11-20-17 The Bed

C and Big E have been sharing a bed for the past couple of nights. There was a double sized bed at the house here so we decided to put it in the kids’ corner and let them use it. For the hours that Big E and C bicker with each other, it was heartwarming to see them cuddled up together in their bed. This evening Baby E wanted to join them, so they are all sleeping in the same bed. I am praying this works out well and that no one falls out. This could end up being a long night! My kids only sleep in their underwear, so I won’t be posting a picture here, but they are really adorable right now!

We are sticking around here for Thanksgiving this year and the kids are starting to get very excited about the upcoming holiday. They are looking forward to playing with their cousins and eating more cookies!

11-19-17 The Park and the ‘Zoo’

Now that I have had a couple of days to process, the emotional roller coaster seems to be slowing down. I’m happy this will be a short work week, as we still haven’t caught up on our sleep. After church today we needed to run some errands, so I took the opportunity to get the kids to the park. However, I was not aware that the park closes at four now, so we got kicked out not long after we arrived. The kids were pretty disappointed, so I tried to remedy that with a trip to the local zoo (i.e.- Petsmart) and we wandered around there while Tim got his hair cut. The kids enjoyed looking at all the animals, and naturally I wanted to adopt every single cat I saw!

I’m really grateful that the chaos of the last few weeks is over. The kids are really liking living with their grandparents (mostly because they love them so much, but also because grandma makes really good cookies!)

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I let Big E pick out his church clothes this morning. You can’t tell from this photo but he is wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, two suit vests (different colors) and a suit jacket. Oh, and he informed his class that he was wearing the same color underwear as his dad!! Ha!

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11-18-17 Nothing

Today I did as close to nothing as I could possibly get away with. After the rush of the past few weeks, I longed to sit in one place and just be. I watched Hallmark movies, binged on snacks, and played games on my phone. My mother in law and I spent some time arranging our space and it looks great. The kids took advantage of the nice weather and spent a few hours outside. It was low key and quiet, which is exactly what we all needed!

11-17-17 It’s Done!

My eyes are sore and puffy tonight.

Today was an incredibly emotional day. After dropping the kids off to their various locations this morning, Tim and I headed to the townhouse to clean out the last few remaining items before heading to the title company. As we were finishing up at the house, the buyers came to do their final walk through. We then all met up again at the title company to sign the papers. I held it together during the signing, but the moment we left the building I broke down.

The rest of the day has honestly been a haze. Tim did an amazing job trying to keep my spirits up all day. We ran a few errands, and we had a nice lunch date together. Both of us are exhausted, so we came back to the house for a nap before picking up the kids.

It’s a strange sensation to no longer have our house, but I’m glad the whole process is no longer hanging over us. I cried a lot today, but I know it will get easier. This weekend I am hoping to spend some time arranging our new living space. Hopefully it will start to feel more home-like soon!

I want to apologize to anyone I have run into in the last 48 hours. I’ve been pretty tired and cranky and not seeing things right. ūüė¶

Tonight I go to bed exhausted, but incredibly grateful that God has continued to provide for our little family. And in the moments I feel sad or frustrated I try to remind myself that I can’t see the big picture, and I don’t need to.

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The last picture of Tim and I outside our townhouse. I’m so grateful I get to be on this journey with my best friend!!

11-16-17 Almost There

This evening we finished at the townhouse. There are just a couple of things we have to pick up when we drop by in the morning, but it’s been cleaned and emptied.

Honestly, I thought this move would be easier than the last few because for the first time in forever, I wasn’t moving with an infant. But I’m going to say this was probably the hardest one physically for me to do. Tim was working long hours, so most of the packing, and cleaning fell to me, which was fine, just exhausting. It was a lot of lonely hours packing boxes and scrubbing bathrooms, but it’s finally done!

And while I am in a very melancholy mood this evening, I’m pretty sure it’s just fatigue, so I’m going to sleep now, and hopefully everything will seem brighter in the morning.

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Last picture in the townhouse! These poor kids didn’t get to bed until nearly 11pm. Hopefully tomorrow won’t be too rough for them!

11-15-17 School

When I walked into Big E’s classroom a couple of minutes after 1, I knew I was running just a little late. I had left work at 12, but had to grab lunch on the road, so when I finally pulled into the school parking lot I was happy I was so close to being on time. My first glimpse of Big E was him sitting at a table with a few other kids. His elbows were on the table and his head was resting in his hands. He appeared to be staring down at the tablet in front of him. I put my hand on his head and he looked up. That’s when I noticed that his face was bright red, his eyes were puffy, and there were tears running down his cheeks. He looked devastated. I dropped down next to him, as ¬†nearby parent informed me that Big E became worried that I wasn’t going to make it.¬†My poor, sweet boy! Oh how my heart broke for him. I gave him a hug and he held on as tight as he could. We sat there a moment until he was able to compose himself again. Within a few more minutes he was explaining the games on the tablet and he was back to his old self.

