Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Apartment . . . part 1

So, we're here, living in a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment in Harrisburg that reminds us both very much of the poor-quality college-type apartments in State College. That's right--our floors have multiple dips in the floor, you can hear everything in every apartment, you can smell everything in every apartment and the whole place seems to be held together by 23 coats of paint left from previous attendants. We have been unpacking, decorating and trying to figure out where to put everything that we used to have in our much larger home. We're trying to figure out how to keep Jabber from barking any time she sees anyone walk by or hears a door in the building open or close. We are trying to figure out how to do laundry in a laundry closet where the vent to the dryer vents directly into the same room, not to the outside. I am trying to figure out how to make anything other than a bowl of cereal in my Barbie-sized kitchen. It hasn't been going well. I'm trying to figure out how to not fall down the steps to the outside and break my toes again.

We really like being in Harrisburg. We like being closer to family and we like having stores/businesses within a TEN MINUTE drive. We like the lower cost of living. It's just this stinkin' apartment . . .

We know it will just take time . . . and the sale of our home in Canonsburg for us to be able to get out of this apartment and into a new home. We are hopeful that the right buyer will come soon so we can 1) not worry about paying rent on top of a mortgage and double bills and 2) so we can feel like we are actually settling here.

So, here's to living in Harrisburg in a college-ish apartment.

And here's to moving out of it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fun with Packing

As I have now been off work for 2.5 (week) days, I find myself to be enjoying packing more and more. Strange, yes, but nonetheless true.

First, and most obviously, I like things to be organized and clean--a true shock to anyone who knows my OCD-like tendencies, I know. I hate junk--a trait I get from my mother, for sure. Moving is a perfect excuse for getting rid of . . . well . . . anything and everything. Ask yourself this and answer honestly--do you even remember getting rid of specific items during a move and regretting it after one or more years has gone by? Truth be told, I know we got rid of a lot when we moved from State College to Canonsburg. What that "a lot" was, I couldn't even tell you.

I, however, sincerely enjoy going through cabinets and old boxes, determining what I should keep, donate or throw away. I get a rush thinking that someone else could use some of the things we can't or don't use anymore. I like going through clothes and wondering what the heck I was thinking at ages 18-20 or so with my wardrobe choices. I have fun checking out what I saved because I thought it meant a lot, but now I have no idea what it is, let alone why I kept it, for the past 4 years.

It's not that I'm not sentimental--I definitely am. I have a throw that my Grammy made for me when I was about a year old. I don't think I have ever used it, but I'm certainly not getting rid of it. I have a picture that my mom cross-stitched for me that my little Peanut will have in his/her room one day. I have multiple Willow Tree statues that, though I generally don't like kitsch, I will keep because my mother-in-law gave them to me to represent different times in my life. We have a quilt that Adam's great-grandmother made for us that's too big for our bed, but we are never getting rid of that, either.

I also found some silly things from elementary school--including some laminated hand-written and illustrated"books" that I remember being so proud of when I was little. (These books also remind me that my handwriting was actually pretty darn good when I was 7-9 years old and has since gone downhill after having to write "Katrina Johnstonbaugh, CRNP" 165 times a day.) I found some of my favorite stuffed animals, including and orangutang that I stole from my baby brother named "Monkey Monkey," and my favorite childhood doll, "Foosta." (I'm not sure the origin of this name or how the heck I came up with it, but I like to think it was my creative genius just beginning around age 2).

All in all, I like moving because it allows me to remember what's truly important in my life. It allows me to see how I have grown and changed, but also shows me just how much I've stayed the same. I'm sure that our Peanut(s) will throw most of these things away when we're gone, and that's ok. They aren't Peanut's memories, they're my memories and Adam's memories. We'll have a box (or two or twenty-five) that will contain memories that are significant to Peanut, too. One day, probably 20+ years from now, Peanut will look through a box and find clothes that he/she was ashamed to admit he/she actually wore and liked. Peanut will find drawings that Mom and Dad kept, even though they look like a pile of squiggles. Peanut will find his/her first blanket and his/her first ultrasound picture. Peanut may choose to keep some of these memories, but may choose to get rid of more--especially if the poor little babe takes after Mama and can't stand clutter. That's ok. They will no longer be my memories to keep or toss.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The End

I didn't wake up until 0715 today, something I haven't done for . . . well, years. I didn't take the dog out, jump in the shower, fix my hair and makeup and deliberate over what to wear. I didn't need to. I didn't go to work today. My first job as a CRNP has ended.

It's a really weird feeling to "not have a job," to not have to worry about patient complaints, to not have to hope and pray I get home at a decent time. It's a feeling I'm never had before.

The reality is, I fortunately do have a job all lined up--it just hasn't started yet. I have the next three weeks to pack up one life and move it to another. I can nap when I want and run errands at whatever time is convenient for me. For three weeks, I don't have to answer to my career.

For the past two plus years, I did have to answer to my career--I have been the nurse practitioner at a small family practice in rural western Pennsylvania. I had the pleasure of working with some great people and have had the pleasure of caring for some really special patients. We have recently been taken in another direction . . . on the other side of the state.

I am very much looking forward to my new position in suburban Harrisburg. I'm looking forward to having a grocery store, gas station and Lowe's all within 5 miles. I'm looking forward to living 6 miles away from my job, instead of my current 35 miles. I'm looking forward to not having to fill up my gas tank twice a week and looking forward to getting home in 10 minutes instead of 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. I'm looking forward to living closer to family.

As much as I have always wanted to take a month off work, I'm actually not super-excited about it this time. I am actually looking forward to starting work again. I'm tired of thinking of the end of my last job . . . I am ready to start a new one.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

the Reason

Well, we had hoped it wouldn't come to this, but it did.

We're moving to a new apartment in about 2-3 weeks.

Don't get me wrong here: We are super-excited that we will be living in a much nicer area with much nicer schools that actually has stores within 15 miles AND is closer to our families and work. It's just hard to go from living in a 3.5 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom house to a smaller apartment again. We've gotten so used to our privacy and quiet (minus the mutt) that we are hesitant to give it up. We have no choice. I can't commute 4 hours to work every day. I just can't. Gas is too expensive for that. ;-)

We signed a 12-month lease, though we are very hopeful that our home will sell VERY soon so we don't have to be living there by the time Peanut comes into the world and so that we don't have to keep paying our mortgage AND rent.

A huge part of me wants to know why the timing hasn't worked out better . . . or at least better in my opinion. Every time we've moved before, the timing worked out oddly well. Why not this time, when it's more pressing than ever?

I'm trying to remember that my timing isn't what it's about. There is a reason our home hasn't sold yet--aside from the disgustingly horrible economy and housing market. There is a reason we signed our lease this weekend.

Perhaps there is a perfect home for us in Harrisburg that just isn't on the market yet. Maybe Adam will find his ultimate long-term job, and so we aren't supposed to get settled in there and then have to go through the home-selling process again. Perhaps there are people there that we need to meet.
Perhaps it's simply a lesson for me to learn that my timing isn't God's timing.

No matter what, we're excited. I've found a perfect new job. We are only about 30-45 minutes away from my parents and about 1 hour 15 minutes away from Adam's family. There is a nice PCA church only a few miles away. We have a place to live together as Peanut continues to grow.

All in all, what is supposed to happen will happen when it's supposed to happen. I'll be honest, though--I am still praying that our home selling soon is supposed to happen!