Around Thanksgiving last year, we moved into our new little apartment on the edge of campus of the university where my husband Kyle goes to school. I'm going to be honest. It was no palace. Here are some pictures of the place before we moved in. I wish I could tell you how many hours we spent steam cleaning and bleaching, and then mopping and scrubbing to get this place to seem like we could turn it into home. After doing the math, I'm guessing that we put in at least 40 hours.
Here is a quick photo tour.
Only a few weeks after moving in, Kyle started getting sick- like really sick. He has tons of allergies and has a back up inhaler to use when he is outside breathing in lots of pollen or other plant dust and particles. His body just doesn't like putting up with nature. After a few weeks of coughing and wheezing and Claratin D not doing the job, he decided he would try out his inhaler. Sure enough, he was able to breathe again.
But this could only mean one thing... whatever was causing his respitory system so much grief was coming from INSIDE OUR APARTMENT. We did an experiment and went to my parents a few days early to celebrate Christmas to see if things would clear out of his head and chest. We practically walked in the door to my parent's house and he was feeling better. Yep. What we thought was the problem, was actually our problem.
Something was inside our apartment. And it was toxic. We had to find out what it was and get rid of it fast.
Here is where this story turns into a novel, or I decide to give it to you straight. Drum roll please......
WE WERE LIVING WITH MOLD.
There. I said it. Mold. Mold everywhere. Moldy HVAC unit closet, moldy air return exchange unit, moldy walls, moldly closet floor, mold under the bathroom sink, mold under the kitchen sink, mold in the windowsills, moldy mold and mildew EVERYWHERE. I'll share a picture of "The Toxic Closet", but will spare you the others of the actual mold. Eew. Gross. I just looked at them and almost lost my Chick-fil-A dinner.
We did the only thing that we could do. We contacted the housing department. They were of little help showing us other apartments available to married students that made our then current apartment look like a mansion, agreeing to let us live in Honors housing only to charge us double the rent (and there was a hole in the ceiling in that place), and when we thought we couldn't be offered anything worse we were given the opportunity to live in a house that was designated for "faculty" but should have been condemned with its wet carpet, closet shelving held up and teetering on paint cans, black moldy bathroom floor, and sagging kitchen cabinets.
Eventually we worked out a deal with the Honor's College, the one supplying Kyle with the scholarship anyway, to pay out the housing portion of the scholarship as a stipend.
We couldn't be happier.
Now we live in a new place, equally affordable, but twice as nice. It's not a palace either, but much more like a home. I am planning to host an Apartment Tour here on Grassroot Elegance to give you the full impression of everything, so I don't want to give it all away now! I have enjoyed decorating a new space and trying to overcome the challenges a new place brings with organization and storage. More about all of that later though.
In the end, moving from and selling our brand new house has been totally worth it. The blessings that we continue to receive from our Heavenly Father seem too sweet to be ours. It is our faith in Him and His timing that has brought us though this experience with the blissful happiness we have found in our daily life. Knowing that He loves each one of us individually, hears our prayers, and desires our happiness was so comforting during this big trial, now seemingly small, since we are were we are and are blessed with all we have.
More catching up to do tomorrow! Thanks for being here.