Can you ever really go home again?   

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Yes, yes you can but it isn’t easy. Good lord it isn’t easy. Packing wasn’t so bad but saying goodbye to everything and everyone we knew and loved was heartbreaking. The night before we left, I wept like I never would have imagined. I couldn’t believe how the expat to Bangkok would forever change our lives, our opinions, our perceptions, everything really… It was by far one of the best decisions we ever made.

So if you want to know if we are “sooooo happy” that we are back. Yes and no. Yes- we are thrilled to have our children back by grandparents, family and friends. Yes- we are thrilled our children will be raised in South Carolina and will have roots. No- we are not happy that we left our cushy life style, wonderful friends, and the ability to travel around Asia. It was a really nice life but as most expats in Bangkok would agree- it’s not reality really.

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We had an easy flight home. The kids cooperated and made the flight probably the best we have taken in years. We arrive home and it was full on for two weeks with visiting all of our family on both sides, buying two cars, insuring both cars, figuring out cell phones, trying to acclimate children to the weather and culture. There wasn’t a moment of rest.

During our visit with family, Killian really started to learn a lot just by seeing new “things” and being around new people. He had no idea that you could cook a hot dog over an open fire. So one of the first things we did to start his country education was to have a bonfire and cook that hot dog. While we were eating our hot dog, I asked him what kind of car I should buy the next day and his response was (without missing a beat) “I want a black monster truck with big tires and guns.” Chris and I about choked on our hot dogs… Killian’s hot dog must have been injected with FREEDOM and a little bit of ‘MERICA! He also had no idea about a garage and garage door. He wasn’t sure about what a chimney was but after a lesson from his grandpa and an outdoor inspection, he decided he needed to inspect every neighbor’s chimney.  He was also amazed at the concept of a drive thru window. “Who are you talking to mom?” “Why are you talking to that box?” Yes Killian, I can drive up to this magic box, order a coffee, hand a man some money and get a coffee in return. Needless to say, we were all a bit exhausted and overwhelmed by the time we reached our temporary housing outside of Greenville.

We finally felt we were home with being able to be in our own space just the four of us. Little did we know the marathon house buying session that was ahead of us.

We had my parent visit and watch the kids for a day while Chris and I went house shopping with the realtor. We saw a lot that day; our favorite was a house on the highway with 10 chickens living next door in the front yard… (yikes) but we did not find anything that would work for us and many of the homes were not like what the pictures described. Our realtor suggests that we go house shopping during the week. I laugh because that would mean kids are involved… she didn’t seem to mind and insisted we get on it right away. We thought we would leisurely shop on the weekends with grandparents watching the kids but that is not what happened; the market here right now is HOT.

With two children in tow, we loaded up in our realtor’s Audi and began the hunt for the perfect home. We drove all over Greenville and Pickens County. We would put the car in park, she would hop out and run to open the door and come back to the car to watch the baby, Killian and I would run through the house hoping he didn’t touch or break anything and then she would do a walk through as I was buckling him back up. That worked for us but it was still a huge day. Luckily for us, she didn’t mind Chilk-fil-a twice this week to allow for Killi to play on the playground for an hour to get all of the energy out.

We also tried a little house hunting in the evenings so Chris could see what we had found that day. Sadly, the market was running dry for us in what we were looking for and our price range. We went shopping on Thursday and had hit every home left on our search. We had one house to go and if this wasn’t “the one” we were out of options and would have to watch the market daily to see what was available.

We arrive to the last home; which by the way has only been on the market 24 hours. It’s in a lovely neighborhood with beautiful homes and huge lots in Pickens County. I sit in the car with the kids as she opens up the house and does a lap. She comes out and shakes her head. I am a little sad to see her shaking her head because I figure that means this is a no go and that means MORE HOUSE SHOPPING WITH KIDS! AHHHHHHH

She looks at me and says “this is your home.”  REALLY? Kilian and I go in to check it out and she might be right. It has the open floor plan we wanted. It has the side entry garage. It has the front porch. It’s bright, beautiful hardwood floors, a lovely backyard. It is the house! She comes inside and says “I called the realtor to see about the house and she says she already has 2 offers but she will wait for us by 5pm today.” I shake my head and realize the pressure is on. My husband doesn’t do fast decisions. He is an engineer, we have to think everything out, discuss, make a spread sheet, review a map, think about it some more… you get the picture. Our realtor says “we need to get Chris here now!” We call him up and he is to us by 4pm that day. He walks around and decides it is a nice place, the perfect location for the half way point between both jobs, kids in the neighborhood, and only 15 minutes to downtown. It’s perfect. We fill out our bid and submit it by 5pm. We were hopeful but at the same time we couldn’t get too excited. The market is insane. We had no idea what others were offering and with only being on the market less than 24 hours we just weren’t ready yet to get into a bidding war with anyone. Our realtor called me back and informed me we would have an answer by noon on Friday.

I had a dream that night or really a nightmare that we didn’t get the house and that meant more home searching with two kids. Granted my kids did awesome for dragging them around everywhere but really it was me…I didn’t have the energy to keep that up in addition to the all evening into night searches for more homes to see. I was at a breaking point.

Our realtor calls at 10am and says “YOU GOT THE HOUSE.” Wait? What? Really? I just started to cry. I couldn’t believe it! I was amazed at God’s perfect timing. His goodness never ceases to amaze. He knew exactly what we needed at that exact moment. The realtor explained that there were two other offers. One offer was well above asking price but with a contingency (I am guessing they had to sell their home first) and the second was asking price. We were also offering asking price but she said we were picked because we were able to put 20 percent down. PRAISE THE GOOD LORD! Something that we worked so hard at while away was saving up enough money to put a 20 percent down payment on the house while still having fun! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

The search is over. We have a home. We have two great jobs. God provides every step of the way.

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