Our life is sort of funny.
In January I chose the word, "Gumption" for my word theme this year. I knew that 2010 would bring big changes for us and I wanted to move forward in life with purpose and gusto, and not the hesitancy and fear that can sometimes overtake me when it comes to change.
We knew that we'd really love to have another child and Avery was getting old enough that it was time to start thinking of trying for that.
We knew that we'd really love to buy a house. Financially, and housing market-wise, it seemed like the time was right for us.
There was an ugly old brick rambler built in 1967 that was on a beautiful lot in the country that Travis had found. Part of the reason it has taken us so long to buy a house is because while there are multitudes of cute little houses that would have worked out just fine, what we really wanted was more than a house...we wanted a sense of place. Some land, and trees, and all the potential that goes along with that.
At any rate, we put a low-ball offer on the 1967 house and while I was excited that we were in the house-hunt for real, I was also a tad bit relieved when the sellers accepted another offer.
Because as much as I loved the potential in the house, it was going to be A LOT of work to fix up, and no matter how much work we did on it, trees or not--style-wise, it was never going to be the house of my dreams.
So we decided that we should try to have another baby. And it sort of sounds silly to say that it had to be one or the other, house or baby, but it kind of did.
I was horribly horribly sick when I was pregnant with Avery. Almost the entire time. It was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my life. Totally worth it, but completely crappy. I remember thinking over and over during that time that I would never be able to do it again, because there was just no way I could be that sick and also be taking care of another child.
But darn it, I gumptioned myself up, made lists of things to do before I got pregnant-- expecting that once I was, life as I knew it would end, and repeated to myself, "I can do hard things!" on a daily basis.
And I can.
Because wouldn't you know, as soon as I became pregnant and was at the height of the all-day nausea and vomiting, the offer on the 1967 house that I was a little relieved to have not gotten fell though and we again had the chance to get it.
And so we did.
Because I think we have always kind of had a pretty clear idea about the kind of life we wanted to have. And I remembered that what we were really looking for had less to do with the actual house and how it looked, and everything to do with how we wanted to spend our days together...as a family...in that house. It was all about how we imagined we'd spend our time. What we'd wake up and see out the windows. How we'd lay in the grass and look at the stars. How we'd get our exercise not by jogging on a treadmill in the basement, but by picking apples in the yard or tending the chickens or working together in the garden. How we'd eat outside in the peace and quiet, under big trees with twinkly lights or nap in a hammock. How we'd maybe like to watch cows and horses on our drives around town if possible. And just have a little bit of space to spread out. To gather as family and friends. To think. To create. To grow.
And ultimately, we knew that ugly or not, that life would be possible in this house. In this space. And that we could have it now while our children are young instead of waiting till they are practically grown and we could hopefully afford the house of our dreams.
I was actually in Oregon when we bought the house. While thankfully I did not turn out to be quite as sick this pregnancy as I was with Avery, I was still sick enough in the first few months that I needed help. And so I packed up and flew to my mom, who was thankfully willing to feed and care for us for almost a month.
When I got back, we had about 2 weeks to pack, move, and completely plan all the renovations we were going to do on the house we had just bought.
I was completely overwhelmed, and though I was feeling slightly better, still didn't feel great. As luck would have it though, Trav's mom just happens to be so very close to graduating in interior design, and just so happened to have a week off school, and just so happened to be willing to jump on a plane and come to our rescue and with her designing and drawing skills for the new plans.
So basically since the day I came back to Utah, our life has been a non-stop crazy stressful whirlwind of packing, moving, cleaning, planning, shopping (for stuff like faucets and tile), and working to get this house into livable shape. And we have had so much help! I can't even tell you how loved I have felt during this time. All of our family and friends keep pitching in to get things done. We will never be able to repay the dept of manual labor we owe.
I should also mention that we are actually living in this house while we are doing all this remodeling. Crazy. I know.
I should also mention that I spend my days vascilating between complete meltdown (Home Depot got the order wrong again, spiders, 97 degrees and no air conditioning, no washer or dryer, no kitchen...) and moments of total excitement and glee (There are now windows in my children's rooms...cute ones that I picked and will someday plant sweet smelling flowers under, The gorgeous view out the giant hole that is currently where the wall once was and where french doors will eventually be, Avery's excitement about the goats and the chickens...yes we have both goats and chickens but no kitchen).
This is a little glimpse of the "before"... I cannot wait to show you the "after!"