Sunday, December 13, 2009

Feels Like Home

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Ridiculously long posting... I wanted to show off our home.

"Home -- that blessed word, which opens to the human heart the most perfect glimpse of Heaven, and helps to carry it thither, as on an angel's wings." -Lydia M. Child

Introducing... OUR HOME. I have not mentioned much about our home in the past couple of years since Aaron passed away for a couple of reasons. One: I planned to do a big posting after our house sold. Two: With our blog being public, even if people assumed we still lived in our home, I did not want to broadcast to the world that Aaron Jr and I were living on our own... just better to be safe than sorry.

Well, our home is SOLD. So, here is the posting I have been dreading doing because it would mean that our home is no longer our home anymore... so, now on to the grand tour.

Well, this is our home and I LOVE IT. We planted all of the trees here in the front yard. We planted most of the plants in the front yard. Then, you can't see them very well in either photo, but Aaron went to the mountains and brought all of the rocks down by himself to do the landscaping. Aaron also replaced the basic outside lights and installed all of these outside lights by the garage and by the front door. Aaron also put in a glass door and replaced the front door with an Oak door.


Here is our living room... We recarpeted when we first moved in. All the walls were white when we moved in, so any wall with color on it, we did that after we moved in. (Aaron built that round coffee table for us for Christmas right after Aaron Jr was born. It is one of my most prized possessions now... I love it so much. Aaron built lots of hutches, but he bought this particular hutch at a place going out of business and he repainted it. There are several hutches that Aaron built himself that I wish so badly I could own, but most of them were sold at his mom's boutique)
I wish I had photos of the house from when Aaron was still here. After he passed away, I put a lot of things away when I was trying to sell the house. So there aren't as many pictures on the wall and there aren't any personal photos anywhere. It looks a little bare compared to when we were all there.

Here is another view of our living room. The front door is in the corner to the left. (Aaron built the little table across the room and the four paned mirror on the wall)


Here is a view of our kitchen / dining area. It used to just be a window where the french doors are. Aaron's friend, Austin helped him install those doors.

Another view of the kitchen. (Aaron made the magnet board on the wall)

Another view of the kitchen / dining room looking down into the family room.


Here is the family room. (Aaron built the wood furniture piece against the wall on the right. It is a book shelf. He built it to put it in that area to kind of separate the family room from the little back area of that room. Then he built the book shelf against the far wall)

Another view of the family room. (That 'coffee table' in the middle of the room is a toy box that Aaron built)

Another view of the family room looking up into the kitchen / dining room.


This is the spare bedroom downstairs. It is around the corner to the right from the family room when you are looking at that last family room photo. (Aaron built that skinny hutch on the right. When I was doing a lot of sewing, he built it so I could put my fabric on it and keep other sewing stuff in it. It had a note on it that said it was for Easter and Mothers Day and maybe a couple of other holidays in there :)


This is the downstairs bathroom / laundry room. It is right next to the spare bedroom.

Here is the view of the laundry part. I used that upper shelf thing to hang our shirts that I didn't want to dry in the dryer. These shirts hanging here are from the last loads of laundry that I did when Aaron was still here with us. These were hanging here when he passed away. I couldn't bring myself to take them down... they have been hanging there for two years. Until I had to pack up the house. I even had a few of my clothes mixed in there for the two years... there were just a couple of things I could not move or change. It was really difficult taking these down. Aaron put the beadboard on the bottom half of the wall on the left.

View from the bathroom / laundry room into the family room. Spare bedroom on the left as you exit the bathroom.


This is one of the upstairs bedrooms. We used this as our office. This was kind of for Aaron's things mostly. He kept a lot of animal skulls and stuff in here. :) Ones that he had collected over many years.

This is the closet in the office. This is where Aaron kept his nicer dress shirts, his sweaters, and his ties and belts. In the bottom of the closet is a cedar chest that I asked Aaron to build for me to keep my wedding dress in and also to keep Aaron Jr's baby blessing outfit in. This is another spot in the house that I left alone until I had to pack up the house a week and a half ago. After Aaron passed away, for several months... I didn't open this closet. And when I was having a REALLY difficult day, I went and opened it and sobbed into his shirts and they still smelled like him. They smelled like his cologne. I loved that.

View from the office looking into the upstairs hallway and bathroom.


When Aaron was here, this was considered my bathroom. One time when I was gone for a few days, I came home and this bathroom was painted this color... I LOVE IT. This is the bathroom I would use. Once Aaron passed away, I took over the bathroom that he used and Aaron Jr took over this bathroom. He called it HIS bathroom. This is where he did his potty training and took his baths. :) Aaron put that extra light in this bathroom. It is a lot like the ones that are hanging on the house outside.

