It’s going to be a long time before we own our home. We’ve lived in four homes in four years, and we haven’t owned any of them. While there are perks to living in someone else’s place (something’s broken? call the rental company!), it’s one of the few things about the military that kind of bums us both out some days. We really would like to own our home.
Focusing on what we don’t have is a drag, so instead of dwelling (man, I love puns) on the negative or having house-envy of my home-owning friends, I’ve decided that watching my friends build or buy their homes is the next best thing to doing it ourselves. So here’s my secret: One of my favorite procrastinations is admiring my friends’ homes on Facebook.
Our house in Germany is functional but not beautiful; practical but not photo-worthy. At some point last year, I stopped being annoyed by it and started living vicariously through my Facebook friends instead.
The girl I rode the bus with to Kindergarten and her husband built a gorgeous home in our hometown. Thanks to Facebook, I got to watch their construction pictures and see dirt and 2x4s become a warm, beautiful home where they get to raise their kids.
My best friend from middle school and her husband bought a home a year or so ago. I love seeing the pictures of their DIY upgrades. Of all things, it’s their cute little front porch that I’m most excited about. They’ve done a nice job with their flower beds, and my friend puts out cute porch decor for the holidays. It’s so inviting!
Friends in St. Louis who had their first baby a few months before we had Small Shaw just finished their basement so that their little guy has a dedicated play space. And another set of friends bought their house in Arizona at right around the same time they announced that they were pregnant.
Yet another friend and her family bought a charming little farmhouse on a hill in the woods in small town Missouri. I had coffee at her kitchen counter last year, and I still feel revved up from those hours with friends in that loving white frame house. I’m dead serious: knowing that I can find my friends at a certain address for the next however-many years helps ground me even when we’re moving so frequently.
By living vicariously through our friends, I’m able to feel some of the excitement of home ownership along with them. I can imagine their kids — who are in elementary school now — pulling up in those same driveways when they get their drivers licenses in a few years. I can even picture those homes changing and adapting over the coming years as my friends and their families love those houses until they’ve unquestionably made that magical transition from houses to homes.
It probably sounds crazy, but this whole process of seeing people I care about find homes they love gives me serious warm fuzzies. Those same warm fuzzies are an easy pick-me-up on the days when I feel a little too nomadic and uprooted to have calm in my soul.
Now you know one of my biggest secrets: Sometimes I just sit at my computer, look at my friends’ pretty homes, and daydream. In those moments, there’s a little bit of peace.
Thanks for posting your pictures and sharing your lives, friends. Someday I’m going to invite you over to our house. Until then, watching you guys settle into these warm, welcoming spaces gives me hope that our day will come, too.
P.S. If you’re one of those friends who’s always posting amazing pictures of your beautiful home decor, expect an invitation from me in about a decade. I’m going to need help figuring out how to pick wall paint colors and decorate in a classy way after all these years of “just making it work”. Consider yourself warned! 🙂