Thursday, September 4, 2008

Indecision

My head hurts. I'm thinking too much. But I can't stop it. It just keeps spinning and spinning. Do we move, or do we stay? I just don't know. I'm beginning to loose sleep over it. I keep thinking of all the work that goes into selling a house, buying a new house, and then *nightmare* moving. Every time we are ready to put an offer on the house I second guess myself. Is it simply because of all the work that would need to be done? Am I really that lazy? Or am I being too emotional?

The house we looked at has most of the things we want in a home. Still, the thought of leaving this house is hard. And I know I can't make this decision on emotions alone. Clearly our house is not everything that we need. It is small. Only 1500 square feet. It has a one car garage that I can't even fit the minivan in. It has a smallish yard, and only 2 and a half bedrooms (very, very small 3rd bedroom) with little closet space. Still, we made it our own. We updated the baths, the kitchen, and just about every other room too. We painted it the way we like it and it feels like home.

This other house, well, it's great. It has a massive yard, three car garage, FIVE bedrooms, a fireplace (which we've ALWAYS wanted), three full baths, a second floor laundry room, an obscene amount of closet space and storage, and a master suite with two big closets. The kitchen is just okay compared to ours. The family room is a bit small. And the basement is not finished which would have to be done.

My house right now is just a few short blocks to my beloved Lake Michigan. We take walks around the neighborhood, through the cemetery (don't be creeped out, it is really beautiful and peaceful and I have many relatives including my sis buried there, and grew up walking through it), and of course past the lake. My mom lives 4 blocks away. We have great neighbors. When the boys get older (if we could stay in the house that long) they could walk or bike to school it is so close. We are only 12 years away from paying off this house and the mortgage payment is far less than a new house would be. Obviously.

The new house is not even in the city. It is in the town. It is only about 8 minutes from where we live now but somehow it seems farther. Still, Iknow it would be a nice compromise to Todd wanting to live in the country and me wanting to live in the city. There is a nice bike trail half of a block from the house that leads to a lovely park so at least we would have a nice walking/biking path and a park to play at. And there are lovely cornfields (no more Children of the Corn movies for me!) surrounding the subdivision. It is quiet and serene. But my lake. Ugh. I know I would drive by the lake every time I dropped the boys off at school, and we could play there and swim there anytime, but the walks to the lake after dinner would be no more. *sniff, sniff*

What a complete spazz I am being. I do realize that, you know. I bet all the military families reading this right now are thinking, "Shut your freaking hole, you spoiled brat!" And they'd be right! It is not like I'd be moving to another country for heavens sake! Get a grip, right?

But, my house. Oh my house. The first year here it was just hubby and I. We started out with nothing here. We made this house our own. We learned how to be parents here. I brought my babies home from the hospital to this house. I rocked them to sleep upstairs. I lay on the floor in the sunroom with them and snuggled. I breastfed them in the living room. Their first baths were in the clawfoot tub upstairs. They took their first steps in our living room. They had their first solid foods in our kitchen. They had their first popsicles on our front porch. We've had 6 Christmases here. Blah, blah, blah....

*sniff, sniff*

Maybe I should think about this when I don't have PMS.

*sniff, sniff*

59 comments:

Kimmy said...

Those memories will always be with you wherever you go. You will make new memories in your new house too. You need to do what makes you happy...but, I understand how difficult change can be. Good luck!

Kimmy

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

oh, I hate moving - but a big house is NICE!! Really - especailly with 3 kids -and 3 boys!! Dont youwant your own bathroom away from those teenage hormones later???

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

You're not a spazz. These decisions are hard. If you go for the bigger house, photograph and video the heck out of the one you've got. That's why God made digital pictures. I'd vote for more room, but you have to do what feels right for you. I know it is hard to figure out. When I was making a similar decision three years ago, a friend recommended that I read Who Moved My Cheese. Now I'm recommending it to you. Also, how fortunate that we have such dilemmas. That's how I tried to look at it.

Take care.

XOXOXO

Krystyn said...

Moving is a big deal..and a lot to think about. You should spaz a little so you don't rush. And, definitely pray about it.

Maybe you should wait for the "perfect" house on the lake with everything you want? I'm not good at this stuff.

Tam said...

We moved last year and I do not even think a moment about the other house...IT was really worth it. GOOD LUCK on it all! will be stalking over to see how it all pans out for YOU

Debbie in CA : ) said...

