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With a capital S!

February 6, 2013

I’ve had it up to here living with four boys in a two-bedroom house and a yard* the size of a postage stamp.  There, I finally said it.  I’m stressed out!!!  Stressed with a capital S!

So it’s no surprise we’re house hunting at the moment . . . or maybe it is since we’ve been talking about moving for almost four years now and yet we’re still here.  No one believes that we’re serious about moving.  But our goal for the year was to find a new house and move. Of course it was the goal for the year 2012 and here it is February 2013 which explains some of my stress.  Why does moving have to be so hard???  (And how did it get to be February already?) (I’m happy to say I finally got all the Christmas decorations down to the basement.  Yesterday.)

I’ve been waiting and waiting to write a post that says, “Guess what?  We found the perfect house and will be moving next week!”  But alas, I’m writing this instead.  I almost thought I would be writing that post last week because we did find the perfect house for us last Monday.  It met all of our needs and had most of our wants besides, including a couple I hadn’t even voiced yet.  We made an offer on Tuesday, made another offer on Wednesday after they received 3 other offers that same day and gave us all a chance to make another bid.  We offered their full asking price which was a steal for where the house was, but our offer was not chosen.  And I’m still a little bit heartbroken about it.  OK, a lot heartbroken about it.

And annoyed because I don’t even know if our second offer was even looked at.  It was supposed to be in to their agent by 10 a.m., but we didn’t even get the second contract to ok and sign on time because DH’s email just didn’t want to work Wednesday morning and by the time it finally came through, he came home from work and signed it, I scanned it back in, and tried to email it back, it was closer to 11:00 than 10.

As I sat through cub scout pack meeting that night, I realized that I am so ready to move on and leave our house, and our ward, and make a new start somewhere, which was actually quite a good realization for me.  I really hate moving–not just the physical moving of all my junk, but the uprooting and having to make new friends.  I don’t make new friends easily.  Up until now, there has always been a part of me that wasn’t ready to move on and face that just yet, and perhaps that’s why we are still here.  And things have happened where I’ve been able to say we still needed to be in this house or this ward at that particular time.  But it is time to go.  And I am so ready.

Except now I’m frustrated.  I really hate the entire process of house hunting. And we’re back to square one. I’m so tired of looking at properties online every day and comparing bedrooms and bathrooms and square footage and acreage and looking up addresses on Google maps to see if the acreage really translates to a big yard or not.  And wondering where to trade off getting a bigger yard with a longer commute.  Because wherever we go, it’s out of the city, and I have a slight horror of suburbia with row upon row of houses that all look essentially the same and all tend to be beige.  I hate beige.  But there is absolutely nothing we can afford inside Salt Lake City that will fit our family.  This is an expensive urban area, especially when trying to live on one income.  There is land available but it’s way out there in many cases.  DH already works so much without a long commute back downtown added on to his day.

We moved downtown almost 11 years ago to a cute little 2-bedroom bungalow five blocks from DH’s work.  A was 20 months old and we thought it would be a nice little house to live in for a couple years.  We moved in and I got pregnant and had a baby.  A year after that DH was called to be the bishop of our ward.  Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant again.  We started to feel a little smushed and vowed we would move when DH was released.  That was four years ago.  Child #4 has since joined our little family and yet here we still are.  And we’re trying to homeschool on top of everything else.

Our realtor really has no idea what that looks like and what kind of space we need since we’re at home together.  A lot.  And really, our living space in this house is the only reason I’m still (mostly) sane.  We have a lot of living space, despite having only two bedrooms, and luckily the big bedroom has room for a bunk bed, trundle, and a crib.  Since they’re all boys, it has worked out.  But my word, it seems like in the last month especially, our house has gotten incredibly smaller.  We’re tripping over each other and getting in each other’s space and on each other’s nerves.  I’m sure being sick and having incredibly cold temperatures and the inversion layer that have discouraged outdoor play have not helped.

We also had the opportunity to get 180 moving boxes right before Thanksgiving (folded up, but still) and I am so sick of looking at them stashed behind our couch and living room chairs, not to mention the ones we filled when we half-heartedly began packing before Christmas which are stacked here and there.  That’s the problem with a small house–even when you pack stuff up, there is just nowhere to put it.  We have simply run out of room and claustrophobia is starting to set in.  We do have a little bit of room in the basement but I’m reluctant to haul boxes of books downstairs knowing they’ll just have to come back up soon.  Hopefully.  (I certainly don’t envy whoever gets to help move food storage along with all our books!)

