The Homestead Weekly

The Homestead Weekly, 28 June 2020

The last two weeks have been insane. I mean, I know it’s only a precursor of what’s to come, but it’s still been insane.

Nearly two weeks ago, on Monday night, we got word from our realtor that he had someone that wanted to come see our house before it was put on the market. He thought our house might be just what she was looking for. The only problem? She was here from out of state and would have to look at it on Wednesday. That basically left us 24 hours to get the house as ready as possible for a showing, and trust me, we needed a lot more time than that to get it looking how I wanted it to!

Tuesday we accidentally slept in (of course), which is also insane since the baby almost never sleeps past 6:30 or so, and of course, the one day we wouldn’t have minded getting an earlier start, he doesn’t wake up until 8 and Matt’s alarm somehow didn’t go off, either. I had been hoping Matt would be able to help me knock out a few quick projects in the morning, but that wasn’t going to work out, so it was just me vs. the clock all that day. I’ll admit, Disney+ totally babysat my older two kids all day, and luckily Hyrum was pretty easy, which allowed me to focus almost all my attention on clearing clutter, vacuuming floors, washing windows, and at least somewhat trying to stage the house. Matt helped me as much as he could once he got home from work, and by the time we both collapsed into bed, exhausted, the house looked a million times better.

The buyer came the next day, and everything went great–she loved the house, she wanted to meet us, and she said she wanted to make an offer. We were elated! We were going to avoid the whole hassle of having to put the house on the market and do multiple showings and possibly wait weeks!

Then, inexplicably, she changed her mind. We have no idea why.

We didn’t do much for Father’s Day at all, but Chex Muddy Buddies were involved as well as a long nap for Daddy, so really…#nailedit

We hadn’t been planning on putting the house on the market until the beginning of July, but since we had already gotten it close to ready, we decided to bump up our list date by a week. We got word from our realtor that Wednesday was the day the photographer would come to take pictures for the listing (the Wednesday of this last week, so a week later than when the potential buyer came), so Tuesday we went into major crunch mode. My mom was miraculously able to come up with almost zero notice (bless her!), and she helped us knock out one of the biggest projects on our list–putting a fresh coat of paint on the front door and redoing some of the door hardware, as well as cleaning up the rosebush in the front and weeding all the beds, which greatly enhanced curb appeal. Matt redid all the grout in the bathrooms around the tub and showers, and we were shocked at what a HUGE difference that made–they almost look like new again! As for me, I packed, cleaned, and staged, all while trying to keep the kids fed and out from underfoot.

All said and done, we felt like we pulled off a small miracle when the house and yard were almost totally ready by the time the photographer came (and the projects that weren’t really wouldn’t matter since they wouldn’t show up in pictures). Thursday and Friday had us doing last-minute staging and cleaning, and by the time Saturday rolled around, we took off to spend the day with our parents while the house had nearly back-to-back showings for the majority of the day.

So lemme tell you, IT HAS BEEN CRAZY OVER HERE.

In the Kitchen

Let me introduce you to my super gourmet secret for a quick breakfast, lunch, and dinner–Le Cèréal. Only mildly filling and a bit bland, it can be spiced up with sliced bananas if you so choose, though that won’t prevent you or your kids from cram-eating cheese balls (the rip-off Cheetohs) until the next meal.

Honestly, I feel like my diet hasn’t been this bad since college—I was too crazed to keep eating gluten-free this past week, so I majorly cheated on sticking to that diet (thankfully my autoimmune disease seems to have maybe gone into remission during the 3 or so weeks I went off of it completely?), and I basically polished off a bag of Tootsie Rolls Midgees almost totally by myself in under a week (quantity = 360 pieces). I’ve been guzzling Diet Dr. Pepper like it’s my job, and the two pounds I’d lost since going off gluten came back with a smug sneer.

