home is wherever i'm with you...

Aaron and I have a really crazy ‘how we met’ story. Maybe I’ll tell it sometime on this blog, but for now, the short version is: our relationship started as a whirlwind long-distance romance that ultimately led to his moving from Ohio to Arizona to be with me (despite the fact that we had been together in person only a handful of times).

We were young and crazy in love. It didn’t matter where we lived, as long as we were together.

We said stuff like that a lot, back then. I have the embarrassingly mushy letters and emails to prove it. I was so head-over-heels for that man that I would have lived in a cardboard box if it meant that we would be together.

That was over eight years ago. Since then, we’ve slowly built a life here in Arizona, in a tiny, 900 square foot apartment (that, ironically, actually resembles a cardboard box in shape and color) in the heart of Central Phoenix.

At first we lived here out of necessity. The rent was cheap and the location was good, perfect for a newlywed couple just starting out. Over time, however, we grew to love the place for its own sake – the quiet community, the wonderful restaurants nearby, the view of the mountains and city lights, and the amazing mountain preserve just steps from our door.

Sure, the carpet is dingy and the fluorescent kitchen lighting makes me cringe. But it’s home. And I love it.

Which is why, when we gave our notice to the apartment complex this weekend that we are planning to move out next month, I cried – big fat hot tears.

An opportunity recently came up for us to move into a bigger place, and we decided we can’t pass it up. I know in my head that it is the right decision; practically speaking, we ran out of space here YEARS ago. Having a kid and expanding our photography business finally pushed us to our limit. It will be amazing to finally have a place to spread out and not feel like a sardine maneuvering for space in a tiny can.

But in my heart I can’t bear to go. I hate to leave behind the place that holds all the memories of my early adult life – that spot in the living room where we proudly placed our first piece of “real” furniture, the bathroom floor where I collapsed when I saw the positive sign on the pregnancy test, the place where Isaac toddled his first few steps.

I’m sentimental, I know.

A few weeks ago, I lucked into a ticket to a show featuring the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. As they played their hit song “Home” (listen to it here if you haven’t heard it) I sang along to the lyrics:

Let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you

That’s the song that’s getting me through, the song that repeats in my head when I’m packing away our belongings. I’m lucky, because home is STILL wherever I’m with you:

Photo by Scott Foust