So many homes, so many memories. We’ve been in this house longer than we’ve lived anywhere in our whole entire marriage. Four years. That’s how long we’ve lived here on Elk Run. Isn’t it funny that in nearly 17 years of marriage, four years is the longest we’ve lived somewhere? Even within our six years in Africa we moved around a few times. Once a nomad, always a nomad, I guess. We moved into our house on Elk Run when I was so pregnant I couldn’t bend. You know that feeling? Like, even if you wanted to, you physically couldn’t bend. I wrote letters to Noella (she was still in my belly) while sitting in her grey nursery that my friend graciously helped me paint. I wrote baby Noella to tell her how excited we were, and that we couldn’t wait to see, hold, and kiss her. So many of the other places where we lived I often moved in wondering if we’d get to create a nursery in that home. We never did. This home on Elk Run was our first time creating a space for baby. Then two babies! Our first meal in this house was Chicken Express and they forgot to give us silverware (Chick Fil A would never have the audacity to do that) so we ate with our fingers using an empty box as our table. We attempted to plant a raised bed garden here, but the heat and the grasshoppers were ruthless. We met neighbors who grew to be Texas grandparents to our girls while living on this street. It’s hard to imagine what life would be like here in San Angelo if we hadn’t met them, and some of the other neighbors on this street. I cried for about 10 min when I realized we were really selling the first home we ever owned, the home we brought our new babies to. It sank in when we were talking about listing prices and all that legal, next-step contracty stuff. But the chair where I nursed and rocked our little ones is the same chair I’m bringing with us to the new house. And the girls are coming too! The idea of setting up bedrooms for two little girls is so very special. So I don’t feel too sentimental about leaving behind this house (now that my 10 min of crying is over). It was a dream come true, and so is this next place. How special that those babies are walking and talking now, and coming with us to help establish another however-many-years of memories in the new house. The new house is our first-ever “just for fun” move. It’s an unexpected gift from God and we’re so grateful. We’re grateful for all that happened within the walls on Elk Run. The bonfires, the joy, the grief, the healing, the forgiveness, the late nights, the early mornings, the homemade meals, and the frozen waffles thrown into the toaster. Realizing there would be a Shilo, then watching her crawl, and giggle, watching Noella as a baby herself become a big sister… these are things that happened here. Things we won’t forget. There were toddler fits, little girl bubble baths, dress up parties, messes, playdough in the rug, and candles lit. There were shy apologies and more laughter than we can count. There was Shawn spraying me down with the water hose, the two of us hosting Christmas parties, and doing projects in the garage. There was love, there was teething, there were grumpy mornings, and loads upon loads of laundry done here. There were friendships that grew here, movie nights, loud music in the kitchen, and pizza parties on the patio. These walls won’t soon forget those memories, and neither will we. I’m so glad that the sweetest parts of this home are coming with us, to the next place where we will build a home and continue this life together.