Monday, June 13, 2016

Goodbye, Bethel.

We loved our home on Bethel Avenue near Ball State.  My parents purchased the house in spring of 2009 as a foreclosure and we all worked together to remodel it.  Kyle and I bought the house in 2012.  It was always meant to be a starter home, not our forever home.  It was just too small and located too near campus for that.  

We'd always wanted to get the house painted, but we never got around to it.

We brought every single one of those rocks from Portland.  They're from my grandparents' rockpile that came out of their fields.

One thing I DON'T miss...the cracked driveway!  Weeds used to grow in there something TERRIBLE.  And look how close to the neighbors!  We didn't really notice it terribly, but now that we have a bigger yard, it seems strange!

This strip of grass was all the backyard we had.  This whole driveway used to be yard, but that meant the only entrance was on a hill on a busy street, which was no bueno in the wintertime when ice accumulated!  Now our driveway is completely paved (and smoothed), and I don't miss this gravel!

We always hated this garage.  It was never actually convenient to park in here because it took you so much more time to get out and open the old door.  We put our garden on the side of the garage and tried to do some mulch around it, but the rain always washed it out.  This garage got water in it often.  Don't miss that.

We spent last summer doing a few odd and end projects.  Mostly we painted the basement stairs, spruced up the grout in the downstairs bathroom, and did new flooring in the back entrance.  We did these projects the last week of July.

I do miss my red doors!  Wowzers!  Look at that floor!  And those painted stairs.  It STILL seems weird to even just LOOK at that in a picture...not at ALL how I remember that entrance!  This basement did get water a lot, which I don't miss.  I also didn't like how the first thing you saw when you walked in WAS the basement.  We used the side door most.

The first week of August, I had a very strange feeling in my chest and stomach.  

Kyle has always been pretty adamant about pacing our kids about three years apart.  I told Kyle after Audrey was born that she was the only baby coming home to that house. With these two ideas rolling around in our heads, we planned to put our house up for sale in the spring of 2016 and hopefully move in the summer (  We hoped we would have a baby sometime in the fall of 2016 or after (I’m due in October).

But that first Wednesday in August, I had a sudden feeling that we needed to put our house up for sale NOW.  I’m not sure why I felt that way.  I remember that I was sitting on the couch while Kyle was at work and Audrey was napping and I was looking at houses for sale in our area.  This is sort of a silly pastime of mine.  I still do it, actually!  Anyway, I was looking and I wandered onto the realtor section of zillow, in which there are reviews of each realtor and how many houses they’ve bought/sold for clients recently, etc. I happened upon one realtor named Kathy Smith.  I was reading her information and I just kept thinking over and over again, Now.  NOW. It continued all day, even after Audrey got up and I put the computer away.  So much so that when Kyle got home after 7 and I talked to him about it, I felt so sure about my prompting that I knew Kyle would certainly have to agree with me.  It never even crossed my mind that he would say no.  
The only thing I really miss about our old kitchen are the newer appliances (that's so easily fixable though...on the plans for next summer!) and the doneness of it.  We were finally at a point in our living time in this home where most everything was DONE.  Decorations were established...everything looked nice.  Now, we're starting over from scratch.  I guess if I give it about 10 years (extra time due to the new house being bigger), we'll be at that point again.  Right?  On another note...those uppers were not at ALL level.  Good thing we showed it with all the greenery in place, or that would have been glaringly obvious...

While I miss the doneness of this kitchen, I do not miss the lack of counter space and the lack of dishwasher.  We couldn't even put one in, really.  It made for stacking of dishes and a feeling that the house was never really clean.  This room took by far the most work of the whole downstairs.

He didn’t say no really. But he didn’t say yes.  He was obviously blindsided by all of this. He was worried that if we put our house up for sale it would just sit until spring.  Since we lived so close to campus, we assumed that the only people interested in purchasing our home would be those looking to rent it out.  And you don’t typically find people to rent from you in September...people look to rent houses in spring and summer.  Kyle had misgivings I think, but he didn’t really talk about them too much.

He thought about it for a day, and I did too.  The feeling never went away.  Finally, Friday morning he told me to call the realtor I found.  I didn’t get to it until that afternoon and she was out of her office.  She returned my call on Monday afternoon, came out to take measurements of rooms and pictures and brought forms for us to fill out on Wednesday, and the house was listed on Thursday before 8 AM...pretty much seven days after I first felt we should sell it.

Ceiling fans and overhead lights in almost every room!  We don't have those here.  I do miss that.  We don't have overhead lighting in some parts of the house because when it was built that was not a thing.  See that corner china cabinet?  I made a big fuss about taking it with us (it wasn't built in...we bought it specifically for this house) but I don't think I'll have anywhere to put it in the new house.  I think I might have to eventually get rid of it :(

I think the dining room is one of the things I miss the most from our old house.  We have an eat-in kitchen dining room.  I loved decorating it every season.