I left my 1500 square-foot beloved "Willow Cottage" KICKING AND SCREAMING (maybe not that anyone else could detect ... but God knew). I hated the idea of leaving our "Home" of nine years (an eternity for a kid who moved 18 times before getting married). Eight years later ... move from here? NEVER! This is home. (So why does my hubby keep bringing home those fliers with those HUGE places? Get real! I'll NEVER move from here!) ; )

I'm praying for you. Change is so hard ... change can be so good ... change changes everything.

XOXOXOXOXO ...!!!

Hilary said...

You're struggling with making a couple of huge decisions right now.. a fourth kidlet and a new house. Wow! Both are stressful changes.

Your indecision tells me that you probably shouldn't make a decision until you feel more certain. This won't be the only great house to come along. You've bonded with your home and neighbourhood and for now it's still working for you. Why not sleep on it for a while longer. If that house is no longer available when you feel more certain, then it wasn't meant to be. It's far easier to start your search again than to undo a move you weren't ready to make.

Immoral Matriarch said...

Don't do it until you're sure! Well, no, because you may never be. But it sounds like you really love your current house...

A Buns Life said...

We moved just over a year ago from our first house where both our children were born, where we were totally filled to the max, but had painstakingly remodeled ourselves every square inch of it ourselves.....and yes I was sad. But we have pictures, and video. We are in our new house and do I TOTALLY love it yet? Not completely, but I know I will in time, and with each room we remodel and fix it becomes more like home and I love it more and more, just like I knew I would. We won't be moving until until the kids are long gone....this is the house we bought with that in mind....the other one we knew was the starter home....

Good luck. It is a hard decision.

Kelley said...

This may seem a bit odd, but how do you feel when you think about staying where you are. Yes, more space is nice, but is it really worth all the perks you will be losing. Perhaps your house may be small, but you are so close to the lake that you can easily get out and walk there.

We recently downsized from about 2000 sf to 1100 sf. With 3 boys and a baby on the way. It really has not been too bad. Yes, I wish we had a bigger yard for the kids to play in, but anything is bigger than what we have right now. I've learned that the perks of living in a small space are often worth
the hassles involved.

Munchkins and Music said...

I know what you are feeling! I went through this last summer. I Finally made my decision when I was sure it was the right choice. I wrote down pros and cons, which made me think about it in a different way.

scrap chair potato said...

I hope you can make a decision soon that you feel at peace with...a mommy of three busy boys need her sleep! :)

Maryeliz said...

On the one hand, the larger house seems logical. It will be a nice thing for your boys as they get bigger. And, certainly, having more bedrooms would be a huge plus, too, whether or not you guys decide to have a fourth child. You can always fix up the kitchen (I assume) at some point in the future. But I wonder if you could also consider further renovations or an expansion on your current house. (Bigger garage, for instance. An addition? Are such things possible for on your lot?) Because the location does sound fantastic. And you might save a ton of money in the long run, too. After all, big houses are very expensive to heat and maintain. And how great would it be to be mortgage-free (or almost) in just 12 years. Obviously, expansions cost money -- sometimes big money over time -- but perhaps that would be preferable to leaving behind the location and charm and memories you have now? (Although I do suspect that you would eventually come to love a different home, too.)

I must speak candidly (and respectfully) in saying that I knew far too many downsized people who were given "Who Moved My Cheese" as a cruel farewell gift from their bosses in the '90s. I think it's an awful book -- and one written for those upon whom change is forced and who have no choice but to be cheerful about what is happening to them. Corporate claptrap. That said, I'm sure it could be helpful to some people in a different context than a downsizing. But I do think the prayerful discernment idea is a far better one. Good luck!

Tammy said...

Moving is always a difficult thing, especially when you really like your house, but it isn't big enough. I have a strange feeling that we live in the same town. Whenever I read things you say...they seem awfully familiar. Was the farmers market by Lake Michigan by the museums on Saturday?

Fire Hunt said...

I'm praying for you. A new home is a lot we just did it but if your old one is not big enough. then the move will be good.

beth said...

Can you add on to your current home? It sounds like the location is perfect.

Being able to walk places is the one thing I really miss now that I live in suburban subdivision.

And don't forget all the higher utility bills that come with a bigger house. And the extra cleaning. And yard work.

Another tough decision.

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I have a solution for you, just move to Alaska... then you don't have to worry about some of those things. In Anchorage houses are a great deal, you egt paid to live here, the schools are good, and you can live in the neighborhoods with still being close to the city. Plus.. PAID TO LIVE HERE.

There you go, problem solved :)

Motherhood for Dummies said...

ps. you need to move here cause we need more cool Alaskan bloggers ;)

Kathryn said...

You are all giving me such great new perspectives! And it helps to look at it from other sides too.

