we found a place
It helped that we had been searching online for weeks and weeks before the house hunting trip. I had been on real estate sites, for sale by owner sites, links from the online newspaper for the area, and craigslist. The whole thing did not go down as we had expected or hoped, really.. but we got a place none the less.
Since Joe is going into a commission based job instead of a steady salary position, we were not able to get traditional financing for a house. He talked to a private lender but was a little unsure of the guy and the amount he was willing to finance wasn't quite enough to find a place for this family of six. So we decided to try to find a place we could get with a lease option (lease with option to buy). We did this a few years ago out here, and it worked great. So the house we found was a for sale by owner listed on craigslist. Joe presented the seller with the lease option idea and he was willing to work with us. So we have a place to live. It's a nice place. It has it's pros in cons in terms of what we were hoping to find, but I'll focus on the pros. The nice thing about a lease option is that if we choose to buy it in a couple of years, the price is already locked in, and it's a good price. And if we decide it isn't where we'd like to stay, we can move on to something else. It's in a teeny tiny town. The kids are excited because they can probably ride their bikes pretty much all over town with no worries. There is a little restaurant there, and they make super good wild rice soup.
I cried the first two days I was there... the reality of the whole thing really set in. I felt bad for Joe. As much as I tried to hide my emotions, they kept coming out. He worked while we were there, and the work was good. It was really busy and people liked his work. Once we got the house thing settled early in the week, there wasn't much for me to do around there, so I took Judah to meet his northern Minnesota relatives. Let me just say that this little guy is a fabulous traveler. He slept the entire plane ride, did great in the car wherever we went, and was full of smiles for all the new people he met during our trip. He's such a sweet baby.
The family we have there is great. They were very accommodating while we were there and made time to see us even with such short notice that we were coming. It would really make this move easier if we were moving to the same area they're in, but it will be nice to be just a few hours away.
The three older kids did great while we were gone. We'd never left them for that long before and I was a little nervous before we left, but they had a blast playing with cousins. We talked to them everyday and skyped one night with them. All in all, it was a successful trip. Sadly, our time here is quickly winding down. I really need to get to packing. My excuse for not doing it before was that I wanted to wait to see what kind of place we'd be living in first, so I could picture where things would go and figure out what I need to get rid of. Now it's just been too hot. But those are just excuses. Really, I dread packing for any move. But it's time to face the responsibility and just get started so I'm not left with the huge task at the end. My sisters and I were just talking this week about The Procrastinator, a character from the Amanda Show. "I'll get to it.... eventually!"