Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dream Home

Last week Latte Mommy wrote this post about searching for her dream home. I would like to share my dream home experience.

A long time ago, Jeff and I owned a piece of property in California. It was a one-acre parcel in a gated community with a lake view. We planned on building our dream home on that piece of land. After much discussion of what our house would contain we bought blueprints.

Our house was three stories with bedrooms, the master suite and a sitting room on the third floor. The spacious kitchen, living room, dining room, office and spare bedroom were on the main floor . The bottom floor had a theater room and second kitchen so we could entertain by the pool without going upstairs for supplies. The house had a laundry room, bathrooms and all the normal things that a house should contain, except a playroom. This was all planned before kids, so their future needs were not considered.

We sold that property without breaking ground on the house and moved to Washington. The house I live in now is my dream home. It is not as elaborate as the one we planned, but it is perfect. I love my master suite and open floor plan. I love that Jeff has his theater room, and the girls have a play room. I love the play structure in the back yard and porch in the front. I love my kitchen with an island where my children participate in the baking. I love the window seat that we use every night for story time. I love that I have three full bathrooms. But all these things do not make it my dream home.

When we first moved here the neighborhood kids came over to ask if Belle could come out and play. I know that this is normal neighborhood behavior, but what amazed me is that Belle was 5 months old. The other kids were all over the age of 2 with the oldest being 6. Not wanting my baby to miss out on all the fun, we went outside to play.

This is a neighborhood where the kids play together while the parents gather on the sidewalk and hang out. Belle and Ariel have always been invited to play with the older kids. We have a wagon with seat belts so our girls can be the caboose of the wagon train. My girls have developed a love for bug hunts, berry picking, soccer and baseball because an older child took the time to include them. Belle, Ariel, Jeff and I have developed wonderful friendships, relationships that we treasure.

In the process of picking out a dream home it is impossible to know what kind of neighbors you will end up with. For years I had faith that God would place us amongst great neighbors. I prayed for it and believed it with all my heart. I feel fortunate that he answered that prayer, because we will never leave this house.
No. Matter. What.

18 comments:

lattemommy said...

I cannot tell you how envious I am of your neighbourhood. I hope and pray that we end up with one half as fabulous as yours. Right now my kids don't have much in the way of playmates. I'm a little shy and introverted, so I find it hard to approach people and make new friends. I feel like my kids are missing out because of my inadequacies. I recognize that they're only 1 and 3, so it isn't too serious right now, but I still agonize over it. More than any "dream home", I want my children to have a happy childhood.

Maybe we should move to WA?

Lisa said...

that sounds wonderful!!

gypsytears said...

When we moved to our home four years ago my oldest had just turned 5. The day we moved six boys were on our door step asking if "the boy that lived here" could play. I had NEVER let him play with neighborhood kids before. I said "sure." I remember running from window to window to keep a very close eye on him. The images that are burned in my mind from that day are looking down at those boys, the setting sun making them glow, all of them with crew cut hair, tee-shirts, shorts and sandals, playing and talking at the edge of the lake. I saw them pick up a frog and a snake and thought - wow, that's real boy stuff, I think we are going to like it here. Little did I know what awesome parenting a couple of them were receiving and how close I would become to them and their children. Now my boys days are filled with hikes, frogs, snakes, turtles, canoeing, sledding, laughter and friendship.

I do wish for LM's kids to have the same experience I am having and it's good to know you and your family are happy Amy.

OHmommy said...

Do we live on the same block? Wait, you aren't in Ohio. I love my street, everyone is ALWAYS outside.

It is certainly the MOST important factor in a dream house. I agree.

dlyn said...

Awesome blog - found you from your comment on another blog someplace [lost track of where]. Love this entry - our daughter and her family are in the very beginning stages of moving to a new area and are really hoping for a great neighborhood - glad to hear that they are out there. I will be back to check you out some more!

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Header is brand new today - thanks for noticing! I decided to get brave and try to change it!! I'm not so good at it but I am happy with the results...

Btw, I just want to say that I love your family photo. Not sure I've mentioned it before but it is really nice. :-)

Yeah, scary that they sabotaged my blog - guess Uncle Sam can do what he wants!!

Hallie

Irene said...

You are so lucky! We live in a very nice neighborhood, but there isn't one single little kid. Not one. Well, our new neighbors are pregnant with their first, but we have yet to meet them yet. They moved in October, and our neighborhood literally goes into hibernation until spring.

We started building our house before any kids. When we moved in I was already pregnant with our first. Within a couple years, we had 2. Another couple years, we have 3. Our houses quickly became way too small and we have already added on a huge family room. I would change a few things, but for the most part, I love my house.

Hey it's Amy Shipp said...

Amy~ What a wonderful story! I am so happy for you to have such a perfect place to raise your darling family. I agree with you that a dream "house" isn't neccesarily a dream "home" I hope you're having a blissful day <3, Amy

Kelly said...

Any houses for sale on your blog? I'd love to have you as a neighbor.

Nap Warden said...

Neighbor...You mean you actually talk to the people who live next to you? In Big City USA, we don't do so much of that...It's to bad, I think it must be nice:)

E said...

One of the great blessings in life is know what makes you happy and to recognize it when you are. This is a gift you give your children who won't grow up wondering where the grass is greener....
Lovely post...

Marla said...

Very wonderful! We have lots of great neighbor friends and lots of scary neighbors. Living downtown makes for an interesting group of people. I am still dreaming for my dream home. Glad you have yours! Enjoy!!!!

pb&j in a bowl said...

We live in an apartment complex, and know a few of our neighbors. One of the biggest requirements that I have, when we buy a house (this year, I hope) is that there are lots of kids nearby.
They are making friends that they will never forget. How awesome is that?

carrie said...

Good neighbors sound swell. I long to live somewhere where people hang out. The kind of hanging out that doesn't include the "F" bomb every other word that comes out of their mouth.

Sounds like you have an answer to prayer.

louann said...

I think that is so great =) To be part of such a wonderful neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it great to know that prayers do get answered? Congrats on finding your dream home. How long did it take for you to find this home and its location? Was it one of many homes you looked at when house hunting? Sounds like a great place to live. Hey where is this place? I'm in the market to buy...:-)

Amy said...

Anon - We found this house over a weekend when we flew up to our desired town, looked at houses and flew back to California. We looked at 20+ houses and only liked two. The first house already had an offer, so we went with this one. I can honestly say that God placed us in this house. We had no idea that this house and neighborhood would be such a perfect fit for us.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amy for writing back. I hope we are as fortunate as you in our search for the perfect place.