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Home sweet home

As we were about to board the plane from New Hampshire to Chicago a month ago we got a phone call from our property manager. Our neighbors who we have had issues with (or rather they have had issues since they moved in) are apparently suing the landlord for something or other. The landlord is completely fed up, and wants to sell the place. He offered it to us first. Honestly if it had been 6 months ago or a year ago we might have jumped at the offer but timing is everything. We had just gone from a two person income to a one person income, and are in the middle of making major life decisions regarding where we want to “settle.”

So that leaves us with the very high possibility of having to move if the place sells. Most likely it would be knocked down for some new development as Humboldt Park is fast becoming gentrified. The truth is we have outgrown this place. There are three of us now, well five if you count the dog and the cat (which I do). We have the possibility of starting a family business with It’s a Lamp. And, Nathan desperately needs a work space. Eleanor needs her own room. I need tidiness. We still love it though. We have things that most couples who live in the city don’t. We own all of our appliances, we have 2 kayaks, a lawnmower and all of that needs storage space.

We looked at a 3 bedroom in west Logan Square. 1300 square feet (our current place is about 800) with a garage included and lots of closet room. The only thing is it’s far away. It’s still in the city, but not really near anything and at least 5 years west of any up and coming gentrification. And, the thought of moving just makes my stomach turn.

I feel like in a weird way we are in a convenient relationship with this house. It’s like that boyfriend or girlfriend you had a few years ago who didn’t really do anything for you but it was comfortable. And, the thought of breaking up with them would just take too much energy and hurt too many people so you just keep putting it off. It’s not necessarily healthy but it’s also not killing anyone.

So we are staying here for the time being. We are going to invest that time and money that would go in to moving in to things that will make this house better. Purge (it’s time to do this again – we did a lot of it before Eleanor arrived and it made me feel so good), have a yard sale, set up the 2nd bedroom as an organized and clean office/workspace for Nathan, and Eleanor will just stay in our room for the time being.

Another reason we are staying is because well, we love our neighborhood. There is still the possibility that this place might sell (but I doubt it will go fast in the current real estate climate), but maybe that’s when we make our decision. I love our neighbors, their kids, the dead tree across the way, and the plethora of community gardens within walking distance. I love our yard, the garden, people asking when the Scarecrow will make his appearance next. I love that we can walk to our favorite coffee shop and cafe on a Saturday morning and enjoy brunch. I love that I can bike to work (when I have the energy) and it takes less than a half hour.

I guess the good outweighs all the other things. And, I’m perfectly fine with that.
To celebrate we enjoyed breakfast at Birchwood Cafe. It was extra delicious from the coffee to the ham and fig sandwich to the potatoes and the little lady sitting all on her own in a chair.

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

Birchwood Brunch

7 Responses to “Home sweet home”


  • That’s a hard one! Especially when you love your neighborhood. That breakfast looks delicious..and Eleanor looks busy reading people’s auras. :-)

  • Ugh. I think I kind of know how you feel (even though I don’t really like my neighborhood). I am gearing up to find a new place to move, too. Change is always hard and it is so disruptive. I feel really on edge because I want to feel settled. You should find a place before you’re rushed into something. But don’t settle on a location if you don’t love it. Really think about your priorities and how long you plan to stay. Will Eleanor be in school by the time you guys decide to move? Things like that… Children change things… as far as where you can live. Good luck, Carey. (And if you ever need to someone to talk to, you really can call me any time. I miss you).

  • I totally get the convenience thing. The place we lived in for the first year of Kale’s life was ‘convenient’ – there was nothing really wrong with it, we enjoyed the neighbourhood, and just the thought of moving (or breaking up) was exhausting. As Kale got mobile, we realized that we definitely needed more space. And then a bigger place that we’d fallen in love with years before suddenly became available. And it was two houses over. And so it was kind of awesome. Moral of the story? Sometimes you get lucky and things just work out for the best :)

  • I wish you the best of luck Carey. we are in that same comfortable relationship with our place. even though we own it.

  • I know what you mean about the moving idea making your stomach turn! It’s hard enough without a baby. But of course children really make you think more about where that perfect place to settle is, so moves are inevitable. I hope you guys get to stay in your place as long as you like/need to!

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