In July, S found a new listing on Zillow.com that said "Coming Soon." I fully trust his judgment, so when he said, "Come here. You have to look at this!" with a telling grin, I was sitting on the couch and staring at this MacBook faster than I could say "Get me the hell out of this terrible rental house." I can't say for sure, but I think I actually gasped and awwww'ed. It was a yellow house. A yellow house with a wrap-around porch, and I wanted it. With the clatter of a keyboard, he soon had confirmation of our appointment to view it.
We went, we saw, and we offered what they were asking. Hey-ooooooo! We were the first to see it, and by the grace of all that is holy, not only did they accept -- they turned down requests to view from other buyers. Evidently, they are crazy, because we are certain that other buyers would have offered more, but let's not harp on (read: draw too much attention to) that. It was no secret that we loved it. We swooned audibly and asked questions about why they designed their retirement "forever home" this way and that way. I snapped photo after photo, knowing that we would be savoring the details when we went back to our now-excruciatingly-crummy rental. We learned about their family and told them about our desire to raise Presley with space to run, explore, and grow. They treated her like one of their grandchildren and didn't bat an eye when she pulled out every Cottage Journal so neatly staged in a magazine holder or kept finding her way back to the stone knick knack that fit so perfectly into her little hand. (Meanwhile, I used my best Sweet Mommy That Means Business tone to prevent possible destruction from Hurricane Presley.) Two and a half hours and one earnest money check later, we had a sleeping child in a car seat and the urge to pack and move. But we needed to wait until they finished building their new home months later.
Two days later, the world stopped, and I had a husband in a hospital. I went from browsing photos of our beloved yellow house to giving our immediate family e-mail and phone updates about his condition. And crying a lot. At one point, I said to my dad, "... and now we probably won't be able to get the house, because we have no idea how much all of this is going to cost." He knew I didn't mean to sound so heartless and reminded me that health and family comes before all else, which I knew. Of course! In hindsight, I think that saying something like that was my way of forcing myself to overlook my way-overboard fear that he may not come home. By saying it, I was telling myself, Obviously, he's fine. Our next big conversation over washing and drying dishes will be about the house. My dad left it at, "We'll just see what happens. There are definitely other houses."
Months went by. They included recovery, healing, visits from my MIL and sister, returning to work, and mini Presley firsts (going down a slide, signing "stop," skipping, eating quinoa). All the while, we never halted the buying process or even told the sellers what happened. By the time they saw us again in September, he was the same smiling man with fewer pounds and a ship-shape heart.
In October, the house was officially ours.
In November, we moved in and prepared for remodeling, which was then postponed until the last week of January. We spent our holidays nuzzled by green walls (that are so not "us") without light switch faceplates and stacks of unpacked boxes. The only room that is nearly complete is Presley's room save for a set of white curtains. The waiting is starting to catch up with me, but the point is that we're here. We are here in our yellow house and ready to strip away its very *ahem* brightly colored layers and make it our own in 2017. I love it, even in its current state of disarray, mostly because it is wonderful to know that this is Presley's home that she'll grow in.
Home sweet home! (Photos of the transformation to come over the next several months!)