Tomorrow we will have lived in our house for 6 years. I’m amazed at how quickly those years have passed.
I often teeter-totter between wanting a bigger, better, shinier, spiffier home and being determined to make this little Elmwood house work for the long-haul.
This morning I was out in our white-trash backyard (it’s literally our trash pile…and we’re white) trimming the raspberry bushes and grape vines when I took a moment and looked around. “So much potential” I said to myself. I often say that to myself. I envisioned my garden-beds and a patio and the shed gone and the yard extended.
We lucked-out and found a quaint home for a great price right as housing costs began to soar in Winnipeg. We liked the house because of the bare bones, but it needed a lot of work. The day we took possession, James ripped apart the main floor and spent a few weeks re-working the place. We opted to take out one of the main floor bedrooms in favour of creating a dining room. Even after having a third child I stand-by that decision. While it’s a small living space, it feels open and comfortable.
We have one tiny bedroom on the main floor, a long loft for our master bedroom (with a walk-in closet) and one small bedroom in the basement. It’s about 1,100sqft. The place still needs a lot of work done…everywhere. The kitchen is half-done, the baseboards need to be put on, the yard needs significant attention, both bathrooms need to be gutted. Because it’s an old house the storage space is minimal so we have stuff everywhere all the time and, on top of that, we’ve started to outgrow the place. Amelia and Eli share a 9×10 bedroom!
When I start to get mopey about our living arrangements, I try to shift my thinking to being grateful for our own home. We’re blessed to have a space, regardless of location and size. I know that my dad grew up in a house about this size with 6 siblings! I can’t imagine, but you work with what you have and you live within your means, right? James and I have a bit of a plan and it sees us living in this home for awhile longer. We are hoping to put another bedroom in the basement for Eli which would cut down on living space (that’s where our TV room is right now) but it would allow us to stay here and save and eventually build our own home.
Often, I get ahead of myself and I feel entitled to a bigger space with newer things, but when I step back and take a look at our house (however drippy the shower is and wobbly the shed is) I am thankful that we have a house that has served us well. I need to focus more on what I do have in this space and making it work well for us.
So here’s to 6 years in our house with the red door!