Nothing prepares you for the season of life when you are building your dreams as your kids begin building theirs…
Four years ago we shared the journey of our cross-country move from Arizona to Tennessee (were you here for it?). It wasn’t for a new job. And it wasn’t one we had time to substantially prepare for. It was a gut feeling. We left everything we owned behind aside from what fit in our two SUVs and that UHaul trailer and we moved our family of 7 to a place we had never been to before. Total leap of faith. A sweet and humble 1500 square foot apartment that we had never seen before awaited us when we rolled into our historic-yet-new-to-us town. And we had a one-year plan upon arriving… to find where we would plant our feet in Tennessee. There was (and still is, mind you) constant talk and chatter about the home we would renovate and the land we would cultivate. It was so close we could taste it.
And then? The world shut down. Followed by a life-changing diagnosis. Followed by a big job change for The Bearded Gent. And now? The oldest cub has one year left before graduating high school and launching into the world. And the goals and dreams he has for himself are big. I’m someone who talks regularly, openly, and confidently about going after dreams. So as I watch Tanner go after his in football, how can we not support him in every single way that we can? Apparently, it’s in our blood to do the wild and crazy things that give you that “98% scared, 2% excited” kind of feeling (#NameThatMovie).
With our lease ending on the sweet and humble apartment that welcomed us to Tennessee (and that became a living nightmare towards the end), it was time to find a new place. One that would keep us in the area and allow Tanner to play football for the high school (he has played the last two years for a local private Christian school, but wanted to make the move from 8-man to 11-man football).
So we set out to find a rental home that would allow us to stretch our legs for a bit over the next year. Appointment after appointment, walk-through after walk-through, we were met with resistance at every turn. Either the home was way overpriced for what it was (and for our budget), or the lease terms weren’t what we were looking for, or it was that we had too many kids. Yes. A total of four realtors and homeowners told me that they didn’t want to “deal with that”. One with 3,000 square feet of living space, but five kids was just too much “wear and tear”. Jaw dropped.
With time no longer on our side and rental homes already in short supply where we live, we then looked for another apartment. I know what you may be thinking at this point… Kara, why don’t you just buy a home for the next year and then sell it? Well, it’s an interesting situation living in one of the most sought-after cities in the country. Home prices are bloated and have stayed that way because of the number of people moving here. I know we are bouncing back from the financial hit we took with Blair’s diagnosis, but I have no interest in paying over half a million for a dated 1500-square-foot home. We love this city, but what we want is more than what it can give us.
But what it did give us? Another sweet and humble apartment that we signed a year lease for last month and moved into this past week. One that has better interiors, better management, better natural light (an answered prayer), and kept us in the same church community for the next year which was important for all of us. We weren’t ready for that to change. Despite the ache we ALL feel for our future home that we know is out there, we knew this was the right path when that resistance we kept facing suddenly dissipated. Everything fell into place just as it needed to. Not everything that we wanted, but everything we needed. And that feels just as good.
Not going to lie. A small part of me feels like a bit of a letdown. Enter all of those feelings of time running out, being behind, or hopes and dreams that just aren’t coming together the way you envisioned. It’s not easy. The move to Nashville was an exciting one. So many here cheered us on and literally carried us through that experience. And I feel like it has been a bit anti-climatic ever since. The last four years have been a hard-fought battle. I know we will get to where we want to be and I hope I get to share it with you.
I’m continually on my knees praying that this year brings us everything we have our sights set on. And the sacrifice in staying put for Tanner to do what he needs to do? Worth it beyond measure. There have been a few things that have me feeling like it will be quite a transformative twelve months, but no matter what? We are going to continue dreaming big through it all.