In September of 2006 my husband and I bought a 2200 square foot, split-level home in Crieve Hall (a neighborhood just south of Nashville, TN). We owned a quarter acre of land with a fenced-in backyard, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 large living spaces in which we hosted dinners and parties, movie nights and weekend hangouts.
That home had no usable attic or basement or garage but it had giant closets in every room and a shed out back, all of which we quickly filled to the brim with keepsakes and clothing, toys and items that fell into the “we might need this someday” category.
The December before this purchase my husband graduated from Lipscomb with a degree in accounting and began his first “real” job at a CPA firm less than 20 minutes from what would become our new house.
I stayed home with our 18 month old daughter (with whom we were absolutely smitten) while producing some extra income by providing part-time child care in our home.
The home we purchased was at the very, very top of our price range and a few hundred square feet bigger than every other house we looked at during our months of house-hunting. Our living expenses doubled with the move.
The house needed work. We paid our bills each month and used whatever money was left to make improvements to the house. It was a never ending project.
We lived near the train tracks, near the interstate, near the airport, and just a few minutes from every major retailer found in TN. Our neighbor’s house was close enough we could throw a paper airplane into the window. We were surrounded by concrete and car exhaust and the noise of a thousand other people.
We spent a week at the beach every summer and a few days at the lake every fall, attended church on Sunday morning and small group on Sunday night. We loved our TV shows and watched movies every weekend. We were just as happy with freezer meals and fast-food as anything homemade. Our home was brimming with possessions with which we saw no need to part. We hosted dinners through out the week and parties nearly every weekend. I took up running and trained for 5ks and half marathons to stay in shape, the hubby joined me on occasion. We spent holidays and birthdays and countless other occasions with two sets of parents and two sets of siblings, all of whom were local. We had our house phone and our cell phones to stay in touch, our desktop computer for games and email and Internet, our video games and magazines and cable TV and giant DVD collection for entertainment.
Life was busy and full and loud and we loved it.
We were living our American dream.