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Saturday, January 25, 2014


It's time to make some changes.

I've talked before about how much I hate my job, and realistically, that hasn't changed.

Granted, CrankyPants has had a much better attitude for the past couple of months, and that has made a huge difference. But when it comes right down to it, I really hate being there. Don't get me wrong...there are parts that I enjoy, and I love 99% of my coworkers.... but I just don't like the job.

Physically, it's gotten to be too much for me. The stress and the constant running and the constant being on my feet is taking its toll. It's getting to the point that I can barely walk when I get home because I hurt so bad - and that's not fair to me or to the kids. They want and need me to be able to do things, and to tell them "I'm sorry, but I hurt too much" is just wrong. I can't keep up with the house because I'm so worn out and sore all of the time.

I've been doing some serious soul-searching over the past few weeks, and I decided to do something about it. I walked up to CrankyPants yesterday determined to quit. We talked about what is going on and why I need to change - the physical impact, issues with the kids and child care, etc - and we decided that I would go down to part-time status, at least for now. I can pick and choose my hours (for the most part) and work when I want to work.

She already gave me my schedule for next week, and although it's not a huge reduction in hours, it's still less. She still needs me to open a few days until she gets some other people trained - and I agreed to that not for her, but for my coworkers who will end up picking up my slack.

At this point, we are doing this assuming that I am closing on the house on Monday as planned. I know that realistically, quitting and/or cutting my hours before closing is not the best idea - so if for some crazy reason the closing is postponed, we'll adjust our plan as needed. Right now, for once in my life, I'm taking care of ME. This is something that I need to do - hopefully it's the right thing.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Maybe it's official....

Lots of stuff still going on with the house. After all of the chaos that was Friday, we had a fairly quiet weekend. I waited to hear back from Mortgage Lady because she said she was going to touch base with me on Sunday, but I didn't hear from her.

Yesterday morning, I got an email from a woman who works with Mortgage Lady. She needed some additional info (mainly documentation of that bill being paid off) and so we emailed back and forth several times until I got an email from her that about knocked me out of my seat....

Unfortunately {Mortgage Lady} is no longer with us. I believe that she is still going to finish the files that she has but she will not be in the {local} office.

Wait, what????!?!?!! What do you mean?!?!?! Mortgage Lady has been there for me from the get-go! She's been there since before I even started the process! How can she just leave me hanging like this??? Noooooooooo.......

After I got over my initial panic, Mortgage Lady 2.0 explained that she had been working with Mortgage Lady the entire time, and everything would be fine. She knows my story, she knows my file, and there is nothing to worry about.

Uh huh. Sure. Easy for her to say.

Anyway, more emails between me and Mortgage Lady 2.0, and me and Realtor Lady, and I started to think that maybe, just maybe things were going to be ok. They seemed way calmer about the whole situation than I was, so I did my best to take my cues from them.

I didn't have to work today, so after I got the boys to school I came home and started puttering around. I had gotten some empty boxes from work and decided to start in the laundry room, which has been a store room to a ton of games and toys that the kids just don't use anymore. I started going through the stuff and trashed the ones that were missing too many pieces, packed the ones that I want to keep, and posted the rest on facebook in the hopes that some of my friends would want to adopt some new games.

I actually made a little bit of progress, although there's still way more to do - but at least I got started. No more denial - time to start packing.

The Dude came over to hang out for a while this afternoon and we were talking about everything that has been happening with all of this. Then the emails started flying again. Long story short, closing is now officially scheduled for Monday, January 27 at 3:00pm.

Officially. Like.....it's going to happen.

*commence panic attack #745,812 of this process*

At that point we decided to go out and grab a (very) late lunch. As we ate, he tried to talk me down from my freak out (he failed miserably) and we just tried to absorb the enormity of what is about to happen.

As I go through this process, there are so many emotions that go along with it. On the outside, it's just me buying a house - not such a big deal. People do it every day.

But there's also the doubt, the fear, the caution that it might not happen. I know in my head at this point, it's going to happen. But it seems like such a stretch for me - ME - to be doing this. I've made some pretty stupid choices in my life, and none of them should have led me in this direction, but here I am about to commit to a 6-figure investment that in a way I feel that I don't even deserve.

