For me the biggest change over the past year is that I've grown into my role as a homeowner. I've become more comfortable with the ins and outs of maintaining a house and with all the drama associated with being a landlord. I've relaxed a bit, to put it simply.
Being a homeowner is no longer the defining part of who I am or what I do, like it was when I was 23 and had just made an investment bigger than I could even imagine. Don't get me wrong, I'm still naive and learning at 25 but I'm happy to say that I'm no longer freaked out by the fact that I have a mortgage.
The first couple years of living in our house and on our block were really about orientating myself: to the West Side, to the way a house works, to what would eventually become our system of managing household finances (ok, still trying to figure that out), even to working full time. It seemed crazy to me that I would ever have the time or energy to start a garden or a block club--two things that I plan on doing in earnest this spring and summer. This next year will be a Year of Getting Out More.
Of course the biggest change of all is the addition of two lovely people named Sara and Sean. They've both embraced the house and neighborhood in fresh and different ways, which has helped me do the same. I'd be lying if I said the household wasn't occasionally challenged the question of what's their/my role in this whole house-owning adventure, particularly because Steve and I, well, bought the houses together. But we're learning how and when to make decisions, and I feel blessed to live with three people as thoughtful and loving as them.
This blog is also over two years old by now. Many thanks to everyone that's read and commented, and (please) keep it coming. I'd love to hear your suggestions on the blog's content, especially if there's something related our house or experience about which you'd like to know more. Let me know in the comments of this post and again, thanks for reading.