As the loan process is coming to a close and the ownership of this house is becoming more real, I'm beginning to really think through details of daily life living in North Oak Cliff (in Kessler Plaza) and beginning our life there! Not only are we getting a house with a lot of character (and one that is so us), we are also going to be living in an area that we love! It's an area of Dallas that is really a small community, where everyone is friendly, and everyone knows each other. I was talking to someone (a stranger) one day and somehow mentioned that we go to church there, and he knew some of the people at my church. And this is in Dallas (and our church is small)! There are some favorite, small town restaurants there that everyone knows about, and best of all is my new favorite store, Urban Acres. I have talked about this store so many times... but it is because I'm so excited about it! It is a store that sells local, grass-fed/pastured meats and eggs, low temp pasteurized/non-homogenized milk, raw cheeses, raw honey (they make the honey right there because they have their own bees!!), and even some of our favorite boxed crackers and cookies that are more naturally made (at the same price that I would buy them somewhere else!). For the past 7 months or so, we have just been "surviving" with our eating... mainly because of the fact that we are SO busy, I lose about an hour and a half each day due to traffic, and we live far from "health-food" stores (well, maybe not far, but out of the way). We've also been trying to not spend much at all because of the fact that we're trying to buy a house (lately), so we've been getting "cheap" food to just get us by. The plan when we move is to buy a little bit at a time, and just go by Urban Acres every few days to get what we need. We will also be joining their CSA and getting our produce that way (along with having a garden in the spring/summer). I have wanted to join a CSA for so long, but all of them were far away from the camp and/or we wouldn't have eaten enough because we ate in the dining hall at the camp so much. With our own kitchen again, and living close to our favorite (local) store, we will be cooking every night and eating natural and healthy! The plan is to come home from work each day and start cooking so that when the boys get home, it will be ready (since they will have a long drive still). Right now, we all get home about the same time (or I get home later) because traffic is so bad (it takes 45 minutes to an hour for me in the evenings). Then it is rush, rush, rush to get dinner cooked, eaten, and cleaned up before it's time to start the bedtime routine. Evenings are awful right now! That will change soon!
We will still be on a tight budget (because we will have a mortgage!), but it will be possible to eat healthy on a budget with some careful planning. We hope to go back to making our own bread and all of those things. We'll see how that goes :). Afterall, I will still be working full time. BUT, we can use some time each Sunday evening to get those things done (like I used to). Even when I worked part time, I had little time during the week to get things done because when I was home on Monday and Friday, I was working on school stuff. I still really worked 5 days a week, it's just that some of that was at home :). So, I would prepare everything for the week on Sunday evening... I made bread, breakfast foods for the week, prepared snacks, prepped for dinners, etc. I want to start doing that again. And Robert can help! And the kids can play outside while we're doing that! (which they can't right now because we don't have a yard here!)
Another cool thing is that we will have plenty of room for a garden and to get some yard hens. We've been talking about doing both of those for a while, and now we'll be able to. The great thing about the garden is that we will plant it and most of the harvesting will be happening when I'm home during the summer! So I'll have plenty of time to care for it. And my dad has several chickens and loves it. He says they are very easy to take care of and they become your pets. And, they will give us healthy eggs to eat :).
Sorry to be annoyingly excited :). The home-owning thing is really something we never thought would happen. With a past history of stupid mistakes and bad debt, we thought that would follow us forever and not allow us to even think about owning a home. We thought we would be paying someone else's mortgage forever. But, that is not the case. At this point in our lives, our past mistakes are no longer going to keep us from beginning our lives in our own home. I'm looking forward to beginning our own routines, traditions, etc in a home that is ours. Just a few more weeks!!!