I spent most of my hours after lunch as a child jump roping on blacktop. Countless rhymes were chanted, including the ever popular: House for sale, house for rent, when Karrie moves out let ? move in! And I would hop out of the ropes and someone else would jump in and life would go on.

If only it were that simple as an adult.

For the last few months I’ve been biting my tongue (or my fingers) as a writer and not let on to the world how much stress there was in my life since the For Sale sign went up in our front yard. The financial stress is one thing, and thankfully my husband handles that. For me, it was the fact I had to somehow transform our cozy home into a magazine photo or something you’d see on Pinterest, which has proven to be a nearly impossible task because my style tends toward "treehouse fort" instead of anything fancy.

The color scheme of all of our walls was whatever color I was feeling like that day, in conjunction with the fact I love to drink hot beverages. Our family room? Latte. Our kitchen? Tea Stain. Our basement? Well, I was on pain medication after a surgery and we like to call the shade of that room "Vicodin Yellow."

Our furniture, like our lifestyle, is practical. Living with children who grew to teenagers, there was no good reason to replace the kitchen table with the faint stain of the manger scene after someone laid a gel window cling on it years ago. The couch that sags with each of our bodyweights is speckled from the Great Slime Craze of 2018. And the fireplace hearth still shows a remnant of Santa’s bootmark covered in soot. (What was he thinking, stepping on there with his dirty shoes?)

We are collectors of mementos, projects, books and games. In every direction, on every shelf, there is something we’ve touched and loved. And when it came to selling our home, I had to hide it all away to give the illusion the person who lived here was not the Girl Scout Leader, Friday night game player, Oh-i-got-one-of-those people that I really am.

Oh, and the walls were literally covered in kid art.

Basically, I had to take the "us" out of our home. It was fairly depressing.

If I had to do it all over, I’d probably ask to write up the description myself. "A lived-in and loved-in four bedroom home for sale. Décor goes well with most hot beverages. Each corner of the family room has been broken in for your comfort. Walls have been prepped for original art display and hold in years of happiness that is transferrable to the new owners. Driveway also perfect for jump rope.