Michael leaves today; very depressed

It was heartbreaking to watch Michael kiss Lilina through the fence at school this morning. He is flying out in about an hour and we won’t see him again until school is out and we are ready to move. We had walked her to school and he had hugged her and kissed her before she went into the school yard. It was so sad. But then she came back again to the fence for one more good-bye. Oh my goodness. We had to hurry home so he could say good-bye to Rose, who is last to leave in the morning.

On the bright side the separation is almost over. On the negative side, we have another month apart and no clear plan on how we are moving forward. We have to sell the house here to be able to buy there so everything hinges on this house selling. We don’t know if we will head directly to New Jersey when they get out of school or head to Atlanta to wait for the house to sell so we can buy. We’ve decided though come July 1 we either need to have bought or go ahead a rent a house so the kids can start to get settled in. Michael is going to Brazil for the World Cup in June so by the time he gets back we need to be settled some place.

I will get a newsy item up for tomorrow but I just wanted to let you guys know why I didn’t post last night.

23 comments Add your comment


April 23rd, 2014
1:18 pm

First off, take a deep breath and RELAX. It’ll be OK. The Arizona house will sell. You’ll find something great in New York. IT WILL WORK OUT. Don’t stress … or more to the point, don’t place additional stress on yourself because moving, especially across country like you’re doing, is quite stressful enough as it is.

Deep breath. Relax. Don’t worry so much. Things will work out.


April 23rd, 2014
1:33 pm

TWG…I am sending you a cyber hug. I wish there was something I could do to help you.

I am coming to PHX in June.. Not sure if you will still be there! I will be working too.

Those who have never lived away from extended family perhaps cannot understand your frustration.
We have lived away from our families our entire married life, both in Texas and here in Georgia. I have not lived by myself for very long, although I did do it when my husband was in the Navy. That was before children. Some military families were apart for a year or more.

I am just back from meeting DB for lunch. We talked about when my husband and I moved to Atlanta. We knew NO ONE. All of our adult kids are all making life choices too. Some options are close and some are not.

Our son tells me he would like to stay in Atlanta but he really could move anywhere, if they offered him something. Our daughter wants to move somewhere else to try it out. She has always lived in Ga but traveled quite a bit. I would miss her but it is her choice. I am not one of those parents who insist their children stay nearby. I do know these types of parents and they think I am nuts to tell my kids to do what makes them happy. I cannot control my kids, they are adults and need to do what is best for them.

Not having a support system is tough and you are trying to sell the house too. I hope things all work out wonderfully and that you can embrace your new life in a vibrant new area!


April 23rd, 2014
1:48 pm

We like the personal blogs over the “newsy” ones if you mean news stories. The month will be flying by in some ways…kids winding down school, you getting ready for the next chapter of life. It is good you got to spend time with Michael, better if you leave the kids in ATL and go to Brazil with him!

Hang in there you can do it!


April 23rd, 2014
2:45 pm

Hugs TWG. Your post reminded me of our transition to the tundra. The redhead left first and started his new position. The girls and I came later leaving me to sell the house, deal with the end of the semester, movers, etc. Being in limbo is hard. I agree that end-of-year activities, house showings, etc will keep you busy. Your family will be all together before you know it.


April 23rd, 2014
3:06 pm

I would think that at his income level that you would have enough for a down payment – even it if were 5% or something. Have you really crunched the numbers? This may lead to some bad decisions out of panic, like settling for a much too low price on your current home, and/or going way beyond your price comfort zone in order to be settled quickly.

If you can’t afford to buy until your home is sold, I think you are better off renting for a few months. I would check out airbnb.com. It is a rental marketplace and allows you to rent a home (condo, single family, apartment) for as little as a day and up to several months – depending on the owner. Plus, you can read reviews that others have posted. Wouldn’t that bring a peace of mind to you at this stressful time? Go outside your comfort zone and just check it out – I think you would be impressed by your options, and this will buy you some time.

Also, I would be careful on what you say about the house selling/hunting process. I imagine that some people may see this as a real opportunity to take advantage of your less-than-ideal situation, and perhaps really lowball you on an offer. I also echo what the others have said and while it is easier said then done, you have to try to stay positive and in control.


April 23rd, 2014
3:28 pm

Yet public pity party. How professional!


