Hurt, betrayed, and confused are the only words I could describe the feeling. It was disheartening to say the least and in a weird kind of way it was like I felt naked and vulnerable. I didn’t have a “Plan B” because frankly I never thought I would need one. When they told us about the HOA (Home Owners Association) I thought our life in the beautiful home that we picked out and created for ourselves was a thing of the past. I was on the MLS (multiple listing service) every chance I could to see homes. I was frantically looking for anything that even comes close to our now HOA home. I even found some that I thought could easily compare. We spent over a week looking on the MLS and scheduled our appointments for Friday to view them all. One day, we wanted a day full of homes that we could compare to our current one so we could finally make a decision… The BIG decision… The decision that we moved out to Texas for – to decide where we would grow our family and build our life.

You can’t imaging what you can do in one day, we hit what felt like a million houses (in reality it was less than a dozen) and did our best to see what life would be like outside of Mustang Creek. We encountered monster lots, great kitchens (with double ovens), and open floor plans that would be just fine for our family. In each of those houses we also found severe foundation issues (you could literally slide from one side of the living room to the other because of the grade), pet odor, freezing cold or poor insulation/significant air leaks, and incredibly bad neighborhoods. Now, before you start chewing me out for being a whiny person over pet odor and being cold, to Ben and I those are a sign of other potential issues for the house. The foundation is thousands of dollars worth of issues no matter how we look at it. It’s damn near impossible to fix a neighborhood (of course unless there is an HOA – oh, the irony). We literally went to a neighborhood that had people placing bars on their windows, signs on their lawns stating that the home was under 24/7 surveillance, and one that had a neighbor that collected all the garbage from 1960 and kept it in their front yard. It was pretty intense. The few homes that we found and liked had a few things that just didn’t work for us, and couldn’t be easily corrected.

On our way back from our viewings we were discussing why we are frustrated about our current HOA home. We discussed the HOA at great length and I figured out what my problem is… I am bitter. I have this horrible taste in my mouth because every time I talk to the builder rep something new happens like a delay or more money or an HOA. We have gone from one thing to the next and I am mad. I am tired of being jerked around and told what will happen. I want to know my choices. I don’t want these kind of surprises dropped on me last minute. I don’t want to feel like I am being taken advantage of on a daily basis. At the beginning of this process, it felt like we were partners – the builder and Ben and I – and now I feel like the hostile take over of a mad dictator has commenced in my own life. So I wanted to take what little control I had and run away. I wanted to leave them saddled with a home that they would have to resell to someone else willing to put up with their crap.

If I run away and leave our house, who will be more upset? Me. I will be living in a house that wasn’t our first choice. I will be in a neighborhood with crappy schools and a higher crime rate. Ben will be commuting farther and will be spending less time with us. I will have to go through the process of acclimating ourselves to a new neighborhood and stores and schools. If we leave nothing happens to the builder. They get to sell our home for a higher price. They will have something to show people until it’s sold so it makes things easier to sell. They get to go along business as usual. My bitterness and leaving a house we would love would mean nothing… nothing to anyone except us.

After so much conversation and my extreme stubbornness, we decided that staying with our original home is better for our family as a whole. As much as it frustrates me to have an additional annual fee and to have to answer to someone else over changes to our own home/property it will in the long run be better for our family. Despite my distrust and hurt feelings toward the builder we are working out something to hopefully compensate for all they have put us through. Ultimately, I am glad the decision has been made and that although I am still a little bitter, that we are keeping the house we fell so in love with.

I am also glad that we are hopefully past the part of this that makes me want to hurt people and binge eat because now I am not so frustrated. I have been walking around like a petulant child. Now, I am focusing on other things like taking care of myself and making appointments and hunting down furniture. I am going to try and enjoy the next parts of our home building process and not let my bitterness turn to dread over every phone call and text. I will work on focusing on other things.

Speaking of focusing on new things, we have been trying to get Peyton into pre-school for months and it looks like February 1st it begins. I am excited for him, but I am also nervous. This will be the first time he will be without me on the regular. I know he needs it and I need to have some time with the other kiddos, but I know I will miss my baby. Preston will be right behind him since he is completely potty trained. We just have to work on wiping and putting his pants back on. Oh, the life of a mom is never a dull one.

Ben and I had our first break away from Whole30. I thought my stomach would have kept me up for hours, but thankfully it hasn’t. I did realize something though. I would rather eat the food that I make than eat out and eat crap. It’s not what it used to be anymore. I love food, but I love GOOD food. No more crap for us and we will have our one “break away” meal a month for date night, but then we will go right back to our great eating. I do find myself craving salads and I don’t look for cheese or ranch to make it “taste good” anymore. I am perfectly happy with my oil and vinegar and healthy toppings. I am trying to focus on more veggies though so I don’t overwhelm myself with other things that are not so necessary in my diet.

I also think I am going to explore opening a small business from my home. I know the thought is kind of random, but you will hear more about this in a little while. I am still working out the kinks.

I hope you all are doing well. Has any situation ever made you feel bitter? What length have you gone to in order to “rectify” the bitterness? Are you house hunting too? How do you deal with the all the real estate craziness?

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