View from the upstairs hallway looking down into the living room and into Aaron Jr's bedroom on the right.


This was Aaron Jr's nursery. But once I switched the crib to the toddler bed, it was not his nursery anymore... it was Aaron Jr's room. (Aaron built the square mirror on the wall on the left. He also found that piece of furniture across the room at a thrift shop and did a little work on it and then repainted it and switched the handles)
I LOVED this room. It was probably my favorite room in the house. It was just decorated so cute and there was a great feeling in that room. Aaron Jr was so proud of his room.

(Aaron built the skinny hutch thing across the room)

(The dresser on the left was a hand me down from Aaron's friend Heath. Aaron did some work on it and strengthened the top and bottom and painted it and replaced the handles to match the rest of the furniture in the room. Aaron also built the shelf hanging on the wall at top left)


This is the 'master bathroom'. It is the bathroom that was attached to our bedroom... but it is the same as the other bathroom. :) Aaron painted this one while I was out of town as well. And he did the bead board in this bathroom as well. This is the one that was considered Aaron's bathroom.


This is our master bedroom. Aaron also painted this room while I was out of town. He also added the beadboard at the bottom. It was only primed for all that time and a few weeks before the house sold, I asked Aaron's mom if she would come and help me paint it. I had been wanting to finish Aaron's project ever since he passed away and I wanted it finished before the house sold. So I am glad we did it. Thank you Sue. I LOVED our bedroom.

(Aaron built the frame around the picture of the Nauvoo Temple on the left)
And that is an angel above our bed... just an FYI.

The spot on the floor to the right by the vent was Ode's spot to sleep. He wasn't allowed to come onto any of the carpet in the house until we went to bed, then he was allowed to follow us upstairs and sleep on the floor next to the bed there. That was Aaron's side of the bed. I took that side over after he passed away... it just seemed easier to sleep in his spot than to keep sleeping in my spot and have Aaron's spot be empty. So when Aaron Jr slept in my bed with me, he was in my spot. When Aaron Jr slept in his own bed... sleeping at night was sure lonely.

This is Aaron Jr in our bedroom as we packed up Aaron's clothes. All of Aaron's clothes were still folded and put away and hanging in the closet a couple of weeks ago. It was really difficult taking them out and packing them up. These are Aaron's pants. Aaron Jr was holding the pile up.


This is the view of the backyard from our master bedroom window. When we moved in, this was just dirt and weeds and the two buildings We added the grass and all of the trees.

Here is a view of the backyard right after the grass got put in. And when our garden was flourishing. That is Aaron and Aaron Jr and Ode out picking peas for dinner.

Here is Aaron mowing the lawn with Aaron Jr wanting to play football. It is a view of the garden after it was done for the fall. That is a shot of the shed before Aaron painted it red.

Here is the patio we put in.


This is the shop. 1200 square feet of manly bliss. This is the very reason we bought this house. Aaron built his wood masterpieces in this shop. I loved looking out the kitchen window when I was doing dishes or something and looking through those garage door windows as Aaron worked out there. He never knew I watched him working, but it is such a wonderful memory of mine to think back on the times when I would just stare through those windows from the kitchen and watch him. I was so proud of him. He was so talented. He worked so hard. In the last two years, this shop has been the place that has been the most difficult place to go, but at the same time I would go out there when I wanted to feel Aaron close. Until the house sold, it was still pretty much the way he left it. All of the furniture he had been working on when he passed away was still there waiting to be finished. It has been difficult going out and looking at all of it. Seeing the tools put away in their place. Seeing how everything was left the way he had it. This has been a very special place for Aaron Jr and me.

One of the many large pieces of machinery with a pile of sawdust under it. Very well used.

Across the way there, behind those benches stacked up... there is a small wood burning stove. When we first bought the house, Aaron bought that little stove and hooked it up so that he could burn his scraps for heat instead of running the heater. It definitely saved money and that little thing heated that place SO well.

This is the workbench that Aaron worked at more than any other.

Here is one area where Aaron kept tools. They each had a place.

This is the lower half of a hutch he was working on the day before he passed away. It was going to be so beautiful.


This is a view of the house from the back. He painted the french doors and the other door to match the shed.

