Saturday, May 31, 2014

Homeowners Again!

Yesterday we closed on our new house! It made for a super exciting, full-speed kind of day.

We had ChickfilA for breakfast to celebrate and then headed to Closing. The appointment before us was running wayyyy behind so we waited a while before it was our turn. We finally went back to sign everything and it all took EIGHT minutes. Eight! Our hands weren't even tired of signing yet! We had to wait longer after for it to be recorded and to collect a check (yay!), but overall this process was SOOOO much smoother than when we bought our first house eight years ago.

We then picked up Scout and gave her a tour of the place. She LOVED it! She ran all over the house, smelling and sniffing, and watching us, checking out every inch. At one point she even went upstairs by herself! To help her, I threw a treat into each room to give her a positive vibe- she was so wound up with excitement that it took her a long time to realize treats were in the house (after seeing me put them out for her!). She was especially thrilled with the screened porch since she could look out and see everything. We were ridiculously proud of her when she met the two little girls that live next door and she didn't bark AT ALL. Yay! We will be taking her to the house as much as possible this week before the big move, which will help her better acclimate when the time comes to actually live there.

After we took Scouty home, we grabbed lunch at Macaroni Grill (which we never go to but was actually fantastic!), and then ran errands for the house. We went to the Habitat ReStore, but didn't find much. We went to GardenRidge and found saddle stools for the kitchen island which look great there, and we spent for. ever at Lowes, buying every vent cover and switch/outlet plate in stock (30 year old house, people).

We quickly ran home and dumped it all, then met our sweet friends (Lyn & Catherine) for dinner at a great Mexican place and then gave them the grand tour of the house. It was a long, but really amazing day we capped off with Starbucks on the way home.

Once back at the apartment, it's amazing the differences you notice! The fridge and the HVAC are ridiculously loud in the apartment. And the neighborhood in general isn't nearly as quiet and peaceful as the new neighborhood, which is just incredible.

Today we will be focusing on packing, finishing a few things for the house, and seeing family for dinner. It's a full, fun weekend!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Good Stress Is Still Stress

Life's been extra chaotic and busy lately. Here's the recap:

1. I'm now unemployed and learning to transition to being a SAH wifey (& future mama). This has been surreal. I still feel like I'm on vacation and will be going back to work at some point. It's really strange to me to sit in church and not know what's coming up next (or jump in to help!).

2. We're going back into debt. Willingly. We found the most amazing house in the most incredible neighborhood that I never in a million years thought we could have. God is soooo good to us. We have so much going on that I've been freaking out a little bit (Change is REALLY hard for me.) but CC keeps talking me off the ledge (hahaha!). Closing is tomorrow and after our final walk-through tonight, we are both incredibly excited!

3. We're still waiting for our adoption placement to happen. There's no update until we have NEWS (sweet people keep asking about this).

4. CC being his amazing self, recently got promoted at work and is back to management. He's incredible.

5. CC's dad had hip replacement surgery and is on the mend. CC's toe is basically back to normal though he's not able to run yet, my wrist isn't broken but is so badly sprained it's not completely healed yet (two months later). CC and I have also spent the last six weeks on and off being sick. Scout's groomer accidentally nicked her ear pretty well, which didn't faze Scout at all but totally freaked out all the humans. Her poor groomer was a basketcase, even though it was technically Scout's fault.

6. Our 12th anniversary was this past week. We're still incredibly happily married. Again, God is good.

I'm tellin' ya, Crazytown over here. But it's alllll good.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Thoughts On Thoughts

I've been officially unemployed for about a week and a half now and it still doesn't feel real. So far it's felt like a staycation, where I'm running errands and cleaning the house, but I feel like I'll be going back at some point. 

I've enjoyed talking with friends and seeing friends more regularly, which has been so fun! However, I've also had A LOT of time to myself, more than I'm used to.

The other morning I'd been driving and sometimes I turn the radio off so I'll hopefully pray more or think and worship, that kind of thing. This particular day I was mostly thinking.

I thought to myself, "I did so much yesterday and CC didn't even ask how my day went! I asked him about his day and he asked about the movie I saw, but he didn't ask about the rest of my day. Maybe it's because now that I'm home, he thinks he knows what I do all day and I'm boring and have nothing to say, and it doesn't matter anymore."

Then I had to correct myself because CC had noticed something... "Oh wait, he did comment last night that he noticed I'd done the laundry and he was appreciative of that. So there's one thing. But he still didn't ask what else I did or anything!"

And then... I miraculously realized what was happening! I haven't been at this whole stay-at-home thing long, but I understand that satan uses that thinking time to his advantage even more than before! There's no one else to distract me from the rabbit hole I went down, or anyone to correct my thinking since it's not said out loud to anyone else... I KNOW I am valued and important and vital to my family, whether or not I was praised for cleaning the bathroom.

Later that night I told CC about my epiphany and he found it very interesting. Yesterday he found the perfect verse to help keep my thoughts in check- maybe it will help you too.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

I'm going to try to memorize this one for those moments I realize I'm getting all twisted. I'm not so great at the memorizing but I think this is worth it for the new stage of life I'm in.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Mind Blown. Again.

Y'all. God has just blown my socks off. Again.

