New baby. New house (three times). New car. New job (twice).
I finally quit my job (of 2 1/2 years) that I hated. And we finally moved out of our 400 sq ft apartment. My stuff has been in and out of boxes since May. I crashed my car – got a new one. Moved to the mountains. And here we are.
Life is nuts. I can’t describe it any other way.
There has been good, bad, and ugly moments. We have been at our most venerable, and also our most happy (never thought those would be in the same sentence…).
It’s hard to fathom how much change was packed into this last year. And here I am almost halfway into the new year, still realizing what just happened hahah.
But in all seriousness, I feel like I need to open up and really explain what has been going on.
It’s so easy to live a double life. Act as though everything is okay. Even when its at its worse.
So here it goes.
Back in 2012 Eli and I had first met. He had already been diagnosed with his Crohn’s disease, but from what I saw at the time, he was living a pretty normal life.
Over the next year, we seemed to keep running into each other. And in that time we became best friends. Somewhere down the line friends turned into a relationship.
Fast forward another year. Eli got really sick. Not just the flu or something that comes and goes. No. His Crohn’s was acting up bad.
In that time, I had moved out and he moved back in with his mom. He was too sick to work. Too sick to eat.
I remember one time having him over and all he could do was sleep. Let me be honest, dating someone who isn’t eating and is too sick to go out and do anything, is hard.
All we used to do together was go out on adventures. Now we couldn’t even go out to eat (we were too broke, and like I said, he wasn’t eating).
At the time he was skin and bones. But I loved him more than he will ever know. This sickness actually made me realize HOW much I loved him.
Things started to look like they were going to get better. Pretty much everyday he told me just another week and he should be better. Or “Only one more month, and then I know I will have my health back.”
After awhile I just tried to keep encouraging him, but I knew deep down that this was only the beginning. The last thing I wanted for him was to give up hope. So I bottled my true feelings deep down and tried to stay strong. Stay positive.
We started talking about getting married. I will admit, I was a bit shocked. I thought it would be years before he had ever thought of proposing.
We wanted to get eloped in the mountains in the middle of winter. Everyone laughed. A few were trying to be supportive. And some were upset they weren’t invited.
Eli surprised me with a weekend getaway to a waterfall – in the middle of nowhere – with our friend Andrew there to take photos.
Then in the spring we said our “I do’s” early in the morning in the middle of a field out in the Snohomish valley. Our immediate family was there to witness and throw dried wildflowers as we walked together for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. Seekins. We finished the morning before noon on a small beach front near the lake with a picnic.
Eli and I moved into our first place in downtown Everett. Just a 400 sq ft studio.
I then continued to work as a barista while Eli stayed home trying to defeat his disease
Our first year of marriage was hard, just like anyone else’s. But ours was hard for different reasons
Eli was sick and I hated my job. I knew I couldn’t quit or else we wouldn’t be able to survive. And if I quit, then where would I go?
We fought through it. Everyday brought on new challenges.
We were always able to pay our bills, but there was no such thing as fun money, or even new clothes.
Eli started Launch Your Dream, as I’m sure many of you have heard of.
He was so sick of being sick. He needed something to conquer and something to feel good about. So he started a business centered around accomplishing your dream.
The goal was to make that our sole source of income. We fought so hard to make it work. But it just didn’t. And that’s okay.
Looking back, it wasn’t a waste of time. We learned so much from it, and Eli had a lot of fun in the meantime. Sometimes you need to fail in order to move forward.
Come December 22nd of 2016, I found out I was pregnant. At the time I was still our main source of income working as a barista – and Eli was still working on Launch Your Dream.
Life had thrown a lot of curve balls so far, but this was something we didn’t want to just try to do. We both had pretty rough childhoods, and we didn’t want to raise our child in the same kind of atmosphere.
So we worked our butts off – now was not the time for play.
Eli went hard on Launch Your Dream. He gave it everything he had. His health was starting to do a lot better, but he still wasn’t 100%.
I quit my job in the end of May when I was 6 months pregnant.
We found a 1000 sq ft apartment in Granite Falls and jumped on it.
In June we got the keys and moved in.
Life was really started to look up.
I had finally quit my job. Eli’s blog was doing really good. We had moved into a bigger place near the mountains. And I was about to have a baby.
That first month in our new place was great.
Then reality hit. The blog wasn’t progressing. Without it moving forward, there was no new income coming in.
So we reached out to Eli’s mom and asked for some work with her Photo Booth business. Luckily it was her busy season with all the weddings and what not, so she had a lot of work for us.
At first I was only going to help out with one here and there and Eli was going to take on the bulk of them. But he then got a part-time job at the local gas station to help out a little more. So I ended up work 4 days a week doing photo booths.
I was very pregnant at the time, and most of the clients were very nice and helpful. But it does involve being on your feet for hours and caring gear sometimes long distances.
