Yesterday the hubs and I closed on our very first home. Finally! It seems like it’s been the longest process ever. We went to our builder back in July and signed a contract for them to start building the home. Since then we’ve been on a roller coaster ride of the highest highs and devastating disappointments. Building a home is hard.
But it’s been even more than that. The hubs and I have been renting for 10 very long years. Since we got married over a decade ago, we have lived in other’s people’s homes. Our first apartment was great, but we were on the bottom of a three story building and it sounded like our upstairs neighbors were bowling all of the time. Next we moved in with my grandma right after my grandpa died. She was scheduled to have hip replacement surgery and she needed people there to take care of her. Really, she loved my grandpa so much she just needed someone there to keep her going. During that stay at grandma’s (which felt much longer than the 9 months we spent there), I got pregnant with our first child. Not wanting to raise her in my grandma’s basement we searched and searched for the right apartment for us.
Even though we weren’t looking in this area, the hubs and I were both drawn to a house we drove by almost daily that had a “For Rent” sign outside. I know we were meant to live there. Not because the tiny basement apartment was a great place to live. It wasn’t. We were supposed to be in the ward we’re in now. Words cannot express how much we love our ward and how the friendships we’ve made there have helped us progress to practically inactive to a temple recommend holding, sealed for eternity, kind of family. We lived there for one year in that tiny apartment under a pair of hard-partying drag queens and didn’t like it much. My visiting teacher lived in a duplex owned by her parents and let me know that her sister and brother-in-law who were living there were moving out and they needed new renters they could trust. The size of the apartment was HUGE and we readily said yes. Our little girl was only a year old. We stayed in the downstairs apartment until our next child, our son, was 6 months old. My visiting teacher and her family moved into their house and we decided we wanted the advantages of living in the upstairs apartment (i.e. a garage and access to the backyard). Since then we had another child. So really, we became a family in this house. This house will be special for that reason. And so not special for many, many other reasons.
The journey to get here has taken forever. We’ve been through so much. I don’t want to say we deserve a nice brand-new house because nobody “deserves” something like that. But we have worked so hard for it. We’ve prayed, saved, paid off debts, cried, and been disappointed. A year ago I remember crying to my sister saying that we’d never be in a financial position good enough to own a home. And now we’re here. I wish I could fully articulate how long and hard this journey has been. How long we have waited to have a home of a home. How long we have waited to give our children a place that is safe, where I don’t have to worry if they’re playing in the front yard or walking to school. How it has felt to watch all of friends take this step, some even two or three times, while we stayed behind and rented. It has been very hard.
We started our married life in debt and have slowly accrued more debt because of medical expenses and such, and have spent the last few years slowly climbing our way out of debt. Our biggest debt was finally paid off (a proverbial monkey off our back) with the money my Mom left me in her life insurance when she died. If it hadn’t been for us paying off that debt, we would have never gotten this house. So in essence, my Mom helped us get this house. My sister believes that my Mom had a hand in getting them their beautiful home they bought last year. I feel like my Mom is definitely in our lives still, watching over us, and being our angel.
Today we got our keys and we’re moving in. Moving in and moving on to a new life. A better life.