I didn't blog much this past summer, but if you read any of my few posts, you know we moved out of our beloved little rental and were searching for a house to buy, while living with different friends and family who were on vacation, kindly trusting us with their homes while they were away. It was a long road and emotionally and mentally exhausting for this mama of three littles. There were days I handled well and with much grace, but if I'm honest, there were more than a few days I fell apart. I stopped trusting and did what I'm famous for doing when left to my own devices: freaked out.
Well summer has passed and we finally found the perfect house for our family. It met most, if not all of our criteria and it was the one we both had peace about, which was what we had waited for all summer. We had to wait patiently, but finally in mid-September, we signed the papers and became homeowners for the first time. We spent the past month ripping out carpet, installing flooring upstairs and having carpet put in downstairs, painting every last inch of the house, hanging my grandma's paintings and making the house a home. The playroom was my pride and joy of all the work we did...a dark and depressing, dingy room that had been a bar/party room to the previous renters was transformed with the help of my mom into a bright, cheerful arts and crafts room/school room/playroom. One part of the bar became my desk/office area, the rest was for the girls to do art projects and preschool. The rest of the room was strictly for play. They loved it! Here's the before and after:
We moved the girls downstairs to their new bedroom, and finally at seven months, Izzie moved into her nursery and out of our room.
Brad tore out the hideous bushes that devoured the whole front of the house, I painted the door bright blue, and pumpkins and georgous fall Mums decorated the front porch. The girls had a fenced yard to play in and a sidewalk to practice riding bikes on. We met all the neighbors and everyone was so kind and wonderful in welcoming us to the neighborhood.
A project here and a project there...soooo much work and so many things to fix, but we were getting there, slowly but surely. I remember one night about a week ago, we sat down to watch a movie after a long day, and I sighed a huge sigh...a good sigh. I breathed a prayer to God, "Thank you! Thank you for getting me through the summer. Thank you for a house to call our own. Thank you that this trying season is coming to an end and life is getting back to normal." I felt a huge sense of relief.
There was only one major problem still. The smell. It was something in the basement we hadn't noticed when we walked through before buying. But once we moved in, we noticed an odd smell permeating one room in particular, spreading to other parts of the house to some extent. We shampooed the carpet, which did absolutely nothing. A few people said they thought it was cat urine, so we decided to get new carpet...surely that would get rid of the odor and new carpet would be nice to have anyway. Brad ripped it out and we thought the smell would be gone immediately. Nope, still there. He bought some special heavy duty bacterial enzyme to clean with down there, pretty much a guarantee to kill any and everything that could possibly be odor causing. The smell lingered. He painted Killz primer all over the walls and floors to seal out any smell. That didn't work. Nothing even took an edge off of the smell. The carpet guy came and laid carpet and we were hopeful. We figured we'd keep windows open in that room until winter, really air it out good, and put an ozone machine in there to help pull out the smell. For a few reasons though, I became suspicious that the smell might not be pet odor. I had read online while researching how to get urine smells out, that sometimes a house that has had meth in it can smell like cat pee. I worried about that, but then decided I was being paranoid. That was just too unlikely. But I simply couldn't shake the thought, and so we asked a friend from church to do a quick meth test for us, just to give us peace of mind. Of course we didn't expect the test to come back positive. Not at all.
But it did.
We had to walk out of our new home last Tuesday.
It was a hard, hard day.
We went to a hotel for a couple of nights and my parents and brother came to help us with whatever they could (moral support!) And now we are staying at a friends. We were able to take some clothes from the house and wash them several times to ensure they are meth-free. Other than that, it's a waiting game. And for the first time in my whole life, I know what it is to completely, wholey trust God. I have nothing else but to trust in Him because there is nothing I can to to fix this situation.
On Christ the solid rock I stand...all other ground is sinking sand. Truly.