This neighborhood isn't perfect. The houses are pretty close together and our yard is small. Plus Todd always wanted to live in the country so our city location really drives him crazy at times.

We don't have enough room to build on to the garage because of a bunch of issues. The cost, the size of the lot, and structural issues. Wouldn't work.

We will have to move eventually. Todd is using the closet in the boys' room right now but they will need it in the future. Todd will have no closet. We have ZERO storage for this house. Our stuff is overflowing. And we don't even have that much stuff. There is no hallway closet for coats or shoes, there are no cabinets or closets in any of the bathrooms, and the closets in the bedrooms are SMALL!!! I can't imagine what it would be like with three 6 footers (four including Todd) in this house. Ack!

We have copies of the utilities for the new house and they are very close to ours. Sometimes older houses (like ours) are very hard to maintain. The heat registers on the 2nd floor don't emit very well and in winter it is much colder upstairs and in summer, much hotter. It can be costly.

Like I said, we always knew we would have to move eventually. And if we can get this new house for a steal like we think we can we would be silly not to get it. I know I am being more emotional about this than I should. Heck, I get emotional when I get a new car! I'm nuts that way. ;)

I guess it the whole process just seems overwhelming and maybe I give up on it too easily. ???

I think we'll just move to Alaska. It does sound pretty awesome, and Todd would be THRILLED!!!! :)

Jyl @ MommyGossip said...

I also love the idea of going with the bigger house. But, only you know what is best. You will always have your memories. We drive by all of our previous houses and tell stories and have fun. But, it has been nice to move up too. There are always new memories to be made.

Mom24 said...

It sounds like you don't want to move...at least right now. Remember if you choose not to move right now that doesn't mean you never will. Good luck. What a hard decision.

Kelly said...

We've had a similar train of thought lately. I thought I had an answer to your question but the further I read through your post, the more indecisive I got! LOL Does your hubby have indecisiveness at all or is he all ready to move?? That is such a toughie, think of the future, follow your heart.

Lisa said...

You will always have the memories of the old house. But if you have to move eventually ANYWAY....why not start making the new memories at the new house ASAP? You could even make the memory of bringing home a little one there. And you'd have room for a pink, frilly nursery!!!

MamaGeek said...

K, follow your heart and your gut.

imbeingheldhostage said...

I can't say "shut your freakin' hole" when I'm spitting pepsi on my keyboard-- don't surprise me like that, my mac doesn't like pepsi.
I'm feeling your pain. Really. and I have nothing.no.advice.to.share.
This is one of those things that you have to tromp through with us all standing back and waiting.
You will make the right decision though.

Candy said...

MOVE.

JUST DO IT.

we're going through a purging time in our life right now during this move into our new house and it's wonderful!!!

a change.......will do you good;-)

wright said...

That is a difficult descision, but you have to do what you think is best for your family in the long run.

Lindsay said...

Oh- your a wife, mother, AND PMSing...so these things are all "normal" for you to think about. You'll always have those memories, and you will have many more in the new, bigger house that you'll most likely be in for a longer period of time. Good luck....but be thankful you're not moving to a different state...THAT'S hard.

Molly's Mom said...

I know how hard it is to leave your first house, and it sounds like such a fabulous location - I would love to be that close to the lake (15 minutes isn't that bad - but still!). But coming from a small house to a moderately larger house, it's been really nice. Can you keep looking around for something bigger, but closer to the lake? Maybe hold off until a house that feels right, no question, comes along...?

CissaLynn said...

Awwww! These decisions can be SOOOOO hard to make! I feel for you!!! I think the answer will come w/time! We have lived in our house for eleven yrs. now. It is about 2300 sq. ft. and I would "downsize" in a second!!! It is TWO BIG for me! It just depends on what you want. For me, the upkeep isn't worth it anymore. It takes longer to clean than a smaller house would and I HATE the extra time it takes. I will often "let things go" and not clean and spend time w/my kids instead. But......I pay for it later 'cause, eventually, I gotta clean (at least a little)! :)))

Anyway, just make sure you do what you want! Don't make any hasty decisions. Maybe the answer (for now) is "to stay where you are."
Talk to your man and make sure you are on the same page. Discuss it thoroughly. Sometimes the answer is hard! I know.
I will be praying!!!!
Love,
Cissa

CC said...

Hugs! I used to think our first home would only be for a few years. Now we've been here 6 years and I expect we'll be here many, many more years. I just can't imagine (or afford!) moving.

But I am very jealous that your current home has "baths" as in more than one!! That would be the main reason we'd move! Oh, and for a garage!

