10 Things I Love About Our House

Our realtor asked me to write a list stating 10 things I love about our house, neighborhood, and community in order to share with potential buyers. I thought I’d share it here because for me it’s so much more than a way to sell our house. Even though my heart is longing and ready for adventure, ready to be free, excited about not keeping or cleaning a house for several months, writing a list reminds me why we have homes and live in community with others in the first place.

1.  Our kitchen/great room area is my favorite place in our home because it’s where laughter and heart to heart conversations and dreams and tears have all been shared, usually over tea or a meal, maybe at the counter, the table, or over on the couch, or even near the fireplace. So much happens in the heart of our home and this space is definitely the heart.

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The Kitchen, the heart of our home, the place where I sip tea, make soup, and greet each family member as they wander down in the mornings. Em and I made that painting with the dark orange doilies in the background, those chairs around the table are from Jason’s grandparents centurion farm, that’s Danielle Walker’s “Against All Grain” always open on the counter, and those are ginormous zucchini’s from our garden.

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The Great Room, curtains sewn with my Mom, leather ottoman found by parents at a garage sale, big “G” $1 at a garage sale, painted blue vases part of one of my spray-painting streaks…

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Front entry way, free gigantor mirror from friends, matching lamps on sale because my Mom always taught me that EVERYTHING goes on sale, ceramic balls from one of Jason’s trips in South America, buffet console just makes me happy…

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Antique sleigh bed, which was mine as a kid, is from lat 1700’s, leaves lend a feeling of snuggling under a tree reading endless stories, and the beautiful quilt was hand made by my friend, Kim Arnold, who included “xoxox” just for Ryan, that little lover you see perusing dinosaurs on the flood….

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Washer and dryer NOT included in sale of home! (Well, at least these aren’t…but the real ones in the laundry room are included!)

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I love this book nook at the top of our stairs. The Nativity scene was carved by my brother-in-law. The shelf I picked up at A Paris Street Market one weekend years ago when my girlfriends and I would meet at the crack of dawn with cash and coffee in hand ready for deals, and the framed pastel portrait is of me circa 1975 when we lived outside San Francisco and had gone into the city for Dim Sum and cable car rides.

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Ahhhhh! This is the beautiful and beloved Honeycrisp Apple tree in our backyard and this year the birds didn’t get to them first! We are so grateful to enjoy the harvest before we pass the baton to the next homeowners. They are the BEST!

2.  I love the decor in our home, because as I look around almost every piece has a story behind it, especially as it relates to someone special in my life, like a friend or family member who helped me paint something or found me a great piece at a garage sale or helped me sew or design a nook or corner. It brings my heart joy to know many hearts and minds have worked together to make this space comfortable and beautiful.

3.  The backyard of our home has been a haven for us.  It has been the scene for many games of tag, a ton of birthday parties and other family gatherings, the site for several seasons’ worth of zucchini, lettuce, and kale, quiet mornings with hot tea and reading, a place to talk over the fence to neighbors now friends, as well as the best campsite in town where stargazing and time with friends lasts into the late night. I love our backyard! It’s been a labor of a lot of love, blood, sweat, and even tears.

4.  This neighborhood has been good to us. We were among some of the first families in the neighborhood so it has been neat to see it fill in and meet new people in the process. We all have our stories and it’s been an honor learning some of the stories of the people right around us who call this place “home”, too.

5.  Two specific features I appreciate about our neighborhood are the quiet, low-trafficked streets and the park just 10 houses down on the left. My kids have grown up at the neighborhood park, taking their friends there, us talking to the other parents as the kids play and wear themselves out. It’s a great draw in building the community of our neighborhood.

6.  We live in The Meadows, a great master-planned community with ample sidewalks, parks, open space, hiking and biking trails, and HOA’s which keep the up the pride of residency. We are so excited to see what the town of Castle Rock has in store for the town center of The Meadows as it will really add to the “small town” feel west of the highway. And, we are only 10 mins from one of the most beautiful hikes at Dawson’s Butte, my new favorite serene spot. The views are spectacular wherever you go in The Meadows.

7.  Back to our house…I just have to say, the basement is another favorite spot because it’s always been a place for guests, short and long-term, as well as the setting for my creative heart. It’s where I’ve sewn for hours on end, designed and repurposed vintage jewelry, and spent time snuggled with my kids doing homeschool. It’s also been the place where I meet the yoga mat in the quiet of the morning or walk or run off stress in the workout room.

