Posted by: Muse | October 9, 2008

Our living situation

Tidbit of Information – My husband, child, dogs, and I live in a 5600 square foot house … with my mom and maternal grandparents.  This sounds a little nuts but it has actually worked out good for us so far in our married life.  We moved in shortly before we got married (well, my hubby moved in and then I joined when we married).   My mom joined us about 2-3 years ago after selling her house.  The house is actually like 2 houses stacked on top of one another.  My grandparents and mom live upstairs and we live downstairs.  We have our own entrance, bathroom, bedrooms, kitchen, everything.  This arrangement at first was out of necessity as hubby and I were just married and broke with a capital B and entering graduate school.  Then Little Man came along and it was nice to be under one roof with family.  And now… well now, we’re just still there.  We only recently got full-time “real” jobs.  Plus we’re in a ton of debt and need to pay that off before we start saving for the house.  My grandparents are in their early 70s but super active.  They have their own business which they still run every single day.  But possibly the main reason, the one that people don’t understand, is – we sorta like it.

We have friends who shrug this off and then we have friends who think it’s totally and completely bizarre that we live with a parent and grandparents.  “Don’t you want a house,” they say.  “Don’t they get on your nerves?”  Well, yeah, of course they do, as I’m sure we get on theirs occasionally.  But isn’t this how families all over the globe live?  Why do we see it as  such a big deal?

The fact is we could move right now, but we shouldn’t.  I like to think that little difference right there makes me a grown up.  Doesn’t it all come down to needs and wants?  In fact, if all my plans come to fruition (i.e. another child if the universe allows it, back to school for MEd, saving mucho money, travel), we may be there another 6 years.  It’s convenient.  My grandparents love it, and they’re not getting any younger.  I think it’s better to spend time with family while they’re here AND let my child(ren) have a close relationship with their great-grandparents.  It’s done wonders for my child to be raised in a multi-generational household.

We all work together in a communal sense.  We pay rent – always have.  We pay comparable to what we would pay for a 2-bedroom apartment in our area.  We do not pay utilities except our own  phone and internet cable lines.  We have offered on numerous occasions to pay towards the other bills but have been refused.  My mom pays them rent too.  I figure between the 2 of us, we’re paying most or at least 2/3 of the mortgage.  On nights we’re all home, we all eat dinner together as a family.  It saves on cooking, food expenses and the hassle.  Hubby and I both teach at the local university on Wednesday nights.  My mom gets Little Man and brings him home to the house where he is feed, bathed, and ready for bed when we walk in the door.  It just works.  

I don’t think we have any business moving until our finances are straight, and given the current economic conditions, that could be a long time. Plus, not to be morbid, but my grandparents will be gone one day.  If we move now, when we really don’t “need” too, will I look back one day and wish we had been with them as long as I could?

Sometimes I wonder if it is just an inability on my part to separate myself from my family (although hubby seems to want to stay put too) Am I lying to myself about this?

Posted by: Muse | October 9, 2008

Great, just when I feel better

Here’s this article on CNN.

Basically, Stephen Hawking is convinced we’re going to be lucky to make it another 100 years without some gigantic disaster.  I’m terrified of having a breakdown of society.  Like what they thought would happen with Y2K only actually happening.  One of my projects on my gigantic long-term to do list is to clean out space at our house and stock it up with emergency supplies.  Not quite a panic room if you will, but some things that would be useful in an emergency or the complete breakdown of life as we know it.  

We could make it for awhile with what’s in the house, but I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the government’s ability to take care of people in emergency situations. Plus, what if we needed to stay at the house?  Holding me back from this is 1) cleaning out a space for all of this.  We have so much junk, and I don’t think the grandparents have thrown anything away in thirty years or more.  This would be a pretty substantial undertaking.  2) the cost – emergency stuff is expensive!  I thought about buying little stuff here and there and accumulating it all over time, but I don’t know.

What do you think?  Are you prepared for an emergency? How did you go about doing it?

Posted by: Muse | October 9, 2008

So we’ll give this a try

There’s a million things going on, and I find myself kicking around the same ideas over and over again.  What I really need, I think, is a place to sort of vent everything out (i.e. get it out of my head and onto paper/screen) and hopefully get some feedback from people  outside of my immediate circle of family and friends.  You know what they say about fresh eyes!

Essentially, I’m not quite 30, wife of 6 years, and mother to 1 very active three year old boy and 2 furry dogs.  We have a pretty good life which I’ll get into as this blog progresses.  We’re concerned about the same things as a lot of people: debt (LOTS of debt), our jobs and furthering education, raising our child and any *hopefully* future children, healthy living, and lots of other things.

My next post will start the “unloading” process and hopefully this will turn into a great place for me to talk, make some e-friends and learn a thing or two!