Speaking of homeschooling, I realize I have not written a weekly report post about school since November.  We are doing school, but only barely.  And the boys have been on their own quite a few Fridays while we’ve been out walking through houses with our realtor.  Even when I’m here, I feel like so much of my brain power is consumed with thoughts of packing and cleaning and moving (and has been since last summer) that I have very little left over to concentrate on anything else.  I haven’t read an entire book in several months.  I’d like to, I just can’t seem to relax and well, read (much as I probably need to.)  I’m stressed!  I have a lot of other projects I’d like to start or at least continue–photo projects, sewing projects, genealogy, learning enough Latin so I can actually help A when he gets stuck, and a number of other self-education goals.  But when I’m not working on the packing, or the cleaning, or the house cleaning, I’m feeling guilty about it and can’t seem to relax enough to enjoy anything else.  I feel like I’m wound up tight ready to snap.  And I have snapped a few times.  And I’m tired of the whole situation!

And I’m tired of this couch I’m sitting on!  It’s 15 years old.  The cushions are sagging and the upholstery is ripping, but we can’t get a new one until we move.  There’s just no room for a bigger couch here.

By the way, we haven’t sold our house yet, which is probably backwards.  Usually you wait to sell and then buy a new home, but fixing some issues with this house and getting it ready to show while we’re all still living here is beyond my capacities.  There are certain things we need to take care of that honestly will go so much smoother once we’re completely out.  And we might keep this house for a rental anyway.  We haven’t decided yet.  So much uncertainty and I’m having a hard time with it all.

And I’m tired of walking through house after house and just not having it feel like the right place for us.  I’ve had several people tell me that they knew the minute they walked through the front door of a house that they were supposed to live there.  When will that happen for us?  Will it happen?  I almost thought it did last week; we both felt so strongly about making an offer on that house, which is probably why I was so devastated we didn’t get it.  It would have given us the room we need to grow, and that really is why we need to move.  I know I’m supposed to have more children and I know they will not come to this house.  I know it, and that’s a whole ‘nother topic that is really too late to go into now, so I will stop here.

I’m having a rough week (month?) but I promise to only post happy things for a while.

********************************************************

*The boys are loving the yard at the moment with all the snow we’ve had–Using A’s Maps of Middle Earth (a Christmas gift) as a reference, they’ve been trying to recreate Mordor in the front yard complete with mountain ranges on three sides and Mount Doom in the middle.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2013 9:21 am

    I totally know what you are feeling. Well… at least some of it. We don’t own our house we rent but if we wanted to buy we would have to move way out of the area and my husband would have to communte for over an hour or more. His commute is only 30 min or so now. So instead we live in a tiny house in the city. We do have three bedrooms but not a lot of living space. And not much of a yard, more like a big slab on concrete driveway. It is hard being this cramped together all the time. The kids have a really hard time doing school because there is always so much going on around them. Molly is a whirlwind of energy and constantly is begging for me to play with her. The moment my attention is elsewhere the others get into arguments and the fighting gets started. The piano is in the front room. (The only room we have other than bedrooms). To get three kids through daily piano practice means they do it while other are trying to do math or something which of course makes a huge distraction. So, school is always rather difficult to get through each day. I still don’t know how to fit it all in and not end up sending each kid to their room for bit each day just so I can calm down. So I understand your stress. All except the boxes behind the couch and such. We don’t have any looming move we hope for. We actually just keep hoping we can stay where we are because as rents continue to go up in our area our choices get even less and less desirable. I guess that is what I get for having 4 kids, one income, and live in an expensive place.

  2. February 6, 2013 2:25 pm

    Breathe! This to will pass. As someone who has moved 11 times in the last 20 years and currently lives in 1100 square feet with 5 adult size kids, I feel your pain! In our last three tithing settlements, I’ve told our bishop we are moving in the next few months. I’m sure at this point he’s just inwardly rolling his eyes! We need to get things fixed up to make where we live rentable before we can move. So hard! I have rubbermaid boxes of stuff stacked everywhere! I just want to live somewhere I can get away from people for 30 minutes a day! Having said that—I have to tell you I’ve really learned to trust Heavenly Father and his plan for me through all the uncertainity that comes with moving. I know my grand schemes do not always fit into His plan for me. Praying that you will find your dream home when the time is right!

  3. Francesca permalink
    February 6, 2013 9:09 pm

    AMEN. Many hearts! (Francesca)

  4. Michelle permalink
    February 7, 2013 12:46 am

    I can understand the stress–prayers and best wishes to you that everything will work out soon!

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