Tag Archives: moving

A New Lease On Life

apartment

We recently hit a huge milestone and moved out after living with my parents for 21 months. It was a day of sadness, joy, and triumph. Sadness because we were leaving the home where most of Finn’s memories were made— the only home that he has truly ever known. So many good things happened in that home, obviously. We all had countless good memories and I will forever be grateful for every single one of them and for the love that filled that house and surrounded Finn on a daily basis. We will certainly miss having my parents right there for support, but luckily they are right across the street. We made sure not to move far for Finn and our sake!

It was a day of joy because we could finally be a family of three again. Not that we did not love being a family of six (for the most part!) at my parents’ home. It was so nice to have his grandparents in the same house to always be there for not only him, but us as well. However, there is just something about being on our own as a family. I think it will definitely change our family dynamics and we will all have to relearn things— especially Finn as the only family he has ever known has had a mom, a dad, a grandma, a grandpa, and an uncle. Thinking about that makes me realize how different an experience this was for Finn, but also how great it made him as a person. He was very lucky and now we will learn to become a family of three together again!

And triumph because we are finally able to live on our own. Sort of. I had to get another job, but that’s besides the point. We’re on our own and it feels great! The Count graduated, he’s working full-time now, and we’re both on our way to better futures! It will also be nice to have more control over our lives and what Finn is exposed to. I know I have mentioned that my brother had some pretty extreme mental illnesses, so when he was in an active state with those, it made everybody’s life pretty difficult, including Finn’s. Knowing that we now had control over what he was exposed to on a daily basis was a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders.

So, with all that said, we had hoped that those closest to us would realize the weight and impact of this milestone and be happier for us than they have been. We had hoped that our closest friends would have been by by now to see our new home and wish us well and share in our happiness, but that is not the case. I guess life goes on for everybody else. Not one friend has been by.

A part of me wonders if it is because we are living in an apartment and not a big fancy home. Is our home any less than anybody else’s? It’s not a half a million dollar dream home, but it’s our home and more importantly, it’s Finn’s home. He was so excited to share it with his friends. His disappointment has worn off but I don’t think mine has for him.

Sometimes you have to celebrate your own triumphs and milestones in your own way. When you downplay their importance, I guess you can’t expect others to do any different. I didn’t make a big fuss on social media at the time because I didn’t think that a lot of people cared and apparently I may have been right.

However, my parents have been hugely supportive. They were right there with us the whole time and even though they set us up with an entire refrigerator, freezer, and pantry full of food when we moved in PLUS some, the next weekend they still came over and brought us rugs to place throughout our house, when they are the last people we would ever expect to do anything else for us as they’ve already given us everything. It’s like, we didn’t even have to tell them how we felt, they just knew and were happy for us and most of all, for Finn.

Saying Goodbye to Our First Home

goodbye_first_house_3goodbye_first_home_1

This is another long overdue, but much needed-to-be-documented-post. Almost four months ago we said goodbye to our home. Our first home. The first home that was all OURS. As in, we owned every crack in the stucco, every rock on its property, every teeny hole in the wall from where we once hung a picture, every square foot, it was ours.

I remember our long three month adventure of shopping for homes. It was during a time when homes were getting snatched up left and right because of the Home Buyer’s Tax Credit that was about to expire and we were badly wanting to jump on that band wagon as well. But at the same time, we didn’t want just any home. We looked for homes out by the Count’s grandma because at the time, we were spending a lot of time driving from our little apartment in Gilbert out to East Mesa to take care of her, take her shopping, to dr.’s appointments, and spend time with her, so that was our chosen locale. We put an offer in on a short-sale home and waited for about a month but never felt quite comfortable about it and then OUR house came on the market. Our realtor sent it to us. She drove out to us from North Scottsdale to see it and that same day we put an offer in on it, canceled our short-sale offer, and the new offer was accepted. Boom. Like that. And it wasn’t a short sale.

It was so exciting. Counting the days down of escrow, inspections, and signing papers until we got that one special brass key. I was working when we got the key so the Count got to go into the house by himself first. He studied for a mid-term on the floor with no furniture and his backpack and papers strewn about. I was so excited at work I could hardly contain myself and I remember exclaiming this excitement to my friends at work about how I couldn’t wait to get HOME from work that night. More than usual, of course.

Anyways, that was four years ago. A lot happened in that four years. We changed, we grew in our relationship, in our professional lives, and most importantly, we had a baby.

First of all, when we chose this house, we weren’t planning on having kids. If you’ve followed my blog, you know this. So, our house definitely wasn’t the best layout for having a child. It was fine for our early months and years with Finn, but it wasn’t perfect and I think that made it easier to say goodbye to it. On the other hand, almost every memory of Finn’s almost two years was spent at this home. Which made it perfect to us. And made it really difficult to sell and leave.

