Sunday, February 26, 2012

One Year of Downsized Life

March will mark one year since we downsized from a large home into our current apartments.

One year later, this is what I still love:
The space itself.  We've realized our family of seven can easily function comfortably in 1700 square feet.  And if you take away Ken's office space, that really leaves 1500 of our actual living space.  We've had a house-full of friends over for Christmas Eve and for small group.  While it's not as spacious as our old place, it still works and our friends don't mind being a little closer.

The freedom. No worries over broken blinds, broken AC units, and even clogged toilets.  All of this and more have been repaired or replaced by our apartment staff at no extra cost or hassle to us.  The lawn is kept manicured, the pool sparkling, the roof patched.  Gates, wood trim, and other cosmetic details are painted frequently. That, my friends, has been completely worth it!

The location.  We truly enjoy this area of town.  We're a few minutes from DFW Airport and a 30-minute drive to downtown Dallas, while still only 15 minutes from where we used to live and still spend a lot of our time.  We adore the trails and enjoy the fact that the kids can ride to the park without ever touching one single street or crossing.  This is also the only place we've ever lived where we can walk to the library.  Huge bonus.

What has been challenging here:
The kids.  It started out great.  The girls began making friends quickly.  But as soon as the girl-drama kicked in (including my own girls' girl-drama), all hell broke loose and it's now truly volatile.  I won't go in to the details, but it's been fairly horrid at times.  It got so horrid, the girls and I gave up.  They just don't hang with kids here and I quit encouraging them to go work things out.  I guess this is what kids face in public school?  TJ has one close friend and a lot of the boys his age and younger follow him all over the complex.  This developed only after suffering through his own time of getting teased, called all kinds of names, and even pushed down and bloodied up by a bigger boy.  We were truly spoiled in our old 'hood.  The kids didn't always see things eye-to-eye, but they remained friends.  They certainly didn't call each other R-rated names or resort to physical violence.  They hashed stuff out when the rare fight occurred and were truly friends to each other.  The other major difference is, in our old 'hood, I was in weekly-if-not-daily contact with the other parents, even if it was just a quick text.  I haven't even met more than a few of the parents here.  

Our own gated yard. There are days when we're doing school that I'd like to send the boys out to play, but can't do that unless one of the older kids or I am with them.

Making it my own.  Since I know this is a temporary home for us, I don't add a lot of our family personality to it. I haven't painted or even decorated beyond filling my kitchen pot shelves and hanging a few photos.  I have a vision for the boys' room, but their walls are plain and bare.  Fortunately, I like the paint colors and the wood and dark granite that make it feel warm and homey without my own colors added.  Painting and extensive decorating are not worth the work knowing we won't be here much longer.  

We won't be here much longer?  Correct!  Our lease is out at the end of the summer.  At that time, we'll be moving elsewhere, but I'm not sharing those details just yet.  Yes, I'm totally leaving you hanging; I know it's mean!  Well, I must give you a reason to keep checking back, right?  

All-in-all, we have loved living here.  The amount of money we were able to make on the sale of the house helped us tremendously with adoption expenses.  The freedom we've had from homeownership has been a true blessing during this season of family transition after the adoption.  God knew what he was doing when he prompted us to sell our house and move here.  Even with a few struggles along the way, we have no regrets!   


  1. This is awesome! Yes, the kids at my public school are aggressive, territorial, and downright mean. It is the law of the jungle. So sad.

  2. Im so glad your living and experiencing all of the positives that you knew woud take place. We still miss you terribly and are happy to drive to Coppell anytime your free !! I hope your next place brings you closer to HV, but if not we have a car and are happy to use it !! Lots of Hugs and Love !! Kellie W