Friday, May 22, 2009

Last Night in Our First Home

This is it. Our last night at Azalea House. Tomorrow, everything changes. Life moves forward beyond these walls. As we move our home, so too we move onto a new path, one with new possibilities: who will we meet and what relationships will we form? We were admittedly fairly insular here in our current neighborhood; yet, I already know many families around us in our new neighborhood. I would also like to start a Mommy and Me class and reinvolve myself more in the Temecula community.
Tomorrow marks a homecoming for me, of sorts. I am excited, yet I also need and want to honor this home tonight. So much love and so many memories in this home... Azalea House has been good to us and was just right for the first phase of our life together and then with Kate. My eyes are looking their last, and I want to celebrate our time here with some pictures. I selected most of these pictures for the ways in which the physical properties of the house gladdened my heart---not necessarily for the purpose of chronicling every significant event that has happened.
(Also, these are not in order):

Dad helps me to plant a small garden, March 2007

Katie's snowflakes hang above her bed for the first time, Christmas 2007

Hammock spot in the backyard, Summer 2008

Our backyard bubble and play spot, Summer 2008

Kate's bathroom, our happy singing place

Pregnant with my baby girl, 2007, in front of my beloved yellow rose trees

Mom and Dad come for dinner in 2006. See Dad's fountain.

I will always remember reading with her in her room, just like this. We spent a lot of time in that spot, from that point of view (Summer 2008).

The sunflower that kept me company during hours and hours and hours and many books worth of reading in the summer of 2005.

Coming home from our honeymoon... May 2006.

Bathing my little girl. Besides sponge baths on our bed everyday since we were home, we took a bath nightly right in this spot. Little Katie....

Watering all the front plants one more time before heading off to a week-long AP conference at Stanford, followed by almost a week at Berkeley to visit David during summer session. The longest I have ever been away from this home with Bill... (Summer 2005).

Rosa came over to play... Such a fun memory with her. Fall 2005.

Bill came upon me one night with the camera unexpectedly, but now I am glad I have this. I love love love to read, and here I am in the Cozy Chair. This must have been in 2005, early 2006 (before Kate was conceived or born).

When I came back from Berkeley/Stanford that summer, Bill had my Piglet and books awaiting me (2005).

My very first walk in the stroller with Katie, Nov. 2007

My first moments with Kate in her nursery (October 31, 2007).

I have loved our annual McGaugh Christmas Party (2006).

A pic from the early days...with some of our roommate's furniture. Everything has changed so much... (Summer 2004).

Our first family room has evolved, for sure. My tastes were still a little young here. 2004.

Kate and I have spent hours playing chase around the house. I will miss our current layout and where we hide. This was October 2008, during a chase/"Where's Mommy?" session.

One of my favorite pictures ever. Kate had just solidified her walking and was starting to go faster. I love the morning glories here, her dress, the lush lawn, the memory of the air, everything. Sept. 2008.

The day it snowed in Temecula. Nov. 2004. Bill came and woke me up and we delighted in the magic...then drove all over and looked for snow patches. This is the front of Azalea House.

First Christmas here.... 2004.

Home from work for the day (the day my classroom was taped for NBC news), and anticipating the birth of Kate. I loved her room at the time, but as she has developed her own personality, I realize that it isn't quite "her." So now she is going to have an old-fashioned, very pink, very girly room. I never would have guessed I would have a girly-girl, but I love that I do and I am tapping into my inner girliness, too. I am just following her lead here... Indeed, she already loves her new room and always wants to go say "hi" to her wallpaper first thing...

Our cozy bedroom with our marriage quilt (a king on a queen bed---we later got a king). I am so excited to resurrect this bed, though, in our guest room. I love four posters. I remember how much I loved redoing our bed with all of our marriage linens. 2006.

More of our bedroom in 2006.

First Christmas with my baby girl, 2007.

Halloween. We have a special Halloween dinner every year, and now Kate's birthday is so close to Halloween, the whole month is more magical. I dressed up as Hermione in 2006---my 9th graders got a kick out of it.

I plant mums every fall...

I hosted the family Thanksgiving the first year that I was in Azalea House, 2004. This was the first and only time Grandpa Don was able to see my home. Now we are moving away to a place he's never been...that is hard for me.

First Thanksgiving at Azalea House with all the Matics cousins. Five years, and so many changes: two of us married and one with a baby, one engaged for marriage this coming December, one headed off to Seattle in fall, two (soon to be three) in college at the same time, one Berkeley grad, and one award-winning dancer.

In the summer of 2005, frogs came to the slider to say hello every night. Enchanting.

Christmas Eve, 2008. Probably the coziest day I ever spent in Azalea House. And these are the two loves of my life. I loved this day... It was cold out, so Kate and I drew on the foggy windows, and even now, I can see "I *heart* Kate" still there on the window. It will be hard to leave that behind. This was a magical day and night...And I love how cheerful my kitchen looks behind them here.

I will miss my morning glories, but plan to grow more. I brought them back from the horrible night frosts a few years ago, and they are just blooming right now. That tugs at my heart. I will miss them in their abundance and glory this year, right at their peak. I took this picture in 2005.

One of our many Saturday Dinners, a Chinese meal here (2006). I love to cook with my mom...Saturday Dinners have been on hiatus because we got so busy, but now that we'll be living a few houses away, we're bringing them back!

Kate's first birthday, 2008. Our family room is decorated with toys!

Decorating for Kate's first birthday.

My birthday in 2006. I have always loved my formal table and dining room. I am taking my chandelier with me, actually, and replacing it here with something else.

Saturday Dinner 2006: berrycake for dessert! I have so many wonderful cooking memories in this kitchen...

The dining room, for Amanda's wedding shower. 2006. I have loved my dining room here...

Housewarming/high school friend reunion 2004. Again, so many life changes and milestones in 5 years for all of us...

Friends, 2004.

Tea with my womenfolk, Summer 2006. I love LOVE to bake/cook tea foods. My favorite!

Mom and I made mosaic tables one weekend. 2006 I think.

So many memories....Goodbye, little Azalea House. Life has been beautiful here with you.