We were standing in the backyard, as we readied to spend our first night in our new house. The reality of the road to our new start sobered us. We finally faced something we’d never dared to admit. I’d been pregnant with Ave when we first decided to sell, it sold a few months shy of her 4th birthday. While we had countless beautiful moments in our house in those years, the truth was the moment we decided to sell, we severed ties with the house. It never felt in our hearts that it was where we were supposed to be.

We tried to love it, tried to feel settled, but the truth was as hard as we worked it never quite felt like home.We worked tirelessly to improve it, tearing down walls, upgrading fixtures, redesigning functionality and all of it resulted in a better house and praise from those who watched us, yet it felt hollow. Four years later I think we worried it might never happen.

I was standing barefoot in the yard, the moonlight was shining down on us and we cast familiar shadows in the thick, green grass. There were no sounds, no glow of streetlights or passing cars. The girls were asleep, each in her own room,  a fact they had reverently delighted in by inviting one another in with hands held in exaggerated demonstrations of hospitality. We had smiled and padded softly down the stairs and out to the yard together.

“So, do you think we’ll be happy here?” He asked me, his face turned softly to the side. I couldn’t tell if he was embarrassed to ask or worried what my answer might be. I took a deep breath, the air was cool and carried the kind of dampness I associate with summer nights back when the biggest treat was to get the call to come in for the night and find a way to have it extended for another 10 precious minutes.

“I think that as long as we look up, we’ll be happy,” as I said it I meant the trees, the views that embrace us here at this house, but as the declaration has echoed I realize I meant it as a way of being mindful. We have worked so hard and surely there is more work to come, but if we look up, if we tear ourselves away from the deadlines, projects or commitments long enough to draw breath, take stock or simply look up, we’ll be happy.

A marriage worth loving.

A dreamer.

A daredevil.

A darling.

We have all that we need to be happy and, after learning what we all hold dearest, we’ve arrived at a place where we can have the time, safety, security and setting to be.

Be happy. Oh, yes, do be happy.