This two week binge of eating junk, sweets, and convenience foods has had me googling how to meal prep salads for the week and looking up meal prep containers on Amazon (aff link). While I will probably make do with the Tupperware we already have, I am planning on ordering the Damn Delicious Meal Prep cookbook (aff link), which is written by one of my favorite food bloggers (and which I was planning on buying eventually anyway).

On the Menu the Last Two Weeks (other than takeout): breakfast egg “muffins,” baked oatmeal, Instant Pot Mexican Ground Beef Casserole, 10-Minute Prep Chicken + Rice (made with homemade GF version of the “cream of” soups), and lots of our favorite go-to quick dinner–corn tortillas with melted cheese, avocados, and hot sauce

His first time harvesting raspberries…apparently unripe green ones don’t faze him

In the Yard

Can I just say “everything” and be done with it?

I will say, it is amazing how much you can do when a hard and fast deadline is staring you in the face. Over the past two weeks, we pruned the shrubs and the big rosebush, covered all the beds with a fresh layer of mulch/wood chips, weeded like crazy, and de-rocked the front beds.

All the curb appeal work aside, it’s been astonishing to watch how much the garden has taken off the past two weeks. We now are starting to see the first of the tomatoes, zucchini, snap peas, and blackberries, and I imagine the green beans aren’t far behind. Our red cabbage plants are “hunormous” (a word Raven uses that mixes “huge” and “enormous”), and I’ve been using fresh herbs for multiple meals, especially the cilantro.

Remember all the snapdragons we grew from seed and transplanted? They’re starting to bloom this week! I was especially eager to harvest those since I’ve heard that the more you harvest the blooms, the more they produce. So I cut a very country-looking bouquet from the garden this morning of yarrow, flax, a silvery foliage I don’t know the name of, and our first snapdragon right in the center.

Blooming This Week: roses, bellflowers, delphinium, snapdragons, Asiatic lily, daylilies, the last of the salvia, columbine, Mexican primrose, the last of the foxglove

Harvesting This Week: raspberries, cilantro, oregano, lettuce

In the Playroom

Even though the kids have had more screen time the last two weeks than they’ve had for their whole lives combined (at least that’s what it feels like), we’ve also had some good old fashioned fun squeezed in among all the work on the house.

Last week, Mathias turned two and we had ourselves a little party with grandparents. Matt got off work a couple hours early so we could take the kids to the park for the first time since the pandemic hit. It was the first time Mathias had been to the park since he learned how to walk, and man, that kid is adventurous! I loved how fearless he was, just trying out everything and climbing up the slides (even the highest) with no reservations. It felt so GOOD to be outside all together, doing something for the pure fun of it and without having to worry about the house for a couple hours.

I’ve also tried to balance the days when the kids hardly get any attention or fun with more “normal” days, which included pulling out our kiddie pool one afternoon this week, which also gave me time to finish up an overdue library book. On Saturday, since we had back-to-back showings of the house, we packed the kids off to spend time with my mom, who brought out her own pool (and had the water sitting out for hours beforehand so it was preheated and everything!) and spoiled us and the kids with root beer floats and popsicles and dinner and naps. We also had an impromptu lunch of Chinese food with Matt’s parents, so all in all, it was a great way to unwind a bit after a very stressful week.

All the kids had their well-check appointments with our pediatrician one last time before the move, and I decided that for everyone’s sanity, I would transition Hyrum to having formula during the day so that I would only have to pump twice, once first thing in the morning and once right before he went to sleep for the night. He was starting to get stressed having to wait all that time in the day for me to pump a bottle, and I was getting stressed having him scream the whole time (not to mention how time-consuming it was). Already I feel like it’s helped him to put on weight the past couple weeks, too. I was proud of myself for basically pumping exclusively for over 6 months, but this new change really has been the best thing for us both. As far as the other two kids, Raven remains our only “average” child when it comes to height and weight, but the good news is that Mathias went from the 2nd percentile to the 9th in weight and from the 1st to the 3rd in height. And Hyrum? He finally showed up on the charts! Sure, he only shows up when you adjust his age (and is only the 1st percentile), but he didn’t even show up when you did that before!


