Posted in House

A Little Freaked Out

My realtor called this morning. She was just down our street a bit, showing someone a house. She wanted to bring that client through our home as well.

What now?

My house, for all that we’ve done a TON of work–and boy, howdy, did we work this past weekend!–is still a major work in progress. Our living room is painted a lovely neutral color, but has on the floor: Stereo equipment, 9 bags full of Braille books to donate, a LARGE bin full of things for Michigan, 3 science fair boards to keep one of our dogs from putting her nails on the window sills, and wiring all over the place.

I told our realtor all this, and she assured me her client was a former agent and could look past all that. I said give me 10 minutes and Laura, Bennett and I ran around like crazy people straightening. The house was still a mess, but it was a lot better after those 10 minutes. And the kitchen (except for the messy table) looked great!

They came. They walked around. They talked. Our realtor, Barb, was looking hopeful and said “selling might be easier than we hoped”.

As they were getting ready to leave, Barb said they want to come back on Thursday with the client’s husband, but I wasn’t to “do the Snoopy Dance”. Yeah, I got that.

I went into the office and cried instead. I’m too full of emotion and that’s my only outlet at this point. I would obviously love to sell quickly and easily and have it be over before it’s started. Really. That would save a lot of difficulty with having the house picture-perfect all the time with the kids, which I was a little worried about.

But.

BUT

I’ve lived here for 17 years. And I’ve had many, many happy times. I’m ready for the next part of my life’s journey. Really.

But it’s saying good-bye and it’s change and it’s not living here anymore. Saying good-bye to the neighborhood and wonderful neighbors and our local library and even our stupid WalMart that I’m used to.

I HATE CHANGE. Even when I want it and have actively seeked it out, I HATE CHANGE.

Posted in House Hunting

Holding Pattern

You know how sometimes a plane–for whatever reason–can’t land? They end up circling up in the air, just waiting for the right time, right conditions, right whatever so they can finally touch down and finish the journey.

That’s where we are. And surprisingly I’m fine with it.

A few days ago we made an offer on the house we’ve been interested in. The sellers came back with “not yet”. Not yet because our home isn’t even on the market. Our home isn’t under contract. We jumped the gun a bit, because we foresaw the negotiation process being long and drawn out and figured we could manage that while finishing up our house. The sellers weren’t going for it. Once we are under contract they are willing to discuss things. They liked our letter, our detailed work list that needs to be done, our “drive and determination”, but they didn’t like our offer price. They weren’t willing to discuss it right now, but again, I’m ok with that.

Our original plan was to have the house on the market “in the spring”, then it became “May”, then “late May”. Now it’s June 1st, with an open house on June 4th. I look at our “get it done before we list the house for sale” list and do NOT know how it’s all going to get done. Or maybe even half done. Some stuff will just have to be cut and be left undone. Which doesn’t make either of us happy, but reality is reality. And we don’t want to wait too long and have no one buy the house.

So for now we circle in the sky.

Posted in House, House Hunting, Kids

Waving at You from the Chaos

We have reached mid-May, people. Oh people, my people, May rivals December for the crazy-chaos factor. Seriously. I think it’s worse. Today we have Laura’s art show, Catie’s play (that we will miss and see tomorrow) and Ethan’s spring concert. I also managed to fit in a visit to my mother in the hospital (been there since last Friday with REALLLLLLLY bad asthma/possible pneumonia) and getting a new-tire-that-replaced-the-flat-I-got-a-week-ago put on my SUV. And taking out all the cardboard/trash associated with building an Ikea dresser and installing a new toilet and medicine cabinet in our powder room and medicine cabinet in our master bath. We are swimming in cardboard!

I hope they take it even though it’s not broken down. Because no. Just…no.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

We are still deep in the midst of getting the house ready for sale. The main floor powder room is completely finished. As I type, the painter (and his son) are tackling the mess that is the master bedroom and bathroom. We’re camped out in the kids/hall bathroom so the drywall mud can dry and get painted.

I’m starting to hate this house. Which is sad, because it’s a really cute house and we’ve spend many, many years and memories here. But I’m tired of working on it to get it ready to sell. The last BIG thing is this weekend with the two decks. The back one is rotting in places, which makes it somewhat unacceptable with listing. The front one needs some tweaking.

Then there’s just the giant punch list, which I want to punch…..but enough of that.

We have visited the house we are putting an offer on four or five times now, with an electrician and a contractor. We’ve put together an offer, as well an an explanation of what all we are going to have to spend (specifics as well as guesses) (aka $32,000 to bring the electric UP TO CODE) so why we are offering much less than their asking price.

All that to say, life is up in the air right now. I’m so busy I’m not freaking out, or going running to my security blanket (can I get an amen?!), just mostly putting one foot in front of the other and dealing with today. Hmmm, does that sound familiar?

Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I’m not usually very good at that. But life is forcing me to do it now.

Posted in House, House Hunting

Not Falling in Love, But Saying Yes Anyway

To a HOUSE, silly! I love my husband!

We’ve been house hunting for awhile. Not necessarily seriously, because our home isn’t on the market yet, but the area we are looking in is extremely popular and houses (good ones, anyway) sometimes appear on realtor.com with “new” and “pending” in the same listing. And yes, my realtor sends me the newest homes on the MLS, but I like the format of realtor.com more.

So last week Jim went with our agent to look at two houses–one that he liked and one that I liked–at least I liked the pictures! Photographers get very creative with masking problems and stretching rooms.

ANYWAY!

