I remember the first night in our house quite well. Wall-to-wall boxes were stacked high enough to cover the windows, furniture was shoved in corners, bags of clothes were tossed at the foot of the stairs. The empty pizza boxes on the kitchen counter reminded my husband and me that the friends who had helped us conquer moving day were gone—and that it was now up to the two of us to make the house our home. Despite having just survived the daunting task of buying our first property, the real work was still ahead of us.

For the next two years, we poured ourselves into fixing it up. The smelly old carpet was thrown out, the walls were patched and painted, the light fixtures were replaced, the kitchen was overhauled, the plumbing was fixed. And although the exterior has now been painted (for the first time in a few decades, our neighbors told us), we’ve hardly even touched our poor little yard yet. The work continues.

Simply put, the making of our home has been a labor of love.

Whether your home sweet homes are upvalley or down, old, new, large, or small, our March issue is a toast to them all.