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Elisabeth Röhm’s Blog: The House That Built Me

06/22/2012 at 07:00 PM ET
Sean Smith

Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her roles as Serena on Law & Order and Kate on Angel, has been blogging for PEOPLE.com for over a year now.

The actress, 39, currently stars as Taylor on The Client List, while her film Transit is out now, with Officer Down following later this year.

She can be found on Facebook, Google + and @ElisabethRohm.

In her latest blog, Röhm — mom to 4-year-old Easton August with fiancé Ron Anthony — reflects on their family’s upcoming move and visits her childhood home.

Have you ever gone back to poke around a house you used to live in? Share your experience in the comments.

It’s a sentimental time for our family right now. Not only is it almost the Fourth of July, which always makes me reflect on family, tradition and the freedom we are so blessed with in this country but it’s also the end of a chapter for my small clan.

I don’t know why I always feel like the Fourth of July marks closure and a new beginning but somehow it annually makes me pause and think of all that we have done this year to celebrate our lives and all that we could do better. It’s certainly a time of year that makes you think of your life with gratitude and hope; looking forward towards possibility.

Change is happening in our family. Change can be good and yet it brings up so many feelings and memories of the past. So it goes, when you move homes. At the end of this month, we are moving and just like the culmination of our nation’s big celebration, our family is excited about our next chapter and all our hopes for the coming year. We are celebrating!

Yet, with this new chapter comes the emotion of goodbye. We loved the little house that we made our family in. It’s the place where all of our dreams for a stable, loving home took root. It’s the home where Easton was delivered like a bundle of joy from the heavens and the hospital, where we spent those sleepless nights caring for her, where I wandered the halls like an intoxicated love-slave of my child’s every need, the place where we tried our first Pampers and grew to understand the art of the diaper, the emotion of breastfeeding, bottle-transitioning and sleep training.

Within these walls I learned to love profoundly and accept the tenderness of a family unit. With Easton we all went from crawling to those first steps of freedom, which were so exciting to watch. We saw the change from goo-goo ga-ga to first words and now to an expressive articulate child who loves to talk, as well as the bold shift from crib to bed. Now I have a little girl instead of a baby.

Oh, how the time has flown. I don’t know how we will leave this house behind, actually. The new owners might have to cope with me camping out on the front steps from time to time just to get a whiff of our past.

I’m sentimental as it is, but moving has always been tough on me. As much as I look to the future I find I am always attracted to the past much like Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris.

I recall how traumatic each move we made as a child was. Now, I’m not an army brat or anything, but we moved a few times in my childhood and I remember it with agony. It’s such a huge adjustment. My poor mother had to always explain that it was for the betterment of our lives and yet I was attached to what I knew.

Still to this day I feel a deep connection to the home we lived in from the time I was five to 14. Even recently I drove by and did that, ‘Hi, I grew up here … mind if I take a look around?’ thing that so many of us do.

It stirred up so much of the longings of youth, my parents’ divorce and the heartache that went along with it, the bloom of first love, the dogs and cats we had and the many lost afternoons in the woods, not to mention my little cabin was still there — with cobwebs and a chipping roof — yet intact. (I delighted knowing that other children had found their own personal freedom in the world of imagination in that little log cabin of mine.)

I wandered the backyard and inhaled those years of my childhood. Especially since my mother passed away suddenly two years ago, it brought a closure that I didn’t anticipate through visiting the home we had shared together, the place I had grown up and experienced many of my greatest transitions.

Like Miranda Lambert‘s song, “The House That Built Me” suggests, we connect to each other and ourselves through the homes we have, the rooms we live in and the roof that’s over our head. Within those walls is the magic dust of our essence. Somehow, even if we move on to the next chapter, which we always do, we never lose that connection to time or space.

My old house! – Courtesy Elisabeth Röhm

Speaking of the Fourth of July, and reminiscing, I remember loving putting my patriotic pride on display when I was little, especially during those summers when Olympic Games occurred. I was at the store the other day and saw these cool Pampers Limited Edition USA diapers and thought that I would have loved to have outfitted baby Easton in them when she was younger. (For you moms out there with little ones in diapers — they’re so cute and they really let the kiddos show off their team spirit!) I thought it was very cool to share with you this great way incorporating your tiny tots into your upcoming summer celebrations. Oh, I remember it well!

So, on to our new chapter …

I’m sure one day Easton will bring her little girl back to this house that I am writing this blog in and say to her, “I grew up there. Let’s knock and see if they’ll let us take a look around. I’d like to show you where I took my first step, spoke my first words and went from baby to girl.” I know I’ll be coming back sometime soon to visit, to remember and celebrate the experiences we shared in our first family home.

