BUT not back to KY! ;) It is unsettling how everything can change with one email or phone call. You're just going about your every day life making plans and then you get hit with unexpected news that changes everything you THOUGHT you were going to be doing. Thankfully, our unexpected news wasn't about the health of a family member or a job loss, but still, we were quite shocked: our landlord will not be renewing our lease. Our current lease expires August 31st. The Reisses have to move. Cue the tears. BOOHOO! I HATE MOVING! It is hard to put into words how challenging, disruptive and stressful moving is. Taking care of three children five and under and managing the household is already difficult without adding anything extra to that load. My emotions are all over the place. First I was shocked, then just really sad, and now I'm pissed. ha! The irony is that when we moved into this house two years ago, I didn't want to be here for more than two years. Our house, while fairly large, is divided into a duplex. We like our "house neighbors" and rarely see them or hear them. We don't share anything other than the back yard patio. However, the house was not what I was accustomed to owning in KY. It met our needs, but it didn't have a yard or a very large living/dining area. Anyway, I simply could not imagine living here for long, but now I don't want to move! The house still has the same downsides, but now I have seen and experienced the major upsides. We have made good neighbor friends. We live in a nice walkable neighborhood with local restaurants, our ballet school and even my nail salon just a block or two away. We are able to walk three blocks to Emily's school and a park in a beautiful, unique neighborhood. Emily's school is one of the best around and she has had a great kindergarten year. I hate to think of starting all over with a different neighborhood school. (It remains to be seen if Emily will have to switch schools or not.) Also, I'm well aware that real estate costs and rentals keep climbing and while I may wish for something bigger or nicer, I certainly don't want to pay more than we already do to rent.
We have discussed if this would be a good time to seriously consider buying a home. Without discussing specifics and money, let's just say that Jeremy and I do not have a peace that that would be the wisest thing for us. I had hoped that if we moved from this house, it would be to buy something, but I don't think that will happen under this kind of deadline. Our friends who have bought homes often searched for months and put bids on a half dozen homes or more before finally getting one. I don't know if Jeremy and I can even stomach trying to buy something in the Bay Area. Surely, prices can't keep increasing at this rate! I feel like if we were certain we wanted to stay here 5-10 years, we could weather any temporary market downturns, but what would happen if we wanted to move back to KY and the house we bought at the top of the market was now worth much less? We might be stuck or worse. (Foreclosure/bankrupt?) Stakes are very, very high when you're talking an average 3 BR, 2 BA home can easily fetch $850K.
All of this turmoil, but yet we both feel certain that we aren't ready to move back to KY. Jeremy is still very happy at his job. We have good financial reasons to believe that it would be best for our future to stay another couple of years. (The housing market obviously isn't one of them.) We are happy with our lives here, the friendships we have made, our church home, schools, etc. I continue to have a million and one things I want to do on the west coast and while we have seen and done a lot, it barely scratches the surface. We get so much joy with our adventures here that it makes up for a lot of what we lack. Everything is good except we do long to own our own home again and we wish it wasn't so difficult to see family. I've started researching flights for the summer. Just browsing through the flight costs and thinking about air travel with the children puts a big knot in my stomach. I literally feel almost sick about it every time. Just when flying should have gotten easier for us, it is now worse than ever because of our third child--an active, crawling, seven month old. How in the world can I ever hope to contain her for six plus hours in the air? Aggh, I have to stop thinking about it! We may have to postpone our trip depending on if we can find a new rental in time. It's pretty common for a desirable overpriced rental home to have 7-10 qualified applications for it. Crazy. Prayers needed and appreciated for sure.
Anyway, despite these very real concerns and hardships that come with being forced to move and find a new place, we are enjoying all of the special moments we can. We are excited about our upcoming mini-vacation to Santa Cruz and our staycation activities with Dinkney and Poppy. Time will go by quickly, but our current predicament isn't as dire as when we moved out here completely alone with no idea where we wanted to live. No, now we know many people and mamas are already offering to help me with the kids from time to time while I pack. We know exactly where we want to live. We just have to get to work finding it and pray that by the grace of God, He will once again prove Himself to be faithful in providing for our needs.
Addendum: I forgot to mention WHY our lease is not being renewed (at least there's a valid reason). The wife suffered a brain aneurysm last year and underwent surgery. She's recovering well by all accounts, but is no longer able to work full time anymore. So the family has decided to sell one of their properties in order to reduce stress and expenses and allow her to stay home with the children. We are thankful that she is doing better because a brain aneurysm can cause serious longterm disability and even death.