In October 2014, we bought our forever home. My husband had retired from professional football that June and we decided to settle in Cairns. Forever.
But of course, as fate would have it, forever wouldn’t last very long. A solitary week after we settled on the house, we moved back to Newcastle – where we had just come from.
And my husband, well, un-retired.
Since June 2014, the majority of our belongings have been in storage. You see, when we moved to Cairns forever the first time, we rented a furnished apartment until we found a house to buy. And then we moved to Newcastle again and rather than send all of our stuff back for what could only be 8 months, we took the bare essentials – a few suitcases of clothes and a trailer of personal belongings driven back down with our cars. We bought basic furniture to keep our family feeling as settled and at home as possible because we knew it wasn’t our forever home.
Our forever home was back in Cairns, waiting for us.
Last September, we started renovating our forever home. And in a few weeks, it will be ready.
It’s been a long road to get there.
Since we last saw our belongings in June 2014, a lot has happened. My husband retired and then un-retired and then retired from the only career he ever knew. We lost an immediate family member suddenly. We moved to Cairns and then back to Newcastle and then back again. My eldest started school and my littlest started pre-school. We started a football academy – where I spend most of my time these days, leaving my poor little blog neglected.
It will be extremely weird opening those boxes.
Some things I have likely forgotten are there – mostly material possessions; shoes, clothes, bags. Others I long to see – photos, memorabilia and of course, my D & G black patent stilettos (hey, one can still get emotional over fashion. It’s a religion in some parts of the world. Sadly, not Cairns)
The forever home. Not just another move.
We’ve been moving since 2005. That was our first move – to New Zealand. We’ve rented in most places and bought in one (we learnt our lesson after that). We’ve tried to make every house a home and we realised along the way the value of familiarity. Our kids had the same stickers on their bedroom walls (Love Mae), I used the same mood reeds wherever we went (Lychee and Black Tea by Dusk), we had the same photos up; of family, friends and our adventures.
Moving was a chore but we made it work. After all, my husband had a job that he loved and one that enabled us to live a good lifestyle. While life in professional football was in equal parts thrilling and frustrating, we wouldn’t trade it in a million years – we made amazing, lifelong friends and have had some pretty priceless experiences.
It almost feels surreal that we are about to settle.
That our stuff – all of our stuff – is about to come out of storage and into our forever home.
That we’ll have our own garden to landscape and spend time on during the weekends. That we’ll be living amongst walls we’re allowed to make holes in. That we can have a dog or two without having to ask for permission. That we can decorate and redecorate and paint and change anything we like because it’s our space.
To have an office that I can organise my way. Because right now, in our temporary accommodation, my office is my dining table which is next to the washing machine so when we’re not eating on it, or working on it – I’m folding on it.
To have parties in my home.
To give my kids the rooms they create from their imagination.
To see this house – one we’ve designed ourselves – come to life and represent us. The ultimate depiction of our taste. And if some things don’t work – hey, we can change them because it’s ours.
I long to give my children their forever home. The place they’ll build memory upon memory over the years. The place they’ll feel safe and loved. The place they’ll eat home cooked meals and have birthday parties. The place they’ll grow and thrive and they’ll always remember for its smell, long after they are married with their own children.
And yes – the photos, stickers and lychee + black tea fragrance are coming along with us.