Dawn said...

I still shiver a little when I think back on the stress of moving to another house last year...but I'm also glad we did it. (Hugs) to you. ;)

david mcmahon said...

I hear you, Kathryn. I see how much this home that you made your own is so much a part of all your lives.

Just wondering whether you'd be better off simply putting an extension on your present home.

It would cost less and would retain your sense of belonging.

Let me know what you think .....

(I'm back home, by the way, and battling jetlag!!)

RiverPoet said...

Is it possible to expand your current home by adding a room or a den? It certainly sounds like you are very happy with and very attached to your current home. Big houses aren't everything.

Having moved around a lot myself, if I had the choice not to? I wouldn't.

Peace - D

Danielle said...

Okay first moving sucks... I with you on that one.. but then there's the what if factor.... What if you did have another bambino running around? Would you be able to do that in the house your in now? Or would the new house be a better fit?
Definitely think about that one when your not PMSing!!!
Good Luck!

maggie's mind said...

It's a tough decision. Definitely will require some thought over something like chocolate and while not mid-PMS, but I'd probably vote for staying put and adding on if that's an option, but that's me, you know? I'd love to have 1500 sq ft, but with kids I see how it can be a little tight, but even that's not all bad, right? Home will be wherever you make it be, and you seem good at that. And call me if it's time for chocolate.

Blessings From Above said...

Wow, you have a tough choice ahead of you! Both houses seem like they have their advantages.

Good Luck!!!

Tiffany said...

That is a huge decision to make, but it sounds like you would have the opportunity to potentially look back and say "wow we have had 20 Christmas's in this house" with the new house. The lake thing is a big deal, but knowing how important it is to you, I bet you will work it out to spend plenty of time there even if it isn't walking distance.

Go for it!

Nap Warden said...

That's a tough call...I have always sacrificed space for location. Moving is a bummer, no matter how you slice it...Good luck!

Robyn said...

It is hard, we talk about moving all they time, but I do like this house, I just need a handy man. Good luck with making a decision.

anglophilefootballfanatic.com said...

I know it's hard and the decisions are tough. Do the positives outweigh the ties to the house you are in, though? It sounds a bit like you think moving is the right option but you are sad to see your house go?

LaskiGal said...

You are NOT being a spazz . . . this is a big decision.

We are going through a very similar situation right now.

A move is inevitable.

Leaving the home where J spent his first year will be hard. But the memories we will create . . . awesome.

YOU will create WONDERFUL memories and you will turn the new house into a HOME. YOUR HOME. I promise . . .

Jeni said...

If I were to think of moving from here, just the "Obscene amount of closet space" might be almost enough to entice me out. It's amazing though how quickly obscene closet space can get filled up too though, ya know. Just teasing you there. Seriously though -it is a huge decision to make and moving -regardless of how many people, how much "stuff" (remember George Carlin's routine about "Stuff") one has, I really would suggest the point by point pros and cons method. Study it really hard. But then, I think you are already doing that study bit, aren't you? But put it all down on paper -the good, the bad, the ugly -everything -and then evaluate maybe by assigning a point value to each thing too and add up the points to give you a little more idea on the whole idea, how it really shakes out then for you. As you said, a move is going to be inevitable sometime in the future but that doesn't necessarily mean right now either or two months or whatever. Make the move only when you feel completely comfortable with the choice you make!
The memories thing though -that, for me, is probably the one thing that will keep me rooted right where I am for the rest of my days -that and not winning the lottery so I could afford to buy the house of my dreams with lots of closets, even more cupboards in the kitchen than you can shake a stick at and numerous other things I don't have now and which we really could use, really do need too for that matter. But then too, I could still keep this place and have it as my "vacation" home, couldn't I? I know, no help there!
The prayer aspect is also a darned good one to throw into the mix too! Now, play Scarlett O'Hara and get some sleep -"Worry about this tomorrow!"

abritdifferent said...

I feel your pain, really, I do.

Have you considered adding on to the house you have? An extension or something?

the dragonfly said...

I'm a military wife, and while I wasn't thinking quite those thoughts you attributed to me :) ...I was thinking something along the lines of "how nice to have a choice!" Usually we don't can't choose where we're going or what our housing will be like. But I don't complain, because I know one day we'll buy a house and we'll be able to choose. I can wait. :)

Thinking of you...

April said...

