The Housewarming

What makes a house a home?

When I first moved into this house in January, I was pretty sure that it involved curtains, living room furniture, coffee tables, and a coat of paint.  You know, the things that give a house its character.  It’s charm.  Even a bit of personality. 

But Nate and I moved from a tiny apartment into a three bedroom, two-story colonial; so if I were to use one word to describe the new house in its beginning stages, I’d choose the following:  empty.  We came with a dining room table, four chairs, a bedroom set, and the determination that we would not put anything on our credit card. 

Needless to say, we still don’t have curtains.  The walls are white.  And we’re currently saving up for our second couch.

But what makes a house a home isn’t things.  It isn’t colors and fabrics and perfectly put-together rooms.  As each new month passes, I’m learning this more and more.  I’m finding that this house is becoming a home because of memories. Laughter.  Love.  Even the occasional tears. 

This house is becoming a home because of family.

I have one of those families that light up a home once they step inside.  Everyone gets a hug.  The large pots of homemade food get placed somewhere safe on the table or stove.  Then the funny stories begin and won’t end until the evening is over.  Honestly, I wish you could all meet my Aunt Marie.  She could turn a trip to the supermarket into a hilarious story that has you doubled over in laughter.  (Nate says I tend to tell stories a lot like her, and I find that to be the highest of compliments).  🙂 

My family is a large one.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, and a grandfather.  During last night’s house-warming party, my new home was over-flowing with laughter, chatter, and delicious food.  Did I mention that my family is amazing when it comes to cooking? 

No? 

Well, they’re amazing.  My mom’s homemade rolls.  My dad’s teriyaki chicken on the grill.  My Aunt Debbie’s taco salad.  Aunt Annette’s potato salad. Melissa’s famous cookies.  Aunt Kim’s lemon meringue pie.  I could go on and on…  There was a LOT of food.  My freezer will be packed for the next couple of months.  🙂

I think that the simplest of things meant the most last night.  There were a lot of moments in which I’d think, “Oh, this is what happens on Christmas Eve at my mom’s house” or “this reminds me of Thanksgiving at Uncle Claude’s.”  And it was happening in my very own house.  It was really nice to see…

…the women catching up in the kitchen….     (that’s my Aunt Debbie and cousin Melissa)

…the family digging in and enjoying a hearty dinner… (What can I say?  My mom and I were really hungry by this point)

…the dishwashers having fun doing a normally tedious chore…  (This is me and the hubby.  We still can’t figure out why doing the dishes on holidays or get-togethers can be enjoyable, while it’s so annoying any other day of the year)  😉 

…and the guys congregating together and having some guy-talk.  (Don’t ask me what they talk about.  It’s top-secret!).  🙂

After dinner and clean-up, it was time for presents!

Nate and I were really blessed with some beautiful picture frames for the walls, candles to add as accents, and plenty of Lowes gift cards.  Hello, paint for the bedroom!!!  🙂  We also received some very nice cards, one of which was made by my second-cousin Rebeccah.  Too cute!  It’s definitely going on the refrigerator. 

***Thank you, God, for giving us SUCH a warm, loving family ***

When the party was over and everyone had gone, Nate and I sat on the living room couch, and we both sighed a sigh of pure contentment.  Because honestly, the house did feel much warmer.  Cozier.  And a whole lot more like home. 

Here’s to many more years of memories… love… laughter… and family!

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5 Responses to The Housewarming

  1. jelillie says:

    Great post Nicole! Loved the pictures. What a great commitment you have made to build your house with no credit! It will be worth it all!

  2. Meg says:

    Sounds like you had so much fun (and food!) are your family get together. It’s amazing how much you realize you need when you have a house!

  3. I love this, Nicole!! You have such a beautiful home and you really can feel the warmth as soon as you walk through the door. 😀

  4. justmarriedgirl says:

    Another great post, Nicole! You are so right about the ingredients needed to make a home. I’m always worried about the paint, the boxes that have yet to be unpacked, the furniture we need and all the other home improvements on my list, but one of my favorite days was when my grandparents and aunt came to visit. They brought the dinner, and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy the company. Those are the best moments of all!!

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