Archives for May 2010

A Place to Call Home

For the first 18 years of my life, I lived in one house. I love my parents’ house. It’s not huge or fancy. It’s not even what I would consider the perfect layout, but man, I love that place. After I left home to go to college, I lived in 11 different places. These include dorms, summer camp cabins, home with my parents for a summer, apartments, and the house we owned for three years. Of those places, the house definitely felt the most like home even though we were there only for three years.

After living in the house for three years, we started to reevaluate our situation. Did we really want to live in a place where it was a 10 mile drive each way to go to work, church, the grocery store, friends’ houses? In addition, our house had two bedrooms upstairs and two downstairs. At the time, we weren’t expecting any children to be born in the near future, but we knew it would probably be an issue when Baby #3 was on the way. I also had a really hard time meeting anyone in the small town where we lived. It was primarily a bedroom community with no great places to meet other moms or kids. We talked about what to do for quite a while. Stay or sell? In the end, we decided that most of the things which we considered to be issues or problems were not going to change. We decided to put the house on the market and see if anyone would buy it. To our surprise we ended up with a buyer after the first day on the market. After that, we had a whirlwind 5 weeks of looking at houses, finding none we liked, looking at apartments, doing last minute fixes on the house, and moving!

We’ve been living in our current apartment for just under a year now, and while it’s not ideal, there are definitely things I really appreciate about living here. We are close to friends, close to a park, within walking distance of Jason’s work. The apartment is pretty affordable. It’s really pretty big for an apartment. The laundry room is right off the kitchen and easy to access for me during the day. It has a deck on the north side of the building which allows us shade in the afternoon sun. It has underground parking so I don’t have to take the boys outside to get them in the vehicle in the winter. We have a bike path practically out our front door. We are just a couple minutes from both grocery stores that we frequent. So, as I said, there are many *many* things to like about it. Obviously there are things which I don’t like about it, but I think every house or apartment has things like that.

Originally, our plan was to live in this apartment for a year and find a house this summer. Then, when I found out I was pregnant, we thought it might be better not to go through the work and stress of buying a house and moving during the pregnancy. One of the criteria we had decided on in our search for a house was an attached garage. It’s North Dakota. It can be cold in the winter. It can be rainy or windy throughout the year. Having an attached garage would be really nice. Unfortunately, the more I look at houses the more I wonder if that is a reality for us. My husband is the Chief Technology Officer for his company and does almost all their computer-related work. He also does some web programming on the side. I am a former special education teacher, but I am staying at home with our kids right now. It’s a priority for us to spend time together as a family. Lots of time by some accounts. I could work, but I would be sacrificing time with my young children and my awesome husband. Jason could work more than he already does by doing more programming, but he would then be sacrificing his time with me and his time for running, relaxing, and sleeping. How much can (or should) one person work???

So, because of our priorities, it seems like we have a couple choices. We can continue to live in this apartment and save money and hope that a house in our price range comes up with an attached garage. We can look at houses and go for one that doesn’t have an attached garage. We can wait until this fall (when I will be 7 1/2 months or more pregnant) and look at houses when the pre-winter price reductions happen.

I’m guessing that part of the reason this has become a major issue for me again is because I’m pregnant and probably getting some of those nesting-type feelings. Also, while it’s so much easier to find things to do with the boys in the summer, it’s really hard to keep two boys occupied in the winter. Thinking about doing that and having a new baby is definitely something that’s on my mind regularly. I’m also realizing that even if we stay here another year, with all the money we can save it still will probably not be enough to get a house with an attached garage. *ETA* As soon as I hit publish, I realized that I forgot an important thought! I loved my house growing up, and I want that same sense of place and comfort for my kids.

So, until then, I will be here in our pretty darn good apartment. Not loving the wimpy air conditioner but feeling thankful for the many things which are working out with us being here. And pondering.

Welcome

Love what is.

Welcome to my new blog! This blog is called “Love What Is.” I hope that it becomes a life blog for me and helps me to remember my desire to embrace my life in order to have the life I want as well as appreciate what I have instead of wishing for something else. Whether it be in my career, my family, my living situation, or any other aspect of my life, I want to be embracing my life instead of waiting for it to pass or waiting for the “good part” to start.

My previous blog was The Beautiful Letdown where I wrote primarily about breastfeeding. After writing there for a couple years, I felt stuck. The blog was primarily about my nursing experiences and my thoughts on nursing my children. To me, it was primarily a breastfeeding blog and as my kids were/are weaning, I felt as though I had less and less to say and share. Last year, I posted our family’s Christmas card, and then, I decided to stop blogging there.

Since then, I have missed blogging. I have missed the writing process, and I bet there have been at least 30 times when I thought “I should write about that.” When I started The Beautiful Letdown, nursing was a very large part of my life. I was the mother of a 15 month old who was nursing 3 months into my next pregnancy. That was followed by almost three years of tandem nursing my boys. As it became less and less of the focus of my day and as my children nursed less, I had fewer anecdotes to share. I thought less about nursing even though I still valued it highly (and possibly even more highly than when I started the blog!). But, for some reason it didn’t feel right to move on to another season in my life on that blog.

A couple weeks ago, I was having a rough time accepting my 4 1/2 year old’s approach to and attitude about potty training (or potty learning as some call it), and I said something on Twitter like “Doesn’t anyone have a magic solution to this potty training stuff?” One answer that I got back was from Sarah Parent. Her answer was, “Love what is. Trust.” It turns out that was the magic solution I needed. It wasn’t necessarily the answer to potty training my son nor was it the solution to moving from our current apartment to a house or did it solve any of my other problems or dilemmas. It gave me a different focus though. Instead of focusing on what was wrong or what I was hoping to change, I am trying to focus on what is and what I can enjoy about it or learn from it.

I’m hoping that I can be fully myself in my blogging here and share my journey to living a conscious life and to loving that life as it is.