Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy 5th Anniversary!!!

5 years ago, Hubby and I embarked on a life changing decision.  We were living  comfortably in an apartment in a quiet suburban apartment complex.  Our apartment was fairly spacious, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, laundry room, kitchen, family room, dining nook and a quaint patio space.  It was at this apartment I lost my 1st job and found myself spending countless hours watching FoodTV and collecting recipes that would later on be part of a diverse collection of delicious treats that I would later share with family and friends.  It was at this apartment my husband would propose to me on a fall night in October 2002 and send me on a scavenger hunt around our apartment to find my engagement ring.  It was at this apartment that we started our married life together and learned what it meant to be a team.

We moved into our apartment in March 2002 and enjoyed this space until January 2005 when we decided that we were ready to become homeowners.  We had actually discussed it sooner and decided to see a financial planner and do the responsible thing and start saving (very hard to do being twenty somethings with no real bills).  We would spend countless hours analyzing and estimating the costs of owning a home and the most rigorous part of hunting.  Very early on we decided we wanted to build a house from scratch.  Now, I must admit at this point in my reflection, my husband and I are very picky about most things and we have extremely high expectations and standards about everything.  This is all good until it's time to make a decision and buy something.  We will research something for so long and so hard that we end up having to take a break just to refocus our research subject.  Now imaging us trying to buy house...choosing an area to build, selecting a house and attempting to decide (from the many options I might add) on the endless features available to us to customize our space.   Words can't even describe the time and effort we spent on planning for this purchase.

We had some friends that were looking to buy a house in the AA area and we eagerly followed suit.  We'd later meet with their real estate agent who'd help us decide which builder to choose.  A couple of months later we'd finally select our builder and sign the initial paperwork (and pay the initial deposits) to start the building process.  I can fondly remember writing the first of many checks, shuttering with fear while hoping that we'd made the right decision in taking such a GIANT leap to build a house.  I had never wrote checks for such large amounts that I remember at one point thinking, "why couldn't we just stay in our apartment for a couple of years and think about this house thing a little later on, when we were a little more prepared".  But by now it was too late to back out...we had signed the documents, financially committed our resources, the bulldozers had already broke ground on our lot and the building had begun.  

Our Lot (Winter 2005) 
It would take 6 months to build our house, countless trips back and forth to check on the progress (every weekend just about), many emails and telephone calls with the contractor and mortgage company, endless amounts of time doing research, many pictures and many, many decisions we'd have to make on the details of our house.  I have never been so excited and overwhelmed at the same time of realizing all the decisions we'd have to make on the interior and exterior features of the house.  Although it was fun and exciting at first it quickly turned into headaches and frustrations.  We had to pick everything!!!...exterior brick color, cabinets, floors, placement of light switches, light fixtures, hardware fixtures, interior doors, windows, elevations, countertops, etc.  All of this planning and decision-making would rear it's head many years later as we'd have to decide on landscape, furniture and decor.  Needless to say it was good practice :)

Bathroom tile selections
Exterior brick selections

In the end, we were extremely pleased with our selections and excitedly moved in our brand new house July 2005.  We hired movers that would relocate our belongings from our old zip code to our new one and we'd be left with task of unpacking, organizing and cleaning (and lining cabinet shelves-my favorite!!).  We were able to unpack everything in one day and while most of that day was full of excitement and giddiness, I remember crashing at one point from total exhaustion and extreme fatigue.  Later on that evening, we sat in awe of what we had accomplished and we talked about the many moments our new house would bring us in future years to come.


At 27 years old we had built our first house. We had done what most accomplish later in their lives or never accomplish at all.  I remember very proudly telling a co-worker soon after we moved in that we had just built our first house.  She confidently responded, "you are blessed".  I had never thought about it that way but knowing what I know now about God and his favor, I too can say confidently "yes we are very blessed".  Our house, our marriage, our jobs...everything we have in our lives has been provided to us by God and everyday I'm reminded of HIS many blessings when I drive into our driveway, press the garage door opener and settle into our house...the house that HE built from scratch.