Posted in House, Me

Where Things Stand

Physically: I am still dealing with daily back pain. I meet with the orthopedist on Tuesday, but I don’t expect any results from that. I expect further testing will be needed. Otherwise, I’m working with a dietician and am on a new medicine for my hyperinsulinemia (Riomet). So far, so good, although it’s a liquid and tastes like the third ring of hell.

Mentally: I’m getting weary, I think that’s the word. Weary of fighting with the kids over school. Weary of money stuff. Weary of worries.

Financially: Jim’s bonus comes next week, and totally not kidding, it will pay off our credit card and theoretically cover the rest of the first phase of home improvements, plus the visit to the lawyer to do all the necessary lawyer stuff that we need to do. There’s still so much to be done on the house, but the money done run out!

Addiction: Hmmm…not on the back burner. Not boiling away on the front, either, but I’d rather it comfortably be on that back burner, forgotten and not important. I think I’ll have to check myself and see what all is going on–maybe it’s that weary thing mentioned above.

Family: The teenagers are being challenging, all four in their own individual ways. Summer plans are in place for the two visually impaired to live away from home for the first time and work on independence skills at two different programs. This will be GOOD, but oh, it is so hard! Jim and I just planned an anniversary trip (for October!) and are planning our vacation to Michigan (last family trip there? Maybe?)

House: We still have a storage unit, but I think that’s going to always be there as long as we are here. Jim’s garage greatly downsized when we moved, and there’s just not enough room for two cars and a shop. I think the current plan is to get a storage unit closer to our house, put one of the cars in it, and transfer the shop from the storage unit to the garage.  The electricians are almost finished as of today (Phase 1), and we have pot lights in our very dark family room and laundry room. Up next is the insulation (which this house is seriously lacking).

I think right now it’s just a matter of keeping the balls all up in the air at the same time. My mantra is “it’s just a season, it’s just a season”. Right?

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Posted in House, Me

Lightbulb Moment

2017 was CRRRRRRAZY. It was a lot of work, worry and boxes–between getting the house ready to sell, selling the house, trying to find a place to live, moving into the apartment, finding this house, waiting for this house, moving into this house, unpacking in this house…..it just never ended.

Except now it has. With the exception of the basement that needs organization, the remaining drive-up storage shed of stuff that will mostly go in the basement (but not until it is WAY warmer) and the friend who is bringing over our shed stuff (lawn mower, snow blower etc) this weekend, we’re pretty much good to go. The house is, honestly, unpacked. (We worked very hard in December!)

So here we are. There will always be a “to do” list–that’s just the nature of home ownership. Ours is a bit long right now because of all the things that need to be dealt with fairly quickly, but still, the way I put it to Jim the other day feels right:

It’s figuring out what life looks like and how we live it here.

The crazy journey is done. We finally got off the merry-go-round. Now, it’s just LIFE. Making friends, making memories and hopefully finding happiness here.

So many people are picking a work for the year. It took me a bit, but I came up with one this morning:

ENGAGED

2017 I was utterly focused in our lives. I had no extra energy or desire to be outward focused or bandwidth to be engaged in anything other than us.

2018 is different. Living so much closer allows for involvement. My initial reaction is always to say “NO!” to almost everything. But I’m fighting that and rethinking it. Yes, I actually CAN help with the art show–we live really close now, so it’s not a horrible burden. You want to stay after school? Sure! Go ahead! I’m only 10 minutes away now, so it doesn’t matter. You want to get involved in a school program? Ok! We’re only 7 minutes from there, so sure!

It’s weird. But GOOD weird!

Happy 2018 everyone! Thanks for sticking around for the past year. I can’t wait to see what this one has in store for us!

Posted in Holiday, House

In The Bleak Midwinter

Rain in late December IS rather bleak, although I will take it anyway over the “wintry mix” we were supposed to get on Christmas Day that changed course!

It’s been a weird week. We’re still settling in, still figuring out where stuff goes, still have some boxes upstairs to unpack and a ton of stuff in the basement to deal with. (My prayer this morning was that the HOUSE would become a HOME this year.) On one of my errand days this week I was driving by the cemetery where Connor is buried. I pass by it quite often, but this one day I decided to stop. It took a few minutes to find his grave–it’s been awhile and they’ve added quite a number around him–but I finally did. I’m guessing Nana (Jim’s mom) stopped by with a wreath.

For whatever reason–the general season, the whole year just adding up or who knows, that wreath at my son’s grave just got to me. I cried. I sobbed. So often I’m fine–really–with not having him here and dealing with it, but this month has just left me a mess in general and that in particular.

