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What Makes a House a Home?

The house I grew up in in Little Rock sits on a big hill. There is one street that bi-sects the hill, and houses are built on either side overlooking a valley or the Arkansas River. My parent's house is on the valley side. Behind the house are woods where numerous forts were constructed during my childhood years. In the front and side yards are shrubs and trees, and the front walk is lined with big bushes.

I love my parent's house. Maybe I love it because it is the only house I lived in before I got married? Maybe I love it because I walk in and instantly feel like a child at home? Maybe I love it because that house has grown with us. We lived there before my mom was sick, we lived there when she was, and now my family lives there without her. The house holds memories from all of it.

George, Eleanor and I have always lived in our own same rooms from the time we were home from the hospital. I remember painting my room from white to blue to yellow over the years. George colored on his walls so many times as a child my mom finally gave up and left the crayon drawings until he was 11. Eleanor had a room, but never slept in it. She preferred my parents room. My dad joked, but with a great deal of seriousness, that he was going to buy two king size beds and push them together because somehow 3 little kids always ended up sandwiched in their bed by morning.

In the winter we loved being inside by the big brick fireplace and in the summer we couldn't get enough of our huge yard. The backyard was perfect for sledding and a slip-n-slide. The front yard held countless games of baseball and tag. The back deck hosted many cookouts for birthday parties, baseball team celebrations, and community group get togethers.

We have taken in numerous animals to my dad's dismay - rabbits, dogs, cats, turtles, birds, a duck egg that was incubated until I dropped it, hampters, a guinea pig. It was an all out freak show!

My family lived through years of my mom's hoarding problems which we later realized were a sign of Alzheimer's. She didn't know how to reason what should stay and what should be thrown away. This lasted up until she was diagnosed. It was a horrible time. It was like the house personified everything we felt - we were frustrated, jumbled, trying so hard not to let go of the past and accept the card we had just been dealt.

Not long after she was diagnosed it was time for a change. A fresh start in our old house. A dumpster was ordered and through tears we began to sort through the chaos. Two dumpsters and a whole remodel later by my Uncle Jeff, who is an interior designer from Nashville, our house's new start had begun.

I am so thankful that my mom got to have a part in picking out all the new appliances she had wanted, the color of granite, the paint, etc. I tried to tell my dad he ws crazy for getting a gas stove. I just knew there would be a horrible accident and she would leave on the gas or burn herself, but she had always wanted a gas stove and he was going to buy it for her whether she had Alzheimer's or not.

She loved her house. That's one reason we've been worried to take her back since she went into the nursing home. What memories will it bring back and will it be hard on her? Will she understand? Will she recognize where we are?

I often remind Reid that if my house is ever for sale (which it won't be) then we are buying it so it stays in our family. Ultimately, I hope that my dad passes the house down to my brother so that more Bain memories can be made for years to come.

-- Post From My iPhone


Past Posts

Mary Grace

At 2:00 am this morning, our sweet Mary Grace was welcomed to Heaven. We found out this afternoon that she had a large brain hemorrhage. Reid and I spent three precious hours holding our daughter tonight. The nurses wrapped a pink bow around her little head and we swaddled her in a soft pink elephant blanket. During those hours, we told Mary Grace how proud we were of her fight, how she fulfilled our dreams of one day having a daughter to call "Gracie," and we even took a little nap, snuggled together as a family. If we told her we loved her once, we told her a thousand times. We prayed over her and gave her back to the Lord. We miss her more than words can say. I feel like we were punched in the stomach today and left with the wind knocked out of our lungs. Its so hard to understand "why?" in all of this. Tonight when we left the hospital, Reid turned on this song by David Crowder Band and we listened to it on repeat the whole way home. Its the exact state of our

One day at a time

For the first time in my life I feel like I'm truly living one day at a time. Reid and I had a pretty good day yesterday. We were able to sleep in which was wonderful. Reid made us lunch and we sat outside in the backyard. It was a beautiful day and being outside did a lot of good for my mental health. :) There were still a lot of hard moments as memories from the night before would come rushing back to mind. We miss our sweet babies so much. Olivia had a good day yesterday. It was uneventful (which is a very good thing in the NICU) and they were able to turn down some of her medicine. We call every morning to check on our sweet girl and her nurse was quick to tell us how feisty our daughter is. We picked up on that in her first day of life, but it was funny to hear that someone else had observed the same. We are so in love with our feisty little Olivia. After we left the hospital, Reid and I went on a dinner date. It was so good for us to get out and feel like we

Madelyn Barrett

I really don't even know where to begin or how to write this post. I've put it off for several days hoping that maybe if I let things sink in a little more it would be easy. This will never be easy. As you know, we welcomed three beautiful little girls into the world on Friday afternoon. We had hoped to continue to "buy time" and hold off on delivery for several more weeks. God has always had a plan much bigger than either Reid or I could ever imagine. I have to chose to believe, everyday, that somehow this all fits perfectly into that plan. We knew from the time of her delivery that Madelyn was struggling the most. The circumstances surrounding her birth caused a lot of trauma to her tiny body. After a day of fighting for a positive outcome, the neonatologist came to visit with us and told us it was time to let her go. Late Saturday night we went to the NICU to hold our precious baby for the first and last time. She was absolutely perfect and looked just like h

Family of Four

If all continues to go well we will be headed home from the hospital tomorrow. I got a little stir crazy this afternoon and walking the halls just wasn't going to cut it so I went down to the gift shop to browse a bit. It feels so good to actually feel good after surgery. I also feel pretty rested and I'm very ready to settle into our new normal at home. My dad and Ann have been taking care of Olivia and have been such a tremendous help to us. Reid's parents were in town until this afternoon and Olivia got to spend some time with them yesterday. She's been very well taken care of by all her grandparents and I'm pretty sure she hasn't thought twice about us. Out of sight, out of mind. She has had a cough for a few days so Reid took her to the doctor this morning. Sure enough the cough is just allergy related but sweet girl has her first ear infection. The good news is that she hasn't run a fever and was able to get antibiotics to treat it. For all the change


God has blessed our family with quite a surprise! Olivia is getting a little brother or sister in early December. We are thrilled! As of today I am nine weeks along. We went to the doctor several weeks ago and were able to see the tiny bundle and hear the heartbeat. Everything looks great and we are so thankful! I'll share more details in the next few weeks. :)