Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Outgrowing our house....also, Christmas is cancelled.

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I made myself an iced coffee and now have some things to write down.
Lately I feel like all I do is tread water, not moving forward or backward or anywhere. I'm trying to stay afloat and not succumb to the madness that is every day life.

Okay, hold on, I'm okay. I'm not depressed or anything. Nothing is wrong, and I'm not trying to be dramatic. I guess you could say I'm just...whelmed? In need of change? Eagerly awaiting the future even though right now it feels like the train isn't leaving the station.

{I've always been okay with changes. I'm the type of person who likes to find a new way to drive home every day. Perhaps this is just because I'm really bored?}

Part of it is this house. I've always felt behind on the housework, but lately it's just been getting to me. I think this is exacerbated by the fact that we are just starting to look for our first home and growing tired of our current residence. Justin has said for months now that we've outgrown our current home, and I used to scoff at him and remind him that up until high school, my family lived in a smaller home with ONE bathroom.

We have two bathrooms.

Since Paxton has been born, I've started to notice the tightness of it all too. We're packed in here, at least it feels that way. I get that people make do with much less than what we have, and we've really loved this little house for a while now, it's been good to us. But we're also growing anxious and eager as realizing our dream of owning our own home is appearing--and not too far off--in the horizon.

We're browsing homes that are twice this size, only because they have finished basements. {A finished basement is on our "must-have" list because we're looking for at '50s or '60s style ranches.} What I wouldn't give to have a finished basement right now.

We have a basement, but it's a sort of creepy-finished with cabinets that have locks and small windows cut in them, so I'm pretty sure children were once held captive in them. Also, Aragog lives down there, along with his 1 million minions. I'm just glad we rarely see spiders on the main level of our house, they must be happy down there.
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The homeschool/breakfast/crafting/lunch/dinner/blog post writing table.
So we do homeschool at the dining room table, the same table that is also set and cleaned for three meals each day. I also have to craft there, tag my vintage merch there, and am currently writing this blog post there. {I have a desk, but it's currently covered in...vintage merch and crafts.}

The arrival of our third child made things a bit complicated...
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Paxton's "room"
Paxton has no dresser. His clothes are haphazardly organized on the bottom part of his folding changing table from IKEA. He has no room of his own. We could move the girls together but Violet now naps and Eisley has quiet time and I'm not willing to sacrifice either of those, not yet. Home shopping just makes you not want to mess with the current situation that our home is in now. When we buy a house, the girls will share a bedroom and Paxton will have his own. For now, he sleeps in his bassinet next to us.
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Meanwhile, there is baby gear all over the home and we have stubbed our toes constantly for the last couple months. A swing and Exersaucer in the living room, a bouncer in the kitchen, a Bumbo chair on the kitchen table, my breast pump in the bathroom.
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The alley kitchen has really grown old. I spend so much time in the kitchen, yet it's isolated from the rest of the house, that's hard when you're raising three kids. An open kitchen is on our "must-have" list. Also, baking three-tiered cakes in a room that size is just, well, I deserve an award I would like to have more counter space someday.

So it seems I've joined Justin's thinking that we've outgrown this home and we need would like more space. I feel like this house is bursting at the seams. 

***

I think that is part of what is causing this funk I've been in lately. To top it all off I'm supposed to drag out the Christmas decorations soon? Yeah, about that...

I just don't feel like it this year. 

In fact, we've cancelled Christmas this year. Okay, not completely cancelled, but we've been in talks with my parents, sister, and in-laws because this year we really just want to take it easy. I mean REALLY easy. No Christmas cards, no parties, no baking 150 kinds of cookies {because it wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't make ____, right?!} We want to get ready to home shop, we want to save money, we want to focus on the real meaning of Christmas {sounds cliché  I know, but it's true} and not feed more money into the pigs {Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.}

So this year we've decided to buy our kids a few gifts, maybe something for each other--Justin & I--and grab some hot chocolates to drive around looking at Christmas lights. And that's IT! Other than Advent services & church things, that's IT. My family has eagerly agreed to this "Christmas Break 2013", as I'm calling it. We're really not buying gifts for everyone this year, and we've told them not to buy us anything either {we have enough things anyway, remember?} I also have to say, I'm looking forward to Christmas more than I have in years now that all that has been lifted off our plates.

I like all those things--the baking, the cards, the gift-giving--but this year we just want a break from it. There is always next year to go overboard again.

