March 08, 2018

An update on our current state of chaos.

Things have happened since I last checked in.

We sold our house. In six days. In a market where the average house is listed for 64 days. We were so surprised when the offer came in and it wasn't a low ball. It was absolutely an answer to prayer. While on the job hunt at the end of January, I prayed that I wouldn't get the job I wanted if the house was going to sell in February. Against all odds it did and, if you'll recall, I bombed that interview in spectacular fashion.

We weren't completely prepared for what selling our house in a week would mean. We are so grateful that we didn't have to keep it on the market for long. Even though it was, in a way, easier to keep the house pristine than just normal level of tidy, it was still exhausting.

Going into this, we knew we didn't want to move in winter. Four years ago, we moved out here in the middle of a very long, cold winter, and it was brutal. I'm not sure what the rest of the continent is like, but we are still in full winter mode here. It might not be -40 anymore, but we did get 35 cm of snow this weekend and people are still digging themselves out. 

Now that we've finished the uncertain phase of selling the house, we get to enter the next one, which is almost more uncertain. Initially I had dreamed of moving straight from this house into a new one in Victoria. Bless my daydreaming soul, but that isn't our reality. 

Karl and I aren't transferring jobs or moving because we've been recruited (like last time), we're going in with nothing. That means that we're not able to qualify for a mortgage until we've at least both got jobs, so we're going to be staying with my mom for an indeterminate amount of time. She has lots of bedrooms, but only one bathroom so you can pray for us if you think about it. And pray that no one gets food poisoning.

On the job front, Karl already has a couple offers and is set to start working a couple days after we arrive. I've got an interview already lined up for next week, and a couple other positions I've applied for that I suspect I'll hear back from. Hopefully the job market in Victoria isn't as brutal as the one here. We also have a few childcare options to interview next week. The thing is, if we don't find childcare before I find a job, because Karl already has a job, I'll be turning down any potential offers until something gets lined up. Kids are such liabilities.

Can we talk about the extreme stress of finding childcare? Never mind leaving your kids with complete strangers that you know next to nothing about, it's going to cost us at least 50% more in Victoria than it would in Regina to have two kids in daycare. It's in such high demand there, too, that I emailed over 70 providers in the last few weeks, and heard back from maybe half a dozen of them that they might have room. Factor in some negative reviews I got on a few of them, and we're interviewing two places this week, maybe three. Pray for no secret sociopaths.

We'll be doing the move in two trips because we're fun like that. The first trip is going to be really short. It'll take longer to get there than we'll actually be there. We'll be towing Karl's Mustang, bringing as much stuff as we can, and interviewing/being interviewed out the wazoo. After that we turn and burn, come back to pack up the house, say our final goodbyes, and leave before the Easter long weekend. Pray for no more blizzards. And that we can get the car out of the garage.

When we're not battling colds, I've been slowly packing up the house. It's a weird thing to pack up in phases. We packed some things before we listed the house that we knew we wouldn't need for several months. Now we're packing things and labelling them to go in storage until we get into our own house, or to go to my mom's house with us. Some will get unpacked, some will hang out in her basement. Is it weird how much I'm going to miss my pots and pans? And coffee mugs? And food processor? And blender? I have attachment issues to my kitchen gear.

While I may be sentimental about my small appliances, I'm surprisingly not about a lot of other things. We've sold our couches, are getting rid of most of our dressers, and are trying to sell our bed frame. And the house. I love this house so much, but I'm finding myself less sentimental about it than I expected. Sure, it's our first house, we brought our babies home from the hospital here, and made a lot of memories here, but it's just a bunch of walls and a really nice roof. We'll see how I feel when we say our last goodbye, but I got more emotional last week after my final appointment with the doctor that delivered our kids and saying goodbye to him (not pregnant) than I do thinking about leaving this house.

So here we go. Our year of chaos 2.0 continues.

February 13, 2018


We've been busy lately. Really busy. So busy. Now that our house is on the market, though, there's not much else to do until there's a sold sign on it. Sure, there's always housework, but when you stay on top of it like you do with a house on the market there isn't actually much to do. Did you know it's actually easier to keep your house immaculate when you're on it every single day than it is to keep it regular level of tidy? I know, it's blowing my mind, too. Except if you let it slide even one night, then you're screwed.

