Monday, January 20, 2014

In Which Cinderella's Pumpkin gets Smashed...

My husband and I have struggled financially pretty much since day one of our marriage.  I'm not going into the entire 6 years of history but just to this past summer.  Mostly because I don't know if most of our friends and family know the full story.  Those who are curious, read on, those who are not interested... well we still love you.

In about May of last year my husband got a new job- through a connection he had made at school.  Everything about this job was wonderful.  It was an actual programming job! The pay was slightly better than what he had before and he was able to work a reasonable amount of hours.  For the first time in 5 years we were not stressed about paying rent and our bills.  Not to say that we ever did not pay these things- but after paying for the basic negativeness of living we'd only have about 5% of his monthly income to spend- and that honestly usually went to diapers.  We've always stretched our tax return out so we wouldn't feel so poor and have an illusion of spending money.  Those days were through!

It was fantastic.  Really quite amazing.  About July we got wind from our upstairs neighbor that our landlord was selling the house to a group that planned on demolishing it and paving it over.  We decided of course to move.  With careful planning we could see that we would be able to afford a deposit and first months rent within a month or so.  So we started looking.  After a few weeks of looking we talked to our landlord again and he assured us that the house would not be selling before the end of October at the earliest; on top of that we would be able to stay until about the end of January- giving us plenty of time to find a new place and get packed to move.  Since we didn't want to move just before a semester- and since we very much loved where we were living we stopped house hunting.

After that all of our communication with our landlord was pretty dodgy.

I prepared our home and meal plans and whatever else I could think to prepare for the coming school year.  Then August 15th I got a call from my husband telling me that he would be laid off from work at the end of August.  He was understandably panicked about losing his job when he had a family to support.  I, being as stupidly optimistic as I am, convinced myself and him to just stick it out in the apartment and not move right before school.  We didn't have any money to move- where would we move to? Best to stay put I thought- student loans were coming we could use those to cushion the next few months while we got through the semester.  It's not like we were paying anyone rent after it was sold- we were in all essence being very nicely evicted.  I later found out that was a lie.  Not only would we be paying rent but we'd be paying to the very man that sold the house.  I still am puzzled on that one (oh and there appear to be people living in our old home now- which just makes me mad as you will soon see.)  If we had had any assurance that we would be able to stay in the apartment we had at that time- we would've figured out a way to do so.  It was an amazing apartment (except for the fact that the bathtub never drained- but that is more of a rant about the lazy landlord then anything else).  The apartment was very large and had a yard.  Not something we really wanted to give up.

But we did- because the landlord got increasingly weird every time we talked to him (oh and never did pay us back our deposit, or a list of charges stating why he didn't give us our deposit- I know there is something legal I can do here- but fuzzy as to what that is).

I should mention that our student loans were almost a month late- we had to pay a couple of payments for tuition out of whatever we had saved in the bank and ended up being more than completely broke for a bit there.

My mother cleared out her basement for us in a very short period of time- and by October first we were moved in to my mothers basement.

During that period of time from September 1 to October 31, my son had to go to the hospital for oral surgery (minor surgery; but still- small body and anesthesia was involved- so still scary).  My dad went to the hospital for heart surgery.  On my husband's side of the family- his uncle was at the hospital for a procedure, ended up having a heart attack and then went into a coma.  He woke up but wasn't really himself again after that- sadly he died this last week.  My husband's father also had to go to the hospital for a procedure.

After that we had a mad panic trying to catch up in school and not be to emotional about the way our lives had seemed to crash around our feet.

It is why we've been less than sociable and why I've put up so many posts on facebook that are grumpy.  I keep hoping that someday we may have a break.  We will- its just not right now.

Since then my husband has gotten another job in his field- one that pays well and has good hours; what is more it works with his school schedule.  We'll be living in my parents basement for the next few months- hopefully we'll be out by May 31.  I'm praying that we'll find an apartment that will fit our family and not cost to much.  We're at an interesting transition right now- I don't know if the storm has passed and we're waiting on the next; or if we're in the eye- experiencing that eerie calm before the rest of it hits.  Either way- we're plugging through our Spring semester and doing our best (now that back to school expenses have been covered, to save up several months of rent and utility payments.

We've been through a lot- but that is life I think.  There are so many things that are hard about it- but you keep living and moving forward.

I want to say this: thank you for all the people who have been there over the past few months.  I've put up thank-you's before but I just don't think I can say thank you enough.  I have so many friends who have lent a listening ear as I cried about the hard things we've had to endure- I appreciate all of you for just listening and not trying to tell me 'well at least this hasn't happened' or offering other useless sentiments.  It was nice to just be able to talk through the things that were going on.  To the person who left us an envelope full of money- I don't know who you are but it was well timed and helped us pay for that move.  To the ward members who dropped everything they were doing to move us out of our old place and into our new one- you don't know how much that meant to us. To my friends, both old friends and new friends, who came and helped me put things in boxes or deep clean the old apartment (yes; he made us deep clean the apartment- dumb landlord) thank you.  Thank you for coming and dealing with a very stressed and very irrational me.  It was amazing how much that helped.

I get frustrated and depressed by the things that go wrong in our lives- it seems they cannot just go a little bit long but very wrong whenever something bad happens.  However, I'm grateful to have so many people in our lives that will help us.

So we're rebuilding our pumpkin- and maybe this time it'll get turned into a carriage and we can ride for a little while until the next disaster.


*note: on Saturday I indicated I would do the second part of Healthy Eating part 2 tonight.  I've spent much of my weekend working on homework so I will not be writing that today as I didn't get any shopping done today.  I hope to go shopping and write it up tomorrow- but as I have a rather full schedule homework-wise I do not think I'll get to it until Saturday.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the updates! I'm totally a snoopy friend, and I've been so curious about your lives and how things have gone. It's such a relief to know that we aren't the only ones with financial woes. I totally admire your outlook! Hang in there! That pumpkin already is a carriage with your two beautiful kiddos and a loving father/husband. :)