Sunday, March 29, 2015
Our sweet Hazel house goes on the market tomorrow.
I am alternating between - YAY! - and - WAIT!.
The house looks really good, and I am proud of all of us for hanging on through the last couple months. I can't believe J - who works FULL time - knocked out a kitchen remodel in three months. Not to mention all of the other projects we tackled. These last three months we've learned something really important: do projects immediately! Don't wait until you're getting ready to move out!
Even though we are ready to move it is hard to leave. A few days ago I walked down to the Capitol with the kids. I love being able to meander downtown from our house. I will miss my long walks with the kids. Where we are looking to move is further out from the city. More housing developments. Fewer walking opportunities. This evening we went to a nearby restaurant and ran into neighbors. We know a lot of people on our block, and they know us and our kids. We've found a place here, and it's hard to think about giving it up, but when we think about the next five (or even ten years) what we want is elsewhere.
We moved here in 2008. It was our first home. All three of our babies grew in my belly here. They didn't all come home to this house, but there is a connection between them and these walls all the same. It's just hard to go. It's a hard time of year, and it's a hard place to be in: ready for change and yet feeling like so much of my heart is here.
And we're staying in the same town! Can you imagine if we were moving to a different city? Or state? J would have to peel me off the house. Drag me from the state kicking and screaming. I love Oregon something fierce. I would not leave her willingly.
In my state of anxiety I think I've told our real estate agent at least twice - maybe three times - that the rose, the one in the front yard, has to be excluded, it has to come with us, it's the only exclusion, but it must be in the contract, it's IMPORTANT.
I'm not sure how to separate leaving here from leaving Charlotte. The flowers in our yard that remind me of Charlotte and her birth month are already beginning to bloom. It's throwing me off balance. My equilibrium shatters when I look out the front window and see the lilies about to bloom, or when I clip lilacs for the table. I put vases of lilacs all over the house in May. They ease the ache, and they remind me of her. What are they doing blooming at the end of March?!
Setting a jar of lilacs on the table this evening made me want to text our agent with frantic anxiety: I need ALL the flowers that remind me of Charlotte. Every last one. Wait a minute - I need this house. I need the backyard where I labored with her. I need the nursery I decorated for her. I need the memories to come with me, and I am afraid if I leave here I'll lose something. She's not here, there's so little of her left, and if I accidentally lose something I will never be able to recover it. So pack it all up. Every flower. Every blade of grass. Every room. Figure out how to flat pack it, and we'll take it all with us.
But that would be insane, and I'm really trying to present a calm facade through all of this so ... never mind. Never mind. But if you could flat pack every last thing that reminded you of your lost one because doing so would guarantee you would never lose a memory - not even a wisp of one - you know you would do it without hesitation, or even much thought.
This weekend my pastor preached on the concept of two cities: the city of man and the city of God. He talked about being rooted, and how if one is rooted in the city of man life will be disappointing, hope will be hard to find, and perspective all but lost.
During this process I have to stay firmly rooted in the city of God, or else I will lose my focus and forget that all of this is temporary. This house, these walls, the next house, the last place, bricks, and chimneys, and kitchens, and lawns. It. is. all. temporary. I have a forever home.
John 14:3 - And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you will be also.
And in that forever home, Charlotte waits. God waits. LIFE waits - eternal, incredible, beautiful, pain free life.
Isaiah 25:8 - He will swallow up death forever; / and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces / and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, / for the Lord has spoken.
John 16:22 - So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
Hope, friends. It's pouring forth from those verses. It's Holy Week. We need hope to carry us through the darkness to the breathtaking Sunday dawn.
Easter is one of my most favorite days because one can run around shouting the spectacular news that Jesus is ALIVE, He is RISEN, and people will accept it without too many sideways glances simply because it's Easter and there's so much joy floating around even the hardest heart jumps a bit in response. And really we should run around like that all day, every day, but sometimes that can be so hard to do.
I think I'm preaching to myself more than you here, but still, listen:
focus on the promise of forever
be rooted in the right city
Every little thing is going to be all right.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Or anything beyond THE HOUSE
I am so over this process and we are nowhere near the end of it!
We want this house to be in great shape for the next owners, so we (and our families!) are putting a lot of time and effort into making it nice. For example: J built new garage doors with his dad on Sunday because the old ones weren't built with pressure treated wood and were rotting from the ground up. Could we have left them? Sure. But who wants to move into a house with rotting garage doors? So there's big projects and little projects and in between all of that there is
illness (so. much. illness)
trying to find a new house
preschool registration (oh my heart, really?)
sleep deprivation (our kids just cannot get the sleep thing down)
I have not seen my best girls in ages and I'm just about going to die from the missing.
I need a pedicure, and a movie night, and at least three consecutive nights where I don't have to wake up AT ALL.
And, of course, buried beneath all the busy is the coming of spring. The weather this year is so unseasonably warm it's like we're getting an extra dose of spring, which is enjoyable because I can take the kids out every day, but it's also absolute torture because the lead in to May is going to feel loooong this year with flowers already blooming and the sun constantly shining.
It feels awful - really awful - to prepare to leave this house. We've outgrown out, it's definitely not the best fit for us anymore, but I still love it, and a lot of life happened to us here.
I'm just an emotional mess right now, and I'm stress eating, and stress shopping like you wouldn't believe. I don't know why I'm surprised by the falling apart. I don't cope well with change at all, and this is a big change. The kids aren't coping very well either, which is making a challenging time even more so. Have you ever moved with little ones? What helped them through the process?
I haven't been writing lately because of a lack of time, but also because I feel like I'm stuck on the same subject: the house! the house!
This is just a season, but it's a really intense one, and I'm already looking forward to the end. The post-Charlotte me just isn't as capable as the pre-Charlotte me, and the last time we moved was long before she joined our family.
I'm falling asleep as I type this, but I wanted to sit down and write something tonight because it's been so long, and I have a lot on my mind.
Send some encouraging words my way, friends. The days have been hard lately.