Bittersweet Goodbye To My First Home

Bittersweet Goodbye To My First Home

Two posts in one week….yes, unusual for me, I’m aware. Maybe it’s because I have more free time or maybe it’s because I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately. Either way, writing has become soothing to me and my go to when I need to put my thoughts in order.

Tonight is the last night in my very first home and it is so unbelievably bittersweet. When I first started looking for a home to buy last summer, Stephen was hardly a figure in my life. I had given up on men and the thought of settling down on my own made me content enough at the time. I found the perfect home mid-November and I knew the moment I walked in the door that it would be mine one day soon. I couldn’t wait to spend the next years of my life in this home with the perfect career. I moved in as fast as I could. I remember the first couple of nights sleeping on an air mattress with my girl Sky because I couldn’t get my bed furniture moved in by myself. All I had was my Christmas tree, a lit fire, and my air mattress.

I spent every second between the many jobs I had working around my home to make it my own. Looking back through my pictures brings me such joy and pride because it shows how far I have come. Check out some of these before pictures when I first moved in:

This terrible orange wall in my living room
hardly any grass and lots of dead trees
got all the leaves up!
pre-flower bed

sides of the house
pre-flower beds in the front

Home improvement projects became my new specialty! I did everything from building new flower beds, mulching all the way around my house, gathering leaves up in the front yard, painting that awful orange wall, and I had a security system and lights installed all the way around the house for safety. Check out some of my after pictures:

handmade this padded bench
from orange to red!
my command center
favorite wall in the whole house
bonus living room
tilled up for the flower beds
mulched & planted

surround lights for safety and to see at night
winter wonderland
removed dead trees
The latest picture of the home

Now you can see why it is so bittersweet leaving this home of mine…

But here’s the biggest reason of all: I never allowed myself time to enjoy it…because I spent so much time working 4-5 jobs. I never once had a party at my house with all my friends over to show them around. I never had a bonfire with my family or sat on the back porch in the afternoon relaxing. I didn’t sit outside on Saturday mornings and drink a cup of coffee while reading a good book. What was I doing instead? Grading papers. Creating lesson plans. Getting home late from softball or volleyball practices. Doing stats for baseball. Concessions for basketball. Sure, I loved being involved in all these things and being able to put money aside to travel to see my husband every couple of months. But in the end, what was it all for?

I’ve sold half of my belongings to make this move overseas easier and now my stuff fits into a small motorcycle trailer. Stuff. That’s all it is. It’s materials that I worked so hard to buy and just as easily got rid of them.

Here’s what I wish…that I had stopped and smelled the roses more often. (Literally, the roses that I planted, because if I had, I would’ve noticed the bugs that were killing them and I might’ve saved the plants before they died). I wish that I had spent more time getting to know my neighbors, walking and riding my bicycle throughout my neighborhood, and enjoying my beautiful deck on the weekends.

Of course, I can’t change what has already happened and many people keep telling me “you made these decisions”. Actually… I didn’t choose to meet the man of my dreams and fall in love with a soldier who is stationed halfway across the world. But because of him, I get to see things I never dreamed possible. When I told him how hard of a time I was having leaving my home, he said: “would you rather spend years living alone in that house, or travel and see the world with me?”. And that was reason #23456 why I love him. I know that the next home I’ll live in will be our home and that’s what keeps me afloat. A home in Italy nonetheless. I vow to myself to stop and smell the roses, to treasure every second of our future Italian villa, and to make the most of each adventure we have there.

So, if you’re reading this, and you’re like me – aka you’re working your life away – I challenge you to stop, relax, and enjoy what you’ve worked so hard for. I challenge you to spend time outside in your yard, with your family or friends, or even traveling the world. I challenge you to simply slow down and appreciate life.

“You weren’t born to just pay bills and die.”

-Unknown Author

Leave me a comment! Anything you wish you had done recently instead of working so much? I want to know!!


Summer Rae

9 Replies to “Bittersweet Goodbye To My First Home”

  1. Summer, you have gained some valuable insight about life! There are many who should heed your words. It is never too late to stop and smell those roses!!!! I hope God will greatly bless you on your new journey!!!

  2. It was a pleasure to have you as a neighbor for a short time! I learned once I had kids that life is not about how much money we have but how many memories we can make and time we can spend together. Not only with our children but with our friends and family. I hope God blesses you on your adventures and marriage. Enjoy every min!!

    1. You guys are the sweetest family! I love hearing you guys laugh in yalls backyard and I love seeing their baseball pictures on fb. I hope I have a family as beautiful as yours one day. Thank you for welcoming me into the neighborhood and making a single girl feel safe!!

  3. Hi Summer,

    I love your blogs. I know how hard this must be for you. Your house is so beautiful and charming, but I know there will be more. Life is an adventure and you have plenty of time to settle down and when you do you can look back and go “Wow—what a charmed life I have had.” And there will still be more adventures and with children you just include them into the fray and see the adventures again through their eyes.

    It’s funny—before Greg came into my life I had sworn off men and was content to just backpack with friends and ride bikes and just expand my own horizons. I wanted to learn to white water paddle and then Greg shows up at my door and he is a paddler. God gives us what we need when we need it. And here we are thirty-two years later. It’s been a glorious ride—never a dull moment.

    I am so glad you are in our lives. We cherish every moment with you and Steve and will enjoy watching your journey together. Life is truly and adventure and with the right person you can have the time of your life! Love and kisses! Connie

    1. Connie, I could read this over and over again. I never grow tired of your support and encouragement. You and Greg are such wonderful role models for Stephen & I as we begin our life together. I hope that we continue to be as adventurous and loving as you guys are that many years later. God couldn’t have picked a better man and a better family for me to be a part of!! Xoxo

  4. Summer,. That brought tears to my eyes reading it because it is so true. We all get caught up in the same daily routine and we don’t take the time to live , laugh or love and before you know it …yep it’s to late….. I am so happy for you and your next chapter in your life. You have made me want to stop and smell the roses more often. Be happy and enjoy your blessed life. Sandy Herring

    1. Thank you so much for the love and for reading Sandy! If I know that I touched at least one person through my words and life lessons, then I know I’m doing SOME good in the world. ♥️♥️

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