Over the years the living room has become my favorite room in the house. It is the gathering space for our family and it is the gathering place for memories. It is always filled with the sounds of children's voices, a touch of laughter and always music. It's where Jon and I lay around and chat at night, over music, over Mad Men or Battlestar Galactica or sometimes over a late dinner and a fire. Over the past eight years this room has seen many emotions, celebrations and gatherings. I remember the days of when we first moved in and I just found out I was pregnant. I could barely make my hour drive home at night because my stomach was churning with "morning" sickness. I remember the days of coming home to find curtains ripped from the walls and Christmas trees fallen over thanks to an overly anxious dog who I found on a highway by our home (Bailey).
I removed the carpet from this room by myself and boy did I surprise Jon when he came home from work. "Look honey, we have hardwood" is how I greeted him. I painted the walls. I removed wall paper. And then I decided to paint the walls again.
I paced the floors of this room while I went into labor. Three different times. I can remember as if it was yesterday sitting on the couch while in labor with Jessica. Watching Dexter, sipping on a glass of wine and trying to relax between those intense contractions and waiting as long as possible to go to the hospital. Eight hours later she was born into this world. While we experienced such joys in this room we also experienced loss. The day Bella fell while Jon took her for a walk, the call from the vet that bone cancer had aggressively taken over and it required immediate action. We held off. We wanted more time so we brought her home. I spent an entire weekend with Bella on the living room floor. Cuddled among the blankets and pillows. Gently petting her belly and rubbing her head. Knowing that I will never have a dog like this again. A dog whose soul shines and can be seen by just looking in their eyes. Bella left us in this living room. In our arms, beneath our tears, she walked to heaven. I still cry when I think about that moment. When the vet came to our door to do the one thing we never thought we could do. But I also know that she will come with us to our new home and there she will rest (we chose to have her cremated and will bury part of her ashes at the next house, does that make us sound crazy??)
Over time, the sadness of this room became replaced with joy. Holiday celebrations and family traditions quickly grew. Christmas Eve parties followed by late night wrapping, good conversation between a husband and a wife and always good wine. Surprises from the Easter Bunny, family photo shoots, fort building, camp outs and many family movie nights. I will miss this room dearly, but I will pack up it's contents, I will place the memories in a box and carry that box to our new home. I look forward to unpacking, to placing those memories on a shelf and remembering. Remembering everyday who we are; a family.
**As a side note, I took these photos while our house was on the market. Therefore, this is probably the cleanest it ever was and it's a bit staged. I took down several prints/paintings after I painted it white and never hung them back up since we were selling.