Life Update

Well, I haven’t really posted a whole lot since our anniversary Disney trip and there was a reason for that. I didn’t really know if I wanted to write about it or not, but since things have turned around, I feel more comfortable doing so now. So…

After we got back from our trip (literally, the next week), Chris found out he was getting laid off along with a bunch of other people from his plant. It really sucked. At first, we just felt shock and sadness. He had just gotten his 5-year gift from the company (well, he had just ordered it. It didn’t actually arrive for a month or so) and despite the bad economy, he was pretty much told about a month earlier there’d be no layoffs. Some people were put on furlough the month prior, but Chris wasn’t. So, it really did seem to come out of nowhere. Though we both had some rough moments where it felt like that period in our life would never end, Chris worked really hard to get a new job. At first, we had somewhat narrow search parameters – trying to either stay here, or at least somewhere in the Southeast or Texas. After a couple months of barely anything coming in from the recruiters, we removed all location preferences and Chris started getting more openings to apply for – though some were in bumble (like the one in Death Valley) – and he applied for everything. After a few dashed hopes from companies who really liked Chris, but didn’t have a job to offer him (why are you interviewing him then??), Chris finally got 3 job offers, 5 months after initially being laid off. We weighed the pros and cons of each and actually ended up with what we initially wanted – a job for him in the Southeast. We don’t get to stay here, since the job is outside of Charlotte, a good 1.5 – 2 hours away, but the feel of the area is somewhat similar.

Unfortunately, that means we have to sell the house and move. Our first house. 😦 We put the house up for sale at the beginning of the month and we’ve had several showings already this week with 3 more scheduled tomorrow, including one second showing (let me go on a ranty tangent for a second here – to any of you touring houses, please don’t track mud through the house. It’s incredibly rude. You wouldn’t do that in your own house – and this may one day be your own house – and the owners go to a lot of trouble to make sure the place is sparkling just for you to see it, so don’t ruin it! Ranty tangent over.), so we’re hopeful it’ll sell quickly. We got positive feedback from the first showing (though I don’t think that’s the one that’s coming back since we were told they’re probably waiting to buy thanks to a lease that doesn’t end till next year), so we just need someone to be ready to buy. The realtor is optimistic, too – she says the house is “darling”  and we priced it appropriately, although we’ll be lucky to break even as far as money is concerned, which kind of sucks since that (minus commission and taxes and fees) eats into our next down payment (not to mention we’re kind of hoping to upgrade a tiny bit, which necessitates a bigger down payment). We also can’t get a new house till we have a down payment, so we’re in a temporary apartment till the house sells. It’s a decent place. It’s cute, but after living in a house we love, it just doesn’t feel like home. Which, I guess it doesn’t have to. Hopefully, we’ll only be here a few months max. It does kind of suck to be in a temporary apartment over the holidays though. I love decorating for Christmas – I go all out.  I’m not even sure I’ll decorate this year, though. But we’re spending Thanksgiving with my family and Christmas with Chris’s family, so I guess it’s not as big a deal. Plus it’s a bit expensive living in temporary housing. It’s almost twice our mortgage payment in rent, in addition to still paying our mortgage, so the quicker we can sell the house and get into a new home, the better.

We may start looking around at homes in the new area soon, but I’m a bit nervous. I love looking at homes, but when I see something I love, I get attached. And since we can’t buy now, the best we can do is make an offer contingent on the sale of our house, which…ok, so we’ve had interest in our house in terms of people deciding after seeing pictures that they want to walk around it, but it’s not like we have an offer or anything yet. I don’t know how those contingency offers work, but I doubt we can make an offer on a house and have that offer sit there for possibly months until our house sells. I wouldn’t want that if I were the seller. I’d want to sell and move on. I do want to sell and move on with our current house. It will be exciting to look at new houses, though. I made a list of wants and needs for the new Charlotte-area realtor. There are a lot of things I love about our current house – the size of the master bedroom, the 2-story great room, the purple dining room, but there are also a few things I’m looking forward to looking for – a dedicated office (so we can keep our guest bedroom and have the third bedroom be a nursery), a better kitchen, a bigger shower, more curb appeal. Another thing we need to consider is living just across the border in South Carolina (we’re really close right now) – apparently the taxes are better, the homes are at least somewhat cheaper, and we wouldn’t have to retake the driver’s exam (bleh, I don’t want to study…I’ve been driving for like 10 years without even a ticket, just give me my license.). I do need some recommendations on towns though, so I can start looking into homes there too. Hopefully Chris will get some info from work.

On the upside, Chris is really enjoying his new job and is really happy to be back at work. He was getting pretty discouraged and stir-crazy being unemployed. Plus! We’re 90% sure we’ll still get to go to Disney World in February, which is fantastic. We didn’t need to touch our savings during the unemployment and the new job gives him vacation right away. He has a few days this year and 17 days next year, so basically as long as his boss gives him the ok, we’re going! It is a tad pricey, but again, as soon as we’re in a new house, we can start really saving big time again and it is the last vacation we plan on taking before we have kids and probably for a while after (minus visiting family for holidays, of course), so we both agree it’s ok. So, we’re really excited about that. 🙂 I’m even planning on making a few customized shirts for Chris and me (yeah, I know, I’m such a dork. And I also know I’ve got a fabulous husband for agreeing to wear them! :-D). I’ll post about those when I start making them. 🙂

We’re so happy to have our life back on track and I’m so proud of Chris for staying strong and working so hard to get a new job. I think we may have come out of this experience stronger. Please think good thoughts for us that the house will sell quickly and we can settle into a new home soon. 🙂