Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A lesson in Humility

This is the first house we bought. After 8 years of Steve flying helicopters in the military, and 2 kids later, we decided to get out and buy a house. His first job outside of the Army was working for Boeing, just outside of Philly. With no money in our pockets we somehow managed to buy this baby for $185K. We were pretty darn proud of ourselves because we didn't have to ask anyone for help. We used the money that his new company gave him to relocate as a down payment, and after living in a hotel for 2 months and dealing with the sellers that kept changing their minds, we finally made it into our first home.

This is NOT what the house looked like when we bought it. The house was not painted..it was dark brown and ugly. The landscaping hadn't been touched probably since the house was built in the early 20's...weeds and bushes higher than the porch railing. The backyard was the same. The inside was a nightmare. The woman that sold us the house loved wine. She took  every wine label off of every bottle she ever drank and decoupaged them all over the kitchen walls. That was a lot of fun to peel off.

So, as I mentioned above we had 2 kids at the time and shortly after moving into our new home I got pregnant with Will. Now, this house really was a 1 bedroom house. How did we all fit you ask? You are not the only one to ask that question. Everyone we met asked..."How do you all fit in here?" I can now look back and laugh at the whole thing. But, back then,  living in this little house surrounded by McMansions...let's just say I was a tad bit insecure.

Steve and I wanted this house because we knew the schools were the best. Stephen, our oldest, was in 1st grade at the time. Hannah was only 3. The upstairs of the house consisted of the Master Bedroom..if you want to call it that, a SMALL bathroom and a walk-in closet that was in the hallway outside of the bedroom. So, you guessed it, the closet became Stephen's bedroom. It was a good size closet actually. It fit his bunkbed and a shelf. There was also a skylight which helped. Hannah slept in our room...we partitioned it off with a room divider. At the time she was sleeping in a toddler bed and didn't need much anyway.

While living in that house I couldn't wait to move up to a bigger house, a better house...so I could be like my neighbors. I wanted to be like them. I didn't want to live in this tiny house with Stephen sleeping in a closet! Well, here we are living in a bigger  house, a better house I guess..just like my neighbors. So, why is it that my memories of that house are sweet ones?  

Steve worked so hard to fix that house up.  We were only in it for a little over a year...but in that time, not only did we transform the physical appearance of the house, I learned a lot about myself. It's funny how the thing you struggle with most sometimes will in turn teach you the greatest lesson.

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." ~ The Bible


  1. Great post, Pam! Love the reflection on your first home:)

  2. I often think that the struggles in life that we beat or enjoy anyway are the best memories. Our first apartment had only one counter, and it folded flat against the wall when you wanted to go past. And I'll never forget it . . .

  3. I can SO relate!
    And the funny thing is, I LOVED the simplicity of our small houses. And I know if I had to, I could squish us all in again.

  4. Your house looks beautiful. You must have such a great feeling of pride for what you have accomplished.

  5. I get this. The first house always holds special memories anyway, and small houses have a certain charm about them, and pouring your heart and soul into it making it into the home it deserves to be, like you did there, is priceless.

  6. Pam...I'm in the mindset that we need to get back to simple. A small cottage-y home would be wonderful.

  7. I love that house! As an empty nester simple and small sounds comfy and warm again. Funny how life changes as you get older. It really comes full circle.