I know that realistically, I could not afford to do this without the Social Security. And I am well-aware that I would not be receiving that if my second husband hadn't passed away. That makes this whole process more than a bit bittersweet for me. I still battle with the feelings of guilt over his death, even though I know that it wasn't my fault. I struggle with the thought that the money that Daniel and I get because he died is what is making the home of my dreams a reality for me - but at the same time, I know that I am doing the right thing by making sure that we have a home that suits our needs in so many ways.

I think about my battle to avoid homelessness a few years ago, and can't wrap my head around the fact that very soon, we will be in a house with 6 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and more than enough room to meet our needs plus some.

Overwhelming doesn't even begin to describe it. Seriously, there are no words to describe how I'm feeling right now. I wish that I could explain it, and I will probably ramble on and on about it over the next few weeks as I try to work through all of it in my head. All I know is that right now, I'm caught somewhere between ecstatic and numb - and feeling maybe a little bit of both.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Progress.....I think.


Two blog posts in two days? Can it be????

Seriously though, I want to do better about this, plus use this as sort of a journal of the last leg of this house-buying journey.

Alex and Daniel didn't have school today, so we slept in a little bit. I had to get Alex to Wichita this morning for an allergist appointment, so when I woke up I knew we had to get moving fairly soon. I checked my phone to see what notifications I had, and there was an email from Mortgage Lady. I read it and quickly grabbed the laptop.

Basically, what she said was that the Rural Development people had already gone over everything, and there were a couple of things that I needed to do. One was to pay off a really really old bill - back in my past life, an old cable bill had gone to collections and stayed there. When we started working on my credit report, we ignored that one for several reasons, but we knew that it would probably have to be paid prior to closing on the house. When my file went to the underwriters, they made me pay off another one that was in collections, but never said anything about this one - so we hoped that they were going to ignore it. Long story short, they didn't ignore it, and I had to pay it. No biggie - I was prepared, plus today was payday from work so the money was already in my checking account. I dug up the number for the collection agency, called them and paid it in full before I even got out of bed.

I emailed Mortgage Lady to let her know. She would need verification as soon as they processed the payment so I called the collection agency back and they said that they would fax her the info.

The boys and I hopped into the GrandpaCar and took off for Wichita. The appointment went well and we grabbed a quick lunch afterwards. Another email from Mortgage Lady arrived - the "dirt work" has to be done.

"Dirt work" - another long story.

Shortened version - structural engineer inspected the house and it passed with flying colors. On his report, he put a disclaimer that he puts on every single one of his reports saying that there should be dirt put around the foundation sloping away from the house to help with drainage. Rural Development now decided that this HAS to be done. We had a feeling that this was going to happen too, so Realtor Lady already had a spare load of dirt dumped at the house (the woman is awesome). I tried unsuccessfully to locate a wheelbarrow on my way back from Wichita, and instead stopped and bought one. Seriously - I've been wanting one for a while (who in their right mind wants to buy a wheelbarrow? and do you know how expensive those things are? and how hard they are to fit in the trunk of the GrandpaCar?) so I just bought it. Boom.

Came home, changed clothes, bought lunch for The Dude, took that to him, tossed the wheelbarrow in the back of his truck, threw him the keys to the GrandpaCar, and took off to the house.

I spent the next 3-4 hours moving wheelbarrow loads of dirt from the driveway to the side of the house, as well as battling the boys to NOT throw piles of dirt in the driveway, and to stay out of the truck, and to stay where I could see them, and no I'm not driving across town just to get you a drink, yada yada yadaaaaa......

Suddenly another truck pulled into the driveway. A man and a woman got out and the man introduced himself to me as the seller.

Oooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh......so YOU are the man who has been a total pain in my ass since this thing started? I had to stop myself from saying it out loud. The woman with him was his mother-in-law, who also happens to be his realtor.


We actually had a very nice visit. We chatted about the house in general and I told them how I had immediately fallen in love with it. I told them about some of our plans, and as soon as I mentioned putting a clothesline in out back, I immediately got on the mother-in-law's good side and she joined in on the conversation. They shared a little bit more about the history of the house and I told them that I was interested in learning anything that they want to share about it. It was awesome, and they admitted that they were relieved that someone wasn't going to just buy it and flip it, but was instead going to fix it up and live in it and love it. I told them about how I had lost everything and was days away from being homeless a few years ago, and how that made this whole process so much more important for me. All in all I think that it was a great little chat and having that face-to-face interaction was a nice surprise prior to meeting over the closing documents.

