I feel like I've been running a marathon for a couple weeks now and it's been a long, busy road to get to the point where I'm sitting at my desk surrounded by boxes in our new house - or I guess I should say the house that is ALMOST our house. We were supposed to close on this house on November 11th. Nope. Then the loan guy said the 19th would work well so we scheduled our move. So, after taking a week off to nurse Jared through his arm surgery, I threw the packing into high gear, had packing parties with friends and stayed up until way too late sorting and tucking things into boxes while juggling farewell playdates for the kids and final details on renting our house and all the regular business of being a single mom with Jared up in Odgen working away. Plus we had the deadline for our Power of Moms writing contest and the launch of our new blog at Deseret News in the midst of the packing and goodbye mayhem.
But after getting everything scheduled, it turned out that the 19th didn't work and no one could quite explain why since everything was done on the sellers' side and we'd turned in every shred of possible documentation to seal the deal on our loan well in advance. So we pushed back the move by a day and they said Monday the 22nd would be a sure thing for closing.
We hit a huge snowstorm and sat on the freeway for about 90 minutes while truckers put their chains on and ambulances inched through to get to accidents up ahead. We felt so blessed not to be among the many cars that flipped or slid off the road but I was a nervous wreck by the time we got to Salt Lake. Driving in snow is definitely on my top ten list of things I really really really don't like (we don't say "hate" in our family). I've only driven in snow a handful of times in my life and I've gone off the road twice in those few times. As a recovering control freak, that out-of-control feeling of slipping in your car on the road is NOT my favorite.
We hurried up to Ogden Monday morning to get the kids started in school (they LOVE their new schools - so thankful for that!) and sign all the final paper work and get moved in.
But at 1pm they told us that the loan was not going to close that day at 3pm as planned. No one knew why. Here we were with a truck full of all our earthly possessions, professional movers all lined up, and a house that's been empty for months but that we inexplicably couldn't close on. Jared negotiated with the sellers about us moving in before closing and after a couple hours of stress, we were able to get things set up so we could move on in.
Jared hired these wonderful Eastonian guys who worked like crazy for 2 hours and got all the heavy stuff moved in - carrying things up way more stairs than was probably good for their backs (this house is 4 floors and involves lots of narrow, twisting staircases - seriously a miracle that they got all our stuff in here with no major damage to walls, furniture or bodies!). Then some nice guys from our new ward showed up and helped with some of the smaller items and helped put beds together while our wonderful new neighbor down the street (who I met through this blog) treated our kids to a great time at her house including a nice dinner and Family Home Evening. We were SO grateful to get moved in and SO grateful for the good help we had including my parents - my mom put away stuff in the kitchen, my dad got pizza for everyone, everyone pitched in and somehow we crammed a ton of work into a few super-busy hours.
As soon as we were in, it started snowing - and snowing- and snowing - didn't quit for days. We were so glad we could move in when we did! And the kids have learned quickly about shoveling snow and wearing long pants and coats and closing doors - all quite novel ideas to our California and St George-raised children.
We spent the better part of last week figuring out how to shoehorn our stuff into virtually non-existent storage space and running to Home Depot and Lowes and Target to buy shelves and closet organizer stuff and mirrors for the bathrooms and window coverings and towel racks and then installing all that stuff in this very beautiful but not-quite-finished house. We had a crazy time dealing with backed-up plumbing for a few hours one day. Jared took his life in his hands to climb up and drill a hole through 3 layers of bricks to install a dryer vent another day. We've all dragged more things up more stairs than we ever thought possible. This house will ensure we all get enough exercise!
We had a lovely Thanksgiving with Jared's brother Joel and family plus his mom, spent time at IKEA getting curtains (they have WAY the best deal on curtains), then reluctantly drove back down to St George to get the house clean for the renters and grab the last of our stuff down there.
It was so weird being in our almost-empty house down there - it was like we didn't really belong there anymore...
We cleaned like mad all day on Saturday, thankfully with help from good friends again. Then when we heard another huge snowstorm was rolling in early Sunday morning, we decided to step up our efforts and just get out of there that night. We did all the cleaning we could, crammed stuff into every little space in the van and Jared's car plus got all the bikes on the bike rack and the luggage thing on top of Jared's car stuffed full, and got on the road by 9pm. We were NOT going to do that drive in a snowstorm again!
We were painfully tired but we made it to Odgen by 2:30am, just as the first snow flurries of the storm began.
We still haven't closed on this house. They say we'll close today. Heard that before. We'll see. The daily rent money we're supposed to pay the sellers has really added up but we're beyond frustration now - we're now just resigned and everything will be fine in the end. We're just glad to be in this beautiful home and to have reached a point where we're unpacked at least to the point of general comfort. There's still a ton to be done, my fingers are cracked and bleeding from all the hard work, and everyone is sick now with nasty colds which isn't exactly ideal. But this is really feeling like home and even though it's hard here in a lot of ways, it feels right and it feels good. We went to our new ward on Sunday and I went to lunch with some great women yesterday and this is going to be a good place for us. Very different but very good.
And while Thanksgiving was sort of sandwiched between so much craziness this year, I think it actually turned out to be our most thankful Thanksgiving ever. Hard stuff makes you all the more grateful for the good stuff. We're so grateful to be in this house and to be together as a family and to have learned more about what really matters through all that the past 6 months and especially the past couple weeks have brought our way. I've certainly learned a lot more about "letting go and letting God" and I'm tucking away more of that control freak inside of me day by day. I'm deplorably behind on Power of Moms stuff and feel awful that I haven't been able to do some things I had hoped to get to sooner - but it'll all work out. I'm trying to live in the present and appreciate all that there is to appreciate. Life is good.
I couldn't find my camera during much of the mayhem of moving or I'd tell more of this with pictures. Here are a few of my favorite moments in packing and saying goodbye:
- Our sweet friend Sae who's in her late 80's, lives up the street from us and who's been like a grandma to the kids came over and insisted on helping clean. She wiped down shelves and cupboards and insisted on helping and helping. She's such a dear woman, such a hard worker and such a wonderful example of Chirst-like love.
- Our great friends the Dawsons showed up with delicious dinner for us in the midst of packing on Friday night. They knew just what we needed. They stayed to help pack and clean and went on to clean with us when we went back down there a few days ago to get the place ready for renters. Plus they went in yesterday to clean the last things and take our last stuff to the DI. What would we do without such amazing friends?
- St George treated us to some of its finest November weather for our last week in St George. It was gorgeous. One afternoon, the kids rode bikes and played in all their favorite hide-outs in the neighborhood with the Stuarts and the Madsens and it was great to see these cute kids who've been great friends for 5 years having one last great afternoon of play together.
- My friend Becky showed up to help one afternoon and we got a chance to sit and eat lunch together (first time I'd sat to eat anything in who knows how long). I'll miss Becky. I love how she's always got thought-provoking questions and I love how she's totally real and totally solid.
- So many dear friends from the ward showed up to help and to say goodbye during that last week. We've been so blessed with good friends and we're so grateful for the support network our church offers.