Tuesday, March 8, 2011

my home defined.

home [hohm]:
1. a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family, or household.
2. the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.
3. an institution for the homeless, sick, etc.
4. the dwelling place or retreat of an animal.
5. the place or region where something is native or most common.
6. any place of residence or refuge
7. a person's native place or own country.
8. a destination or goal.

and that's just the definition of home as a noun.

since leaving home in my late teenage years, i've realized that home has changed faces on me multiple times.
home used to be the place that i'd open the fridge and find my favorite cans of tree-top apple juice, and rice pudding, i'd open the pantry to find home made fruit leather, chips + salsa, and i'd often come home to the smell of sweet hawaiian bread from the bread-maker, warm chocolate chip cookies, and/or a nice hot stack of my mama's cheesy-gooey quesadillas right off the skillet. 
i'd bring my friends home to hang out on our comfy yellow couch.
jump on our trampoline.
and look at ridiculous yearbook photos from my parents' old yearbooks. 
in the morning before school, i'd fight with my brother over who could use the bathroom first. (i usually won).
and with my mom about how i desperately needed only 5 more minutes to finish putting on my make-up or blow-drying the hair, because there was NO WAY i was going out with WET HAIR. (a teenage sin, in my mind...because wet hair then, meant dry/frizzy hair later...a major no-no for my frizzy curly locks) (i usually didn't win).
and then i'd rush down the stairs where i'd tap my foot or stair off into space to pretend i wasn't listening to scripture study (because i was mad to have wettish hair)....after which my dad would most assuredly pick on me to pray, since i was the obvious grumpy one that morning.
and after the hustle and bustle of the day, home was the place where dinners together as a family were non-negotiable...where Mimi would get mad if we ate the green beans all gone (they were her favorite), where Sean would tease me until i cried about being in the band, and where my Mom and Dad seemed smart, cool, collected...and truly interested in our trivial problems.
and after homework, and a bowl of ice cream, we'd meet together again on our knees and pray.
because our home was a home of prayer. that's what we did.

when Sean left on his mission, home changed a lot.
i missed fighting with him over the bathroom.
and i missed being terrified every snowy (or non-snowy) morning while he drove us to school.
and i even missed being teased.
and i know my dad missed having another boy around the house...because all of a sudden, we were talking too much about periods and boys and kissing and clothes and movie stars and chick flicks and painting our nails. my poor dad.
and soon after that, i left for college.
and home changed even more.
all of a sudden, i was split between two homes.
a dorm...which felt crammed and smelly and dirty all the time (did my mom really clean up after me that much??). which was surprisingly expensive and challenged the inner me with: "how bad to i want to eat something yummy?" and which had no siblings or parents around...which felt liberating at times...but often was very lonely.
and my childhood home...which never felt so huge. and spacious. and full to the brim of feasts, wonderful company, music, and smelled deliciously clean and fresh all the time.

and then i got married.
and i really started creating my own home.
but it was an identity crisis of sorts.
because it wasn't just me creating a home.
it was me and Him creating a home.
and that was tricky.
because all of a sudden i was challenged on which way to load the toilet paper.
and who has the duty of taking out the smelly trash when you can't possibly put another disgusting thing in it.
and how long can a tube of toothpaste really last...and who's responsibility should it be to remember to buy a new one.
and who is in charge of the cooking?
and picking up the messes? especially when both are working and going to school.
and how are we going to decorate this home....with the little precious pennies we have.
home became a mod-podge.
of furniture, of toothpaste brand preferences, of whole wheat vs white bread preferences, of closet space, and of every space in between.

but each of us still had our own childhood homes.
the place where everything seemed so seamless.
and clean.
and orderly.
where there was boundless love.
and people.
people who loved us.
people who cooked us our very favorite meals.
and bought the brands of shampoo and conditioner that we couldn't quite afford anymore.
and both of us wanted to escape to our own homes as much as humanly possible.
because that's where we grew up.
that's what we knew.
that's where we felt safe and secure.

and then my parents moved away.
at first it was really really sad when they moved away.
because home was that yellow bedroom of mine where i spent so many hours talking to friends and boyfriends and dreaming about what my life would be like someday.
and home was my friends coming to visit and eat some of those yummy chips and salsa with me at the island in my kitchen.
and home was that apricot tree in our backyard that produced an insane amount of apricots every spring/summer. and the cherry tree that we climbed on that tallest ladder ever to pick buckets and buckets of the most delicious red cherries.
and home was that mountain i could stare at from my bedroom window while i talked to God about life.

but now, we've been to my parents' new home a handful of times.
and i realize that home is so much more than stuff.
and each place has its own wonderful things.
home is where the people you love are.
it is where caring happens.
it is where listening and talking and tooting and laughing happens.
home is the place where memories are made together with those people you love.
and even though i don't have my apricot tree or my cherry tree anymore when i go to my childhood house...or even that beautiful mountain, i have palm trees and the ocean breeze...and i still have my Mama and Pops and Sister...the laughs are the same. the hugs are just as warm. and we just get each other.....and best of all, God can hear me just the same there, too. God does hear me just the same there.

and when i come back to my own home away from my parents and sister, it stings for a while.
i get sad.
and all mopey.
because i miss them so terribly.
i miss home so much.
but then i realize that i'm creating a place that my sweet little girls will remember the way that i remember my apricot tree and mountain.
because this is their home.
with our rickety old windows.
our cute lil garden boxes in the backyard.
and our cracked sidewalks and driveway.
it's the place where we eat Ellie's favorite pancakes and peanut butter toast.
it's the place where every mirror shows a gummy-grin-reflection from Alice.
it's the place where we laugh and cry together. and watch movies and dress up. and wipe noses and bums. and take deliciously long bubble baths.
it's the place where we kneel together to pray to our Heavenly Father as a family. because our home is a home of prayer. that's just how it is.

how grateful i am for home.

some snaps from my little voyage home with the girls last week.
it was truly memorable and sweet.

p.s. happy mardi gras!



Jodie said...

You are adorable! :)mo

Kristi said...

That is beautiful. Every word of it is so true. I relate 100%. So glad you had a wonderful time with your family!

Adrienne said...

truely lovely post

Megs said...

ha ha...I laughed out loud when I read the part about the shampoo & conditioner you could no longer afford because I had the same.exact.thing happen after marriage. Gotta love the expensive stuff. :) Lovely post & lovely pictures.

Linda said...

No existe nada mas perfecto y bello en esta tierra, que la familia.....~ y tu , mi amor... eres una perla en esta familia. Tu hogar es un pedacito de cielo. Te amo.
P.S. Las fotos estan divinas! Te xtra├▒o!

mere/tay(xoxo) said...

love you marce xoxo

Amber said...

That was so poetic and lovely. I think most of us can relate to each phase of that story. Thanks for sharing.

Kimberly said...

Marce! I'm so glad you had the opportunity to go see your family. It's the best. I too relate to all those same phases with my homes. Love you friend and wish we could have our homes be closer so we could hang out.

melita said...

I just found your blog address from Tammy's. I love your post about home. I had a cherry tree that I had named after me, since I was the one who ate ever single cherry out of it. When my dad had to cut it, I cried and felt a piece of me was gone. And then , he planted me a peach tree just for me, and that was ours. You are right, memories matter, but people matter more.
Are those real words at your scrabble game? You are good!

{amy k.} said...

you miss the backyard neighbors and our "light language" too, don't ya!!! :)

love this post.