In 2010, Dustin and I were living in Idaho Falls. Isabelle had just turned one year old. All of my family was in Utah, all of Dustin's in Wyoming.
We both had great jobs, lived in a nice house and had made a pretty nice life for ourselves.
We soon realized it was time for us to move so we could be closer to family. As you may recall, in 2010, the housing market was at an all-time low and there really could not have been a worse time to sell a house.
Despite all of this, we put our house on the market and hoped for the best. To help make our house more enticing, we decided to include our fridge as part of the sale. While this may not seem like a big deal to some, it was for me. That fridge was $3,000 and the only reason we bought it was because it was the only one that would fit properly in our kitchen. I absolutely loved that fridge.
Five months later, our house sold. And we lost a lot of money. Like, a lot of money. And I left my wonderful fridge behind.
Soon, we were in Utah and living in Ogden. When we learned that Dustin's new job would not offer health benefits until after six months, we knew he had to find something different.
After one month, we packed up all of our belongings again and moved to Bountiful. Dustin found a new job. The responsibilities, the pay and the hours were less than desirable, but we had awesome benefits from day one. He dealt with working a job he hated for the benefit of our family, and I spent my time scouring the internet in search of something better for him.
During this time, I found a part-time job at a local reception center. I washed dishes for next to nothing. I would come home from work soaked to the bone with sore hands, feet and back. As a dishwasher, I was considered the lowest of the low and had to deal with snotty high school girls (I was 30 years old at the time) who were servers (which was considered a big step up from being a dish washer) on a regular basis. For whatever reason, they, along with the rest of the staff, decided they were better than me, and I spent a lot of time biting my tongue. I was there for a paycheck.
Dustin and I both acknowledge this was the lowest time in our marriage - both working pitiful jobs for pitiful pay.
But, we both had faith things would eventually get better.
And, they did!
Dustin found a new job with a local bank. We moved out of our crappy apartment and purchased a new townhouse. We made new friends. We belonged to a wonderful church. And I stopped washing dishes for a living. Things were definitely looking up.
But, we always seemed to have a mediocre fridge.
Over the next few years, Dustin did what he does best by being awesome. He worked the hours no one wanted to work, and we saw very little of each other. But by being flexible he proved his value and he worked his way up the corporate ladder. I found better job opportunities as well. Slowly but surely, our financial situation was getting better.
I often thought about our old house, that beautiful fridge, and wondered why we felt inclined to move when it meant losing so much money. Even today, I don't regret a thing, but that doesn't mean the past doesn't sting a bit.
Now, nearly seven years since this story began, I feel as though I am closing that chapter of my life. We are coming up on three years in our newest house. We live in a great neighborhood and have made great friends. Our daughter attends a phenomenal school and, thanks to another amazing career change for Dustin, I was able to quit my job to be home full-time with our youngest child.
And, just a few days ago, we purchased a new fridge. It's not the same fridge we had before, but one that is very similar.
As I stare at our new fridge, I'm almost brought to tears. As silly as this sounds, this new fridge is a symbol of the satisfaction that can come from working hard, putting aside your pride and doing things that may seem beneath you for the benefit of others, sacrificing your wants for your needs and realizing that even though things may be less than perfect now, they will get better.
I consider myself very blessed.