I am going to have to get to the second half of my parenting post I started yesterday. I just cannot get my thoughts straight today, plus we had painters in our apartment today, so it was kind of a weird day. But I am going to continue on my count down of my favorite events I am thankful for in 2010.
This is a tough one to be thankful for because in some ways it was really hard to decide to rent our home in NJ. Starting in 2009, we had two homes to go back and forth to in the summers. One in NJ, where we first lived near Joe’s family and built relationships through some of his old friends and the church we joined. We put a lot of work into the old house we bought, and Joe especially was very tied to the property and yard. But it wasn’t a great place to be for him to stay in shape or a house that I was very comfortable with. So, we purchased a home in PA in June 2009. We declared PA our primary residence and spent most of our summer time there (going back and forth between homes), but NJ still housed most of our stuff and was where we fly in and out of. It lead to a lot of travel, feeling divided and not quite settled anywhere and just being plain worn out. So at the end of last summer, we decided we were going to rent our NJ home and move most of our things out of there.
Although it was a difficult decision, it has really made things a lot simpler in many ways. We got to go through our things and cut down on stuff. We now have one place for me to take care. And anyone who has lived overseas knows you will come back to some “surprises” in your home after being away, so coming back to a house that is less than ten years old leads to way less surprises than one that is over 60 years old. It has also simplified things for me as the bill payer of the home. Renting also freed us up a little more financially to pay off debt quicker. And being full-time in PA will give us the opportunity to really get involved in a community both Joe and I are invested in and really feel comfortable in.
So this summer I am looking forward to getting connected more in a church and in the community. Abby and Elijah are already planning some activities they want to be involved with there, so it looks like we will have a full and busy summer!