I ended up handing the photo booths completely over to Eli in August when I was 9 months pregnant.
Odin was born August 25th. We had a home birth (NO drugs!!) and it was the hardest and best day of my life.
Eli’s health still wasn’t 100%. He wasn’t quite ready to take on working full-time to support our family.
We ended up being super vulnerable and reaching out to family for help. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have had food or a home the first month of Odin’s life.
I have never been so scared in my entire life. I was in tears almost everyday. All I wanted was to be able to take care of my little boy.
So instead of running out of money and not knowing what to do, we decided to move in with Eli’s dad 5 1/2 hours away.
We spent all of the rest of our money to get there. Our landlord was so understanding and let us break our lease 8 months early, no hard feelings, and gave us back our last months rent that was already paid for and our security deposit.
We were so in awe of everyone’s generosity.
It then dawned on us that we were living in the middle of nowhere. We are talking no cell phone service.
I liked it. Eli did not. But we were broke and had no other options.
After a few weeks of living there, Eli realized we couldn’t just sit on our hands. So he got a job working for a company taking photos for church directories.
It wasn’t the best job, but there are far worse.
We ended up driving back and forth a lot with visiting family on the coast for the holidays, and with Eli’s job.
After Thanksgiving, Eli’s full-time job went to basically no job. The company slows down a LOT over the holidays. We were frustrated since there was no warning.
Desperate for any sort of work he could get, Eli ended up agreeing to take a gig for the weekend down in Boise, ID.
At the last minute I decided to come with. That way Eli wouldn’t have to spend anymore time away from Odin, and then I could help split up the driving.
On the way there I ended up hitting a patch of ice going 60 mph on the highway. I let my guard down for a few seconds at the wrong time.
I was already going 10 under the speed limit and seriously had semis passing me. My car was rear wheel drive, and I was going around a corner – meaning my car hit the patch of ice while my tires were turned and basically kept getting pushed in the wrong direction.
Nobody was injured. God had His hands over us that night. And somehow my car still ran.
We finished up the weekend and came back home.
When we got back, Eli had a job interview in Leavenworth, so we took advantage of being in Wenatchee area and looked for a new car.
Everything was way to overpriced and honestly really junky cars, so we booked a motel and stayed the night. The next morning we drove to Seattle to look at cars on the coast. We left at 5am and got there at 9am.
Once again, God blessed us, and we found a car in great condition and got it for a steal.
When we got home this time, we were on the hunt (again) for somewhere to move to. Eli landed the job, but it was 3 1/2 hours away, so we needed to move ASAP.
For a solid month, we watched the housing market like hawks.
Everything was getting swept up before we even had the chance to look at the place.
We were so discouraged. Honestly I felt like we were never going to be able to find somewhere. Even our back-up not so great options were going quick.
After Christmas in Everett, we had one more place lined up to look at. And this time we were being smart about it. Our applications were already filled out, and we were going to do whatever it took to get our foot in the door.
The place was perfect. We were trying so hard not to get our hopes up, but we knew this was better than what we were looking for. It was located just 5 miles out of town, nestled into the mountains. The views are amazing. It snows all winter long. There is hiking right out of the front door. And a yard to have a garden.
The realtors got back to us saying we had no credit and needed a co-signer who makes 4 times the rent and had good credit.
At this point we decided to give up. We were going to try to stay in a motel for a few months while we continued to look at places.
We felt so defeated.
That night I was feeling anxious. I was literally trying to find anything to distract me. I checked my email and saw another message from the realtors.
They had decided to take a chance on us. They said they never do this, but our renters references came back really good and they had a good feeling about us.
I cannot say this enough. GOD IS GOOD.
We moved in two days. One day to pack LITERALLY everything up into boxes and the Uhaul, and then the next day we signed the lease, got the keys, and unloaded everything into our new house.
We would not have been able to do it without the help of our friends and family. This was the third time we had moved in just 7 months, and still our friends and family were there ready to help.
Eli has been working his butt off at his new job. His health has been the closest it has ever been to being back to normal.
We feel rejuvenated. We feel blessed. We are ready to work HARD.
Sometimes life feels impossible. You feel as though you are being kicked when you’re already down.
But the harder you work, the more rewarding it feels when things start to get better.
I know we aren’t the only ones going through tough times.
Everyone has their own story.
But take what you have, and make the best of it.
Don’t make excuses. People are suffering from different things all around you.
Something you might have, someone else might want.
It goes full circle.
Just know, that life’s trials are only there to make you stronger.
Keep pushing forward. For there will be moments of suffering as there will also be moments of praise.
Thank you to everyone who has helped us through this hard time. We cannot thank you enough for your support.
Eli and I are so ready to keep pushing forward. We are so excited to know whats next. And I honestly believe we can make it through anything.