Friday, August 12, 2011

The End…and The Beginning

Closing time, every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.~Semisonic

Wondering where we’ve been? Well it’s been closing time on one chapter of our lives. The end of some other beginning. We sold our house and moved. When I write it down it looks so neat and clean.

We sold our house and moved.

It was anything but neat and clean. Let me start by saying yes, I know the economy is terrible, and yes, I appreciate that our house was only on the market for 16 days before we accepted an offer.

That said, the sale of our house was quite possibly the most horrific experience of my life. It wasn’t “My mom made me eat brussels sprouts at dinner” horrible. It was more like “being water boarded while forced to listen to Kenny G” horrible.


Oh yes it was.

The problem stemmed from our wackadoodle of a buyer who made us jump through a million hoops, all the while threatening to walk away from the deal if we did not comply. You hear of being nickeled and dimed for things, but we were hundred-ed and thousand-ed. It seemed like we were hemorrhaging money and completing projects to  make our house someone else’s dream home. I’m not talking fixing broken stuff (which we did), I am talking making major changes (which we also did).

And remember, all the while we lived with the threat of having our buyer walk away from the deal. Nice.

The final straw that broke this camel’s back is when I got a call while house hunting that the buyer moved the closing up by three weeks, leaving us with only two weeks to move out. Not bad on the surface, but WE HADN’T FOUND A HOUSE YET.

I had to find a house that we could close on and move into on a short time frame, then go home and pack up everything we own. Ugh. I am the person who looks at 5 or 10 houses and picks one, but at the point when I got this little bit of news, I had already looked at 45 houses with not one contender.

To say that I was a mess is a gross understatement. I was a nightmare. I was having panic attacks, yelling at my husband, yelling at my kid, not sleeping, crying and feeling like I was going to throw up all before I even got out of bed in the morning.

I prayed. A lot.

And just like God provided us with a buyer (albeit a wing nut of a buyer), He lead us to the perfect house in our new town. (Sidenote: as the buyers, we treated the owners with total respect and made the sale easy for everyone. We’re just like that.)

So on August 5th, we moved into our new home.

I love the new house. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s functional, it even has new stainless appliances. And hardwood floors. And a big finished basement. And it’s located on a cul-de-sac. And it’s on a big lot. And it’s in a top-rated school district. And there is a house right behind us with a family that has seven kids (!) for Molly to play with (she is so excited!). And, and, and….

The house has its warts as well. It’s a 20 year old house after all. We have a bunch of little projects to do. But I am embracing my new house’s warts and we will fix everything in time.

The new house feels comfortable. It feels inviting. It feels permanent. It feels like home.

And now the stress of the past several months is gone (the memories however, are permanently etched into my brain) and I am ready to start living again. And blogging again! Are you ready for some pictures?

Our dear friends and neighbors, the Beechams, stopped by on our last night with a delicious dessert to share. One of the hardest parts of leaving this house is knowing that these two wonderful people will no longer be right next door.*sniff sniff*IMG_3854

The last days in the house were full of a lot of, well, lasts. For instance, Molly’s last bath.IMG_3857

And her last night in bed. Molly was wanted to sleep in her own room, but when it was time for bed she reconsidered. Her room was all packed up and there were boxes everywhere. She decided to sleep with us instead. IMG_3859

And then we have the last morning to wake up in the old house.IMG_3862

On moving day there were not a lot of places for Molly to hang out and not be in the way of the movers. This was our solution: She ate breakfast while watching PBS Kids sitting on the kitchen island. She thought it was great!IMG_3866

I have been the No TV/Video Mom since Molly became our daughter. I have relaxed this rule a little since Molly turned five, but the past few weeks the rule has completely been thrown out the window! Molly is officially a TV junkie. We’ll have to work on reining that in soon.IMG_3870

Moving looks like a lot of fun!IMG_3872

So many new experiences….IMG_3875

And chances to be silly. Looks like Molly is really enjoying herself and is excited about the move. Ummm, wait for it. A change in mood is coming soon.IMG_3879

One final family picture in front of the old house. I must say that as much as I was looking forward to moving into the new house, leaving this one made me sad. I have never loved the house, but I loved all of the memories that happened inside of these walls.IMG_3882

And here is where the dam broke. We did a final walk through the house to say goodbye and Molly grieved the loss. Hard. Very hard. Over the next several days and nights she would randomly break out in heaving sobs saying, “I want to go home!”IMG_3884Leaving is hard for everyone, but especially for a kid who has had already had losses in her past. Significant losses. All I could do was hold her, love her, try to make her feel safe. It seemed to help when I told her it was hard for all of us, but that we were all going to get through it together, as a family. And I promised that it would be okay someday soon.

Before leaving town we met Molly best friend, Mia (and my best friend, Stacy) for lunch. Molly is showing Mia her new watch that she received from one of the neighbors before we left.IMG_3885

Molly was smiling, but I was crying. One of the hardest parts of moving is knowing that I am taking Molly away from her buddies, her sisters. All her Chinese friends that she grew up with since we came home from China. We are only moving two hour away, but golly gee, they are now two. hours. away!IMG_3886

We had a week between the closing of our old house and when we could move into the new house. We stayed in a hotel, which after the stress of the move, felt like a vacation. Here is Molly at the Marriott. She had an entire sleeper sofa but somehow ended up sleeping in the chair. Silly girl.IMG_3887

A new beginning….Molly opens the door to our new home for the very first time!IMG_3888

Here’s Molly in her new room which came adorned with ladybugs. A much different picture than when she was saying goodbye to her old room.IMG_3891

Eating lunch in a location that would keep her out of the way of the movers…again.IMG_3897

Molly playing in packing paper, which was in no shortage.IMG_3905

See what I mean?IMG_3909

Packing boxes were also not in short supply. They made awesome hiding places, playhouses, rocket ships, cars or whatever a five-year-old’s imagination could create.IMG_3906

Okay, we lasted a week before we had to make the trek back to our old stomping grounds to visit Mia (and Stacy). It filled Molly’s and my heart with joy to see our friends again.IMG_3912IMG_3913

Oh, you want to see what the new house looks like?IMG_3810Isn’t she purdy?

And here is a picture Molly took of my new favorite store. IMG_3914Any guesses as to what store this might be?

I’ve got a lot of blogging to make up. I plan to go back and post about everything else that happened during my bloggy hiatus. Look for backdated posts in the near (or maybe not so near???) future! And thanks for hanging with me during the extended break!

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