The long awaited transfer of the keys has occurred and the house is ours!

Emily moved out yesterday and the deal officially closed, so by the time I picked Braedan up from school, we were able to walk back to our new house. Of course, there are many months ahead before we can actually call it home, but we’ve spent plenty of time there in the past thirty hours, digging up bushes, stripping wallpaper, taking down dusty old curtains. The boys have had a blast running up one flight of stairs and down another or coloring on the walls (which I made sure they understood was a special event only and not something we would do everyday on our new — about to be painted– walls!). We had a picnic on the living room floor for dinner last night which they thought was pretty fabulous.

It reminded me of the day we took possession of this house seven-and-a-half years ago. We were supposed to get the keys on March 1, which happens to be the day after my birthday. Wait, let me back up. The months surrounding our purchase of this hosue were ridiculously full. I was training for a marathon, which I was excited about but was very time consuming. We were moving into our first home, also time-consuming. We (oops, I mean) I was planning our wedding, which I loved doing but because it was out of town and because it was at my family’s summer house and not in a facility equipped for big events with things like chairs and bathrooms and dance floors, was majorly time-consuming and fairly exhausting work. And most of all, the thing that topped it all off, the thing that was almost too much on its own, was my job which I absolutely, postively hated. I don’t think I have ever hated anything more than my job that year. I was teaching middle school in Cleveland, a position I had sought out believing it was a critical time to make a difference in kids’ lives. Well, I don’t even want to reminisce about all the horrible details that made that school so awful but suffice it to say, I was exhausted and stressed, beat down day after day.

So my birthday came and I made it through one more day and came home to Mark, who was preparing to take me out to dinner, “somewhere special.” I remember that I had changed into my comfy old overalls when I got home from work and I looked at Mark and said, “You mean I have to change my clothes?” And he thought about it for a moment and shook his head no, I’d be fine just as I was.

We get in the car and he suggests we drive by the new house, which was just a few blocks from the duplex we’d been renting. Then he pulls in the driveway to “show me something” and eventually leads me in the front door where dinner is set up on the living room floor, complete with candles and balloons and my presents hiding under a wheelbarrow (the first of my new homeowner-themed gifts).

So while last night with the kids running around like madmen, doing cartwheels on a wall-to-wall carpet that will soon no longer be, was not exactly as romantic as our first first house experience eight years ago, it was a pretty happy moment nonetheless.

And now the real work begins . . .