As I sit here typing this, movers are packing up the contents of my house. I’ve been so overwhelmed with excitement about this move and then distracted by the logistics that coronavirus has brought into our lives, that I’ve not really had much time for the emotional aspect of leaving this home.
I once heard that a house should tell the story of who you are. If our house could talk, I think it would have LOTS to say. But since it can’t, I’m just left to guess. I think it would say that we value experiences over things and people over everything. I think it would say that we embrace the beautiful chaos that is this season of our lives and that we are better for it in the long run. I think it would say that we tried our very best but at many times failed. And I think it would say, good job mama.
Building The Foxy
In August 2016, just a few days after Nico was born, we signed the contract with Ryan Homes to build this house. It was the since-discontinued Fox Chapel model, which we affectionately have always referred to as “The Foxy.” Building the Foxy throughout the fall of 2016 was such a fun experience. We’d visit the site 2-3 times a week and watch as it went from a hole in the ground to the house we currently occupy. If you ever have a chance to build something, it really is a cool experience.
I won’t lie, this house has a lot of painful memories that, frankly, I’m happy to leave behind. But I’m not focusing on those, I’m just glad to part with them as The Foxy becomes a part of the past and no longer the present or the future.
So let me tell you about the happy times.
Side note, how different did I look at Christmas in 2016!
Each of my kids celebrated their first Christmas in this house. In fact, we closed and moved in on December 22, 2016, and you for sure know that by December 23 there were three trees up and fully decorated to commemorate our first Christmas in it. We may not have had any clothes unpacked or kitchenware, but I was definitely going to have Christmas trees. Because of course.
This house is home to so many firsts- too many to list. Nico took his first step in this house, Gabriella said her first word in this house, and Mila took her first breath in this house. How do you top any of that?
I was in this house when I found out I was pregnant with Gabriella and Milana. I was standing right outside this house when we found out Gabriella was going to be a girl. I was in this house when I found out family members passed away and friends lost babies and when Donald Trump took office (I thought he’d be out of office before I was out of this house, but that’s neither here nor there).
One of my favorite daily moments was when the kids would hear the garage door go up and they’d excitedly run to the front window to see if they could recognize a car in the driveway and figure out who was here.
We had a few holidays at the house, but one of my favorites was Easter 2017 when many friends and family were able to celebrate with us. It was our first holiday to host in our house, and was full of special memories.
My favorite room in the house has always been a two-way tie and, in classic Krista fashion, the rooms are totally opposite for purpose. The first is the morning room. I found this amazing farm table with chairs and a bench on one side when we were building the house and I knew it was the perfect fit for our morning room. It is equal parts classy and calm, and has been our daily dinner table since we moved in. I envision this table staying with us for the long haul and continuing to add more bodies to the seats as we get older.
The second room is the master bath. Its half the depth of the house, boasting a his and hers closet, water closet, stand alone shower, double vanity with lots of storage space, and jetted garden tub. To maximize being a snob, we added a mounted tv facing the tub (I think it got turned on a total of 6 times, but still… it was a nice feature to have). I will deeply miss this room of luxury.
I’m never going to forget the pitter patter of little feet running around the first floor. We had a walk around concept so you can circle the entire first floor by following the perimeter and it was wall to wall hardwood and the kids running around in full speed circles (usually to the tune of “Run That Race” from Cars) is imprinted on my mind. Speaking of hardwood, lesson learned. We chose dark hardwood and, if I do say so myself, I love the look of it. However, you can see every single crumb on that floor and, to no one’s surprise with 3 kids 3 and under, there’s a lot of crumbs on our floor. You can also see every ounce of oil that transfers from someone’s foot and every single scuff from a shoe.
I heard a quote that went something like- “The most important work you’ll ever do takes place inside the four walls of your home.”
That quote, you guys! While I enjoy working remotely (maybe not especially when kids are home during covid19, but grateful to still have a job, for now….), it is something to think that the most important work of my life is the work I do raising good human beings inside this house. Teaching them values, trust, empathy, kindness. Modeling by example and practicing what I preach.
Of particular fondness is our formal living room which hosted my grandparent’s grand piano for the first 2.5 years we lived here prior to getting the ultimate word that it was in a state of disrepair (not for lack of effort trying, though). It was the most beautiful piece that I grew up playing and gave me such a delight to host in my home, even if it was more a showpiece than anything else.
While we didn’t host nearly as much as I think we wanted to, our custom wet bar in the basement was the perfect place to host the zillion pieces of bar glassware that I have. I have no idea what I was thinking collecting all those pieces, but they looked beautiful there.
To this day, I’ve never showered in the basement shower. In my knowledge, it has been used one single time by Brandon’s father when he was helping us with Nico. I’ve slept in every room of the house with the exception of the office and the basement, although I may have napped in the basement once.
I remember the first night we slept in the house- having been just built and winter time, every sound seemed so big. The wind rushing by, the crackling of the fireplace, the creaking of the frame. It felt so wonderful to be in the home in time for Christmas.
This house brought us to the North Hills where we have been able to experience so many wonderful new places: we enjoyed regular trips to North Park, delicious foods from Harvest Valley farms right here in Gibsonia and Soergels Orchards in Wexford, quick access to the turnpike and its many destinations in the Laurel Highlands region, and so many more things.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the two most important places in our lives outside of this home: our church and the kids school. While leaving family behind is always difficult, I know we will be with our family again as we visit each other over the years. It’s not the same for these places which will be permanently here while we are somewhere else.
Our church has been the greatest source of support for me and my family these last few years. My sisters in Christ have been my soul, breathing life into me when I most desperately needed it. Other families have loved my children as their own, brought us meals in times of need, offered to cut my grass when I was trying to be a full time working mom keeping a house together, and nourished my soul with the Word and compassion. To say we will miss Orchard Hill Church, where you could find us 3-4x a week, would be a massive understatement. My heart hurts leaving it behind and my deepest prayers involve finding a new church home where we can be as deeply connected. Thankfully this time of social distancing leaves a lot of online programming and we will continue watching the daily devotionals and weekend services that they are offering.
My heart also pines for the teachers, staff, and friends that we are leaving behind at the children’s school, The Glen Montessori. As a long-time Montessori advocate, I have been blessed beyond belief to have experienced the joy of a true Montessori curriculum implemented with care and compassion.
I’ve written about my love for The Glen so many times I’m sure you’re sick of it, but I just can’t help it. A special shout of love for my children’s teachers over the last three years- Ms Shannon, Ms Jess, and Ms Fox. We all love you immensely and can’t imagine what school will be like without you in our lives.
When we were building The Foxy, I think we always knew that it wouldn’t be our forever home. We never had long term plans to stay in Pittsburgh. In fact, it took almost an entire year of convincing for me to agree to come back to Pittsburgh in the first place. I’m so very glad that I did, despite the fact that things didn’t end up the way I hoped they would.
Even though I had been actively planning ot make a move over the last twelve months, it still seems like it crept up on me. I was able to be here in Pittsburgh to enjoy my grandfathers’ last years of life, see many of my lifelong friends that are still grounded here, and form memories that will truly be with me until my dying day.
Even though the Foxy won’t be our home anymore, home is really wherever we are together, and we can’t wait to be in our new home in Orlando.