Turn and Face the Strange <br> by Anne-Marie DeOllos | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, August 21, 2009

Turn and Face the Strange
by Anne-Marie DeOllos

I am honored to be guest posting today for Lara today. My multi-talented, beautiful, kind and all around awesome Sister-in-law who is going to be sorely missed. Darn. These. Life. Changes. Ugh.

What exactly is it about change that makes one so resistant? And as I've been pondering about this very thought for the past few weeks, (years actually) I've come to a few conclusions.

1. We all crave the idea of change.It's exciting, out of the norm and a little bit rebellious. But, when the change becomes an actuality, it's downright frightful.

Lara's Husband, Joel, is my Brother. One of six Brothers plus 2 Sisters. Growing up we had the opportunity to live in some really cool and exotic places like Israel and Hawaii. And as a little girl I always thought I would get married and move out of Utah to some cool and exotic place. So, I married a great guy from Nebraska...umm....not so exotic yet. Then we moved to Murray for five years...a great place to start a family, but still not very cool or exotic.

Then, my Husband got a really great job offer out of state.

To.......El Paso, Texas.

Cool? No. Hot as Haiti.

Exotic? Well, the primary language spoken was Spanish. And there were palm trees. But, hardly exotic.

Anyway. On to my next conclusion.

2. We tend to glorify the past.

We loved our Murray neighborhood and had some amazing friends there. But, the main issue was that we were outgrowing our house fast. It was a small, brick rambler with a mother-in-law apartment in the basement, that didn't get much use. The hardwoods were in desperate need of replacing. They were terribly creaky and plagued with fifty year old water stains that were becoming increasingly difficult to cover with rugs. We had a very small galley kitchen and a very small bathroom that we all shared. The ancient furnace needed to be replaced and the original windows were single paned & paper thin, so much that we could feel the freezing winter breeze through them as if we were outside. The driveway was cracked & the backyard was rather small.

I complained about that little brick house all the time.

And eventually, the time did come to move. Me and my Husband tirelessly worked until the wee hours of the morning getting the last boxes out into our cars and cleaning the house from top to bottom for the new owner. After the cleaning supplies were on the porch, exhausted and sore, I took one last walk through my little red brick house. The creak of the floors echoed all the more with the absence of furniture and they reminded me of the many times we would tiptoe past the baby's room with careful steps, so we would not wake them. Many times we did. And we would curse those floors.

I stared out those drafty windows and admired the beautiful, tree-lined street that beheld millions of white blossoms in the spring. I walked outside and plucked off a stem of basil from the garden and walked around the swing set that took Hank days to assemble. I could practically hear the laughter coming from my children as they climbed up and down the slide over and over.

Back inside, the fireplace looked as worn and drafty as ever, but I couldn't help but recall the warmth it provided on Christmas Eve as we busily wrapped piles of presents.

And lastly, I walked into the nursery as I burst into sobs and tears. I stroked the striped wallpaper that my Dad applied on his sore knees and stared up at the puffy white clouds that my Sister and Brother painted on the ceiling in anticipation of my first baby that was soon to arrive. I was inconsolable as I remembered the many nights I rocked my new babies to sleep in the corner of the room by those drafty windows.

How could I possibly leave this home? The home where we as newlyweds mapped out the course of our new life. The home where we welcomed our first two babies. I cried and cried and felt like I couldn't let go. Me & my Husband knelt on those bare hardwood floors & said a prayer of gratitude. I was more thankful for this house than I had been in the many years of occupying it. And as we shut the lights and turned they key to the front door for the last time, I realized that the home is just a home. But, the memories we make as a family will follow us wherever we go. I won't lie. Two years later and I still drive by our little red brick home on Atwood Boulevard with a lump in my throat. And it will always hold a special place in my heart.

But, life goes on.
Change is sure.
Time is unyielding.

I am devastated to be "losing" Lara and my Brother, Joel, and my three darling nieces. They are two of the very best people I know on this earth and Houghton is a very lucky town come mid-August. But, I know they will embrace the change.

Far better than I.
(Insert tears...and sniffles...)

I love you guys!

Anne-Marie DeOllos is a full-time Mama to her three little rockstars: Kanoa, Gabriel and Lucas. Hank is her Honey and they've been married for 7 years. She's been a makeup artist for a really long time, but her true passions are singing and acting. She looks forward to performing more often in the future, but she's got her hands full with this Mommy role. (And she wouldn't have it any other way.) Anne-Marie writes to reflect, remember, laugh and learn.

One of the best parts about marrying Joel was that I inherited sisters--something I had never had before in my life. Anne was one of those sisters, and I'm pretty lucky to have her. I count her among my closest friends. She's also one of my favorite people to photograph because she's so stinkin' photogenic. Maybe it's all those make-up artistry skills, but I tend to think it's her beauty.

Anne-Marie blogs at Coconut Diaries.


  1. I'll be the first to comment! Wow! Anne-Marie that was so beautifully written and so expressive. I felt I was right there with you! The kids are already happy up there in the UP. They are so excited and their house is soooo charming. But I am so sure they will miss you and all of us here. They are so wonderful and I will miss their close presence very much too!

  2. I felt much the same way when we moved from our old house--I'd brought all my babies home from the hospital here! How could I "betray" the house by leaving?! It was difficult, but now THIS house is home. I don't deal well with change, but it's something I ought to get used to, because change is another word for LIFE.

    Great post! (It was so fun meeting you at lunch!)

  3. Anne-Marie, that was so beautiful--beautifully written and evocative. Thank you!!

  4. Awh... that was a great entry. Made me think a lot about how we view our home.

  5. Another beautifully written post! Always touching Anne Marie!

  6. That was great to read, Anne-Marie. I remember my old houses with fondness too. And you still have a friend in Cedar if you ever want to come visit :)

  7. What a wonderful post. Change is good but often hard. It is hard to leave the places that we have grown to love and that have been part of so many memories. We will also miss Lara and Joel and their beautiful daughters.

  8. That was beautiful.
    Change is good and scary all at the same time. We are going through some changes at our house and it is hard too.

  9. Change sure does bring all kinds of mixed up emotions. I felt the same way with every move we've made. The tears, reflections, terror and realization.

    She is a beautiful subject to shoot.

  10. Just got back from San Diego-thanks for the sweet comments. (and for the sneak peek of our photo shoot Lara!! miss you)