January 3, 2015

this christmas

Our Christmas this year was a little different than those of years past. This year, it was spent moving.

Our rental/work arrangement was perfect for us when we needed it almost 2 years ago, but as our plans began to evolve, it was becoming clear that it wasn't the best fit for us. Our main priority right now is getting the bakery up and running. Our animal work responsibilities required a lot of our time and with Nate gone most of the time working on the oven and bakery, the responsibility was mine. It took some juggling with Zander, but it was manageable. Ultimately, we both need to be able to focus our time and energy on this new business.

The last month has been pretty rough. We had intended to take our time with the decision to leave, giving both parties plenty of time to find other arrangements, but let's just say that both parties didn't feel that way. The owners were unhappy with our decision and were anxious to have new tenants move in and take over our work position. Though we knew it was the right thing for us, it put a ton of pressure on us to find something quick. In December, no less.

We needed to stay close to town, where the bakery is located, as we'll be spending a lot of time there. Although buying a small farm in the area is our goal, we knew we needed to find a comfortable place to rent, while we start the business and continue to look for the right place. There wasn't much available in this small town of ours, and as the days passed, the stress increased. It was hard to keep our spirits up and it was hard for Zander, who had no understanding of all that was going on. And Christmas cheer? Virtually non-existent. We found a place that we thought we could make work and were just about to commit, as it was our only choice, when we heard about another one. On December 20th, we looked at the new place and were happy to find that it fit our needs perfectly. We signed a lease on the 22nd and moved over Christmas eve and Christmas day.

To say that this journey has been stressful would be an understatement. We've moved a lot and I'm pretty good at it, but this time was different. Zander was confused, emotional and needy. I'm sure he was feeling my stress, but it made it so much harder for me emotionally to be worrying about him. I started to fall apart the day before the move, but Nate helped me get it together by reminding me that we were almost there. We were so incredibly lucky to have the support system of our friends who not only gave up their Christmas eve to help us move, but also watched Zander for the entire day. This enabled us to try to set the new house up just enough that it wasn't complete chaos when we brought him home that night. More friends welcomed us into their home that night for a holiday celebration filling our hearts, bellies and dog-tired bodies.

With a three year-old who is just beginning to understand Christmas, it was a little depressing to not have a tree or any decorations, but we were able to salvage Christmas after all. Santa managed to find us in our new house, even if his presents were unwrapped and still in boxes, and our family came a few days later with trees, decorations and a complete dinner.

It's been quite an emotionally exhausting adventure. December is a hard month to be worrying about where your family is going to live. To hear Zander tell us that he's so happy in his new house, makes it all worth it. Being able to sit here, in front of this roaring fire, recounting the events of the past month isn't bad either.

I'm sure we'll do this all over again someday. But next time, it will be because we have a successful wood-fired bakery business and we've found the perfect farm.

Until then, this is home.