September 2, 2016

While you were waiting

children

Its unbelievable how quickly time flies when you are in way over your head. I had the best of intentions to sit down and write. There were many times I went to reach for my computer, my moleskin, or my phone to write to you. It was not until yesterday though that I was able to collect a thought. So much has happened it has all been too overwhelming to wrap my mind around until the past couple days.

We hit the open road and left Arizona on August 12th, arrived in Dallas August 13th and moved into the Farmhouse on August 26th. Take a minute to let those dates soak in. We left on the 12th, because we knew that we would be able to move in by the 15th. Looking back it is hysterical to think that we had a plan, but we did. The plan was to arrive the 13th, spend a night or two with Field’s parents, and then head down to the house, unload the truck, and start our Farmhouse living. Simple right? Like all of our plans in life Field and I just optimistically jump. To hell with complications, things just always seem to work out for us. We just conveniently forget that things work out for us long term and that there is always, always some unforeseen setbacks.

Life always finds a way to laugh at our plans. You know what can drastically affect construction and renovations? Rain. Rain can. From the day Field arrived, following us from Arizona in a gianormous truck, it rained. How much? In the first week that Field lived here, there were 2 hours of sunshine. You could actually only see the sun, for 2 hours. Paint takes longer to dry, grout takes longer to dry, mud takes longer to dry and to set. Basically everything takes 3 times as long when it rains for 6 days straight with 30 min breaks to tease you that it might be over.

How did we pass the time? Where were we? It’s hard to remember now exactly where we were and when, but here goes. We lived with Fields parents for 0 days, as the AC went out right before we arrived. Thankfully Field has an incredibly generous sister who let our family of 5 live there for a week. The only caveat was that it would be too much to have Daisy there. This is totally understandable, but it is so hard for Field and I to leave Daisy anywhere. Daisy does great, but Mom and Dad are a mess! We left her at this huge property, with tons of room to run around, and they kept her in a kennal. When I say kennel, I mean a 15 x 6 foot kennel like you’d see at a pound. We know they took good care of her, but we were both a mess of waterworks as we drove away. Once the AC was fixed, we moved our family to Fields parents. Then down to our house!!! Just kidding. We needed to get the kids down in town for school, so we drove down to Corsicana, picked up our pup and moved into La Quinta. If you haven’t lived in a hotel with 3 kids, a dog, and grizzly bear for a week we highly advise against it. Laundry isn’t a cost effective option, you generally stay on top of a freeway, and everything is wet (because of the rain, the staff and facility were great).

We have received so much support, and honestly we’d be lost without it. Even with all that support, there have been days (consecutive) these last 3 weeks, that I honestly thought we made a huge HUGE mistake. Many of you have let us know that you are considering doing something like we’ve done. Maybe not buying a fixer upper farmhouse and moving your family across country, but maybe moving to a different city (I hear Corsicana, Texas is awesome), making a career change or maybe for a change…following where your heart leads you-wherever that may be. The unknown in your decision is the sacrifice that comes with change. When does it make sense to start following that small voice inside that can honestly, take you places you WANT to go, but YOU DID NOT WANT TO GO.

When we left Arizona, it was bitter sweet. We knew that we would miss so many people that we love and adore, but we also knew we were doing something awesome. We were taking a risk despite the unknown and despite how terrified we really were and quite frankly, still are. This is the stuff people dream of. This is the stuff WE dreamed of, and we were actually doing it! We were staring the UNKNOWN right in the face and saying, “BRING IT”. And let me tell you…change does not mess around.

The last 3 weeks have brought me to my knees and the scariest part is that I know it is not over. I am the kind of person that has an idea-usually a REALLY big one, makes a spontaneous-ISH plan-that I would like complete CONTROL over, and somehow I envision it all being perfect…everything is just PERFECT. If I am being honest, I expect it to be perfect. And if I am being brutally honest, I will just about do anything, including self destruction to make it perfect. For the last year, I have been working on recognizing when my need for perfection is destructive. Not only to myself, but to my family, especially my marriage and our children. Some days are better than others. But this situation has brought that expectation to a head, multiple times.

