Since I last blogged in May, a lot has happened. I may as well just dive right in with it.
1) We bought a house
and . . .
2) We’re pregnant.
Yes, I know. When it rains, it pours. And even if what’s falling out of the sky are good things, I’m going to be honest and say I still feel at many times that I need to run and duck for cover.
And I mean, didn’t you expect this from the Haggards (even if we don’t even expect it from ourselves)? Have we ever failed to shock or entertain you? (Dear God, may we please fail you someday, for my own personal sanity and my husband’s well-being.)
Many of you know either by direct conversation or in some roundabout way about either one or both of these things. If you didn’t, well I suppose now you do because it’s on the internet.
As far as the home-buying is concerned, some of you will find it ironic that Jason got himself into the real estate market. That is because you’ve heard him go on and on about how buying a house in Seattle is ludicrous because the market is so overpriced and yada yada yada. I have liked renting for its security; if anything unfortunate were to happen financially we could be out of our house immediately.
But, at the beginning of May we started thinking about a house. This was propagated by the fact that Jason’s parents were in Seattle and we were discussing the possibility of finding a home with a MIL unit that they could live in while they were helping us. In future seasons we could use the unit to host friends and family and for our family as it grows.
We weren’t thinking all that seriously. In fact we told our new realtor, “You know, we just want to warn you – this could be a year or two from now . . . or maybe never.” Ha. She was probably smirking on the inside.
But despite our hesitations, some big things needed to get resolved for us in the month of May, and where we would live was one of them. The other two were as follows:
1) Will my in-laws stay in Seattle or move on? They weren’t having much luck finding permanent housing and figured they should make a decision by June.
2) Am I pregnant? Yes, a little off topic. But I knew there was a slim possibility. Because it was so slim, I was not thinking much about it, but because God designed nature as it is, I would eventually (as in a month) find out if I was or wasn’t.
I remember very distinctly my prayers about these things. I prayed with hopeful expectancy, which is very unlike me.
The first answer we received was that I was in fact pregnant. I must have, deep in my subconscious, dismissed this as a real possibility because I was completely shocked. And sort of freaked out. I am a crazy lady and now I’m a crazy lady having another baby. What, people, could possibly be next for the Haggards?!
[I will interject to say that I am pro-having babies and I am pro-having this baby. But I was shocked nonetheless.]
Jason was also surprised but of course supportive, and he’s a flexible person to begin with. He jokes that he got what he wanted with the time frame moved up, which is fine by him. If we found out we were having twins he would consider it an absolutely perfect situation. Maybe, that is, until the twins actually came out of the womb and I handed them over to him.
Now that we had to factor into our living situation another human being, we knew we were going to have to move in the next nine months – whether Jason’s parents stayed or not. Hmmm.
We had looked at one house at the beginning of May (minus a few at-home Redfin stalkings I did on my own). Amazingly it had fit all of our requirements. It already had a MIL unit, the layout was great, it was in a pleasant neighborhood, had a backyard, was close to friends, there was easy access to the freeway, and it was not a complete dump. If you live in Seattle, you know this is a gem.
But we both decided it was just okay. We didn’t get any major impressions when we walked in or afterward when we talked it over. We dismissed it because at that point we thought we only had two children. And we moved on for another week or so, waiting for answers.
But now that I was pregnant that house was looking better and better to me. And not even in a desperate sort of way. I started to be excited about its possibilities and the space it did afford. I started to feel like I could see us living there.
In a totally random sort of way we put an offer in on the house. It had sat on the market another week and our realtor thought we could offer what we wanted to, which was significantly less than the asking price.
And that began a journey that only included a few brief conversations between Jason and I on the couch and the conclusion that we’d take one step forward, and then another, and we’d see what would happen.
And now we live in this house. And it has been truly, truly a blessing.
In the end, our in-laws decided to move back east. This was really hard for us. But, it has brought about a great God story. As of a few weeks ago we have a couple living in our MIL unit, JT and Sarah, and their 10-month-old son, Josiah. In exchange for the living space, Sarah takes care of Ian and Imogen during the weekdays so I can rest.
I cannot tell you how truly great this has been, in numerous ways. It is helping me get better and it is a comfort to know there will be extra help when the baby comes. And we really like JT and Sarah, and we are glad our families can mutually bless each other. They moved out here from Michigan and were looking for housing when they saw a post I put on the Mars Hill’s website. And now they are here with us.
[This is where I was going to post a picture of our new friends, but I figured I didn’t want to totally creep them out if they ended up reading this.]
JT is looking into church-planting and Sarah has plans to finish a nursing degree and become a midwife. How perfect to have a future midwife in our house! Sarah and I have had some good conversations on the subject.
Jason and I took possession of the house at the beginning of July and for that month Jason worked away, getting some things remodeled, re-plumbed, etc. Thank you to friends and family who also helped, you are very much appreciated. You worked so that I didn’t have to.
The kids and I came back from Mother T’s at the beginning of August and JT
& Sarah moved in shortly after that. And now we are that couple who works on the house after the kids go to bed. We’ve spent more money at The Home Depot than I care to think about. I’m hanging pictures on the walls, Jason’s out gabbing with the neighbors, and the kids are scratching the newly refinished hardwood floors. I guess that means we’re making it home.
Not many have actually seen the house, so I will give a few glimpses. I preface this with the fact that you will be disappointed with these photos – they are few and not all that exciting.
Here’s the white trash side of our house. Note the appliances and furniture in the driveway, and I left the garage door open for the full effect. I would personally apologize to the neighbors, but I’m too much of an introvert at the moment to do so.
This is the other side of the front. The picture doesn’t do it justice, but it’s beautifully landscaped (not by us).
Ian requested I take a picture of him, of course.
Here’s the first room we finished. Yes, it is light pistachio, and no, Jason does not like it. But, he loves his wife so that’s the way it is.
These are photos of the MIL unit. Technically this was the first area we finished, as we wanted it ready for JT & Sarah. We mainly painted, cleaned the carpets, replaced some appliances and did some plumbing. (“We” means Jason).
So, in the end, I still ask myself “How did we get here?! What is going on? Am I still having this baby and do we really live in Shoreline?”
I know I’ve fully explained it, but I still wonder sometimes. Jason and I are amazed at God’s impeccable timing and His provision. And how simply it came together. I mean, as simple as buying a home and being pregnant can be.
The last time I posted was over two months ago. I was, of course, thinking about all the what-ifs, and I did imply that some in my writing. But I was also stuck on this: “Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him” (1 Cor 7:17).
How fitting that was when I found out I was pregnant – it was assigned. And so was the house. And our new tenants. And even my struggles with depression and anxiety, as I work to overcome them.
There is peace in knowing that God’s will happens. It is happening for us Haggards.