Let’s Get a Little Personal

This post is a little personal.

Today, I am sharing about my dad’s journey with selling his house. How he came to live with my family, what brought him to the decision to sell his house in California, and what having a multi generation household looks like for us.

See! It’s a little personal! But I’m not all business… so here goes.

How my dad came to live with my family

In 2016 my dad’s wife passed away. After 23 years of marriage, 7 kids and 10 grandchildren, a child’s death, and beating a typically fatal illness together, my step mom went home. Her being gone left my dad heartbroken, which led to some difficult circumstances and decisions. They were best friends and overcame a lot together.

Why he chose to sell

On December 27th of 2017, my dad fell and hit his head on the concrete so hard that he had 7 brain bleeds. After months of praying and treatment, he eventually woke up. He was getting stronger every day and it seemed best for him to leave the hospital and move in with one of us kids, so I flew down to Sacramento and drove him back to Washington! I had flown down 12 times in a 5 month period so I was glad to start finding some stability again.

After a few months of healing, he decided to go back to down to his house in California and spend some time. While he was there, he realized that it was time to sell the house and find a new adventure.

Our new normal

When he arrived back in Washington and let me know that his house was for sale, the reality hit me hard. I reviewed his listing contract and helped him sort through the different phases of a real estate transaction. This past week was so serious. We flew down to his house on Tuesday, and within 5 days we cleared out the accumulation of 5 generations. We are so grateful to friends and family for helping out! Needless to say, it was emotionally and physically exhausting.

The house just closed yesterday, and we are finalizing the paperwork and figuring out what it looks like to live together as 3 generations under 1 roof. Truth be told, he is a great house guest. He and I did not have much of a relationship while I was growing up so we are getting to know each other in a unique way.


2018 has been a difficult year. I have been stretched and wrung out more than I have ever experienced before. Family is a strange thing – we all view it differently and the titles of the different people in our life can stir up all sorts of different emotions and memories. My personal and professional skills have been tried every step of the way this year and I can honestly say my compassion and humility have grown far greater than it ever could have without the trials we have gone through.  Maybe that’s the “take joy” part of Romans 5.

It seems like life is just that way – trials WILL come. Situations WILL go wrong. But how we react to those realities is what refines us.  I heard this phrase and just love it:

When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice

When you squeeze a lemon, you get lemon juice

And when you squeeze a human – whatever is stored up inside comes out.


This life will never be perfect. We are guaranteed to have valleys and mountains… but the choices we make every day are what make up the stuff that comes out when we are under pressure & being squeezed.

My goal is for compassion and truth to come out when I’m squeezed. I have a LOOOONNNNGGG way to go, but I’m closer every day. What comes out when you’re under pressure and are required to perform?

8 thoughts on “Let’s get a little personal”

  1. Carmen, what a wonderful muse about your dad…..and you…..and all of us as humans. I love you so much. You are one of the finest people I know. I am so proud to call you niece. Thank you for all you bring to the world! I love you!

  2. Love your vulnerability! You are doing a great job and the lessons your children are learning seeing you open your home to their grandfather will leave a lasting impact!

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