Here I Be-A Home Tour of Sorts

I have little to complain about in my life and much to be grateful for.  I have a loving, hard-working and very supportive husband; seven healthy, energetic, beautiful children; amazing extended family members with whom I enjoy spending my time; friends who are genuine; and a God who loves me.  AND...I have two houses for pity sake!  (Just for the record, I desire to have one home!  If you're praying for the sale our our acreage--pray harder!)  :)

Let's back up a bit.  In May we looked at a cute little house close to school with the idea that we wanted to get back to Lincoln in stages...starting with replacing a fuel bill and vehicle wear and tear maintainence with a small mortgage all the while trying to sell our acreage, fearing it wouldn't sell immediately, but with the consolation of getting started.  We closed in June, moved slowly, had a big garage sale, began to settle in, tried to sell on our own, listed with a realtor, unpacked some more, got rid of some more, repeat, repeat, repeat...

Initially, we thought the house was small, but very nice, well-built, solid and already updated cosmetically.  Secondarily, we thought the same, although we noticed the things you don't notice the first time how much smaller it was than it seemed than the first time!  There was really no turning back at that point, although I began to have some silent doubts that this was all going to work.  Once the dust settled and almost everything was moved and I began to find a home for things, my doubt changed to gradual excitement and we seemed to fit just fine.  In fact, from my perspective, I was pleasantly surprised how little stress our close quarters were causing me.  I anticipated I would be chomping at the bit to tear down walls and start planning for an addition.  The initial thoughts are there and there is always daydreaming going on, but I am content.  CONTENT.  It actually struck me funny that I was truly content in this little tiny house!  What a wonderful feeling though. 

Change gears just a bit.  Shortly before Christmas, my content world was rocked just a bit.  After two and a half months of having our acreage listed (6 months of being for sale), there was some serious interest--for REAL.  We were on a natural high just waiting to hear more. 
Just a few short hours later, we got another phone call inquiring about our level of interest in a house that had just come up for sale. Given my previously stated content nature with regard to the house that we live in, one would have thought that I would have simply said, "no interest", but this was not just any house. This was my dream house! No drama or exaggeration here. I mean it. For 12 years, I've considered this exact house, my dream house. We even inquired about the potential intent to sell before we moved to our pretend farm. (None) I fantasized about it. I pined over it. I prayed about it. The idea that someday that house would be ours consoled me when things got hard taking care of a big yard and cleaning a big house and paying $4.00/gallon for gas x 60 gallons a week! God was grooming me to be able to live in the big, beautiful stone house. Jokingly, Tim and I even referred to it as "our house" when we talked to each other about it, and prior to the phone call, even one of the kids commented on it as we drove by, stating that if we could ever live in that house he would work really hard to clean up the yard. It had always been a bit of a reach that we could ever manage to acquire the point that I had sort of let go of the seriousness of my desire for it. But now...NOW, it was REAL! Certainly this was no coincidence that our house may sell for close to the asking price of my dream house that was 4 blocks down the street...a huge house that would easily accomodate a family of nine (or more), and on over an acre of land, sitting right in the middle of town, ONE block from school! Pretty sure my dreams were coming true!! 

We knew there would be much work involved to restore this broken-down home, but we were eager to assess it!  When we went to look at it, I could hardly even wait.  I was nervous about it...worried that we wouldn't be the only ones that would be interested and even more concerned that surely there would be someone else who would be in a better position to afford it.  BUT...If this was God's will for us, then I was happy to trust Him and let my worries rest. 

I won't elaborate here.  We were overwhelmed by the magnitude of work that needed to be done to make the house livable again.  I was honestly disappointed in myself that I wasn't more excited about it and I was unable to find that place in my brain that can easily imagine my family in the space.  We returned home with much to talk about and ultimately decided that it was still possible if many variables changed, so we gave it a few weeks and went again to look at it, this time with a contractor who is a good friend.  He was able to confirm what we already knew in our hearts was true:  this house needs to be dismantled, demolished and resurrected and there are a couple of ways to go about it, but neither are without a very hefty price-tag.  This leaves our dream house stuck in our dreams, as we're not even sure a miracle would help.

Interestingly, in the weeks between the first viewing and second of this house, my level of content with our current home plummeted.  Not on purpose.  Suddenly, I was acutely aware of how frustrating it was to cook in the way that I like to in a room that is the size of our former mudroom, on a stove that I loathe, with pots and pans and dishes that I have to painstakingly acquire from different rooms or by removing 12 other things first.  I now couldn't even walk the narrow path to my bed without tripping over the under-bed storage baskets that serve as my dresser and closet.  Finding a snack for the kids was a job because half of the pantry fell out as I would try to find something that might satisfy their gumbly tummies. 

Even though everything has a home, and on most given days, it doesn't bother me much that it takes a little extra effort to reach for things, I was definitely in the midst of a pity party!  There is a storage device on the backside of every door in the house.  Every single space that is not visible is crammed full of something--something useful, but none-the-less, crammed.  I visit the garage regularly to access something else that didn't fit in the house.  It (the garage) is not an option to provide shelter for a vehicle.  One, it is not big enough and two, I'm not so sure that either vehicle would be safe in the leaning garage of Andreasen. 
We have pretty creatively come up with several solutions to maximize our storage and work spaces.  I must admit, that I will NEVER be sad to replace our electric stove with a gas one someday as I have burned more things in the oven and on the stove in 4 months than I have in 20 years! 
ENOUGH. I like my house.  There is less to clean.  Less to decorate.  Less to store.  Less space has meant less stress for me so far.  Just because my fantasy home is just down the street doesn't mean our little house is a nightmare.  It isn't.  Stupid how we (I) must always remind myself to step back and step out of my pity.  REALLY?  I'm complaining because I have a warm bed in a warm house with warm food on my table?  Boy, aren't I one of the less fortunate!
I am not going to pretend that I am totally content with giving up the idea of ever living in that big stone house or letting my kids go out the back door to play football in OUR yard because there is room, or even hosting our own extended families for a holiday because there will be room to do so.  It may be even a little harder knowing that someone else may get to and I will likely be aware of all that is going on with it because I'm merely 4 blocks away! 
Our children were concerned that we were planning to buy yet another house, and how is it that we need to have THREE? 
I like my house that I live in.  HERE I AM, and here I be.