Yesterday was a banner day for our little family of four.
I spent the greater part of last week scouring for a rental house. No, our home hasn't sold, though it came very close over the 4th of July weekend. That contract had a move-out date of July 29th, and it was a simultaneous "Holy hell, how do I find a place and move that quickly" mixed with "Thank goodness, now we can be settled" panic-filled-joyous-relief. But the contract fell through, and I was left realizing that as challenging as last holiday season was a single mom, this one is going to be even tougher. The 3 kids' birthdays (all within 30 days of each other) is an annual extra dose of stress for me, but toss in the monster job of keeping this house show-ready that is slowly draining me, and add the uncertainty of another move that could happen at oh, any time...and just typing that sentence makes my chest tighten.
I found myself snapping at the kids earlier this week for running and hugging me from behind. Sure, I was balancing a full glass of water and we were scrambling to vacate for a showing, but I snapped at my kids, for hugging me.
Deep breath. Regroup. What's going on here.
-I can't change work , or the fact that it's going to hit it's peak (and be our biggest season yet).
-Birthdays and birthday parties are a must (and a given).
-The house can't be taken off the market.
But, one thing CAN change. I can move. We can lease, and by doing so remove one very big stressor from my life.
Is it ideal? Convenient? Financially savvy? Easy? No.
Will I, my kids, and by default my business and clientele benefit? Absolutely.
So this week, I, being a person that rarely goes the easy route for ANYTHING, went on the hunt for a rental house. I had one curly-headed toddler in tow while her siblings were at a 3 hour summer camp (which made us super-fast house hunters, as we had a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time).
There was the house with the child asleep in one room, and the master bedroom locked with WHO KNOWS WHAT going on in there.
The bachelor pad with the tiki torches out front and the stoner college boys still in bed in their boxers (Hi, that was entertaining).
The Wes Craven house with silver paint on the walls and glass sculptures in the front yard.
And a tiny little house that I almost didn't make it to, because we were running out of time and it was a little farther than I wanted to be, and the house I had settled on was good enough (even if it did feel 'off' while fitting the bill for the 'must haves').
But my realtor, God bless her for this, pushed me to 'just go look'.
The streets have sidewalks, you guys (I've never lived in a house, while having children, with actual sidewalks). The trees are huge and hang over the streets. The house is tucked away on the inside of a quiet neighborhood (instead of backing up to a major thoroughfare, or construction, or power lines). And it faces a greenbelt (I loved to explore as a kid...I can't wait to share this with my trio). Best of all, it's minutes from several families that we have been close to for years, one of which is the family whose two kids who are Sam and Ben's best friends (and she is my hairdresser and ZOMG I LOVE HER). Yes, there was much squealing when I told the kids the news.
I bit my lip, eyeballed my credit score, put in my first rental application since college, and held my breath. On Saturday our realtor texted to let us know "The house is yours!". Exhale. Smile. Cheer. YES.
It's, in a word, twee. Yellow on the outside, filled with sunshine on the inside. It's light, bright, airy and happy. I'm not *quite* sure yet how I'm going to fit our (currently inhabiting 5000 square feet) lives into it, but I feel a purging coming on.
The timing is perfect in that the kids are taking their summer vacation with their dad the same week I take possession of the house, and I'll be able to not only pack in peace, but welcome them home to a fully unpacked and organized house.
Even more perfect? Our first houseguest will be J, who will be in town that same weekend.
I couldn't ask for a better beginning for us (minus, you know, WINNING THE LOTTERY or something).