Dwell in Me

Seeking God in the Every Day

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Still Home, Sweet Home–For Now

Do you know anyone in Katy looking for a really nice house?

You’d think I wouldn’t be surprised when God does the unexpected. But I always am.

So, we’re not moving. Not yet, anyway. The day after I wrote my last post, the buyers decided to back out of the contract. They didn’t give any concrete reasons, and they didn’t have to. I figure it’s because God knew that we wouldn’t be able to get it together to move by the end of the month, so he took that pressure away.

At first, it was quite a shock to us. And I was so worried DH would be mad at me! It’s his commute, after all, that won’t be getting cut by 2/3 at the end of September. He texted me Friday morning and said, “Well, your prayers were answered. The buyers backed out.”

I thought he was joking.

I didn’t technically pray that this would happen. But I guess I made it pretty clear to God that I was hoping it would; shoot, I made that clear to anyone who reads my little blog.

The sudden change in our circumstances was unexpected. And now our house is back on the market–which brings its own little set of joys to our daily routine (like hiding our toothbrushes every morning and constantly mopping after the dogs come in the house, and impromptu study sessions at Starbucks because I have to leave my house on short notice). But once the shock of their decision wore off, both DH and I were feeling really at peace about what had happened.

And he isn’t mad at me.

Current plan: The house will stay on the market through the end of September. At that point, we’ll pull it off for the rest of the year and try again early in the spring after the baby is born. I don’t want to move 7-plus months pregnant while also trying to prepare for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That said, I don’t actually want to move with an infant either.

I know God’s timing is perfect and he’s got this. And I am praying that he will bring the right people to our neighborhood at the right time. I hope whoever he brings will love this house and our neighbors and be a positive influence in the community. And I hope that when he brings people, there will be a house for us in the right place, too. In the meantime, maybe we’ll be here when the pomegranites ripen and the limes are ready to be picked from our baby fruit garden. There’s something to look forward to!

Pomegranites, Limes, Blackberries and Blueberries . . . oh my

And I get another chance to trust him and wait on him, which is good, because I was clearly botching that last opportunity.

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Not Making Plans

It’s so hard to make any plans when you’re infertile. Partly because infertility alone is something you never planned and you can’t know how it will be resolved. And partly because one of the lessons of infertility is that we don’t have as much control over our lives as we might think or desire. So what’s the use in planning anyway?

So, it’s been a while since my last update. We checked out apartments, but we just couldn’t see ourselves going from a house to an apartment again. The dogs like having a yard, and we like that they have a yard. We started looking for a house we could rent. No luck on that front. At least not yet. We’ve gone out a few times to drive around the various neighborhoods near downtown. The Heights gets a lot of hype, but I’m not sure I get the appeal. I mean, you still can’t really walk anywhere, and Houston’s public transit system is lousy, so it’s not like when we lived in Arlington, VA, and only had to pull the car out of the garage once or twice a week.

I loved one little part of town; it’s called Montrose. It’s eclectic and really cute, and it actually seems pretty walkable; there are restaurants and coffee/tea houses dotted throughout, a couple of nice parks, and the zoned elementary school is actually a magnet Montessori school. Montrose is also slightly less expensive than the Heights, though I don’t really understand why.

As an aside: We’ve learned some interesting things about Houston Independent School District, though we have more to learn if we end up moving into downtown and having children. But the key takeaway so far is that HISD has a really robust magnet program that includes the aforementioned Montessori elementary school, an elementary school with a dual language program, an elementary school that is 100 percent gifted students, middle schools with various magnets for gifted programs and arts and other things, a high school that is specifically geared for kids who want to go into a medical profession, a high school that offers an international baccalaureate (not yet clear on what that is), a fine arts high school, and a number of other things depending on what a child might be interested in. I’m really kind of fascinated by all these programs and curious about how they work, but it explains a bit about how housing prices can be super high in areas zoned to mediocre to poor elementary schools. Where you’re zoned seems to have little effect on where your children actually attend classes.

Really, we’ve been going back and forth. We keep checking out the Houston real estate website (har.com), to see what houses are available. We’ve talked about buying a little bungalow–similar in size to what we would have expected to live in if we’d stayed in DC, though the DC houses all had basements at least. These houses are about 1000 sq. ft. less than what we currently have–but I guess we have more space than we really need for two. Most were built between 1920 and 1940 and have been remodeled inside. They are on decent sized lots that a developer would stick two townhouses on if it were sold for lot value. If we bought one of these bungalows, then, maybe in a few years, when we can afford it, we could add on to the house or even tear it down and build new. Which would mean that we could wait until we had a better understanding of our future financial situation. Part of the issue is that we don’t know how much DH is likely to be earning in the near future, especially since it seems his industry is really bonus-oriented.