8.  We used to live in Denver, and though it was fun and close to many things, I’m so grateful we made the move to Castle Rock. This place has a small hometown feel without the hustle and bustle of a big city, but is close to downtown Denver or Colorado Springs for major events. I rarely leave here, though, because it has plenty to offer, including our local coffee shops, Lost Coffee and Crowfoot Valley, the best antiques and window shopping around at The Barn, as well as our fantastic local date night hot spot, Uniscali where my husband and I pretend we are in Spain having tapas for happy hour, or where I meet my sister and girlfriends for a glass of wine once in a while.

9.  Having been here 7 years, it’s been fun to meet local shop owners and business people, exchanging names and stories, feeling more like a part of a small supportive community than just a number in a big city. This has also helped us develop trusting relationships in order to know where to have our car serviced or where to get natural health care or where to get our hair cut. It’s also fun to have the folks at Sprouts or Natural Grocers greet me and my kids when we run in for the 5th time in a week because I’ve forgotten something.

10.  Wow! 7 years seems like a long time and we’ve built many memories in this home! We hope and pray this home will be a blessing to the next family who lives in it, making their own memories, celebrating milestones together, and inviting others in, as we have over the years, to break bread and further build the community.

“The Other Woman”

The other day I babysat 5 kids ages 5 and under. I know, it’s grounds for sainthood, but that’s not the point of this post. And, technically, I only “babysat” 4 since one of them was my kid. Details. Anyway, one of the sweeties came over to me and said that so and so had told them he didn’t want to be her friend anymore. I stopped tricycle traffic and we had an intervention. I asked him if his feelings were hurt by the little girl. He assured me they were. I said, “When our feelings are hurt, we want to protect our hearts. Unfortunately, the people we love the most, like our friends we love to play with, can be the ones who hurt our hearts. We don’t have the luxury of just saying, ‘You aren’t my friend anymore,’ but rather we need to go to that person, while it is still fresh, and talk to them, let them know they hurt our feelings, that it wasn’t ok, and forgive them. If we cut everyone out of our lives who hurts our feelings, we’ll live all alone.”

Yeah, I know the audience was 5, but you better believe he listened…they exchanged apologies and forgiveness and then went back to playing with dinosaurs and premature carrots from my garden…

One of my dearest friends in the world called me a couple of months ago to tell me her husband confessed to sleeping with someone else currently…how he was leaving her for the “other woman,” and that he wasn’t going to be her husband anymore.

As I listened, my heart sank. Tears welled up and I thought of the brokenness in it all. My heart ached for my friend because their marriage and friendship seemed to run deep, yet here they were, she faced with his waywardness, him, so very lost, not only in his heart and mind, but in the heat of his pants and thrill of it all…and we sobbed, together. Of course my foot had a mind of its own and wanted to kick places on her husband I had never even thought of before…but he is out-of-state, so I guess you could say he is lucky.

And my friend, wise beyond a 5-year-old, forgave him for this mental hemorrhage and let him know he could return to true love and the family they had built.

But we can’t force others not to build up walls and stomp away, saying, “We can’t be friends anymore…” or not.

I first prayed for my friend and talked to God, the One who knew her well, her heartache, disappointment, and every private plea and flowing tear. God saw the big picture and knew the whole situation, so going to Him has helped me not carry too much of a burden or desire to rescue, but to trust Him with how to walk through this alongside her, and to trust Him to do the disciplining and “enlightening” of her husband…as well as the true deep down healing from this train wreck.

Then I told my husband. “Yeah, he is leaving her for that girl…”

Jason said, “No, he isn’t. No one leaves the person they love ‘for another person’, they leave for other reasons.”

WOW.

Huh. He has a PhD in engineering and speaks no more that 64 words a day, yet I feel he may be onto something when it comes to relationships…as if he knows a thing or two about heart things. He is an observer, that man of mine…

Maybe this is a crummy example, but what my husband said has had a profound effect on my heart. You see, my dear friend who called to tell me her news was not the first dear friend to share such news with me…and though the Devil may try to discourage these incredible friends with lies that they aren’t as “whatever” as “the other person” so their spouse left them, the truth is, their spouses were broken and their choices to leave had nothing to do with my friends but everything to do with their spouses’ series of selfish choices and broken relationship with God.

I’m not pretending to have answers or even know what I’m talking about when it comes to an unfaithful spouse…I’m just profoundly struck by the reality that no one leaves their spouse for another person, as if that other person could actually fill a void or something.

What if, in all of our relationships, we ran toward one another instead of away? What if we functioned more like 5 year olds when it came to quick forgiveness?

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photo courtesy of: http://www.endedtvseries.com/tag/mork/

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