In the House

I’ve decided that although the house LOOKS great for showings, this level of expectations and tidiness is unnatural. It’s weird having to keep our shampoo under the bathroom sink rather than in the shower, and although it LOOKS much nicer to have our dish drying pad put away, it sure is inconvenient to be constantly pulling it out and stashing it back away.

We currently have about a third of our house packed up (maybe a little more), and since we’re now zoning in on our move-out date in a few weeks, I’ll start packing up a few boxes every day to make it less overwhelming. The whole packing process is much trickier this time around because we’re probably moving in with my mom and stepdad for a month or two and then renting down in Sanpete once the business moves, so I’m going to have to come up with some sort of packing system so we know what will need to be put in storage, what we’ll need when we’re renting but not while living at my parents’ place, etc. That’s on my to-do list for this next week—figure out packing, labeling, and storing. Oh, and how on earth we’re going to move our chicken coop.

As I’ve been staging the house to sell, I’ve hit the conclusion that so many others have come to–Why on EARTH didn’t we do all this before?! It’s a sad irony that your house always looks the best right before it’s about to belong to someone else, and it makes me want to just try out new things more in the future without worrying about things looking “perfect.”

In the Soul

This was the first week that the reality that we’re moving started to hit. I hadn’t even had time to think much about the emotional side of it, but when our realtor (who is a close friend of ours) knocked on the door to get a spare house key from us for a lockbox and I saw the For Sale sign in front…my heart squeezed inside me. I’ve long come to terms with the fact that we’re moving (I’ll admit, I was pretty upset/mad about the idea for several weeks), and lately I’ve even been getting excited for a new adventure. But the start of every new chapter must mean that an old one must close necessarily, and man, this chapter of our lives has been good.

Weirdly, the pandemic and all the social distancing has made it easier, just because we’ve seen so little of everyone that it kind of feels like we’ve moved already. We hadn’t planned on living at my parents’ house, but now that the business will be up here for a little longer than we all thought, it makes more sense for us to remain somewhat close until it does, and the thought of living with family and living close by so much family has really softened things too. Of course, that will just make it harder when we move down to Sanpete because then we’ll be FARTHER from family than we ever have been before in our married lives, but two hours is not ridiculously far…at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

All told, I’m doing okay, I think. (I’ve honestly been too busy to be anything else, it feels like.) The next several weeks will be stressful and a huge adjustment and hard, but we also are excited for this next part of our adventure, especially as we’re hoping that we might get our mini homestead for real!

I will try and keep up with posting these weekly at minimum (and I definitely have a ton of future posts planned for when I have more time), but if I don’t, just know that this time is super busy for us and that I’ll be back here as much as I can be 🙂

3 Comments on “The Homestead Weekly, 28 June 2020

  1. Ohh what a total whirlwind with the lady who wanted to buy then changed her mind. Sheesh!
    So do you think that if you end up with land like you’re hoping, that this new future home might be your forever home? Or do you not love Sanpete enough to stay forever?
    I must admit, I am having fun (and also stressing) going on this journey with you!

    1. Ha ha, that makes two of us stressing! We’re not sure if the house we settle on down in Sanpete will be a forever home or not. If we end up building, it could be, but the chances of us being able to afford a place with as much land as we would like AND the space we would need in the house for our family to grow are pretty slim right now, just because real estate is soooooo expensive here at the moment. So I’m leaning towards getting a bit of a fixer upper and then slowly doing some easy cosmetic fixes and then selling for a profit in a few years.

  2. Ohh what a total whirlwind with the lady who wanted to buy then changed her mind. Sheesh!
    So do you think that if you end up with land like you’re hoping, that this new future home might be your forever home? Or do you not love Sanpete enough to stay forever?
    I must admit, I am having fun (and also stressing) going on this journey with you!

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