It’s hard to believe it’s been nine months.
I was telling a friend the other day that I’m tired of this roller coaster. E gets a call and an interview is scheduled and we have dreams and I start making plans and take a peek at realtor.com to see what’s out there. And then they don’t make an offer or the job doesn’t end up being all that great anyway and we start over again.
I think it’s the not knowing that’s the worst part. Not having any idea where we’re going to be in a month, let alone trying to figure out what six months from now looks like. Will we be here for B’s birthday in August? Will we be here for another Christmas?
Then there’s the mortgage aspect. We bought our house back when they were still allowing people to get two mortgages to avoid mortgage insurance and our smaller loan matures in August which means we either have to refinance, pay it all off, or sell the house before then. Our monthly payment right now is insanely low (and obviously would be even lower if we paid part of it off) considering we’d be paying probably close to double that if we were renting this place, but it’s a hard pill to swallow that along with having to scrounge together the money to pay off the loan, we have to continue to stay in a house and a town we’d rather not be in anymore.
I try to be thankful. Thankful that we can still pay all of our bills and buy food and no one is going without clothes or living in a van down the by the river.
I need to just take it one day at a time and focus on the thankfulness.
There have been good things that have come from all of this. This last interview that he had was for a position that paid quite a bit less (actually almost half) of what he was making before. We went over the budget many, many times and kept looking at each other throughout the day while cutting food into tiny bite-sized pieces or folding laundry, asking each other without words, “could we do it?” The position itself promises amazing benefits, no travel, much better working hours, less stress, helping the environment, and is located in a place that offers houses on several-acre lots that we could actually afford. But that paycheck, that low, low paycheck, was the major hiccup.
On the other hand, in the looking at the finances over, and over, and over again, we were able to revisit a desire we started to talk about a few years ago of living a simpler life. It means different things to different people, but I think for us it was ultimately about living with less. Less stuff, less space (inside, anyway), less obligations. Less less less. And if less income is part of this equation, then I guess we’re okay with that.
So that’s the dream we’re embracing this week. As the roller coaster reaches the top of its ascent, we hope that there is no descent this time.
Hope. That’s the reality of life right now.
In Humble family news…
C’s walking skills are awe-inspiring to witness. Honestly, with how she bounces around and sort of meanders like a drunken sailor, I’m a tiny bit surprised she manages to stay on her feet. But she does and she’s getting better and better each day. She also likes to wave. E was reading to her the other night and someone in the book said good bye to someone else in the book and as soon as he read that part, she started waving bye-bye. If anyone goes down our stairs to the front door, she toddles over to the gate leading down the stairs and waves bye-bye. She’s not saying any “real” words just yet, but she certainly understands what we’re saying and lets us know when she doesn’t like it. She’s had some bad stretches of sleep lately, but I have a feeling some more of those pesky pearly whites are charging their way through her gums right now. I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep in that case either.
B has been drawing pipes. Lots and lots of pipes. Entire sheets of paper filled with pipes leading to other pipes leading to tanks leading to outlets, all under the ocean. Sometimes parts of the pipes are “scary” (apparently the color brown is scary to him). Sometimes the pipes have air in them and sometimes they have water. Sometimes they’re wrapped in flannel (?). He’s been more and more interested in writing words lately, also, and wrote out “mama” on his little chalkboard yesterday which obviously made my heart glow and bleed tears of mama-joy. We start up his spring curriculum next week and I am looking forward to more field trip ideas as I think we’ve all got pretty bad cases of cabin fever. We’ve been taking trips to the park every so often, but most of the kids his age are in preschool so the only ones who show up (generally) are younger. If only we had a yard…
In the end of March I’m into….
This month I finished All the Light We Cannot See (and subsequently had Claire de Lune stuck in my head for a week afterward) and I loved it. Sometimes I wonder if I like the books just because the audiobook narrator is particularly good (as he was in this case), but the story was also very compelling. I highly recommend this one.
I also finished Shadows of the Workhouse, which is the second book in the Call the Midwife series. It wasn’t quite as engaging as the first one was, but I think it may have had something to do without how sad the subject matter was. Parts of the book have stuck with me for a while and that’s both a good and bad thing. This was another audiobook narrated by Nicola Barber (she also did the first book) and I think she’s one of my favorite narrators now.
Next up was Station Eleven which was another book I really got into. I hate to say I enjoyed it because post-apocalyptic stories are hardly something to be “enjoyed,” but when I stay up until 12:30 for several nights in a row (which means that, with as much as C wakes up, I’m probably only going to get about 5 hours of sleep) because I’m addicted to a book, it’s probably a very good one. Most of it was really, really disturbing (even down-right creepy at points [the nursery!!!]), but incredibly fascinating and, oddly enough, easy to imagine. Another one I’d highly recommend.
I needed something a little fluffy and lighter to decompress after Station Eleven, so I went with Madeleine L’Engle’s And Both Were Young. I’ve had this audiobook sitting on my iPod for a while and it delivered exactly what I needed. L’Engle’s coming-of-age books always bring me right back to my teenage years.
I’m currently reading Housekeeping, You Are Your Child’s First Teacher, Your One-Year-Old, Your Four-Year-Old, Walking on Water, Glimpses of Grace, and A Jane Austen Devotional. We’re also reading Farmer Boy with B right now.
It was a sad day when the last episode of this season of Downton Abbey aired. Why do they only have just a few episodes once a year? Fortunately, Call the Midwife starts back up on Monday!
We rented Mockingjay, Part 1 a few nights back and that was entertaining, but I still think the books are so much better than the movies. E went to see Birdman on his birthday in the theater and said it was strange, so I probably won’t be seeing it.
A few posts have caught my eye this month…
- “Strength and Dignity Are Her Clothing”: Making Ethical Fashion Choices – Including shopping fair trade and thrift options!
- Why I recommend books that use the f-word – Or books that maybe aren’t so “clean” as the stuff you’ll see in Mardel or Family Christian stores (honestly, most of which is pretty bad). I’ve always wondered about this myself and I find this to be a great explanation of why or why not to recommend books that might be a little less “moral” than others (especially when the storylines are so fantastic).
- Flawless – “My skin has been stretched to accommodate new life. My body bears witness to the ways that living my life all the way through is changing me.” (Probably a more eloquent version of my “This is My Body, Broken For You” post. 🙂 )
- The day I let my kids in on my dream – Because it’s okay for moms to have dreams too.
- What It’s Like To Go Without Complaining For A Month – I think this might be physically impossible for me to do, but I love the tips they offer, especially #6.
- Here we are again – This brought me right back to last year just after C was born. ♥
- What To Do When Women Seem Scary – Because loneliness is a state of being for me and other moms (and women in general) really are scary.
My friend Kelly sent me a copy of her new cookbook, Everyday Grain-Free Baking, and I’ve been loving it! In particular, our favorite recipes so far have been the coconut flour pancakes and the almost oatmeal cookies.
We also started getting fresh produce through Bountiful Baskets and I’m loving it so far! We calculated it and figured it saved us about $14 in produce for one week, which definitely adds up over a month!
Along with the black-capped chickadees, house finches, gold finches, and red-breasted nuthatches we had last month, we’ve added mourning doves, dark-eyed juncos, and red-wing black birds to the birds visiting our deck. The doves and the juncos aren’t eating from the feeders, but are making use of the seed on the ground (or railing) and the bird bath. E downloaded a bird app for his phone, thus solidifying our “bird dorks” status. 🙂
And there you have the state of the Reb. 🙂