Is bigger always better?
My husband and I sat at the dinner table the other night talking to the kids about what we were grateful for. The holidays, especially Thanksgiving, always puts life into perspective for me. Sam, as always, was grateful for his cat Russell, football and The Seahawks. Noah talked about his friends from school, our dog Frances and his stuffed elephant, Ike. Sara was grateful for her friends, the backyard swing, her old and much loved blanket, Boppy and her room. The gratitude from Max and me is much less concrete. We are grateful that our family is healthy, that we have food on the table and that we have a roof over our heads.
We bought the roof and the house underneath almost exactly two years ago. We moved about 10 miles south from a house much larger and fancier than the one we have now. We moved from 4000 sq feet to 2700 in the blink of an eye, losing 2 bedrooms and an office. From glorious granite, stainless, pocket lighting and a double oven we moved to manufactured wood and a kitchen too small to hold a table for the 5 of us.
Why did we move? At some point we (I) bought into the idea of keeping up with the Jones, believing a family of 5 needed a huge house, a ridiculous kitchen and a guest room for our guests that come once a year. I have since come to understand that a large home needs to be cleaned, all the rooms, not just the ones you use. That a bedroom you never use still may need new windows and may have a leaky ceiling. That 4000 sq ft is 4000 ft of adventure and destruction for 3 kids. That even though you don’t use the guest room, it may make a great fort, over and over and over again.
We are definitely cozier in our new home. I never wonder where the kids are or what they’re doing. If our house is quiet, I know there is a screen on somewhere. However, I no longer stress about the windows in the east wing or the 5th bathroom backing up AGAIN. We actually see each other more and out of necessity, if nothing else, we spend more time together. We eat in the dining room and set the table for meals. We take our showers in shifts but don’t ever worry about cleaning 5 showers. The piles and piles of toys that no one ever looked at actually had to go. Our home and our lives has become more minimal. Out of necessity we have been able to focus on what really is important; what truly we are grateful for. We sold the noise and reminded ourselves what mattered. I’m grateful for our health, that we are able to provide for our children and for the roof over our heads; no matter how small it is.
Have a happy Thanksgiving with the people and things that really matter.
Blog by: Laurie Bremer