• Kristen Garaffo

What I've Learned from Five Years of Marriage & Four Homes



Dale and I celebrated our five year wedding anniversary this past Sunday

(really all weekend 😍) and we always set aside time to reflect on how we’ve grown as a couple, what our goals and dreams are as a family and how we can support each other as we head into another year of marriage. And since this year felt like a small milestone - we talked about all five years. And what we realized is that we’ve lived in 4 homes in 5 years.


Wow.


We’ve moved just about every year we’ve been married.


This made me pause for a moment - have we really moved that much in such a short amount of time?


Yes. Yes we have. We’ve outgrown each of our spaces, and after some reflecting,

each of our Homes has taught us something unique.


The interiors have all been different, but Dale and Charlie and I have remained our tight knit little family, and as long as I’m with them, I’m Home.


We were renting a two bedroom apartment the year we got married, and our Home was filled with various hand me down furniture, homemade art on the wall and at the time, I thought chocolate brown went with everything. We had a dark brown couch and chair, espresso colored side tables and shelving - dark brown was everywhere. (I can’t bring myself to have dark brown in our Home anymore haha!) It was the first Home we lived in where it was just the two of us, and where we figured a lot of things out. I remember sitting in our chocolate brown chair when Dale decided to quit his job and pursue a PhD, and when I decided to start my life coaching business. It was such a huge moment for both of us - and it brought us to our next Home.



We lived with my sister-in-law Sarah for a year as we found our footing - she lived in a single family Home and she generously allowed us to live in a spare bedroom. We put our furniture and belongings in storage, and moved in with just the essentials. We were both at the beginning of a new chapter and it was incredible to be living in a house and not an apartment! It reminded me how nice it was to be in a House, how nice hardwood floors are instead of wall to wall carpet, and how important natural light is to me. The house was surrounded by trees and it was hard for light to come in, and I never knew how affected I was by natural light until I lived without it. The one space that had nice natural light (aside from upstairs where there were skylights) was the shower. The shower in our bathroom had a window that you could open!

It kind of felt like an outdoor shower, even though it was inside. I knew when we moved at the end of the year, I wanted a sun-soaked apartment with hard-wood floors, on the first floor. Another perk of living in this House was not having to take an elevator up and down whenever we had to take Charlie out. I made a list of all the things I wanted in our next Home and practiced gratitude for it, I made a vision board that was my phone Home Screen and the place we moved to ticked every.single.box. It’s maybe the first thing I’ve ever manifested to a T.



We moved into a sun-soaked, hard wood floor, first floor condo. This was also a huge moment for the both of us because we completely KonMari’d all of our things. We only kept the things that sparked joy and got rid of the chocolate brown furniture, donated the hand me downs, and actually asked ourselves -

What do we like?
What do we want our Home to look like?
How can our Home support us in being our best selves?

I fell in love with interiors, and I fell in love with making this condo ours. For the first time, everything we had was a conscious choice - not something we inherited. It felt so empowering to live in this Home! We loved it.


In a surprising twist, after just two years of living in this dream space - the owner of the condo wanted to move back in, so we were unable to renew our lease. To be honest, we were both a bit heart-broken, we didn’t want to leave, and we definitely didn’t want to do another move. But at the beginning of this year, we found another one bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, a big fireplace, and lots of windows to let the light in. This apartment is smaller, we’ve had to organize and downsize a bit more, but its cozy and we’ve made it work. We moved on Valentine’s Day, just about a month before everything shut down and we entered the global pandemic. We never could have guessed we’d be quarantined here, we would be working from Home here or even that this would be the Home I would decide to start blogging in :)



Writing this and looking back, I see our resiliency as we’ve hopped from place to place. We’ve had each other the whole time, and that’s what Home really is, right? Sure it’s the four walls that keep you safe - but Home is a feeling. And as long as I’m with Dale - I’m Home

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