First of all I LOVE walking through cemeteries...they are BEAUTIFUL. Especially in the fall. There is just something so peaceful, so tranquil about it. So I don't find it creepy in the least!
Secondly, the new house sounds AWESOME but I can certainly see where your indecision lies. But no matter WHERE you live you will ALWAYS have those memories. You don't need your current house just to sustain those memories. And like someone else mentioned, you can make beautiful NEW memories in the new house. :-)

Karen said...

I gave birth to our second child in the bedroom of our last house. I'm still happy we moved. We have two more bedrooms, another bathroom, and about 7 more acres. We're much happier here. You'll feel the same if you decide to move *grin*.

Jaysi said...

It sounds to me like an move in inevitable, but maybe it is just not the right time. I myself have learned that it is best to buy a house because you really love it, not because it is a good deal. Just my two cents, but you gotta do what is right for you. My husband and I have bid on and then dropped our bid on houses a couple of times. It was always for a good deal, but never really felt right. I think when it is the right time and the right house you will just know. If you are happy in your current house, what is another 6 months, a year or two years?

lime said...

you make perfect sense because this is the house where you became a family and memories like that have seeped into the walls. your hesitation is understandable to me.

we made a similar move 5 years ago, from small house we'd made our own through lots of loving work done and many memories made to the seemingly perfect bigger house that gave each kid their own room. we also went from a small mortgage that would have been paid off in a few years and traded it for a big fat mortgage that feels like it will never end. it's a beautiful house but a big, beautiful house isn't what it's all about. it's about having a home that you, todd, and the boys feel at home in. whether that is found where you are, in the place you are looking at now, or in some other place you haven't yet considered look for a home, not just a house.

Kristen said...

These decisions in life are so hard. How do you ever know what to do.

I think you let your head decide. Hard to think clearly with your heart all the time. We too left the house we brought Cade home too and I sat on our porch swing and cried when we left.

But our new house is that HOME. It is US who makes it a home, not the house. So no matter where you all decide to keep or move your roots too, it is YOUR FAMILY that makes the house, not the structure.

Keep us updated as I know that this is a huge decision. :)

Thinking of you!

BTW- How is your dad doing?

EatPlayLove said...

memories don't change even though your location may. you'll still have them. think of the new ones you may miss out on making, seize the moment!

Now if this was a post about keeping that big new house clean, I may vote for staying put! LOL!

Shamelessly Sassy said...

I do my best thinking when I don't have PMS. My husband and I flip houses. Often times, the home that we live in is for sale. We move about once a year, and I hate it. But I am used to it by now.

Dianna said...

I have the answer...

*Eat brownies

*Get sleep

*Wait until PMS gets the h*ll outta there before thinking about it again

Well, I don't know if that helps....but it sounds good right?
Keep smiling*!*
;)

Louise said...

Cute post, and I love your conclusion.

From what I read of you, I think you would make any house your own home. You can be happy anywhere. In a small house with no space to speak or, or a place without easy lake access. You'll be fine.

Over from Authorblog.

Carol said...

You sound like such a lovely, sappy-sentimental mommy!! Don't ever lose that quality...and don't ever apologize for it! You'll carry these memories with you forever, wherever else you go....and you don't even have to pack them!

I came over from David's authorblog...and I'm glad I found you!! Congrats on the award!

Carol

CrazyCath said...

It's so hard isn't it? Sit on it for a while. Especially if you feel like this.

Over from David's

Karen Deborah said...

Wow, I wish I could be more like you. I love change. i could move tomorrow especailly to a bigger house! The only question to me is where would you rather be when it's just you and Todd again. It will appen soon enough. But I'm with him on the country living, and you on the walk to the lake.
Our software can help you pay off the new big mortgage much faster.
will see what God has in mind.

Golightly said...

PMS - well that explains it all! Serious, though, there are a lot of very special memories attached to that house and it will be hard to leave. But you'll have peace when the time is right.

Splaneyo said...

This sounds like me a few months ago...We lived in a 1500 square foot house. We painted, put on an addition, made everything perfect and then came AJ. We were a bit cramped, but we liked the idea of conserving and not living big, but 4 kids just made it too small. We still tried to figure out ways to make it work because we loved the location - we could walk to town, walk the kids to school, etc. - then on a whim we looked at the house we are in now (5 bedrooms, 3 baths, 3 acres...) and we took the plunge. We bought this house before we even listed the other and in MI it could have been disastrous, but everything worked out and now we couldn't imagine that we lived in that cramped house so long. Don't get me wrong moving was awful and we still have boxes in the garage, but it was worth it because we have a house we can stay in indefinitely - a place we can have big Thanksgivings. I will keep my fingers crossed that everything works out as it is supposed to and your hair doesn't turn gray in the meantime. =)

Heather

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson