The House that Built Me


For those of you that are new here…I bought a house! And not just any old house… MY old house. My childhood home…directly across the street from Sarah & Katie’s childhood home where their parents still live! Are you feeling the enmeshment yet? HAHA! Good! We are in-fact in the twilight zone. So how did we get here? Sheer luck I believe!

I’ve received so many kind comments along the lines of “you must be living your dream life” and “you’re so lucky you get to start a family in the house that started it all for you”. And they are right! But those who know me know that I’m not always a glass half full girl but more of a… the glass is both empty and full, girl. I am a realist and I call it like I see it. So let me tell you what it’s really like buying your childhood home!

Yes, it IS amazing for many reasons. First of all…It’s not scary to spend all my money on a home that is falling apart, because I already KNOW it’s falling apart! I can walk the floor-plan blindfolded. I know every creak the house makes. There are literally no surprises. The location is supreme and I wouldn’t have been able to find anything more perfectly suited to our needs. The memories…I mean, I have 30 years worth in these walls. What could be better? But if it’s all so wonderful and “the dream” then why did I feel so depressed when I moved in?

WOAH. This is not where you thought this blog was going. I know, but stay with me.

When I bought this house I was a MESS. Not in a “wow this is stressful…buying a house is scary expensive” way but in an understated way. I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I was feeling so unsettled. I was and am grateful for the opportunity, but there were some serious feelings happening that I couldn’t quite shake.

Laura and her brothers

“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it, This brokenness inside me might start healing”

It’s funny…Miranda Lambert has a song, I’m sure you’ve heard of it, called “The House That Built Me” and since I’ve bought my house I’ve been told “your situation reminds me of Miranda Lambert’s song” about twenty times. And I laugh because I used to listen to it while driving thinking about my own house and what it would be like if I ever had to say goodbye. It’s a real tear-jerker. I love this house. It truly did build me. I just never thought about what that really meant. While it’s a beautiful thing- it’s not always a pretty thing. We don’t get built solely by good experiences…we really grow through trauma and hardship and struggle, right? And there was plenty of that here. So yeah, while these walls have seen laughter and love…they’ve also seen tears, abandonment, and grief.

Initially, I thought I was sad because I wasn’t buying something new with my new husband and starting a new adventure. There really is something to be said for starting new. Maybe I was just subconsciously disappointed that I didn’t get that experience. Instead, I felt like I was coming home. Why didn’t that feel good? So I started thinking about it. It’s like Miranda said… except my little back bedroom is not where I learned to play guitar. Instead, the bedroom mirror wall (yes an entire wall is a mirror) saw many intricately choreographed dances to SPICE WORLD. And it also saw my tears when Trent Adams broke my heart into 6,000 pieces. That kitchen with the hand-painted farm animal backsplash? It’s table is where my mom hosted friends, family, and thousands of dinners. I also had to sit there, in tears, “learning” my times tables that I still don’t know because no one realized I was dyslexic at the time. The driveway is the driveway I learned to ride a bike on, but it’s also the same driveway I chased my dad’s car down when he left and didn’t come back.

Oof. I know. Am I ruining your day? Sorry. But do you see where I’m going with this?

After speaking with my little brother one night in front of my home’s big fireplace I realized that all these memories that make me, the good and bad, are lying in my subconscious and the energy they create is hidden within the walls. There’s healing that needs to be done. But Miranda was wrong about one thing…I can go home again. Because I bought it! I just need to make it my own. So how am I going to do that?

Let’s Make This House Our Home

The one thing that was a constant when I was growing up was Suzanne, my mom. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, she was there. In this house. Making it a safe place to land. When the going got tough- there she was being tougher. It’s funny but when you are a kid you think everything just effortlessly happens. As you get older you start to realize all the sheer will and thought that was put into these memories you possess of childhood. From the curated easter baskets to the memories of nontangible things like jumping on the trampoline with the water-hose in the backyard with your best friend. Behind these things are other things like water bills, the beating it must have been for her to get three kids to school during the week and church on Sunday morning by herself, the pure exhaustion my mom must have felt when she said me and my siblings could have friends sleep over all on the same weekend! The snacks in the pantry, the drinks in the fridge, the welcoming atmosphere when you step through the front doors. Moms make a house a home, for real. And mine did an impeccable job. She made it look effortless! It’s the reason why all my family and friends assumed this would be my dream house…because most of them remember the way Suzanne made it feel. Cozy. Homey. Eclectic. Eccentric. Wild. Safe. So that’s my dream. Creating a space that’s not only inviting but a space that begs you to stay.

Of course, I am going to paint and put in some fancy new floors. I’ll remodel every bathroom & change how it looks. But the biggest thing I am going to do to that house is fill it with memories. Like hosting holiday dinners for my own blended family. Watching my *hopefully one day* kids running down the same hall to look at what Santa left them at the foot of our fireplace. Tea-parties after school at the kitchen table. Trying out my green thumb in the garden like my parents did. Hayden hearing Mr. Don’s big truck leave in the mornings from her bedroom knowing that, that sound means she better get a move on it or she’ll miss breakfast, hah! I’m sure there will be new experiences as well. I can’t wait to see. I don’t know what the future holds, but this house (and my mama who made it a home) made me strong so I’m ready for anything!


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