So, everything is up in the air. We contacted our Realtor to see how much he’d have us sell our house for if we sold it now. And we did go to an open house last weekend in the Heights. But, we’re hesitating. Maybe we will wait and try to sell our house next summer, after we’ve had some time to adjust to DH’s new schedule, and after we’ve had a chance to see if infertility treatments work for us or not.

Then again, maybe we’ll go look at some houses tomorrow when DH gets off his last night shift and decide we don’t want to wait.

I just wish we could decide and stick with it. Also, I wish the houses where we are looking weren’t so expensive. Or that we had the capital to buy a lot and just sit on it until we could afford to build. But that is definitely not to be.

But what if it’s just greener grass because it’s not what we have now? A temporary antidote to general dissatisfaction?

And why does it have to be so difficult to make any plans?

In the two-weeks since I last wrote, something unexpected happened. I’ll post on that next, as this is already long enough.


Changing Spaces

Strange things are happening here.

DH got promoted a few weeks ago, though he’s still working his shift schedule until the new guy is trained and ready to replace him. At this point, that means at least one more night shift.

But this week is a normal M-F work week. So DH is spending his time with the new department and doing the new hours.

In his current position (not the promotion), he was working 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. (or vice versa on nights), Wed.-Tues. most weeks, and 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. one week out of five. The latter would be the normal working hours (maybe to 4) for him if he’d stayed in the department he was in. At those hours, he expects a 30-40 minute commute. Which is long, but doable.

In the new position he’s in a new department. So he’s working 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. About the worst possible time to go to work in Houston. His morning commute has increased to at least 50 minutes, and the trip home takes even longer. He’s spending about two hours per day in the car.

I think I posted before about things we did because we expected a large family. Moving to Katy was definitely one of them. It has great schools–and we live right behind the elementary school where our kids would theoretically attend classes. It has nearby parks and pools. And it’s a really family-oriented town.

But maybe we don’t want to be so family oriented right now.

DH has been hinting for a while that he’d like to live downtown instead. I saw that as something we would do if infertility treatments don’t work and we’re not likely to have children, or if we won’t have more than one or two kids. We did, after all, build our own house. Which we moved into last June (yes, approximately one month before we received our infertility diagnosis).

We’re all moved in. We ordered cabinets to install in our study (planning to put book shelves above to the ceiling and make it a little library). We just bought new bedroom curtains and bedding to finally get our room done. The only room that hasn’t been finished (or isn’t in the process of being finished) is the nursery–which is empty save for the books that are waiting for the aforementioned bookshelves.

When we moved to our house, we expected to be here for a long time. Long enough, at least, for our kids to go to the school right behind us. Long enough that we would join the church and be able to really get involved for the long term. A long time.

So, of course, if makes perfect sense that today I’m going with DH to look at fancy downtown apartments. And that I expect to spend my Memorial Day weekend getting our house cleaned up so we can put it on the market. It makes perfect sense, right?

It’s not just the commute, though I guess that was the final straw. It’s because we don’t have kids yet. We don’t fit the family-oriented culture. And when we go out, we go downtown. There isn’t really anything here outside of going out to dinner. And while I’ve made some friends and connections here, DH’s co-workers are mostly downtown and neither of us really feels like we have a solid group here.

Yes, we have friends we’ll want to visit. But we’re moving 30 minutes away, not to a different state or anything.

This has been a long time coming. And while I’m not looking forward to renting again, or to leaving my beautiful house, it is a good time to sell. And since the house is pretty new, we don’t have too much work to do to get it ready. We might even make some money on the house, and it will definitely free up the capital we invested, which wouldn’t hurt to have in the bank to help pay for treatments.

And we’ve had amazing support from DH’s mom. When we told her we were thinking about moving, she said that she and DH’s dad had just been talking about how they didn’t think Katy was really the right place for us right now. It was a very nice confirmation that maybe we’re doing the right thing.

But I hate moving. I wish I could wake up and just already be moved. I am a terrible mover. And I’ve never sold a house before, so I’m nervous about that. Thanks in advance for any prayers you can send our way–both that we’re doing the right thing, and for things to go smoothly. I really appreciate it.