The Long Road Home – Melissa Storm
Melissa Storm
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The Long Road Home

Growing up–people talk about it as if it's something you only have to do once. You're a kid, then–bam–you're all grown up. Well, I'm 31 and I'm still growing up. That's not to say I'm immature, although sometimes I totally can be. It's just to say that we're always learning, always changing, always blossoming further into the best versions of ourselves.

2016 has truly been a watershed year for me. It's not even halfway through, and already I've grown by leaps and bounds.

The biggest reason? Our nightmare followed by dream-come-true housing fiasco. It started in that first week of January, the decision that this would be the year we move into our forever home. We'd tried before, but it took a while to bounce back from the deep debt 2013 brought (health issues, pregnancy, medical stuff, you can read about that here). Even though we'd paid off all $50k+ of our debt by early 2015, our credit score took slightly longer to regain its health.

But by January 2016, we'd recovered enough to move forward with Operation New House. With a family of three people, eight animals, and plans to adopt one or two more children, we definitely were past capacity living in our cramped 1,200 sq ft ranch home. Plus we wanted to put down roots before our two year old started school to avoid any future uprooting of her life.

Once we found out we could, indeed, get approved for a mortgage, it didn't take long to find our perfect dream home (read more on that here), but it did take what felt like forever to actually make it our own. In short, everything that could go wrong did. From mistakes on our credit report, to tax laws that are definitely unfair to self-employed people, to issues with our mortgage that almost made the deal fall through, right down to finally moving in and finding the place had been trashed (and then having to spend over $2,500 to clean it up and get the trash hauled away).

It was like our dream had become a nightmare we just couldn't wake up from. Until one day, we did. Now we're moved into our beautiful home and are hard at work on making it all ours. We're updating outdated fixtures, applying our own aesthetic touches, and also doing some necessary repairs (like fixing the hole I made in the deck when I fell through a rotted board–oops!). Oh, and we're painting, redoing floors, ripping out tile, the list goes on and on. But every second spent showing our home the love it so deserves has made it ours. It's washed away the bad memories and replaced them with good.

And through it all, yes, we've grown up again, still. We had to fight through more than five months of hell, believing that heaven was just a little further if only we could keep going. And so we did and now we're here. And it's beautiful.

Here are a few quick pics to show you a glimpse of our dream home. Much more to come as we continue to renovate, redesign, and just make it ours!