Fundraising for our adoption has slowed down to almost nothing. We have savings to compensate the difference but obviously hope not to have to drain our savings to do it.

Today a check came.

Today I am reminded that my Father wants our family to grow this way just as much as we want it, if not more so. Today I'm reminded how much I am loved by my Creator. Today I am reminded to keep trusting and lead where He follows.

I hope this is a reminder for you as well, and that God alone will get glory from this.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Jam, Anyone?

Yesterday a local organic farm was in dire straits due to the ridiculous excess of rain we had this past week. They were trying to recoup any of their losses and sold their typically expensive-but-worth-it local, organic, freshly picked strawberries for a dollar per pound. Yep, you saw that right.

I planned to be there right when they opened and I got there about ten minutes after they opened. Unfortunately the line was already to the parking lot and I ended up waiting just over two hours for my 25 lb box of berries. Supply wasn't able to keep up with demand, so we literally stood in line waiting while the farmers picked the berries for us. Talk about fresh!

I split my box in half with a friend of mine and turned my half into three batches of Ina's strawberry jam. It's the easiest recipe for jam I've ever seen and it's delicious!

I made a double batch and then a single batch- 10 lbs of berries total. The problem was that my single batch pot turned out not to be big enough for a double batch. (I wish I'd known that before I tried it!) Chaos and mayhem ensued, which made me break out in hives.

Once I found my large stockpot and used that, everything was smooth sailing but I sure had a mess to clean up. The jam had even gone under the stovetop so I had to take the burner out and everything. All this with only one and a half hands available! Hives!

The jam ended up being a huge success though and now I've got jam until I'm 40! Next on my list is to actually get it canned so it's preserved (& because I need more canning experience!).

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Yet Another Big Change

We bought a house!

Or rather, we're under contract on a house! We close in four weeks and we are ecstatic!

We weren't sure God was okay with us buying vs. staying and renewing our apartment lease, but we kept walking through open doors and we're on track to own a fantastic house!

God totally gave us this house too. It's a total sellers' market here now which means everything's selling day one for more than asking. Our house had two offers earlier and one family didn't want to be part of a bidding war and backed out. The other family wouldn't come up in price and they lost out. Three(!) weeks later, our offer was accepted! Woohoo!

The only part of the process we were nervous about was the home inspection, since we ran into major mold issues during the inspection years ago on our first house. This new house passed with flying colors- yay! A few minor requests for the seller to fix but nothing that's a deal breaker!

This house is incredible, especially in person. The photos are great but even they can't do it justice. It's completely move-in ready, although I need a Pintervention based on all I want to do (& am pinning!) to make it ours.

The house is in a neighborhood I never in a million years thought we could afford to live in. We can! We're literally moving maybe four minutes away (driving) from where we are now. That's great because we aren't having to learn a whole new area of town.

I never in another million years thought I'd live in such a big house, and yet, we will be! The house is over 2100 square feet!

The stats: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, a HUGE living room and dining room, a kitchen with an island and a bay window (& window seat!), a BONUS room with walk-in attic storage, AND a screened-in porch! Yayyyy!!!

Oh and the neighborhood has a pool and tennis courts, and a playground! More cheering!

Here are the official photos from the listing:

The front porch:

The entryway:

The ginormous living room:

My beautiful kitchen!

The dining room (big enough for our table to fit when opened to seat 12 people!):

The master bedroom (that's a king bed!):

The master bathroom:

Bedroom 2, which will be Baby's Room):

Bedroom 3, aka Guest room:

The guest bathroom:

The bonus room:

My little laundry area:

The screened-in porch!!

The back yard:

The view of the back of the house:

It's gorgeous right?! The sellers painted everything neutral which is great, but it's all a little too brown for me. I'm hoping to paint a little bit just so it'll feel more cheery and 'us' but overall we don't have to do a thing!

We're especially excited for Scout to have her own fenced yard. She won't know what to do with herself!

We are planning to be able to grow into this house and really have it be the home our kids grow up in, or at least be in for a good long time. I'm really looking forward to not needing to move for at least the next decade- I'm ready for a permanent home.

A friend mentioned today how crazy it is that we've bought this house while I've quit my job and we're trying to adopt. I guess by the world's standards we are pretty nutso. What I think is so cool though is that we wouldn't be buying this house or adopting or happily losing an income if we hadn't started being financial obedient to God by tithing, getting out of debt, and learning to manage wisely the money He's given us. What a huge blessing! The thing that makes me MOST excited about what's to come is that we'll be able to use this house to bless others and show people Jesus- our ultimate goal. How cool is that?!

The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life

Yesterday was my last day at work, officially.

It's been 10+ years at this one job and I truly owned and loved that position. I love and truly enjoy each person I worked with (even when they played pranks on me!).

I keep saying that with all the other changes we've got going on, that it's nice we aren't truly going anywhere. We aren't leaving our church or even the ministry we're entrenched in. I'll be taking at least the summer off to have a break, but we fully plan to continue serving with the tech team and seeing our friends on a regular basis. It'll just be a new kind of regular- maybe once a week instead of five days a week!

Last night I was thinking about today being such a big day and I realized it's day one of my next new job: being a stay-at-home wife and mama. Now that gets me really excited! I'm very much looking forward to this next job and all that comes with it!