It feels almost unreal to say this out loud and you probably won’t believe it as it was only two weeks ago that I told you we were emigrating and now I have more exciting news for you – our house is sold to a lovely young couple that I am so happy to welcome here! So much is changing so quickly and we are so grateful for the luck that has lead us to the position we are in today – to be able to book our flights and accommodation in Melbourne eeek!
People have had such mixed responses to our news – “you must be mad!”, “go for it!” and “you’re doing the right thing” amongst the phrases we are getting used to hearing and to be honest, I’m up one minute and down the next! I won’t miss waking the kids in the dark to drag them to school through the torrential rain that has poured for months while the twins scream and Ariana complains about how cold she is but I will miss my family and friends who always manage to put a smile on my face and just knowing they’re near, is a massive source of comfort to me.
And another thing I will miss is our house. I’m sitting on the sofa now – warm, cosy and grateful for the fun, luck and happy memories that this place has given to us over the past 7 years and I think our first family home deserves a post for us to look back on in years to come. I thought you might like to join me on a little trip through time too!
^^^The before and after of our living room. I’m glad we had the foresight to rip out the cupboard under the stairs and create a space for the children to play in one day!^^^
^^^Ah, our beautiful kitchen. I rememeber the absolute dread I felt during this stage in the renovations when all I had was an image in my mind and Ste spurring me on to the finish line!^^^
^^^Ah, Ste worked so hard with no previous experience in D.I.Y, I am still super proud to this day of what we achieved!^^^
We bought our home in 2009, the first property we viewed we’d saved up enough deposit after our wedding the year previously. It needed a lot of work to get it to a standard that we both felt happy with and for 4 months, we worked on it between our full time jobs at every opportunity we could. Stripping layer upon layer of wallpaper, ripping off tiles from walls and floors and replacing woodwork to allow professionals to replaster, fit a kitchen, rewire, replace radiators, paint and decorate and most recently to fit a new bathroom. Every paint shade was chosen with love (wipeable – thank goodness!) and every inch of wallpaper selected with style in mind (Laura Ashley throughout!)
We knew we wanted children one day so with 2 spare bedrooms to fill, we set about doing just that. Although needing IVF was a huge mountain for us to climb, we were so lucky to fill our home with the sounds of three children within three years and the desperate times we spent visiting hospitals for treatment became a distant memory. The house swelled with love and before long the neutral colour scheme was replaced by an explosion of pink, our late night dinner parties were replaced by early morning strolls through the park and our disposable income was replaced by disposable nappies.
^^^Ah, I love this picture. It is of the Ste, Ariana and me on our first ever Mother’s Day, lying on the floor of Ariana’s bedroom after dressing her to take her for her first meal out at just 2 weeks old. ^^^
^^^Do you remember me mentioning the explosion of pink? I think you can see what I mean from this video of Ariana playing in her bedroom. Ah, she was so cute and how time flies!^^^
^^^The first time Ariana raised her head at tummy time was in the back garden during her first summer. She has always been so confident and determined, she amazes us every day.^^^
^^^The first night that Kian and Kaira came home from hospital, weighing just 4.7 (Kaira) and 4.3 (Kian) pounds. I could have wept with exhaustion and burst with pride the moment I took this picture of them snuggled together that cosy October night.^^^
^^^The first time Ariana attempted to play a game with her new brother and sister was in the front garden and it was hide and seek. I can remember her so clearly, hiding behind her hands and making Kian and Kaira laugh every time she shouted “Boo!”^^^
^^^Rugged up and ready! The twins were so cute in their matching bear suits the first winter that they were born. We could walk the streets for hours while they took their afternoon nap in the fresh air and I worked off my baby weight!^^^
^^^The first time Ariana rode a bike was down the street outside our house. My dad took her to buy her first bike one day after pre-school and she was so proud in her princess helmet with her dinosaur in the basket.^^^
^^^Our first meal at the table together. Such a monumental occasion for me as the twins came out of their bouncy chairs where I used to spoon feed them at meal times, to big chairs with us. I would sit in the middle on a fold out chair and feed them both while my food went cold and everyone else enjoyed theirs while it was still warm but I couldn’t have been happier – our family was finally complete!^^^
^^^On the morning of Kian and Kaira’s first birthday they followed me to our bedroom and fought over biscuits, getting crumbs all over our bed while I attempted to put on makeup and dry my hair! We had a little party at home then a bigger one in a playcentre with a special visit from Granddad dressed as Iggle Piggle who Kaira was terrified of when he walked into the room!^^^
^^^I’ll never forget Kian and Kaira learning to walk just after they turned 1 in our living room. After a couple of weeks like this, they were well away and a few months after that, I wondered why we were so keen to get them onto their feet as every cupboard, door and table top needed child-proofing! Kian had only been walking for 2 weeks when he used a dining chair to push it to the other side of the kitchen and climb to reach food down from the worktop!^^^
What a busy seven years we have had with so many firsts that are emblazoned on my memory forever. What firsts the next property that we call home will host, we have yet to discover but I will be certain to post them here for you if you would like to share this journey over the rainbow with us. Melbourne, we are coming for you!
Love from Leyla