Aug 20, 2011

places we've lived

It all began in the Van Bylandtstraat. I moved in there when I was 18 and working fulltime - I felt very grown up. Of course I completely wasn't, as my terrible, terrible cleaning and hygenic skills quickly proved. In fact, it wasn't until I started dating Sander that that place started to look half decent....(he didn't find out what the color of my carpet was until we had been seeing each other for 3 weeks).  I only have a handful of pictures from that time but I have a truckload of memories. My 19th birthday was a major highlight (twister, inflating the blue plastic couch, sleepover, scary movies). Sharing a goodnight kiss with Sander after he had driven me home on our very first date. Take-out Roti from the place on the corner. Waking up at 3am with firemen in full gear staring down at me with only a tank top and some undies to cover my modesty after they put out the fire my gel candle had caused in the living room. The first year of our marriage. 
To make up for the minimal amount of pictures, I made you this incredibly detailed and exactly scaled layout of what the good old place looked like. Prepare to be amazed.
I know, I should have been a blue-print drawer. Yes that is the official name for it, how dare you question me! Here are some pictures of pictures of the actual place (starting off, fittingly, with one of Sander cleaning my kitchen).
Then we bought our very first home in the Vlierboomstraat. This was an especially fun location for me since I spent the first 8 years of my life living on that same street, over a candy store and a toy store - kid heaven. We were so proud to have that place and it felt like life was really beginning when we moved in. Of course we weren't able to move in until we finished all the work that needed doing to make it fit for human habitation. We put in new windows all around, patched up the electrics, and did some major painting. It wasn't such a daunting task with the help of family and friends, and it turned out looking something like this (ending, fittingly, with one of Sander cleaning the kitchen):
The afro kills me. As you can clearly see (or maybe you're not seeing so clearly anymore after having looked at those pictures a tad too long), I was very into bright colors, especially yellow. The color mania was brought to an all-time high whenever you went for a number 1 or two, and were faced with the rainbow door, and fluffy cloud ceiling. You can tell it made the working crew very gay. The smiles on all of our faces are huge!
Ah, good times. Some of the memories we gained by living in that lovely place include some animals: Charlie the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Bulkie the Rabbit. For a while there was even Taylor the Tennant. Most memorable of all in this home is the fact that it was the house we had our first baby in. I spent the first hours of my labor in that bathroom that had tile the color of dried blood (very soothing) and I remember the fun I had turning the computer room into a nursery, making it look something like this.
It was difficult saying goodbye to this place when Lara was only 5 months old, but it was with a good cause that we left it. Sander wasn't happy at his job and wanted to go back to school to become a teacher, so we moved in with my parents, who were kind enough to make their entire first floor available to us. It still felt like home there to me since I spent most of my childhood there, but it wasn't long before it felt like a Koot home there too.

Yes, that is another picture of Sander slaving away in the kitchen (assisted by my mother). No that is not a doll in the last picture. That is Julia, who was born in this house. It wasn't until we moved into the house we are in now that I fully came to appreciate the luxury of always having someone in the house to help out with the kids when things get to be too much. Our family bonds were strengthened so much during these years and I believe it was then that my mother and I truly became best friends.
But we couldn't live with them forever, we needed to be independent again. The final hurdle on the way there was turning an apartment that hadn't had work done to it since the 1960s, into a comfortable home for a growing family. Once again, friends and family came to our aid and helped us work miracles in there:
Of course it looks completely different now with the extra level built on top, but you can check out pictures of that here and here. In this home we have had 2 little boys (one was born right there on that bed in the last picture), weathered craziness, hosted parties, enjoyed guests, murdered goldfish, named plants, run in circles, made music, made noise, fought with neighbors, fallen down stairs, had birthdays, and kissed lots and lots and lots of cheeks. It's going to be another tough one to leave, that much I am sure of.

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