This One’s For Clara

John and I have realized that our Florida road trip has somehow given us a little house perspective. As much as we’ve been loving the new house (nearly two months after our move I still find myself going up the stairs and whispering “duuuuude, we have a second floor”) and as much as we’ve been feeling more settled with every wall that we de-wallpaper and paint, leaving our second house was definitely bittersweet.

It’s kind of hard to explain, but somehow while traveling it’s more obvious to us that we still remember every nook and cranny of that place, and our new house still feels sort of unfamiliar and mysterious. We don’t quite remember every light switch location or which way each door swings yet. So on one hand our old house is sort of glorified in our mind as “the one we know so well” yet we have that early dating excitement for the new house. We’re smitten, even though there’s tons of work to do and we’re just getting to know each other.

I find myself sitting on the beach wondering what’s going on at our new house. Is it raining there? Are there deer playing poker in the sunroom? And then my thoughts jump to how a new family lives in our old house now, which also feels kind of strange yet sweet. I’m glad it’s not lonely. (I know that makes me sound crazy, but I’m ok with it)

That’s why I’m so glad that one of the last things that we did before we started packing up was to make a video for Clara to remember the house by – just like we did when we left our first house. And this time instead of being a little lump in our arms like she was for the first one, she could actually chat and run around and do three year old things. She loved the idea of making a video of the house so she could re-watch it whenever she wanted, but she started out a little shy… so it was especially cute to see her get really into it as we went (she started telling us what rooms to go to, what to look at in each space, and saying funny things like “we’re in New Jersey” when I asked her what room we were in). 

Since I know not everyone can watch videos, here’s a bit of what’s covered: John and Clara play “airplane” in the office, there’s some dolly-doctoring in the sunroom, I get bossed around in the hallway (“we have to show this one!”), I get bossed around in Clara’s nursery (apparently it was the baby’s nap time), a bit of frog-dress-up goes on, there’s some jumping on the guest bed, and some Clara-throwing in our bed. Oh yeah, and we stand in the bathtub together. Totally normal stuff. There’s also some Gangnam Style dancing at one point. And it’s possibly the only video in the history of videos to features the sentence “that’s not your cousin, it’s a llama.”

So much happened in our second house, and it was an especially huge part of Clara’s life since she was just seven months old when we moved in.

It’s where she learned to crawl, walk, and talk. And it’s where she has celebrated all three of her birthdays as well as three Christmases…

We’re so glad to have a bunch of photos (along with a fair amount of video documentation) thanks to this little house diary of ours. My absolute favorite memory of that entire place was this odd little nook that we had in our living room where Clara loved to hide:

Thankfully, she has since declared that her new closet is her “favoritest hiding spot in the big wide world.”

Love that bean. Love that house. Love you guys for sharing in the sappy stuff. Now somebody get me a tissue so I don’t ugly-cry my sunscreen off.

*We would have posted this sooner, but John’s computer had a freak out while editing it a few weeks after we moved, and nearly wiped out all of our photos/videos. So here’s the obligatory “remember to back up your computer so you don’t find yourself screaming into a pillow for twenty hours!” warning (which is the only thing that saved this and countless other photos/vids from disappearing into the computer crash abyss forever). For those wondering, we use a combination of and external hard drives to back up our would-cry-if-we-lost-them photos and videos.


  1. Stella Barker says

    In 1988 my parents and I did the same thing when we moved. We made a video of me giving a tour of the houseI we had lived in since I was born. Converted it to DVD along with others for Christmas last year. It’s still special to us!

  2. Amanda says

    Awww Petersiks! That brought tears to my eyes. We have been in our first/only house for 14 years. I would love to move, but the little house note and three kids (two teens) make it unrealistic at this time. You are so lucky to have all those memories and documentation of your lives in your homes. Clara will treasure them when she is older and can see how much love you two have put into making a house a home.

    On another note…I am sooo jealous of your Destin vacation! No vacation for us this year. :( We went on a road trip to Destin and Tybee Island, Georgia a few years ago. We are saving up for another trip like that!

    Best Wishes!!

  3. says

    I’m scared we are getting to the point of losing our computer. We have a ton of large size file pictures, but no video. Could you recommend an external drive or is that something we should use Amazon Cloud for?

    Every one feel free to chime in! (We have a Mac laptop about 4 years old)

    • says

      How about a site like Flickr? It’s nice to store them somewhere else besides the computer, and it’s free (or a lot cheaper than buying a hard drive, although they sell those at Target – ours is called a Seagate).


    • says

      I have an amazon cloud account and I really like it. I know Apple has a cloud account now too, and there are lots of other ones. There are free versions up to a certain amount of space for most, but I like to pay for a little more. This is a good reminder to back everything up besides my hard drive so I have copies in two places. We also have a Seagate and have had good luck with it for a number of years. That said, I definitely need to do the big backup to the Seagate again soon, and then to the cloud.

    • Criss says

      I use Carbonite, which is a cloud system. I don’t have to remember or take the time to back up to an external hard drive. I can also access everything on my hard drive from a remote location by logging on to Carbonite’s website.

  4. says

    My techy husband would definitely recommend using a drobo for redundant external hard drive back ups because we’re run into losing all of our data before and it’s scary! We’ve got our entire movie collection digitized plus his life’s work as a web designer/developer/photographer and we’re not at all concerned if a drive fails because it’s copied onto 3 (I think) different drives at once! They’re costly but worth the investment when digital media is your career.

  5. says

    Awww, that is so sweet you guys! Clara will love having that video in the years to come. Not only to see her old house but to see how proprietary she was with it.

    I can’t wait to see the wonderful things you will continue to do with the new house!

  6. jen says

    love it. I moved out of my last house a few years ago and I always think, that it’s kinda like a room I never go in, but every so often I just sit and think about it, or I see some angle in a picture of the kids that reminds me of something that was once so routine. It is bittersweet, isn’t it?

  7. Amy says

    Reflecting on this home is so good to hear–read about:) You guys are too much! Love this heart-felt blog……

  8. Lesley says

    We will definitely start doing this! My husband is in the Marine Corps, which means that we move A LOT (my almost-five-year-old has lived in Hawaii, North Carolina, Kansas, and now California). Time to start this new tradition next time we move.

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