***

Home shopping has put my mind elsewhere, I don't care about decorating this home any more. I keep telling Justin, when we buy our first home, we're going to move in and unpack super slowly. I want to be very thoughtful about where we unpack things to. After four years of living in this house, I feel it's absolute chaos--the closets, the cabinets, the laundry room. I'd do it all over if I could but at this point, there is no point.
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This is what has kept me sane lately: enforcing a daily reading/quiet time.
To put it simply, I think we're ready for our "forever home". We want to buy a home to retire in. Also, I want wallpaper--the fun kind, not the 1980s kind. Oh, the things I could DO with my own home. I have big plans.

"I'm starting to feel like we'll never find the perfect home for us," I said to our Realtor recently when he showed us a home in a neighborhood we wanted to get a feel for.

"You won't," he replied. "But you'll find the one that you will make perfect for yourselves, over the years."

That was something I needed to hear. Because we've passed the starter home stage.

Regarding buying our first home: We're pre-approved {hooray!} and have been working with a Realtor {whom we absolutely love}, but we will start the official home search in January {we hope, if all goes according to plan}.

Why January? For one, our lease isn't up until February--though we're sure our landlords wouldn't mind going month to month with us, as they offered that last year when we signed for another year. Instead, we asked if we could consider that come 2014, and they said absolutely.

Also, Justin's income is 100% commission--waiting for his income to stabilize over the years is part of what has taken us so long to get to this home-buying stage--and the holiday months are his best selling months. Then there is the tax refund we usually get come February. Basically, we'll be in a better place, more comfortable, come January to start looking. It's clearly the best time of year for us to handle moving and everything. Home buying, we've learned, includes tons of fees and bills. Home inspections, radon tests, earnest money, etc.

We're very grateful for this little home we've been living in for four years, don't get me wrong. But it is not our home. We are excited for a simple Christmas and enjoying the little things and celebrating Christ. It's just, we'd like to re-boot in a lot of ways. Do you ever feel that way?

We're restless. I'm restless. Ready for change.

Here is to doing things differently. Not just in 2014, starting now. If you like, leave a comment and tell me what you're going to do different this year.

Cheers,
Heather

P.S. I wrote this post while listening to this song on repeat. Now that I wrap up this post I'm just now realizing how fitting it is.

9 comments:

  1. Heather, I feel like I went through a major adjustment when my third child arrived. He was an angel, too, and much anticipated and loved, but three was just a huge hurdle and it took awhile before life normalized again. Hang in there!

    As to your Christmas decision, I LOVE IT. We've been able to trim things down majorly since coming to the new church, but at the old church between school, Sunday school, bells, choir, and church, it was a 24/7 Christmasfest all during Advent. I love being able to quietly observe Advent and not deal with all that so early.

    My family (sisters/parents) and I decided this year to go through our houses, find stuff we've bought but for whatever reason never really used, and box it up for each other. One man's trash and all that.... It started with my sister offering to send me a Thighmaster and went from there. I'm quite happy with this decision as we, too, have enough stuff. Stuff can enslave you but shouldn't define you. The kids and I talked about Christmas at length and why we do gifts, and they seem to really get it: Jesus is the greatest gift we could have, and nothing compares to that! But we give each other gifts to remember our Ultimate Gift.

    Also, I'm excited for your home-buying venture. It's fun,exciting, and the biggest purchase you will probably ever make! No pressure! :) Knowing you, whatever you end up in will be gorgeous within months, because you're just the kind of person who can make any house into a forever home.

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    1. Thanks Gretchen! For the encouragement especially :)
      I'm not surprised you're keen on the scaled back Christmas idea. I agree, there is something to be said for "quiet observing Advent"--I love how you put that. I'm really looking forward to it this year!

      That also sounds like a really good idea, what your family did regarding re-purposing gifts to each other. What a good idea!

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  2. I'm super excited to kill Christmas. I like what your Realtor said. Mwah.

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  3. I really loved this blog, and I can totally relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed by stuff. Home buying can be so stressful, but that moment where you step into your new place and go "well, okay!" is so wonderful. Also, I laughed outloud "Aragog and his minions"...we are having a Harry Potter marathon right now - that's a Christian tradition, right? - so that was just perfect.

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    1. Thanks Colleen! I'm SO looking forward to that moment--the one where we step into our first house. I'm going to have champagne at the ready.

      Have fun with Harry Potter! Justin and I have been wanting to have a LOTR marathon sometime soon...

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  4. We have communicated the "no gifts please" to our extended family as well. For the same reasons! We're buckling down and getting serious about home buying/building coming up too. A Christmas break sounds good to me. I wish I could do the same:-)

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    1. Are you building a home? That's so exciting! I remember you telling me you were going to start seriously home shopping come 2014.

      We'll have to touch base with each other, sounds like we're on the same schedule. Best wishes!

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