Friday, September 17, 2010

Just checking in...

Another oh-so-exciting Friday night in which my husband and I crash from exhaustion whilst our five-year-old prances around the room with unbelievable exuberance and unending energy, and we pray that bedtime will soon come.


Just keepin' it real, folks. It's been a looooooooooong week.

A looooooooooooong week justifies bullet points for the weary and worn out, so here you go:

*I clocked in 44.5 hours of work this week between my three jobs.

*Next week holds the possibility of anywhere between 34.5 & 48.5 hours.

*This doesn't count the endless hours of any mothering duties. ;)

*My hours included lots of manual labor helping set up the store.

*This meant my feet were downright burning at the end of every work day from standing all day long.

*But I am loving it. Truly. And meeting so many great people.

*Today all of my Anthro-working dreams were fulfilled when I was paid to hand-embroider items (for decoration in store displays) all day long.

*Serious dream come true.

*Which also meant I got to sit instead of stand all day.

*But the sitting was on the very hard wooden floors so I'm not sure it really counts as a victory in that department because my rear was very numb at several points during the day.

*Our old house is finally on the market. Hurrah!

*Our new house is still not fully unpacked. Boo.

*In fact, the TV is still not hooked up. Double-boo. Project Runway on the Internet for me tonight, I guess.

*On the flip side, this means we have gotten a lot accomplished with no boob-tube to plop ourselves down in front of to waste time.

*We got a new mattress, so we were finally able to spend the night on a queen-sized bed after several weeks sharing a full. (This comes after our entire marriage thus far was spent in a giant king-sized bed. So you can imagine there was much rejoicing when the queen mattress arrived.)

*My mom and I were the ones to actually get the box spring up the stairs. It barely made it within about an inch. Thank goodness.

*My little guy enjoyed his second week of all "green faces" on his behavior chart at school. That's always awesome news.

*He also is one sticker away from completely filling up his "30 Nights of Dry Pull-Ups" chart on his wall. When it is filled he gets to pick out a new Star Wars Lego set. Anticipation is high 'round our house. Can he do it? Will tomorrow be the day he and Papa get to go to the store? Very exciting, folks!

But the biggest and best part of this week?

My little guy is learning to read.

As in, SERIOUSLY learning to read!

Sounding out simple three-to-four-letter words, one sound at a time, so excited that it is his new obsession, trying to read every single second of the day.

There are no words to tell you how very excited and proud we are.

A great week, indeed.

(Ah yes, the absence of pictures in my blog posts is duly noted. I will continue to search for my camera cord...)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More words.


So many of you are demanding more than just a two-word explanation of my last post. Dang!

Really, it's been a crazy, but great couple of weeks. Although I guess we might have startled quite a few real-life family and friends with our somewhat "fly-by-night" method to our madness. The thing is -- it just all happened so darn fast that we had no time to call and announce and explain and all of that. And honestly, since the move was such a lightning fast operation, it was actually kind of nice to keep it to ourselves and get moved before telling everyone and dealing with all of the questions.

So here's the skinny for all you Nosey Nellie's out there, haha:

Earlier this year in the spring, we put our house on the market. At the time, that was the decision we thought we needed to make -- to sell our money-guzzling house and get ourselves in better financial straits. For the last few years, we've been Dave Ramsey-ing it up with the best of 'em -- paying off debts, plunking over cash for EVERY last thing, and really changing our financial habits. It's been a great transformation for us. I feel like we could be on a commercial to sell some Dave Ramsey! And the house was the last big hurrah for us that we were going to hand back over and really be able to fast-forward our saving money by doing so. (Not that I was really happy about doing so, letting go of the house, that is. Nosirree. I was not a willing participant, to say the least. And the windows of opportunity weren't exactly flying open for us like we would have liked them to. It was a very confusing place to be for us.)

Then the doors all slammed in our face. There were a lot of factors up in the air that were changing, and it was clearly determined that this was not the path we were supposed to go down right then. We wouldn't be needing to sell our house after all. Lots of hallelujahs went up from this ol' gal -- anyone that knows me knows how very much I loved my house. It was my "forever house" -- as in "you can just go ahead and bury me in the backyard 'cause I ain't going nowheres".

Fast-forward through a beautiful summer full of lots of fun and amazing adventures. We enjoyed our pool for the hot months and simply continued down our path of Dave Ramsey bliss. Until about a month ago.

The winds began changing again. (You know, kind of Mary Poppin-esque, like how she said when the winds shifted or whatever it would be time to leave.) It became quite clear to us that staying in our house was not going to work out like we thought it was after all, at least not enough for us to stay in it and still move forward financially the way we wanted to. It was clear as day -- we* needed to move and let go. Our beautiful house was the one thing standing between us and a financially beautiful future.

*Um, yeah, I use the term "we" very loosely. When I say "we", I actually mean "me", since my sweet and patient husband had already long come to this conclusion and was having to deal with a very stubborn and uncooperative wife. Yeah, not so proud of this about myself.

