A place to call home

Please note: I was gifted a free Mapiful print in exchange for an Instagram post. This blog is inspired by that transaction. 

All roads lead to home.

For a long time, I’ve wanted a piece of Mapiful artwork. It took a while, though, to decide where to pin our location.

Chad and I grew up in the same town, and most of our lives we’ve called that place our home. Gunnison, the small mountain town on Colorado’s western slope, carries a large piece of our history; we walked the same school halls, played on the same baseball fields, drove the same mountain roads. In terms of our relationship, that’s where it was born: we held hands in the hallway at Gunnison High School, Chad met my parents for the first time at my house on Crocus Road, we drove to Blue Mesa Reservoir on the Fourth of July.

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Truth be told, though, we haven’t lived there in years. We don’t have plans to return, at least not on a permanent basis. While we’ll always love our small-town roots and Gunnison past, it always feels like a place that wasn’t really our own.

That’s just part of a teenage romance and the underbelly of a high school sweetheart label: you’re very much a teen, asking permission to go and do things, following rules, scrounging up pocket change, and spending a lot of time dreaming about the next chapter.

The next choice on our list of home-worthy options is the Denver area. College was a super important stage of our lives for figuring out who we were, both as individuals and as a couple. We grew up and transitioned from high school sweethearts into something more sustainable. When I think of the city, I remember budgeting and dreaming, heated arguments and compromise, unbearably long weekday schedules and sweet weekend reunions, excess drinking with friends and late-night shopping at the 24-hour grocery store.

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As much as I love Denver and how it helped us to grow, evolve, and decide who we wanted to be, it’s not home base. Though impactful, it was temporary. An important stop on a journey that keeps moving forward.

After getting engaged, graduating, and landing jobs, life took us to New Castle, Colorado. It’s been the most permanent of our physical locations, but it’s also been much more than that.

Though we sometimes still feel like kids playing dress up and pretending to know how to be adults, Chad and I have truly evolved in this town; we still are. We’ve grown and continue to change. From our earliest days in our townhouse to now, there have been many trials, successes, and growing pains.

Since living here, we’ve saved and sacrificed, lost friends and made a few along the way, felt hurt and alone and also loved and celebrated, and, perhaps the most exciting, we changed our status to “married,” a legal contract that has benefited both our taxes and our connection.

After living in New Castle for three years, we officially laid down roots. We bought a home. We brought home a puppy. I started a business from my bedroom. We go for neighborhood hikes and sit in our yard and dream and plan and thank the universe that we ended up here. This is home, and it’s clear to me now.

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(Thank you to @Mapiful for sending me this print.)

34 thoughts on “A place to call home

  1. At least you have fond memories of your home town, so you can enjoy the print, even if you don’t want to live there permanently. I absolutely hate my home town, I dread having to step foot back there. I want nothing to do with the place

    1. This is such a lovely idea! I loved how you’ve looked at all these places that had huge impact on your life and journey together and how they’ve changed you a long the way! 🙂

      Sounds like you’ve put down some strong roots and I hope you continue to have a very happy future together.

      1. I definitely enjoyed looking back and realizing that locations and their meanings have evolved, just like our relationship. Kinda neat to think about!

        Thank you so much for reading and for your very kind words. 🙂

    2. This is very true—a visit is *usually* pleasant, though it can be complicated too. I’m sorry to hear about your negative experiences; that can really be traumatizing to return to a place you detest. Thank you for reading!

  2. I loved reading this! This is a beautiful reflection on your life, relationship, and all the lessons you learned along the way. I’m so happy that you feel at home in New Castle! The Mapiful print is a great way to commemorate that! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  3. I have never heard of Mapiful, but I am definitely going to check it out. What a great keepsake 🙂

  4. Home is somewhere where you create memories, but the beauty of it is that you can make anywhere your home. It is so cool that you both made New Castle your new home! Even more that you’ve been making the most out of everything around.

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

    1. Agreed! I often like to think that wherever I’m with my husband, he makes it feel like home. But in this case, I decided to get a little more literal! lol. Thank you so much for reading and for your sweet comment. 🙂

  5. That’s such a nice way to look at it! Never forget your past, but looking to where you have a future together 🙂

  6. I love that print! And loved reading about your journey to somewhere to call home. I’m still totally jealous of where you live and the places you’ve lived. A mountain town sounds like something out of a film to me, having lived near London my whole life!

    1. Thank you, Jenny! I totally get the mountain appeal and feel lucky, though I sometimes dream of us running away to London and living abroad on a spur-of-the-moment decision. Lol, it probably won’t happen (I’d settle for just a vacation first), but it’s nice to dream!

  7. What a lovely post, and a lovely little insight into your lives 😊 The print is gorgeous! I haven’t heard of Mapiful before, but I’m going to have to check them out 😊

  8. This is such a gorgeous post! Everywhere can mean something to you but it’s great that you’ve found a place that really feels like home for you both, individually and as a couple.

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