July 2014 through July 2015 was, hands down, the toughest year of our lives. Matthew started taking his Masters program in July and was gone all summer, and then working past 1 a.m. (or 2 a.m.!) every night until the end of June of this year to get his assignments and papers done on top of working (more than) full-time. We felt that we were supposed to sell our house, right when he started school, so it was listed last July as well. We made these decisions together, but it doesn’t mean it was easy.
Matthew is more than ‘hands-on’ with our kids and our home. He’s a more-than-equal partner in our parenting journey. He’s such a neat freak that he does the majority of the house cleaning. (I’ve washed the floors less than 10 times in 15 years of marriage, because he loves to clean floors.)(Seriously.) On top of covering most of the half that he handled, I was working and dealing with kids’ activities. We also had the cost of his schooling, which was not a small amount. Our stress level was high, and our funds were tight.
Our old house sold in May and we won our new house in court in June (By ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN DOLLARS AND TWENTY CENTS). As we sat at lunch after court we said that we felt like that IKEA commercial where the wife yells, “START THE CAR!” It’s become our phrase when something goes great, because it’s surreal and not at all what the last year was like.
We have had moment after moment where we say, “START THE CAR!” I’m not one to talk money, but it’s no longer a stress point. We are mortgage-free (WHAT?), and keep having work fired our way. START THE CAR.
As part of our renovations, we walked through IKEA in the summer. We found the bedroom wardrobe we wanted and there is now a big sale happening, with the set we wanted not available to order online, and possibly not replenished. The plan was to head down Sunday afternoon, stay with family, and then hit IKEA on Monday. On Saturday, there were five wardrobes left, and we need two. I suggested that the kids and I head to Vancouver with the truck and trailer to get our wardrobes in a one-day return trip.
As of Sunday morning when we drove away from our house, there were three wardrobes available.
(I’d never driven the truck with the trailer before. Desperate times, desperate measures.)
The kids and I made it to IKEA shortly after noon and made a beeline to where our wardrobes were. There were two wardrobes left and we loaded them onto a cart. As we were buying the rest of the things (Hinges and baskets and closet rods, oh my!) there were people who came to buy the wardrobe we had grabbed five minutes before. Emily heard them say, “Oh no! They are gone!”
START THE CAR.
Our life is complete and utter chaos, and will be for a while, but those START THE CAR moments are balancing it out.
Not sponsored by IKEA at all. In fact, based on the coin we have dropped, we are sponsoring IKEA right now.