. . . those are silver, these are gold

Time for a somewhat sappy post from me. I know you are thinking, "come ON Val, ALL your posts are sappy. You are the sappiest person I know!" I know, I really probably am. I try not to be sappy all the time, but somehow it always seems to come out.

Anyway, here we are in our new home. We will have been moved in for almost a week come this weekend. I've felt at home from day 1, but the past few days it started hitting me how different and not the same it will ever be again.

I so easily get caught up in the repetitious life that I live in. After some time I really start to feel a connection with my life and things around me.

Growing up on the farm as a child I got attached very quickly. As a child you don't ever see a change coming. You think it will always be the same. You think that "this" is what life is going to be like forever more. When my dad told us we had to sell the farm and move when I was 16, I felt like my life was ruined . . . I felt crushed. All my memories resided there. We burried everything from fish to pet deceased doggies on that land. I raised kittens who were abandoned by their mothers. I walked the acres and acres of land barefoot all 16 of those years. My bare feet probably felt every blade of grass. I loved being outdoors there. While I became attached to my house, most of my memories took place outside. It's those things that I remember most.

But that's it. They're all just memories. When I was 16 I thought a memory was a memory if those material things around you were there. But what happens if you move? Or if those material things burn down or are taken away by a tornado or what if you die? It's taken me 30 years to really honestly realize that memories are just that -- good (and bad) times of your life that you hold and keep in your heart forever. It's those things that make you who you are. It's those things that you carry with you to Heaven. None of the material objects truly matter.

With that said, I am definitely missing some "things" at our old house on Westlawn and I won't pretend I don't. And most of those "things" are things like the mural I painted on Noah's wall, the writing I put in the cement when we built our garage (which read "Neil, Valerie & Noah 10/17/05" which was the day before we had Maia!), my landscaping that we did all by hand, especially my perinnials that I worked so hard on and spent so much money on, my tomatoes that were just blooming, the lilac bush that one of my dear friends (Katie) gave me as a house-warming gift when we moved there (and finally was getting big but still never flowered!), the beautiful patio Neil built himself, the long driveway that Noah loved riding his "motorcycle" on, the front porch that we sat on to photograph many of our family pictures, where I shot many pictures of the kids playing, the gutter that a neigbhorhood dog literally chewed up, the fence where I stood chatting to "Mimi" or Lisa all the time, the same fence where I handed the kids off to Mimi or Lisa, the back yard where we held Noah's 1st birthday party, the grass where we blew up the small pool for Noah to play in for the first time and for me to sit my feet in while 7 months preggie, hot and tired. The memories out there just go on and on and on.

Neil and I sitting on that memorable front porch when Noah was 8 months old . . . in 2004.

Then inside . . . I could name things that would take all day for me to name, but the biggest thing in my 6-1/2 years of life there were our 3 years of infertility, my 3 miscarriages, and then our 2 miraculous pregnancies and bringing those little miracle babies home. I cry right now as I write this because, well, I never ever thought I would see the day where I would bring home one of my babies there. There came a time when I was beginning to accept the fact that I wasn't meant to bear any children. It was that time that Neil and I grew the most as people, especially as husband and wife. We learned the most about each other. We became the closest we had ever been because we only had each other through that time. A time that no one else could possibly understand. It's a time I don't want to relive, but then again, it's a time I am so very thankful for. It was that time in my life that I really became "me". It was that time that I learned so so much about life. It was that time in my life that will probably be the most profound time in my life. And it all happened there on Westlawn. I won't forget any of it.

I will also miss the day-to-day normalcy, those things that were repetetive. Like chatting to Randy across the street when he was home during the day. He was the absolute best neighbor and always will be! And then his wife, my friend, Vickie. Who I love to pieces. She started out as a neighbor but became a great friend. (And of course, Randy, you are my friend, too!) This last year had been the absolute best when we'd camp out in their front yard, blow up the pools, let the kids play and we (the parents) would sit and drink 'ritas and beer and just chat our evening away. It was perfection! It's those memories that I take with me forever, and will forever and ever remember. But the best thing about things like this, like the friends we made and the friends we left, is that they are still our friends and will continue to be our friends. We'll still visit and we'll still drink margaritas. We just can't walk home afterwards or run across the street to the house for something really quick. That will be the hard part, remembering that we can't (and don't) just walk back across the street anymore. But we'll get through it as we begin to love our home here more and begin to fit in more with the neighbors and community. We'll just have to drive 35 minutes to get there . . . not walk 35 seconds.