Surprisingly to us, people wanted to see it right away.  We had twelve showings within the first ten business days.  After ten business days, we had an offer. We negotiated and accepted a new offer two days later.

We had accepted an offer on our home...a home Kyle and I spent six years building together, the home we lived in after we were married, a house we had our first real fight in, the house we brought our baby home to, the house we adopted our cats in, the house we dreamed in.  And four weeks before we hadn’t even had a thought of putting it up for sale.

This is where we spent most of our time.  Most of the videos we took of Audrey in the first two years of her life were in this room.

This room got so much natural light...I loved that.

Those hardwood floors were to die for.  We got really lucky with those.

Wow.  I am still in awe that I once lived in a place that was so decorated.  What does that say about our house now?!

When that realization hit us, we balked a little.  I had a prompting and we followed it. We hadn’t even begun to seriously look at houses for ourselves yet...we were too busy constantly keeping the house in pristine condition and worrying about our back-to-school schedule.  But this was the first time in our married lives that God didn’t have the next thing lined up for us and in our sight.  We were scared we were making a big mistake.

This color was so funky, but it worked for this room.  Kyle picked it.  I think he picked it solely for its name--Guacamole.

This room was such tight quarters though...we couldn't even get a bassinet in here.  I slept with Audrey out on the couch so Kyle could sleep and go to work during my maternity leave.  Won't miss that!

Ugh this closet was TINY.  Or maybe we both just have too many clothes.  Don't miss this!

We began immediately looking for a new home for us.  We found one we wanted right away. It was a foreclosure as well, and we were hoping to remodel the house and make it beautiful again.  We put in offers on the house, but we were rejected and the house was sold to someone else.  Our hearts were broken because we felt certain that home was for us and we felt more than ever that we should back out and stay on Bethel. We trusted Heavenly Father would find something for us.  We fasted and prayed and did everything we knew to be right, hoping we could have just a small idea of how we should proceed.

Eventually, we found our house on Linden. I will do a whole other post about that, though.

I loved Audrey's room dearly.  It was so much smaller than her room now, but it was just perfect for a baby.

This bathroom looks cute, but don't let it deceive you.  There's only the one downstairs.  We all shared this.  It's a pretty small bathroom to be the main one.  Since there was no vanity, there wasn't a ton of storage space.  It was pretty high traffic, so it was constantly dirty.  We had to space out our getting ready so we wouldn't be running into each other.  And...since it was so small, there was no way you could shower with the door close and then get out and expect to get ready without dying of heatstroke, so the door always had to stay open when showering.  And if I was getting ready while Kyle was showering, forget it!  Keebler was notorious for closing himself into the bathroom because the door swung open and shut so easily that we had to keep it closed unless we were going in and out of it.  How backwards is that?  Door closed when not being used, open when being used.  Dumb.

We closed on our house on Bethel on September 29, 2015.  Surprisingly, the couple that bought the house planned to live in it themselves.  She works at Ball State, so it was close to work for her.  They have a young daughter, Abby, who Audrey became fast friends with during the inspection and closing.  They were thrilled with the amount of space they were getting as they were moving from a very small apartment, so everyone was happy.  We were so relieved that we did the best we could by our little house and didn’t sell it knowingly to someone who would trash it.  These people intended to take care of our little house and make their own memories there.  Per our agreement, we had an additional two weeks after closing to pack and move, so we were out by mid October. Audrey and I left on a Sunday afternoon and Kyle stayed until the last day (a Tuesday) to be close to work and close up the house.  As Kyle put Audrey in the car, I walked around to every room in the house to say my goodbyes.  I cried, particularly in our bedroom and in the kitchen.  I’m crying as I write this!  I had no idea a house could mean so much to a person.  

The upstairs was open-concept and was remodeled the summer before Audrey was born.  We used it as an office, a man cave, a playroom, and the cat's room (location of food, litter box, etc).  As you can see, it was Kyle's superhero themed room, which was fun while it lasted!  We hated those stairs, though...steep, no landing, and ended at the wall.  Not safe for anyone but the cats!  Kyle's one regret upon moving was that he didn't get to spend more time up here before we moved away.  I think if we had remodeled this and finished it sooner than right before Audrey came, he would have.

Where Kyle watched all his superhero, Indiana Jones, Star Wars, etc. movies.  Also any TV show he happened to be watching at the time.  You can't see it, but on the other side of the recliner was our mini-fridge, which Kyle kept stocked with Mt. Dew so he literally didn't even need to get up from his chair to get (eyeroll).  

