When we moved into our rental house last Fall, I had big plans for it. We’d been living in a split-level, upstairs flat for over a year, and I was seriously in love with it, but I just couldn’t carry Adlai and all his paraphernalia up and down the stairs anymore. It was hard to leave, but my new two-story Victorian terrace house provided a lot of inspiration. Plus, it had a backyard, and I’d been longing for a patch of land – however small – to call my own.
About a month after we moved in, I took a nasty tumble down our stairs and broke my ankle, and spent the next six weeks confined to my couch. That took us to Christmas, and then we all caught whatever flu/virus/cold was being passed around at the time, and we spent till February pretty much just cruising through life with not much energy or motivation.
When we found out we were expecting another little one, we started talking about looking for a house with another bedroom (this one has two, with a third room you have to walk through to get to the only bathroom in the house). It wasn’t so much that we felt like we needed our new baby to have its own room – we’re quite happy for our kids to share – but more that we have people come from the US and stay with us for 1-2 weeks at a time (which we love), and we feel like this space isn’t providing us with a room to host people well in.
One thing I am so passionate about is hospitality. I could talk about this for a long time – and I will, another day – but briefly, when someone comes to stay with me, I want them to feel warm and comfortable and cared for. An air mattress in the living room doesn’t make me feel like I’m doing that for people.
So, we started looking for another house with one more bedroom. Another bedroom, not surprisingly, costs about £100 more a month. Truthfully, we don’t know if we can afford that or not, because my work as a freelancer is feast or famine, and Simon has a new role that he’s only been in for a month. We just don’t really know what life looks like for us in this new season yet.
While we figure that out, we’re going to stay put. At first, I was bummed. But now I’m starting to look at my house with fresh eyes. Because of our year of broken ankles and sickness, in a way we’ve become accustomed to living in a space we don’t love and haven’t really put our mark on.
Maybe it’s because the Fall makes me feel warm and cozy and like a bit of a homebody, and maybe it’s because the second trimester nesting phase has set in, but I feel totally excited to look at this house in a new way. I love the challenge of figuring out how to use the space differently to make the rooms work better for our family. I love the inspiration I get from blogs like this one and this one. I love talking to my friend Sarah about ways to change our space around. I love the creative rush I get when I think about my house as a blank canvas – a place where I can use so many different outlets to express myself. And I love the thought of turning this house we’ve been camping out in for a year into a home where my family can grow in size, in creativity, and in love.