The Transient Life

Here’s the scoop on our home in Utah.

It was for sale.  Now it’s not.

Hyrum helping Salem up the moving van ramp, this morning.

We decided, due to an ordinance change through Provo city that now allows us to rent out our home (prior, to this, we could not, due to a restrictive covenant stating that our home had to be owner occupied for 15 years after we purchased the home), it would be best to rent our home for a few years, perhaps indefinitely as an investment.
Maybe we’ll move back there after 4 years in the AF.  Who knows?  Regardless, at this point, we have it leased to a great family who has committed to loving & living in it for 2 years.

It’s a leap of faith, for sure (never wanted to be a landlord), but financially speaking, it’s the best road to take.  Our home has been shown over 30 times, we got an offer after 4 days of listing, but the offer, the showings, nothing has come of it (we didn’t take the offer for a number of reasons, the most important being it would mean losing a lot of money).

To say I love my home would be an understatement.  I feel like my home is very much a part of our family.  I’m one of those that is every bit a homemaker.  I like making my space clean, beautiful, & organized.  When I’m not in my own space, where I can create & design it to my liking, I feel a little lost.

My blogging friend, Bethany, of Rinse. Repeat. shared similar feelings in a recent blog post, where she opens up about feeling lost & alone while living in the middle east while her husband works as a security-type contractor.

I can relate with a lot of what she’s going through.

Right now, we’re living the life of transients.  In my last post, Dreena commented:  wait, I thought you guys just moved?

Yes, we did.  Sorta.

We moved up to Washington for interim to be with family, until we move to San Antonio, where Joseph will be stationed with the AF.  We still had our home in Provo, which was for sale.  It’s now no longer for sale, so we have to move out completely & make room for renters.  We hope to have everything moved out by tomorrow, at which point we’ll resume our road trip & head down to St. George, UT, followed by Las Vegas, then it’s off to the Grand Canyon.

This transient life, I’m afraid, may be my life for the forseeable future.

To be honest, it scares the pants of me.  Which is why I’m happy to do it.  After all, remember when I did this?

I don’t mind doing things that scare me, but that doesn’t take away my feelings of anxiety, worry, & sometimes sadness.

The work of moving (boy, is it work!), the stress of finding proper housing (& turns out there’s a long waiting list for on-base military housing, so we may have to live away from base & commute), the anxiety of not having a place that I can love & really make home–this is what scares me.

I’m a pick-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of girl.  If I’m feeling sad, I’m confident there’s a solution.  If I’m feeling insecure, out of place, unloved, what have you, I know there’s something I can do to remedy it.  But more & more, I’m realizing, sometimes you just feel sad, sometimes it’s lonely.

Sometimes it’s just plain hard, & there’s nothing to be done about it.

Asher helping pack.


Is it important for you to have a place that you can call home?  


  1. Giulia
    on August 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm said:

    We have been landlords for two years now…funny we were also living in Provo and we loved that home which we are renting now, it was our first home. Blessings to you, we have been very blessed so far and have had wonderful tenants!
    It’s a joy to have found your blog today!

  2. bethany
    on August 1, 2012 at 2:46 pm said:

    You know I completely relate to this, and you’ve been in my thoughts lately!

    It is SO hard to be without a place. From little on, we always have a physical place, we play house, we keep up our little girlie bedrooms when we’re five years old. So, I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked that both you and I are lost when our “place” is suddenly gone…we’ve known for 20+ years how to create + upkeep a place that is ours.

    Gabe and I have a house too…and we’ve also done the “to sell or not to sell” game. It’s exhausting, and so my heart goes out to you! But, I’m happy you’ve found a solution. 🙂

    The wisest thing you can do is something you’ve already done: realize that sometimes it is really, really hard. And you can cover it up with smiles + thoughts about building a new home…but it doesn’t make packing up that last box any easier. It’s okay to be not okay. It’s healthy. It’s emotionally honest. It’s real.

    Cry. Think about a new home. Feel nostalgic about your old home. I do all of these things almost daily. Slowly, slowly, it’s gotten better. 🙂

    Sending you lots of well-wishes and good mojo on this new journey! 🙂

  3. Clare
    on August 1, 2012 at 1:36 pm said:

    You can do it Janae! You are so strong and such a great wife and mother. It is tough being transient – we are definitely living a similar lifestyle, with the next 2-3 years full of at least 3 moves. I am like you, I need to be in a place that I can make beautiful and make it feel like home… it is tricky, but I think you will find even the smallest things that will help you do this. I have some simple decorations and pillows to pretty up the walls and furniture, along with some cheerful photos and they have helped make out little apartments feel like home over the last 2 years. That is great that y’all were able to find renters, though! Good luck packing and enjoy the rest of your road trip. Enjoy Vegas for me, I’ve never been!

