New keys

It seems like just yesterday I walked into our apartment for the first time. It seemed so BIG and so EMPTY. We lived and loved in this little space. There was a time a year after we moved in when our ceiling was leaking pretty badly. We were told we might have to vacate our apartment. I sobbed as I looked for another place to live and found everything was subpar, ugly, cookie cutter and… well, not our home. We were fortunate enough to be able to move into a small studio across the hall for a few months.

It was there in the studio across the hall that we found out we were pregnant with Madeleine. I looked at our one room home and sobbed. That was on a Sunday, and on Thursday we got the call that we could move back into our luxurious one bedroom apartment.

A few months later, there was talk about budget cuts at Justen’s job that he loved. It was in this apartment that I saw Justen walk in with a look on his face I never want to see for the rest of my life. His job was cut. He got a new job, we got new insurance, we decorated a space for a baby. We brought the baby home to this apartment. We celebrated our first Christmas as a family of 3, quarantined, stayed-at-home, battled toxic smoke due to wildfires.

and then we thought a change in our living situation was on the horizon, so we decided to try for another baby. That living situation fell through as I recognized that something was going on… I was pregnant. and so for 5 months, it was an emotional battle between wanting to see how things played out with the first option, seeing what was out there, debating if we could stay where we were… and feeling pretty hopeless in the middle of it.

My pregnancy with Madeleine was REALLY ROUGH. The uncertainty of Justen’s job was really hard on me. Turns out the uncertainty of your living situation is just as difficult. We had A LOT of emotional, frustrated conversations. and then one day Justen’s mom pointed out a listing she’d seen for a little duplex a few blocks away. We viewed it, applied immediately and found out the following week that we had been approved for it.

I’m currently sitting on our couch in the duplex, having moved completely out of our first little apartment. We have so many fond memories there, and I wanted to document our final days in apartment 202. I considered doing a deep cleaning of the space before I took the photos, but then I thought… you know, I want to remember all of the good times but I also want to look back and remember where I was when we left.

Overwhelmed. Emotionally drained. Battling some rough mental health stuff. Drowning. Never feeling like I could get on top of anything because there was never any space, everything was connected to one room.

and then when I went to upload the photos, I realized all of the photos of our overwhelming, quaint, small little apartment were blurry. and close up. but that’s how life has felt the past few months, anyway.

I am so grateful for our time in our cozy-turned-chaotic little apartment. I’m grateful for the life lived in those walls, but I’m also grateful for the way it pushed us out when the time was right. and I never want to close a chapter and rewrite the last pages, so this is an accurate documentation of our last day in the cozy apartment, seeing it almost empty and then leaving it for good.

I documented some thoughts + a little tour in a video, which I’ve included at the end of this post. So feel free to scroll all the way down for that.

The never-ending dishes, all washed by hand. They were okay when Madeleine was able to be contained to her high chair but once she started walking and wanting to be into everything all the time, it became SO HARD to stay on top of them.

The one part of our apartment that always brought me joy… for obvious reasons! 🙂

A few months ago we rearranged the living room and bought this big Ikea cube shelf so that Madeleine would have space to roam and storage for toys. Which was great except it felt like we lived in a playroom. Because… well, we kinda did.

This pack and play with our Skip Hop baby gym have been tucked into this corner for nearly a year. We had nowhere else to put them, and we kinda just got used to looking at it.

When we rearranged the living room I had this idea to have… a sofa table? IDK, what is it called when there’s a table behind the couch? We put these console tables behind the couch but it turns out I just spent most of the day trying to keep Madeleine out of everything that was on the table. So much for the cute photos and fake flowers. Instead Madeleine decorated it and rearranged it all day long.

The coat rack/shoe rack/catch all. In my head, putting up this coat rack meant we’d each have a coat or two, and we’d each have a pair or two of shoes. LOL.

I need to pause and say this: Madeleine loved living here, because she loves her toys and she loves us. I try to remind myself that as I look back on these photos and feel the walls closing in, this was all she knew. This was her first home, her first safe place. I never want to downplay that.

Speaking of Madeleine! When we first got the keys back into this apartment, we were so excited to give her half of our room. We imagined bringing a little baby who laid around and maybe scooted, but a year and half later and we had a TODDLER who had gone through lots of clothes and shoes and stuff. The first glimpse at our “nursery” was all nice and organized, but eventually it became piles of clothing and shoes and stuff that Madeleine grew out of.

I did love all of the little simple decorations we ended up adding to her space. We started with just the polka dots and the name decal, but eventually added this cute banner from The Little Market, some ikea shelves with a few decorations, a handprint ornament from her first Christmas, a cute print from Society 6 and two Disney ears.

All of Madeleine’s clothes were either hung up on the little rod that Justen’s stepdad installed, or folded in these little polka dot bins. It works, but it’s not the most convenient.

The Destroyer, come to do some work.

When you don’t know when you’re going to be able to do laundry, you end up with lots of wet wash cloths hanging to dry before they get tossed into the laundry basket.

The shower situation that I WILL NOT miss. That clawfoot tub was pretty cool, though.

All the frequently used stuff.

The little whale tub that was SO GOOD to us for SO LONG. Madeleine outgrew it but we didn’t have anywhere to put it, so it stayed hanging on the hook on the back of the door.