2020 – The Year that Just Kept “Giving”

I’m not even sure where to start this or where we will end with this one. The past 2 years have been some of the most trying times I’ve ever gone through. Just last night hubby and I were saying how marriages normally don’t survive what we’ve been through. I won’t start at the very beginning because that’s for another post for sure. When we found out our first little bundle of joy, Jackson, was on his way we had to make a few decisions about where we were going to live. Hubby’s job had him traveling for majority of the year so we knew we wanted to stay close to home so I could have family help with the baby. We were currently living in an RV that his parents (my in-laws) lent to us and when he would go out of town I’d go stay with parents on my days off shift. In January of 2020 we decided look into mobile homes since we couldn’t decide on a slab house location. We found one that was perfect and started signing paperwork that same day. Of course these things take time to process so now began the game of “send me every document all the way to your birth certificate”. While the paperwork was starting to be processed there were rumors of a pretty severe sickness starting to spread. I worked EMS so of course I just blew it off and didn’t think much would happen to us here in the US. Things were still truckin’ along with the paperwork and things seemed to be going smoothly. Then BAM. The rug was ripped out from under us. Things started to happen all at once and it’s been a whirlwind ever since. Covid-19 started sweeping through the US and companies of all industries started to shut down. Our call volume started to sky rocket and hospitals were putting beds in hallways. Slowly hubby’s jobs started to get postponed and then before we knew it he was in the office just waiting for work. Then it happened. The first week in April 2020 he was laid off. This was the first sucker punch. Literally 5 days later I had a very minor accident on shift and was terminated (that’s a whole different discussion). Here we were, both unemployed (I was 4 months pregnant) and searching for the next option. The job market was trash due to the shutdown/lockdown of 2020. This was probably our lowest of all lows. We lost the financing approval for our house (obviously) since we no longer could support the mortgage we were JUST approved for. Luckily we were able to get the down payment back. Hubby immediately started looking and found a job within a week. He worked his tail off doing whatever he could find so we could make ends meet. I tried every avenue you could think of but no one wanted to hire a person who was 4 months pregnant during a global pandemic. I was still able to get a few hours for the gym I coach at helping with the back office admin work but they were also shut down due to covid so it wasn’t much. We accepted the fact that the RV was no longer short-term but more than likely a long-term living situation. Luckily we had moved it to my parent’s property and set up a more permanent residence in March 2020. We started prepping the RV to be more kid/baby friendly. Luckily hubby’s parents were okay with us making small changes so we could have a bit more space. We took out the driver/passenger seats to give us more room for storage and so I could bring a glider chair in to rock little man. In the bedroom we took out the closet and built in shelves. Those were on my side of the bed so that’s where we put a full size dresser and Jackson’s bassinet. There were other small renovations and projects that we did to make it feel more homey. I would decorate for every holiday. My parents let us basically go back and forth between the RV and their house as needed. We used their kitchen and washer/dryer almost daily. When Jackson was born he and I spent most of our days over there so my mom could help while Joseph went to work (praise little baby Jesus he found a stable industry). I also started working about a month after Jackson was born. My boss had acquired another company so I was “hired” to help manage the office side of things while he and the crews ran the daily activities. It seemed like things were starting to look up for us. Having a newborn in the RV wasn’t totally terrible but it was definitely not easy. As a first time mom I was naive to think he’d actually use the bassinet (let’s all laugh together). We (all) co-slept on our queen size bed for almost 6 months before transitioning him to sleep in a pack and play. We got a mattress topper for it so it was more comfortable for him. He was still in our room so he would wake constantly. I didn’t think it was possible to get a full nights sleep again. I forget when we started the house process again. I actually think it was around January 2021 when we went to a place out of town and fell in love with a house. We paid our earnest money that day and started the process all over again. Things were not moving in a very fast pace so we randomly went and looked at houses at a local company’s lot. This is when we hit yet again another road block. One that we thought would crush us for real. The local company knew of some country regulations that the other company did not warn us about. Hubby and I started making phone calls to beg and plead to let us go through with the plan. Luckily after some more research and lots of emails later we found out we were grandfathered in with the old country rules so it was game on. And not soon enough because we found out Baby #2 was