Last week, while Everly napped, I stood back and leant against the kitchen sink and looked at the dining table, covered in dirty dishes, and it suddenly dawned on me. This is it, this is home.
I pulled all our art from storage and the next day we took a trip to Bunnings. We hung our wedding tree on the wall. (Well, I decided where it would hang, and Mark nailed in the hook. We're a great team.) Then we hung the 'Angus' print, a Scotty dog on a yellow background, bought on a whim one day when brunching at a little art gallery café. I took our custom Rachel Castle embroidery artwork to the framers. I surprised Mark with it on our first wedding anniversary, it is lyrics from the first song we danced to as husband and wife. I can't wait to finally hang it on our wall.
I walked around the house and took photos of some of my favourite things. Fern, my first indoor plant. She is still alive, although a little withered in parts. She has migrated to the living room, away from the harsh sun beaming in through the dining window. A photo of Everly when she was five days old, and the bunting from her first birthday cake, both taped to the wall above my bedside table. Our record collection, mostly inherited, but we add to it every now and then. Me and my girl, we dance wildly around the living room, we dance until we are out of breath and laughing. Current favourites are Bob Marley and Louis Armstrong. My monster with big orange eyes, bought in Melbourne in August 2010 for the baby I thought I might be pregnant with, the little soul that never will be. Only one short month before Everly was conceived. Our little nature display - gum nuts, leaves and bark Everly has taken a liking to, from our walks down the street waiting for Daddy to come home. Him and I, us two, forever held in time as two little wooden people, she in a white dress, he in a grey suit (custom made for our wedding cake). The industrial light shade, bought at our favourite vintage shop. It was way too expensive but I was pregnant at the time and was very convincing. Mark gave in.
Then there's our dining table, found at a secondhand store shortly after Mark and I bought our very first home together. It has since moved twice. My love and I have shared many a gourmet meal on that table, and now we share (much less gourmet) meals as a family. We three, we sit down together every evening, we light a candle, hold hands and say a blessing. After dinner there are big belly laughs and the occasional fart (our cheeky monkey will do anything for a laugh, just like her Daddy).
Slowly, over the past two and a half years, we have filled this place with love and memories, without even realising it. Even though Everly wasn't born under this roof like I hoped, she has lived here her whole life; she knows no other.
Whether it's for another month or another year, I am happy here.
This little red brick house, with its old windows, peeling paint and rusty gutters, it is our home.