For this control freak, personally this was a big thing. That meant once and for all loosening my death grip on my beloved house. For the longest time I had been holding tight with white knuckles (who am I kidding, my knuckles are always snowy white, haha), telling God that I had a better idea of how we could stay in our house for the long haul, how He really needed to rethink His plan and get on my wagon with me. 'Cause it's kind of an ugly truth about my generation. We've got an ugly case of the "me's" going on. Somehow my generation has become jaded in thinking we all need grander houses than our parents had, stainless steel-this and granite-that, remodeled this and remodeled that, and oh, by the way, we want it all now.

Yipes. Thank goodness God has a great sense of humor. Like I could really know better than Him!

This time around, though, I knew that God wanted me to let go. Not just halfway, not just one hand, not just loosen my grip, but let completely go both hands with a willing heart. Dang, that's hard sometimes.

And slowly............and reluctantly................but finally willingly -- I did.

We decided the best path for us would be to find a house to lease for a while, until we figured out exactly what we wanted, what would fit best in our new financial map, and most importantly, to aggressively save even more money over the course of the lease. So we started looking. And it was a little depressing because there weren't many houses in the area we wanted to stay in and for the price we wanted, etc. But I told myself to buck up, get over my selfish nature and just plaster a smile on my face no matter what we found or where we landed. Right when I did that, something popped up on good ol' Craigslist.

The house description was really too good to be true so I was skeptical, but regardless I told my husband to call and jump on it. Unfortunately someone had already beaten us to the punch, but the friend of the owner of the house said he'd show it to us anyway, even though the person before us already told him they wanted it. Thank goodness. We made a new friend, and he ended up recommending us as tenants. Within 36 hours, the house was ours.

So here we sat, only a week or so into this huge decision (that we hadn't told anyone about) with a new house already found, vacant and ready to move in.

Sheesh. I was still getting used to the fact that we really were going to put our house on the market, and here we were with a new house ready to go. I braced myself for the fact that probably within 30-60 days we'd be moving.

Yeah right.

The house wasn't the only quick deal God had in store for us. My husband had called around only to find most movers were booked for several weeks out, but then a last-minute cancellation happened. Oh yeah, not kidding. My husband called me at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon (just four days after learning the house would be ours) to tell me the movers would be there the next morning at 8am.

Hello, we hadn't packed a single thing.

Heck, I hadn't even cleaned my house in a week.

Not to mention we hadn't even really told anybody!

Long story short, we made the decision, found a new place, and moved all within about two weeks.


So so crazy.

Did I mention how crazy it's all been?

But God is so good. I cannot say it enough.

I don't know how to explain it, the fact that I was so very much on the other end of the spectrum emotionally -- upset, mad, not wanting to let go of my house, not excited about all of the unknowns, and definitely not trusting of the big picture I couldn't see -- but the very second I knew I needed to change my heart and attitude and give it up like God was asking, and not just give it all up, mind you, but give it all up and accept with a grateful heart whatever the future held, best-case scenario down to worst-case scenario, be ready to accept any of it before it happened, control-freak issues pushed far to the side -- yes, the very second I resolved all of that in my thick little head, God pushed the fast-forward button on laying it all out for us, clear as day.

New place to live -- check.
Getting moved in -- check.
Loving the new place and actually not even missing the old? -- check.
(Now that was an unexpected bonus blessing I certainly hadn't counted on. Seriously, I looooooooooove our new place. And I promise to do a picture post soon -- you know, after I locate my external hard drive in the sea of boxes so I can actually attach pictures.)

To sum it up -- I thought I had a good idea of what I knew for sure would make me happy if only God would follow MY plan, but He taught me that if I would just hand the reins over to Him, He had way better things planned for me than I could have come up with myself!

Am I the only dense person out there? Poor God has to sure thump me on the head to get me to see things sometimes.

So that, folks, is the skinny. Just a reluctant ol' gal in Oklahoma, slowly learning to change her heart, and thanking God for the journey and lessons learned along the way.

We've still got boxes to unpack and put away, the old house to finish emptying and clean to get ready for sale, and the sale itself. But I'm confident that God will order our steps the rest of the way, just as He's already done. And this time, goshdarnit, I'm not going to speak up and try and tell Him how it should be done! ;)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Two words.

(Let's play.

Shall we?)

We moved.

No joke.

Different house.

Happened fast.

Crazy fast.

Big surprise!

Not planned.

God planned.

Thank goodness.

Boxes everywhere.

No Internet,

all week,

until today (yay!).

Waaaaaaaaaaay behind.

Messy (old) house.

Messy (new) house.

More packing.

Still. {Blech.}

New house
new kindergartener
new job
other stuff


some stress.

Oh well.

Life's good.

Real good.

New house


no pool (yay!)

big yard

less bathrooms

(ha ha)

new furniture

(bedroom furniture

too big

for stairs)

warm & cozy

cul-de-sac -- hooray!

wood-burning fireplace

first-floor utility (yay!)

quiet street.

That's it.

I'm done.

Need nap...