Saturday, February 11, 2012

Help! SOS!!!

My last post was on Monday. Tuesday morning, something happened to our family that marks a pivotal moment in our lives. My husband, Aaron, had three back to back (what we think were) seizures.

First, we were shocked, as he's never had one of these before, let alone three!

Then we were thankful that he was/is okay. He wasn't driving, walking, or standing. He was in his car reading, safely laying back already before they started. We are also so thankful that my mom had decided just a few days before that she was going to come visit us that day. She was with me when Aaron told me what happened. She was also able to watch the girls so we could go to the ER together. I'm so glad she was here so that I could process what was happening with her. If they were in fact seizures, Aaron will not be able to drive for 6 months. He sees a neurologist on Wednesday. After more tests will we know more about what exactly happened after that.

Now we are concerned. What does this mean for us? Where do we go from here? We've determined that they were triggered from his over-exhaustion and stress. He has been working full time and going to school full time. And when I say school, it's not just gen-eds that he is taking. He is in his fourth semester of a PhD program and is assigned to read 400-600 pages per week, plus write around 5 10-30 page papers throughout the semester. Aaron is also a graduate teacher's assistant this year, which adds about 80 or so papers to grade a week and asks that he is in class with his teacher too. Roughly, he is on campus about 40 hours a week and while working his full time job, he is away another 33. With this schedule and the location of both his job and school, he is also driving at least 12 hours a week.

This is crazy. And this is going into the last half of the second year of doing this. It's too much. Thank Jesus that I've gotten to meet and have such an amazing support system in the compassionate families who have all turned into friends I've meet here in Topeka over the last 18 months.

Now, here is the exciting, scary, moving way to fast, hard part. We've got to get closer to his school. We thought about slowing down in the program and drawing it out longer, but Aaron only has two classes after this semester to be ABD. He is so close! We are so close! And we moved 8 hours away from everything we've ever known for this opportunity of school. So, we are going to move to Manhattan. Moving again! Didn't we just do this 18 months ago? Didn't I just finish painting the entire house?

Sigh. I just can't stand still can I?

It's going to work though. It's not worth Aaron's health, stretching him out so thin. It's not worth stretching me out so thin with taking care of the girls, the house, and him. I miss my husband! I would love to see him more than an hour a day. (And having him be coherent enough to connect to.)

The last few days have been a lot of processing how we are going to make this work. Monday we are having a realtor come over and put our home on the market. Aaron just listed his car on Craigslist. (If he in fact did have seizures, he will not be able to drive for 6 months. Even if he can drive, we are downsizing to save money on insurance, since we already own it outright.) We are going to have a house sale very soon, like within the next week. We have to get rid of a ton of stuff because that brings me to my next point:

We are buying an RV!!

Read that again, we are buying an RV.

Rental prices are completely ridiculous in Manhattan ($750 without utilities!) and buying another house is so out of the question, (we own two already! Ahem.) So, without getting too much into details, we've worked it out to it being financially reasonable to do this. Our living expenses will be right around half of what we pay now. With that, and cutting out all of the driving time, (can we say gas money!), we will still be meeting our financial means if Aaron or I find a part-time, minimum wage job to work in between his school schedule. The girls will not have to go to daycare and I will still be able to homeschool A. (Post coming soon about that! Living on a campground will be amazing for her learning!)

When Aaron is done with his course work, (in less than a year,) there is a great chance of moving again. This was another factor in choosing an RV. If we have to move again, in the next 18 months, we don't want to have to pack up again.

This is where I need help. My little family needs help! We are going to need help from friends in moving our bigger furniture that we plan on keeping in storage. This is just a few dressers, our table/chairs, a twin bed, a few totes, and possibly our fridge and stove. (We may throw that in with our house if it sells, or if we end up renting it out in a few months.) We also are going to need help with advertising by word of mouth about our house sale. We are going to be opening up our house and selling a ton of our things!

In all of this, I am going to be returning to facebook to network. I have to so I can get the word out about all of the stuff we plan on selling. Here's a small list of some of the things we are selling:
* our couch with slip cover
* 2 short bookshelves
* 3 tall bookshelves (2 of which belong to our entertainment center)
* a dark wood entertainment center with storage underneath
* a 32" Vizio flat screen
* all of our movies: dvds and vhs tapes
* 5 or 6 different kinds of lamps
* lots of picture frames
* most of our wall hangings, things I've made, figurines, mirrors
* my blue guitar
* lots of books
* a futon
* a desk
* a table
* hoops I've made (and hoarded :)
* a 3 year old, 9 piece Emeril stainless steel pan set
* a Kitchenaid hand mixer
* push Snapper lawn mower
* yard tools
* house plants
* little girl things: clothes, toys, decorations, baskets, shoes

And a whole ton more of stuff!
I'll be taking pictures of some of our stuff to promote the sale and posting them on here. Most like the house sale will start this Friday and last as long as it needs to. PLEASE, HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD, MY TOPEKA FRIENDS!

I think our lives have just started moving in fast forward, so we would all appreciate any thing we could get: thoughts, prayers, good vibes!


  1. What a HUGE life change you are taking on! You guys can so do it and you are right that camp living will be great for the girls. It will also be great for your whole family unit without the distractions that drag people down. I am excited for you and hope that you find a way to squeak out enough gas $ to come see your friend here in T-town occasional <3

    1. *friendS, plural, I know I'm not your only one ;)

  2. I'm so sorry to hear this! But it seems really exciting despite to reasoning behind it. I know we don't really know each other but please let me know if there is anything I can do! seriously, anything!

  3. What a great choice to adapt to your new circumstances. Hope the tests come back with good results.
    I'm not living in a camper right now, but I've full timed in an rv for over 3 years, so email me if there are any questions you need answered from an experienced rv-er. HUGS

  4. natalie we are first of all praying for you guys! God has a plan in all this. I'm so sorry for this scary situation to have come to you. I will help you in any way I can. You are a great friend and If that means I can help you out I will. you have my number! Ginny!

  5. Ok nat. Hang on tight. Seizures can be controlled if this is in fact what happened. The most important things are- u already have in order and when you say manhattan all I can think of is NYC where Jordan lived I must have the that wrong. I wish we were closer and could help but tell your mom to bring the plants home and I'll buy them- I should ask how much they are first and I'm away for 3 weeks. I know everything will b ok. And I pray. And I pray again. Love you Momma shelley

  6. Oh Nat!!! I am so sorry to hear about Aaron! Its so scary not to know what is going on in our own bodies. I wish you guys the best with your traveling/moving adventures. It sounds like you have thought a lot about what is best for your family and now your making it happen! So SO proud of you girl! You are one tough cookie!! You guys hang in there. Things will get better!!

  7. Not that I can do much from down here, but if you ever need someone to talk to, I am always a phone/skype call away!!