Falling Into Place: The Most Beautiful Time of the Year
Just a mere five days after carrying the first box into the house, school began. Not much of a breather, but it brought some normalcy to a chaotic season.
To celebrate this fresh beginning, the girls were decked out with all new backpacks, lunch boxes, and outfits. Back in CA, the girls attended a charter school just one town over. This meant, many of their school mates never lived close by. Now they ride the bus home with, not simply their school mates, but their neighborhood friends as well. Seeing them build new friendships within our community has brought so much joy to our hearts. It's difficult to describe the discovery of this longing we didn't realize we had was being met.
Every morning the sky seemed to cheer at our arrival. Kevyn and I would sip our coffee in peace while the Sun's rays slowly crept over the back deck. We would briefly break the silence with comments of the morning's beauty as the sunrise, and steam from our mugs, warmed our faces.
Despite the welcoming tones of Autumn, we knew Winter was right around the corner. After our daily moments of appreciation, we got to work. We had much to do in the yard to prep for winter. Kevyn tackled the garden and I made way too many trips to Home Depot for tools and supplies.
The lawn was finally wrangled back into shape after almost two months of neglect. Daily, Kevyn harvested from the four raised garden beds. Everyday, we were eating what we could and giving away everything else to neighbors and friends.
For a brief weekend, Kevyn's parents visited and helped us knock out a huge chunk of our to-do list. Being Master Gardeners, they gave Kevyn tips for the garden and pruned one of the backyard trees that was encroaching on the roof and rotting out.
It was no small task, but Kevyn got the entire garden weeded. She covered everything in cardboard (to prevent future weed growth) and laid down bark an top of it. I, after an embarrassingly amount of time on YouTube, winterized the sprinkler system, clearing it and shutting off the outside water line. I'm still crossing my fingers I did it correctly.
The first frost was on its way quickly and hit the week of Halloween, but I'll talk about that in the next post.
Settling in was quite the experience, but through it all there was so much peace beyond words. So much appreciation for what God has given us.
Every evening the sky lit up with a different shade of pink or orange like a hug welcoming us home.
The State of the House Address: How to Turn Disappointment into Joy
We expected leftover junk from the previous owners, but not to the degree to which we found. We fully admit it could have been a lot worse. There are horror stories littering the internet and we don't want to add to the pile of lost faith in humanity material out there, so we wanted to share how we dealt with it and the opportunities that came from it.
Before we could even move our stuff in, Juan had to clean the garage. Practically top to bottom. Cob webs in corners, rodent poop behind boxes, hundreds of dog treat bits soaked and crusted to the floor, and broken appliances on the shelves. After three hours, it was swept and cleared of all of the left over junk. Just in time for the movers we hired to show up and unload the truck.
These guys were great. Locals making a living with their many side hustles. They made quick work of our 20' truck loaded to the ceiling. They even carried away a full truck bed of the leftover garbage to the dump for us, at no extra cost. (Garrett, you rock!)
One of the items left was a sound machine, which our oldest daughter quickly claimed. There was a also free-standing cabinet in the kitchen that looked like the previous owners intended to take with them, but ended up leaving it instead. It's in poor shape, but I'll repurpose it for the garage. Can't complain about extra storage, amiright?
In the backyard, it appears the previous owners didn't dispose of their dog's waste, but instead piled it behind one of the trees in the back corner. I've been told we can use as fertilizer. Anyone have any tips on that? Is that safe for a vegetable garden or just flower beds?
Lastly, they utilized command strips for much of their wall pieces. They work rather well in not peeling off the paint when you remove them. However, the previous owners never removed them when they repainted, leaving highly noticeable unpainted strips throughout the house. This honestly made us laugh. You can see the brush strokes around each of the strips, as if special care was taken to preserve these temporary fixtures. It would have been far less time and effort for them to simply remove the strips in the first place. People are truly silly sometimes.
Because we want to be truthful, the first day or so we felt a bit disappointed. If this is how they managed their house, what other shortcuts are we bound to find? But we quickly got over it and chose to feel blessed with what God has provided us. We knew there was a lot of work we wanted to do to make this house our own, so what's a few extra tasks on our to-do list anyways?
We don't know the situation of the previous family that lived in this home. We won't ever know the struggles they had. So why hold onto bitterness? At the end of the day, we know all of this leftover mess is trivial. Extending forgiveness and grace is what God calls us to practice and that is just what we did.
We are truly grateful for this house—even in its current state. We're excited to start working on our projects to improve it, make it our own, and ultimate leave it better for the next family when it's time for us to move on.
Follow along with our home renovations as we tackle each project, make mistakes, and learn to trust the process.
Leaving California: The Long Haul Through the Desert
750mi | $550 in Gas | 2 Vehicles (towing a 3rd) | 6 Humans | 2 Pets | 1 Jungle of Houseplants
We had so much help packing up our home into one 20' truck and two vehicles. Loading an entire home in four hours has got to be a record! Nostalgia sat in as we did some minor cleaning to our place and gathered the few remaining items. It felt like it was only the day before that we were filling that empty condo with our stuff. How time flies.
Early the next day, Juan took off in the moving truck with a friend who agreed to help drive with us. The ladies had a later start, but we all happened to meet up at our first gas fill-up in Reno at the same time. Every two hours or so, we made gas and/or food stops. At which point, Juan made sure to check on the plethora of houseplants stowed away in my car. Because it was being towed, the AC couldn't be on, so ensuring they weren't being fried in the August heat made Kevyn more at ease. Nevada, which made up the majority of our trip was beautiful, but it's easy to dismiss the desert dust and dry shrubs in the Summer. Our guess is that it's stunning in the Spring.
Dinner was a welcomed break from the drive. We stopped in the city of Twin Falls, ID to meet up with some new friends, who also recently moved to Idaho. They took us to a fantastic local restaurant. Our planned 45min pit-stop turned to into two hours of delicious food and laughs. No regrets.
We rolled into our new town a little after midnight. In my tired state, I accidentally slammed a car door on my thumb. It required a splint for a few days as the swelling and pain subsided. Now I just have to wait the next month or so for the blackened nail to grow out and heal.
After all of the gas, food, truck rental, and plane tickets (for our two friends to drive out with us) this was definitely the most expensive road trip to date. I don't want to down play the stress involved in such a move, but honestly, it felt so smooth and rather painless, aside from my thumb. It had it's moments, but in the end we made it.
We're so thankful for the friends and family that helped us pack and load the truck, and to the two who made the drive out with us. Y'all are amazing!
Can't wait to share how we're settling into our new home and town.