bye-bye, house.

(house portrait by Rebekka Seale)

Well before Gabe and I knew of each other's existence...he bought a house. A big, big house in the suburbs of Sacramento with all the bells and whistles a mini-van-driving woman could want. He said he was far from meeting someone of "wife" material...but wanted a family. Being in his early thirties, having a big house for a someday-wife and someday-kids felt as close as he could get to being a family man.

Which is all really quite sweet. But then he met me. I was a mid-twenties free spirit who was iffy on kids--possibly at thirty, I told him--and not a suburbs girl in the least. On our way to the altar, we had countless conversations about the house: Gabe liked the size, the newness, the good neighborhood. I wanted something smaller, older, with more character...and closer to the city.

Gabe doesn't ask for much in life. So, in time I laid aside my arguments and decided I could make it work. Although I still wasn't sold on Sacramento, it was a really nice house! With some effort, I could make the suburban home feel like the old, character-filled home of which I'd dreamed.

On our wedding day, I gifted Gabe a painted portrait of the house, and a note:

"Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay." 
Essentially, and less poetically...I surrender. Let's call this place home.
Love, Your (soon-to-be) Wife

But the past ten months have made clear what we want in life...and it isn't a 3,000 square foot house in Sacramento. We painfully calculated the number of dollars spent in mortgage payments for a place neither of us were crazy about...in a city that holds neither family, friends or oodles of job opportunities.

And so, today our house went on the market.

I don't know why I suddenly feel sad to say goodbye to this massive house in the suburbs of a city I have no desire to live in. Maybe it's because Gabe and I talked about someday-kids and home renovations and parties in the backyard...and it feels like a step backwards. Maybe it's because I woke up there on my wedding day, with my best girlfriend next to me...giggling and whispering like we were high schoolers.

Or maybe it's because a professional mover packed up the few boxes of precious things I'd left behind...my bridal bouquet, the oodles of gold mason jars from our wedding and the furniture we purchased together...and he likely threw the frost-bitten top tier of our wedding cake in the trash.

Which is the real tragedy here, because that cake would still be delicious, in any state of frostbite. ;)

Perhaps it's just nostalgia for all those little memories that feel like forever ago due to miles and miles of distance. Whatever the reason, a large piece of me is happy about this. It means money in savings. It means someday buying a new house we're crazy about, in a city and neighborhood we love.

It means one more gigantic hurdle we've jumped in our first year of marriage.

And whew, what a first year it's been. :)


  1. this is a big deal! it sounds like this house was so much to you guys - a possible future yes, but also a learning experience for the present. moving on from that is a huge step. but exciting, too, for what it could mean about other possible futures!

  2. You're gonna make me cry. This reminds me of all the moves I've been through.

  3. Aw man, I know how much (and sometimes how little) this house meant to you, I'm so glad you can let go and move on with your dreams and ideas for the future without a gigantic piece of baggage attached. Hopefully it gets snatched up soon and all that money can someday get you an adorable little house in the outskirts of Philadelphia with a big twinkley lit barn. You know, like, right next door to me. (I'm still pulling for this btw)

  4. Awww - big decision but it sounds like the right one. And it will allow you to find the right house, in the right area, that's perfect for you two. Who knew getting married would mean making all these adult decisions?!

  5. Ah! Hooray for crazy first years of marriage! Excited for you :-)

  6. Aww man! I live in Sacramento-- don't give up on it! I could use a friend. :(

  7. Congrats on your first year of marriage! And congrats on your new future! Isn't it amazing how you said "Where you go, I will go" and you've lived out that promise? Keep your head up because where one suburban door closes, an old and very charming window opens. That's how that saying goes, right? :)

  8. That is a big step; loved this post!

  9. i so adore that you commissioned this painting! what a bittersweet transition, but i think you guys are totally doing the right thing. hoping it sells quickly to a super sweet family with impeccable taste in paint color and furniture. just like you would choose. xoxox.

  10. I can imagine that it's emotional! That totally makes sense. Wow, WHAT a year you've had!!

  11. wishing you all the best in this transition. I know how much it has been heavy on your heart. Praying for it to sell fast so you won't have to worry!!!

  12. This is a huge, positive step forward. Yay! And how great it is you have such an adorable illustration of that house!

  13. I love what you wrote to him. That seriously is so sweet. Like others have said, I think you made the right decision!

  14. That portrait was such a lovely gift! Although not homeowners, my husband and I (and daughter) just moved out of a house I've been saying I hated since Day One. I never even decorated much or hung pictures because "we'll be moving soon...". Two and a half years and a new baby later we finally moved to a newer, bigger, better house - and I was sad! I didn't want to stay but it was bittersweet to leave my daughter's first home, the sweet neighborhood kids, and the awesome water view.

    Embrace your emotions and then keep looking forward! I hope it sells quickly.

  15. Frown and sniff... Sacramento needed you and I needed a antiquing girlfriend! But best wishes to you and I can't wait to see where you eventually buy as a couple;)

  16. The perfect house will come along for you, and that one doesn't sound like it was the one. That said, I can only imagine your feelings in regards to this big decision. Your post just reminded me that as of today my husband and I have been in our home for 12 years! We got it during our first year of marriage. Here's to exciting first years! (and to exciting years forever).


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