Because Debbie Casually Mentioned it

On Friday, someone asked why I hadn't been posting. It's simple, really. I've been overwhelmed. Two things have been contributing to this feeling:

1. Nargis
2. We've been house hunting

1. After I last posted about Nargis, so many kind hearts offered advice or asked what they could do. I was touched by it. At the same time, she relies really heavily on me still. After she came home from the hospital, I was literally spending hours each day trying to fulfill requests she had made. Looking for a doctor for Adibah, trying to figure out medicaid, searching for work, etc. Yesterday as we were getting ready to head to the museum, she called needing a ride to the grocery store because she was almost out of food and her cousin didn't have time to take her to the store. We spent 15 minutes on the phone for me to tell her we wouldn't be home until after 6. She was at work, so we had to pause for customers, and for language barriers. It's a lot. When I found out she had family here, who also came from Bangladesh, I couldn't quite understand why she was asking me so much when they'd been through the same process and most likely have access to a wider range of knowledge of what her family needs. The biggest thing they still need: work with better pay. I've contacted the community action agency, but haven't heard anything back. I'm not in the job market, and have no idea where else to look in walking distance for people with very limited English. I wish I wasn't overwhelmed by this, but I felt a huge weight the day she brought sick Adibah over to my house asking for help with her insurance application, and I ended up on the phone with medicaid for an hour and a half. Cora spilled straight pins, Magnolia was tired, and Adibah kept trying to scratch Magnolia's eyes out (and Cora's a few times too). Henry B. Eyring said that when he feels tired, overwhelmed, like he needs a break, he gives himself this rallying cry, "Remember Him." He is speaking of Christ, and how he set a wonderful example of service. I'm working on not feeling run down [over].

2. We've been looking for a house, and it's forced us to really take inventory of our ideals. The easy thing, with the exception of having to buy a second car, would be to move to the suburbs. Good schools, nice neighborhood, easy. But....

we just


do it.

We're urbanites. It's true. We know that about ourselves. But we're picky. We like a quiet retreat. And good schools. The two highest ranking schools are both in our area: Wilson and Horace Mann. Wilson is pretty much impossible to get into unless you live in the boundaries. It's an Arts Integration school in a great neighborhood that is so beyond out price range. We could move to a condo downtown and still be in the boundaries, but no. We looked at a house [and actually made an offer] in Horace Mann, but the owner thinks his house is worth a lot more than we think it is, and we're not willing to be irrational just because he is. We've looked at other homes outside our target area, our realtors have been great about sticking to Horace Mann's boundaries, but we don't like the neighborhoods as much as those we really want to be in. You see, there is a strip Oklahoma City that runs between 23rd and 50th and I-235 and Western that has our hearts. It's where we lived before we moved to Chicago, and I know we would regret not living there. We live in a fine neighborhood now, and our house is really cute, with the exception of the backyard with leaves little to be desired [as in I don't mind the weeds because it offers some ground cover, and the smell of the dog poo that the wind brings over from our caddy corner backyard neighbor is...gross.] With all that, it's just not the area of the city that we love the most. The elementary school that covers most of our favorite spot is not great. Not great at all. And education is a really big deal to us. So are culture and diversity and bike-ability and parks, and big old trees, bungalows, neighbors who sit on front porches, local business, vegan cuisine, and a lot more. We've been looking at private schools, but let's face it: our budget is limited. We're looking at two houses on the same street about a block and a half a part. One is really cute but small. The other is in the process of a total renovation. It's the perfect size, will basically be brand new with its cute original exterior, but the little block it's on still has a few rough looking houses, whereas the other one has a block of sweetly redone, loved on homes. Here's the part where we face our ideals: Are we really brave enough to be pioneers? Can we live on the block where some of the houses aren't taken care of as well if it gives us access to everything we love with enough room to grow if need be? (There are plenty of cute houses, but there's still work to do.) Do we have enough faith that we will get a transfer to a better elementary school or have enough money to cover private school tuition? Will our girls appreciate what we're trying to provide for them by living in this location? I mean, Saturday bike rides downtown to the MOA for drop-in art and a vegan pizza at the Wedge or all afternoon at Edgemere playing in the creek. In so many ways it's perfect, but is it okay that parts of it aren't? As I'm writing this, "Be still" keeps going through my mind.

"Be still, BrieAnn. Be still...
...and know that I am God."

PS: So I don't forget - I'll probably write about some of these things soon: Today's service at St. Luke's; the parts of Mormonism I find to be so awesomely radical.


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