We’re here!!! We’re in the new house!!
Internet is hooked up. New carpet is in. Boxes everywhere. Trying to get to some semblance of normal. Also trying to accept the fact that it probably won’t happen for a few years.
Back in April when my mom was out here, we were poking around Zillow and came across a crazy posting for a home up on the east bench (foothills of the mountains). We laughed as we clicked our way through the pictures of that posting. (Do you remember that Mom?) Crazy wall-to-wall red velvet carpet. A fireman’s pole – in a house? An overgrown jungle for a backyard? an old telephone booth? A dumb waiter? A lot of the rooms were messy and the whole thing just looked like a ton of work. Fast forward a month. Aaron came home from work one day and I was in tears. It had been a really really bad day. As we were sitting on the couch talking and I was venting my frustrations I threw up my hands and said, “What if this just isn’t where we’re supposed to be? What if the answer to the challenges we face in this home don’t lie in digging deeper and trying harder? What if it’s really just MOVE TO A DIFFERENT HOME?” Aaron looked at me and just said, “Well then. Let’s see what’s out there.” We sat down at my computer right then and started looking at listings. We came across the big old crazy house that my mom and I had chuckled at a month before. I showed Aaron. He laughed and said, “I’m sorry but I am just too curious.” He called our agent and we set up an appointment.
The first time we walked through the house, all I could see was the work that would be required of us for the next several years. Keep in mind, we had just FINISHED a major renovation at our current home; I really wasn’t in the mood to start over. Our agent walked us through and I got the feeling he felt similarly to me: not worth it. We’d be crazy to pick up from our current home to move to this one. Aaron, on the other hand, ALL he could see was potential. He saw the views, the size, the neighborhood, the yard – finished. He was sold.
Needless to say, we had lots and lots of discussions and disagreements over the next few days. He convinced me to do one more walkthrough – with the promise we’d pray and go into the house that afternoon and be able to see it for what it really was. Aaron needed to pull his head out of the clouds. I mean, just replacing the carpet in that house would be insanely expensive. There were major cracks on the back patio, which, with a home nestled in the foothills, could mean major structural damage. We met our agent outside the home and learned that the current renter was home. We walked through the home with him this time. He showed us ever little nook and cranny. He told us stories about the man who built the home. He told us about the ward and neighborhood. He told us about the property and the potential to split it into two lots. So this is what happened: We prayed and prayed to see the home for what it was, expecting to come away with a realistic view of the time and money it would take to the the home the way we wanted it to be. And that’s exactly what happened, except instead of coming out of the house ready to sever ties and move on – we saw the home truly for what it was: totally awesome. Our agent and I were now on the same page as Aaron – whaaat? wait. how did that happen?
Over the next few weeks we frantically got our house ready to sell and put it up on the market. I won’t go into every little detail about the rest of the purchase, but there are a few things worth mentioning:
-We came up against hurdle after hurdle. And I don’t mean “oh it’s going to be hard to get that paperwork” kind of hurdle. I mean,
-more than one bank telling us that getting a mortgage will be impossible the way the land is divided on the property. (Did I mention the mortgage broker we used was our THIRD one?)
-finding out that someone we told about the house put a bid on the property right before we did.
-Or dealing with an agent who was completely inflexible on extensions or closing dates…(totally stressful when we were in the dark about even being able to secure a loan for the new property with the crazy lot situation.)
-Or having our house sell and calling the agent of the new house and finding out that someone ELSE, after the house being on the market for the entire summer, put an offer in on the house just a week previous. (WHAT?)
I don’t know how many times Aaron I just threw up our hands and said, “Well, we got past the last impossibility, if we’re really supposed to be in this house? It’ll work out.” Seriously. no exaggeration. Right up until the last hour of THE LAST DAY.
This is what got us through: Faith. Lots of prayer, fasting, and reading scriptures every day. (as well as phone calls, emails, texts, and super wonderful blog comments from you guys)
We had Faith in Heavenly Father who knows and loves us. Faith to accept that whatever the outcome – as long as we were trying our best and turning to him for direction? We’d end up where we needed to be. I reached a point where I was totally okay with staying in the other house. Because I felt so many little miracles along the way – I knew like I know anything – that He’s God. Nothing is impossible. He could fix anything. Truly, we could grow to cherish our home and neighborhood. To know that someday we would prize the challenges that we were facing. I got to the point that i just wanted it over because I wanted to move on – of course we wanted to try for this house, but once I really felt like I could stay? I just wanted to know and have it be over.
But it wasn’t over. This process was a grueling one. It pushed me – my patience, my faith, my understanding. It pushed our relationship. It was a *really* stressful 6 months. Niether of us was 100% house-faithful all the time. Sometimes we needed encouragement and reminders, sometimes we needed a pep talk, sometimes we needed to be listened to, sometimes we needed to be left alone. It was an interesting dance of buoyancy. To know what to do at the right time was impossible. So we prayed and worked at it and somehow we managed to not sink at the same time.
Although I prize spirituality, I don’t usually talk about it much on this blog. I’m typically super private with things like this – I have a handwritten journal that I write in occasionally – to record the things most near and dear to my heart. But this bears recording: the acquiring of this house has been a miracle for our family. Because when you know it – you know it. The boys have been a part of the process, they’ve prayed right along with us. We’ve all felt it – THIS is where we need to be. And I guess the reason I am still in shock about all of this is because it’s easy to me to imagine a God who gives us challenges, who wants us to grow. To experience trial and come out a better person because of it. That is familiar to me. And of course, all of the most important blessings in my life are my relationships with my boys and Aaron, with my friends and family. It’s easy to see that coming from God. And those are HUGE!! But sometimes I have a hard time acknowledging that sometimes the big dreams -the ones that fall more under the ‘want’ category than the ‘need’ category really do happen. The stuff that you hold in your heart and don’t really dare ask for because ohmygosh you have a roof over your head and food to eat and love in your home. DON’T WANNA MESS THAT UP. But here I am, typing on my computer in the home that I would’ve never imagined could be ours. At least once every day I am thoroughly shocked and utterly grateful.
Pictures: totally random parts of the house at different times. sorry to not give you a clearer picture of the layout or whatever. Here are the boys playing football in the family room. Post-new-carpet, pre-furtniture. Yeah, it’s about the size of a football field.
This is the other living area – right off the entryway. Post red-velvet carpet, just sub-floor.
Aaaaand, here’s what it looked like a few days later:
Here is Luke, enjoying on of his favorite parts of the hew house: a wall-mounted record player.
This is how Luke, Sam, and Thomas get to the car in the morning heading to school.
There is a huge gully behind our property. It’s both private and public land and won’t ever be developed.
I’m sorry I don’t have more interior pictures. As rooms get transformed I’ll share more pictures. (and as we get photos uploaded from our actual camera.)
Right now, everywhere I turn there are boxes and messes.
But we’re good!
Have a great week.