Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Little House on the Prairie

I know that I owe my two youngest children a birthday post a piece, but I thought I should write this post first, explaining WHY I am three months late on those posts with another looming this weekend.   J and I are not city people.  We have always lived in cities or towns, and never known otherwise, but we always knew that deep down inside...we were country folk.  Fairly early on in our dating career (it was long enough to be a career) we would dream about the little piece of world that we would inhabit someday and when we were married, we talked about it being our "10 year plan".  Well, it's only been 7 and, in all actuality, I really thought in this last year that we were probably on a 20 year plan if we were being realistic.  We had a nice house that we had done a ton of work to, we loved our house (with the exception of views of our neighbors' yards and dining rooms) and we had 4 very young kids, the oldest about to start school in a great district.  And then we watched houses all over our neighborhood going on the market and flying back off the market again.  A coworker of J's who lived just up the road sold his house in 5 days!  So...we talked about it for a few months and perused houses in the area on acreage.  This was actually doable!  We finally succumbed to the itch and called a highly recommended realtor in our area at the beginning of July and she got the ball rolling for us.

Our house officially went on the market on July 8th.  That began the that time we fell in love with an old, old farm house and it was snatched up immediately while our house sat.  We had several showings, which I might add, is a TON of fun to prepare for when you have a gaggle of little bitties.  The very first showing came 3 short days after our house had first been listed.  The buyers' agent had requested the showing overnight and so our realtor called at 7:30 a.m. to give us a heads up since she knew I would need the biggest jump I could get to undo the chaos that surely is my daily reality.  They were to arrive at 11 a.m., and it just so happens that my brother-in-law was visiting and this was the ONE morning that I had destroyed the kitchen making pancakes for everyone.  We shoved breakfast down, my brother-in-law got on the road to head back home and I went to work like a madwoman!  About 30 minutes before we were supposed to be out of the house, X-man came in from the backyard where he and Gokey and Jilly were playing and said that Gokey needed help.  "If you haven't noticed, I'm a tad bit busy...what does he need?"  Long story short, he crawled down into the window well to "rescue" a toad and then when he went to climb the ladder back out, he noticed a spider on one of the ladder rungs and was terrified to scale it.  In comes Mom to the rescue with a very busy Squeaky D strapped to my back in his carrier (no sense in cleaning when he is on foot in the house).  I pleaded with the terrified kid to just climb back up and stick to the side opposite where the spider was.  No go.  So then I take a good look and notice that the spider is, in fact, very dead and hanging from a web there.  "Look,'s dead!  Just climb up!"  "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"  So, I end up lying on my belly, baby on my back, stretching my arm as far into the well as possible, begging this kid to grab on so I can lift him out, all the while envisioning these people arriving to look at our half-cleaned house with a crazy woman and her insane kids covered in mud out back.  I did finally get him out and finished up my cleaning and ushering of children out of the house for the showing to happen.  It wasn't THE house for them, but we got very good, positive feedback from them and we continued to wait.

We were a little disappointed over the next 2 weeks as we didn't get a ton of action, but on July 30th we received a VERY good offer and after 24 hours of back and forth we settled on a contract for very near our asking price...a short 3 weeks after putting it on the market!  Then the panic set in!  I think I had kind of deluded myself into thinking that this was all just a fun experiment and selling would never really happen, but in fact, these people were very intentional! :) Part of their contract was that the closing date needed to be on August 29th as that was when they would be closing on the sale of their current house.  So the hunt for our perfect slice of the world rocked into full gear.  Our realtor began sending us lists of homes to look at.  There were a lot of "that looks OK", but none that just wowed us, but we began setting up showings.  And then one came was one that I had seen listed for quite some time, but the location had always made me write it off.  I thought it was just too far out of range considering the commute J would have to conquer daily.  But when the list was sent to J and I, he immediately fell in love with the house and began stalking it.  By the time he came home that day, he had Google Earth views of the land and plans for what we could do with it.  We also mapped his commute and found that it was really no farther time-wise than many of the other nearer homes we had looked at because of its close proximity to a main highway versus miles and miles of dirt roads to battle. It was also an old, old farm house built in 1902 and it was near a small town very close to where I grew up.  It was also priced very low compared to many of the other homes we were looking at, which did make me slightly nervous. we went to see it in person.  I would say we fell in love!  Not so much with the home in its current state, but with the potential!

The view out our OLD front door
Short story long (I'm a master at this), we did it!  It was a long 30 days filled with anxiety over appraisals and inspections and mortgage lenders who couldn't get their act together and finding the best lender EVER (talk to me if you need recommendations for lenders or realtors) and packing and cleaning and late school enrollments and trying our best to parent and prepare our littles in the midst of more chaos than is normal even here.  And, you know what?  We survived and here we are in this little piece of Heaven that we call Home.  Not a day has gone by, despite old, creaky floors and more crickets than you have EVER seen and drafty doors and dying furnaces and allergy attacks that never happened when we were city folk...that I haven't declared how much I LOVE this place!  I love looking out my bedroom window and seeing a Kansas Sunset with nothing but trees, farm fields and sky to distract me from the spectacle.  I love stepping out onto my rickety old front porch in the morning and feeling the warmth of the sun on the old wood beneath my feet and hearing the songs of a hundred different birds, roosters crowing and cows mooing in the distance.  I love watching the kids run without boundaries and making discoveries they never knew existed in our own yard.  I love the 4 million lady bugs that inhabit every leaf around our house and to hear Jilly's delight EVERY time she captures one of the poor creatures.  I love the bucket of rain boots I get to put next to the back door in the mud room inviting little feet to slip them on and take off to find their next adventure.  The only part of our old house that I miss isn't even something that is truly tangible.  I did shed a few tears driving away for the last time thinking about how I brought home two babies to that house and gave birth to one there.  Not something that I can bottle and take with me, but something that tied a lot of emotion to that home.  It was a good house...and served its purpose well and we grew our family and love there, but I think here is where we will see that love and family truly blossom.  We are in our element and I cannot wait to make our memories here!  We are truly blessed...
Evening view out our bedroom window

Entry hallway

White board for coloring in our Breakfast nook/play room

The flowers we picked in our OWN yard!

The boys...who knows? Admiring the sky?

Stella with her stick
Declan with Stella's stick :) 

Wonder how far I could get before they
catch me?

The magic of baling hay!
Sitting on our very first hay bale! :)

View toward the house form the driveway

View away from the house from the driveway on "Fire Night"

How we roll in the country!

Our little Tarzan!
Itty bitty toad!
Lady Bug!

The only neighbors we can see

Too much fun in the mud :)
I'll spare you the pics of him stripped
down to hose him off! Haha

J gettin' busy!  A little heavy landscaping
Chainsaw is pretty cool, but it's a little loud too!

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