Today is a bittersweet day as I say goodbye to my childhood home my Daddy built and close a chapter in my life.

Over 2 years ago I lost both of my parents to cancer and although it's been tough to travel back to Northern Michigan knowing they aren't there, I loved stopping by and visiting my childhood home. I got a text from my sister last night saying that a family put an offer on the home and we are signing the paperwork today! Now, a new family will enjoy all that this beautiful home and land has to offer. This wasn't only the house that built me....it was the house that my Daddy actually built.

I remember when my Dad told us we were moving from Utica, outside of Detroit, to the country in Northern Michigan to be close to family I cried. A LOT. I was 9 years old and would be leaving the big city and Doreen, my best friend and next door neighbor. To move to the country, where I had no friends, and the nearest house would be a mile away. My Daddy built us a beautiful home and his stone work was so amazing and something I will always remember. He worked hard as a brick layer and had a gift when it came to creating fireplaces, stone structures, etc. It took a while, but I did adjust to country living with friends and lakes in bike riding distance. It was nothing to ride miles to go and see friends. Can you imagine kids today riding bikes miles to visit their friends? It was a different time for sure! All of the lessons of small town, country living, being around my big extended family and down to earth friends have made me who I am today. And, my Dad's example of hard work, determination, having a charitable soul and being an all-around great guy who's missed by so many was a perfect example of who I wanted to be more like in my life! I've had so many blessing in my life and I hope that the new family appreciates country living in my childhood home and if they have children, they grow up living the good life I so enjoyed.

Some of my Best Memories in the House That Built Me (in no particular order):

1. Holidays with the family. My Mom always made a huge deal of the holidays and at Christmas the house was decorated to the max! And, there would always be extended family and friends that would come for the festivities.

2. All of my childhood pets. Our Beagles, Lady, Lucky and Fonzi. Boo-Boo Kitty, Murphy our Basset, Amy our Spaniel and Pierre (who had an unfortunate accident with a hay baler.. poor little kitty. I cried like a baby) and many more that came and went through the years.

3. The Wildlife. One thing about growing up in the country, you see all sorts of amazing wildlife. Bear would come right up on the patio. Deer were in abundance, Bobcats, Turkeys, and beautiful birds that my Mom and Dad always kept fed!

4. Sleepovers with Friends. My Mom was always great about letting me have friends over whenever I wanted. Sometimes we would party downstairs or set up the camper in the backyard. No matter what it was loud, great fun that I'll always cherish.

5. Outdoor Activities. We had 3 channels on TV so playing outside was way more fun and in the country it was simply the best. Sledding in the winter, two tracking with the ATV, horseback riding with the neighbors, walking the property and playing in the creek or ice skating on the pond. I remember it was my birthday and friends were coming over for a party and all I wanted was the pond cleared so that we could ice skate, so my gracious Dad took his plow truck to clear it and well....the truck went into the pond and let's just say, there was no skating that day, but as always he had that amazing smile through it all!

6. Being able to come back home after moving to Kentucky. For 17 years I looked forward to making that 10 hour drive north a few times each year to see my family. After the long drive, there was nothing better than to see my Mom watching for us to pull in the driveway and greeting us with a hug and a kiss at the door and sadly the tears when we would always turn around a week later and head home. Chris and his son Josh fit right in and enjoyed the trips just as much as I did. They loved my family as much as my family loved and embraced them!

7. Spending the last days, weeks and months with them in my childhood home, looking at pictures, remembering the past, visiting with family and friends that would stop by during those difficult days and realizing that life would be changed forever for my family and the house that wasn't my home anymore after they left this earth.

Now that tears are falling, I will stop as there are so many amazing memories to share and as you can tell, I was very blessed to grow up in a simpler time and place!

Here's a Video of The House That Built Me that My Daddy Built!