So there we were, living in our cute little white brick house on Terrace Place. We had put blue toile wallpaper (are you seeing a theme here?) in the kitchen with our white woodwork, painted the old dark wood paneling, and recarpeted. There were many things we did to that house to get it out of the 1960's. It had been stuck, impressively. Almost like a time capsule.
And then one morning, I woke up to a bright sun filtering in the windows. I looked out the new french doors we had installed to the backyard and saw butterflies flying around the backyard. The birds were chirping. The flowers were blooming. And in that moment, I wondered if I had walked into a Norman Rockwell painting. I was literally pinching myself to see if I was really living this life. And as soon as the joy sprang up, it began freefalling. I suddenly had a knot in my stomach. I wondered how I could be worthy of such a beautiful life. Surely God was going to take it all away in an instant. Soon. I just didn't know when. A feeling of impending doom fell over me and I started living like the ball was getting ready to drop.
Now, to clarify, I believe now that this thought process was probably part this little thing called The Baby Blues. I didn't have full-on depression, but I would cry for no reason in the shower. "What is wrong with me?!?!" I would wonder as I sobbed. As time passed, life began to settle.
Our little white brick house with our first snow. See the extra kids? Those are my daycare children. They were my daughter's very first friends.
Mister had a new job in pharmaceuticals and when my sweet bundle of pink joy turned 4 months old, I started an in-home daycare. We started saving money to invest in rental properties. I worked long hours and cuddled many babies and scrubbed floors daily. I was exhausted, but it beat the alternative: working outside the home. I was motivated to do my new job because of the preciousness that my new baby was. I literally couldn't stand the thought of sending her to daycare. I was willing to do whatever it took to stay home. In-home daycare fit the bill nicely.
Around a year into my new career, we started building rental duplexes. We were building wealth! Wow, we were real adults! And yet the fighting continued.
One evening I went to dinner with some girls I've called my Yayas for about 16 years now. I told my Yayas about the fighting. And wisely, they told me something that has stuck with me ever since. "Kim, you need to go to counseling." But I can't afford counseling. We're tight on money right now. "Kim.... Counseling is a LOT CHEAPER than a divorce. It's worth the investment NOW."
Oof. Touche' friends.
And that was when the counselor taught us something we had never understood or considered. WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM. It's US against THE WORLD. We needed to keep fighting, but not against each other. We needed to begin fighting FOR our marriage. It was that or divorce.
Not long after that, I finally got pregnant again. I had miscarried earlier that year and was desperate for another baby as perfect as the first. And this is when the talk turned back to houses. Just when I thought we had settled in a home where we could stay, we made some quick realizations. I wanted to stop doing in-home daycare as soon as my new baby arrived and we couldn't sustain the mortgage on his income alone. And by now I was coming to the realization that a house was not a home.
And just like the last story ended, we started planning another move. This time we would build again. But smaller. We drew up plans and his brother started building in a hurry. We had a deadline again! There was a baby coming in July......
(We lived in the house on Terrace Place for 2 years.)