Bitter Sweet Times...... I'm having many bitter sweet moments these days...
Holidays are such a bitter sweet time this year. I have always loved holidays. Typically by October, I'm thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas... Baking all kinds of fall treats... Doing fall crafts... Listening to Christmas music... Watching Christmas movies...
This year is just so different. Because of the fact that we're coming up on a year since my brother died, we don't have our own place to live, and I'm working full time for the first time in years, the "holiday season" just isn't what it usually is. Some days I feel like I'm letting my kids down...
Again... bitter sweet. I LOVE my job and can't imagine doing anything else, but this is the time of year in which I tend spend a lot of time doing fun projects with the kids, and it's just too hard right now. Of course, I have plenty of time on a normal weekend, and they aren't here right now (they are at my mom and dad's). So maybe next weekend? I know that I just have to use the time wisely that we do have together, and I haven't been doing a good job of that. I also keep reminding myself that we will have a whole week off for Thanksgiving and 2 weeks off for Christmas, which will be SO nice! Benefits of being a teacher... holidays and summers :).
I guess the hardest thing is that nothing is "normal" these days... It'll be so much better when we have our own place to live and have a normal routine. And next year will be cake compared to this year! I will have the whole summer to prepare for the next year. It will make a huge difference.
This has been a tough weekend in general because Thursday and Friday I was very sick. I was in SO much pain between my throat and being achy. Yesterday I wasn't feeling great either, and neither was Robert. And so far today I feel better than I have in several days, but still not myself. It was a good weekend for the kids to go to my parents'! My mom needed it too. It's just been a really hard year and all of the holiday things around us just remind us of what happened almost a year ago.
I'm so thankful that despite what my mom's year has been like, she makes so much effort to make things normal for my kids. When they are with her, she does everything she can to make it fun for them. I'm so thankful for my mom!
One thing that is just sweet is that I talked to a loan officer on Wednesday, and she pulled our credit and ran some numbers... we can officially start house hunting in the next few months! Technically, we could buy a house by January (the only thing that we're waiting for is that I have to be at my job for 6 months), but we won't have enough for a down payment by then (we're still catching up from not getting a check for a few months after I started)... So, we will most likely be in a house of our own by March. Our goal is to start officially house hunting late December, early January. Our realtor says that if we put a contract on a home by the beginning of January, we will be in our home by mid-late March. It typically takes 45-60 days on an FHA loan.
Our goal is to get into a house with character, in a great neighborhood, that needs updating. We have found one that is $99k that is an awesome old house that just needs updating, but it's on a busy street... so we're not sure about it right now. It's a little early anyway, but it's just fun to look :). We have found another house that we really like, in a great neighborhood, but we're not sure about it yet either because it will need some work and the price is at the top of our budget. So, we'll see :). The neighborhood might be worth it!
Whatever house we end up buying will most likely be the ugliest house on the block for a while :). We will spend our time updating it so that we can make it our own... And the lower the payment, the better! Interest rates are so low right now that we really want to jump in and buy before they go up. Also, buying a house in the area that we're looking will only get more expensive the longer we wait, so we want to buy as soon as we possibly can! The next several months are going to be very tight as we save! It's worth it!
...such a tough place to be. I know that we have so many things coming up that we can look forward to, and I know that God is working some amazing things out, but some days are just so hard. Not having our own place to live with 3 small children is very tough (though still not as tough as having an amazing home and not having daddy around to enjoy it). I am so very thankful that my in-laws have provided us a place to live, but I feel bad all the time because my kids leave it a mess, and we just don't have the time to clean it up. And all being so close together upstairs is tough because it's hard to ever just sit and relax. It's just been a challenge. Again, I'm so thankful that my in-laws have allowed us to stay here as we figure out where we belong, but it's just getting to be time to move on.
Good things are coming
I see visions of some normalcy, routine, and being right where we are supposed to be, serving God as a family. Karis will be in school next year, which will open up our monthly budget quite a bit (she's the most expensive of the 3), and the boys will both be a year older. Ethan will be 3 1/2 this time next year! And Levi will be almost 2. It's crazy. As much as I want to enjoy every moment, I also can't wait until they are capable of doing a little bit more. :) Having three kids 4 and under has proved to be a huge challenge!
This time next year we will be in our own home, work won't be so crazy because I will know what to expect and will be ahead when the school year starts (so I'll be able to enjoy the time that I have at home with my family), and we will be able to be involved in our church and our community.
The only thing I'm unsure about is how things will be for Robert. He will have a long drive to and from work each day... So, we're still trying to decide if we want to live that far south. We'll see :). He seems to think that it'll be worth it because we both love the area so much, so most likely we'll stick with that!
What a wonderful morning... hazelnut coffee, classical Christmas music playing in the background, the heater on, and quiet. I think I needed this!