It's just a house, right?

26 years ago my parents bought their home in Jefferson City, MO. I haven't actually lived there in the past 14 years because I turned into a big city girl, going to college in St. Louis and then moving to Milwaukee with Nate. But each time I've returned to my childhood home, the comforting scent of this house always hits me like a ton of bricks. Even at 31 years old, with my own little family in my own little home, hundreds of miles away----my parents' house has always been 'home' in a way. Maybe even more so because each trip back home is sort of an event due to the distance, but that house has been a constant in my life. One that holds too many memories to list on this blog today. I'll try anyway.

The birth of my baby brother, grade school homework, high school friends, team dinners, graduation parties...summers back home during college, bringing 'The One' home to meet my parents, wedding planning...holidays with our southerners, introducing my children to mid-MO. It's just too much to wrap my head around at this point. That house is a huge part of my life. The memories from it's walls will stay with me forever but I should have known that I wouldn't be lounging on their couches forever.

When my parents told us they were moving to Colorado I was excited for them, truly. A million thoughts ran through my head and eventually I kept coming back to one thing: I needed to see my childhood home one more time in order to have closure with this big chapter of my life. It worked out for me to extend a previously planned Missouri trip to include a visit to Jeff City. And so I began to prepare myself to say goodbye.

I knew there were a lot of boxes full of my old stuff in the basement but I wasn't expecting seven of them to say 'Julia.' Sorting through those boxes and helping my parents pack up the last 26 years of their lives was hilarious, surprising, exciting and sad. I got my seven boxes down to just one that my mom is going to take with them, and I brought home a few smaller items I wanted to keep for myself. But as I sorted through the boxes I felt the need to document these gems so I never forget.

A diary from age 8-14. Years and years of birthday cards, printed emails, and other 'keepsakes'.

The first form of blogging about myself? ;)

And then a ton of other diaries from high school and beyond. I had no idea I even wrote back then. A lot of the entries were too embarrassing and ridiculous to read. But I found the entry I wrote on 9/11/01 amongst other stunners.

My meticulous account of a Spanish budget from my semester abroad. Before they even used the Euro. Random pictures, and my high school freshman career day brochure---where I attended the Physical Therapy presentation along with Law. Law!! Cannot imagine me ever being a lawyer but it's really cool to think I wanted to be a PT when I was so young.

High school sports were basically my life. Volleyball, Basketball, and getting all A's were all that mattered. And boys. And friends. But mostly sports;)

Hilarious vintage cameras, cassette tapes, and games.

The college years complete with plenty of Bid Day photos. Journals given to me by my loving mother.

Did I mention the random pictures?

While I was there we got a LOT accomplished and the storage part of their basement is less overwhelming for mom.

I spent the last day at the house walking around in a fog, fighting back tears. It's been an amazing place to grow up and I am sad that my kids won't remember GoGo and PoPo's home in Missouri. If these walls could talk.



My old bedroom, ready to be someone else's.
Oh, this house and the memories.


Getting ready for the last time in this bathroom. And the 'donate' boxes that were hauled off by a friend of my mom's.

The porch. Too many pictures taken here over the years to count. And the girls--moving on to bigger and better.

Did I mention that the house officially sold while I was there? Pretty amazing to think it was only on the market for one week. I couldn't help but snap a picture of my parents signing the contract.

Cecelia was a great distraction during this trip, of course. A distraction that refused to sleep which helped me not to be too sad because I was just too tired. But Memaw and Pepaw came up to watch Cecelia while I helped mom pack and we will take any excuse to see our extended family, of course.





I'm so glad we went back to Jeff City one more time. I keep telling myself that it's just a house and I get to keep the memories forever, but it doesn't make it any easier. End of one chapter, beginning of another. Visits with my parents will now include a new awesome state with snow, mountains, outdoor sports...and new memories.


  1. That's great that you were able to go back and help them go through everything. Growing up as a military kid (aka someone who moves all the time) I have like 3-5 things from my childhood aside from photos and that's it. How special for you that you have these keepsakes that you can share with your kids!

  2. My parents have been talking about moving from my childhood home and it makes me sad even thinking about it. How awesome that you got this one last weekend!

  3. Love all the old diaries! How adorable! I swear, I don't know what I would do if my parents ever sold their house. I mean, I know it will happen. I just don't ever want it to! Wahhhhh!

  4. "Today is Michael's bday. They don't care about me." HAHAHAHAHA!! Oh, the drama we are in for with girls. Man oh man.

    This post totally made me tear up and not only is it not my home, but I don't even really have a childhood home like that (we lived in several when I was growing up, not just one). But so exciting that it sold so quickly and CO will bring lots of new memories. :)

  5. Oh, I know this feeling. My parents sold the house I grew up in when I was 19. I still tear up, thinking about walking around the empty house on our last day there. Everything down to the windowsill where I used to sit and talk on the phone for hours turned me into a blubbering mess. My folks have moved twice since. Thankfully, it's a one-time kind of pain. Hang in there, and keep making memories with the people you love. They're the best part of any house.

  6. Aw! That was really touching!! A similar event happened to me when my parents moved from my childhood home closer to us. I, however, did not go back for one last look. I hadn't lived at home in eight years, and I wanted to remember it as I had when I was a child. Rowan never got to see it since she was just days old when they moved here. I will always/still think of that house at "home" too, even though I like that they live two minutes away now.

  7. Aw! That was really touching!! A similar event happened to me when my parents moved from my childhood home closer to us. I, however, did not go back for one last look. I hadn't lived at home in eight years, and I wanted to remember it as I had when I was a child. Rowan never got to see it since she was just days old when they moved here. I will always/still think of that house at "home" too, even though I like that they live two minutes away now.

  8. Oh lady I know. My mom sold our childhood home right before my wedding but requested a closing date 1 week after so I could have my getting ready photos there. We already lived in Calgary so my wedding night was the last night I ever spent in my house. When we left for the airport for our honeymoon. I cried and cried. Even a the airport I was still crying. John thought people would think I was forced into marrying him!

    But my mom's new house still feels like home to me. Even though I've never lived there. It smells like my old house did and it's full of love.

  9. OK the flashback of photos and diaries is cracking me up. My parents are also trying to sell their house in JC, so they can move closer to us, but I never lived there, so its not the same as what you're going through. I'm glad you got to say goodbye!

  10. LOVE all the pics. I'm serious that I think we girls should get together and laugh over old diaries someday. Mine are SO embarrassing, too, but hey, if everyone's sharing ... ;)

    So glad you could go back one last time - can't imagine you not being able to after so many years living there! Very bittersweet, for sure, but hopefully your parents will be very happy in Colorado, and you will continue to make beautiful memories in your own home. Just think, someday you may have lived in your current house longer than you did in that house!

    Always so fun to travel down memory lane - that's so awesome that your mom was so good about keeping things!!

  11. This is such an emotional post and all it does is stir up emotions that I have about my parent's house too.

    How great that you were able to go back and go through you things and relive those memories. And to sell while you were there after being on the market a WEEK! OMG. That's great... what a relief.

    But still, the memories.

    I love that your parents were like mine and kept a lot of great things from your childhood that make for great stories and memories.

    Those glasses are a hoot!

    I'm soooo sorry that it's no longer in your life and it is just a house, but still. :(


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Sorry that commenting through Blogger can be a royal pain. I'm glad you are commenting despite that, and please email me if you are having issues.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...