Big changes ahead. Dustin, my husband, and I are moving to Albany, NY this Fall (mid November). While any move to another area is significant, this transition is huge for us in particular because we have never lived outside of the South (I’ve never lived outside the state of Georgia). While we are bracing ourselves for the change (immersion by winter!), we are also very excited about the opportunity to move to a brand new part of the country and continue to develop our relationship as a new married couple.
This past weekend, we finalized a purchase on a home in Albany. The evening we finalized the purchase of the house (after an agonizingly long closing), I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude in between moments of exhaustion.
I remembered the coffee we’d shared with Dustin’s parents when they gave us invaluable advice about their experience when they had moved cities as a couple. When I imagined how we might want to arrange furniture, I realized that the overwhelming majority of what will fill our home has been gifted or passed down to us from our generous parents, from a leather sofa and coffee table for the living room, to beds and rugs and curtains and dressers for bedrooms, to beautiful top-of-the-line cookware and silverware in the kitchen. And, I thought of the reasons we could even afford to put a down payment on the house, which are a result of the budgeting lessons our parents taught us, the investment our parents made in our educations, and generous gifts from our extended families, gifted when we were still playing “house” as young children. Yet, saying “thank you” feels insufficient; I wish I could tell my mom, dad, step-mom, mother-in-law, and father-in-law how much their support means to us. How much they mean to us.
And, I’m certain I wouldn’t have been able to make the decision to move to Albany without the support of a few very special friends. My dear small group held my hand and prayed with me through the past three years – from debating the decision to move, to searching for answers in Dustin’s latest health tests, and even giving extensive advice on shopping for warm clothes. Meg, Lauren and Simpson, three of my dearest friends, loved me through the process and didn’t hesitate to express concerns along the way that I was usually too optimistic (or scared) to admit to myself.
And, Kelly and Kaitlyn, my work BFFs, are my daily stronghold – travailing the everyday, ordinary developments with me. They listen and express care for me no matter how trivial the topic – from navigating workplace politics, to my latest difficulties with a very simple DIY project, to climbing the “jungle gym.” What will I do when I don’t get to see these two in-person everyday? I haven’t yet come to terms with this part of the change. Thankfully, these two are in the process of their own changes (Kaitlyn’s new house and Kelly’s baby to come!), so I’m sure we’ll figure out how to adjust together.
While Dustin and I now have our very first home, it doesn’t really “belong” to us (or Wells Fargo, either). This home only came into our ownership as a result of the “credit” that our families and friends have accrued on our behalf. They’ve given time, care, love, and resources to us, and we have infinitely reaped the rewards of their investment. Our name may be on the title, but the true “owners” are our family and friends, even if they are hundreds of miles away. This house is a “home” because of the love that has been poured into it on our behalf by others – and we would have never been able to purchase it without them.
We say “goodbye” to Atlanta, GA (for now) and “hey, ya’ll!” to cooler summers, ice scrapers, and other new adventures in Albany, NY.