcoming to others. We want to host small groups, throw showers, celebrate birthdays, house out of town guests.  We love the idea of being THE house that all the kids congregate at.  Look at this picture below from the home of one of our mentors in college.  This is in their house at an annual Christmas party.

10 points if you can find Michael and I
I love that! So many people and so much fun! In college, we lived in married student housing which translated to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 500sq ft apartment.  I think our record was 25 people in the main living area.  It was so wonderful.  We loved that place. 

In our P-Ville Apartment (2.5 years ago.  Crazy!)
With all that in mind, that is one reason we were so excited about our house.  It has the potential to open up the living space between the dining, kitchen, and living room.  It has a great basement that will someday be an awesome space to hangout in.  And the river provides a great opportunity for fun outdoor activities.  
No joke, these people were tubing on the river last night.  It didn't look like very much fun-at about 10 miles per hour.  But whatever floats your boat! (Chuckle.) I also love the kid in the front seat with his hands up in the air. 


Having this purpose of a people centered home, I have started to pray through our home.  Sometimes when I get worn down by the task I am working on whether it be demo, sweeping, or painting, I pray for the room I'm in.  For the future people that will be in it.  For the future events we will have there.  It helps to keep my eyes fixed on a higher purpose for our home- more than for our home to just look pretty.  It keeps me grounded in what we set out to do originally with our home, which is to love people and to welcome them in. 

Even already, before we've been able to move in, we have been able to enjoy people in our home. 
Our Friends Emily and Cory kayaked to our house





My nephew Max enjoying the fireplace and PVC scrap.  (Somebody better move that utility knife!!)


Out of town family photo-op in our back yard


The many work days family and friends have helped with


We are a thankful couple, that's for sure!  We are so thankful that God has been listening.  And we know He will continue to listen and bless us, through people coming into our home and lives.

Progress update:
We primed all the drywall this last weekend.Thanks to our moms for pitching in and to our friend Kara for helping out! We are so thankful!

They are starting to refinish our floors today.  We'll have a blank slate of a house by the end of the week!