We've been in our new home almost 7 months now.
I really can't believe it.
When I say that I can't believe it's been 7 months I mean it feels like much longer. It feels like we have always been here, like we've come home.
We love where we live.
I mean, REALLY love it.
We thought we loved where we lived before this but now we really know what it's like to love where you live. Our old house was too small for us. We loved the location but not the house. It had 3 bedrooms but the living space was far too small for us. It had been perfect for Matt and I when we bought it 7 years earlier but it lacked room for the children to play, storage facilities and the third bedroom was a small square that TC would outgrow in no time.
We'd looked at moving a couple of years previously and even went to put our house on the market. We'd fallen in love with a new 5 bedroom home nearby but when the prices were released it was priced more than we had expected it to be and more than we thought we could comfortably afford. It wasn't going to be ready for a long time either.
We were happy where we lived, we just needed a bigger house.
So we plodded on and embraced our home but we never felt entirely happy.
By this time, Matt had a new job earning more money and I was earning from my freelance work but we still didn't look into moving.
Then, one day in mid-March, I was sat reading a post from Jennie about her gorgeous playroom. I longed for a playroom for our children and Jennie's words and photographs made me look at the development again that very morning, just to see if it had been sold. I thought it would have been - it was a beautiful house and a long time had passed since we first looked at it.
My heart skipped a beat as I stared at the computer screen.
"Matt!" I called "That house we wanted is built now and still for sale!".
I didn't have to tell him twice. We went up to the sales office that morning, 18th March.
We fell in love all over again but this time with a real physical house, not just a floor plan. It was even better than we had visioned.
This time though it had extras. Lots of extras - carpets, curtains, light fittings, some furniture, an alarm and much more.
It felt like it was meant to be.
We pretty much reserved it there and then - only actually paying the reservation fee 10 days later when the crazy March snow had cleared enough for us to get up there after sorting our mortgage out.
3 months later we moved in and we haven't looked back.
We wanted a future-proof home or our 'forever home'. Somewhere to grow old in. Somewhere to watch our children grow up in. Somewhere we would always feel happy.
We have 5 double bedrooms, a study, a large kitchen with an island (something we've always wanted), a dining room large enough to extend our table all the way, a double garage and 3 bathrooms - ours with a double shower - plus the downstairs toilet. The latter ones I'm not so happy about as it means more cleaning!
The kitchen is probably my favourite room in the whole house. It's light and trendy and, I'm told by friends, a real 'sociable' kitchen. My friends and I have spent a few nights around the island eating and drinking and it's been perfect. We've had fun buying some extra special things for the kitchen too and Matt bought me my dream KitchenAid for my birthday too. I love her.
We've made one of the bedrooms into a playroom for the kids and they love it. It's 9ft x 12.5ft and it's a brilliant space for them to explore their toys and mess-up. There's plenty of room for both of them to play together or independently. We also have a sofa bed in there so it can be used a bedroom too which came in handy at Christmas.
The playroom is still very much work in progress (as is a lot of the house) but I've brightened it up with the children's artwork on the walls and brought some fabulous coloured storage from Ikea. I really want to get a mural painted and have my eye on some local people to deliver that - just need to save some pennies.
The back garden is slightly smaller than our old house but the outlook is great - I love sitting in our lounge and looking at the beautiful trees out of the french doors. Our lounge is at the back of the house and we aren't overlooked. We had a fabulous summer this year and the garden got plenty of use.
This year I'd like to get the garden looking prettier. Unfortunately I don't like gardening but I really want to make the effort with this house.
Matt is loving the double garage but, at the moment, it's a bit of a mess. He keeps talking about model railways and insists it's "for the kids" but I think there's only one big kid he has in mind with his plans!
The 5th bedroom is our dedicated guest room with it's own bathroom. It's quite a little haven for guests but so far it's only family how have stayed the night although we are hoping to have some friends stay over soon.
It's in the attic space and I know that eventually the rooms up there will be claimed by two unruly teenagers when they don't think Matt and I are cool anymore!
The final thing is our neighbours. They are, quite simply, ACE. We are fortunate enough to be between two lovely, very different, families and we always feel welcome and their doors are always open to us. We've already organised carol singing around the tree at the park before Christmas and the vast majority of the neighbourhood ended up outside singing, eating mince pies and drinking mulled wine. It was lovely. It ended up with a fair few neighbours back at our house completely wasted and I won't go into detail about what happened to me but lets just say I didn't touch alcohol until New Year!
The children are so happy here too, not just Matt and I. MC is still attending the school she was at previously as we only a mile or so up the road from where we used to live so we haven't had to uproot her. There are lots of children of all ages (although mostly young) and the kids have made great friends already and it's a safe environment for them to play out too. I really can't wait for the summer.
I think it's so important to love where you live and I'm so happy that we finally truly do.