This week finally got to me. It’s been one for the books – that’s for sure!
First of all, we’re in home-upheaval. In mid-April, I ran through a neighborhood near the base of Mt. Diablo that my husband and I love. In fact, there had been a home for sale in that neighborhood when we purchased our home. Unfortunately, the one over there was already “Sale Pending” by the time we started looking so we were really disappointed to never get the chance to make an offer – let alone buy a house in that neighborhood. That was in July 2012. Since that time, we had bought a townhouse in another neighborhood (about 3 miles away), remodeled it and moved from San Carlos (on the SF Peninsula, smack in the center between San Francisco and San Jose…prime Silicon Valley real estate. Facebook’s and Groupon’s headquarters were just down the street. Read: we had no shot at buying a house in that crazy real estate market!). We both love Walnut Creek and we were thrilled to be closer to my family (who live in Sacramento).
Back to that fateful mid-April run during which I noticed a town home for sale in the Northgate home community. The difference between where we were and Northgate is subtle at best, but as they say, the devil is in the details. In this case, the devil included a family room, a substantially larger yard, an overall better layout and peace and quiet. The new neighborhood is an equestrian community. We’re not horse people necessarily but we don’t mind watching neighbors riding their horses in the evenings. It’s a great place.
In 2 days time, we hired a real estate agent, looked at the house and decided to make an offer. (It wasn’t yet listed on the market, which in the current Bay Area real estate climate was KEY!) We were leaving another 2 days later to spend Spring Break at Legoland. Thus began the “Mad Race to Stage Our House in Two Days of 2014.” I called in all of our resources (my mom and step dad) to help me. We scrubbed, rearranged, repainted and decluttered. While that doesn’t sound like much, when it involves a short time frame, it was incredibly stressful. By Friday, we were on the road to Southern California and the house was listed for sale.
By the following Friday, both houses were in escrow with above-asking offers and we thought we were golden.
Unfortunately, the contingency on the sale of our house was finalized permits. The contractor who had done our original work had been contracted to secure permits but hadn’t done so. Long story short (and many lessons learned later), we were without permits and struggling to get the right people to help us. Even longer story short, on the day before escrow was due to close, we finally got the head building inspector from the city to finalize our permit. Suffice to say, we got very little sleep in that time. I don’t recommend moving under such circumstances. Side note, I also don’t recommend trying to qualify for the biggest marathon in the country while moving under such circumstances.
Did I manage to keep up my training during all of that? Sort of. I did all of my long Sunday runs but left many mid-week fast pace runs undone. While the running helped me keep (some of) my sanity throughout that painful process, I wouldn’t say the performance level was of the quality I’ll be needing to kick the BQ’s ass in Santa Rosa in August.
How did it all end? Why did I cry today over spilt milk? Well, as I noted, we did close escrow. The kids stayed with my parents throughout the moving portion of the drama. My love and I enjoyed a bottle of Veuve Cliquot champagne (that had been previously been given to us as a housewarming gift for the OLD house) in a hotel during our brief period of homelessness (one night). The new house closed on the following business day.
Today, most of our belongings are in storage and we are staying at my parents’ house in Sacramento. The new house is furnished with an aerobed and a few toiletries. We’ve been madly shopping IKEA, Lowes, Home Depot, Granite Expo and numerous other big box stores in search of the materials for the remodel of the new house.
In all senses, I’m in heaven. My children are off school. My son is getting ready to start kindergarten. We have a free place to stay during our remodel. And yet, somehow, the stress of it all caught up with me today. My niece and nephew are also off school. Because my mom normally watches them during the summer, I’m watching them this week. My parents are preparing to leave next week for a 6-week RV trip. My car is full of tile and cabinet door samples. I’m drinking Starbucks like my life depends on it and I can’t seem to sleep past 6am (something about a little voice from the pack n play calling, “Mommy, Mommy, you wake Mommy?”).
Throughout this glorious upheaval I’m running. I’m grateful for getting to remodel our beautiful new home before we move into it. I’m grateful for a husband who is 100% on the same page with me…from remodeling to child rearing. I’m grateful for my parents who have graciously allowed us to completely overtake their home in the midst of their own very stressful time. I’m grateful for my sweet niece and nephew who love my children and love to “help” care for them. But I’m struggling a little to keep it all together today. I’m frankly exhausted. Driving everyone back and forth across town to pick up the RV from storage, this child to tutoring, that child from tutoring, these three to frozen yogurt and myself to run miles and miles and miles is taking a toll on me.
I’m honestly not sure I could ask for a better situation, in spite of how crazy it is. My life is about as blessed as it could possibly be. It just got to me this morning when I came home from picking up one of the kiddos, tried to clean up the breakfast dishes and spilled chocolate milk all over the table cloth.
Yep, that’s what did it. Chocolate milk. So I walked out to the front porch and let the tears flow.
Then I went back inside, cleaned up the dishes, cleared out my inbox and updated my remodel budget spreadsheet with the contractor’s new estimates.
When it’s done, it’s going to be simply elegant and amazing. In the meantime, I’m rocking a 10:30 min mile and will just have to accept with compassion and gratitude that this may not be my BQ year.