Packing up and cleaning the house (once our house sold, everything happened so FAST and unexpectedly) was such a rough month for us. Tensions were so high. I was working a lot of hours at work. The Count just started a new semester at school. Mom was just getting over her scary heart attack. My brother had just gotten back from a bad situation in Northern California. It was a rough period. We all needed each other’s help and to band together and unfortunately we didn’t do it so well. I think everybody felt isolated and like everybody was doing everything themselves and it was just a clusterfuck of a month. But we managed to get out — barely.

I remember the last night we went to drop our keys off the three of us went over there to say goodbye to our first home as a family. We ran into our next door neighbors who were having a party and they gave us some cupcakes and we said our goodbyes. We both kicked ourselves for not getting to know each other sooner as we just started to talk in the few months before we moved. The Count played football with the husband and older boys at the park, I’d visit with the wife while the young ones played on the playground. It would have been awesome if we had done that all along. Oh well, next time?

I didn’t cry when we walked around our house that last time. I was still sort of numb on the outside to the whole situation but I was flooded with emotions on the inside. In one huge way, it was the biggest sense of relief we could have been handed — no more mortgage for a while, which is what we needed at this juncture in our life. But I wasn’t saying goodbye to a house, I was saying goodbye to memories. I was saying goodbye to where Finn came home from the hospital, where he learned to crawl and walk. Where we saw him smile and laugh for the first of countless times. Where we put him to bed safely in his crib each night before we secured the doors to our home to keep OUR family safe. Where we cooked our first Thanksgiving meal for our entire extended relatives. Where Penny had her first backyard (not that it was much of a yard!). Where the Count studied for most of his college education and where I planned our trip to Europe. And more recently, where we had our last Christmas with his Grandma before she moved to Colorado. So many wonderful things happened in this home. We laughed, we cried, we fought, we loved, we lived.

Finn had no idea what was going on. Nothing much was going to change for him and still hasn’t. That was the important thing for all of us. He’s very much at home at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. But he ran around and had a ball that night. This big empty house where he could go anywhere he wanted for once! We were sort of rushed as it was close to Finn’s bed time (or past it) and the Count had either homework or to be up at the crack of dawn (it’s always one or the other). We loaded a couple more things into the car and took video and pictures of Finn in his first home that night and then drove away. We said goodbye to our home, our park, our playground, and our gate a final time. He won’t remember that night or any night he spent in that home, but I’ll never forget it.

goodbye_first_home_2

Moving

For-Sale-Sign

As I’ve mentioned a few times, we’re selling our house. After a series of unfortunate events this year, we were left with almost half of our income and a house we can no longer afford. It felt really helpless, painful, and incredibly humbling. We were faced with several choices. Does Dan get a full time job and put school on hold for the time being so that we can afford to stay in our home? Do we rent out our house until Dan graduates and gets a job and we can afford to move back in? Or do we cut our losses and sell and find greener pastures down the road?

Well, I haven’t been working my ass off for all these years at dead end jobs so that Dan can put his school on hold, so Option A was out of the question. And we really thought about renting it out but ultimately decided that we just don’t have the resources or time to do that. We aren’t investors after all. After talking with a Realtor and looking at the monetary side of things we decided it was a good time to sell, we’re not underwater and will definitely make some money off of our home (if it ever sells that is). Then we can put that little nest egg away until Dan does graduate and finds a job, wherever that may be, whether it’s in Arizona or otherwise, and buy our second home. I know once he graduates and finds a job, things will be better eventually.

So, we put our house up for sale 3 weeks ago. We’ve had 4 showings. It’s slow right now and getting slower as it gets closer to the holidays. Our money is running out, we’re definitely feeling a little anxious and worried. We know all it takes is one person to like our house… so we’re just waiting.

Once it does sell, we’ll be moving in with my parents until Dan does graduate and finds a job. It will make things easier as my mom watches Finn and we won’t have to wake Finn up at ungodly hours of the morning to drop him off and make that extra drive. We’ll already be there. We also know it will be hard living there. We make no qualms about that. My younger brother just moved back in after his failed stint in Northern California which really complicated things. But we will make it work because we are family. Hopefully at the very least we can all be a good influence on each other in the eating department by all following a heart smart diet together! That’s our plan anyways.

Meanwhile at home, everyday we have to make sure our house is clean and clutter-free. That’s the biggest pain in the ass part about this whole process. Sometimes at the end of the night after a 10 hour shift, making dinner, playing with Finn and putting him to bed, I’m so tired and the last thing I want to do is clean the kitchen, take the garbage out and put all Finn’s toys away! But… I have to. And often times (like this weekend), Dan isn’t of much help because he’s busy studying for a Physical Chemistry or a Biochemistry or a Genetics test. Oh the life of a future scientist…

This weekend we’re having an open house so we’ll see if that helps drum up any interest. I will be emptying closets all week in an effort to continue to de-clutter the house and then Thursday will be super cleaning mode!

NaBloPoMo November 2013

 

This is post #5 of NaBloPoMo.

National Blog Posting Month is an annual event that takes place each November where bloggers commit to writing everyday in November.