I did find it amusing that he is planning to pay someone to move the pool table out of the basement just so that he can sell it. I told him that he is more than welcome to leave it there, but he really wants to sell it. I'm curious to see if it actually happens or not - it honestly doesn't bother me one way or another. It would be nice to have, but I can use the added floor space just as much as I can use the table.

Oh, and they're taking the rocks out of the one flowerbed. Yes, the rocks. But, in his defense they're from various camping trips all over the country, so they do actually have sentimental value.

He also warned me that the neighborhood can be kind of competitive when it comes to yardwork.

Ha. Bring it.

In the meantime, more emails back and forth. Mortgage Lady was having trouble getting the verification that she needed from the collection agency, so I called them again. As it turned out, I had to fax them something with my signature for them to release the information to her (and you didn't tell me that this morning because...............?????) and since The Dude's truck isn't equipped with a portable fax machine, I had to cut my dirt moving short, drive back to town, stop at my bank, scrounge up a piece of paper, write out the authorization, and have them fax it to Mortgage Lady. I emailed her to let her know that they now had the authorization - so hopefully she got what she needed from them.

Back to the house to dump the wheelbarrow into the garage, then to The Dude's work to swap vehicles with him, then out to grab something to eat. Then home again.

Baths. Cleaning. Laundry. Preparing to go back to work tomorrow. Hoping that The Dude is over his stomach bug enough that he can handle the boys all day while I'm stuck in Fast Food Hell. Still trying to figure out how to deal with this whole job thing. Making lists of things that need to be done in both houses before/during/after the move. Hoping to win the lottery just to make life easier.

Just another day.....

Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's been a little while.....

So yeah. It's been a while since I've blogged anything. I've been wanting to, trust me. But I just haven't had the time or the energy.

Here's a nutshell for you:

Things are still progressing with the house. Like......all we're waiting for at this point is a date to close. The file went from the underwriters to the Rural Development people a couple of days ago, and RD is taking an average of 10 days to do their thing right now. Once they do their thing, all that's left is the closing. So I have reason to believe that I'll be a homeowner within the next few weeks.

Then there's the job. I've talked about the stress before, and it's really only gotten worse. Although CrankyPants hasn't been as cranky lately, she still has her moments. Not to mention that the job in general just sucks. I'm still not a morning person, and add to that being on my feet for 8+ hours straight without a break, and I'm miserable. I come out of there hurting so much by the end of the day that I can barely walk, and I can't get anything done around the house because I hurt so much.

Then of course there was the whole issue with my van finally self-destructing. It's still sitting in my backyard, dead - and it needs to go away. But I need to find the time to get it cleaned out and list it for sale. Or scrap it. Or something. Add that to the list of things to do.

I borrowed a friend's itty bitty car for a couple of weeks until I could buy my GrandpaCar - literally, it belonged to a friend's grandfather. It's not the most ideal vehicle for us, but I was limited because I can't just go out and finance something while I'm waiting to get the approval for the house. But, it works and it gets us where we need to go. It has a few quirks and needs a little bit of work done to it, but that'll hopefully be taken care of in the next few weeks sometime.

Add all of that to the normal stress of our everyday life, running kids to and from everywhere they need to go, trying to spend as much time as possible with The Dude, dealing with random health issues, handling landlord/maintenance issues in my current house, and trying to maintain some semblance of sanity - and you can imagine how hectic it's been.

Seriously though....the biggest worry on my mind right now is my job. I keep making lists of pros and cons in my head, and I can't really come up with anything good about it except for my coworkers - and I don't have to have the job to keep in touch with them. The hours make it extremely difficult for me to do much of anything for myself - and I find myself getting less and less sleep just to try to get the basics done. The job is making it harder for me to take care of myself - and if I don't do that, I'm just not going to make it. I know that right now, I've about pushed myself to the limit, both physically and mentally. I just don't think that I can do it anymore. Being in the fortunate position of not needing the job to survive makes it harder for me to go in every day - because why would anyone put themselves through this if it wasn't needed?

So at this point, I know that I'm going to quit - I just don't know when. I want it to be sooner rather than later, but I also have to make sure that the drop in my income won't affect my chances of getting the final loan approval. I qualify for the house even without the job income - but I don't want to risk it. I sent an email to Mortgage Lady asking her opinion on it, and I'm waiting to hear back from her before I do anything.

That's where I am. One big stressed out and anxiety-ridden mess.

But it could be worse. It could always be worse.