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Sunday, July 31, 2005

First Anniversary

Today we celebrated our eventful first year here in Torrance. Last year at this time, we were sitting down to a quick Chinese take-out dinner after a whole day of moving, cleaning, and unpacking. It's amazing how much has happened since that day.

There was of course the inevitable first few days where we lived amidst moving boxes, crates of books, hampers of clothes, and furniture wrapped in plastic bubblewrap. My brother was attending school full time, while I was in a new job. Nights and weekends were hardly enough to find time to unpack, decorate, arrange and clean.

But after two weeks, the best thing that could have happened, did. My mom came! It was glorious! For those of you who know my mom - you would know what a godsend her arrival was! She was amazing - taking charge of cleaning, fixing, unpacking, ironing and even having homecooked meals waiting when we came home! Her three week stay was over way too soon!

We had our housewarming party towards the end of August. Hosted my first dinner for my future-in-laws in September. Had our first guests over for dinner in October. Celebrated our first Thanksgiving here in November. And then in December (for our wedding) all hell broke lose! We had guests every day and every night and in every room! It was crazy, and fun, and great, and bedlam, and awesome - all at the same time.

Christmas Dinner was held here as well as New Year's Eve. We celebrated my 30th birthday here. I prepared my first Valentines Dinner for my husband here. We had barbecues for my brother's birthday, Easter Sunday, Memorial Day, and the 4th of July. My SIL's surprise birthday was held here. And there was my hubby's surprise party which was also a huge success - just 2 weeks ago. Not to mention the number of people who have stayed over (moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and lots and lots of friends). Trust me, we have had a LOT of people over. I was actually contemplating hanging up a "no vacancy" sign up front to make sure we didn't overbook!

All this in the first 365 days.

But really it's been wonderful. After almost 4 years of living in apartments, coming home has never been as fulfilling. Yes, there is definitely more housework, and garagework, and yardwork, and everything else in between. But the satisfaction of owning your own home is truly priceless. And having the chance to share this with family and friends is really icing on the cake. I may joke a lot about having people over - but in all honesty I don't think I would have it any other way.

I spent the first 25 years of my life in a home where there was always lots of love, laughter and tons of entertaining. My parents were the grand masters of entertaining. Martha Stewart had nothing compared to my mom and dad! Eversince I was little we always had people over (our place was always the designated after school and weekend hangout). There were parties for every conceivable occasion and sleepovers were the norm. Between my parents and us kids, we had school meetings, study groups, bible studies, dinner parties, dance classes, luncheons, mahjong sessions, Acquire games, garage sales, karaoke parties, soirees and even debuts at our place. So, now with a place of my own, this is all I know, and this is what I want.

Yes, I guess we've come a long way from just owning "a house" to now welcoming people to "our home".

(P.S. My first blog picture is courtesy of my hubby. In case you can't tell, it's our home as seen from the curb. It does not show our teeny-tiny backyard where today we planted a foot-high navel orange tree to commemorate this anniversary. According to the garden center at Walmart, navel oranges produce the best OJ. This time next year, we are hoping to be able to have our own "best" freshly squeezed OJ. Given our gardening abilities, please say a prayer for our tree!)


Ashlee said...

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jll said...

I am so very happy that you find owning a house synonymous to welcoming people to your house. It is the people in it that makes a house a home; add laughter, togetherness and love to it and you have a perfect home. As you plant trees to celebrate each anniversary; I'll be happy to find a forest in your garden. Keep writing but do it more frequently as we want new topics every day!