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Posts tagged with: moving

Move = Complete

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Hi friends!

I hope you had a great weekend! We arrived back in Tucson yesterday after a whirlwind of a trip and I have never been more thankful to sleep in my own bed!

Initially, my brother was going to go assist my Dad with loading a moving truck a month or so ago but, due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, that didn’t happen. My sister and I were both unable to go for the originally scheduled move date but I decided to go over my Thanksgiving break since I had a few days off from work (though one is never really “off” in academia – I monitored my email daily).  At first I had booked a flight to go alone:  fly out on Monday, load on Tuesday, then fly back on Wednesday so I could spend Thanksgiving with my own family. But after some thought and discussion, we decided to make a family trip of it. I’m so grateful it worked out that way because I really needed the emotional support of having someone else there with me. Moves are stressful enough (one of the top 5 life stressors according to here), but I think things were exacerbated a bit being that this move was not exactly a happy, exciting, or even desired thing. It was more a chore of necessity to get my Dad somewhere closer to family where he can be helped and watched over better.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t leave town until Wednesday because hubs’ work had him busy all the way through Tuesday evening (he worked late to finish up on time). So we made a 14-hour drive on Wednesday (some of it in snow driving only 20 mph). It was nice that we got to spend all day Thursday hanging out, enjoying good food, and visiting with extended family that I don’t get to see too often. On Friday we had movers, so we fortunately didn’t have to do any heavy lifting, but we still had to direct things which was rife with stress given that not everything could go (my Dad is downsizing), and this was quite troubling for him to see things get left behind.

After the truck was all packed, my family went and checked into a hotel (there was still a guest bedroom set that was left behind in my Dad’s house so he still had someplace to sleep but his other bedroom set was packed). We all took a long family nap, and then met back up with my Dad that evening to go see the Christmas lights at Temple Square. Besides it being the coldest weather the girls had ever experienced (bundled up in 4+ layers and still complaining of the cold in 23 degrees), they really enjoyed seeing all the lights! I can’t wait for Christmas this year – it’s going to be such a fun holiday with them!

We left town on Saturday morning, but split the return drive into two days so it wasn’t quite as grueling. Still not what I would consider pleasant by any stretch of the imagination, but far preferable to our 14-hour one-day drive. Plus – the girls got to see and play in snow!!! They’re obsessed with Frozen (they were late to the Frozen game because we didn’t let them watch movies until just relatively recently), and they kept pointing at the snowy mountains saying, “Look!!! Elsa’s ice castle!!!” Pretty adorable!

Financially speaking, the trip didn’t cost us anything since my Dad covered our costs for gasoline, lodging, and food (all of which was pretty minimal. It actually saved my Dad money for us to all drive compared to what my plane ticket had cost). The only other cost incurred was that of missed work for hubs. Yes, no one really works on Thanksgiving Day, but he could have worked over the weekend and was unable to since we were out of town.

Speaking of….I’ll be posting a debt update later today. I have to maintain a positive attitude and realize and acknowledge that November is always a relatively down month for hubs’ business. But, of course, it’s a bit disappointing to not have earned as much as we would have liked/needed in order to make our astronomically large planned debt payment (we’d planned for a $4500 debt payment and didn’t come anywhere near that). Those numbers will be up later.

But to end on a happy note, I’m so thankful that the first phase of this move is complete. My sister will be meeting the movers in Texas and overseeing as things are unloaded. She will also be the person to help actually set things up once they come off the truck. And, just like that, the burden has shifted off my shoulders and onto hers. I’ll still be primarily responsible for paying my Dad’s bills, but all the day-to-day things will surely fall to my sister now that he’s close to her.

Right now my Dad does NOT want to sell his old Utah house. We’re trying to take things in baby steps so, rather than pushing him too far, we decided it could just sit for now. I’ll be hiring a lawn-care company, his brother (my uncle) will check up on it regularly, and we will revisit the issue in the Spring or Summer. It’s likely we’ll make another family trip up there at that time so hubs can do some general handyman work around the house and we can finish clearing it out of its leftover contents.

I have to say – my Mom has been caring for her aging mother (my grandmother) for a half decade. My grandmother did not do a great job at planning for retirement so the financial burden of her care has fallen directly to my Mom as the only child. It pains me to see the stress it has caused my mother and the financial toll is not trivial (over $4,000/month). I hate that my siblings and I are in the caregiver role for our father, especially at such a young age. That being said, I am beyond grateful that my father took better precautions than my grandmother had, and that he actually has assets (both liquid and real estate) to help pay for his care. As stressful as the situation has been for us, I cannot begin to fathom how much worse it could be if all of these costs were falling directly onto our shoulders. My heart goes out to anyone who has had to financially take over caring for their parents. This has definitely been a lesson to me to get our financial house in order so we never leave our children with the burden that’s been placed on my mother in financially caring for my grandmother. It’s hard enough to take over as caregiver. The least we can do is make sure that we have ample money available to pay for whatever care we may need as aging adults.

Food for thought on this Monday morning. Have a good one!


The Next Step

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It’s been exactly a week since we left my parents today and three days since I broke the news to the kids.  In exactly 7 weeks to the day, we must be out of our home.

My biggest fear in all of this was that I would make an unwise move both emotionally for the kids (like moving them away from their comfort area so unexpectedly,) logically (moving so far out that the time spent in the car commuting to activities would be counter to any savings,) or financially (committing to too much because of the rush, just to have the security.)  My friends continued to send me an overwhelming number of places that they thought would work for us…often times they were comic relief!

  1. Sending me a 3 bedroom, $500/month rental sounded great until you read the fine print that they were only renting a room for that amount.
  2. A beautiful piece of land, super cheap that had an existing building on the premises…it was a church and the land was zoned as a commercial property.

It was stressful and nerve racking, but some amazing things began to happen.

First, my kids immediately began to embrace what was coming.  They rested assured in my promises and began to share the news that we were moving.

Second, my heart full of anger and hurt opened. This curse was truly a blessing in disguise, immediately relieving me of my debt to my dad as the selling price for the home will surely before more than that total.  The weight of that debt was enormous emotionally. And I began to open myself to the possibilities of truly going anywhere after this promised year.

So as I started really evaluating what was to come I knew three things:

  1. I need less stress in my life.
  2. I need less financial obligations in my life.
  3. No matter where we go, we will be alright, the kids will be alright.

So as of an hour ago, I received the call.  We have been approved for a 2 bedroom apartment, literally just 3 miles away from our home.  They will take our big dogs. They are right next door to our favorite playground, across the street from some fun stores to visit and have a dog bark park across the street from our soon to be apartment home.

Not only will my monthly financial obligation drop by several hundred dollars every month between lower rent and less utilities, but because we are moving in the fall when fewer people move…we got a fabulous move in special.

This concludes today’s housing drama.  I hope I have been clear and attempted to be as forthright and transparent as I could without compromising my dad’s privacy.  I took my younger two to see our new apartment yesterday…they are ecstatic.  I think this new chapter in our lives with be a positive thing for us all.  The twins are very happy that if we have to move, at least we are moving somewhere that they can still walk to visit their neighborhood friends, not to mention, there’s a Gamestop within a stone’s there.  I know there will still be some emotional fall out for all of us.  It will be very hard to say goodbye to this home where our family was built, but I am certain that we are moving in the right direction for our financial freedom!  Thanks for your patience with me.

Debt update coming in the next couple of days….

 


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