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 amazon.cloud and external hard drives to back up our would-cry-if-we-lost-them photos and videos.
anna whiston-donaldson says
Love the video idea. Still remember the nooks and crannies of the fabulous house where I grew up. Lovely.
Aw, lovely. What a great way to save those memories. :)
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!
That’s so sweet! I love to think about us rewatching the first house and second house videos when Clara’s older around the holidays.
What a great idea! My husband and I are getting ready to move out of our first house together and it’s a little sad. I am excited to have a new house to decorate and do new projects in but we will always love our first home together.
Rene @thedomesticlady says
I love driving by the houses where I grew up. Such great memories :) Enjoy your vacation :)
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!
Sherry..you’re getting me all sniffled and teary…oh the LOVE in YHL.
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)
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).
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.
Jayme @ Keeping Up With Myself says
I use Dropbox for everything. I love that it syncs to all my devices seamlessly and it’s FREE (unless you need like a million gigs of memory, which I do not, thank goodness).
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.
Katie Richards 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.
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!
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?
Reflecting on this home is so good to hear–read about:) You guys are too much! Love this heart-felt blog……
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.
Laughing Abi says
Sweetest. Thing. Ever.
I want Clara to cook me some “Sicken”! Pwease!
Awww. I have not been able to watch the video. Trust me I would cry if you lost all of your photos and videos. :)
House Crazy Sarah says
you have an amazing little girl there – but I guess it only makes sense because her parents are so fab!
I loved your second house as well and followed you through the whole journey so it is bitter sweet to your fans as well. But life goes on and new houses fast become “homes”. I am grateful to be able to witness your family on that journey.
Deer playing poker in the sunroom, huh? No wonder it’s so challenging to feel settled in LOL!
Good morning! I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. I came across your site while browsing Pinterest for ideas/how to’s on correctly staining a concrete floor. My boyfriend and I have just moved into a rental house that needs LOTS of love. The owners of the home don’t understand how important it is to take care of a house, plus the 6 months it was abandoned prior to our move-in doesn’t help! Long story short, we are getting there. I love reading your blog and getting ideas and tips for my place. Keep being so awesome. Thank you for inspiration! :) Have a great day!
Thanks so much Molly! Good luck with your new place!
Well this post rounds out my trio of blog posts that make my cry for the day (The other two: http://missmustardseed.com/2013/08/saying-goodbye-to-home/ and http://www.teamlinzer.com/2013/08/here-we-are.html).
You guys, EVEN I miss house #2 and have never met you nor set foot in it. With so much personal investment, I can’t even imagine how it must be to you.
It never ceases to amaze me, the human factor that this internet thing has brought the whole wide world to our lives, making “friends” with people you’d never, ever know in real life. This intimacy we all get from each other as virtual strangers.
Thank you for sharing your lives with us. Now excuse me while I go for my box of tissues.
Oh my gosh, thanks for sharing those links, I had read Miss Mustard Seed’s post but hadn’t seen the second one you shared. So heartfelt and full of love.
Oh, how I wished we had done that for our kiddos! Both of my kids were born in Omaha but our son (kidlet #2) came home from the hospital to the movers loading up our stuff for our move to Texas. I thought our 3 1/2 year-old daughter would remember more about the house she had spent her entire life in up to that point, but after 2 years she has only sketchy memories of the house she grew up in. For us, the good news is that we are renting that house out and plan to move back in next summer… but then our son won’t remember this house, the one that he grew up in until he turns 3. Sigh.
What a sweet idea to make a video!! I wish we would have done that in our first house, my 3 girls always ask about their old house and love to look at pictures of their old rooms. You will be happy you did it when Clara is older!!!
We moved in May and still have no idea what half the light switches go to! Heck, I recently spent a solid minute in the middle of the night(lights out, of course) trying to get out of the master bathroom because I couldn’t find the doorknob – ’cause it’s a HANDLE and because it is on the left, not the right. :P
Haha! I hit so many obstacles during those bathroom-runs-in-the-dark! Seriously, John wakes up to me screaming or yelping every time.
wow, sherry you do the same thing as my mom when she is nervous – that’s a lot of hair touching! (both yours and Clara’s!)