April 23rd, 2014
4:20 pm

Big hugs, T — “this, too, shall pass.” Of course, it will feel like a kidney stone in the meantime . . . it’s nerve-wracking, living in a “show-ready” home with three busy kids and little support. Plans will crystalize as soon as you get an offer, and then you will be crazy busy!

@MissNadine: I find it ironic that you say “be careful what you talk about” in one breath, and in another, start discussing what I would consider to be extremely personal, of the NOYB financial information sort, in a somewhat condescending fashion, implying that there must be some financial ineptness if they can’t do this or that. “I would think . . .” or “have you really crunched the numbers?” is pretty judgmental. I understand the advice was well-meant, but . . . just wow. Personally, I would think that two responsible, college-educated adults who have moved several times before have a handle on it.


April 23rd, 2014
4:26 pm

What about Walsh? I see you mentioned the girls telling Michael “Bye”. How did it go with Walsh as well?

I agree with the other posters. Take a deep breath. It is a stressful time but you will be on the other side of it before you know. Is Michael a “planner”? My husband is the kind of person who doesn’t like to make decisions. He will, but it’s not his favorite. Maybe Michael is leaving “the plan” up to you because he will be happy no matter what decision is made. Or maybe he knows he will stress you out more by adding his opinion.


April 23rd, 2014
4:52 pm

Theresa was the one that started the NOYB Financial Discussion ….


April 23rd, 2014
5:28 pm

@DB – I’m entitled to my opinion. I think the notion of having to sell before buying is a little antiquated and I do find it odd that people at their level have to sell first. She brings $ (and husband’s job) into the column really often, so the info I have leads me to believe that money woes is the least of her concerns. My husband was also convinced we had to sell first, and then going through the numbers, and having a realistic expectation showed him that it was very possible. We ended up selling just as we were buying, but just based on people I know who have moved recently, they also thought at first that they have to sell first, but really didn’t. It just means letting go of what your parents might have conditioned you to think, which is that it would be crazy to by before you sell.

I wasn’t talking down to her – I just really thought she needed to look at this in a nonconventional way. T has also been very open to the stress in her life – holding on to a house because she has convinced herself that she has to sell her existing home first may also be a way to postpone the inevitable. Don’t read something sinister in my comments that wasn’t mean-spirited to begin with.


April 23rd, 2014
8:42 pm


Have you looked at renting a house that you’d like to buy once your house sells there? Do you have something great planned when Michael does come home? If so, you can make a calendar where the kids can count down- it might make it a bit easier on them.

mother of 2

April 23rd, 2014
9:03 pm

I feel for you. I’ve been in your situation before and it’s very tough with young kids. I hope that your house sells soon so that you can move on – limbo is truly the worst part of this whole process. If you’ve found a school system in Jersey, look for a rental in that area. It will make the transition so much easier on the kids. And a mother is only as happy as her least happy child, so keeping the kids as stress free during this stressful time will help. Prayers for you and your family.


April 23rd, 2014
10:03 pm

@mother of 2 makes a great point about the kids, and how your stress level could affect them. Seems like you have had to make a few changes in the last few years, and you’ve pulled through no worse for the wear. Does it help to make it “public”? I would think yes and no. In one way you can get some advice from people who have been through it, but on the other, it means everyone knowing your business, which can’t be easy. It seems like it was just yesterday that you moved the last time though it has probably been only a couple a years. I would worry a bit about whether your husband’s job might require another big move in a couple of years. I really think I would rent for a short time, and let things get settled a bit.. That is a lot on your shoulders, and a lot of it you are having to do on your own.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 23rd, 2014
10:38 pm

missnadine – when we bought this house, banks were looking for you to put down 20 percent. They weren’t loaning money to people who couldn’t put down at least 20 percent because of all the foreclosures. So my assumption is that is still pretty much the case. I think you need to put down at least 20 percent. Also the houses in New Jersey right across from Manhattan are pricey. So 20 percent would be quite a bit. I am fine with renting at first because you want to get to know the area so even if we sell and there’s not a house I love, I would definitely consider renting so we can find a great house and not just a house that happened to be available. The good news is a lot of the houses in the area we are looking at are colonials, Victorians and tudors which all really appeal to me so that is good.

We use FaceTime a lot so they can see him and talk to him. We talk every day. He is going to Europe for a few weeks in May but we FT fine when he was in Russia. He’s coming here when schools gets out so they know they will see him and then hopefully things will be more concrete. I am truly just trying to take is one step at a time.


