Saturday, February 23, 2013


I have some joyful news that I've been waiting to share until it was absolutely, signature-on-paper certain. And now that it is, as of yesterday morning, I finally feel comfortable talking about it on the internet.

Keith has a job. In Pittsburgh.


It's going to be a craaaazy few months, because the job starts in July, which means he has to finish writing and defend his dissertation by then. But. We are staying in Pittsburgh. Praise God.

I have just finished reading this book--and again, I cannot recommend it too highly for all you fellow homemakers--and there is a quote in it from Simone Weil (who is one of my favorites). I just spent a lot of time trying to find it in the book, and I can't for the life of me, but I did find it online:

"To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul."

It has been such an anxious waiting, not knowing whether or not we'd be able to stay here. Here, where our families and friends are; here, where we have established our roots. So while this job may not be perfect, it is a huge blessing.

We are hoping, now, to buy a house by the end of the year. The interest rates and real estate prices in Pittsburgh right now are such that we wouldn't be paying a huge amount more in taxes and on a mortgage than we are in rent. We got a little overexcited and started looking at houses already before realizing that we couldn't exactly afford a downpayment pr get a mortgage until after Keith starts work. :-P But not before we fell in absolute love with a house.

It was a beautiful stone house north of the city, close enough for Keith to commute but also nearer our parents. It had a beautiful backyard to send kids out in, a flagstone patio, and doors that opened up top. It had wooden floors--some of which were covered by ugly carpets, but that's easily remedied--a working fireplace, five bedrooms, a big rambling and slightly creepy basement, plenty of closet space (especially considering the house was an older one), and a built-in china cabinet in the dining room. It was a bit dated; but who doesn't love the idea of adopting a house in need of a little love and making it their own, their home?

Keith can fall in love with a house almost instantly. It takes me a little longer. I get sad about the thought of leaving our apartment and our current little neighborhood; change overall is hard for me, and I find it difficult to initially picture any particular house as ours, filled with our things and molded to our lives. A house has to inhabit my imagination for a bit before I love it.

Well, when we realized we wouldn't be able to afford this house until August--and that it was highly unlikely it would still be on the market by then--Keith was able to resign himself to that and detach from it.

But me? I pictured my owl cookie jar on the counter in the kitchen. I imagined which bedroom would be our library, and how the shelves would be arranged. I pictured myself doing laundry in the exciting basement, while toddler-Michael had adventures in the dark corners. And I loved that house more with each image that flickered unbidden through my mind. Maybe it would still be around come summer.

And then on Wednesday the listing was removed, and our real estate agent told us someone had made an offer on it.

And while Keith is okay with that, I am still really, really sad. In my mind that house had started to become our home; I have nothing to replace it with, and when I imagine us living in a house, those are still the images that come to mind.

Well, I am trying to be patient. Before the house was sold (so far as we know) I prayed, Lord, if not this house, then please have a better one in store for us! ;) So, we will see.


  1. Congrats to you both! How exciting! And we're glad, of course, that you'll still be in Pittsburgh when we come back!

    We have been very blessed by praying St. Joseph novenas, for both job- and home-related concerns. I'm sure you'll find a house that's just right for you :)

    1. Also--your book link doesn't work.

    2. Thank you! I think the link is fixed now. :)

      I really feel called to start a devotion to Saint Joseph as a family, so this would be a good thing to put in his hands! Although we (er, me I guess, haha) are REALLY bad at finishing novenas around here ... can't tell you how many times I've forgotten on day seven, lol.

  2. I am SO thankful that you guys are staying! Yayyyyy! We still have some FRIENDS in Pittsburgh!!!!!!! (don't move too far into the "country", please).

    Also, if that's the same book you mentioned recently, I already placed an order for it on Amazon. hehe

    1. Yep, that's the one! Let me know what you think of it. :)

      And Keith doesn't want a long commute, so we won't be moving too far. ;)

  3. congratulations on the job! how nice to stay in Pittsburgh and you know what? another fabulous house will come your way, I know it!!

    1. Thank you! Waiting is the hard part, but I know we will find something wonderful! :)

  4. Congratulations to Keith! And hurray for staying in Pittsburgh! I had a Cincinnati listing I fell in love with, too, well before we were actually able to purchase a house. It was very much like yours! A big old quirky but comfortable house to fill up with children. But when the time came for real we did a novena to St. Joseph and found our little house on the last day!

    I think your imaginings still clinging to this house just reflects what you wrote here. Our souls require a PLACE in this world, a home to build our dreams around. Especially for a housewifely soul such as yourself, it's difficult not to have this be a permanent and real place. When you do find your home, you'll build your real and your dream castle there! We talk about how we want to move to a farm some day, but in my imagination the house is the one we have now. Even the kitchen, which could use some major work! God bless and happy house hunting!

    1. Thank you! We are so excited to be able to stay here! :)

      Thank you for your words, also--so far that house was the first *concrete* place that felt like it could be home, and so it's hard to let go of it! We have a more definite timeline in terms of our lease here now, though, so that helps a bit. :) And it is still exciting to be house hunting!

  5. Congratulations, you guys! That is the best news!!

    I totally get the feeling of needing to be rooted. All the time, we try to convince ourselves that we should stay in Seattle forever, just because we never want to move again.

    But in our hearts we know it'd be so much better for some reasons to move back to Texas (closer to family, more conservative values, smarter for financial reasons). Here's hoping that happens sooner rather than later!