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Goodbye, My Childhood Home

Goodbye, my childhood home

As a storyteller + creator sometimes I have to detach myself from the moment I took the photos + videos to when I edit and release them into the world. The story I am about to tell has been three years in the making because this photo shoot hit close to home (all pun intendedπŸ˜‚). In 2017 my parents gathered me and my two older sisters around the kitchen table and told us that they were selling our childhood home and retiring to Lake Somerville. I knew that within the next few months someone was going to buy my childhood home and start creating memories of their own in it.

The closing date was scheduled for December 17, 2017 and I knew that I had to take photos of it before we handed over the keys. My parents had packed their last bags, left the keys on the counter like the epic/tearful series finale of Friends, and hit the road.

When the house was completely empty I went back with my camera in hand and a goal to freeze our childhood memories in time for my family. I slowly walked through the house we called home from 1997-2017 and took in all the emotions I was feeling. Sad that we were saying goodbye, but happy for my parents being able to retire. I also voice memoed myself as I was walking through so that from years to come we can listen to all the doors opening, cabinets closing, and creaking stairs it while looking at these photos and be transported back in time. These photos may look like a normal house to you, but to me and my family they are so much more. Please enjoy this piece of my heart and contact me if you too would like your childhood or first home documented before you moveπŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ‘

Side note: I’m extremely nostalgic about this house because I have so much gratitude towards it as it inspired my 13 yro self to dream of one day owning my very own home. I’m happy to say that after graduating college and living with my parents in this house for a year to save money I reached my goal of homeownership at the age of 24 in 2016. It’s been 4 years since achieving that goal and I can honestly say it’s been the biggest blessing of my life. I certainly wouldn’t be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for the ambitious goal set by my 13 yro self in this houseπŸ€—. Always believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams!❀️

Starting with our front door, welcome to my childhood home! May this visual story bring you happy nostalgia from your childhood memories and allow you to appreciate your current home a little extra today.πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ‘

Every single one of these steps had a different creaking noise and I can tell you exactly where to step in order to avoid them. In elementary school my sisters and I would line these stairs with canned goods to play “grocery store”. In middle school I would wait on these stairs for my carpool ride and routinely freak out if they were late because like my softball coach always said, “If you’re early you’re on time and if you’re on time you’re late.” In high school I would wait on Friday nights for my best friend to pick up me and up so we could drive around town with the windows down listening to music. On Christmas morning me and my two older sisters would wait patiently until our parents said we could come downstairs. So many lessons were learned on these stairs.❀️

On late nights when my sisters and I would sneak downstairs for a glass of water we would literally stick our hands through the spiral banister to turn the lights off and then run upstairs because we were afraid of the dark.πŸ˜‚πŸ‘»πŸ™ˆ We also were best friends with all of our neighbors so if my parents needed one of us to come home (remember, we didn’t EACH have cellphones back in the 90’s, 00’s πŸ˜…) they would flick the light switch on and off until it caught our attention.

My parents may have upgraded the appliances in the kitchen throughout the years but I’ll always remember the nights of being sweaty from playing outside, dinner being ready every night because my mom was a badass and always cooked for our family, and washing my hands. I remember always thinking about the kind of kitchen I would have when I grew up and owned my own home. What friends of mine would come over to grill out in the backyard. The thought of my future home being a place to clean yourself up after a long days work always kept me daydreaming.

This wooden paper towel holder also doubled as our Oreo smoosher when making our favorite “Dirt Pudding” dessert for Easter Sunday and 4th of July. If you don’t know what Dirt Pudding is, I’ll eventually write a blog with the recipe! It’s layers of smooshed Oreos (the dirt) and layers of vanilla pudding (and other ingredients). It’s the BEST!πŸ˜‹

This cabinet door would also never stay closed from years of wear + tear. Everyday we would open this cabinet to grab plates and bowls because 99% of what we ate we cooked at home.

See those screw holes on the side of the cabinet? That was from our land line phone and internet connection. Can anyway else still replay the sound of internet dial up and remember the frustration of being kicked off the internet if a phone call came through? πŸ˜‚ ☎️ Oh the simpler times of answering the phone (before Caller ID came out), not knowing who it was, and yelling across the house, “HEY SOMEONE’S ON THE PHONE FOR YOU!!” And the message machine! I remember LOVING coming home from vacations to check if there were any new messages for us.πŸ€—

My favorite/funniest memory of this kitchen is when me and my middle sister almost set the house on fire from leaving a candle on in the bathroom and accidentally tossing the hand towel on top.πŸ”₯😳 We thought we could actually reach the bathroom with this handle.πŸ˜‚