They visited the first house and Jim fell in love. He loved it, wanted it and was ready to say “yes, this is the house for us!”. Me, notsomuch. While it’s in our desired area AND within easy walking distance of public transportation (for two of our kids), it’s above our price range–by a fair amount–and needs a BOATLOAD of work. Kitchen, bathrooms–both need complete updating (the kitchen is a gut job!). Painting the whole interior. Really. The living room and one of the staircases is pinky-red. PINKY-RED people. UGH.

He finally talked me into seeing it. We went on Sunday. I was horrified. I saw some of the potential, but really saw the negatives more clearly. I came home and made a pro/con list and the cons outweighed the pros by 100%.

We talked about it. Even argued about it. Talked some more. I prayed about it. a LOT. And I went to take a 2nd look this afternoon. And felt completely differently. The awful bathrooms….weren’t so awful. The kitchen, well, yes, it’s still awful, but the shock value is gone. I could live with it for a tiny bit before we renovated.

Yeah, did you catch that? Another kitchen reno? …shudder… I think we’d try to hire someone to at least help out if not do all the cabinet install.

Paint. That’s easy. Time consuming, but easy.

We have to work out the financing options (needing a reno loan or going conventional and getting a home equity and then maybe refinancing? Not sure. It’s something we’ve never dealt with, so it’s something we need to research and figure out. We have to figure out exactly how much we are willing to offer (and counter offer) because NO WAY are we using their numbers. It needs too much work for us to agree to it. Either way, there’s a bit of a fire under us to get our house done and on the market.

Which is GOOD.

Posted in Addiction

Thumb Sucking Security Blankety Blank Blank

We’re going to put our house in the market this year. I’ve mentioned it a time or two. ┬áIt’s a LOT of work. And change. And a lot of unknowns.

  1. Will someone actually want our house?
  2. How will we swing school/selling/buying/dogs all at the same time?
  3. Will we be able to find a home that
    1. Works for our needs?
    2. Is where we want it to be?
    3. Is affordable?

I’m nervous. And a little daunted by all that needs to be done in our home, not to mention all the packing and going through of STUFF (because we have a lot of it).

And what do I do when life becomes somewhat difficult for me to cope with because I’m stressed and overwhelmed?

Yes, folks, let’s hear it for my addiction.

Ugh.

I didn’t want to “be good”. I didn’t want to stop. Easter morning, I grabbed my phone and MADE MYSELF text my accountability partner and tell her. Which I hadn’t done for more than two weeks before because if I did, I knew I would have to stop. And it felt too good to wallow in it.

Double ugh.

Easter is about renewal, resurrection, Jesus’ winning over death and sin and CRAP. Our awful, ugly CRAP.

I deleted apps off the phone, deleted books that I had downloaded–that’s the mostly-easy part. (yeah, mostly because it’s just so darn comfy in my addiction and I really DON’T want to delete them). But the brain, well….that crap is now in there. Some of it will be forgotten. Some will, unfortunately, stay there forever.

Sigh. No, really, I just sighed. I texted my AP with “Will I ever stop struggling with this? Will I ever stop running to it when life gets difficult?” With more than 22 years in recovery, one would hope it would be easier. But no, no it’s not.

“How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure.”

 

Posted in Health, Kids

Anxiety

I wrote that title with a certain anxiousness, not to be silly. That word has wormed and weaseled and made its way into our home, our lives, our days and our nights and our schedule.

It’s not something I am well-acquainted with. At all. And yet, I am learning.

Laura has general anxiety, which is currently being treated with both counseling (2x/week) and meds. The meds made an amazing difference. For the most part, she is even-keeled again and even the storm a few weeks back didn’t reduce her to worrying that the house was going to fall down and we were going to die. And I say that without a trace of mockery. That was where her brain went. All. The. Time.

Catie does NOT have general anxiety. She does, however, get panic attacks. Last night was another one, which is what prompted this post. She just started counseling and has her first medication meeting later this month with a psychiatrist. Her medicine journey will be different from Laura’s–she can take pills (something Laura can’t do), she’s younger (so we have to be a little more careful about side effects) and she’s doesn’t have the general anxiety. I’m curious as to what he’s going to try first.

When my kids were tiny and in the NICU and I was utterly powerless to do anything for them other than pray and cry, it was a very helpless feeling. As a parent one wants to HELP and FIX and MAKE IT BETTER! Last night, watching Catie shake and try to use breathing to calm herself down and being utterly unable to do anything for her other than be there with it, again, there is that helpless feeling. We have “rescue meds” in the house for if and when Laura would need them. Catie took one last night. I know, I know, but you know what, you would have done the same thing. She finally slept. I went to bed around midnight with her permission, there to pray and hope for the meds to kick in. When she wakes up this morning I’ll ask about what happened after I left.

I can only hope and pray that Catie’s doctor quickly finds the right meds and dose and that she is able to learn how to cope with the attacks. And maybe even not get them anymore. And that Laura’s meds continue to do their job.

Posted in House, House Hunting

Boxes Galore

My house is currently overrun with boxes. Empty boxes. Half-full boxes. Boxes full, labeled and ready to go to the storage unit. We have two boxes ready to go to the Goodwill as well, with stuff surrounding them that won’t fit. We’ve gotten rid of two smaller “student” desks and replaced them with an Ikea table top that Catie and Ethan will share. Yesterday we cleared and cleaned out the school room (what I frequently call The Pit of Despair) and made a trip to the storage unit. and it’s mostly ready for drywall repair and paint.

This weekend wasn’t a baby step, it was a couple of hops with a few skips in there too. Progress!