What Doesn't Break You: Our First Home

October marked the two year anniversary of the mister and I moving into our first house together, aka we survived two years without killing each other.

And since this Saturday we get the keys to our new place I thought there couldn't be a more fitting most to link up with Helene and Sarah's #firststotalsocial link up. 

I have never been the type of person to get emotionally attached to a home, considering I have moved 10 times in the 10 years I have lived in Austin, its a good thing too.

And honestly, I have been begging the mister to move since the day we moved in but that's really besides the point. Well it's not the point of this post. But either way as we start to close the doors to this house, this particular place will always hold a special place in my heart if not for any other reason than 
'it was our first home together.'

Let's travel back in time two years ago and relive the amazing story of how we ended up in a house that was too large for our needs, way over our budget and in suburbia no less.

The mister brought up the moving in together topic in March of that year, a year after I originally brought it up, and the timing worked well considering my lease was up in August and Erica would be leaving the state.

The mister had a few rules: we had to have a house and he had to have a TV room. I would have said yes to anything considering I had given up hope that he would get to that stage. Story of our relationship: I am always a year ahead of where he is emotionally.

In August we said goodbye to Erica, loaded my amazing amount of crap into storage and I moved into the mister's one bedroom apartment. We had six weeks before his lease was up, we could totally make living on top of each other work. 

Until I saw his closet and I cried, there was no way this was going to ever work. 

But I channeled my mom and squeezed ever last hanger into his closet, yes I couldn't get anything out of the closet but I made it fit. I tried to tell myself that this was 'cozy' and what normal couples do when they move in together but the reality is I was waking up at 5 am and trying to dig through a dark closet that was literally right next to the misters bed hoping that I could put together an outfit presentable for the corporate world. Don't get me started on the guilt I felt at starting my blender or the fact that the bathroom was also right next to the bed...awkward.

I should mention that I was also applying for teaching jobs as well, why not make two large life changes at one time.

Every weekend I was going out looking at places and hating all of them, the truth was our realtor didn't get our needs desires. We probably looked at at least 20 places and hated all of them. We were just leasing, it wasn't like we were making long term commitments, but I will forever be the 'princess' when it comes to living situations.

Our first guest bedroom.

And then like magic, I landed a teaching job. I told the mister it was now up to him to find us a place, my priorities were being pulled elsewhere.

And as luck would have it we got a different realtor and the mister found the most amazing townhouse two days later. Cute, perfect location, granite, hard woods and no backyard. The mister was pestering me non stop via text to leave my training and come look at this place. I was already ready to cry I was so overwhelmed at starting teaching when the school year had already started my feelings towards him were very bitter.

Regardless, I went and saw the place, swooned and we completed the paperwork. The catch, because there is always a catch, I didn't have a contract yet because getting fingerprints on file was impossible that summer. Technically I was still employed at the law firm, I was on their insurance, owed two more paychecks, 100+ hours of paid time off, promised I would be a contract employee and I gave them my blood sweat and tears for three years. But technically I was already a teacher and had keys to a classroom. Reality was I was jobless for the worst three days of my life, timing wise that is.

I supplied all of this information in our paperwork and here is the gut wrenching part of the whole thing: the rentors were nervous about us as rentees. The owner of the law firm refused to answer the phone and provide a reference, went as far as contacting me via email to tell me to not provide her name. WTF?

On top of all of this my old apartment complex told the rentors that we didn't pay our damage dues upon moving out. Technically we owed less than $150 and they had failed to send us a bill yet because we just moved out, thanks apartment complex. 

Needless to say we didn't get the townhouse. 

We now had less than 15 days before we needed to be out of the mister's apartment. Thank goodness the complex allowed us to stay for 15 extra days or we could have easily been homeless. I should mention it was the same apartment complex that just fucked me over on their reference of me as a rentor. The mister took charge of finding us a place since I was coming home in tears every night of the week as I learned an important lesson: middle schooler's are mean. 

At this point I didn't care where we lived, as long as we moved out of this tiny apartment and I could possible cry in private. Small demands really.

We looked at five places in one night, I was mad because I needed to be lesson planning or eating dinner or sleeping...not driving all over Austin looking at houses. But we saw a few that might work and of course the very last house fit most of our needs.

Was it way over budget, yes. Was it basically in Buda it was so far South Austin, yes. Was it a three bedroom, two bathroom with a formal dining room that could easily house a family of five, yes.

But we liked it and decided we could make it work...aka...we needed a place to live and we were out of time.

The best part of the whole thing was that we had one day to move out and move in. So Saturday morning we got up at the butt crack of dawn and moved both the mister's apartment and my storage unit into our house. A sign we had too much crap: it took two truck loads with movers. And we cleaned the mister's old place and turned the keys in. 

We worked for 16+ hours that day, exhausting is not even a word I can use to describe the whole experience. 

The only real memory I have of that time is the mister had his whole TV room set up before I could even unpack the kitchen. Priorities. 

The mister's TV room.

One of the many 'issues' with making so many life changes at the same time was I was so focused on my new job that I couldn't really enjoy setting up this house, our first house. My closet was not unpacked for two weeks and that right there is a sign of pure craziness.

Our first living room.

I wish that I had a blog back then so I had documented those emotions and taken pictures of the crazy roller coaster that was the beginning of the new chapter in the mister and I's relationship. But the joys of having a blog now is I can go back and retell the stories.

Not every relationship could have handled all of the stress of moving into together and I feel like if we weren't as strong of a couple as we were/are we could have easily allowed the stress and set backs to break us BUT we survived and it will always be a constant reminder of what we can handle.

The only picture I can find from that entire three month period of us.

And as we begin to close this chapter in our lives: the one that contains our first house, our first move, our first arguments over dishwashers and brita pitchers, our first Christmas tree and many more wonderful memories I can't wait for our new adventure to begin...no matter how much crap we have to move across Austin.

Venus Trapped in Mars

- The Babbling Box!


  1. What a crazy experience! But it sounds like it all ended up working out. That's a gorgeous house to be "stuck" in!

  2. This sounds very similar to our housing search in Baton Rouge. We actually ended up living in a hotel for a week while all of our furniture sat in my house in Illinois... that I was still paying rent for. What a lovely experience that was!

    I can't wait to see pics of the new place after you get settled in... you will share them, right?!

  3. I love the mister's t.v. room. Those couches are the best.

    Your first home was really, really nice. Rob and I are still living in our first house.. and I can't wait to get the hell out of it. We're growing out of it.. We started out renting in our early twenties, a couple of years later our landlord offered to sell it to us and we accepted. Now, both nearing thirty, with a one year old; it's about time to move on.

    I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your new place!

  4. I hate moving, but I'm going to love hearing about what you do with your new place! Like everyone else....I can't wait for pictures! At least this time you've had a little bit more time to digest everything!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'