Leaving Our First Family Home


When my husband and I moved into our house in Perrysburg we had only been married a few weeks. We were in our early 20’s and so excited to take on this new adventure. Fresh off the high of our beautiful wedding and honeymoon we were eager to settle down in our new home. Updates were made to nearly every room in the house during our almost seven-year stay. We learned more about ourselves, our love, and early parenthood within those walls. 

All of the renovations

Upon our arrival into our “move-in ready” home, we quickly got to work painting every room in the house, tearing up gross crusty carpet, and finding a way to get the lingering smell of cat urine out of cement. (My recommendation: Nature’s Miracle Urine Destroyer). Prior to moving into this house, I had never painted a room. I had never done a lot around a house or been part of home renovations as a kid. At 22 years old I was about to embark on a crash course in home remodeling. Within a few weeks, I became more familiar with the aisles at Lowe’s than at Target. I learned about flooring installation and relocating laundry rooms.

*I always assumed the positive motivator role while Patrick, my husband, did the dirty work.

Learning to live together

Before moving into our home my husband and I had only lived together for 10 months. We were long-distance for 5 years before that. Learning to live with each other was a huge transition. Our home is where we learned how our relationship functioned day today. He learned that if our home was extra clean I probably had a rough day and I learned that if he got stressed he needed time to hang out in the basement and decompress. We’ve had small tiffs about inconsequential things like how to load a dishwasher and more important conversations about when to start our family.

Starting our family

It was in our bathrooms that I learned that I was pregnant. Once, Patrick told me to take an early test because he had a suspicion, and the second time I took it as he was sleeping so I could surprise him later that day. I paced back and forth from our kitchen, dining area, and living room like a caged animal during labor. My water broke with my son on our living room carpet. When we brought our daughter home, our son eagerly took her to the nursery and pointed out all of the things in it. *Cue extreme postpartum hormones.* Our children ate their first bites of solid food and took their first few wobbly and uneven steps in that home.

Neighbors make life more fun

We became good friends with our various neighbors throughout the years. We celebrated New Year’s, the Oscars, and more. There were bonfires, dinner parties, and game nights. The elderly couple across the street have become like a third set of grandparents for my kids. Last year, at the onset of the pandemic, a new neighbor moved next door. They had children close to my children’s ages and our kids spent the whole summer playing together. My new neighbor friend and I would sit and have coffee in the mornings and wine in the evenings as we watched the kids traipse from yard to yard, enjoying the sweet moments of childhood. We were so lucky to move into an area with such nice neighbors, and this was one of the few reasons we tried to stay in our current home.

So long first home…

While I’m beyond excited to move into our forever home, I’m already mourning the loss of our first home. It now lacks our family picture and baby gates and is instead staged to appeal to the masses. I hope the next owners can tell how much we loved this house and all of the work we put into it. The house doesn’t feel like our home anymore, but neither does our new place since we haven’t closed on it or moved in yet. It’s an odd feeling being in this state of limbo, and I’m eager to get to our new house and start making the new memories that will transform it into our home.

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Julia Whalen
Julia resides in Perrysburg with her husband, their three children (Ari (6), Annie (3), and Jonah (9 months)), and two cats (Godric and Cali). Her children are the most amazing, funny, lovable, and crazy little humans she’s ever met. Julia moved here from the Cleveland area right after college. Some of her favorite things about living in NW Ohio are being able to do legal U-Turns and going over 25 mph on a main road. When she is not fulfilling her Ravenclaw dreams of working as a STEM teacher or moming, Julia is most likely rewatching The Office or rereading Harry Potter for the billionth time. Her favorite places are Target, Starbucks, and Disney World. Feel free to follow on Instagram @jwhalen1


  1. As I pack up my the home I started my family in, and brought girls home to… that part about all their firsts gave me all the feels!

  2. All three of my babies lives the first year of their life in one home and then carried on in another. Each home takes a piece of you forever, and you take a piece of it with you, too! Best of luck on your new adventure!


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