I love my little town.
I love that we can ride our bikes into 'town' to stop by the post office, or our favorite place - the meat market.
I love all the parks that are within walking/bike riding distance.
I love the fresh air.
I love the quietness.
I love that the kids' schools are just minutes away.
I love the smell of earth after a nice rain.
I love the people that we've met here.
I love when the kids and I can go to the "little library" at City Hall on the Wednesdays that we don't have daycare kids (it's open just on Wednesdays).
I love going to the "big library" on other days.
I love my yard, despite the hills and mosquitoes...and the fact I can't keep up on it.
I love the meat market...oh, did I mention that already? ;-)
I love my kitchen, despite the blue counter tops (which will no longer be blue in a few weeks!)
I love our three car garage.
I love my son's orange walls.
I love my daughter's pink walls.
I love our carpet, and the hardwood floors in the kitchen.
I love my kitchen.
I love all the hard work my husband put into finishing our basement, and making it beautiful.
I love that our basement doesn't feel like a basement.
I love the white walls in our bedroom.
I love our mission style headboard that my husband made out of a free old maple desktop...you would never know it used to be a desktop, and all it cost was some stain.
I love the wire "heart" art that my Finnish sister gave to me; it hangs above our bed.
I love my kitchen.
I love my husband.
I love our children.
I love our families.
I love many more things, but the last three are the most important to my heart. My husband and I have struggled for several years with living away from our families. When we bought our house nearly 8 years ago (in July 2004), life was a lot different. We weren't married yet (ok, so really we weren't even engaged-we were just sure of our relationship), we didn't have children, we didn't have much responsibility besides taking care of our new home, our work, and ourselves. A couple months after moving in, our first niece was born. We didn't see her as much as we'd like, but it was nice to be able to stop by my parent's house after work to see her at daycare (with my mom). By this time we were engaged, so the next year was busy planning a wedding.
In August 2005, we got married.
In August 2006 I became pregnant.
In May of 2007 our daughter was born. (As well as our first nephew in March, and another niece in July.)
In July of 2008 our son was born.
In 2009 I struggled with exhaustion from long commutes and little sleep, and felt like I was missing out on my children's early years (although thankful that they were with my mom while I worked!). (We also welcomed two more nephews, one in March and one in June.)
In 2010, I: turned 30; resigned from my job after 11 & 1/2 years; went solo to Finland for 3 weeks and lived with my Finnish "sister's" family; became a licensed childcare provider.
In 2011...hmm...well, it was pretty uneventful compared to 2010 for me, but we did welcome our newest nephew in July.
In 2012 I am: learning to live a happier, healthier life; enjoying something about each day; and happy to announce that we are getting our house ready to sell!!!
I am so nervous, scared, and excited! Although we love our home and our town, we don't love that it takes an hour and a half round trip to visit with my family, or an hour round trip to visit my husband's family. We would love for our kids to grow up with their cousins (my husband grew up with his and loved it, I didn't but wish I could have), and be able to see their grandparents more often. We would love to go on a date without having to pack the kids' pajamas :-) We would love for my hubby to be home from work in 10 or 15 minutes (instead of an hour or more). We would love to call up our siblings for a spur of the moment dinner/BBQ/scrabble game/etc or play-date with the cousins. We would love to visit more places without having to make it a day trip. We'd love to be able to pick up our town and just relocate it.
There is a downfall to moving, but at least we have a plan. Once our house sells; I am unemployed. I currently have 2 part-time children in my daycare, but the distance will not work once we move. I broke the news to the family last week. I've been wanting to post about this, but I wanted them to know before I publicly broke the news (although I've not mentioned my blog to them, you never know who may be reading!). It was so hard to be the bearer of that bad news because while they are my "clients" they are also our friends. They are the sweetest family, and have wonderful kids. Luckily they will be riding things out with us for a while. Mom is a kindergarten teacher, so summer will begin in a few weeks and then I will just have the kids one day each week. I understand that they will need to look for childcare for their younger child (the older one will begin Kindergarten and not need care) but I've let them know I am available for as long as I can be, and that if something happens real quick with the sale of the house, I am willing to help out until they find alternate care. The downfall of being unemployed is that we don't know how things will go as far as us buying a house once we sell. It is a 'buyer's market' right now so maybe it will work out without my income, but it just depends on how much we will need to pay to sell our house. At least we are in a position where we don't have to sell, so if the price isn't going to work out - then we will just have to stay here a bit longer. If we can sell for a decent price, but can't get into a house right away - then we will stay with my in-laws temporarily. Luckily I get along with them...but I've warned them that if we are in that situation...I will be taking over their kitchen :-)
So, lately we have been really busy getting the house ready. It is in mostly decent shape, but there are doors and such to be stained (in the basement), counter tops to be changed, new paint to go up, driveway to be repaired, weeds to be pulled, etc. I've already begun packing...and luckily my parent's have storage space in their basement so we can move some cabinets and furniture (and stuff) out to get the house staged for showing. We broke the news to the kids on Sunday and they seemed excited, but I know the changes will be hard for our son. He's always had a hard time whenever we have made changes to the house.
We plan to be complete with our to-do lists and put the house on the market by mid to late July. Although, if we can be ready sooner - then...the sooner the better! I am praying that everything will work out the way it is supposed to...and feel optimistic that someone will fall in love with our house and want to make it their home...
If anyone has experience selling their house and wants to offer any tips - please feel free to comment here!