We Bought a House!

how a shitty situation led to a sudden & welcome change in life around these parts

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Warren (Robert's dad//renovation guru), Robert (will be taking lots of notes//swearing often), Jennie (grandmom//#1 cheerleader)

Warren (Robert's dad//renovation guru), Robert (will be taking lots of notes//swearing often), Jennie (grandmom//#1 cheerleader)

Sign us up for My Big Fat Greek Wedding Part 3, 'cause we bought a house!

I make this reference a lot when I'm talking about my own family, but I mention it now because the house we've purchased happens to be next door to Robert's father. Who happens to live next door to Robert's grandmother. I'll just let that sink in for a moment.

With three generations of Luessen's living in a row, I think we have some pretty strong material for a, albeit quite boringreality TV show. Maybe a Netflix mini series. Netflix if you're reading, I'd like to point out that Robert's grandmom is 94 and in fact the cutest human being on the planet (here's a pretty cute pic of her drinking an IPA).  

In true Better Happier, Robert & Jill fashion, this house is teensy. After going from a small loft in Northern Liberties, to a small carriage house in Mt. Airy, and now to a just a plain old small house in South Jersey, it would seem that we're in it for the long-haul of making small spaces work to our advantage. Having a relatively small footprint is important to us, and what a project we have ahead!

Things I said to Robert in the years leading up to this purchase include "you'll have to drag me kicking and screaming if you think I'm moving to New Jersey" and "there's no way in hell I'm ever buying a house across the bridge." Well, my South Jersey born and raised hubs, you win, and I am actually happy as a clam about it. It probably seems that we went from multiple robbery/sudden move to closing on a house rather quickly, and it's true. This is pure Spaceballs' ludicrous speed from when we put in our offer to the closing date. I think from the time we moved in with Robert's mother and step-father, to the time we put in our first offer on this house was about 12 days. Obviously, a lot can happen in 12 days. 

Completely in line with my everything happens for a reason mantra, I don't think it's a coincidence that the house next door to Robert's father was available simultaneous to our unexpected housing dilemma. I also don't think it's a coincidence that this enables Robert's wish of fixing up a house with his father to happen a lot sooner than we had been planning for, and in much closer proximity. The "adulting" that we've done in the past month or so gave us both more perspective than pretty much anything we've gone through as a family unit thus far. I realized I care a lot less than I thought I did about being in Philadelphia proper. Proof being that fielding the range of "you're actually going to live in Jersey" comments has been incredibly easy for us both. It just fits for where we're at right now.


Maybe it's that millennial mentality, or maybe I've just read too many articles about millennials, but we had inevitably had to have that conversation. I feel like you know which one I'm talking about, maybe you've had it yourself. Did we fail at the city? Is this a knee-jerk reaction to an unfortunate set of circumstances? Are we that bad at being hip? Are we going to feel so removed from everything? We obviously decided no to all of the above.

It's tough trusting yourself when everyone around you has an opinion on each end of the spectrum. Honestly, I loved living in the city, and still miss our Northern Liberties nook whenever we're hanging out in the area, but I love living next to family more. I love that we can afford this pipsqueak house and that we get to fix up any way we want to (within reason of course). I love that we're full force, in it together- because before now, our discussions for how to move forward on finding a more permanent home could be most accurately described as clunky, and misaligned. We hadn't ever been on quite the same page, feeling non-committal and pushing the conversation to the back-burner on a regular basis. It took something that jolted our life to give us pause, and really forced us to consider that maybe our location just isn't as important as we thought it was. I can say with no doubts in my mind, that I am wholeheartedly grateful for the shitty situation that led us to this little house, with all of its potential. The path to get here was swift and bizarre to say the least, but here we are nonetheless, homeowners! She ain't much to look at now, but wait until we're done with this place. 

#BetterHappierHomeRenovation will be in full swing shortly, starting with many things, but most importantly- the kitchen. I fully intend to document our renovation experience here, all 914 square feet of it. 

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