Monday, May 31, 2010

Are We Insane? Don’t Answer That…

Jill's Journal: Tonight after the girls were in bed and Rob was packing at home, I cleaned the fifth wheel like a mad woman. Rob’s been working on projects in the trailer and I’ve been chomping at the bit to clean it before we move in. As I was elbow deep in bleach, the gravity of what we’re doing suddenly dawned on me. And I freaked out. Big time.

Do we have any idea what we’re getting ourselves into? WITH three little kids? Are we completely insane?

And then I realized it’s too late to worry about that now. We’re well on this path. It’s all gone so smoothly that I know it’s the right thing to do and I feel like that shows God approves. Only a matter of hours now until our house closes and that officially makes it too late to back out!

T minus 40 hours to closing.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Grand Finale Garage Sale!

Jill's Journal: Yesterday we had the mother of all garage sales! Well, maybe not – I’m certain there have been bigger and better ones…but in our world, this one was huge. We sold everything from our couch to socks, from our kitchen table to our sheets, from the girls’ train table to our potted flowers, from laundry baskets to lamps. In short, just about everything but the kitchen sink. It was a CRAZY day.

We started before dawn, at 5am, and didn’t close up shop until 5pm after we’d even sold the heavy-duty folding tables our smaller items were resting on. The girls were such troopers, especially on such a hot day, and made us proud. We had wonderful and unexpected helpers: our friend and neighbor Lee Ann, who we learned is a born saleswoman (she was amazing!), and our friend Gretchen from Louisville, who helped keep an eye on the kids and made sure everyone had lunch (we were so grateful!).

At the end of the day, we were stunned and completely thrilled to learn we’d netted over $2400. Wow! It was a lovely and fitting end to my brief garage sale career – I really do hate them and plan to never have another!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Friends=Mixed Feelings

Jill's Journal: The last few months, we’ve been blessed by getting to know some wonderful families. All have kids around the same ages as ours and all the couples are in similar places in their lives that we are. We think the world of each of them, love spending time with them, and feel so blessed they came into our lives…but equally sad it’s happening just as we’re leaving town.

Today I enjoyed a lovely lunch with one of the fellow Moms along with her three youngest children and my two youngest. It wasn’t fancy and it wasn’t quiet (can anything be fancy or quiet with five kids ages four and under?), but it was special and it was fun. And I felt so melancholy as we drove away. I don’t know why this is the timing that worked out and it does make it harder to leave Lexington. But who knows what the future holds? Maybe we’ll return here when our travels are done. Maybe we’ll all meet again in another town. And maybe we’ll just have to be satisfied with long-distance communication. I do know one thing: I’m grateful to have such special people in our lives, no matter when or where.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Spice Solution

Jill's Journal: We’re obviously tight on space in the fifth wheel and I’ve been searching for a solution for the everyday spices used in cooking. I’ve had visions of 30-40 little spice bottles floating around in a cupboard and falling out every time I opened it. Imagine my excitement when I found this! It’s called a tubular spice rack and fits 40 spices, all contained in less than one square foot of space. The test tubes are supposedly big enough to each hold more than one standard bottle of spices. UPS will deliver mine any day now. I can’t wait to try it out!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Garage Sale Hell

Jill's Journal: A lot of people love a good garage sale. God bless ‘em. I’m not one of them. The only thing that sounds worse to me than attending a garage sale is actually hosting one. For years, I’d pack up anything that needed to be discarded by our household (but might be useful to someone else) and happily donate it to Goodwill or some other organization. But with the large volume of possessions we’ve needed to disperse in the last few months, we’ve now had a few garage sales and planned for one last big one yesterday.

I braced myself to get through this grand finale, but when it poured rain until sunrise and left us with a soggy lawn, we decided to take advantage of our later closing date and shift it to next Saturday instead. So, yesterday we just set out a few tables of saleable items while we cleaned the garage.

If having a garage sale is a small piece of torture for me, here’s where my own personal hell comes in. A group of Jehovah’s Witnesses showed up and wouldn’t leave. I’m all for people sharing their faith, but these people were aggressive and intrusive…and somehow ended up inside my house. NINE of them. INSIDE my home.

We treat our house as our own private little sanctuary from the world and it can be hard for me sometimes to have people I like inside my home, so having a group of strangers that I was already uncomfortable with invade my house made me crazy. And it was like herding cats. I’d make a push to get them out the door and they’d push right back. It was like they’d staked their claim and weren’t going to budge.

When a few of them stepped in between me and the children, I got very anxious. When Victoria started crying, I’d had it. Mama Bear came out. I told them in no uncertain terms that they had to get out and get out now. Rob was outside trying to deal with legitimate customers and he said every single one of them apologized to him as they filed out.

