For many of us, this year has been full of many crazy roller coaster rides. You are definitely not alone! For some of us, those roller coaster rides are not limited to one isolated year. Maybe you feel like you’re ready for this ride to be done. One sure-fire way to find that ticket is to cherish what is real, what is now. I’m talking about making memories – the kind that make an impact, the kind that last. Here’s a preview of what life has been like for us the last few weeks.
Yep. That there is a “for sale” sign that was in our yard. Unbelievable to me to think that a few months ago I have no idea this is our path. However, there it is. To be honest, I could tell you this story in detail from start to finish. But, you would need a wagon-load of time. Instead of walking through every bit, I’m going to give you a synopsis and save the rest for the book y’all keep asking me to write. haha.
New year’s day 2020 started off with me having a second episode where my left eye blanked out. That led me on a road that was one I wish I could say never happened. To full understand, I’ll direct you to my video interview or you can read past posts HERE. Needless to say, the year didn’t start off on a positive note. Funny thing is…this time last year, I was working on my DIY Christmas swag post for you all. I was standing on my parent’s driveway having a conversation with my dad. I told him that it bothered me I had to forage off of their property and not my own. My dream of country living still is a dream.
It was at that time that I knew my body was dealing with something and I didn’t let on that I was feeling weak. I also told him I’d love to try to sell our home again, but didn’t feel like I had it in me. I knew most of the burden would lay on my shoulders and I was TIRED. Little did I know what the year ahead held for me and my family.
Fast-forward past all my medical drama, the pandemic, and arrive at summer. For the last few years, I have been meticulously working on our home for our own needs, but always having the ever-present desire to get it ready to sell…again. We’ve remodeled our bedrooms (boys room, master), our bathroom, our kitchen, our family room (yet to be revealed), and our living room (also yet to be revealed). Plus, we’ve overhauled our outdoor area with pergola, garden arbor, shed rebuild, bike shed, fence installation, and much more. Whew!
Back in ’06, we tried to sell our home over 3 years in spring/summer seasons. We showed our home over over a hundred times and had near misses left and right. No, nothing is wrong with our house – we’ve been her 17 years. However, through it all, we never felt like God had opened the door for our next step to happen. Amidst all sorts of trials and blessings while being pregnant, we felt stuck. My husband has scholarships to graduate school he had to forfeit, and pause his dream of earning his PhD. We didn’t understand why, but we felt His timing is best.
After that 3rd season of selling is when I said ENOUGH. No more selling. It’s time to make this house my home instead of fixing it to suit others. That’s when our remodeling for our own family began. During that off time, more babies came, we buried our daughter and said goodbye to another baby. Plus, I became a business owner and blogger/influencer. We definitely never have a time of just being, honestly.
After going through the trials of the first of this year, I was ready to try to sell again because life is too short to let dreams pass you by. However, knowing what trials we had with selling before, I played it cautiously. I’m a driven person (big surprise), so I never stop looking at the housing market. It’s just my business side of me that says, “ya just never know”.
In early spring I began really searching the market because interest rates are a record low and we’d be insane not to make a move now. I lifted up our home to God and asked for His timing to be revealed. When it came to a prospect home, I would drive by, do the tax research, and only then would I suggest viewing it with my family. I didn’t want my kids jerked around and have high hopes.
Currently, the market is hot and properties are not lasting more than a week. The pressure is real to be ready to go. My husband and I are of different breeds when it comes to things like this, so I try my best to get him on board. I will save an in-between story for another time (trust me…it’s a good one). Initially, we put an offer on a place for their asking price and it is accepted. However, we had just left for a long-awaited weekend getaway with the family. The owners would not wait for us to get home to list our home. They turned away our offer.
The first night on our respite, a security alarm went off as soon as we all went to bed. We have no clue if someone was trying to break in, but imagine trying to rest easy. The next night, the power went off. We spoke to the owner of the cabin we were renting and he got miffed at us for calling! Talk about crazy! I will not take a vacay anytime soon. That’s not my way of making memories I want to remember.
