A lot has changed since the last time I wrote. A LOT.
I was just trying to come to grips with the idea of going from a family of 3 to a family of 4. Well, #4 has joined us. Bennett was born on March 16th, 3 days before my scheduled c-section. My children really have an issue with being told what to do ;).
In the weeks leading up to Bennett being born, I started to experience anxiety. It stemmed from our ability to provide for our family. I had insomnia for several nights (which isn’t abnormal for me, I’m a terrible sleeper) and I kept feeling nudged to look at our finances. I didn’t want to. I was scared and I had a feeling what I was going to see was going to scare me even more. I wasn’t wrong.
I opened up an excel sheet and our bank statements. I sat at our kitchen table for 3 hours. From midnight til 3:00 AM. By the time I was done I had no words. We weren’t making enough money to even support our family of 3. I felt ashamed, mostly because I had taken it upon myself to be the keeper of finances and I didn’t see this sooner. I remember going into our room and Anthony was in there getting ready for work and he asked me what was wrong and I just started crying. I told him what I had done and what I had found. It’s all I could think about all day.
After that we had so many conversations about what we should do, what could we do? We shouldn’t have bought new cars. We shouldn’t have been so carefree with our money…but that didn’t matter, it had already happened. Should we sell our house? What would that do, allow us to pay off our cars, but then we’d have to find a place to rent and we wouldn’t be able to buy again. We felt helpless. Until…
We revisited something we had discussed a year earlier. What if we moved…out of state. Where things weren’t as crazy, weren’t as expensive, jobs were plentiful and a chance to start over was actually feasible. When I say start over, I mean wipe our financial slate close to clean as possible.
Anthony started looking at jobs in Texas. He had looked a year before and didn’t get any bites so this time he started calling and telling them what we were planning. They were willing to hire him but we had to have a specific move date in order for them to really put anything into motion. We really wanted to do this because we knew we were going to be in serious trouble once my maternity leave ended and we had to put two kids in daycare.
Anthony applied for a job…he got a phone call. They were so interested in him. He went through the screening process and they asked him, “When can you be here?” We looked at each other and had no clue what to say because I was 35 weeks pregnant and had our scheduled c-section date so we knew I wouldn’t go any further than that but if he came early, that would be fine too. Anthony said March 26th, I can be there by then.
Holy. Crap. What are we doing?! We felt called, this felt right and we wanted to do this. We loved our home in California, my parents were both there along with my brother and his family and Anthony’s two brothers. We would be leaving them behind to venture out on our own. But we kept reminding ourselves that this was so necessary.
So Bennett arrived a few days early, which ended up being a huge blessing so Anthony had more time with us before he left. Within a week of Bennett being born, he was gone. I cried many times that week before he left. I was emotional due to my postpartum hormones and I was going to miss my husband! I thought I could get through this time with no problem. I had a lot coming my way.
Within that week of Anthony leaving, Bennett got sick. REAL sick. He caught RSV, probably from Kennedy, and he spent a week in the hospital. That was a LONG, LONG week. That same week we put our house on the market. I had people calling and texting me for showings while I sat next to my little 2 week old hooked up to an oxygen machine and monitors galore. It was a tough week and I was elated to go home.
Bennett had a rough first month. The first few weeks at home he was always upset. I had no clue what was bothering him. If he wasn’t asleep he was awake and crying or eating. The only saving grace at that time was he was sleeping a lot since we were still in the sleepy newborn phase and Kennedy was at daycare so I used that time to pack our house. We had an offer in within a week of it going up for sale so I had an end date to being apart from Anthony.
I had to find a moving service. I had to get rid of bulky items. I had to find plane tickets for me and the kids. It was insane. Thankfully a couple weeks before Anthony came home for a weekend and surprised us, which was the greatest thing ever. Everything after that was a blur.
I half-assed packing at the very end. It was literally random crap in boxes. We so didn’t appreciate that once our stuff arrived here in Texas. The movers came on a Wednesday and drove away with all of our belongings in a small section of a 53′ trailer. A car hauler came and picked up my car later that night at my mom’s house and a couple days later Rusty was picked up by the pet transport service we hired. Just like that it was me, Kennedy, Bennett and our suitcases. We stayed with my mom for a few nights before our flight.
Saturday morning came, we were leaving that night! 7 weeks apart from each other, and we were going to be back together again. I remember getting on the plane and realizing there was no return flight, we had one-way tickets and Anthony was going to be waiting for us when we arrived. We got off the plane and right across from the gate was the baggage claim. I was SO happy to see Anthony waiting for us. Kennedy was so excited. We were together again.
Some people may think we’re crazy as we left California behind with our family there, where we owned a home, we both had jobs, etc. to come to Texas, where we know some people, are renting a 2 bedroom apartment and Anthony is the only one working (for now). But I personally have never been happier.
Have the kids tested my patience? Absolutely. But I don’t have the financial stress anymore. We are able to wipe out almost all of our debt and still have money in the bank to use when we’re ready to buy a home. I don’t have to go find a full-time job, I can work part-time, something I NEVER would have been able to do in California. Anthony is working for a company he really likes at a job he loves.
This season was one of faith and taking the leap after hearing the calling. I’m not sure exactly what life will look like 6 months from now, a year, 5 years…but I know that if there’s one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rewarding to step out in faith. To try something new or scary. I’ve never done anything like this and always made reasons or excuses as to why not and finally giving into it has felt so amazing.
I’m excited to see where this path leads us. I can’t wait to see what’s ahead. Although, if these toddler tantrums continue I may lose my mind before then so pray for me that they don’t kill me. Kidding. Kinda.
Until next time!