Growing up I was left wanting so much more after watching Disney moves. I burned with curiosity and wanted to know “and then what happened?”. Go ahead, ask Ben. I ruin every good movie with question after question wanting to know intent, what their motives were, why they did what they did and his favorite question– what happened next?
I’m curious. I always want to know more. Although I crave stability and predictability (for control issues cough cough…), for me to really thrive I need to stretch out of my comfort zone. I think it’s like that for most people actually, although it’s a scary thing to admit to. Anyways— We’ve had a lot of questions lately on what we have been up to and people want to know what is going on with us after our ‘fairy tale’ move from Arkansas so here is a post to fill in some of the missing pieces.
This second week of November marks about 5 weeks that we’ve been in Colorado. It’s been a whirlwind of chaos, change, fear, doubt… with equal parts of excitement, joy and peace mixed in.
A few days ago I looked at Ben, as if coming out of a daze or long sleep. “We really live here.”
Ben, smiling. “Yep, we do.”
Me, gaining clarity: “like, we REALLY DO LIVE here.”
Ben, slowly and patiently like speaking to an especially dim person: “Yes, we really do live here.”
So all that intro to move into my actual blog post:
On living day by day. (but like really and not in a waxing poetic kind of way…)
I meant to write before now, to give an update on our journey out here in the wild west of Colorado but every time I’d sit down to write I’d find myself chewing over words until I just walked away from my computer, like it was a dangerous thing.
Partly that is because I literally had no idea what to say at times. Other times life just felt overwhelming and I didn’t really want to have to sit still and think through the things that were stressing me out when NOT thinking about them felt so much more manageable. ha ha!
Have you ever lived day by day? For real? I think the only times I’ve truly lived day by day it’s been in a survival mode- where I literally felt I could only deal with the problems of that day. If you read my last post, you know we picked up and moved across the country recently.
Perhaps you don’t know me very well but although I talk a fine adventure story, I have found living it is a completely different thing.
I am a planned, orderly, type A person who likes to have a well thought out pro and con list. THIS HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE FOR THE LAST MONTH. At times I’ve been in a place that I’ve found that I don’t necessarily thrive in. I’ve learned a lot about myself in this process and one of the biggest themes I saw that I struggled with was Accepting.
- Accepting help from others. (family helping us moving on both ends and people we just met helping us move the second time a month later.)
- Accepting some financial help when the closing on our business was delayed 2 weeks.
- Accepting that control is a complete myth.
Moving out here was hard for me. The business** wasn’t officially ours yet and so there was a chance it could fall through. (An annoying fact I couldn’t seem to get out of my head.)
Also, we had about a week to get packed. We had thought that we might move but it wasn’t for sure until we knew the business loan went though so only a little had been done. Note to my dear readers- I would never recommend trying to move across the country in a week unless you have a mother and sister in law like I do… Not only that- but Ben’s entire family really were the ones that put our things in the moving van even though they didn’t want us to move. That is love, isn’t it?
Also added in- we didn’t have a for sure place to move into. THAT particular lack of security kept me up a few nights. I’ve never experienced that level of insecurity and wow. It’s funny that although we can be empathetic and think we understand what someone is going through- until we experience something ourselves we have no idea how that something might affect us. Ben was optimistic- but finding rentals around here was nearly impossible. We were staying in a house for a few weeks and tried to get the owners to let us stay there as it was a lovely, pet friendly place but they used it all winter for their family so we knew we had to move on.
The locals said they’d never seen a season like this where they were so short on rentals. Over 1,000 students and workers had to turn down opportunities because they couldn’t find a place to live. People were renting couches for $800/month and many people were paying well over $1,000/month to have a room with shared living spaces and bathrooms.
The 2 bedroom condo we thought we were moving into was suppose to be pet friendly- then we found out it wasn’t. (Quick note: We found out for sure we could have the condo after we had been in Colorado a few weeks.) Obviously, we were torn. What were we suppose to do with our pets?! I felt ok most of the time, but our pets are family and dumping them at a local animal shelter wasn’t something I felt we could so and none of our friends or family could take them. We asked the landlord of the condo what it would take to keep our cats, we even got a letter for our cats to be therapy animles for Summit as they are very soothing to him- but he said no. We didn’t feel we had a choice- we HAD TO LIVE SOMEWHERE and were looking into re-homing options for our cats. There was nothing available to rent– let alone a PET friendly rental. It simply didn’t exist. We asked our friends and family to start praying.
