Who here watches Modern Family? Did every single one of you raise your hand? Well, maybe raising your hand while reading a blog post is weird... but anyway. I KNOW you watch Modern Family. In the episode where Luke graduates high school, Claire tells her husband Phil that it's okay to cry.
"It's okay, I'm all cried out," he said. "It's like there's no moisture left in my body. I'm worried if I blink, that my eyes will get stuck...I am dead inside." Everyone around him sobs as Luke's name is called and they reminisce his childhood. Phil is blank faced, no emotion left, and really, all cried out.
That's me, guys. I am literally ALL cried out.
Our house sold (as most of you know) within three hours tops the day we listed it, June 7. It was an over asking price offer and the first showing of the day. After talking with several people we highly respect and a few realtor friends, we knew we'd be crazy if we didn't accept it. Here we are, two weeks later, and I can't even tell you how many times we have said aloud, "We never should have sold our house." We knew it would be a leap of faith to list it, and we knew it would sell. Originally we thought we would be moving to some land and a place I could have a horse, or at least if nothing else, to a more spaced out neighborhood where the kids could make some nice friends. "A bigger house and more space inside and out," THAT was my goal in listing our home.
We pretty quickly discovered that we couldn't move outside of Jefferson County unless we could pay tuition for Pierson's kindergarten. He's going to school with my husband, and we feel pretty passionate about that, at least for this year. Not moving out of district means there's really no way we can get 5-6 acres worth of land affordability. It's a good thing I guess that our offer fell through on the 5 acre horse farm in Shelbyville we wanted... but at the same time, I have been completely mourning.
"WHY did we sell our house??" I've cried. I can go through the positive reminders, but sometimes that's just too hard and not even good enough. It's like as soon as we signed the paperwork and went under contract with the buyers, I fell in love with our home all over again. I started to love the backyard more than I ever have, the charm of the home felt even more magical, and as I have layed in bed each night, I've thought, "No bedroom will ever be as wonderful as this one." The difficulty for me has been though, we have no place to go (yet.) I can't imagine the goodness of new chapters of our life because there hasn't been a home that has accepted our offer (yet.) With only a week left of June, we have been on SUCH a time crunch. We wanted to have a contract on our future home by July 1 so that our closing could align with the closing of our home and we don't stay in a limbo period, or temporary housing. It was a conversation I had with my brother recently that helped change my pretty closed mindset, and help me see that what we are moving to next, is not permanent.
"Your kids only live in the box you put them in," he said. And of course this is literal and figurative. "Maybe you should look at houses you go into as if your option is THIS, or moving into a crappy rental that will be too expensive and small." Both he and Asa have suggested this actually, and honestly, it's given me a lot of peace of mind. Yesterday we found a GORGEOUS home, pretty far out in the East End of Louisville [complete opposite of where we're living NOW,] and as soon as we walked inside, we felt a sense of peace. And that's exactly what we have been praying about, peace. We've offered on three homes so far, and in each one, they were homes I could see us in; but I don't think the feeling was mutual. I'm always going to be attracted to big yards and there's something magical about a lifestyle with more outdoor space...but the homes have needed SO much work. The house we saw yesterday was smack dab in the middle of a subdivision, and it had a VERY small yard. For us, it meant 8/10 requirements, and the two cons were those. Albeit, those are pretty giant cons for me...but the interior and space inside couldn't be beat. We have talked A LOT, prayed A LOT, and both of us feel at peace knowing that the next house is temporary. That maybe there we will be able to save money, do our research, find some land and BUILD our dream home. I think it's doable. And I think we'll have some time to figure it out. If nothing else, that gives me some hope. I can't let go of my dream of land and horses in our backyard, so I know that I will just have to keep praying. Needless to say, we put an offer on that home. While we were feeling all pumped that 'this was it,' we were smacked HARD in the face when we found out they didn't even want to see or hear our offer--they wanted to wait until this coming Sunday at FIVE pm. The day we saw it, there were twenty other showings already scheduled, and it still has yet to have its' open house this weekend. I can only imagine the multitude of offers this house is going to receive, and the giant pile the couple is going to be sorting through...NOT a fun thought.
Three days ago we drove to a historic home that sat on 1.5 acres IN the city of Louisville. Before going, we meticulously studied the layout of the photos online, and I knew my husband wasn't impressed. But as soon as we pulled up, my heart was already outside of my chest and in absolute yard HEAVEN, as I pictured the dinners and future parties we would surely be throwing there. There is a 200-yr old tree in the front yard, and the kids and my husband immediately climbed on to it's ancient and low branches. At the top of the budget, I knew this house would have to be something that we could happily live with for many years to come, unable to make changes or updates. We walked through the front door and immediately I saw some big 'uh-ohs,' and I gulped, not wanting to admit them. The living room as the master bedroom, for one. The smallest [and worst off] kitchen we had yet seen, the family room with no windows, being taken up entirely by a sectional. I should mention my husband yet again barely fit in the basement and did NOT fit in the showers, and there was not a single space there for HIM, where he could put his workout room or fit his favorite gray rocking chair. I proceeded to NOT listen to the wisdom in my head (also known to me as the Holy Spirit) and my selfless husband supported me as I said, "We still have to make an offer." Our realtor wrote up all the paperwork, we signed all 300 pages, the kids exhausted in the car going back and forth between whining and laughing and screaming, and when it was all done and over, I started to cry. Yes I know, imagine that, Ashley crying right now. Not an uncommon occurrence.
We drove away from the beautiful yard and my husband re-explained to me why it wasn't a great idea but that he loved me and wanted to support my dream of having a yard. We had promised the kids a McDonalds cone and when they went inside to order, I called our realtor. I sat on the concrete, head in my lap, begging for her wisdom and judgement. Ten minutes later, I said, "Please pull out our offer." My heart and my head just haven't lined up this last month. I see a potential dream and I want to snatch it and it never seems to be what the Lord wants. YOU GUYS, here in this space, have meant SO much to me. I put up a photo on Instagram that evening, pouring my heart there, to friends and virtual strangers, explaining my breaking heart. SO many of you commented paragraph long comments, sharing comfort with me, empathizing, and sending your prayers--106 comments, and I was just blown away. I put up the same photo on Facebook with the same caption, and so many of my close friends and family did the same thing: long paragraphs relating and praying, uplifting and encouraging me.
I just wanted to say, your words haven't gone unnoticed and are not in vain. I have felt every single one, and I am finally starting to feel glimmers of hope. I am not sure that we will get the house we just offered on, and we won't know for three more days [which feels like an ETERNITY!!!!] I wrote a hand written letter, included the photo in this blog post, we offered everything we felt we could, offered to waive an inspection, gave more in a good faith deposit....I mean literally, this has been the strongest offer we've made yet. Next week feels like the deadline, though I'm working hard not to feel that way. I go back and forth between feeling God is going to give us the miracle of this house, to feeling like a hundred other people are going to blow our offer out of the water.
My thoughts on moving? This has been the hardest thing my husband and I have ever been through, and that's saying something if you know part of our story from several years ago. I've cried harder and longer than I ever knew I could, the tension has been tight, the kids have been through the ringer seeing TONS of homes and having the expectations of being good and obedient. We are all tired and just plain EXHAUSTED. Wherever we end up, I am begging God to just bring us peace.
And may He already be preparing our DREAM home many years down the road. Because I never., EVER, want to do this again.