…Imagine, You just left everything you know and love 1100 miles away to begin a new adventure. Your house is not quite inhabitable. No running water, no heat, no air conditioning, no toilet and it’s been pouring rain for a solid week. Adventure on right? Fast forward a week. It is your kids first day of school in a new town. You wake up from a restless night in a hotel room, it is still dark out, but you get them dressed, fed and out the door. You walk them through the doors of their new school. They know NO ONE. You can see the fear in their little faces as you leave them, keeping it together…Smiling, thumbs up, “have a great day!”. You turn and don’t look back, so they don’t see the tears running down your face. SO many fears and doubts run through your mind in that moment. This is just about the most imperfect scenario for me and it was my reality.

I was on the phone with my mom after dropping the kids off to school and I lost it. Couldn’t talk, could barely breathe, just tears running down my face. We were facing change head on and we had dragged our entire family into it. My mom did what great moms do; She calmed me down, laid some of my fears to rest and helped me refocus. I had so much to be thankful for. So much to be grateful for. Our kids were clothed, fed and incredibly loved.

I know not everyone can do what we are doing. Some of you use logical thought to stop you, some are held back by fear of the unknown, and some are held back by the fear of what they would be leaving. We are only 3 weeks in. We have moved our family of 6, with all of our literal and emotional baggage, into and out of 5 living arrangements. Field always talks about how resilient kids are, and I know it’s true, but sometimes I forget why. Kids can handle anything if their parents are strong enough to go through it with them. We talk about our dreams for life here in Texas, but so much of it is our dream for our kids. Seeing our children run through the front yard, climb our trees and chase butterflies makes my heart smile and reminds me why we set out on this adventure in the first place.

So we cautiously encourage you to follow your heart. Do what you think will have the biggest, best, longest lasting impact on your families well being. Just know that there are unforeseen setbacks that will require a lot of love, a lot of wiping tears away, and a great deal of hugs and laughter.

  1. Juan mora

    September 2nd, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    Glad you guys are finally seeing the light of your new adventure. Change is hard. Change is full of fear. But when it’s all settled you’ll have great new adventures awaiting.

    I’m excited to read all about the new Denny family adventures!

    Have fun!

  2. Karie Denny

    September 3rd, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Thank you Juan for that encouragement. It really means a lot!

  3. Ashley Durham

    September 2nd, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Let me speak from experience here.

    We uprooted our family of 6 (plus 3 dogs, a turtle and a fish in a huge tank) from Colorado to California. We lived in a 250 sq ft RV for 6 months, hand washing clothes in what equates to a sink, transferring our kids to 2 different sets of schools (4 total) in that same 6 month period. When we finally got a house, it was half the size of our old house in Colorado, in a not-so-awesome town, an hour from anywhere we actually wanted to be. That was 2 years ago, and our kids have transferred schools twice more since then, trying to find the best and safest place for them to be.

    But let me tell you this: our kids are our champions. They dealt with all of the craziness, the ups and downs – they’ve made the absolute best of it and despite the odds, are relatively well-adjusted. Randy + I have learned to really TALK, to work through all of the terrible and somewhat impromptu-ish decisions I have forced upon our family … And our marriage has grown stronger as a result.

    We are headed back to Colorado next summer because we want better for our family … And we will likely do the hotel life with dogs again. But I know we will make it through – and so will you guys!!!!

    Sending you lots of love and strength over the next few weeks and months as you adjust, and grow new roots. ❤️❤️❤️

  4. Karie Denny

    September 3rd, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable Ashley! You guys have been through a lot. We wish you the very best on your upcoming transition!

  5. Robin Reece

    September 3rd, 2016 at 2:48 am

    So amazing. Thanks for sharing. Please write more!!!!!

  6. Karie Denny

    September 3rd, 2016 at 5:30 am

    Thank you Robin! We will.😊

  7. Dennis & Andy

    September 3rd, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Between Dennis and I, we were the “new kids” in school ten times in our childhood. It is no fun being the new kid all the time. Yes, kids can be resilient. However, there is a lot to be said for a kid having a “home town”, a place from his childhood he can return to and relive fun memories, engage with friends with whom he has a positive history, enjoy class reunions, etc for the rest of his life. Just a perspective from an old woman. We love your family!

  8. Karie Denny

    September 3rd, 2016 at 5:32 am

    So so true!! And I’m terrified they won’t have that. We are really excited to lay down roots here and we have our fingers crossed that Corsicana will be their home town!

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