We’re down to two days before Christmas and the list of “Things to do before family descends” is well under hand. I still have a lot of cooking ahead of me, but I’m ok with that, and I’m looking forward to seeing the family and having them hang out here.

I hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas and a peaceful new year!

 

Posted in House

Snowy December Sunday

It’s been a productive week and weekend. We’re starting to figure things out and things are finding homes. Not to mention this:

Christmas Fireplace

It’s our first fireplace as a married couple/family. This is the living room, where the fireplace currently is only decorative (per the chimney people who are coming out late this month to make it actually useful!). House decorations are on the light side this year. Everything in the lower two feet is toddler friendly for my two-year-old niece (those buckets flanking the fireplace have stuffed snowballs in them!).

We haven’t officially met any more neighbors than our backdoor one, but with the unpacking and now the snow, I’m ok with that. Oh, yeah, it’s southeastern PA and we have SNOW in early December! That hardly EVER happens!

In house stuff, let’s see….the shed site has been prepped and we’re getting it tomorrow. We hired a handyman for a couple of days and all our windows sport curtains and we have a different chandelier in the kitchen (the previous one reminded me of the international space station). We got a new mattress. We bought a BUNCH of hooks and bars for the bathrooms so our towels will actually all fit in them. TONS of empty boxes are in the attic now, and there’a  nice “donate” pile in the living room. Most importantly, we’re completely finished at the apartment–it’s cleared out, cleaned out and we turned in the keys. WHEW! That was a big burden off our shoulders!

Slowly but surely we’re getting organized. I wouldn’t say this house feels like HOME yet. I’m guessing that will take awhile. But it’s a HUGE improvement over the apartment and it’s a lot more liveable than it was a short week ago.

 

Posted in House

Third Day in the House

Well, sort of. If you consider moving boxes and going to and from the storage unit and apartment and house actually “being in the house”.

We’re….doing ok. Some things are easier than I thought. There’s less boxes than I remembered. Unpacking is not as horrible as I dreaded. Ethan is doing WAYYY better at getting around than I expected. Neighbors have been friendly and welcoming when we’ve met.

Some things are harder than I thought: My back hurts constantly. I’m tired. A LOT. The past week I haven’t slept through the night once and I’m back to waking up in the 4am range instead of 5am. Jim and I are sniping at each other from stress and exhaustion and just general getting-on-each-other’s-nerves. We couldn’t get the queen box spring upstairs so my mattress is on the floor. Jim’s didn’t even get delivered–they are waiting for the split box springs to come in and then will deliver on Saturday.

Catie cried–SOBBED–the first evening here. When we moved from the only home she had ever known into the apartment she handled it fine. Which very much surprised me. So when it finally came to a head now I wasn’t shocked. The crying seemed to help her and she SEEMS to be a little better now. It will take time–for ALL of us–to have this house become our home.

One thing that’s funny is how big the house is. If we had moved directly from our old home to here it might not have been so obvious, but this house is about 1400 square feel larger than the apartment. It’s VERY different!

No pictures yet, because everything is just a mad jumble. I’ll post some when things get more organized, unpacked and figured out.

Posted in House

A Packing We Will Go

Earlier this year I was in total packing mode. We packed the whole dang house!

Now, notsomuch. We have boxes in the apartment. I’ve packed 8 boxes so far and cleaned out most of the bathroom that Jim and I use. I’m mentally reviewing the whole apartment, figuring out what can go Thurs and Fri and what needs to stay until the very end.

In 7 hours we have the final walk through. Tomorrow at 10am we sit down to sign the paperwork and then it’s full speed ahead with moving stuff out of this temporary home to our HOME.

What a sweet word it is!

Posted in House

Last Minute Details

Here’s where the septic system is as of yesterday. That’s Angelo of Chester County Septic, standing at the end of the trench from the septic tank and the beginning of the drain field. Angelo is a wonderful guy.

November 17 iPhone 016

This is standing right near the fence line of the property looking down into the drain field. All that dirt still needs to make its way back on top.

November 17 iPhone 017

This is that same field, but looking towards the street. What a view for the neighbors to have!

November 17 iPhone 018

We are in the home stretch now. This weekend we pack anything that isn’t truly NEEDED that last week. Wednesday we get a check from the bank for an astonishingly large amount, do the final walk through in the house and then Thursday November 30th we finally get to own the house.

Then MOVING. In DECEMBER. With CHRISTMAS and the insanity that happens around that time. I’m going on official record as saying I want to be totally unpacked by the end of January. We’ll see how it goes!