An Ode to a Home

When we were house hunting, we didn’t know what we wanted – we were just excited to finally be together.

I remember when we went to view this house. The lawn was unkempt, the whole house wreaked, there were marker drawings all over the walls and carpets, and it was over budget.

But for some reason, we were drawn to it. The house was close to my work, not too big and not too small, it overlooked a lake, and the owners loved us.

It was meant to be.

This house held so many memories – good and bad – and when I closed the door, handed over the keys, and left it for the last time, it was overwhelming.

This is where we would begin our life together – but it’s also where our love ended.

This is where we set up our first Christmas tree, wrapped garland around the banisters, cooked countless chicken dinners (because that’s all I can seem to cook), watched our favorite TV shows.

This house is where we brought a kitten home, where I sat out on the porch and “tanned,” where friends visited and stayed with us and marveled at how “in love” we seemed.

Laughter and love filled this house to the brim. But this is also where we fought, and cried, and yelled, and wondered how in the world we ever thought this could work out. This is where I was at my lowest, but it’s also where I was at my highest.

I was in love in this house, but I also lost that love in this house.

We made plans for our future in this house, talked about kids’ names, jobs we’d love to have, where we’d want to live, how our wedding would be.

And at the end, we cried and said our very last goodbye in this house.

I learned so much about love, partners, life, and myself living in this house, that I can’t help but be thankful.

This house was many things in the short year I lived in it. But one thing it will never stop being is a lesson, a stepping stone, something to remember but never to relive.

An Ode to a Home

Winter (in my favorite flannel)

Last winter, I wore this same outfit at least once a week because it’s so cozy and comfortable.

I got this Boyfriend Flannel from American Eagle, and I hardly ever take it off. The best part? It was on sale for only $20 when I got it!

What’s your favorite thing to wear when it’s freezing outside?

Winter (in my favorite flannel)

I had tea with Michelle Obama

What do you do when you get an email that reads: “First Lady Michelle Obama invites you to a conversation about the health of our nation to be held at the White House”? Scream.

I’ve visited the White House a few years ago, but I never got to go inside. Let alone be on a list of attendees for a special event with the First Lady. The journey there from my apartment was hectic because DC’s metro system has been having major issues lately, so I took an uber in and out of the city.

As soon as I got there and drove by the National Mall and the outer gates of the White House complex, I started to get really excited. This is where all of our American presidents lived and walked. This is one of the most historic places in the United States. It took me a moment to wrap my head around the fact that I would actually be going inside instead of standing on the outside of the gates.

As soon as I got through all the security, I was greeted by some staff and all they said to me was, “Welcome to the White House, all the rooms are open, go explore before the First Lady arrives!” …Um, did they really just tell me to “go explore” the White House? By myself? Yep. So off I went.

I was so humbled walking the halls of the White House. It was so hard for me to think that so many world leaders walked these same halls. There’s so much history in this one building, and for me to be able to visit was an amazing experience.

When it was time for the First Lady to come out, my heart was racing. I got a seat in the front of the East Room, and I was shaking. It didn’t fully hit me that I was in the presence of such an important American public figure until after I got home. Some things she said that will stick with me:

“You’re all such powerful messengers. You have such an incredible platform. Just the few of you in this room alone reach millions of people. Just take a look at yourself, and don’t ever doubt the difference you can make.”

“I hope that you will use your voice — continue to use your voice and your influence to inspire and support others. If we all keep working together, I know we can keep making a difference.” 

“I really want to thank you. This was the reason why we wanted to have you here — we wanted to reward you in some way for the hard work that you’ve been doing out there.” 

“There is power in this room. There is power in individual voices and you all are showing it every single day. And I could not be more proud of all that you’ve achieved.”

“I really, truly look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead. So enjoy yourself, and God bless you.”

I’m so grateful and humbled to have had this opportunity. This was a day that I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.

I had tea with Michelle Obama