Today, I will be sending in our 30 days notice to our landlord. The time has come for our lease to end. We’ve officially lived in this townhouse for a year, and what a year it has been. We came in engaged and we’re leaving married. As much as I wish we could stay, financially, it’s just not in the cards for now. After months of questioning and waiting, we learned a few days ago we’d have the opportunity to extend our lease until the end of April. After a long talk, breaking down the budget, and lots of thoughts and prayers, we decided not to stay the additional 3 months. So we’ll be moving back home at the end of February.

This is such a bittersweet time for us, admittedly more bitter than sweet. A year later, I still haven’t found full time or even part time employment outside of freelance writing. Along with the decision to move, hubby has decided to settle with his previous employer for a lumpsum of money as opposed to fighting for his job back through a wrongful termination suit. This was a tough decision, as he really wants to go back to work. However, we’ve decided it’s the best decision. We could have used the settlement money to help keep us in the townhouse for the additional 3 months, but we felt that it was just be prolonging the inevitable.

We will be moving back home separately, another hard decision. After living with each other for 1 1/2 years, it’s going to be an adjustment to not wake up next to each other every morning, going to sleep next to each other each night. We won’t be far away from each other, but it will still be yet another test of our marriage, one that I believe with hard work and dedication, we will make it through. I know many of you will wonder why we’re not moving together. We’ve discussed that over and over as well, and decided it would be best if he moved back in with his parents, and I back in with my grandparents. Neither one of us feels comfortable enough to move into the house of the other’s family. I’m sure some of you can relate.

We actually just got back home over the weekend from being out of the house for a community fumigation. We both stayed 1 night at his parents’, then I spent the next night at my grandparents’. Staying the night with my in-laws truly reaffirmed my decision to move back home. I love my in-laws, and I truly do feel lucky to have them. However, living with them is completely different from visiting them haha. Hubby and I grew up differently, and the adjusting would just be too much for me. Not to mention Frankie isn’t welcome there long term as per my father-in-law’s guidelines. So Frankie and I will be a mere 3.6 miles away (heck, maybe we’ll walk over some days).

Over the next 30 days, we’ll be doing some deep cleaning, throwing out things we don’t need, packing up things for storage, and making plans to divide up some of our things. We made a mini-list of things we’d both be taking. I’ve decided to give up the beloved MacBook (nooooooo) to hubby since he needs it for school, and I’ll be taking the desktop (replacing my grandma’s more outdated machine). Hubby’s giving up the XBox360 (yayyyyyy) so I can continue to workout using my Kinect games. I’ll probably be throwing out quite a few of our dishes and towels, thanks to dishwasher and laundry mishaps.

We certainly have to make arrangements to see each other on a regular basis. Date nights will be a must, and maybe we can tolerate a sleepover once or twice a week. I have to get Frankie under control to be able to live with (and not harass) my Pomeranian, Muffin, at my grandparents’ house. I also have to convince him hanging out on the couch at our house is fine but not at theirs. Can you read the stress in my words? I certainly feel it! But things aren’t all bad; it could be so much worse. We could have no where to go, Frankie could not be welcomed anywhere, we could be hundreds of miles away instead of walking distance. Hell, this is going to be a way for us to really focus on our debt, focus on school (I start on Wednesday!), and save up money to reunite. I admit, I’m a little disheartened that we’re going through so many things in the first year of our marriage (what happened to the honeymoon period, hell, the honeymoon itself?), but you play with the hand you’re dealt.

Have you ever lived away from your spouse? Have you ever had to move back home with your parents or other family members? Tell me your story. That’s not our notice, but I thought it was funny (photo credit to Bes Zain).