Anyway, no one cares about super obvious house cleaning tips. Or if they do they're looking on Pinterest.

reading: Nothing good. I'm reading a book I got from the library's sale table and it's weird. I'm halfway into it and I think I'm starting to understand the plot. I thought about giving up on it, but it's less than 300 pages, and I don't know how to enter abandoned books into Goodreads. So I'm persisting. I might read a parenting book next since I'm trying to go through my bookshelves, but that's not terribly exciting either.

I'm also really enjoying the daily devotional New Morning Mercies. I started reading it in September, but have been more diligent since January. 

listening to: I just listened to Serial, am almost done S-Town, and listen regularly to Strangerville and Young House Love Has a Podcast. All of which I'm enjoying, except less so the second season of Serial. 

I listened to the audiobooks for Just Show Up and Hidden Figures. Hidden Figures made me feel like an underachiever, but I did a puzzle while listening so at least I was flexing my brain muscles. I watched the movie after and I highly recommend both. I think non-fiction is my new favourite audiobook genre.

Just Show Up  was good, and recommended to me by a friend, but I wish I'd read the book instead. I'd heard of Kara Tippetts before and was kind of familiar with her story, but it would have been helpful to be more invested in her personal story. I struggled with the person reading the book, too. She was painfully sincere about everything she said, and I couldn't wait for her to stop talking. No one talks like that in real life.

I just bought the latest Matt Maher album off iTunes. Its a fair bet that's going to be playing a lot.

watching: I'm finally getting into season two of Stranger Things. Season one was okay, but I'm loving season two. I've been watching it at naptime so I can't usually get through more than one episode at a time before Molly wakes up and I turn on something else. She doesn't watch shows with me, but she's around and sees what's on and I just feel like Stranger Things needs my undivided attention, and it's kind of creepy for a one year old. I mean 13 month old. Hold me.

I've also been watching Don't Trust the B in Apartment 23. It's so dumb that I understand why it only lasted two seasons, and it's pretty salty, bu t it's a great background show for when I'm hanging out with Molly while Parker's having his down time.

eating: Currently a breakfast cookie and finishing my morning coffee. I'm not sure where the morning went, but I'm not even done my fist cup of decaf of the day and it's practically noon. I'm usually a two cup by noon kind of person. (Well, when I started writing this it was almost noon. Now it's almost supper time and my second cup of coffee is stone cold and barely started.)

I'm giving up desserts for lent. I don't typically do lent but it starts tomorrow and I need another break from desserts. I enjoyed December and January way too much. I'm not going for 100% success on this, but I'm hoping for 90-95%. 

missing: Fresh air that isn't going to try and kill me. It's February so I'm right on track for that warmer weather craving. I don't even want super warm, I just warm enough to go for a walk without worrying about coming home with popsicle children. It's been -45 with the windchill lately, but today it's a balmy -5. Except with the wind it's -20. I'm really, really hoping that next week we can get around the lake.

loving: Brunch. We had an open house Saturday afternoon so we had brunch at a friend's house. It was awesome. I'm not sure why we never thought to do it earlier. We're going to do it again next weekend at our place and I'm so excited for mimosas and banana bread cinnamon buns and bacon. And friends, of course.

I really need to go for that walk.

wearing: Joggers. If I exercised every time I wore joggers I would be in North Korea right now winning Gold in every single event, men's and women's. I also live in sweaters, leggings, cardigans, and socks. And, on the rare occasion when I actually leave the house, I wear boots. I love boots, I really do, but after six months of winter I miss shoes. I am so excited to put on shoes, TOMS perhaps, without socks. This is my dream. I also dream of not wearing my maternity parka every time I leave the house.

Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss wearing lounge athletic wear all the time if and when that day ever comes, but I just think my leggings would look absolutely darling with something other than my snow boots.

anticipating: All. the. pizza. Our small group is making pizza tomorrow night and Friday is date night, where we make pizza and watch a movie without our phones. It feels like a lot of (goat) cheese, but that's a cross I'm willing to bear. Life is crazy right now, but I think pizza is going to be the soothing balm to my life eczema. How's that for an appetizing metaphor?

Breaking cheese covered bread with dear friends is kind of the perfect way to spend Valentine's Day. Karl and I also desperately need an evening together, not talking about finances, housing, or the darkly impending future. And speaking of darkly impending, I'm really anticipating enjoying a dark beer with my pizza, in my joggers. 

