Monday, August 22, 2016

Life When House Hunting

So it's been nearly six months in Michigan house.

I thought, in a simplistic way, that it would all be so simple. We'd sell our house (by the way - if you want to buy our house- check it out here) Buy a house here. Boom. It's quite sad how hopeful I really was.

Instead, my days look like this.

Lay in bed until 11 or so, scouring Zillow or the MLS, looking for a magic house I haven't yet found that is 1) within our budget, 2) big enough to suite our needs, 3) cute/close to being finished. Find nothing new or, find something new that is 40 minutes away and save it even though I know Tom will veto, or find something new that isn't big enough or is too expensive or needs a ton of work and try to convince myself we could make it work (save it, even though it'll just cause a terse exchange tomorrow). 

Go to sleep. Dream of unpacking my things in a house - any house. Dream of Zuzu's birthday party being in a house she can get comfortable in since she'll know we're not going anywhere. Wake up a lot and go to the bathroom, banging the bathroom door into the awkward wall that protrudes into the 'master' bath. Curse the designer of our apartment. Chide myself for my ungratefulness. Go back to bed. 

Wake up. Love my children's wake up faces, think how lucky I am to have them and my husband. Go to the bathroom - begin to curse the apartment again. Feel bad again because it's such a #firstworldproblem. Go to the kitchen - miss my things again, try to avoid thinkings about my hatred of formica and beige cabinets. 

Get everyone breakfast. Step on the carpet in bare feet and cringe that it's crunchy feeling - think how dumb it is to put carpet in the dining area. Resolve to vacuum today somehow, even though it makes Davey scream. Go to pray - regain a sense of peace. Afterwards, do some morning chores while kids play; have Fixer Upper playing on my computer in the background. Wonder at the home prices in Waco and Joanna's use of bronzer. Consider, again, begging the Gaines to come help - remember that they don't do work outside Waco - wonder if I could do what they do. Wonder how the money aspect of the show works and how hard it is for the family's to get rid of all the designer stuff after the show is over and move in their old ratty stuff instead. 

Peruse Zillow before/after lunch. Analyze saved houses again - wonder which one would be the best pick. Think if it's worth it to go see the beautiful reasonably priced one that's 30 minutes away, or the shabby-needs-serious work one that's only 15 minutes away and whose price probably indicates it's located next to a drug den. Wonder why there is plethora of Catholic bloggers with chickens and if the homesteading life is inherently more holy, or if their Instagram filters just make it seem that way. Wonder where are the suburban mom blogs that showcase holiness without all the chicken poop and homeschooling. Remember Kathryn Whitaker. Feel better about looking at homes in neighborhoods - spent 30 minutes looking at houses that all look the same and getting irritated about the state of current home building. Change filters and instead look only at houses built before 1949; remember that although they're packed with charm, they're all really small and the laundry rooms are in creepy basements. 

While putting Davey down for a nap, wonder why this area has to be so darn expensive. Look at houses in my hometown and realize I seem to only enjoy really expensive areas of the country. Fantasize about living in the middle of nowhere in a redone Victorian mansion that has land but also good neighbors and is close to a thriving Catholic parish. Remind yourself that holiness consists in living in the present. Sniff Davey's head and think, happily, how good and clean baby sweat smells and how darling his curly hair is. Feel bad that he has so much sun in his eyes, get mad at the apartment again, then reproach myself for not hanging curtains when we moved in 3 months ago. Remember that 3 months ago, I didn't think we'd still be here and thought there was no point. Mourn for all the things I didn't do because I thought there was no way we'd still be here - wonder if there's a point in doing them now. 

Come out and read with Zuzu while Davey naps. Answer her questions about all the things she wants that are still packed "in the big container." Entertain her fantasies about what the "new house" will have: she wants a pegasus farm close to her Grand, GG, and Auntie Jen (who live in Orlando, Indiana, and Washington DC, respectively). Try not to encourage it, but secretly think my own desires are about just as probable. Crabbily respond to my husband's texts because I've gotten into the habit of thinking that this situation is harder on me than him and that he really doesn't care and is being really flippant about the whole thing. Feel bad and remind myself how great a husband I have; repentantly clean our room. 

Davey wakes up, and I start dinner prep. Go to use a kitchen utencil/instrument I don't have and get mega-annoyed; think longingly of my crockpot. Pull up Amazon and swiftly, vengefully! fill my cart with all the things I don't have with me, but would really like. Cackle with the powerful feeling that gives me...but take it all out, because it just feels wasteful to buy things I already have even if I don't have access to them. Stare at water boiling and feel sorry for myself. Children screaming jolts me back to reality, snap at them. Realize they're probably just hungry and get everyone settled at the table with big glasses of milk and before-dinner fruit and biscuits with butter. 

Tom comes home. Try to be cheerful, although I've been stewing over unhelpful things all day. Start the crazy dinner-walk-bath-prayers-bed whirlwind where we are corralling chaos. Finally wrestle crazy kids in bed. Sit on the couch next to each other pouring over spreadsheets and house stats till way too late. Crunch numbers again - and again. Bicker. Feel stressed. Late night text my realtor (thank God she ignores me past 9pm and that we're friends). Apologize to one another (Tom and I, not me and my realtor) for not being our best; resolve to be better, offer each other comforting thoughts about it all being over soon. Crawl into bed saying oh yeah should've gone to bed hours ago but -

Start the cycle again.

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  1. The only way chickens can make anyone holier is if they have them on an urban homestead and have to deal with the smell all day ;) There's a reason my husband is the one who does most of the work with them! In the suburbs we could walk to the playground and to get frozen yogurt, which was AWESOME :) I hope you guys find a place soon! So so frustrating... I'll be praying for you!

    1. It's funny, because I actually really really want chickens! I wanted chickens in Florida too, but we really didn't have the room on our .19 acre lot.
      Really, I think I would anyplace, with or without chickens, if it could just be a place that would work for us and was within our price range!!

  2. Prayers and love for you. And the "heart" emoji. And "kissy face."

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  4. Thank you so very much for sharing your story about what your life has been like since you begin your journey of house hunting. It really does have an impact on your lifestyle and as I have found like you, it can consume a large portion of your thoughts every day and night. You mentioned that you are using Zillow to search, be careful about that because they often have a lot of very inaccurate information. I hope you get everything you want.


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