By Heather Miller

For the past eight months I have lived with three kids, one dog, and two bedrooms. We were straight apartment living.  The only outside time my children had was the balcony, and even that was limited.  We were packed into that apartment like sardines and by about month five, we were all ready to move on before Apartment #205 turned into The Hunger Games.

So, I did it.  I started house hunting and found us the perfect place.  After some serious negotiations between realtors, lots of paperwork for a mortgage, and having to tell my kids that they would have to switch schools next year, we packed up and moved out!  Adios, #205!

The very first week we were in our new home the kids already had a yard full of friends.  Our new neighborhood is at no shortage for playmates and I have to say it took some getting used to.  My scheduled life of dinner at 5:30, shower at 6:30, bed at 7:30 was blown out of the water and I wasn’t exactly sure that my inner Type A could take it.  Somehow within a matter of days we had become “the cool house” and I was blowing through juice boxes and chicken nuggets like no other.

By week three there were kids over for dinner on a nightly basis, we had one sleepover already under our belt, and all of the parents gathered daily for some adult conversation in the street.  The kids and I could not have picked a better spot to enjoy our lives.  This was a total change from anywhere we had ever lived and it was definitely a change from a tiny apartment in a 200+ unit community. It was an awesome change!

While it took me a little time to get used to having other people’s kids running through my house with their little dirty shoes on, and eating the last of my Doritos, I soon discovered that a few extra trips to the grocery store were well worth having my kids enjoy their new pad so much.  Being the cool house has turned out to be, well, pretty cool.  I don’t have to worry about where my kids are or who they are with because they are all upstairs, jamming out to the latest Pink song.  I could have let it be known early on that I was not going to be hosting the neighborhood on a nearly nightly basis, and I am so thankful that I didn’t.

Moral of the story is, sometimes going out of your comfort zone is the best decision that you can make.  Sure, my “no shoes in the house” rule is out the window and I have scrubbed out a few juice stains from the carpet, but everyone is happy and safe and that is all worth it in the end!

Disclaimer:  My amazing neighbors see their fair share of my kids’ little faces at their houses, too. 🙂