Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Brought This On?

Ever feel like things are a little out of control? Or maybe a lot out of control? 
Yeah, we don't either. Usually. 
But, this one time, we did.
We got to the point, after years of somehow barely making our monthly payments, that we knew things had to change. 
Let me back up just a smidge.
In October 2006, after years selling auto parts and the market seriously declining, Hero left the dealership world to take a contingent (meaning "we will call you when we need you") nursing assistant job at Garden City Hospital. Big leap of faith there. But we had a little house, little mortgage (only 13 years left on it!) and a plan. With Hero's increasing desire to fulfill his decades-long dream of becoming a nurse, he went back to college. He picked up momentum and applied to nursing school, GCH offered him a full time position (because they LOVED him) and we were on our way. 
And as sometimes happens, there was a change in plans. 
Hero's mom, after living months without Dad, wanted to sell her house and live with one of her children. Hero was the best choice out of all of his siblings, and we sold our little house and bought another 30-year mortgage. It was a great house - We loved it and we have created lots of great memories there. 
We have had graduation parties, going away parties, a baby shower, cookie exchange parties and many birthday parties at that house. 
We have had the tallest (like 13 feet tall) Christmas trees that actually held all the ornaments we own. 
There have been forts built, cupcakes baked, slumber parties held, movie nights enjoyed and friends over.
We lived here when we had a family reunion with Hero's family, when Hero became a nurse, when our daughters got engaged and married, and when we found out we were going to be grandparents.
(I tried to think of some events that were not so great, but could not come up with much.)
Except that Hero's mom passed in 2008. 
And life went on.
Our oldest went away to school and then got married. Our next oldest also went to college and got married. Our next oldest (after the second oldest) graduated and is now in search of a plan. We went from eight to four in just a few years while Hero finished up school. As soon as he graduated, we made the plan to downsize.
As things went in 2006, we bought high and sold low. (Crazy housing market!) But we determined that we would never recover the lost equity and decided to focus on the monthly savings. And that is how we came to sell our big house (2100 sq ft) and buying a small house (1000 sq ft).
In December, Hero found our house. It just so happened that it was the house he lived in for the first 7 years of his life. Our Realtor was convinced we were a little crazy for even considering this plan, and in fact in the fall we decided against selling with her counsel. When we told Marie we found the one we wanted, which was for sale  by owner and unknown to her, she was convinced we had some special connection to God. (For the record, she is very strong in her faith, but is quite impressed with the Mormons.) We put our house on the market in January, sold it the day we were celebrating our anniversary on February 18th (to a very cute family from Arizona who belong to our church), went through the craziest, most unbelievable getting ready to close process and finally closed on April 23 on both houses. 
We spent 4 1/2 days tearing out carpet and a fake wood floor, stripping and sealing the wood floors and painting all the closets. We moved in on Saturday the 28th with the help of our friends in the ward, who also helped the new family right after.
What an adventure! We have been busy with lots of projects ever since, and will be for a while, but we are excited to downsize and minimize.
What about all the stuff we filled our big house with? 
It looked like the biggest hoarder family had just moved in!