It's one of those nights again. The kids are sleeping and Chris is working late, and I'm alone in a quiet house. And I'm loving it. The Christmas decorations are up (all but the trees), the kitchen is clean, the fire is glowing in the fireplace, a "Twisted Peppermint" candle is burning on the coffee table, and I can't imagine cozier place to be.
Those who know me may remember that this house wasn't our first choice. On our second day house hunting in London we fell in love with a house just outside the city. It was one of those moments that you wait for when you're shopping for a new home. I was out of my element, far from home, seeing house after house after house that didn't meet nearly enough of the "must haves" on my list. At the end of the first day I felt so discouraged, but when we drove in the driveway of the first house on the second day I felt like things might be looking up. Nice neighbourhood, beautiful lot, lots of curb appeal. Then we walked in the front door. As soon as I stepped inside I felt like I was home. The more I looked, the more I loved it. And Chris felt the same way. It was perfect for our family. Right in our price range. Just like we knew He would, God had led us to the perfect house. We went back to see it twice before we made the offer the next day. That was when we realized that house was not meant to be ours. The owners really didn't want to sell it after all. Nothing we offered would convince them to sell it to us. It would never be our home.
It took a while for us to get over that house. Yes, we went out again the next day, found this house that met just enough of our "must haves", and bought it that day. It took Chris longer to let go of the other house than me, but it took a long time for this house to feel like "home" to me. I loved the neighbourhood immediately, although I wish our street had a few more mature trees (more than none, that is). We live within walking distance of the kids' school, and nearly every other amenity that we could possibly need, and under a five minute drive from everything else. We found a wonderful church practically around the corner. But the actual house? Aside from the jacuzzi and super-duper shower in the master suite (both of which I fell in love with immediately), the house took me a while.
But now I love my house. We have done a few things that have made it feel much more like our home. First of all, it isn't quite so white anymore. I chose colours that I love and painted the main floor and upstairs hallway. We bought furniture that makes it cozy and warm. We built a play structure and a shed in the backyard, planted trees and put in a garden. It isn't the same house that it was the day we first saw it. Yes, the basement is still a work in progress, but I have faith that someday in the not-too-distant future we will be enjoying that space, too. Our house is a home now. We have made it ours, and it is where we are meant to be. And that is what I'm thankful for today.