Last Tuesday at this time I was on my first (and only, so far) early morning run here in Texas. I was happy to know that there was a time of day during which the state was not on fire, and happily nodded to the ten or so other normal people who found it an appropriate temperature in which to exercise outdoors. The only problem was that I really don’t prefer running in the morning. Sure, I like having it done by early morning, but the main problem is that I don’t like going to bed knowing that my very first activity once I get out of bed is to run. I really do prefer early-afternoon workouts.
All that said, last Tuesday I managed to get ‘er done and ran before the peeps were awake. I snapped this picture as I walked back to my current home-sweet-home.
The window closest to you is Bailey’s. The porch windows look into the living room, which is where I’m sitting now, and the distant window looks into Carson’s room. Hayden’s and Parker’s room as well, as our room, look out the side of the building around the corner. We are so happy with where we are living and content. We have a gym, several pools, all furniture and appliances, and utilities/cable/internet included. Plus they were willing to do a month-to-month lease for us because we really needed to be able to get out of this lease at the drop of a hat.
Ten minutes after I posted this picture I received a phone call from Fort Hood Family Housing. My friend up there (yes, I said friend… I’m a Southerner… if we’ve met and we’ve connected in some way, we can be considered friends until something happens that redefines the relationship) was on the other line. She had news for me that I honestly wasn’t prepared for.
THEY HAD A HOUSE FOR US!
No joke! Keys ready. Move-in ready!
I kept my cool while I was standing outside near the stairs and jotted down all the stats on the house. She couldn’t tell me which one it was, but she told me all the details that she had. 4 BR, 2.5 Bath, kitchen island… she had me at “we have a house for you.”
I have never been more excited about anything in my life. I think the neighbors could hear the celebrations that occurred when I walked into the house, looked at everyone as seriously as I could (I’m a horrible liar) and said, “Well, I did get some news from housing today.” Matt stared at me… the boys sort of glanced my way. “How would you guys like… (I paused until everyone was looking at me) …to get into our house… (ha! GOT their attention) …TODAY?!?!?!?”
And the crowd went wild. No. Really. My crowd went really wild! And I’ll admit I was the ring leader!
Once I had shared all the details I could with my overjoyed family, I got them all started on school, sent Matt off to work, and got a shower. I was literally so excited I wanted to jump out of my skin. I couldn’t get ready fast enough and kept having to stop and think to figure out what I was doing in the shower. (Have you ever gotten halfway through a shower and, while rinsing the conditioner out of your hair, wondered if you remembered to actually wash your hair before you used conditioner?!?.)
We had a few things to tie up… it was 2 July and we had just paid the full month’s rent on our current temporary apartment the previous day. That’s a chunk of change to give away only to turn around and pay the full month’s rent on a house the next day. I have six words for you:
THANK GOD FOR OUR EMERGENCY FUND!
See, the Army hasn’t yet refunded our BAH (housing allowance) from June… we weren’t in a military house for 3/4 of June, but they still have our money as if we were. We were very thankful to have the money set aside so we could continue life and not miss a beat. You really should look into taking Financial Peace University. Revolutionized our lives!
Before I loaded the boys up for the big day I walked over to the offices of the apartment complex and explained our situation. I told them that we were just offered a house, on July second!!, the day after paying the full month’s rent here. I told them that I know our contract has us in to the end of the month and we are completely willing to honor the contract, but would like them to consider letting us out of half of our lease. I was very nice, let them know that I know they don’t have to, but would appreciate them considering our request.
The property manager told me she’d have to contact her superiors and get back with me.
A few hours later she called to say that the company had agreed to let us out of our lease on the 15th, with a letter stating we had received on-post housing. RELIEVED! Money back in our Emergency Fund! Relieved and appreciative. (If you haven’t figured this out yet, I’m pleased with Independence Place and highly recommend it if you were to move to Killeen and either need a temporary place to stay or, if you don’t have kids, a permanent place. (It’s not long-term kid-friendly but for a few months, it’s great.)
I loaded the kids up and drove to post. We went by the neighborhood and saw three houses that looked to be 4BR and possibly available. Each of us voted on which one we thought was going to be ours. We picked Matt up and headed to the leasing office. They told us which unit was ours (Hayden and I were right with our votes) but said we couldn’t get the keys until 2:00. We headed out for lunch and (im)patiently waited until 2:00. As we walked through the house we were still in complete shock that a few hours before we had expected to be in the temporary apartment until who-knows-when. Now we had the keys to a house that was ours!
As in any lease situation we had a few meetings to attend. By 4:00 we had attended a briefing, paid the month’s rent, secured the keys, and signed a lease.
Here are the first two pictures of our house to hold you over until tomorrow, when I’ll post more pictures and more stories.