Tag Archives: moving

low points and highlights of our move

We’ve been in our new home for a few days now. We’re still totally surrounded by boxes, and are exhausted every evening; but we’re making progress

Low points:

– I’ve rarely been as spent as I was, or as sore, as I was after the two days of the actual move. Clearly, I am older than when I last did this.

– max laid spread-eagle on the floor of his empty room for 45 minutes before we finally left (he said he was talking to the house, telling it how much it had meant to him). When I went to get him to leave, he cried, and did not want to go.

– we spent a few hours in ikea, buying dressers for the kids, barstools for the kitchen counter, and a few other bits (I have a love/hate relationship with ikea and its maze of brilliant marketing). That evening, max and I spent almost three hours assembling his dresser, only to find we’d made a small mistake early on. The next morning, I had to partially disassemble it to correct the problem. Subsequently, I assembled two dressers for liesl, and two barstools. My fingers and back are cramping, and my love/hate for ikea has fully shifted to “loathe” for the time being.


– after driving around the little village area near our new home, max said, “I think I’m going to really like this place.”

– we found an amazing gelato place within walking distance of our home.

– my friend john stopped by with pizzas on our first evening. Then he and I inaugurated the patio of the granny flat with cuban cigars.

– we have an ongoing discussion about naming the granny flat/guest house. After several possibilties that didn’t stick, we’re vascillating between “guff” (a phonetic pronunciation of GF, for granny flat, as well as the marshmallowy goodness they put on ice cream cones in denmark; or “frank’s place”: we have a statue of st. francis I hauled back from guatemala a year ago in the backyard, facing the flat. Frances = frank. I’m lobbying for this one.

monday morning update, august 25, 2008

the weekend that was: busy weekend. we had a birthday party to go to friday night for dave palmer (vp of marketing at ys), which was fun — nice dinner and conversation. then, saturday, ten of us from the ys CORE team presented the second draft of next year’s CORE to a very small group at a church here in san diego. i rewrote and presented the first session: “The Word is more than Words” (our theme this year is on helping students engage the bible). after all four session were presented, the team stuck around for another 5 hours and critiqued, re-wrote, pushed and pulled. sunday morning, jeannie and i went to the wedding of the daughter of my church’s preaching pastor (he was also my boss in youth ministry in a church in omaha about 20 years ago, and we knew his daughter when she was 5). then, sunday afternoon, our home church came over and helped us pack, then we had a pool party. oh, and i had to spend 5 hours saturday night doing an online traffic school due to running a stop sign while house-hunting a month ago. good times.

where i am at the moment: home. i’m taking this week off to move!

on my to-do list this week: MOVE! i also have a handful of phone appointments and other ys stuff i didn’t cancel, so i’ll do a bit of work from home.

moving update: can’t believe it’s here so quickly. the sale of our house closes wednesday, and we have ’til friday at 5pm to be out. the purchase of our new house closes thursday, and we officially get the keys at 5pm. but the owner is letting us start to move in a few hours early, and we have a handful of people helping us move all our boxes thursday afternoon. friday morning, movers come to move all our furniture. by friday night, we’ll be living in our new home!

procrastinating about: i have no time to procrastinate about anything right now. i feel like i’m managing a swarm of crises — both good and not-so-good. i worked 12 – 16 hours every day last week, often going into the office at 5:30am, and not leaving until 8:30 two nights. i think i actually stopped for lunch one day the whole week.

book i’m in the midst of: i haven’t read a word this week. so i’m still reading phyllis tickle’s manuscript of the great emergence.

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: in the name of love: africa celebrates u2. what an amazing collection of songs done by a wide variety of african artists.

next trip: a week from wednesday i leave for argentina.

how i’m feeling about this week: excited, but massively stressed.

monday morning update, august 18, 2008

the weekend that was: mostly packing for our move. we finished unpacking from our vacation, and made the turn. max had a pool part sunday afternoon and evening with 8 buddies from school and their families, so that took much of that day. of course, i watched a bit of michael phelps and other olympic goodness here and there also.

where i am at the moment: home, for almost three more weeks. i’m planning on working this week, then taking much of next week off for our move.

on my to-do list this week: meetings, catching up, re-writing the opening session for next year’s CORE, which we’re testing in san diego on saturday. we also have a ys staff bowling tourney on tuesday afternoon (should be a kick), and a leadership team morning away on wednesday to do some fall planning.

