I wasn’t planning on doing a post like this… actually, I didn’t think I would ever be sharing photos of our first apartment online. To me, everything special about it is the memories that have happened here. The late nights cozied up on our couch (that’s dangerously comfortable) watching a movie and sipping pinot from our brand new wine glasses. The long hours in my London-themed office in the loft, editing weddings and packing up client gifts while watching Lord of the Rings marathons. The many evenings spent chopping vegetables in the kitchen for another “first time I’m trying this!” home cooked meal. Countless fits of laughter that were probably a little too loud for being in an apartment… (we have sadly had to ban any and all tickling until further notice). It’s really difficult to relay just how special these first 8 months of being married have been to me. To us! Our newlywed life looks nothing like I imagined, but that’s only because it was impossible to imagine something I had never experienced before. I’ve tried to picture what I had envisioned in my head before we got married and I don’t even remember. Our newlywed season has been better, happier, and more exciting and memorable than I could have anticipated… and I have no idea how I got so lucky with such an entertaining and lovable husband, but I’m thankful every day that I did!
When we were apartment shopping, my highest priority was natural light. There were a handful of places that fit our budget all around the Northern Virginia area, but I knew right away if it was the “right” feel based on how many windows there were and what it looked like in the middle of the day! We toured about a dozen different communities and none of them really struck us as our future home. The closest we came to finding our apartment was a 800 sq. foot unit on the 3rd floor of a brand new building in the Mosaic district, which basically means we were living on top of a grocery store and within a 3 minute walk of anything we could possibly want or need. We actually signed a preliminary agreement for that apartment but after doing some calculations we decided $2,200 a month with parking and trash (not even utilities) was going to be a little tighter than we’d like.
So we resumed the search and came across a community that was advertising units for $1,500 in Tysons Corner! What?! We hadn’t seen anything promising in the Tysons area for even close to that amount! I immediately asked my sister to check it out with me while Justin was at work and I had a good feeling as soon as I walked into the front office. It wasn’t nearly as fancy as where we had just backed out of, but it was still so nice with its newly renovated clubhouse, pool, and massive gym. I walked through the two sample units that were available (both without a loft) and thought it looked so promising! I scheduled a time for Justin and me to come back together and as we were walking through we both looked at each other like… I think this might be it!
The hard part was that we now had the option of about 6 different apartment layouts within our price range and we didn’t know what they actually looked like in person. They didn’t even have pictures of them! I analyzed the floor plans like there was no tomorrow and I noticed that there were two units with a loft. I had originally wanted a loft because 1) they just look so cool!! 2) I wanted the extra space because I work from home and 3) I knew a loft likely meant more natural light because of the high ceilings and second story windows! So after a little bit of convincing, Justin finally agreed on the loft unit that had a more open design and we officially had our first apartment signed & leased!!! Ahhhh!!!
Of course, it was only February, and our wedding wasn’t until the last weekend of May. Nevertheless, I was SO excited and I couldn’t wait for Justin to move in, cut his commute time from an hour to under 10 minutes, and live a little bit of the “bachelor” life on his own before I joined him! He ended up having two months in the apartment by himself and I only came up a few times but it looked so cozy and fun. I couldn’t wait to move in!!
I’m hoping to do a few posts soon on things like the places we’ve fallen in love with near Tysons Corner, why we chose to paint our apartment, how we picked our paint color, etc. but those are all still in the works! For now, here is a little sneak peek at our first apartment together… a place that now holds so many sweet newlywed memories for us!! I’ll be having dreams about this place for the rest of my life. It means so much to me.
Last night as we were crawling into bed, Justin said, “Well, this was fun.” “What was fun?” I replied. “Living here. Having our first place just to the two of us.” I got a little teary eyed as I pulled the blankets up around me. “Yea, I’m going to miss it so much!” Our season here in our first apartment is quickly coming to an end. The past year went by all to fast, and though I’ll have only spent 10 months here, they were the most exciting and fulfilling 10 months of my life. I can’t wait for our next place we’ll have to ourselves.
Until then, I’ll keep cherishing every moment we have here, just the two of us, in this little one bedroom apartment in Tysons Corner. What a beautiful season this has been… I wouldn’t change a single thing. (Not even compromising on using our hand-me-down coffee table as a TV stand instead of spending the money on an entertainment center.) Every bit of our life here has been blissful and so special, and it all happened around furniture and pieces that were given and gifted to us… all we had to buy was our couch.
We are beyond grateful for God’s provision, the crazy deal we found on this apartment that allowed us to live our own life a little more removed from our families, Justin’s 7 minute commute to and from work every day, the incredible places to eat and explore so close by, my favorite coffee shop, living a block away from the grocery store, having neighbors from bible study in the building next to ours… I could never have dreamt this up or imagined how perfect it would be in every way and how much the Lord would give to us through the generosity of others. For years He asked me to trust in His timing and believe that He would provide and I had faith that it would be worth the wait… it so completely was.
As we enter into our next season of waiting for a house and all that will bring, I know that the wait isn’t something to wish away; it’s something to cherish. Every second of our life together is a gift no matter where we are or what home looks like at the moment. It’s so true that home is wherever we are together and “wherever I’m with you.” I am going to cherish every moment.