Forget having fingerprints during the winter months when the fireplace was turned on! If you missed the window of opportunity to move these doors either open or closed before they got hot and forgot to use your shirt as a mitt you were left with fingerprintless digits.πŸ˜‚

My dachshund puppy I got in 8th grade, Lexi, would sit here for hoooouuurrs next to the fireplace hot air blower. She loved the heat! And after playing outside during the winter months me and my sisters would fight for space to put our feet/hands so they could unthaw.🐢πŸ₯Ά

This glass backdoor was one of my favorite doors in the entire house because it led you directly to the pool. No matter how often we cleaned it, it constantly had dog nose smudges on it from our dachshunds and water streaks from the relentless pool polaris. 🌊🐢

This was the door that we also always used for moving things in/out so this door has seen literally everything we own come in and out of it.❀️

I’ll always be grateful that my parents blessed us with a childhood home that had a pool.🌊 One of my favorite memories is jumping from the jacuzzi to the freezing cold pool during the winter. Not for the faint hearted but perfect if you love being adrenaline rushes!πŸ”₯❄️

Every. Single. Summer. My sisters and I would search for this little tiny rock next to the pool that had a heart on it. ❀️ It always made my inquisitive brain think about how rocks are formed and the serendipity of images appearing in certain objects.🧐

Two specific memories come to mind when seeing this faucet by the pool. 1️⃣ accidentally overfilling the pool one summer day while my parents were at work so and my sisters + cousins (who practically lived at our house during the summer) had to do hundreds of cannon balls to get the excess water out. 2️⃣ turning the sprinkler on under the trampoline after putting laundry detergent on it and playing “crack the egg”.πŸ˜‚

I’m surprised I don’t have scars from this electric outlet snapping my fingers whenever plugging something in.βš‘οΈπŸ˜‚

For hours, and I mean hoooouuurrsss, my sisters and cousins during the summer would play the game Electricity. One person had to stand on the diving board with their eyes closed. Everyone else was in the deep end clinging to the side of the pool. Veeerrrryy sneakishly the goal was to get from one side of the pool to the other without the person on the diving board hearing you, jumping in, and tagging you. ⚑️🌊 Guaranteed this is where my competitive nature was formed.πŸ˜‚ And watching hummingbirds swarm the feeder was also always fun and entertaining.🌸🐝

Sitting on the back porch under this latticework was also one of the my favorite things during summer months. It protected us shade from the full blow of the sun but gave just enough light to warm us up after swimming in the chilly pool.🌞

To the normal eye this is a cement bench with a garden full of rocks. I however see our traditional family pic we took every Easter and the dozens of holes my dog, Lucy, dug up before we finally stopped her digging by replacing the dirt with rocks. That rusty pipe is also a drill bit from a retired oil rig.

This rooftop view gave my 13 yro self the dream to one day become a homeowner. My bedroom window was right next to the garage roof and I loved catching summer sunsets from here. If you’re asking how many times I snuck out of the house it was zero because I was terrified to get caught😭. Looking back these were some serious missed opportunities, not that I’m condoning doing crazy things all the time but you gotta live a little sometimes!

And just for a moment, I want you to think about what it would be like to share a bathroom with 3 girls.😳 Between makeup + hair products it was a chaotic mess 99% of the time.πŸ˜‚

The thing about our shared bathroom door was that you it easily pick the lock with a flattened bobby pin.😳 Now I’m not saying we would always lock each other out of the bathroom in the mornings while getting ready but there maaaaayyy have been a few times tears were shed and hair was pulled.πŸ˜‚

This was our back gate lock that led to an open field/park we would always play in. We would had softball practice on that field, hit golf balls, and let the dogs run loose. When looking at this picture I also immediately start itching with the thought of how many thousands of mosquito bites I got from playing in that park.πŸ˜‚ Gotta love that Houston humidity bringing in swarms of mosquitoes!

Hundreds of our friends + family members have walked through this front door and just by looking at this picture I can hear the sound it makes when it opens, closes, and locks.❀️🏑  I will always always ALWAYS be here for you if you want to freeze memories in time from your childhood home and/or first time home.πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ“·Β  The thought of one day selling the first home I ever bought and live in now brings me to tears but I’m also so HAPPY and GRATEFUL that I can revisit these memories I’m making anytime I want because of my PASSION for PHOTOGRAPHY. Contact me HERE if you’re moving soon and let’s connect!

To the family that moved in after us, get ready to make some of the best memories of your life!πŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ‘ And to my family – Mom, Dad, Erica, and Sarah – I love you deeply and will always cherish the memories we created in this home together. Now to create new ones in our new homes!β€οΈπŸ“·

Cheers,

Emily

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P.S. stay tuned to hear the story of how I became a homeowner 4 years agoπŸ€—πŸ’•πŸ‘

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