On Friday morning, I sat in my office with our cats while G and the movers made the first trip of the day, and jotted down some thoughts. I didn't think I would ever publish them—the simple process of writing them down helped me process my emotions—but I love how accurately the below captures the bittersweet, complicated emotions I was feeling in leaving our home of six years and knew I wanted to share them with you. When Katie, Leslie, and Jess came over last week to pick up art from our gallery wall, I was surprised to hear them share how emotional even they felt about the move. Though none of them worked for cupcakes and cashmere at the time, they had followed G and my transition from our duplex into our first house as so many of you have. In the same way, I can't wait to bring you along for the ride of our new home as we move, renovate, and settle into it. Tomorrow, I'll be sharing a love letter to our first home before we officially close the door, but for now, here are a few thoughts from the morning of our move. x E
From the moment we put our house on the market, I imagined the morning of our move would be poetic and romantic, that I'd walk through each sun-filled room and feel the familiar creaks in the floor beneath my feet. But it was so far from that. Logistically speaking, it simply had to be. The plan was always for me to take all three cats to the office the moment the movers arrived, so instead of having a quiet moment to say goodbye to our beloved home, I was flying after cats who were scurrying around, jumping on boxes and doing everything in their power to dodge me. After wrangling them into their cages and barking back and forth with Geoffrey about logistics for the day, I got into the car.
It wasn't until I was driving away that it dawned on me how surreal it all felt. My gate clicker was on the kitchen counter, and I no longer had a key to the front door on my keychain. I was leaving our house for the last time.
My first call was to my dad, the second most emotional person I know after myself. He told me a sad story that, while it seemed unrelated at first, was ultimately the perfect thing he could have said. I told him my goodbye to the house was so far from what I had envisioned, and he told me that when his grandmother passed away at home, his mother had called the funeral home to retrieve her. In the meantime, she had a few minutes alone with her mother. She washed her and spoke to her, but it was in those moments she realized her soul was no longer there. She was washing the shell of a body that contained everything she had once been, and she found solace in the fact that the person she had once loved was gone, but her spirit and soul would live well beyond her body.
My dad compared his mother's experience to mine. "You might have been able to walk through those rooms and feel the familiar pangs of love and admiration," he told me, "but what you would have actually found was an empty house. The home you created, with all the love of your family isn't gone—it will go with you. It's the soul that makes a home."
For the past few days, there have been a lot of "lasts:" our last cup of coffee in the kitchen, our last time cooking dinner. Sloan and I took our last bath together in the master bathroom last night and, as she always does, she swam around the tub, splashing water everywhere. I've been doing my best to, no pun intended, soak in those moments for the past few months.
Moving is funny because it makes a person's personality so abundantly clear. G is purely excited and ready for this new adventure, embracing everything our new neighborhood has to offer, whereas Sloan and I are much more glued to the prospect of leaving our house and all of the memories that we have created in it.
Last night in the bath, we shared some of the things we loved most about our house, and I realized that most of Sloan's favorite memories aren't of the actual house, but about our family. She loves watching her dad cook, and loves when I do her hair in the morning before school—but those things won't change, they'll simply evolve. She even said, "I love my bed," and "I love our couch," which I pointed out will all be coming with us.
Last week, G and I had to drop some things off at the new house before we moved in and decided that, despite being in the middle of the chaos that is packing, we could spare a half-hour to grab lunch in our new neighborhood. We found a place we'd never tried before and, up until that point, I'll admit I'd been really reluctant to embrace anything new (I am a Taurus after all). I'd pretty much decided that I'll always drive back to Larchmont to eat, go to the farmers' market, and visit the dry cleaners, but on our way to lunch, G confided in me one of the most difficult parts of this move. He'd been allowing me the space to feel all the feels, which he knows is part of my process of getting through something emotionally difficult, but he's had to temper that excitement in order to be sensitive to me.
It was in that moment I understood it was time for a shift. As fortunate as I know I am to be moving into a beautiful home in a neighborhood that's perfect for our entire family, I've had a difficult time shifting my perspective from everything I'm losing to all the amazing things I'm gaining.
As we walked into the restaurant for lunch, I stopped and gasped. As you may already know from this Instagram caption, I asked Sloan to pick one thing to bring with her from the old house to the new one and she selected one of the butterflies I'd placed on the wall of her room a few days before she was born. On the wall of the restaurant was a wall of painted butterflies. I literally felt a weight lifting.
G and I had an amazing lunch and, as a surprise to no one, I tearily told the waitress we were new to the neighborhood and that I looked forward to being regulars. And I meant it. As bittersweet as it is to leave our home, I am beyond excited to make new memories in our new one. I'm ready for it all—the good, the bad, and the butterflies.
After writing this, I went back to the house one final time. Sloan and I had a moment to walk through, and say goodbye. She kissed the front door before closing it behind her—and just like that, our family is onto the next chapter!