We've gotten to the part of the story where things get...complicated.
After dealing with all the financial stress in Arizona, we solemnly vowed to never be in a situation like that again. So, in true passionate Rebecca style, I swung to opposite side of the spectrum. My mission was to find the cheapest house that would support our family. Who cares about finishing out a basement? We could do that. Who cares about how far out it is from town? I could get organized and only go shopping once a week.
Our little city, surrounded by miles and miles of nothingness. Need milk? 15 minute drive. One way. And no, that dog is not dead.
We arrived in Utah 2 hours before we were due to sign closing papers. Once again I had never seen the house before and my response:
It's kinda cute, but where is all of our stuff gonna go?
I knew that it was 2600 square feet, which was about what we were coming from, but what I DIDN'T realize is that because it had a full basement, that square footage was oh so different than what we were used to. In reality it was a 1300 square foot, 3 bedroom house with a bunch of empty space below.
So the whole "we'll finish the basement little by little" got thrown - hurled - out the window and for the next 4 months we threw all our effort into the lower level.
A few months later we had gotten to this point,and once the carpet was installed it actually looked like a real room.We could clear out the ton of furniture being stored in the garage and use it again. Imagine that. There was finally room for the computer, a craft room, two more kids bedrooms,and a bathroom, which I caved in and let the kids pick the color. Thank goodness I never had to see it. Sorry blue - I've never been a fan.Upstairs wasn't without it's projects: changing out apartment sized sinks,painting generic oak (again??) cabinets, replacing countertops and having some fun with my new tile saw. Can somebody explain to me why carpet in a dining room is ever a good idea? Luckily smaller rooms = less money to fix 'em up. We hadn't even been there a year when Roger and I had "the talk." I was (mostly) happy and enjoying Utah much more than I ever thought I would.
I discovered that I don't like cold. Or snow. Did I say didn't like? I meant HATE.
I discovered that I hate mountain biking, skiing, hiking, camping...you know - all the things that people GO TO UTAH to do. No thanks.
I discovered that as much as I loved the people that I met there (y'all know who you are), there was one thing that was sorely lacking: DIVERSITY. Something I had taken for granted everywhere else we had lived. It was fine in the short term, but long term I didn't think living in such a homogeneous area was preparing my kids for living anywhere outside state lines.
I discovered that no matter how many raving reviews you hear about a school district, you never really know until you deal with them. We had an emergency IEP called for Brendan during which the school district threw up it's hands and told me that they didn't have an appropriate classroom for him. He had too many behaviors and was
After I expressed my feelings on the subject, his teacher suggested that perhaps I should consider homeschooling.
I kindly suggested that perhaps she should kiss. my. ass.
That, my friends, in combination with a dozen other reasons, was that last straw.
Fortunately, I had a husband that wasn't feelin' it either, and had just been waiting for me to say the word. Thank you Lord.
It was decision time. We knew we wouldn't be going back to California, but since we loved Arizona so much, perhaps we should move back? It was about that time that an old friend of Roger's persuaded us to finally come and visit and while we were there we could "try out" Texas before we made any decisions. We booked a flight for Dallas/Fort Worth, got my sister and step mom to come and stay with the kids, and off we went.
For two days we kept saying, "Well? What d'ya think?" to each other. Neither one of us heard any voices from heaven telling us THIS IS WHERE YOU SHOULD MOVE. Disappointing to say the least. And then it came time to board the plane...and I didn't want to leave. My eyes teared up (when does that ever happen?) and I felt sick inside. Even surrounded by an unfamiliar place, it felt like I was leaving home. And I knew.
Luckily, the feeling was mutual, and after much prayer and planning, we packed up again.
That's not to say that everything went swimmingly. There would be a lot more drama with selling our house, it falling through, having to rent for 6 months, having it fall through again, almost not being able to buy this house, losing all the money - including our down payment - that we had put into it. Oh yes, drama indeed. Piece of crap, stupid drama. But guess what?
I wouldn't trade a minute of it. At least I wouldn't now. The stress, the trial of patience and testing of unconditional faith....all of it really sucks. Oh how it sucks.
But looking back? It all got us here.
And here is a wonderful place to be.