Kyle used to dabble in art projects.  This was supposed to be his art area for doing those fun things.  Problem was, he never got around to it.  We ditched that drafting desk before we moved.  The art supplies are in baby #2's closet right now.  I have a feeling a lot of them will be tossed before October...

I did love our exposed chimney.  And that desk area was pretty snazzy!

The unfortunate thing about this room was that because of the sloped ceilings there was a lot of wasted space.  For example, all that space beyond the bookcase?  We just kept crap there.  It was a huge space, but not at all usable.  Annoying.

Our upstairs bathroom floor was never this empty; we moved out the litter boxes to show how much space it had.  But again...slanted walls.  Not really the space you thought there was...

I think we only ever used this shower for like a week at the beginning of our last summer there while we were caulking the downstairs tub.  We never used it besides then!  It was just too out of the way to be a realistic functioning 2nd bathroom.  We only ever used the toilet and sink if we happened to have to go while upstairs, but never in the summer time since the AC didn't reach back here.  Although the upstairs looked done and was very nice, it never got used unfortunately.

Since we didn’t get possession of our home on Linden until the end of October, we spent the two weeks in between at my parents’ house in Portland (where I work) and Kyle commuted.  We spend the weekends in Indy with Kyle’s family to give my parents a break from us so they could have the house to themselves again.  

Moving was terrible; I don’t recommend it unless for a good reason.  I hated packing.  I hated living amongst boxes.  I hated putting our stuff in storage.  I hated not having everything on hand during the two weeks we were intransient.  I hated not having everything right away once we moved in because we had to empty our units piecemeal after work.  I hated not knowing where to put everything once we moved in.  Even after we moved in until we were used to the new house (think the first two weeks of living there), I hated that we had moved.  I missed our house with memories and although the new one had tons more space and was better suited to our needs, I felt very little connection with it.

All it took was one Christmas there and that feeling was gone.

Some of my favorite pictures from the Bethel house:

Oh, you know, just something that had to happen EVERY night because we had no dishwasher.  Sad to say that Audrey became interested in doing this chore about two weeks before we moved...

Max knew how to get into this cabinet and would freak us out by batting at the inside of the door handle as people walked by.

Audrey and I are going to have to figure out a new place for first day of school pictures.

This was one of the first days of summer last year...sleeping in, beautiful weather, pancakes, pajamas, screened in was wonderful.

One of the first nice days of spring in which we could open windows.

That one time Audrey became addicted to pork rinds.

Missed the pillow!

Often the cats would pop in to make sure Audrey was getting along okay in her bath.

Audrey's first snow day with Mom and Dad.

First day of Christmas break after Audrey was born...we were both hoping for some extra sleep the next morning.  I don't know that it actually happened.

My sweethearts.


Hanging out with the grandparents about a week after Audrey was born.

That one time a raccoon knocked out our dryer hose, climbed into the basement, and we both screamed like little girls upon discovering him in the there when going to switch out laundry.  The raccoon then proceeded to try to get out the same way he came, but in his anxiety he swelled and got stuck like this.  We had to make like Rabbit in Winnie-the-Pooh and push him out!  It took nearly half an hour to push him out of there.  It was hilarious and terrifying.  We had raccoon traps in our basement for about a month after that.

That one time (times about fifty thousand) that Tiger unrolled the toilet paper.

Our first Halloween in the house.  Wow!  How undecorated it started out and we had about two sticks of furniture in the whole place!

Our Bethel Avenue family

Now I can drive by our old place and think suddenly, “Hey!  I used to live there!” instead of thinking of it as MY house.  Sometimes I even drive by it and forget to look at it.  Once we had to stop by the old house to pick up a package (Kyle forgot to change our address in PayPal...oops) and when the new owners opened the side door, I was greeted by an unfamiliar floor and basement staircase.  I had completely forgotten that we’d replaced the floor and painted the stairs.  Audrey doesn’t recognize it anymore when we go past it.  

I got over our Bethel house a lot more quickly than I thought I would and would like to admit.  Seeing other people live there helps me to realize that it’s just not our house anymore, not like it used to be.  Despite all of that, however, it will forever be in our hearts.

The first and last picture we took of ourselves together in our house.  They both were taken in the same place in our bedroom.  I remember the top photo was taken the summer before we got married and we had stopped ripping down wallpaper in the bathroom (the first task to be completed) to have a microwave chimichanga dinner that we brought from campus.  The bottom photo was taken the night before Audrey and I moved out for good, on the floor in the exact same place (which we could do because our bed was in storage).  We were exhausted after a night of packing and loading things into the storage units.  In both pictures, we were just happy to be together, no matter where we were or what was coming next.

No comments:

Post a Comment