moving update: everything’s on track. i listed a wad of stuff on craig’s list this past weekend and sold a bunch and gave a bunch away. still have a dozen other items i’m hoping to get rid of, so i don’t have to move them myself (even if that means moving them to some donation center).

procrastinating about: i suppose i’ve been procrastinating about this CORE session re-write i have to do. but no more — i have to do it this week!

book i’m in the midst of: the great emergence, by phyllis tickle

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: coldplay, elvis costello, b-52s, beastie boys

next trip: argentina, the first week of september.

how i’m feeling about this week: i picked up a really nasty head cold this weekend, which massively sucks. i’m taking liquid echinacea, vitamin c, airborne, dayquil, and zicam, trying to fight the mutha off; but it’s winning right now, and has me physically worn out. unless i can kick it’s butt, it will really influence this week.

monday morning update, august 4, 2008

the weekend that was: mostly packing for the move, and some running kids around. liesl had 7 friends over for a pool party saturday night, and i hosted that also.

where i am at the moment: at my desk, for one day this week.

on my to-do list this week: today is a crunch day. a couple key projects to work on, and a handful of meetings. but mostly, this week will be about family and rest, as we’re leaving on a 9-day vacation tomorrow.

moving update: thanks to all of you who prayed. things seem to be back on track. the buyers asked the appraiser if he could raise the appraisal at all, and he raised it 3 grand. our realtor kicked in an additional 3 grand. the owner of the home we’re buying can only drop the price at all if the appraisal on that one comes in lower than our price, so we’re having that appraisal done in the next day or two and hoping we can eek out another few grand. but i think we’re back and track and moving forward either way. i worked on a new mortgage the other day, and was happy with what i found. and i packed about 25 boxes this weekend. we’re going through the new house tomorrow (before we fly to our vacation) with a measuring tape, to get detailed info about each room, so we can make decisions about what’s going where. move date: august 28/29.

procrastinating about: everything except moving stuff!

book i’m in the midst of: i took a break from the book of general ignorance to read scot mcknight’s upcoming release, the blue parakeet (which was great, and which i’ll review soon). i’m just starting an edited manuscript of phyllis tickle’s upcoming release, the great emergence (which i’m really looking forward to reading, ever since i heard her give a talk at our convention last fall based on the book).

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: mostly had itunes on party shuffle this week. but, yesterday, i took a couple hundred cds into music trader, and came home with a few:
beck: modern guilt
sheryl crow: detours
elvis costello: momofuku
b-52s: funplex
rolling stones: live licks
system of a down: system of a down
beastie boys: to the 5 boroughs

next trip: my family flies to calgary tomorrow, for a 9-day vacation. we’ll spend the first two nights at the fairmont banff springs (a hotel i could never afford, but which wants our canadian business, and is comp’ing me a room!). then we’ll drive to radium hot springs, and spend 7 days in the condo of the parents of a gracious friend. some good friends from seattle are driving over and staying with us. should be a wonderful time.

how i’m feeling about this week: fantastic. can’t wait to chill. when we return, we’ll have two weeks ’til the move date, and it will be serious crunch time.

we’re moving

tonite, we agreed to terms on an offer for a house. my family is moving.

we’ve had a few driving values in considering a move for a year or two:
– we’re tired of suburbia, and want to be in a somewhat more urban context that has more diversity.
– we want to be in walking distance of coffee shops, pubs, and other “village” community gathering spots.
– we haven’t been comfortable with our kids growing up assuming our suburban expansive home is the norm. we have felt convicted about the message that our home is teaching our children.

we’ve flirted with moving for more than a year, casually looking. but our looking mostly involved homes that were similar in price, due to the fact that moving to the cooler city neighborhoods in san diego means cutting our home size in half while keeping the same price.

but recently, with the cost of our kids’ private school tuition, we’ve realized that we’re living at the edge of our means. we rely all too much on my non-salary income (from speaking and writing). and that really doesn’t feel responsible, or even ethical.

so the new push to move has been driven by lowering our mortgage significantly (san diego housing prices are crazy, but i’m talking about lowering our house value by almost $300,000).

we listed our home, and were surprised that it sold in two weeks. that meant we had about 5 weeks to find a place to live. it was tortuous. we spent last week looking at almost 100 houses in the communities we were hoping for. but we couldn’t find the combo of house, neighborhood and price that met our values and desires. we expanded a little bit out of what we were initially hoping, in terms of geography, and found a house close to the village of la mesa. it’s still a suburb, but it’s 10 minutes west of us — halfway to san diego from where we were. this will cut the distance jeannie and the kids drive to school every day, and put us in a location where we can walk to coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, and a trolly stop.

