Operation Find Home

Nine years ago this month, George and I met his parents and a realtor at a little house on the corner in a perfect neighborhood. The house was far from perfect, however, and immediately we started making a to-do list. We had only been married a few months, and I was only 22 years old at the time. All I knew was the house had a fireplace and wood floors, which were my two requirements for a house back then.

The first few years we lived in the house we stripped the siding down to the original redwood v-groove, put in all new windows, insulated all the walls, removed one bathroom and remodeled another, completely remodeled the kitchen and painted every wall. Two years after we moved in we brought Avery home.

Two years after Avery arrived, we began planning for Aidan's arrival, which meant adding another bedroom and bathroom, during which time we completely removed the roof, trusses and all, built a new roof to enclose the addition, re-remodeled the kitchen, relocated the bathroom and built another, re-sided the whole house, refinished the wood floors again, and rewired and replumbed the house. Over the next few years, while Aidan learned to crawl, walk and climb among construction materials and debris, and Avery measured everything with her own tape measure and learned the difference between nails and screws, we laid brick on the front porch, poured concrete walkways and patios, built rock retaining walls using rock we dug up from the front yard, and repainted every wall, inside and out.

The sad news is we still aren't quite done with the house. The good news is it feels like home despite the long list of projects to be done. Our home is saturated with our blood, sweat and tears, and very close to our heart.
Our kids have known no other home but this one. Our house is where we find peace, have fun, be weird, and enjoy special every day moments together. Our home is an integral part of our family.
While I can imagine growing old in this house, I still have dreams of building a house from scratch. We've learned so much while remodeling this house several times over, I would like to put those skills to practice. Nine years later, I have more requirements for my dream home than just a fireplace and wood floors. I would like a view. As much as I love my neighbors, I would like fewer. I would like room for a few animals. I would like south facing windows. I would like less walls and more open space. I would like a gabled roof. I would like to reduce my belongings by half, and half again, and live with less.
It's good to have roots, but even better to have dreams. Home is where the heart is, and if I follow my heart, I will always have a home.


  1. Having enjoyed your HOME as well as contributing to it's current phase, it feels like home to me. Thank you for allowing us to be part of it.

  2. Ahhh I love that comment your dad made, it made me get teary. Someday John and I will have our own home, it's our dream. Your's is lovely.

  3. Funny how our stories are so similar. I for one am glad that the major construction days are over! Of course, the projects are never truly over.

  4. I can understand why you'd never want to leave after pouring so much of yourself into the home. It looks lovely and I'm sure it feels even better with all the warmth of your family memories inside.

  5. I love your story... it gives me hope in a broken world.
    thanks for being a good mom, wife, daughter, aunt, neighbor, artist:blogger, writer, photographer,etc., citizen,& sister

  6. Your home is beautiful! It is, like yourself, very inviting, and beautiful. . .

  7. I remember when those tents went on and thinking, I guess that means it has sold. Hopefully to someone worthy of the fumigation. We were always a little nervous about the bald guys with confederate flags that could be seen hanging out in the back yard before it was yours. Really I guess that means that things started getting better when we all moved into the hood. For y'alls info Marjorie and I bought in May of the same yr.


  8. Oh my friends and family, you are just too nice. I'm glad to hear we were fumigation worthy!

  9. This was such a beautiful story.
    I really love to read your posts, they are always very warm and full of good feelings.

  10. Yes, home is where the heart is and there is a lot of heart in this post. I also love the wall hanging. Thank you for participating this week, it has opened my eyes and made me appreciate what I have.



email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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