Let me jump right in. Here is the short version:

We had a small house. Then we bought a big house. Now we live in a small house again.

And here are some details to fill in the gap.

In October 2005, Darren and I both started new jobs – Me, at a local dentist office and Darren at a local hospital. This was a big deal. I had been a stay at home mom since 1989 and Darren was starting a new career path and was in nursing school. The job he took offered him $11 per hour – not a whole lot, especially with five children! (Hence why I got a job, too.) We had some conversations with our kiddos about cutting back on spending as we had two birthdays and Christmas on the horizon. They really were troopers and we made some terrific memories without spending a lot of money. (Fortunately it snowed on Christmas Day that year and we all went sledding.)

After the holidays and birthdays, we had a big life shift. Darren’s mom needed full time care and was far away from most of her family. We agreed the best place for her was with us. But we had a small house – about 1000 sq ft with a finished basement and seven people already living in it. One more was going to push us over the edge, especially my mother-in-law, who really needed a little more space if she was going to live in our busy household.

In May 2006 we moved into what we call the Big House. This house was HUGE to us – 2200 sq ft with a full finished basement and an open concept. There was a first floor master suite for Mom, 2 bedrooms and full bath upstairs, an office we converted to a bedroom for our oldest, and a very large bedroom and full bath for our three sons in the basement. We loved the big yard and the open space and felt like now that we were out of a small house, life would be glorious!

Now I know that many of you would not consider 2200 sq ft plus basement a big house. I get it. But for us, it felt like a mansion. We had room to spread out and to have lots of friends and teenagers over. We had an eat in kitchen and a dining room! We had a loft area! We had a foyer bigger than 3’x3′! So many things we had dreamed of having that would never fit in our small house, and it felt good.

Of course we loved living there, but there were a lot of things we hadn’t considered with having a big house. We had four toilets to clean. Cutting the grass took forever. Heating and cooling those vaulted ceilings was not inexpensive. Life in the big house was pretty great, but life has been pretty great no matter where we lived. Not perfect, but our pretty great life had not depended on how many square feet we lived in.

And then, one by one, our population decreased. Our oldest two children got married. Mom passed away. Our oldest son moved out. We were down to four.

Well, this is as good a place as any to take a little break. 

Hang in there – I will have the rest of the story in just a few days!


Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

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