The walls of this home have bore witness to priceless memories made. These walls have hosted family gatherings and celebrations of life's biggest and littlest moments. These walls house, no pun intended, most of the treasures of my heart.
But this house isn't home to me.
These walls, they are nothing more than dry wall and paint. I've tried to fall in love with our house here. I've tried hard to make it feel home, furnishing it and decorating it until it felt right. But after three years this house does not feel permanent. My soul longs to return to where we once lived. Where our story started. Where we first became Michael and Ashley.
I started thinking about what home feels like rather than where it is.
Home, to me, is in the laughter of my boys as they explore their brotherhood. Tinny, guttural, make your eyes crinkle at the corners laughter that fills the whole house no matter what room or floor they are playing on.
It's finding my husband's warm feet in bed at night. Running my ice cold toes up and down the soles of his feet, him trying so hard not to give in to the chill. It's falling into bed with him, exhausted, at the end of the day. A tiny act that I've come to take for granted despite spending the majority of the first few years of our marriage apart during the week, coming home and climbing into bed after a long day at work.
This house is not my home. I've tried to love it. I gave it time but all I can think about it leaving.
But home, to me, is wherever my people are.
It's curling up on the couch with Sullivan like I did so many afternoons when I was pregnant with Carter. It's tucking my feet up underneath his warm belly as he sits at my feet and my fingers dance, absentmindedly, along the keyboard of the computer. Words spilling onto the screen with no rhyme or reason.
Home is that sweet, sweaty, slightly sour smelling nook in my baby's neck. Wrinkles that I couldn't love any more if I tried, just asking to be kissed over and over and over again. It's watching his tiny body crest and fall with each breath breathed as he sleeps.
Home isn't a place. But my people? They are my home, sweet home.