The top left photo is of Aaron watching TV the week when we were camped out on the floor after all of our furniture was moved out. The top right photo is of the doorbell thing that Aaron made out of wood. The bottom left photo is of the chandelier that Aaron picked out and installed in the living room. I wish I could have taken it with me. I loved it. The bottom right photo is of Aaron Jr. I was getting ready to pack that picture next to him, but he wanted me to take a photo of him with it. It is a cross stitch that my mom made of a precious moments bride and groom with mine and Aaron's names on it and our wedding date.

This is a photo of Aaron Jr and me the last day we were at our home. Standing in the shop for the last time was so hard. I didn't want to leave. I couldn't stop crying as I remembered watching Aaron work out there. And as I remembered bringing him sandwiches out there for lunch. Or just coming out there to visit and say hi and see what he was working on. Or when I would get Aaron Jr ready for bed and I would bring him out to the shop to say good night to Daddy. Those memories are just still so fresh. It was so much more difficult than I expected ... walking through each room for the last time. As I reflected on all of the memories we have had in each of those rooms... it was heartbreaking. Aaron and I had two years together in this home before Aaron Jr came to us. We loved this home. We decorated and put our sweat and hard work into this house and yard. We worked so hard to make this home OUR home to make it comfortable and welcoming and a place where we felt AT HOME. And we did feel at home there. And it helped that we had great neighbors and friends there. We have missed them so much already. This is where we wanted to start our family. This is where we went through pregnancy. This is where I went into labor and where we brought our sweet baby, Aaron Jr home to. This is where we became parents. This is where we learned together how to take care of a baby. This is where we enjoyed watching Aaron Jr grow and learn and walk and laugh. We also went through the most difficult trial ever when we lived in this home. I have been SO grateful to our Father in Heaven for being blessed these two years to be able to make the mortgage payments so we could stay there. We were able to keep our house until we just couldn't make the payments any longer... and that is when it sold. I feel so blessed to have had two years to be there to grieve at our own pace and to live in OUR home. Aaron Jr and I have loved it. It has been incredibly lonely a lot of the time, but we have loved our time there. We are so sad not to have our home anymore, but it was a necessary step to be able to get out of debt and move forward in our lives. Driving away from the house for the last time was overwhelming. It was a VERY, VERY, VERY tearful goodbye. Signing the papers by myself was overwhelming as I sat there remembering back to when Aaron and I signed the papers TOGETHER to buy our home.
It feels different than moving out of a place as a family. If Aaron were still here, we would make new memories together as a family, but we will never live in a place again where we will make new memories with Aaron.
Sorry for rambling... this was a posting that I have been planning to do when our house sold and I have been dreading it knowing our home will not be our home anymore. And now, I think it is difficult to stop typing because this posting makes it feel even more final.
Selling our home is a sad blessing. We are blessed that it sold, but it is sad not to be there anymore. As we look to the future, I do feel like a burden has been lifted. A burden of debt. We just could not afford to keep it any longer. I wish we could have, but we couldn't. I also feel like I kept putting things off 'until the house sold'. I have still not gone through all of our things to decide what to do with it all... I put that all off 'until the house sold'. Now, it forces my hand to get things done that I have been putting off. So... those are the reasons that I call this a very sad blessing. We miss our neighbors and we miss our home SO, SO, SO much.

Thank you for making a home with me, Aaron... We love and miss you... Always...

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Mindy said...

Leslie, you and Aaron truly made that house into a beautiful home! My heart hurts for you... I can imagine how hard it was to leave it. I love you!

The Kimball Herd said...

Agh, This post is killing me. I know the anticipation of this event didn't prepare for the finality of it. I really wish I owned some pieces of Aaron's he was so talented and a true a artist. That shop spoke to me. I enjoyed that so much. I know the smell well, wood glue and sawdust...there's something clean about it. I love you both so much and wish you new adventures and freedom from burdening debt. So sad at the end of writing this, so sad you couldn't grow as a family all together. Aaron, we miss you.


Tiffany said...

Leslie - my heart goes out to you!! It is probably a bitter sweet moment for you. I know that you have had to go through some rough times packing up your things. I have been there in your shoes. I wanted to tell you something I did with some of Kirt's clothes. (I don't know if you remember me...but I came over to your house one time and I brought my little boy Ethan, I lost my husband in April of 2008) Some of the ladies from my ward took some of Kirt's clothes and made a quilt out of them for Ethan. Ethan now calls it his daddy quilt. It is really fun to have and a great reminder for Ethan that he is always surrounded by his daddy's love. I am sorry you are going through some emotional things. Aaron will always be with you!

cynphil6 said...