April 24th, 2014
6:17 am

We just sold our house here in Fulton (also in limbo as we have not found our new house yet) and our buyers are only putting down 5%!! We were told that 90% of buyers or more are only putting that much down these days. When we bought our first house in 2000, 20% was expected as TWG said. So even with an overhaul of the banking industry, people are still able to only put down very little to buy it seems.


April 24th, 2014
7:02 am

I don’t think the 20% rule is nearly as common as before. I know quite a few people who have recently bought, including my oldest daughter, with only 5% down. I can understand that someone with less than ideal credit being asked for a higher percentage down payment.
I do think you tend to stress to much and too easily but just take a deep breath and know that you’re intelligent and strong enough to handle whatever hand is dealt.
Life isn’t fair and isn’t always easy. That’s the reason you sometimes have to kick it’s butt and be the boss!! I, like other regulars, wish I could help or, if I can, let me know.


April 24th, 2014
10:28 am

@ Theresa, I get why you guys don’t want to be handling 2 mortgages…no matter how much money you guys have or make. It is also a pain to try to sell a house when you are living somewhere else. No one wants the added stress or hassle. Since we’ve moved twice for my husbands job in less than 3 years, I’ve told him that we will just rent if we have to move again. It’s just not worth it to go through the pain of finding and buying a house only to have to sell it again after a year or two. We only have the one child so it is easier for us to make that decision.


April 24th, 2014
11:15 am

Surpised – no cut and paste for this subject matter?


April 24th, 2014
1:20 pm

It’s not like he’s being deployed and you will be supporting 3 children on a soldier’s salary. Good grief. Self absorbed much?


April 24th, 2014
2:14 pm

Scooby – I hate this argument. Yes, it sucks for the military spouse but that doesn’t mean TWG’s position doesn’t suck either. I grew up military, it’s a fact of life that the member is going to get deployed and work long hours and the pay sucks. It also means that when you move, your move is paid for and you either move into base housing or you find a rental. Each situation has it’s own issues but no one needs to have a pity party for the military. They made a choice just like Theresa’s husband made a choice to accept this job and move his family across the country again.


April 24th, 2014
2:18 pm

T – that is what I thought – that maybe you were under the impression that 20% was needed – it just isn’t, especially for someone who can prove a steady income. This at least opens up an opportunity that you were not aware you had, and I know this likely added to the stress. That was the only point I was making, though DB thought otherwise. I am opinionated at times, and I know I have been rude here, but the responses I gave in this blog were well-meaning. Also, since I just went through with my husband, I had a feeling that your viewpoint on having to sell before you both was maybe not accurate anymore. I had to literally show him the #s and show him why I knew we could do it.
Michael might also have that viewpoint, but ask around and I am sure you will find friends you were able to buy for so little down. You have mentioned renting – do yourself a favor and look up airbnb. I was looking for a rental for an upcoming trip and was amazed at the choices- from renting one room to the whole house, and the prices were really good compared to traditional renters. I don’t envy you.

We moved last year after 15 years in one place. We had accumulated so much stuff it was awful. I am anti-clutter. If I don’t use something in a year, it’s gone to charity, with only a few rare exceptions. My husband keeps everything. When I don’t need something anymore, it has no value to me, and I have given away a laptop, a tablet, small ipods and clothes with tags attached. My husband on the other hand buys multiples of everything and holds on to them forever. We are an odd combo.


April 24th, 2014
7:04 pm

Theresa – when I purchased my home in February, I only put 10% down. The downpayment became an issue when it came down to what type of mortgage (conventional vs FHA) and PMI payment. Without going into details that no one cares about (smile), with my conventional loan it didn’t matter how much downpayment I put down after I was approved. I made sure I was approved for more than the entire purchase price just in case. I understand the stress and how you don’t want to end up with 2 mortgages. I wouldn’t want to either. Just get answers before you stress yourself out because of your assumptions.


April 25th, 2014
6:43 am

It’ll work out, Theresa. Prior posts suggest that you are doing absolutely everything you can to keep everything together and running smoothly. I understand your not wanting to pay two mortgages. Makes no sense for someone to suggest you need to crunch numbers to afford two payments, when “smart” financial people would suggest only owning/renting one place at a time.