Nearly 7 years ago Mark and I were living out of boxes with a newborn baby and paying our rent week-to-week. Its one of those stories of ours that gets told quite often but let me give you an abridged version…… While pregnant with Scot we underwent the adventure of building/buying our first home. The goal was to move in BEFORE our little bundle of joy was born, but as anyone who has bought a house knows things don’t ever go as planned. It turns out we closed on the house just days after Scott joined our family. We were to get the keys the next day. Everything was packed, sans the baby’s clothes, diapers, ect.  However as happens sometimes the funding didn’t go through. It still to this day amazes me that you can be approved for a home loan, close, sign all those dang papers and the bank can still pull out. Their reason…..I was on maternity leave, thus they assumed I did not have a job, meaning half our income was gone. We made sure to let them know, yes I did indeed have a job. We even had my bosses write a letter saying the same thing. They didn’t like it. We claimed discrimination (us and our loan officer) as soon as they heard that they then dropped the whole leave issue and started making up arbitrary reasons for not funding an already approved couple. This is all taking place while we are trying to figure out life with a newborn and still living out of boxes. It was one of the most stressful months ever. We didn’t know what we were doing and everyday we had to wait for answers was hell. Finally our loan officer found a bank that would fund us without me even on the loan. So we closed again, but this time we got the keys and moved in the same day. We finally had our home. We were only kids (21 &22) but we did it. We owned our own home.

We lucked out as I have said before, we have some of the greatest neighbors we could ask for, even if they are all byu fans. Our neighborhood is quiet and full of families. It’s precisely the kind of place I want to raise my boys. We have always felt welcome and a part of the community……well almost always.  About a week ago our next door neighbor came over saying he wanted to help with our yard. As anyone that has been over to our house knows, we have no yard. It’s just weeds in the front and back. Anyways like I was saying this neighbor of ours wanted  to know if it was alright that he maybe solicit help on our behalf.  Perhaps ask some of the members of the Church if they would pitch in. What a seemingly nice gesture, until the real reason comes out.  “Its easier for me to keep up with my yard if yours is nice.”  He even goes on to tell Mark that “maybe we would be happier in an apartment, maybe we should look into moving into one.” Are you freaking kidding me? What right do you have to suggest where we might be happier? Do you know how hard we work to have our house? Its ours, we have earned it. Nothing against those of you that live in apartments but it just isn’t for us. Why pay someone else to borrow a place when you can own your own? Besides that we have a hugemoungus dog that would not be happy in apartment, nor do I want to raise my boys in one. Trust me I have had my fair share of living in an apartment. Its my turn to have something that I can call mine. No we don’t live in HOA neighborhood, we aren’t required to have our yard perfect, but I understand that it doesn’t look nice and we have tried over the years we really have.  But the thing our neighbor doesn’t get is that when it comes to priorities the yard just isn’t one. No one ever gets that aspect. When you have so many things on your plate that take up money and time, there just isn’t room for everything to get done. Also, we only have one of us that can even do any of the yard work. Other moms in the neighborhood are always taking care of their yard work. Pulling weeds, planting and even mowing a lot of the time. I can’t do any of those things. Besides the whole gotta find time for Mark to do all that a yard takes money.

Having a chronic illness is expensive. There are plenty other medical problems I could have that would be more expensive but, Chiari is bad enough. Every year we hit our insurance deductible and out-of-pocket max ($2000.00) before we even get to the second half of the year. To clarify that is just for tests, procedures and hospitalizations. My co pays for Dr visits are a whole other thing. Every time I go to see my family doctor its $20 and my neurologist-$30. They add up quickly. I have a bill for physical therapy that I went to for just a few months. They are only billing me for co-pays and its over $400. I have at least 3-4 prescriptions that I have to fill every single month that are $10 each. That is if they are covered by our plan. I have spent up to $50 for one prescription, for a 30 day supply. But what are you gonna do, your doctor wants you on a specific medication, or to try something else just to see, you have to do it. Then there are the things that you just need that you hope one day you can buy. For me I needed a wheelchair to go anywhere ( the zoo, football games, the airport….list goes on and on), we finally were forced to buy one cause we had no choice. We found one used so we ended up only spending  a little less than $100. This was before I was on medicare and even now I wouldn’t know how to get the things I need covered for me. Such as an adjustable bed. I can’t lay down flat, even on my side. I have to be propped up quite considerably. If not there is insurmountable pressure in my head and sometimes I can’t even breathe. Right now we have propped our bed sorta on an incline, but it doesn’t work. Its uncomfortable and it’s just not practical. But do you know how much those hospital style beds are?  A lot. So is an electric wheelchair, ya know a jazzy or whatever you wanna call ’em. Either I have to have Mark push me around in my manual one or I can’t go anywhere. Maneuvering a manual wheelchair defeats the purpose for me. The problem is not in my legs it’s somewhere else, any activity such as pushing the tires to make myself go is going to have the same effect as walking. How do you pay for these things though? Only one of us is able to work. My disability pay helps keep our heads above water, but that’s it.

So when you have bills and co-pays mounting up every day, there is no money left for sod, sprinklers or anything else. Not to mention that currently our lawn mower is broke down, so we have no way of mowing the weeds. Furthermore one of our cars has been broke down for 4 weeks now. We don’t have money to pay for someone to do the repairs we are stuck doing them ourselves. Normally you have a car break down or even your lawnmower you can just go take it to a repair shop. Not us. We are living on one income (that really is not nearly as much as he is worth) and  tiny bit more. Other things come first. Like food, clothes and maybe once in a while we have a little fun. Don’t you think if we could have a beautiful yard we would? Don’t you think we would have 2 working cars if we could? Don’t you think I would get a good night sleep because I had a proper bed if I could? We do what we can, it’s not nearly enough but what else can we do we are doing the best we can with a horrible situation.