House-y Dreams

The other day I had a realization.  Bear with me!  But I'm wondering if any of you have come to the same conclusion?  For most of my twenties and early thirties I held an image in my mind, a picture of what my "future life" would look like.  It included (in the very early days) dreams of my husband and our future kids, and the kind of life we would lead.

Thankfully, my husband and three kiddos are the center of my life, and they are the fulfillment of my most precious dreams!  But I also dreamed of our house, because, well, that's just what I do.  Usually I imagined we'd live here:

Or here:

Or certainly here (who are those people in the photo and why are they in my imaginary house?):

The future was always unknown and hazy, and there was always the sense that something new and exciting was just around the bend, something that would tell me we'd "arrived" at our life.  Someday we'd live in a big, white, rambling country farmhouse.  Someday I'd have the perfect hydrangeas in my side yard and six fireplaces to choose from when wondering where to sip my coffee or wine.

Do you see where I'm going with this?  Looking back on where our path has taken us, that white cottage farmhouse has yet to materialize!  As newlyweds we started with a charming little bungalow in Mt. Lookout, a fun, hip (or was it only hip ten years ago when I was hip?) suburb of Cincinnati:

We moved to Colorado in 2007 and took on a little more rustic, almost Craftsman-style house:

Then we went way off my usual grid in 2010 with a 1930s Spanish Colonial in San Francisco, CA:

Followed by a 1950s ranch, also in San Francisco, which gave me a big lesson in decorating a rental house that was seriously in need of help!

And now, finally, to our home here in Cincinnati, where we plan to stay for as long as life allows:

It's funny, isn't it? Now that I'm 37 (and not 25!), I know that perfect white cottage on the 5 acre farmland with white picket fences is never coming my way.  And you know what?  I am SO OK with that!  Instead, we have a home built in 1979, surrounded by great neighbors and sidewalks, in a community I love.  We have one fireplace, not six, and though I try to make the house look like it was plucked from a charming English countryside, it was not, and I love it anyway because it is ours.  

Do you get me?  Do you find a joy (and even relief!) in being content with what your life holds, even though it doesn't match your younger self's dreams?  Don't get me wrong, I'll always be tweaking and trying to convince my husband to add a picket fence (hopefully this spring!) and a cupola with a weather vane on top of the house and more hydrangeas and a stone walkway and...and...and...

But we're here for the long haul, and I couldn't be happier.  Does that sound familiar to any of you? I'd love to hear!  :)    


Lisa said...

Yes! That sounds VERY familiar. I am 41 now, and since I was a girl, I have had a dream of what I wanted my life to look like. My family exceeds my dream, but one thing that never materialized was that "forever" home. Circumstances have planted us in a three-bedroom townhouse with a tiny sliver of yard. But it's efficient to heat and cool, in a wonderful area, and decorated to our tastes. I don't see us moving into a single-family home anytime soon, and part of me remains wistful about that, but the bigger part celebrates what I do have, and my heart is full of gratitude for a life beyond what I could have ever imagined. Thank you for opening the door on this conversation! I love your blog, and your style is so completely warm and inviting. I love everything about it! ~ Lisa

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Thank you Lisa! I am glad to hear that you are also a content-where-you-are kind of girl! (Not always my strength!) And Amen for having a house that's easy to heat and cool...as I sit here and listen to my 20 year old furnace groan as it heats our house. :) I appreciate your honest comments and am happy for you too!

Joanna Clark Dawyd said...

I've always had those same house dreams! I haven't quite given up on them yet. Unfortunately, I married an accountant who works downtown. So I don't think I'll ever get my acreage. I'd be perfectly content with a forever house with a big yard in the city too though. I love your forever house! I actually really like houses built in the 70s. They're old enough to not be so "precious" (as in, my husband will actually let me renovate), and they're new enough not to have so many old house problems like my dream 100-year-old farmhouse would have.

becoming claudine said...

Contentedness is such a good feeling, isn't it? I find that as I've gotten older and our lives are becoming what they are to be, I am better able to recognize what they won't be, and it feels okay to let those old ideas go.

I've just discovered your blog, and have enjoyed reading about the journey you've had far away and back again. It seems you've found the magic of being in a place that feels right, and the people around you making that place home.

While we've never ventured far away, we recently moved to what we hope to be our home for a long, long time.
All the best,

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Oh Joanna and Claudine! I just popped in to my blog and saw your responses...please forgive me for not replying sooner! I got going on my "real" life and didn't mean to ignore you. Thank you both for replying and for your honest insights. So glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks about this stuff...and is content to be just where we are! :) Thank you so much! (and Lisa too!)

Carrie Alexander said...

Carrie, We dreamed of living in the EXACT SAME house!!! i love this.

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