Happy Three Years to Emberly!

3:31 PM

Today I realized it has been 3 years already since we took possession of our beloved Emberly House.
It seems so crazy that 3 years have flown by. I laughed while reminiscing and reading the original very first blog post I wrote about buying the house. I mentioned the goals of doing the insulation and roof immediately that year...and 3 years later they still aren't done! haha. It turns out while definitely needing to be done, they weren't in as terrible shape as we thought and we were able to squeeze by without doing them. The cost of some towels and buckets have been a lot more affordable than a new roof. We are just now finally getting set up to do the roof this spring, for real this time! Realistically, the whole insulation issue involves tearing apart our third story loft which up until 2 months ago, has been rented out to friends. So now that it is empty, we can probably move into doing what needs to be done over the next year.

So, three years in, and what have we learned? I think a shorter list would be "what haven't we learned?" We have had 8 different people live with us at different times. We have had our furnaces repaired more than 8 times I am sure. Some rooms have been painted three times already due to my tastes changing like the weather. We have had enough critters on our property that I am pretty sure when I break into song, my life briefly transforms into a Disney musical. It actually HAS been sunshine and roses and it's also most certainly been storms and thorns. It's all been worth it though. This home is like a member of our family. Whether we were dancing or mourning, these walls and floorboards (and yes even the shotty ceilings) have provided us comfort and peace and a safe place to return to, no matter where we are in our journey.

When I reflect on how crazy we were to pack up and move to the middle of farmville, I can't help but smile. We really don't do things like other people and certainly don't do things just because they are expected of us. We are still crazy after all these years ;) We honestly have dreams that make this one look totally normal, almost boring. As much as we want to just fly with the wind, we also know with a little one on the way that it definitely is right to dig our heels in and nurture the roots we have growing here. It feels right. We love this home and love the (sometimes) quiet life that exists here.

I remember moving here and worrying being so far from a Starbucks would be hard. Funny enough, Starbucks being 30 minutes away feels pretty close to us now! Anything in Orangeville feels local. It's just far enough away that you have to really want it to make the trip...but Scott also now works out of that area and can stop in on his way home if this preggo needs a fix. What feels REALLY far now is Barrie. We used to drive it so often it was normal and didn't feel far to us. I think it was the fertility treatment drives to Orillia 1-3 times a week, plus a drive to Barrie for church every other Sunday that did me in. The drive became associated with harder times I guess, and I stopped wanting to do it as often and grew weary of the thought. The problem is that Barrie is where most of our friends are and a lot of my family. So feeling exhausted just thinking about it is a bit of a downer. I've realized when I go, I just like to plan a full day and really pack it. The reason the drive got sucky for me is because I would drive to Orillia at 6:30am (an hour and a half drive), have blood work done and ultrasound, and then drive home. This cycle went from April-August. It was just a whole lot of driving. Totally worth it. I have my little miracle gal in my tummy right now because of those tedious drives. But something definitely switched in me having to do those anxious drives alone, often with disappointment. I could have packed more into those days and went into Barrie for visits, but I was often in a pretty sad mood and just wanted to be at home seeking some kind of comfort. Now that those drives are over...hopefully forever...I am very thankful! I don't mind going to Barrie...I just hate going alone. If Scott and I go together, I am thrilled. As long as we can pack a full day in town, I am happy to do it and happy to catch up with people! In general, living in the middle of nowhere has still meant seeing people often, which has been really nice :)

So what does Emberly life look like these days? Chaos! Hahaha. How we have managed to collect so much crap (and by we I mean me) over the 7 years we have been married I will never understand! We are of course currently prepping for baby which is a whole lot of project tackling. Neither of us are neat freaks, I more than Scott, but in general neither of us find true joy in cleaning and organizing. I will get a burst of energy for it, and LOVE having my house clean, but don't actually love doing it generally. I am definitely one of those moms that would just pay someone else to do it if I could. With the fall into Christmas being a write-off of constant nausea for me, the house just fell behind. Every single time without fail that I would start cleaning, I would throw up. So that wasn't very fun...lol. Now I am tackling all I can with pelvic pressure and uterine pain. So progress is slow but I am determined. I would say I get a good 2 days in a week where I have crazy energy and this unstoppable urge to nest. So that's been good! We are finally purging tons of crapola from this place. I remember doing the walk-through just over 3 years ago and marveling at how we could ever possibly fill this home. Now it feels like Lane's house from Gilmore Girls! hahaha. Okay, not THAT bad.

A huge difference here right now is that we have no renters on our side of the house. The girls live in the apartment which has a separate driveway and entrance and the only shared space is the laundry room so essentially Scott and I live alone together for the first time in 5.5 years! We didn't even live a full year at Coughlin before Katherine moved in, and Nate followed about 8-9 months after Katherine. Nate just moved out in February so it's been a big adjustment going from a co-living situation to just the two of us, but it's been really nice to have this time just the two of us before baby arrives and rocks our world! We are thankful for this bonding time together. Eventually if we decide for certain that this is our "forever home", we intend to completely merge the apartment back into the main space of the house, which really only requires the removal of a couple non-structural walls, so not a big deal. If we stay in this home to raise our family, we will most likely occupy the whole thing with no renters, but we are very happy with the girls and our current situation. I really love having friends live with us since a lot of the time I spend working from home, Scott isn't here and it can get lonely. Even just hearing the sounds of people is nice, since it's not like we are constantly hanging out! However, once baby arrives, I know I will be kept very busy. We are happy to continue renting to the girls for as long as the space suits them, but whenever the day comes when it is not rented and we can afford to keep it that way, it will be very interesting as a lot of space/opportunity would open up for us! This is space we currently don't need but as our family grows it would be nice to transform over time. The master bedroom doesn't have a closet but the room beside ours could easily have a door to our room and become a walk-in which would be amazing. I also love the idea of turning the main space of the apartment into an entertainment room/play room/homeschool room for the kids. I would also be excited about turning the apt bathroom into our laundry room so it's on the same floor as our bedroom (win) and so we can completely widen our kitchen below and knock out all the walls between it and the laundry room/side entrance and make it one big open kitchen area with stairs going up to the play room! Would be awesome - I am just dreaming here haha. I would make the third story loft a giant kid nursery. Right now it is an open area with three bedrooms coming off it and a bathroom. Depending on genders and ages, we would possibly make it completely open - one big bedroom to be shared (Peter Pan style). I am pretty happy at the thought of this being our forever home...I absolutely love this place. For us, it's moreso the location. We dream of oneday living in a less busy area with acreage, animals, and the MUST have: a tree lined driveway ;) So we shall see. But I truly love this place and love making it our own! If a bigger move isn't in the cards for us, we will be very happy here.

Here are some images I pulled out of our journey so far! Can't wait to see what another 3 years bring us!

I take it very seriously that I still owe you a before and after post with all the up-to-date photos of the house compared with when we moved in, and a nursery reno post! They are in the works!

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