February 03, 2018

Somebody pass the manna (oo-na-na)

I had an interview last week. It was in an area that I've never worked in before and a change I was up for. While the pay wasn't stellar ($0.03 less than the job I turned down the week before), it was a part time gig so I could overlook that. If you're completely confused by my reasoning I can't blame you. When you have kids, they make things complicated. Of course I could have worked that full time job because the experience was great and it was in an area that I get excited about. It just wasn't exciting enough to take me away full time from my kids and everything else going on right now.

I put on a nice dress and dropped the kids off with the sitter. I had almost 15 minutes to get to my interview five minutes away. I was cruising and living my best life. Then I had to cross some train tracks which just so happened to have a train on them. A train that slowed down and stopped right in front of me. I called the woman that was interviewing me, only to get an out of office that she was sick. I tried, I really did, but by the time I found another number to call the train was moving and I was two minutes away.

I think there are a few ways to really blow an interview, and showing up five minutes late is definitely one of them. I was lucky and they were really understanding (do trains fall under "act of God"?) so we moved past it.

Not to toot my own horn, but the interview went really well. I think I might have been made for the position. Everything the company stands for sounded good to me. It was like a match made in employment heaven. I charmed them, they charmed me, we now have a group text going where we send witty GIFs.

Just kidding, I don't know how to group text.

So aside from being tardy, I slayed that interview. I knew they were going to hire me. I put on my coat and we shook hands and said our farewells and did the obligatory casual post-interview chit chat.

"So, what are you up to for the rest of the day?"

I wasn't ready for it. I should have been. Everyone always asks. They need to kill any potential awkward silence as you leave and do a last minute psychopath check. They're trying to catch you off guard and delve deeper into who you are. They're no longer your interviewers, they're just Steve and Diane and Steve and Diane are just being friendly and you tell Steve and Diane what you're doing.

"Just going home to clean the house to get ready to sell." ABORT! ABORT! (That was my filter, kicking in a little late.)

"Oh, are you moving in Regina?" Still calm, still doing the psychopath check.

"Um... Well..." And that was it. I ruined everything. No more group texts. No more funny GIFs. No more future with the company and climbing the corporate ladder all the way to the presidency because you, my friend, have officially bombed your interview.

The thing is, that 2018 is another year of chaos because we're moving back to B.C. Last week was utter insanity because our realtors, the day before I turned down that job, told me that, in this market, it's a good time to list our house. So I spent the whole week scrubbing and packing and organizing and wondering how on earth my children have accumulated so many toys.

When we contacted our realtors we gave them a large window of time that we wanted to list in. We weren't in a rush, we just wanted to get the most value out of our home as possible. So when they said to list and it was right in the middle of my job hunt we said okay and made sure we had plenty of Tylenol on hand for our tension headaches.

I cried the whole way home from my interview. If we hadn't had an established timeline for listing I wouldn't have said anything, but I was glad it was out there. I had been feeling a lot of guilt about keeping it secret. Even working for a few months can make a big difference, and we honestly thought we'd be looking at an April list date. That's lots of time to work, wait for the house to sell, then close. I'd been looking for jobs since November so I'd always assumed I'd be committing to around six months of work.

I've given up. I'm not meant to work in Saskatchewan anymore and I have a lot of peace about it. I did hear back from the job, and they told me that if our plans change and we don't move to give them a call because they'd love to have me. Then we bonded on the phone over migraine cures and now have a meme email chain going so the whole thing wasn't a total loss.

I prayed before going into my interview that I wouldn't get the job if our house was going to sell in February. Time will tell if that prayer was answered, but I'm confident that my job right now is to stay home with the kids, host as many play dates for my mom group as I can, and get this household ready to go to the promised land. If me not working means that we have to subsist on manna in the process, well at least we're getting biblical.

I've decided, though, that I'm not a stay at home mom. I don't think that's a title that really fits me. Under different circumstances you could probably call me a home maker. Except, well, I'm packing everything up. I've taken all our pictures off the walls already and made our house feel so much less like our own in order to get it sale ready. So ladies, lock up your books, knickknacks, and family pictures, because I'm a home wrecker and I'm on a mission.