"This is a disaster," I remember thinking to myself. "What have we done?"
Boxes were crammed into the kitchen making it impossible to get to the sink or any of the countertops. Mattresses and bed parts leaned against the bedroom walls, leaving nowhere to sleep. The couch was piled high with bags of toys, pillows and blankets. The maze of stuff throughout the house rendered even the floor impossible to reach.
Exhausted, I took Junius (then almost 3) and Pippi (then 4 months) across the street and knocked on our neighbors' door. We had just met that afternoon, but I was desperate for a soft place to sit -- and there was no such location in the new house.
"Would it be okay if we came in so I could nurse?" I asked her, when she opened the door. She graciously invited us in, as I realized she was also nursing her 5-month-old son.
Pippi had her dinner, then we went back to our house so the rest of us could eat. The same neighbor had thoughtfully brought over not only food that required no cooking, but also paper plates, plastic utensils and napkins.
I'm not sure whether it was the kindness of a stranger (soon to be friend) or the chaotic mess around me or the thought that we'd left behind a perfectly nice, clean, unpacked, already-decorated house, but all I wanted to do was cry myself to sleep. Except that I couldn't find any tissues. Or my bed.
That was one year ago this weekend.
Seems like a lifetime ago. Seems like only yesterday.
Although the house is still a chaotic mess (mostly due to two small children and some remodeling projects), we're much more settled in than we were that day. We've done lots of work upstairs (and by "we," I mostly mean my husband and other skilled people) to make it our own. And with "old" and "new" friends surrounding us -- including that kind neighbor across the street -- this is where we are setting down roots for our family. No longer the "new house"...
This is home.