I had to laugh about it when it was over because I’ve somehow turned into my Mother. When I was young, we used to live in a neighborhood where Jehovah’s Witnesses paid very regular visits. My Mom must have spent hours politely trying to get rid of them and one time, out of frustration, called the pastor of our church to come over and help her deal with them. But they still came back. My Mom hated those knocks on our door and when she saw them coming, she finally started hiding all of us in a back bedroom until they stopped knocking and went away!

I used to think that was so funny – why not just tell them you’re not interested and stop letting them waste your time? But they got me this week. If they come back, I might lock the door and hide in a bedroom too...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ripping Off the Band-Aid

Jill's Journal: The buyers moved our closing date back by five days to June 2nd. Rob especially welcomed this news. Five days feels like a huge bonus of extra time to get everything wrapped up. I agree for the most part, but it also prolongs the process and the living in limbo. I’m the sort who far prefers to rip off the band-aid rather than ease it off gently!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Preakness Déjà Vu

Jill's Journal: While enjoying Lookin at Lucky’s Preakness win from our living room on Saturday, I was hit with a major case of déjà vu. Exactly 13 years ago, the very last thing we did before uprooting our life (in Phoenix) and following our dreams into the unknown (Kentucky) was watch the Preakness. After Silver Charm was crowned on that May day in 1997, we unplugged the t.v., loaded all our belongings into a moving van, and drove a couple thousand miles east, ready for adventure and horse racing Mecca.

And now here we are, 13 wonderful years later, one dream satisfied and a new one brewing. Once again, we are now officially packing right after enjoying the Preakness. This time it’s not about the end goal but about the journey. But so much of it feels the same: two people (although not quite as young and now with three little people along for the ride) ready for adventure and eager to embrace what life has to offer. Major déjà vu.

Maybe next year we’ll actually be enjoying the Preakness at Pimlico instead of from a distance. Who knows? And that’s the beauty of our new life. Anything can happen.

Oh yeah. It was silver-haired trainer Bob Baffert basking in Old Hilltop’s winner’s circle again in 2010, just as he was in 1997. Somehow I’m sure he had a lovely déjà vu moment himself.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

So I had this thought today.... AHHHHHHWHWHWWAAAA!

I mean, 12 days. It actually hit me upside the head as I wandered the halls of Sportsmans Warehouse, looking at the camping supplies, the toys, some of the stuff I need but don't yet have... Panic time, oh yeah - its panic time.

We have so much to accomplish in such a short amount of time. I'd hoped that I'd have gotten more done this weekend, but with the rain, and a little sickness - and a little rest before the final big push... I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped. Tomorrow starts an entirely different way of doing things. Work - lots of work, but then we begin to live by the mantra - 12 days, 3 years. I will give up all of my family time/life/whatever for the next 12 days so that I can fully enjoy everything having to do with us the next 3 years.

Its a big thing, and incredibly important; the impact should be, taxing. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to handle the go-go nature of it all. Now, I know I will - because I must. I'm a little worried about the come-down on the 29th...

I'm hoping to check in over the next couple of days - but who knows, I may only be able to collapse into bed at the end of the day. We'll see. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

What a Week

Jill's Journal:
Home inspection; check.
Pest inspection; check.
Met the buyer; check.
Contract amended with six minor fixes from buyer; check.

Add in major computer problems for Rob (which frustrates him to no end and messes with our livelihood) and a very serious horseback riding accident for my dear Dad (where the local hospital shipped him by ambulance to a trauma ICU with a subdural hematoma/bleeding on the brain and a host of other injuries) and it’s been a stressful week.

Two weeks to closing; let’s hope for some smoother sailing! And my Dad, thank God, is improving daily. He has a long recovery in front of him, but we’re so thankful to be talking about recovery instead of the alternative.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Warp Speed Ahead

Jill's Journal: A mere two days ago, I was completely miserable that our house hadn’t sold yet in the 12 days it was on the market. Logically, I know 12 days is a drop in the bucket, especially in the current economic climate. But mentally, I hated every showing (with an intense passion!) and felt our launch date was slipping farther and farther away.

But that was two mornings ago.

That afternoon, we got a low offer from a couple who had seen our house three days in a row. Hours of negotiating later, thanks to our steadfast determination and our diplomatic pit bull of an agent, we had a contract for only $1900 less than our asking price. It doesn’t get much better than that.

And now it’s warp speed ahead! They want to close three weeks from today, with immediate possession at closing. That sounded great at first, but it has sunk in that three weeks is FAST approaching. We suddenly need to find a new home for just about everything we own. And we don’t dare get rid of anything big before the inspection and appraisal, just in case something falls through and we have to start having showings again. Yowsa.

It WILL get done. It has to!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


So, we just had our counter offer accepted and should be under contract in the next couple of hours - with like a 23 day window with which to be completely out of the house.

Crazy? I'm just realizing how crazy - so as my breathing restricts a little and my back ties up to the point where I'm having trouble walking, its time to come up with a plan, and to figure out what to let go.

23 days.