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Well, I guess last week’s Week of Few Words ended up being Week of Few Posts.  Sadly, I didn’t finish as many of my list items as I had planned, even with less time spent blogging.

One new item was added to my list and subsequently crossed off: Mittens for Kalen.  He lost his gloves some time ago, and while he usually has extraordinarily warm hands, his fingers have gotten quite cold during outside play.  I finally searched out free mitten patterns (there aren’t many in crochet), and settled on these.  The first one turned out so cute.  Unfortunately, I misread the pattern and made the cuff much too small.  Not to worry, some toddler somewhere can use it, so it now has a partner and will go on the Mitten Tree at church.

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I started on another pair for Kalen Sunday night, and they fit perfectly.  (pattern modification: 2 extra rows in the cuff)  He is so proud of his new mittens and happily wore them to school today.

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We’ve been working steadily, if a bit slowly, on getting the house ready for market.  I even washed windows yesterday and today.  This is rare event in my life; in fact, I don’t know that I’ve ever washed outside windows before.  Vacuuming, paint touch-up, storage & organization, scrubbing, boxing up…it seems like a never-ending list.  However, bit by bit, it’s getting done, and we now have a deadline of Friday for Mom to come help us with the actual staging.

Thank goodness!  A looming deadline is just the kick in the pants I need…

The house is slowly coming together, although you couldn’t tell at all from looking at it.

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I had a feeling when we made our to do list for this process that the house would get a lot worse before it started looking better.  This is one of the few rooms we hadn’t yet painted.  It didn’t really need to be painted (other than the fact that it was silly-putty-pinky-taupe blech!), but there were a number of scuffs and marks on the walls.  And the previous owner did not use washable paint, so when we tried washing the walls, we got down to bare drywall.  Lovely.

With the painting of the den and the connected hallway complete, there’s only one major project left.  Those built-ins in the picture were handmade by the handsome guy also in the picture.  Unfortunately, at the time of said making a few years ago, we were unaware that one must use a specific kind of primer to prevent knots from bleeding through the paint.  So, the whole set needs to be re-primed and painted.  (Although, ironically, the new wall paint matches the knots perfectly, so perhaps we could claim we polka-dotted them to match?  Hmmm…maybe not.)  Before they’re primed and painted, they need to be repaired in a few places where settling has created gaps and doors that don’t fit quite right.

Once we finish those shelves, however, all that’s left is touch-ups, cleaning, and packing of clutter.  Relatively fast stuff.

And with the end of this post comes the end of NaBloPoMo.  I may not have succeeded per their rules, but I have made thirty posts in the past thirty days, so I’ll call it a personal success.

My 100th post – wow!  (And thank you, NaBloPoMo for getting me here faster than I would’ve on my own.) There’s a tradition in Blogland for the 100th post to consist of a list of 100 facts about yourself that your readers don’t know.  I’m working on that, and I’ll post it on its own page here in the next few days.

Instead, this milestone post is marking a turning point in our lives.  As of last week, Jason is no longer with his company.  It was a surprise, a shock, you name it, but it came at a very interesting time.  Two weeks prior, we’d returned from our trip to Seattle, convinced that we wanted to relocate there, if we could make it happen.  But how does one hunt for jobs from 3,000 miles away, especially when one is fully committed to doing the best he can in his current position?  It’s difficult, perhaps nearly impossible.

So, the decision seems to have been made for us.  Or perhaps we’ve just been pushed in the direction we wanted to take.  Or maybe it’s coincidence, and we’re interpreting it for our means.  (Except…I don’t believe in coincidence.)  Our major concerns are healthcare and the mortgage.  Healthcare is doable from savings.  The mortgage is not, after a couple of months, especially when you take utilities and such into account.  My wonderful, awesome, fabulous and otherwise great parents surprised us this week by offering us room in their house, should we want to put our house on the market.  (Our house is at a nice price point; one that doesn’t have any trouble selling right now.)  We’re jumping on the offer, as it will allow Jason the luxury of not settling for a job here when we really want to be on the other side of the country.  With no worries of mortgage or utilities, we can stretch our savings much further.  And, of course, I’ll go back to work, and that will help with what bills we will have to continue to pay, as well as stocking up cash for the move out west.

So right now, we’re clearing stuff out.  We’re having a huge garage sale this weekend.  Giant.  Ginormous.  Did I mention HUGE?  Plus, we’re selling our dining room suite, china and crystal (we never use any of it anyway).  Two desks.  Probably a television or two.  Once it’s all cleared out, and we fix a couple little things, the house is going on the market.  It feels so right.  Kind of like seeing the next step in your journey across a little chasm, or maybe a creek.  You know you can jump the obstacle pretty easily, but if you don’t focus on it, you could fall in and be hurt badly.  We’re there, getting ready to jump.

As Jason said, “we’re past the point of no return.”  (Cue Phantom music.)  We’re really doing it…we’re committing, and we’re going to move to Seattle!

One thing I must say: Thank goodness for Dave Ramsey.  If we hadn’t been following his plan for the past two years, we would be in really deep right now.  We hadn’t finished with Baby Step 2 (eliminating non-mortgage debt), but we are in a much better place and can think the situation through without panic.  So, thank you, Dave.

My boys

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