Oh yeah, in general I have no idea what to do with my hands, like ever.
Jill Avery says
She is so cute :) what a great idea!
Just left Destin on Tuesday. Hope your enjoying it as much as I do. I grew up there and miss it everyday. Thanks for the video idea. As my grandparents move out of their homes I am going to do this. Love reading every morning when I wake up.
Precious. Leaving your 2nd house was bittersweet for all of us! I love that you play Gangnam Style to get Clara dancing!
Awww…. I love your family!! Lovely house as usual… :)
[email protected] the Manor says
Sniff Sniff…We moved out of our first house and into our new house last September, and I remember those exact same feelings. It was the only house our (then 2 1/2 year old) son ever knew, and although it didn’t seem to bother him, it sure did make me cry a little! We made the house into our rental property, and when we found out our renters were expecting a baby this year I got emotional again. Not upset, but so happy to think of another family starting their lives there!
For some reason that picture of baby Clara made me cry. They grow so fast. My son is 5 months old. I know the next stages are going to be so fun, but I’m not ready!!
I STILL miss the house I grew up in. Everything about it was perfect for me. I can’t even buy it back now because the neighborhood has fallen badly and it isn’t even safe. My safe house isn’t safe. And that makes me sad. I can walk through every room in my mind, and think of all the things I would do to make it even more perfect. But it will never be mine again. When we sold it years ago, I couldn’t walk through it when it was empty. It was just too sad for me. I always hope that one day a miracle will happen and the area will go back to a safe place. I can only hope.
Julie @ Living on the Ledge says
Part of the reason I wanted to start blogging is because I saw people like you doing it, documenting everything in an organized way to be able to look back on things as time flies by. You are so blessed to have all these pics and videos. We just moved from our home for the last five years, it’s where we brought our girls home…and those are some serious, sentimental memories. I feel ya, Sherry!
Aw thanks Julie!
ashley murcia says
so very, very lovely! and brought tears to my eyes! my husband and i were just chatting the other day about “when we move” and how hard it will be…our house is where we’ve brought our sweet pea and our new peanut home to and where just he and i became an us. :)
thank you, thank you for this awesome idea for when our day comes to move on to our next house adventure!
It would be really AWESOME if you house crashed one of your old houses. Ever talked to the new owners about it?
We’re actually trying to set something up with the new buyer of our first house! Can’t wait.
I love all the kitchen dancing. That was a big part of my childhood. I’m 32 and my mom and siblings and I STILL dance in her kitchen! And now that we have a 2.5 year old niece in the mix, kitchen dancing has gone to a whole new level. Clara’s got some sweet moves.
Okay. Tearing up at this video.
When I picked up HGTV magazine to read y’alls feature, I realized how attached I have become to your story. I felt like I was so proud of some close friends for getting in a magazine. That may seem so so silly, but I started reading YHL as a freshman in college, and now I’m married and fixing up our own first home (one story ranch style what whattttt?!)
So basically. Love y’all. End creepy/sappy rant.
You’re so sweet Victoria, thank you!
This is adorable! I can definitely see the dance portion of the video making it into Clara’s future wedding slideshow (when she marries Will Bower of course!)
Dude, check out the tan lines on John’s ankles in the kitchen dancing scene!
So, so sweet as usual :)
I’m going through some similar feelings, but in an opposite way, if that makes sense! My parents are moving out of my childhood home – a home they’ve lived in for 40 years. 5 acres of land they brought from barren, sandbur-filled to lush, green, gorgeous, wildlife-filled property. They are moving into a smaller, more maintenance-free home in town and I find myself extremely emotional over all of it. Not necessarily for me, but for my 3 year old son, who will likely not remember the fun he’s had a Nana and Papa’s, riding the “tractor” (lawn mower), seeing the trains go by, watching the deer prance across the yard. My 10 year old daughter will remember – my son won’t. :( But now I’m thinking I need to go out and make a video of the home. THanks for the idea!!
Good luck Kim! Our family loves watching old videos so I hope that helps you son remember things!