Tell me of your childhood home, PEOPLE.com! Share pictures if you’ve got them. I’d love to see your baby pics and get a glimpse of “the house that built you”!

From our family to yours, with love.

Until next time,

– Elisabeth Röhm

In exchange for a mention in this post, Pampers made a donation to March of Dimes and paid a stipend to Ms. Röhm.

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Showing 11 comments

megan on

“and saw these cool Pampers Limited Edition USA diapers and”

All those paragraphs just to sneak in a Pampers schill ? Geez.

Harley on

I can’t honestly say I’m connected to homes with the exception of my Grandmoter’s down in MS and my Grandparent’s old home up in NY. I’ve moved more times than I am old and keep the gypsy lifestyle up (moving again in August for move number 33/34?) But walking in, it’s filled with some interesting memories from being the precocious child I was, with my slightly weird habits (climbing up on counter tops and making cinnamon-sugar toast) and grabbing lizards to attach to my ears (thanks to my Uncle’s for teaching me that).

Home for me is where my family is at – I had a military upbringing so not only do I have numerous “homes” because ‘friends’ are family, but because wherever I unpack my boxes and provides me shelter; I consider it home.

Laila on

I can completely relate to this post. My family and I had to move a couple of times before we were able to get our perfect home. However, nothing can make me forget the first home I grew up in. When I am down, or sad I will sometimes drive to my older home and just sit in front of the home and think and remember my past.

Mommytoane on

Haha, yeah, I noticed the Pampers promo as well. Unfortunately, we can’t share pictures here either. Shame.

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a lot of happy memories attached to our childhood homes. I look at the house I grew up in, and remember a lot of unhappiness. But its because of that, that my dd has a wonderful childhood and her home is full of good memories.

My happy 4th of July memories don’t begin until my marriage either. As sad as it sounds. I saw the fireworks a handful of times growing up, mostly on my own as a teen. My wonderful DH came up with the tradition of camping on a blanket, watching fireworks with our daughter tucked between us and later letting off a few (that we can legally use in our state) and chilling by the firepit out back, roasting marshmallows laughing and having fun.

The house I grew up in my not be a wonderful place for me. But the house I live in now…is full of magic, enchantments and wonder.

Jen on

My father sold the house we grew up in a few years after my mom passed away. He just couldn’t handle the memories. While I can understand that, it also devastated me when he sold it because the memories in the house was what comforted me. I still drive past the house from time to time which now looks very different. A part of me will never understand why my dad sold it. I would love to have spent the night before my wedding there and have been able to have my son play in the backyard as I did. Life goes on but I will never get over it.

Lou on

Brooke Burke also mentioned those 4th of July Pampers in a recent blog.

That aside, readers could always post a link to your blog/Facebook with photos to share of your childhood house. I still live in mine, so nothing to add there. :)

Leslie on

The product placement plugs are so tacky.

Jackie on

I wish I hadn’t read the comment section because it ruined what I found to be a sentimental blog post by pointing out the “plug” for diapers.

SaraM on

I agree, Jackie. I wish I hadn’t read it either. I don’t mind the plug (because, really, until I read the end note, I couldn’t tell it was a plug) and I don’t mind the donation Pampers made to the March of Dimes. But it was a real downer to read that they paid a “stipend to Ms. Rohm” and she accepted it. I loved this blog entry and it made me think of my childhood home and the memories I have of it. But why couldn’t she have just mentioned the diapers without all of the hoopla? Now it’s just kind of an “Eh, that’s nice” blog entry.

lovethisfam on

yea, it doesn’t bother me that she had the plug but the way it was wrote was like she just happened to see the pampers -not “Hey guys, If I mention these they will make a donation” type thingy…kind of ruined the post for me…Is this new? I don’t recall seeing other posts with that attached when a product is mentioned.

Mom from IL on

My daughter is extremely connected to our home which she lived in for most of her life. We moved here when she was 10yrs old & her Dad & I are planning to move out of this area. I even put several photos in an album for her to keep. One of the big snowstorm we had a few yrs ago! A pic of our new patio door w the colorful trees of fall in the backgound. These photos meant alot to her & her fiance. But the good part is she asked her Dad & myself if she could rent our house. She is starting a family & will have 4 step-children visting sometimes, plus 2 dogs!

I know you get the point Elisabeth, our house meant alot to her & she’s taking the opportunity to still live in it! Her fiance’s parents also live in this town, so it’s really amazing how it’s all worked out! A painful divorce & unfortunate home foreclosure for her turned around & we all are thrilled for all the wonderful new experiences awaiting our entire family!

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