When my husband and I first got married I knew I wanted a family, but I wasn’t quite ready to have children yet. We wanted to enjoy the fun of being a young married couple. Prior to marriage, he had purchased a second-floor condo in Historic Old Louisville, and we were so happy there with my cat Pinky. Life was simple in our material belongings, we lived in approximately 1,200 square ft., 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom home. We had a tiny kitchen, and enjoyed our evenings together cooking and curling up on the couch watching movies together.
Without children and a low mortgage, we could travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (where we were engaged), Mexico, Jamaica, and Hawaii for our honey moon all in one year. Marriage was better than I ever imagined it to be. We could eat out whenever we wanted, and we lived a very leisurely life. We thought we were busy, but we had no idea what busy was because we had no children. Within a couple of months, my maternal instinct was kicking in, and I told Evan that I wanted a puppy. He was furious when I showed up one evening in December with Woo, my first born! Woo is an Ocherese, and as a puppy he sat in the palm of my hand and was irresistibly cute. Evan and I had our first fight! Evan, who did not like dogs, told me that if I didn’t return Woo that he would resent me, and I in turn told him that I would resent him if I had to return Woo. Three days later, Evan was buying Woo outfits from Target.
Buying a dog came with a lot of lessons about being up in the middle of the night, to the dog sleeping with us, to us needing to find a home for the dog to pee in with a fence, and so we started house hunting. House hunting was no easy feat, and after viewing 25 plus homes, our Realtor started driving aimlessly around town just to see what neighborhoods appealed to us. I was certain we were wearing him out! After another exhausting day of house hunting, our Realtor drove us into our soon to be neighborhood. There was a sign in the yard of a California ranch, and we asked him to pull over. Evan and I were instantly drawn to this house. We loved the open floor plan and vaulted ceilings and the serene private backyard. We were able view it right away, and wouldn’t you know the house had an Invisible Fence for the Dog! Sold! We were moving, and we had a new home for a sweet puppy to run around in the yard.
Within three years Ainsley my angel girl was born the day after our third anniversary. Two and a half years later, Marshall our second child was born. The house was growing small, and it was time to move again or renovate. We loved the location, and opted for renovating. The next year and half, we drafted and built our dream home. At one point, the electrician told me half of the couples he saw who renovated homes over the years ended up in divorce. For anyone who has ever taken on a massive renovation, let’s just say it isn’t without challenges! Evan and I poured our hearts into our home and it wasn’t without a lot of blood sweat and tears into overseeing every detail of the home. My father, who was alive at time, was our General Contractor/Framer.
The renovation was hard, but we had a lot of fun and it was a huge creative outlet. Once we moved in, we swore we’d never leave and we’d stay until we retired or passed away. It was our forever home! Life continued to change in ways we couldn’t foresee. Within a few months, my father passed away, and I went through one of the greatest shifts in my life. Soon after his death, I went to Boulder, CO with my best friend. I was greatly grieving the loss of my dad, and needed to get away, so I went to a yoga teacher intensive week training, not to become a yoga teacher, but to heal my broken heart.
This trip changed my life and within a 6-month period, I became a yoga teacher, and within another year, I finished 600 hours studying Ayurveda, the Sister Science to yoga, an alternative form of healing/medicine out of India that integrates the body, mind and spirit using life-style practices, diet, herbal remedies, breathing practices and much more.
During this shift in my life, I realized that our family was living a life of quantity over quality. We watched the documentary the Minimalist. This documentary about consumerism taught me how out of sync I was with what brought me true happiness and joy. It wasn’t things – it was experiences my heart was longing for.
Evan and I were no longer traveling, and we spent a lot of our time maintaining our yard and not a garden, paying bills, and cleaning a ton of square footage – lost hours that I will never get back when I could have been playing with my children. Our children have been commuting on a bus an hour a day. My home was no longer matching my desires of how I want to live my life. Many people told me about the book, “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” The essential message or take away from the book is that whatever you own let it bring joy. It wasn’t that my home at one point wasn’t joyful, but I had new desires. The question that the book left me with is this, “Is what you choose to own how you want to live your life?” I realized that my heart was no longer aligned with my home as much as I am grateful for what it has afforded me.
This coming month, our family will kiss good-bye our beloved home. I am so grateful that my dad and I had the time to build it together before he passed away. I share so many beautiful memories of us working on the renovation together. The home that we are moving to sits on 3 beautiful wooded acres. We wish to grow a beautiful Ayurvedic herb garden, kayak with our children and fish Harrods Creek, which sits alongside our new neighborhood, and our children will be within 5 minutes of their school. There will be many adventures camping and exploring the outdoors ahead for us. We are decreasing our mortgage by half, and we will be able to return to a life of experiences over things. My father’s death taught me that life is worth treasuring and that it doesn’t have to be so tough. Thank you, Dad, for the experiences we shared, and for the home we designed together before your death. I will always cherish our home! I will always cherish the experience of building it with you! It’s not owing it that matters, it’s what we did together that will bring me joy long after you’ve departed.