I do love this house here A LOT but I miss Westlawn A LOT. I could never argue that! I miss the "things" about Westlawn a lot. But I honesty can say I feel okay about leaving because we've left for all good reasons and it was just time to do so. But I hold in my heart forever all the memories that were made there. Not one, no matter how bad or good, will ever be forgotten. I really truly lived while living there.

As silly as this sounds, I think of this verse from a poem from Girl Scouts (yes, Girl Scouts, I was a Girl Scout . . . "On my honor, I will try . . " go ahead and laugh, I give you permission) . . .

Cherish friendship in your breast-
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.

Love you, Vick, love you, Randy, love you, Chloe, love you, Mimi, love you, Lisa, love you, (and miss you,) "O", love you, Darby, love you, Rachel, love you, Heidi, love you, Dreiers, will miss you ALL so so much. Don't forget us!


it's me, Val said...

P.S. I AM BACK ONLINE!!!! (Did you notice?!)

oh amanda said...

Beautiful post, Val! I think the same thoughts about our house in Bham. It's the place we got pregnant, where we brought Lydia home. Where she slept in her crib the first night. But I still have those memories where they belong--close to me, in my heart!

Glad you're online!!!!

Jamie said...

Val you made me tear up. I feel so sad that you hurt for all of that. I know that moving is the best thing for everyone in the family its got to be so hard to leave behind all that you do when you move. I can't pretend to know how you feel since we have always lived here haha. But I can just imagine its definatly bitter sweet. I am sending best wishes to the new friends and neighbors you will meet.

Michelle said...

Okay, I'm still wiping tears here!!

You have made so many great memories and great friends, which you will always have with you! No one can take those away! And, so many more await you at your new home! Soon you will find things you love and cherish in and about your new home! How exciting to make many more new memories!! :)


Enough of this sappy stuff now, I don't need anything else to make me cry these days!! ;)

Michelle said...

Oh, and so glad you're back!!

I was super excited to see that you had visited my blog yesterday!! Made my day!! I really missed you!!!

it's me, Val said...

Thanks so much, guys. It is always nice to see people who actually read all of my posts and then respond. Makes my day. I had to re-read my post, just because. And my own post made myself cry again. May also be that "When I Get Where I'm Going" is playing on my ipod. What a sap I am.

On the flip-side . . . I walked through my house today and was thinking, wow, how cool that I have a place now for THAT. And Neil and I are envisioning our future garden and patio and all we want to do to that. It's fun to know that you have years and years ahead of you to "build", and to know that a great future will reside in those years. :) I'm really thankful for being here. One big reason . . . we are 5 minutes from the Dairy Queen. I could walk there if I wanted :c)

Erin said...

That was such a moving post. Brought tears to my eyes! You are a strong, beautiful woman. And now it's time to make wonderful memories in your wonderful new house! Missed your posts and glad you are back!

lil ole' me..... said...

Oh Val, I loved your "sappy" post! It brought tears to my eyes too! That and the sudden, incredible urge to have a house with amazing neighbors! (hard to find in the city) It sounds like you have so many memories to cherish and I can bet that your old neighbors are missing you as much as you are missing them!

Think of the memories your children are going to make in your new home! They will be able to say that their bare feet touched every blade of grass in their new yard someday.... just like their mom!

I am SO SO SO glad you are back online! I missed you Val!!!
Welcome to your new home!!!

lil ole' me..... said...

Oh, and way to bring back the Girl Scout days!!! :)

Anonymous said...

What a touching post! Westlawn misses you too!!! It was great while it lasted and it will never be the same! However, I hope you have wonderful new neighbors that enjoy your kids (and you and Neil of course)as much as we did. Can't wait to see you new place and hear about your future plans for your new pad. missing you very very much.......vic

Erin said...

Val, I tagged you to do a meme. when you have time : ) Hope you're doing good and getting settled. (((Hugs)))

SuperMom said...

Aw, Val! Thanks for sharing this *sniff, sniff*

BTW, on a totally different note, I FINALLY got off my duff and bought an external hard drive and I feel SO much more secure now (picture-wise). Thanks for the good advice!

melody is slurping life said...

Beautifully spoken. I'm a bit sappy and missing our home...but the new one is feeling better and better.

Hugs to you.

it's me, Val said...

You all are awesome and I love ya tons :)

Jo said...

Oh Val, we are so alike! I can only say, that I am sure you will make new friends in your new house and someday when you move from there you won't be able to believe you luck to have such great memories there. xoxox