The missed offer gave us such an overwhelming feeling. At the same time, we have relief that God answered our prayers for it to not work out if it wasn’t meant to be. Next, I previewed more homes online and saw one come up. Interestingly to me, the listing was such that you had 4 days to make an offer and the owner would decline any after a said date. The property itself was out of our league financially, but I’m not one to shirk a challenge. Because of timing, we weren’t able to go see the property, so it fell off my “potential” map.
Fast-forward a few weeks and we were viewing another property owned by a couple I knew from my younger days. While their home isn’t suited to our needs/desires, we struck a relationship with the realtor. I had hoped God would use this woman to help guide our path. She mentioned to me in the next days that same house that was only I thought was off the market. I responded that we missed the deadline, but that I had looked at it. She said that no one offered, so it is a standard listing. Game on.
We went to look at it and I knew it was financially more than we could normally shop. Likewise, I’m not too excited because I’ve been there done that. After viewing that home, I took our family to another less-desirable home so we could see the comparison. After viewing both, we decide the first home was definitely something we all loved. Is it time for making memories?
After quickly discussing options, we put in an offer that was significantly lower than the asking price, hoping that God would allow it to happen. Initially, they turned down our first offer. We countered, and they accepted. My emotions went on pause because this dream was too good to be true. We’re talking about a 2500 square foot home on 10 wooded acres (ours is 1600 sq ft on a .25 city acre currently) with a huge 3-section outbuilding that would house a large wood shop, a large studio, and an even larger space for car repair and basic home needs. Our offer is only valid as long as we list within 7 days of our offer being accepted. Downside…the owners can continue to show it to others. Folks, you want to talk about panic?
My awesome family pulled together and had our home ready in 3 days. Never-mind we just were wrapping up our living room remodel. We had so much to do!! In those fast days, we were removing clutter and our excess into storage by the truck-full. It was then I find a box that had water damage to it from a careless plumber repair gone wrong. My family photos are ruined and he coated all my shop inventory. He didn’t say a thing. Ugh!!
I didn’t have time to process my grief of these losses. But, tears fell while we continue with our hopes of making memories in a new home.
Initially, we had two showings within 24 hours. This is where it gets interesting. During the first showing, my senior dog, Teddy, tore his ACL. No joke. He now is injured for the rest of his life, and that hurts my heart. In the next couple of days we had an open house. Sunny and beautiful when we left. A half -hour later…the MINUTE the open house began it started to hail marble-sized hail and horrific storm the.entire.time.
Then, during next showing, my entire site went down just before leaving. Followed by the next showing my dog having diarrhea in our truck. The list of making memories goes on and on and on. What in the world??? It got to where I didn’t want another showing. This was all in a week’s time!!
What’s also ironic is that I purposely took my own photos for our listing. I felt I had worked to hard, am a photographer, and earned my photos to be used. Funny…so many commented on how wonderful the listing photos are. I even had a lady out of state reach out asking me to help design a local home for her son AND help her design her own kitchen remotely. I’ve had many offers from you all to be flown in to do this same thing. Maybe one day I’ll be able to take you up on it.
After 3 weeks of working our tails off with repeat showings, the “dream” home was still available, but we had no buyer. Not only that, but we needed a first-time or cash buyer to close quickly. On the day we are grieving the anniversary of our daughter passing, I am feeling so exhausted that I cry out to God in the shower. I ask that if this dream home wasn’t meant to be, that it would end RIGHT NOW. No joke…as soon as I get out of the shower, our realtor calls to tell us that the dream home is now belonging to someone else. DREAM OVER.
You can imagine our heartbreak. My kids don’t understand why, neither do I. We discuss whether or not to continue selling. They wanted to keep trying in case the “dream house” would possibly come back on the market.
