We're almost ready to move away from Chicago, my home for the last 16 years.   On Monday morning, our house had been on the market for about six weeks.  We'd reduced the price four times: no offers.  We decided that renting was our fallback, but that ad had also received no nibbles.  If we don't close on our Tennessee house by September 30th, we will lose our $20,000 earnest money. 


I got scared and lowered the rent (thank God for Craigslist).  In about an hour I got a call from a woman from North Carolina currently vacationing in California who wants to rent our apartment without ever seeing it.

Uh, okay.

I kicked it into high(er) gear, got their credit checked and lease drafted and today they overnighted the signed lease and deposit check.  Meanwhile we are approved for the mortgage on our TN house once we can show this signed lease, and are scrambling to borrow more money to cover the down payment and other extras that selling the house was meant to pay for. 

Losing the house would have been much worse than losing $20,000.  I am more in love with this house than I should be.  I watched it on Realtor.com from August through December before it went off the market.  We wrote a letter to the owners in February – how to do write to people when you don't even now their names? – and ended up putting our contract on it in March when it wasn't even on the market.  The house isn't fancy, it's just a regular suburban house that's been upgraded in a few key ways with a beautiful sunroom off the back of the house and a ridiculously opulent master suite that they added on the main floor.  It's perfect for when the baby comes because between our bedroom and the kitchen is the laundry room, also on the main floor.

The house is the key to Tennessee Christmas '08, which I am really looking forward to.  My extended family gathers at Christmas most years, all 14 of us.  Due to our cramped city quarters, hosting Christmas has been impossible for the 5 years of my marriage and my sister-in-law has, quite frankly, hogged the last 6 out of 7 Christmases since she's been in HER house.  I haven't even seen my Christmas ornaments since before I was married, and this year I was finally going to host Christmas.  In my dream house.  Also, yes, pregnant.  It's so everything-I-have-ever-wanted that of course I worried we would lose the house, and the dream.

It looks like Christmas is safe.

Today things peaked.  We have a mortgage broker here in Chicago named Kim, who is trying to squeeze some cash out of our house, a mortgage broker in Tennessee putting together the mortgage to buy our TN house, also named Kim; and a loan lady from our local bank who is also helping us try & get our other house to poop out some cash for us.  Her name: Kim.  In addition to finding and faxing obscure bank statements, mortgage statements, canceled checks, tax returns and other random papers to the three Kims, my day featured an epic barf from my cat Little Betty that caused my husband to coin the term "Shock and Paw," a hideous, head-immobilizing stiff neck, a lot of hammering due to last-minute work in my kitchen, and screaming F-14s overhead due to the Air and Water Show starting up for the weekend.

Now I've faxed everything to everyone and turned on some Olympics only to discover I missed all the gymnastics.  Damn.