Building a Dream / by Shannon Heick

So I'm pretty pumped to share a new storytelling adventure with you! Normally, I tell all my stories after the fact. After all the twists and turns and highs and lows have passed and I've had time to think about it. This story is different. It's past, it's present and it's future. It involves tears, fear, excitement, a few panic attacks, disappointment, anticipation, decisions, BIG decisions, and lots of dreaming! And at the center of all this is a family . A regular, run-of-the-mill-lovin-on-their-boys and faith-filled family. This is us when we are dressed up and looking like we have it all together. _DSC4367 copy 2_filtered

There is one family member missing from the above photo. This is Maverick. IMG_9700

Ok, actually, this is Maverick's paw. Let me see if I can find a better one of our 'ole boy, Mav.

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Here we go, this is one of my favorite pictures of him. He is really a beauty. He is goofy, fluffy, just the best companion for a family I could ever imagine. We are really missing him right now. But he's not dead. So put those kleenexes right back where you found them.

Back to our little adventure. This is our first home. Welcome to 3549. Actually, I can't welcome you anymore as we don't own it.  We sold it.  Last May, we decided it was time to go. The boys were outgrowing our space and yard, and Maverick needed a new neighborhood to fall in love with him. We put the sign up and boom! 2 days, it was gone. That was last May. God works fast. IMG_9591Of course, anyone who knows me would know that there had to be goodbye photos. Me, the freaking sentimentalist, had to put them in their matching jammies and had them bounce and bounce on our bed in our room, just one last time. How many times were the 5 of us, plus an 80 pound fur ball smooshed together in that room in a queen size bed? Too many but we secretly preferred it that way! This last morning on our bed was a pretty sweet moment. Saggy diaper and all. IMG_9572

After the bouncing bed moment and the grande finale of cleaning, with a pit on our stomaches, we were ready to leave. We had our neighbor boy Ben come over and take one last photo. Now this is how we normally look! Not matching, some type of juice from some type of fruit all over Beckett's shirt and Lord knows what else. But this is us. And this was a great and strange moment. IMG_9592

 After the big grande finale, I had to have a few tears in the entry all alone. Just bittersweet you know?! An awesome marriage, one naughty but too cute Goldendoodle,  three little superhero boys, and countless awesome memories all started in this house. (And apparently, one gigantic pair of glasses! wow-what was i thinking!) IMG_9590

Ok, so are you thinking, like, ok Shannon, where did you move!? Show us the house!!!! We can't wait to see the house!!! You do have a house right, Shannon? I would sure love to say that we waltzed into the closing company to sign away our first home, and stepped into the next room to sign on our newly purchased home. THAT was "the plan". OUR plan, that is. And....then you learn that sometimes God's plans are different than what you expected.

So, in June of this year, we left 3549 and ended up here. Right smack dab in the middle of a corn field, over looking the city from a subleased two bedroom, third story teeny and super temporary apartment. With no clue where we were really going next. Just waiting for that perfect, existing home to pop up on the market for us. In the meantime, we decided that we would just make it fun and like a really, REALLY long camping weekend. No bed frames, no dressers, just hangin' tight together for a month or so......this was our view during the "wait".

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While this apartment has stretched us and grown us in a million terrible and wonderful ways all at once, I will say, I have loved it's sunsets and sunrises. Just sheer God-glory written all over the sky right out off our balcony. It strangely almost felt like a promise, to me, from God....like, I got this girrrrrl. Kind of like, you know how God sent a rainbow as a promise to Noah? And one day, I guess, just so I didn't doubt a bit, I saw a really sweet little, out of place, rainbow. Right out our balcony. Just for us, maybe? Sometimes you gotta believe what you don't see before you can see what you don't yet believe. You know?

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In the meantime, we didn't want to bring Maverick with us to the third floor. Not fair to him. And not realistic for us. So, we shipped him off to Grandma and Grandpas for the summer and  got a few weekend visits at the lake over the summer. I'm not sure about this photo but I think he just got done doing something naughty.

DSC_8289And speaking of naughty, I think this is one of his most common looks.

IMG_0905   And here, he was just reading up on some local dog news. I guess?  Can you tell we miss Maverick yet? IMG_3425  And, finally, here is my canine-bestie accompanying me to preschool pick-up. What  a dog. We sure do miss him. IMG_8590

So, there we were. Missing our dog and stuck in a too-tiny apartment just waiting for that "perfect" home to magically appear on the MLS listing and rescue us from the insanity of keeping three busy little boys from jumping, sword-fighting too loud, screaming, and running up and down the stairs like a herd of elephants.
(I sense a blog post coming called "how to raise three toddler boys in a tiny a@% apartment without getting evicted".)
Stay tuned to find out what happened next, somewhere between the biggest shock of this whole story and me being locked out on the third story balcony by my four year old. Stay tuned. There are more twists and turns to come!