The next week we get a cash buyer. Yep. We accept the offer and panic. Not only do we have nowhere to go, but we have to go nowhere fast. Her offer was such that we totally took a huge hit, like $15 K, and also requested two bedroom furniture sets, our two large swing-sets, and my planters. After 14 days of her going over things, she decided to put in some contingencies that requested us to drop our price a similar amount again to cover costs that were normal wear and tear.
Let me just say that I’ve never been so offended in all my life. Without going into further detail, we didn’t counter, just left her to sign off on her offer. And, we were not the only ones stunned by the requests. Imagine making those requests to us face-to-face? Again, not my preferred way of making memories.
OH CHRISTMAS TREE
We found out about the buyer backing out Friday night. Saturday morning I tried to brighten the time by heading out to pick out our Christmas tree. We didn’t feel like it – doesn’t it show? This is a legit candid shot. I couldn’t see my screen and this is how we all felt at the moment.
Although, we didn’t feel our normal chippy self, we tried to make the best of it and came out smiling. We are making memories!
That same day, we got news that my brother-in-law passed away unexpectedly. Oh, and our truck died too. Talk about making memories…sigh. This is why I know God has our backs. We always know we’re on the right path when Satan steps in to cause trouble. See what I mean HERE.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a whole bunch of in-between information that I’m not sharing because it’s just too much. What I do want you to understand is that although my family and I have been through a storm, we are standing. God has never left us or forsaken us. Maybe we were pushing a square peg into a round hole and He’s sparing us greater grief. I do know that although we may not want to remember them, we were making memories all along the way. Lessons to glean from, grow from, and share.
During the end of this roller coaster ride, I had to bring back the clutter we tucked away temporarily. That includes my damaged photos. As hard as it is to admit a sort-of defeat, I feel that there’s a new chapter already being written. It was at this time I got the offer to try a new company to me. CanvasDiscount.com is a bright spot in this storm. After losing my pictures, this is the hope I need to restore some of what I lost.
If you remember, in my Thankfulness post, I snapped a pic of my six kids hamming it up.
I much prefer a candid shot than a staged or “professional” session. This is how I see them every day. This is also after our devastating news of loss in family, home, and hope. Are we in despair? No. God is too good and we know He has more in store for us.
Thankfully, I am able to take that photo and preserve it for a lifetime of making memories. Look at what came in the mail! Don’t you love happy mail?
*post sponsored by CanvasDiscount.com. (see full disclosure)
To say I am happy is an understatement. Can you keep a secret? Not only did I get a large 20″ x 12″ canvas print for us, but also smaller 14″ x 8″ canvases for the kids. I need something to brighten up our home because I didn’t decorate it after we finished the remodel. I left it plain to make it more salable. Finally, I am able to make my house feel like my home again. Thankfully, I’m able to also get these hanging kits to make my j
ob even easier.
After long last, I can smile because I’m thankful. Thankful for my home, my family, my health…you get the idea.
CanvasDiscount made it so easy for me to design on my phone with just a few clicks. They even have a whole slew of items for you to choose from…regular prints, mugs, throws, metal prints (so cool!), puzzles, and oodles of gift ideas.
While I focus on where our future lies, I’m savoring each minute I get with my loves. There’s far too much to enjoy to focus on the negative (though I do have rough patches too). Making memories with my family and enjoying what we do have is my goal.
Now, you know I’m all about sharing the love. I am SO EXCITED to be able to gift you!! Right now, you can use PRODIGALPIECES90 to get an extra discount on your purchases. PLUS, I have a $100 voucher with free shipping to give to one of you for making memories of your own!
All you need to do is complete the widget below for as many entries as you like. Giveaway open to U.S. & Canada residents 18 years of age and older. Winner will be contacted via email and will have 24 hours to claim their prize. Be sure to check your spam!
I hope you enjoy my sharing our stories. Undoubtedly, we are not alone in our life’s struggles. Do pin and share to inspire others in making memories worth saving too.