We’ve moved!

3/26/11

So, my big secret is out. Today was moving day!

Ok, Ok, it wasn’t all THAT big of a secret. Our whole family knew, and several close friends knew too. But the general public didn’t even know we were looking for a house.

Truth be told, it’s been a LONG road for us to get a house of our own. And even then, I have to say, this isn’t “on our own.” It is Co-Owning. Let me start from the beginning. Last year, when we found out I was pregnant with Abigail, we started house hunting. We qualified for enough to get our first home. A starter house – small, with a yard, and probably would need some TLC, but still – it would be ours. But there wasn’t much out there for us. Nothing seemed to fit, and I wasn’t going to buy a HOUSE simply because it fit into our price range. I knew we either had to love it (the kind of love where we HAD TO have it, or I was going to cry) or it was a no-go. It was a tough market and nothing really seemed to be going our way in that respect. So, we stopped looking, with the intention to pick it up again once Abigail was born… in the fall.

Well, everything last year had a plan, and NOTHING stuck to it. Between keeping our family afloat and paying off the medical bills immediately to keep from drowning, the savings we had stashed away to buy a house was gone. We were back at zero. We really thought it would be several more years before we could start looking for a house again.

But my In-Laws had an idea. You see, they live in northern California, but all three of their sons (with their wives and kids), as well as several members of the extended family live in Ventura county. They didn’t want to move, but they wanted a place they could call a “home away from home.” So they said, let’s buy a house together. We’ll have a room there, and you live in it full-time. When we are there, it will be everyone’s house. And when we are gone, it will be yours.

I know that just about every person I encounter who hears this thinks we are nuts. You are going to LIVE part time with your In-Laws? What crazy juice are you drinking? But trust me, I know what I’ve gotten myself into. (And, for the record, we’ve done it before – we lived with them for 6 months before we got married.) Well, here we are, less than a year later, and I am writing this blog from my new bedroom, which is right next door to Abigail’s, and down the hall from our home office. Just a little further past that is the bedroom where my In-laws will stay when they occasionally visit (an average of once a month). And the kitchen, living room, and den downstairs have all of our stuff in them. PLUS there is a HUGE back yard and a pool! We are so excited. True, when my MIL is here, she rules the kitchen, and true, I don’t get to pick out the colors of the walls of the living room, and true, when they want to host the family holiday get-togethers, I have to say OK and smile about it… but really, I don’t mind any of that. It is a small price to pay to raise Abigail in a HOME.

The best part is that because we are Co-Owning, we are splitting costs, right down the middle. That is how we can all afford it. I would not be able to afford a home this big and beautiful for another decade or two. And multiple homes for the in-laws can get pricey. So we help each other out. And it will allow us to put a lot more $$$ in savings, so we can get back on our feet faster.

Eventually we will be able to afford a home that is totally ours. But until then, I am so grateful for this chance to start over. This past year has been the lowest of lows right alongside the highest of highs. It rocked us to our core and turned everything upside down. This house is so much more than our new home. It is that open window I’ve been patiently waiting for… you know, that one that opens when those doors of opportunity close? It is a fresh start and a way for us to truly put everything that was hard about the last year behind us. We have our health. We have our daughter. And now, we have a home. It’s the best of everything. We are back at the top of our game and going strong. And I’m so excited for whatever is coming at us next.

Thanks to everyone who helped us move today! We couldn’t have done it without you.

-Jen

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