Hi guys! Such a cute video- but wanted to let you know that my reader is cutting off right after “‘we’re in New Jersey’ when I asked her what room we were in.” I think you have that same issue from the last video! :(
Argh!!!!! Thanks for the tip. John’s on the case.
I know the feeling so well! We sold our first home last September when he decided to build a new house. Between selling the house and finishing the build on our new one, we ended up in a rental for about 8 months (hoping to never do that again – I felt so unsettled!). We finally moved into the new house in April. And, as much as I love it, it’s not quite home yet. I’m excited about the things we had the builder leave undone so we could do them ourselves. I love finding new furnishings, making new memories and settling into the larger space. But I still drive past our old home and get a little sad. So many memories there – it’s the first house we bought, the one we celebrated our first wedding anniversary in, the house we brought our baby boy home to. And I know our new house will soon be filled with memories just as sweet. It’s just going to take time. In the interim, I need to get over my fear of putting holes in the brand new walls and actually start hanging art, photos and other decor
I’m looking forward to following your journey of making house #3 home for you guys. Thanks for sharing so much with us. :)
I can totally relate to the feeling! We moved 1 yr ago out of our first home. Over 10 years, we remodeled nearly every square inch by ourselves so it felt like “the house we built!” Our new home is bigger and better in ways, but needs a complete makeover as well! I still have frequent dreams about the old house. In one dream they turned it into a total dump and the other they remodeled it into a mansion, way beyond what we could have ever afforded! It goes to show you that it will always be with you one way or another! Keep up the good work on the new house! Your amazing pace keeps me motivated in my own home!
Sarah in Indiana says
The video seems like it will be so fun to look back on later. We just back up our pictures on thumbdrives. Easy and cheap. But I know it’s good to have them in the cloud, too, since if there was a household disaster (God forbid) we could lose the drives and computer.
Kala M. says
This is so sweet. Such a fun way to go through your house before you move. I totally agree with the whole back-up thing. I lost almost all of my design files and completed ads a work one day. I just walked into my boss’s office and cried and cried. It was ugly. I had to rebuild so many things from scratch. I now have an external drive that I back-up to. If I had to rebuild all my files now I think I would die.
Darnetha @ ChippaSunshine says
I recently had my new computer to crash and I lost everything that I had done. All my photos of my babies and important files. I think I had a nervous break down for a week, so I now know how important it is to back up the computer. A tough lesson learned.
Oh no Darnetha, I’m so sorry.
Love this idea! We’ve been living in London, England for the past few years and brought our daughter home to this flat in January. Now that we’re looking at moving back to Canada, I want to find ways of saving memories of our daughters time here!
That is a truly sweet idea, having Clara tour the house and make a video to say “good-bye.” My daughter is going to be 3 this month and we are also in the process of moving. We bought our house almost 4 years ago this month, had our daughter Emma a year later, spent 3 glorious years here and decided to put it on the market and buy something a bit bigger. Most of our things are already packed up or have been moved to the new house but we haven’t moved in yet – still a lot to do. Happy vacationing!
What an awesome idea! I would have loved to have videos of my childhood home. This is so sweet and thoughtful. Clara is lucky to have such wonderful parents!
Kimberly @ Turning It Home says
I love the idea of a video tour to remember a house. If we were to do that with our current house, it would take about thirty-seven seconds. Just kidding, probably thirty-nine. Sadly, I don’t have many pictures of our family’s first house. It was the house my husband lived when I met up, our first house we lived at together, the house we learned I was pregnant at, and also the house that we shared with roaches. It was hideous and needed some love but I had no DIY bone in me then. Thankfully, before it was demolished, I salvaged the glass door knobs from its beautiful wooden doors and made a coat rack with them. (http://www.turningithome.com/2012/12/how-to-hang-coats-on-glass-door-knobs.html) Now I’m wishing I could time travel back to take a video!
Adorable and what a wonderful way to capture memories I wish I had done this for my kids – they are now 31 & 34 and often ask me quetions about the different houses we lived in. I also loved seeing all of the decor of the rooms- it was all so beautiful as I am sure your new house is! And I love the music too – great job!