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Both Big E and C’s parent visitation period were scheduled for the same time, so I had to divide my time between them. After 45 minutes with Big E, I told him I had to go see his sister. He was very sad that I was leaving, but he held it together.

I joined C in her classroom for the next 45 minutes. They were talking about the various land formations, and she got to read me a story about them and she worked on a project. It’s moments like that that take my breath away. My child was¬†reading to me about mountain ranges, streams and rivers, canyons, and more. She was such a joy to spend time with.

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This evening we stopped by the townhouse and the children spent a few minutes running around screaming at the top of their lungs. They hadn’t seen the house empty so it was a surprise for them. They seemed to have fun and I enjoyed watching them there.

Friends, my heart is very sad tonight, and I feel the dormant anxiety stirring beneath the surface. I know everything is going to work out, I know this is right, it’s just hard.

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11-14-17 My Sleeping Sweet Ones

I just got back from an evening at the townhouse. I met with the person I found to repair the oven and that has been taken care of. The HVAC system has been serviced. The plumber came today about the fireplace and will be following up in the morning. I scrubbed bathrooms and the refrigerator while Tim and his dad worked on the insulation under the crawl space. So much work, but we are so close to being done. Three more sleeps, right?!?

When I got back to the house, I found the kids freshly bathed and fast asleep in their beds. I crawled into bed with C and promptly laid my face in a pile of drool (ugh), and after drying my face I just laid there and stared at her.

As parents we always question the choices we make in regards to our children. Are we doing the right thing? What if I mess them up? Will they know we have tried our hardest?

As I laid there staring at my sweet, snoring little girl I was reminded how much I truly love my children. And while I love them with every fiber of my being, their Father in heaven loves them even more. And that knowledge gives me comfort that my dear children will weather these changes just fine.

 

11-13-17 The Tale of the Oven Repair

Tonight my husband accomplished in twenty minutes what it took me two and a half hours to fail at.

Here’s the story- the abbreviated version because honestly, no body’s got time for that.

About six weeks ago I noticed that our oven was making a strange smell when I tried to use it. The stovetop seemed fine, but the oven was definitely wonky. ¬†I decided to wait and see what the home inspection turned up, but unfortunately the oven wasn’t even mentioned in the inspection. But since I didn’t want to pass on a faulty oven to the new owners, I called Sears to come out and have a look at it, which they did about two weeks ago. I stayed home from work that day to meet the technician. He was a nice man who spent about an hour at the house and finally concluded that there were several things wrong with the oven, the main thing being that the power cord was being melted by the electricity and it was posing a MAJOR fire hazard. He said he needed to order a few parts that would be shipped to my house and we scheduled for a follow up visit to happen November 14th (that’s right, tomorrow.) I paid for the visit, parts, and partial future repair and he left. In the meantime the stove and the oven couldn’t be used at all.

Last week I received a small box and then today I got a call that one of the parts hadn’t shipped yet, so they would need to reschedule my service… to November 21st- next week.

Well, see, that’s a problem. I’m selling the house on Friday, so I¬†need¬†the oven fixed by then. I asked what part was still missing and they said the plug going from the oven to the wall.

And thus began my 2.5 hour toe to toe battle with Sears.

I spoke with six different people during that time. We had various conversations like-

 

Representative- We have you rescheduled for the 21st. 

Me- I’m selling the house on Friday, so I won’t actually own the house on the 21st.¬†

Representative- Well, we could come out on the 27th. 

 

Then there was this one-

Me- Could I get the part myself and keep my appointment for tomorrow and you guys can still do the repair?

Representative- We can’t actually schedule you until we have all the parts.¬†

Me- But I’m going to pick it up on my way home. I’m going to have it. Can you please come out tomorrow.¬†

Representative- I’m sorry, we gave your appointment to someone who¬†ACTUALLY¬†has all their parts. We could come out on the 21st.¬†

Or this one.

Me- If I buy the part from Lowes on my way home, can we use that part?

Representative- Since it isn’t one of our parts, we can’t guarantee that our technicians will work with it.¬†

Me- Um, there’s nothing fancy about this part. It’s a typical part you can buy at the hardware store. Lowe’s currently has 33 of them in stock down the street.¬†

Representative- I can’t guarantee they can use it. The part has been ordered and we can schedule as soon as we know when it will arrive.¬†

Or how about-

Me- So, can I get my money back, because I need to get someone in here that can actually fix my oven by Friday. 

