"Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely."

Friday, July 9, 2010

Catching Up

How do you explain all of the things you have been waiting for a whole year to share? And how do you console yourself as you write news so very different from what you had a million times imagined in your mind?
In April of last year we were forced to move because our rental went into foreclosure and was sold in a trustee sale before we ever knew anything had happened. I had just been called as primary president. We were very involved in our ward, and genuinely happy with our life. It was the first time in many years that I felt like I belonged somewhere, and we were just thrilled right where we were. Seriously, I cannot think of a single major complaint I had about any aspect of life. When we got the news it was kind of shocking, but we saw it as perfect timing to buy a house - preferably in the same area. We moved to my mom's house temporarily - for what we thought would be 6 weeks at the most - and put most of our worldly possessions in storage.
The first six weeks went by and we still didn't have an accepted offer on a house. We were pretty surprised, but realized it wouldn't be the end of the world to stay with mom through fireworks season. (My husband is in the fireworks business which makes the months of June and July a little overwhelming to say the least.) Actually, I think I was secretly a little bit happy to have the company while so large with child, and during a time of year that is ordinarily very lonely for me while Jason works like a bazillion hours a week.
Mid-July I was getting pretty overwhelmed and stressed out. I was looking at houses several times a week and trying to do my calling in a ward on the other side of town - all while 8 months pregnant and in the full glory of the Summer desert heat. Plus, I knew that if we didn't find a house quickly, I wouldn't be bringing our baby home to OUR home!
As most of you know, I did have baby Sophie while living at mom's house. Not only that, I had her IN my mom's house, in the very same room that my son was born two and a half years previously! Crazy story, that one. But I think all of you heard about it (you know, since I wrote half a novel on the blog about it!)
It's impossible to explain the emotions that you have over 14 months of thinking that you are only a month, a couple weeks, or even a couple of days away from closing on a house and moving your life beyond limbo. The constant never-knowing, thinking you know but then being disappointed - it truly wears on you.
I had prayed that we would find a house before the baby was born so that I wouldn't have to worry about house hunting with a newborn. My prayer was answered! We got an accepted offer on a short-sale a week or two before her grand arrival... well, when I say accepted, I mean accepted by the seller. As you know, it can take many months for the bank to accept it too. So, for the first six months of Sophie's life, we just waited in escrow for the bank to give us the go-ahead on that house. SIX MONTHS!! Hello! By the end of September I was getting antsy to move on. By October, I was beginning to feel downright upset. At that point we had waited over two months, and I just couldn't fathom what the heck was taking so long. (We had been falsely informed that it would be two months tops. yeah.)
Meanwhile, my calling on the other side of town had just become too much. Not worth going into details on that one - lets just say it was rough. (Though I did LOVE serving in primary!) Somehow, by the grace of God and through a lot of work, I managed to pull off the primary program when Sophie was only 6 weeks old. Sometime in October I was released, and in November we finally realized that should probably just switch our records to my mom's ward and stop commuting half and hour to go to a ward we didn't live in anymore. That also meant kind of letting go of our own life. From November on, everytime I would check facebook and see what all my friends in the pelican creek ward were up to, I would feel left out and a little heart broken - like I was looking in on a world that I used to be apart of but was sadly forced to leave.
I kept dreaming up in my mind the blog posts I would write about finally buying our house. For like 3 months, I planned on writing a post entitled "gratitude and irony" about how perfectly everything came together just at the right time. I was asked to give a fireside talk for the Hispanic singles the first Friday in December. I almost declined the request, thinking that it was most likely we would be moving that weekend. HA! The waiting felt eternal (and eternally ridiculous), but whenever I prayed about it, I felt that I must not impose any time table on the situation. Sometimes I feel compelled to pray with all the force of my faith that something will happen a certain way. Those prayers are always answered. Every time I would try to pray like that about our living situation, I felt impressed to lay off and let it be. LET IT BE?!?!?!?! How long can you exist in limbo with your family of 4 in your old room at your mom's house, so far removed from what you consider to be your own life? But, the answer was always the same - and it came as a subtle yet persistent feeling or sense that everything was just fine, and that I should be patient.
Christmas and New Years served as buffers from the growing agony of our situation. Then finally in February we got an answer from the bank on the status of our short sale. It was denied. We were shocked, but full of faith that we would now find the right house. Obviously that was not the one intended for us.
To make a long and tedious story shorter than it otherwise would be, let me just say that we ended up going through two more escrows, on two different houses. Each presented a convoluted list of complications not worth enumerating, but nonetheless accompanied by much distress and anxiety. They both should have been simple and gone off without a hitch. Some of the problems we faced are indicative of the currently volatile and crazy Vegas housing market, while a few issues stemmed from other unusual factors. These two houses kept us in limbo from February to mid June! Hard to believe.
Everyone goes through trials, some painfully poignant, some dull but persisting. Many times, the most difficult aspects of a trial are too personal to share... and that is certainly the case here. For months I felt like I was living in quiet desperation, because I felt SO disconnected. Not being able to blog was one of the worst blows of all, because it came at a time when I desperately needed to feel connected.
In the end, we finally decided to just rent again. You can't rent without signing a year contract, so I suppose we won't be looking to buy again for awhile. So much for my triumphant blog post telling the world about our exciting purchase, complete with pictures and smiles all around. I am just happy to be in a lovely house with my precious little family. I am thankful to use the washer and dryer when I want, to discipline my son the way he needs to be disciplined without worrying about his screams impeding my mom's international business calls (no, I do not beat him :), and to know that if I leave the dishes undone overnight I will not be inconveniencing anyone but myself! I am also grateful to my very patient and generous mom.
AND, I am so very thankful to be blogging again! Woo hoo!!!


The Kammeyers said...

I TOTALLY hear ya on being frustrated with "short" sales & the lengthy purchasing process. All I can say (and I know you of course would concur), is that it all will work out for you guys in the end! :) In the meantime, enjoy your cute house for the next year! And leave dirty dishes in the sink any time you want, just because YOU CAN. Hehe. :)

i said...

What a lovely narrative of such a tough situation for you guys! My heart broke when You didn't get that last place. :( I'm so sorry. I wish I owned a bank for you. I'm at least glad that you have a "place" of your own and can live a semi normal life. I'm glad you can blog again.

Rachelle said...

I am so sorry for the difficulties that you and Jason have endured over the past year. Life isn't ever easy. It is a tribute to your faith that you endured so well. Hopefully this time next year will bring a much better house hunting story:)