Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Trying it again (First day, take two)

Two years ago, I volunteered at the local elementary school to read with a couple of 6th graders. To say the least, it was a challenge with one (read about it here and here). I didn't volunteer at all last year because I had Jacob and needed to take care of him. This year, I have a good friend, Lauren, that I could swap babysitting with so we decided to do it together! She will go one day and I can go the other day.

To say the least, I was excited to try this again. Even though the last attempt (at volunteering) was less than successful, I kept an optimistic perspective. The director of the tutoring program promised me that I wouldn't have a student similar to "Dave."

I was relieved with my first encounter with student #1. Another boy, but he was quirky, fun and simply adorable. Don't tell him I said that. He loved the book we picked (Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar) but unfortunately needed to move up another level. Student #2 is a sweet girl who likes dance and drawing. I couldn't wait to get back to Lauren and tell her about the kids.

It's going to be a good school year.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Postponing "the dream"

When we moved to Utah and found our home - a four bedroom duplex - it was a dream to us! Compared to our two-bedroom apartment, it seemed so big with lots of room to grow. I fell in love.

Two years and one more child later, I (I will speak for myself in the matter) feel a little cramped with everything we've accumulated thus far. I dislike sharing a wall with neighbors who seem to be up at all hours of the night and who smoke on the property, despite being told not to by the landlord. I don't like have a fixed layout, drafty windows and doors and an out-dated kitchen appearance.

Insert hashtag "first-world problems." Insert also "cry me a river and get over it."

That's how I feel when I complain to Jed. Then I remember all the positive aspects of this home: great landlords who take care of lawn and maintenance, a garden area, a big backyard for the boys, and sufficient room for all we need.

That being said, I was getting antsy. I wanted a bigger place, one that we actually "owned." So when my neighbor, and many of my friends, started looking and buying houses, I wanted in. I started looking too. We even met with a realtor.

Then reality hit. After making the goal to set up a larger emergency savings and pay off a couple of debts (one including a newer car), we realized homeownership was just not in the picture. Yet. And that's ok.

I follow Dave Ramsey on Facebook  and I really enjoy the articles that are posted. A couple of them have been on homeownership and the value of renting for awhile.

I had a "lightbulb" moment. It's ok to be renting. There's no shame in that. It's ok to save up until we have sufficient funds to purchase a home - however and whenever that happens. And it's ok to have less. I realized my family of 6 grew up in a three-bedroom home until we moved to Nebraska. Then it was four bedrooms, but my sisters and I still shared rooms. We survived. And although I have a long list of "needs" for my future dream home, I recognize I won't get them all and don't have to have them all. I just need to be content with the now.