Betty Crocker Wannabe has MOVED! I am now blogging solely at A Simply Klassic Home. I am still sharing printables, party ideas, and other inspiration. It's much more streamlined and clean. I hope you will stop by and say follow along there! I have lots of ideas for new printables coming this holiday season!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The House That Built Me

The other day, while sorting through the mail, Rick handed me a letter from the DMV. It was my renewed Driver's License. Now, I know for most, this is pretty insignificant, but this time, it was special. I slowly took it out of the envelope, and stared at it.

Rick wanted to see the picture (apparently in three years he's never looked at my driver's license). I told him the picture was taken about six years ago, long before we met. My hair was longer then, to which he commented "You look a lot better now then you did back then." (um, thanks hon - he's one of those rare men who can't stand long hair).

Anyway, this was a big deal for me - it had my address on it! You see, since I first got my driver's license at 16, I alway put down my parent's address. Even as an adult, I moved around a lot and it's such a hassle to change it, so I didn't.

Two years ago, shortly after my grandmother died, I moved into her house. 

One of the few pictures I have of my Oma and Cooper, two months before she died.

A year later, I had the opportunity to purchase her home, and I did. The driver's license I held in my hand, had the address of my home, my permenant home, for the first time.

Purchasing my own home has really changed me, built me, you could say. Listing this as my permenant residence made me feel like I'm finally an adult; at 33 years of age I've become a grown-up.

I have so many memories of this house. As a child, I swam in the pool (that is now covered with grass), I made mudpies in the backyard, I ran through the sprinklers every summer, played cards with my grandparents on the patio, helped my grandmother bake cookies, and make her German Spatzle. When I was 19, my Oma let me move in with her, and the room I occupied for two years, is now my son's room. My mom also grew up in this house, and slept in the same bedroom.

It's neat to know the stories of this house, how it has evolved, like why and how the brick was added to the front, when the cement that widened the driveway was poured, and what was there before those bushes in front of the garage.

I have preserved some memories, but have also tried to make it my own. For example, here's a look at my grandma's kitchen:

I can recall many nights sitting at this table, eating meals, playing cards, and watching the tiny little TV that used to sit in the corner. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so I decided to make some changes and hired a friend to do the work. Emotionally, it was a difficult thing to do, but I knew that I needed to make this home "mine."

Here's the "new" space:

The first thing to be removed was the table and bench seat, and when I came home that day and saw them sitting in the driveway, I cried. But I must admit, I love the new look.

Of course, some things will never change.

Oma's Kuche = Oma's Kitchen

You can't see it in the picture, but this sign, brought home from one of her many visits to her native Germany, hangs above the window, and as long as I'm living here, it always will.

This house that helped to shape me, is going to be the house that shapes my son as well. Some of his favorite things? Playing in the water in the backyard, digging in the dirt where I used to make mudpies, building Lego towers on the patio, and helping me bake cookies in Oma's kitchen.

Country singer, Miranda Lambert, who just happens to be one of my very favorite artists, has a song on the radio right now called "The House That Built Me." I can relate to this song at every age. If you haven't heard it before, turn your volume up. It should be playing right about now.


Cari said...

What a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing :)

Christy said...

I love, love, love that song! I just wrote a post with a video attached to post this weekend (full plate these days) it was fun to see this, and read your story! So sweet! I feel so fortunate to have those 'roots' to think back upon!

NorCalMom said...

That is a great story. I like what you did with the kitchen, though I know it was hard to change it. Congratulations!

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the house and the redecorating.
I have given you an award on my blog! (My Open Id is giving me trouble so I had to giev you my url here, sorry).

Melanie Eccles said...

I absolutely love this, Kristen! What a precious story and an awesome blessing to have generations of memories in that home.

I especially love "oma's kitchen"!!

Grace~The Mommy On the Bus said...

wow! What a COOL story! I love that you were able to purchase her home and then how you honored her by remembering her in such special ways! Plus, it's a really cute house! No wonder why you celebrated that drivers license!!!

Lori said...

The sign is my favorite part too! I have one of my grandmother's ceramic hot plates on my kitchen counter. I love things like that and you have a whole house of sweet memories! Great story!

Diana said...

That is such an awesome story... such a beautiful tribute to your Oma! LOVE the photos of YOUR house... and LOVE how you are respecting her memory in the little things. Thank you so much for sharing your Oma and your home with us. :D

Jenilee said...

I am just getting around to read WW posts and I LOVE yours! congrats on your house and congrats on making it your own but preserving her sweet memories. :)

Priscilla - The Wheelchair Mommy said...

I'm new here and this is an AWESOME post. It's amazong that you get to have this as your FOREVER home. :)

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