the home is more than 1000 square feet smaller than our current home, but is lovely. it has everything we’d hoped for, and is in beautiful condition, including a great granny flat out back that we’ll use as a guest room and spiritual direction “office” for jeannie. the backyard isn’t grass, but all bamboo, plants and pathways — very peaceful and contemplative. we entered into a few days of offer and counter-offers, and landed on an agreement last night.

this is a theological issue for us, and a concrete result of our values.

i’m very excited. we’ll move at the end of august, so have a ton of work to do!

monday morning update, july 28, 2008

the weekend that was: holy cow. it was all about house hunting. so freakin’ stressful, as our house sold so much more quickly than we expected (2 weeks). more update below…

where i am at the moment:
sitting at my desk for a day! yeah!

on my to-do list this week: the main thing is a trip to Z for a leadership team retreat, which i have a bunch of prep for today. we also need to start packing, and hopefully, agree on a purchase price for the home we made an offer on.

moving update: wednesday night, we drove by 25 houses (thank god for gps, baby). thursday, we started spending 5 – 7 hours a day with the realtor. we went through 9 houses thursday, 10 friday, 15 saturday, and 8 sunday. our spirits were pretty down by saturday night, as we were finding that buying a house has a lot of similarities to a software or website build. software and web people say there are three variables everyone wants: finished quickly, low price, and custom/robust features. and, they say, you can only have two of those — any two, but only two. we found in our house hunting that there were three variables also: neighborhood we want, house we want, price we want. we could only find two of the three. we’d find a great house in a great neighborhood, but couldn’t afford it; or we’d find a good house for a good price, but in a neighborhood we didn’t really want to be in; or we’d find a house we could a afford, in a neighborhood we liked, but the house sucked or was too limited in one way or another. finally, on sunday, we found a couple that met all three variables, and after going back to them a second time, one was the clear winner. we made an offer sunday night, and are waiting to hear a response.

procrastinating about: not much. everything is at full-tilt right now. i’m not making progress on my next book, but i don’t know how i could — so it’s not really procrastinating.

book i’m in the midst of: the book of general ignorance, by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd, and the blue parakeet: rethinking how you read the bible, by scot mcknight

music that seemed to catch my attention this past week: very little music this week.

next trip: tuesday through thursday in holland, michigan, for a zondervan leadership team retreat.

how i’m feeling about this week: i’m sure the leadership team retreat will be great, but i’m really stressed about what we have to accomplish this month with our impending move.

living above my means

jeannie has been stressed about our finances for a couple years, it seems. and i’ve been, to be honest, kind of ignoring it. this weekend, we sat down and went through our credit card statements for the past 5 months, as well as our check use, automatic payments, and other stuff. we put things into a spreadsheet with a fixed cost column and a soft cost column it seems my salary, which is good (and i have no room for complaint), is about $1000 per month short of covering our fixed costs (and things like clothes and eating out were put into the soft cost column). this was a bit of a shock to me (and less of a shock to jeannie, who handles our finances). we’ve known for some time that we rely on my outside income (book royalties, speaking honorariums) to cover bills and stuff, when we would love to have that income be truly extra, and for vacations and stuff like that. but i hadn’t realized the severity of the issue.

so… we decided we need to move (locally, that is). we’ve been flirting with the idea of moving for well over a year. we’d put it on the back burner 6 months ago, but have looked casually in the past month again. now, we’re going to kick it into gear; and what we’re looking for has changed in this new reality. we need to significantly lower our mortgage, as that’s the single biggest item on our fixed costs. i mean, our kids private school tuition is a big fixed cost also; but we’re really committed to that, and will need to give up house size to keep things balanced.

i like change, and the idea of moving actually has some “fun” elements for me. but finding a home i’ll be excited about, in the price range we’ll be looking, will not be all fun. there are lots of variables and desires for us: we really want to move closer to the city, but we still want a family neighborhood; we’d love to be in a community where we can walk to a coffee shop, but those kind of communities in san diego tend to be more expensive; i’m not a fixer-upper kind of guy, but new stuff is, of course, substantially more expensive. any anything west (toward san diego, toward the water) is more expensive than where we are.

so, tough reality; but could be a really good thing for our family in the long run. and, i have to face reality, right?