Tuesday, February 15, 2011

in response......

Yesterday, a comment was left on my most recent blog post and when I read it I felt as though I have been grievously misleading you all for some time. I wanted to clarify, mostly for my sake, and maybe a little for yours.

I'm not really sure where I went wrong in that particular post but I think it may have been this comment, "It's all about the house for me. I'll know it when I see it." I think that's it, but maybe not. I'll clarify anyway.

I am not looking for bigger or better, in fact the next house may be a downsize from this one.

Actually, let me back track......

Before I even got married I remember driving through inner city neighbourhoods with my love, or my friends, or even once, that I can remember my mother, and looking at newer houses being built on older lots where the houses had been torn down and thinking that one day I would love to do that. I would love to do something so hugely creative. I'm not very creative in any other way than big thinking and dreaming.

My love and I got married. We were poor. We were 21. We had known each other for 7 months.

We moved to Edmonton because the man was offered a job. Back then he was more like a boy, I guess. When I think about it now I can't believe it. We were so young. Our first apartment cost $460 a month.

12 months later we moved into a bigger apartment, it was grand in comparison and cost $535 a month. We could barely afford it. 2 months later we skipped town, and our lease, and ran away back to my home, Calgary. We moved in with my parents for exactly 4 weeks.

We moved into a little 2 bedroom apartment where we lived for three months until, by default, we ended up with our first foster child. We weren't allowed to have kids in that apartment so our landlord hooked us up with a townhouse in the same complex. So we moved again. Two foster kids later I got pregnant.

When that baby was 1 we built our first house. It was much bigger than we needed but the point was to sell it after a year and make some money. Our first attempt in the real estate business. We were 24 and being dumb we didn't make much money. We sold it and moved into a rented townhouse until we could figure things out. My second baby was 6 months old.

6 months later we moved back to Edmonton where mortgages were cheap. We bought the cutest little 1100 square foot house you've ever seen. I painted the whole thing myself and I loved that house. We lived there for 5 years. It was while living in that house my 3rd baby was born. We also started fostering full time. It was tight with 5 kids under the age of 6.

When the third baby was 2 1/2 we moved back to Calgary so we could take my parent's foster son, my foster brother, and finish raising him while he lived out the remainder of his time in the system. My parents were retiring and we hoped we were doing the right thing. It was an opportunity to come home for me and I wanted it badly. The man detests Calgary and didn't want to leave Edmonton. He did it for me.

We bought a house that would fit the bill. We bought it right before the housing market went crazy. Our house doubled in value in less than a year. Eight months after we moved in I had my fourth and last baby. In that house we fostered 5 children.

This is where the "trouble" began. The man knew about all the equity in our home and it teased him mercilessly. He also knew about my previous desire to do something crazy within the building/reno industry. My desire had dwindled, no question, since I was so busy with the children, but I won't deny I was intrigued by our new found ability to pull the equity out and do something with it. He finally talked me into it.

We sold that house and moved in to a rental in Cochrane while we searched for the perfect adventure. This is when I started my blog. If you have been reading since the beginning you pretty much have a clear picture of what I've been up to. I am awesomely talented at not hiding my feelings.

And if you know how to count then you have, by now, read that we have moved 11 times. The 11th being the move to Willacy. 11 moves in 15 years is a lot of moving.

I have a restless spirit. I like to move. But now I am tired and worn out. My spirit is calming down, needing less change. I have four kids who deserve to be settled, even if I feel the desire to move around. I know a lot of people don't understand this and I couldn't even begin to explain how, up until now, it's been fine for me. Moving to Cochrane showed me that I, too, want to be settled...... somewhat.

We bought Willacy to renovate it and flip it. That was the plan and as much as I love this house, it isn't my home.

But how do you quell a restless spirit? You find her a home that is calming, in a neighbourhood where her church is strong and her children can make good and lasting friends. And so can she. Somewhere where she isn't going to feel the need to uproot everyone.....again. Sure, all of that can be found almost anywhere but I don't believe it's too much to ask to love the house you live in. At least love it enough to want to stay.

I'm not looking for my dream home, that would cost millions because it would come with maids and butlers and drivers and cooks. After all, I am a princess remember?

I'm also not afraid to buy something that needs repair or is a little rundown. I am confident in my abilities to use my hands in making something beautiful where it might not have been before.

I have four children and I want to bring in foster children. I want a home big enough for everyone. A mansion? No. Comfortable? Yes.

I'll know it is my home when I walk in and see the potential for my family to be rooted and for at risk children to come in and be safe and settled in an environment that is stable and calm. In an environment I have created for them, for everyone.

This is what I am looking for. I don't feel my desires are unrighteous, worldly or unworthy. I would be remiss, though, if I carried on this blog knowing that people thought I was ungrateful for what I have. Because I am not.

I've never been unhappy with any thing I have been given. Except the palsy, I was unhappy with that. But I have viewed every house we have lived in as temporary. This may be hard to understand for some but it is who I am. I'm a nomad by nature.

People change, I am changing. I feel the need to stay still for awhile. I am looking for a place to stay still in. My options seem endless and perhaps this is where the confusion lies. However, I don't think this attitude shows a lack of gratitude for the things I have had. I have been given many amazing opportunities. I have learned and grown from all of them.

I recognize my Father in Heaven's hand in everything I have and do. With His help and guidance I will find what I am searching for. And then, God willing, my disquieted spirit can begin to rest and grow in one place.

But I am grateful now, and will be forever, for my many blessings. Rest assured....... I am grateful.


  1. I have always thought you are such an amazing woman - truly! I have seen you do amazing things for children. Angels like you deserve mansions and butlers and maids and so much more! If I was rich I would buy that all for you and every other foster parent out there!

  2. ps. Consider Airdrie. Really, I think you would love it here!

  3. I enjoyed reading this post. I'm sorry if I made it sound that you were possibly ungrateful for what you had in my comments before. I now understand more clearly that really it isn't the house but a desire to live in a great place to raise your family. Everyone need that!

    I guess I envy (not quite the right word but it'll do) you in that you can actually move to a new house when and where you'd like. Moving is such a romantic idea for me. We moved into our home 12 years ago with the hope of moving in 5 years to something closer to what we'd like. our home is considered a starter home. I hate those words! I really love the home i have made out of this house. BUT, we are where we are because it's all we can afford. I live in the most incredible neighborhood where we are more like family than neighbors. We are all in very similar financial situations with the same desires for raising righteous children. So, I am very thankful to be living here raising my family around so many good, strong LDS women who support each other. The house isn't all that but it fits the 7 of us and we do what we can to upgrade when we can afford to. I never want to leave my neighborhood but if I could afford to move closer to my hubby's work (he commutes 1 hour each direction) then I would. Houses are just to expensive.

    I hope you can find a neighborhood like I have. So after all maybe I don't envy you but need to just be thankful for what I have and stop wishing I could afford to move. Lesson hopefully learned! Thanks for making me think.