We stayed in this place of “what are we going to do” for almost a month. I remember praying one day and feeling so cheesy when I told God that I knew he loved our pets- he had given to them and if it was his will that we had to give them up that he’d find wonderful new homes. I read through the Abraham and Isaac story and apologized to God for being dramatic but I knew at my core that he cared about Summit loving his cat Silver and all the love and comfort he got from him.
I’ll cut the the end- *We ended up finding a beautiful 4 bedroom duplex on the edge of a national forrest in the area we wanted to live in*. The place we found is nothing short of a miracle.
Long story short, we were calling on every available rental in our area and the perfect one came open late one night. We called at 8am and tried confidently saying we’d take it. At that point the rental agency told us she had received over 25 applications from the night before. I felt a bit hopeless but we decided to go to the open house to see it.
The place was packed. A full parking lot and dozens of well dressed, smart looking people were walking through the house. I heard a few people talking to the realtor, “what will it take to get this? How much money do you need to make a deal?” with all the high pressure of a good salesperson. I had actually waited about 15 minutes to even go inside- I stayed with the boys in the car. I’ll be honest- I was super intimidated by all the people and felt a bit hopeless we’d get the place and I didn’t want to get my hopes up (because I can be a drama queen at times)… When I FINALY got my courage up, I went to see if Ben thought it was a good idea and he was talking with the realtor just inside the place. She turned, looked at me like I was family and welcomed me in.
I kind of did the awkward, “who me?” and tried to look subtly behind me for someone without 2 loud little boys screeching, “I want to see the house! Where is Daddy?!” and “MOMMY IS THIS OUR NEW HOUSE?!” (Which- that last statement said so joyfully was actually quite hilarious as I watched the other potential house renters smile through gritted teeth trying to look amused as my child unwittingly scored points…)
We walked through the house and had that crazy peace we were at home even though we were competing with around 75 other people desperately wanting the same place.
We were told we’d hear by the end of the weekend who they decided to select from- we heard in a few hours that the place was ours.
More to come…
** The business. Here are a few FAQ’s:
FAQ 1: “What business? What is going on here?!” Answer: The name of the business is Purity Pool and Spas. A hot tub sales and service store.
FAQ 2: …the awkward chuckle- “ummm I didn’t know you liked hot tubs so much! Why hot tubs?!” to which I respond- when I started working at CCF Brands I knew nothing about eggs so here I am, in a better position as a business owner to learn and grow my company, brand and worth. It’s been a dream of Ben and I to own a business together again, using our wide variety of knowledge and ability to invest in ourselves. We felt strongly it needed to be in a service industry. Ben is handy and will do all necessary repairs and routes for our over 100 customers and I will be running the business. I will also be doing consulting on the side and have a few side jobs lining up! Regardless- we stay busy in a good and steady industry. We will work hard but it’s worth it! We are so excited and loving it so much.
FAQ 3: “You moved so suddenly! Is something wrong?!” Answer: Despite popular belief, I don’t post EVERYTHING on social. ha ha! Like I said in my previous post and up above, we’ve wanted and tried to move to Colorado before. I didn’t share about the business until I felt it was a for sure things so it SEEMED abrupt even though we’d been thinking of it for a few months, again, already knowing our goal was to get out here. Honestly- it was nothing we really did. It may sound elementary to some but all the pieces were put together by God and I’ve been blown away at what HE did to make all of this happen. It’s truly a miracle and a dream come true. I’m humbled and stunned. I’ve had trouble accepting that we are actually here!
FAQ 4: This is more of all of the joking I-hate-you statements: “I’M SO JEALOUS OF YOU! AHHH! I WANT TO BE THERE!” Answer: If you stopped and thought about it, do you really want to be out here? Ben and I did. A lot of people think that we are on vacation all the time and I assure you that it’s hard work and been a transition, even though it’s great, there have been some very hard times. Do you really want to live here REALLY? Most people find they are happy where they are and just want to visit. Which we encourage you to- come visit us! I’ll make dinner. Come, friends, and have fun at your second home in the mountains. 😀
FAQ 5: “So, you think you and Ben could work together? I know I’d KILL my spouse if I had to work with them!” Answer: It’s true, Ben and I have, at times, a dramatic, Italian marriage. We are what Jenn Hatmaker calls a “Spicy” family. I can assure you however, we work together great. Our many opposite personality traits and interests compliment each other in a business sense. (That doesn’t mean I haven’t walked out in a huff and went home to drink a glass of wine before…)