due January 2022! Holy shit. 2 under 2 in a camper along with 2 bonus kids (and 3 dogs) was just enough to make my head spin. The pressure was on to get the house process finished ASAP now. I called the finance company almost daily to see if they needed anything and what else I could do to speed up the process. Of course this went about as fast as a turtle walking through peanut butter. Luckily the ladies we were working with knew the urgency we were feeling and helped us every step of the way. The timeline gets a little blurry but I think we were FINALLY cleared for closing October 2021. Right during the rainy yucky season for where we live. It was fingers crossed at this point if we would be in the house before Little Josie made her debut. The house was delivered mid-November 2021 and the land improvements were going on. We had a few weather delays and had to wait for the property to dry out a bit. This whole time each day off the hubby had from his shifts he was out there sun up to sun down working on clearing the property and replacing the perimeter fence. He knows my life long dream of having a few goats so we picked to install field fence so the goats, dogs, and kids wouldn’t get out. I helped as much as I could but being 7 months pregnant I couldn’t do much. I would take water and snacks and offer my unnecessary advice a little too often (haha). It was mid-December and everything was hooked up, drilled, and installed. It was literally a livable house that we had to drive past daily as we went back home to the RV. We were just waiting on paperwork to be finalized and sent off. Then came the Christmas holidays and the paperwork still wasn’t done. Luckily it didn’t seem like I was going to have the baby early so I just kept asking the universe to just give us a break for once. And then FINALLY!! We got the keys on December 28, 2021! Watching Jackson be able to run (toddler run of course) up and down the hallway warmed my mama heart so much that I thought it was going to melt. The dogs got their big backyard and the kids (and us) finally were not all on top of each other. The big kids have their own rooms for when they come over and Jackson has claimed almost every square inch of the house as his. After getting the keys it was a mad dash to get everything packed up and moved over (luckily it was a short distance) and unpacked. The main focus was our master bedroom and the kid’s rooms. I figured everything else would just take time to find its home in our new home. Move in day was almost perfect timing because little sister made her grand entrance a week later. We’ve been in for less than a month still but my goodness it’s the best feeling ever. Our relationship has less tension and stress, the kids have space to play and hide out, and my parents can be empty nesters again. I will forever be thankful for them and all that they did/helped us with while we were waiting on the house process to go through. Opening their home/kitchen/laundry room to us without ever expecting anything in return. On the days the hubby was at work the kid, pups, and I would usually be found at their house where I would work from their dining room table while my kid tormented everyone (in the cutest way possible). We had family dinner almost every night which meant mom or I would be cooking for 4 (sometimes 6) instead of 2 like we were used to. The poor washer and dryer never got a break. We often made jokes that dad should install a quarter slot for replacement parts that might be necessary from the constant washing of tiny toddler clothes and sheets. Speaking of which, how does such a tiny human produce so much dirty laundry?! The move has also helped reduce the stepping on toes of all the adults. When you put 4 adults in the same “household” there is tension and everyone knows everything more than the next. We were all battling for control which ended up in some mini explosions at times. Luckily my family forces communication so after some door slams and huffs and puffs we had to “talk it out” so that it didn’t make for an awkward dinner later (😬). As hubby and I sit down at night we sometimes reminisce on the RV days and all the sand we had to trudge through to get where we are today. The house may not be fully decorated and there are still boxes to unpack but we don’t care. We are finally home. A home where we make messes and get to clean them. I get to bake cookies after we put the kids down because we can’t sleep and who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?! A home where the kids can run around the yard and then splash in the bathtub afterwards. A home where hubby gets to come home from a long shift and nap while the kids and I play (without waking him). Words will never explain the relief and happiness this move has given us. The RV will always be our first home. Where we had our first round of holidays together. Where we brought home our first bundle of joy. I’ll definitely miss how fast I could clean it but won’t miss how fast we outgrew it. Our “theme song” used to be Little Houses by Doug Stone and now we get to write our own. I can’t wait to see all the things that this new chapter has to offer us (and all the goats I get to bring home).

Before removing the captain chairs.
The after 😁
Before “remodeling” the master bedroom area.
After ♥️
Home Sweet Home
Literally working in the rain on the last run of fence before going on shift.
Our new neighbors are kind of nosey.

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