Representative- We can’t actually refund your money until you return the two parts that were already shipped to you.¬†

Me- You mean the two parts that a new oven repairman will need, but won’t have time to order because you guys messed up.¬†

Representative- …

One of my favorites was-

Representative- Ma’am, we can’t refund your money because you already paid for the service.¬†

Me- Yes, but it’s a service that you have yet to provide and won’t be able to provide before I sell my house.¬†

Representative- Yes, but since we started the project we need to be the ones that finish it. We can come on the 21st. 

ME- I WON’T OWN THE HOUSE ON THE 21ST!!!!!

Then there was-

Me- So, there isn’t really an option here. I have paid for a service that I was assured would be done on the 14th. I will not be in possession of the house after Friday morning, so it NEEDS to be done. I wasn’t the one that dropped the ball here, it was you guys. So, you need to figure this out. I am willing to pay for the part that were already shipped and arrived at my house because obviously the new repairman will need them and there won’t be time to order them, however I expect to be refunded the rest of the money that I paid you for a service you did not complete.

If you aren’t going to give me back my money maybe you need to hire a third party contractor¬†that can make it here by Friday. I don’t even care if I have to pick the part up on my way home. Maybe a technician has to work overtime. I don’t care, you need to fix this.¬†

Representative- Ma’am, I understand you are frustrated, but there really isn’t anything I can do. We have you scheduled for the 21st for the repairs to be done.¬†

After 2.5 hours of literally these same conversations over and over again I was so frustrated. I had gotten them to give me the product number, I had tracked it down at Lowe’s. I left work early and stopped and picked it up. I called them again to confirm I had the part, only to be told once again that there was no one to install it.

So out of sheer frustration and desperation I called my husband and explained everything- how I had the part, how they weren’t going to come, how they wouldn’t give us back our money, etc. I give him their phone number and twenty minutes later he calls and says they are refunding our money.

How did he do it?!?! I mean, yay!, but what the heck?!?

Here’s the deal-

1- He’s a man. Naturally he gets taken more seriously than me. I’ve already had multiple plumbers laugh at me over the phone when I am asking the same question my husband would have asked.

2- He didn’t give them options. He told them he had hired them for a project, they didn’t deliver and he was firing them. They needed to return his money for not meeting the deadline they promised.

3- He spoke to only one man- an english speaking man. Of the six people I talked to, I had to decipher a lot of what they said to me, so I’m assuming that went both ways.

 

So, we have been promised a refund on our money and in the meantime I found someone that can come tomorrow and fix it with the parts Sears already sent and the new part I picked up. Just to make sure, though, I dropped by the townhouse to make sure that the power cable I bought had the right amount of prongs. The one they ordered was a four prong cable- I used the product number to track it down online and then at Lowes. When I pulled the stove back from the wall however I discovered that the cable is an industrial sized THREE prong cable- so the part they never got to me, the one they ordered and is sitting in limbo somewhere on the back of a pack mule, IS THE WRONG PART.

And that, my friends, is the end. I’m done.

 

 

11-12-17 Hazel’s Gift

It has come to my attention that there has been worry over us leaving our home, so I wanted to take the opportunity to allay any concerns. We are not going bankrupt and we are not foreclosing on our house.

As you know, just over a year ago we had our miscarriage. In the months that followed, as we were piecing our world back together again, both Tim and I felt a tug and a heaviness that something in our lives had to change… and it had to be big. It was during this time that we stepped out in faith, and a plan was set in motion that has carried us to this day. And while our future story is coming into focus for us, I am not quite ready to share it here. It’s been a bumpy and emotional last few months, and watching my much loved home be emptied of our earthly possessions was difficult to see, but I don’t doubt it is for the best.

This is our gift from Hazel. Without her, we would have carried on… day in, day out- a monotony of time ebbing and flowing in a painstakingly familiar pattern. But Hazel was the catalyst, the reason we needed to examine our lives, and force us to step out in faith when our instinct is to stagnate in comfort. And so, we move forward- trusting a God who has gone ahead of us, knowing our new story is just beginning, and learning to embrace the unknown as it unfolds before us.

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11-11-17 The Last Sleep

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I have blogged every single day we have lived in this house, and tonight will be the last from within these walls.

Nearly three years ago, we bought our townhouse. In terms of home buying, it was a pretty impulsive decision considering we weren’t even looking to buy, but looking back it was one of the best decisions we have made. After the challenging time in the farm house, it was wonderful to be in a house that was our own, that was comfortable, and that we felt at ease raising our children in. Now it is time to move on. With one more sleep before us, by this time tomorrow the house should be empty.

Friends, I am going to miss it. Deep in my bones, I will miss it. Baby E took his first steps here. Both C and Big E started kindergarten from this home. This house was a happy place for our family and it was a place of retreat when we needed to heal. It was a blessing and an answer to prayer. It is my hope the new owners will love it as much as we have, as it soon begins its new chapter as we begin our own.