Dear Leslie,
What a beautiful and poignant post. How lucky Aaron Jr. is to have a mom who was thoughtful enough to take all of these photos. You have given him such a gift, not only with your photos, but your willingness to share your memories, your testimony, example and strength. My heart breaks for you, and I cannot imagine how difficult it was to take this monumental step forward! I wish things were different for you, but I am so in awe of your strength. I hope your memories bring you peace and comfort and that you feel His comfort especially at this time of year. Your story is a poignant reminder to me to cherish the true gifts in life.
p.s. Your home is BEAUTIFUL!

Lisa said...

that was a very sad posting to see/read. i can't even imagine how that felt to leave your cute little house where you had so many memories. i'm so glad you have pictures but it doesn't take the hurt away. the nice thing is we can feel 'home' even without our home and our stuff. as long as we are with those we love. i hope you feel that. love you!

jensenfamily said...

oh man, I can't imagine how hard that was, I'm so sorry - You are amazing - love you, Erin

Bonnie said...

What a sweet post. I loved seeing your home, even though it holds sad memories for you. My heart goes out to you.

Chris and Kristy said...

I love you Leslie! Thanks for being real and honest in every post. I can't possibly imagine what it felt like to sell your home. What a beautiful, courageous woman you are. I think of you and Aaron Jr. often. We're here for you in your new chapter of life!

AlanaBD said...

I am tearing up here! Those are beautiful pictures and thoughts, Leslie. I know you have been dreading this post, my heart goes out to you.

This IS a new chapter in your life, and I wish you nothing but the BEST, CAUSE YOU DESERVE IT!

Rhitzclan said...

Congrats on selling Ell. Way to be strong as you move onto the next phase of your life... Love you!

Christa said...

Makes me sad to think of you guys having to say goodbye to this house where you shared so much. I can't even imagine how hard that was. I'm glad you got to go on a fun little adventure when it was all over! Can't wait to hear about it. We love you guys!

Allred Mom said...

My heart is with you.
Even though we've never met, my heart ached as I read this post.
Your home was beautiful and filled with memories. What cherishing things happened there with Aaron and Aaron Jr. The furniture, wall pieces, etc. that Aaron made are beautiful and I know are so cherished by you. You both did a wonderful job and making this house a home. Now you have a new place to change from a house to a home with new and cherishing memories for you and Aaron Jr to make. Thoughts are with you as you begin this new journey.

Brandi said...

I can't even imagine how hard that was for you. Thinking of you often.

Kate, Alek, Hank, and Cash (RIP RED) said...

Uh Mercy woman, that was difficult to read.........I am thinking of you and I just cannot imagine. I just have a heavy heart for you reading that post......

Anonymous said...

I do not remember how I came across your blog. I have followed it since just after you lost Aaron. You are an amazing young woman and you should be proud of yourself for all that you have done since your loss. You have handled it with grace. I agree with the above post about making a quilt for Aaron Jr. out of his dad's clothes. I was going to suggest that also. You can also take his pants and use the fabric for pants or shorts for Aaron Jr. Maybe even make some pillows for your new place. I plan on following you on this journey of your's as long as you have a blog. Heavenly Father has been blessing you and he will continue to do that.

Sister Moody

Anonymous said...

Leslie, this post made me cry. I got so much out of it. I am amazed that Aaron had done so much in and around your home. He must have been busy all the time. Those little things he did are things most people put off forever. He added so much personality to it. I was also touched by how many tools he had for such a young man. His talent is so admirable. What a gift to be able to build those pieces of furniture.
This is such a sad time for you and I hope there are things in the near future that will ease some of the difficulty. I cannot imagine what, but I pray something is around the corner that makes your days brighter.
God's Blessings to you and Aaron Jr.
I will keep you close to my heart in the coming weeks with love and prayers.

Annalee Kelly said...

Leslie, what a beautiful documentary of photos and memories one last time for your son. Thank you for making us all a little more grateful and kind to our loved ones!

Much love to you.

p.s. will you come decorate my house?:)

Seivert/Webb Family said...


Again, I am so moved by your post. Your approach to your life is an example to me. Life can be so unfair, it is not fair that you have to leave the home you love, if I could have one wish this Christmas season, I would return that home to you. God bless you Leslie, and God willing, the new year will be overflowing with so many blessings; you'll hardly be able to find places to hold it all.

Thank heaven's you have that little boy.....

Merry Christmas,
With much love,

Liz said...

I am so sorry I wish that I could have been there for you. I have many memories of sitting on those front chairs, lots of laughs.

Haley said...

We're going to miss you in the neighborhood. I hope we'll keep in contact through our blogs. Good luck in everything you do. Lots of luv!