Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This month.

{A letter to you both}

This has been a really hard month.

Your dad and I are dreamers. We have had dreams since we were 17 years old. They were to buy a beautiful house and build a life filled with babies, cozy blankets and laughing. We bought our current house 5 years ago. We were 22 and 23 and it was at the height of the real estate bubble (I am not even sure what they will call this time when you are older, maybe the time all the people went crazy in the head I guess). Our house is lovely. Two bedrooms, hardwoods floors, two brand new bathrooms, a new dining nook and covered porch (all the work done by your proud papa- it was not very nice when we bought it). But we don't love this area. In fact, we pretty much hate it. We bought here because it was where we could afford. We thought the crime would get better, the schools would improve, the ruins that are the local neighborhoods would somehow be filled with prideful owners who would restore them to craftsman glory.

None of that happened.

Our house got nicer and nicer with all the work we put in and this town has crumbled around us. We have had two police chases end in our yard. This year we have had a serial killer AND a cop killer. The schools are worse. This is no place to raise two sweet baby girls.

But we owe more on this house than it is worth. Meaning to sell, we will have to pay the bank (which we will do with our money we were saving for a new house + help from my parents to avoid shortsale or foreclosure). This house has been a 5 year project, a refuge in a broken town. But It feels as though all our work has been for naught. That our pride is silly and at the end of the day, a waste.

We have built memories here. Elle, this carpet is where you dug your toes in to take those first wobbly steps. That chair in the corner is where I rocked a sleeping, tiny Brynn into the wee hours of the day, watching the pink sun rise against the cloudless sky. This porch is where your father and I, just married, toasted our good, lucky life.

No matter what, now is the time to go. We are going to sell. And we are going to pay. But it is worth it to feel safe again. Still, hearing the price of what our little cottage is now worth, caused us both to grieve a bit. Grieve for dreams we have to put on hold, for a life imagined that is now a life slamming hard into the realities of a bad economy.

A few days after this news, I was driving too the gym. Our state cannot yet decide what season it wants to be in. I was on the freeway going 60mph and my car suddenly began to slide in a random freezing rain storm. I pride myself on knowing how to drive in the snow and ice. I have been driving up to the mountains since I was 16 but never had I experienced such a complete lack of control. My car slide sideways and slammed into the center median at 55pmh and bounced me 180 degrees until I was facing backwards on the freeway. There were 5 other accidents all around me, one guy flipping his car completely over in the ditch. I sat with shaking hands thanking the universe that the girls were not in the car.

Our car was totaled in the accident but we are choosing to get it fixed since we paid it off two months ago. I remember coming home and folding myself into a small ball in the corner of the bathroom, feeling like everything was slipping out of our hands. We have tried so hard to do it right. To be responsible. To be adults. But this month I feel like a child, wanting someone to wrap me into their arms and tell me that we will somehow find a way out.

Of course because these things happen in threes, your dad's truck broke down 4 days later. We both just kind of walked around with our mouths hanging open.

But this all really comes down to money and not having enough of it to do all the things we want to do. And as far as problems to have, it is by far not the worst kind of problem to have. So we will make it through. We will buy our dream house one day and in that house we will continue dreaming. But for now, we both feel beat.

Thankful for our sweet babies:


  1. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear about your accident. Thankful though, that you made it out okay. (my husband was in a very bad accident this year… it’s a terrifying thing to go through.)

    I love our house, and we’re lucky to have mostly really great neighbors, but the area we live in isn’t the best either. And when I say that “most” of our neighbors are great, I mean not all of them are great because teenage boys from both houses directly across from us helped to break into our house last year. They kicked in our basement window when we ran to WaWa right down the street. We came back and all of our most expensive things were gone… they even stole the pink DS from our (then) 10 yr old daughter whom one of the boys has helped his mother to BABYSIT for before. The schools around here are notorious for falling consistently below standards in education and our oldest goes to middle school where she’s surrounded everyday by eleven yr olds who are already making out with boys. It’s disgusting.

    We’re getting to the point where we could afford a nicer house in a nicer area, but my husbands convinced we’d only be spending more money to live in a place where the neighborhood kids can afford better drugs. There’s a lot of truth to that. I grew up in a really nice neighborhood and both of my brothers (and most of our friends) got into a lot of trouble even though my parents’ main reason for moving there was to avoid that.

    I hope you guys find what you’re looking for, and make it out of this bout of tough luck.

  2. I'm not sure where you guys live but I think it's close to us. Our first house was in So Hill Puyallup. We got out of our first house about a year and a half ago. Saturday we drove by the old place and it's so sad to see what it's become. It was so hard to leave the place we brought off first daughter home to but driving home from work each day I LOVE our new location and it's all been worth it. Being in an area/neighborhood you love makes it worth all of the sacrifices.

    Good luck getting out of there and finding a place worthy of those beautiful littles!

  3. Alicia, Your neighbors sound like lovely kids! Geez! it is mostly the difference in who the kids would be going to school with. I think the success of the student has so much to do with the parent and if the majority of the parents don't really care, then I think it brings the whole class down. I want them to be surrounded by peers who value school. But I know moving to a better neighborhood is not a fix all. But my husband works 48 hour shifts and while he is away, I won't even walk down to the trash can by myself because we now have a crew of homeless people living in the woods across the street. Feeling safe is what is worth it to me I guess.

    Julie, yes we are in Kitsap. Great to hear a story like yours! I am glad you guys have found happiness. I have a feeling whoever buys this house will just trash it over time :(

  4. HI! I've been a reader for a while and never commented but this post just resonated with me so much. You need to know you're making the right decision about your house. We are doing something similar, too. We chose to foreclose which will "ruin" our credit for three years but we are renting and saving and planning to buy our dream house soon (at about HALF the price of the home we bought in 2007). And... Aren't car troubles the worst? Good luck to you in this crazy time! It seems like your priorities are right so I know you'll be fine!

  5. Thanks Lindsy, Luckily we are going to avoid foreclosure or shortsale but we will have to use money we saved for our dream house to get out of this house. And YES car car troubles are soooo annoying! Good luck to you during the selling process.

  6. I have been a longtime reader, as well....my daughter is the same age as Elle, and I first started reading your blog back when I knew you from a mama message board. I just want you to know that you are not the only family struggling, and your family sounds like you are making the best of a tough and difficult situation. Hang in there. I am a firm believer that good things happen to good people, especially people who work so hard. Your family is beautiful, and I will continue to follow your story in hopes that you start seeing new positive changes!!

  7. I understand this post 110%. I live in a very bad neighborhood in SD before I moved to NC to save and hopefully move to the PNW in a few years. While I loved San Diego, I hated where we lived. We had peopled die across the street, we were scared to go out after dark. Heck even the pizza man refused to venture into our neighborhood after a certain time. I miss home but not that, never that again.