  4. jes
    on July 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm said:

    i know exactly how you feel. there are so many people who do. hang in there! remember that a list is just a list! we were number 40 on the list when we got our house. it’s like being in line in eastern europe – it’s just a giant mosh pit of people pushing their way to the front. plus, when you get here, there are dolphins. dolphins make everyone happy.

  5. Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit
    on July 30, 2012 at 8:06 am said:

    You can DO it! When Kevin and I met, I had just bought a little place of my own. We dated for a while, he moved in, we got two dogs… in 800 sq. feet it was next to impossible. So, we built a house, I became a landlord and everything was fine. Being a landlord has it’s tough times and good times. The key is to find a good tenant and hold on to them for dear life. We’ve had two tenants in 3 years and both were great. It’ll all just come together 🙂
    I totally, 100% understand what you’re going through, though. It’s hard! But change is good, and with it comes really awesome new experiences for the kids, and for you too!

  6. Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
    on July 30, 2012 at 7:40 am said:

    Oh I can totally relate. Even though we are “settled’ here in Washington now I still feel anxiety, unsettled, lonely. Still need to make friends, etc. It is hard to start over and unfortunately being mil wives we have to get used to it. I am here if you ever want to chat! Just remember how often do you get to take your kids on cool road trips like this?!

  7. Sarah
    on July 29, 2012 at 7:10 pm said:

    We have been living with my in-laws for six months now while my husband looks for a job. I was patient at first thinking it would only be about a month. But at times I seriously lose it. This home is completely opposite of what I want in my home and I miss being able to create in my own space–not just decor but the feeling there. Not to mention, I have a baby coming in 3 months and I want a home birth. To say I would be devastated to have my baby here would be an understatement. This is one of those times, where you just make the best of what you’ve got and be grateful for so many little things. I still have an amazing marriage and 2 darling little girls that constantly amaze me. My time to create my very own space will come again!

  8. lfwfv
    on July 28, 2012 at 10:25 am said:

    So sorry things are rough and a bit crazy right now 🙁

    I am totally a homebody. I love my space neat and organized and clean and calm. Our home is uncluttered and tidy and very simple. The colors are muted, our furnishings are minimal. Home is where i relax and feel secure and cozy and safe.

    I really don’t like travelling, and i miss my home when we’re away for a few days. I hear you on wanting a “nest” for you and your family, and on how lost you feel without one. Hoping you find one soon, and that, in the meantime, you are able to enjoy the totally different experience of being a bit of a nomad!!

  9. Dana
    on July 28, 2012 at 6:45 am said:

    So, here’s the pep talk: just remember the kids and Joseph ARE your home and are always with you. The bricks and mortar part of the home are just the frosting on that cake. I know you know that- but sometimes its just good to say it anyway. My jobs earlier in life had me moving every few years. It was lonely and hard to jump, especially since I was single (mostly because of those jobs & moves!). But it was exciting too. And as much as I was sad over leaving a garden planted or a new friendship just cultivated, there was always something good about the new place I landed in. Sometimes I look back on those years and second guess the decisions I made and wonder what would have happened if I had stayed in city x. But then I look at my beautiful family and remember I wouldn’t have had them if I hadn’t followed the exact course I did. All worth it.

    Cute picture of Hyrum helping his baby sis up the ramp. I love catching my Evan helping his little brother do things. So sweet.

    Hang in there! The packing up is always the hardest part.

  10. Dreena Burton
    on July 27, 2012 at 4:44 pm said:

    oh wow, Janae. I so VERY relate to your sentiments of being a homemaker. While I can get edgy being with the kids 24/7 (esp during summer), I don’t desire to travel extensively, and I find it very difficult being away from home… and know they find it difficult having me away. And, I like being at home to prepare food and have things in order (unfortunately, I never seem to be able to keep them in order)! I’m not the best at decorating my home though. I feel a little inept with it. Hey, while you’re in transient mode, come fix us up!! 😉

    And, girl, you are MAD with that jump – love your spirit! Hang in there, moving IS wicked. Hopefully we can keep you in good spirits with online support. hugs!! xo