When Craig and I bought our first home 6 years ago it was a milestone we weren’t sure we’d ever meet. Together we’d lived in nine different rentals. We lived in NYC, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and various apartments and houses in Rhode Island. We desperately wanted a place of our own, and in 2017, we finally got it.
We were beyond excited. A space to make our own, a yard for our dog. We started working on that house from the day we moved in and almost never stopped. We spent 4+ years turning into a space we loved. We renovated the kitchen, we added a deck and pergola, we built an addition, we planted a garden, we renovated bathrooms, refinished floors, the list goes on.
To us, it felt like our forever home. It was the place we would raise our daughter. The place we spent those early months of Covid when the whole world shut down. Rhode Island was the place we grew up and where we thought our daughter would too.
Until the spring of 2020. We put an offer on a house in Vermont. Because of Covid we couldn’t go see it. We had been looking at houses in Vermont casually for a few years. We felt like, if not now, when?
Before we knew it we were buying a house in Vermont.
Were we insane? Was this a mistake? We didn’t know anyone. We loved the town as visitors but didn’t know much about it (or the house for that matter). We spent many sleepless nights wondering if we did something we would regret.
The first year we were very isolated. No one was socializing because of Covid, we had a newborn, we didn’t know anyone in Vermont. We worked on the house and went back and forth to Rhode Island. As things started to open up again we started looking for daycare. There was an opening in Vermont, and we went for it.
We spent that fall, winter, and spring in Vermont and headed back to Rhode Island for summer. We met so many families and made new friends. Another year went by and as summer approached we we weren’t ready to leave. We wanted to see our families and spend some time at the beach, but Vermont was home now.
We always said we’d never sell our Rhode Island house. We loved it. We poured everything we had into making it a home we loved. We also knew that if we sold, we likely wouldn’t be able to buy there again. I think part of us held on to the idea of “what if we change our minds?”
And then in June, back in Rhode Island something had shifted.
I told Craig I was thinking we should sell the house. He said he was thinking the same thing. I anticipated feeling more emotional about it, and there’s no denying it was a huge decision, but we both just felt at peace.
The process moved quickly and we closed before the end of the summer. As we drove away from the house headed back to Vermont I was waiting to feel sadness or regret, but I just felt at ease.
It’s hard to describe what it’s like to be a Vermonter.
I share the magic of this place with anyone who will listen, but also feel protective of what feels like our little secret. I know that words can never truly do it justice. In some ways it’s like everyone here is part of this special club, where we all have an understanding of how lucky we are to live in this state.
We often talk about the things that make Vermont special, and most of all, it’s the community and the people. It might not be for everyone, but for us, it’s hard to imagine being anywhere else (except during mud season and then we’re all collectively commiserating).
We’re stepping into this next chapter as Vermonters, feeling grateful we took a chance at a time when we thought what we had was already pretty perfect. And of course nothing is ever perfect, but Vermont is pretty close.
It was a life changing and incredibly special experience to share the transformation of the Rhode Island house with all of you. And now we’re excited to do it again in Vermont!
Here’s a little trip down memory lane with some of my favorite projects from our Rhode Island house.
- The kitchen
- The porch and pergola
- Garage to bed/bath conversion (also here and here)
- Our living room
- The outdoor shower
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