Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Two for the price of none?

Well, my friends. It has been a day! Whew! We officially lost two houses today, and I'm still not sure what exactly happened. I'm numb, and I'm upset. I'll be ok, but I'm kind of ready to decide and move. It's all about God, and not about me so I guess I have to get over it.

I started an online Bible study Jonah: Navigating Life's Interruptions through my blog/Twitter friend, Rikki. I think I really need this Bible study right now, but I wasn't really expecting it to fit into my life quite so quickly!

Let's go back to House #1, shall we? When we last left off, the flood plain had come back not in our favor. So we walked away. Except the owners basically came begging us to by her anyway. There are lots of details involved, and we started to dream. Again. For a second. A tiny millisecond. Then by Tuesday they were talking about raising the foundation two inches, and I went...What? Are you guys crazy? I'm not buying a house that they are trying to jack up the slab.

Yes, I meant that literally and figuratively.

Fast forward to what else was going on in the background. We went Monday afternoon to look at House #2 since talk of jacking up foundations was running a bit rampant. We saw this house months ago when we found House #1. Only now, House #2 had been drastically reduced. Let's just say, she was a steal. However, she was sitting on a main four lane road. So, we went to see her on Monday (still  waiting on additional answers from House #1) to reconsider our opinions of four lane roads, and the price was just right. We looked into all kind of things about House #2 and made the decision yesterday to go forward despite the busy street. Today, we were set to present an offer, and my real estate agent was all in "go" mode when she called me at 10 AM. We are three hours late, a deal has already been signed.

So somehow in the past twenty-four hours we have lost not one but two houses.

I have cried just a bit today. I'm not going to lie.

Tomorrow we are going to see two more houses. I'm going to keep praying for obvious answers from the Lord. It's pretty clear that he is closing lots of doors left and right. Hopefully, the correct door will come along soon. We also saw this house on Sunday, and it is on our list. Currently, we're researching more information regarding it. Maybe that is part of our problem? Too much research not enough jumping? However, if you knew all that we know about bad house deals now--you'd probably be slow, too.

In addition, my day included one screaming (literally) child, one child who cried for thirty minutes, two stray dogs who tried to attack me at school, one child who we almost left in the room because he was hiding behind a chair, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Excuse me while I go lie down.

Monday, January 28, 2013

When God saves you by two inches.

You may remember that we have put a contract on another house back in November. Yes, I said November. Yes, I am well aware that it is now almost February. This house came upon us as we've been looking for a slightly larger home closer to our jobs. I'm spending five plus hours in the car each week driving to and from work. That doesn't even include the nights I have to stay at work for PTA meetings, Parent Teacher Conferences, etc. I can't even come home on those nights.  I work at a late school which means most days I don't get home until 5:00 or 5:15. Micah goes to bed around 7 PM, so you do the math of how much time I'm getting with my baby. It's quite depressing, actually.

The lovely house that came on the market is in an ideal location for my husband & I, and it is also located one mile from my parents. I think I'll let you see why that is just another awesome reason to live there. The price was right, and the payment per month was right in the range we're in now. Thanks to low interest rates, we were going to have plenty of living space without upping our budget one bit. Add the cost savings in gas alone, and we're talking mega savings in our budget.

Anyway, the story is really, really long, but the house is in a flood plain. In fact, most of the street is in the flood plain, but over the years many house have been taken out of the flood plain. In order to do this process, you hire a surveyor (paid for by the seller) and then mail the results off to petition FEMA to have the house removed from the flood plain. The surveyor was cautiously optimistic that it would work out, but he warned us that working with FEMA could be a long process.


However, we received the results from FEMA this week. We were shocked to find out that the house is not in the flood plain. The land is not in the flood plain. Instead, the front corner of the garage is two inches into the flood plain. Therefore, the whole house needs flood insurance to the tune of a whole lot of money each year!!!

At first, I was devastated. I wanted this house. I had attached myself to this house, and I had started thinking about it. I prayed every night (as did Mr. C) for clarity and a clear answer from the Lord. I do not want anything that the Lord does not want me to have. I don't want to get ahead of him and muddle life with my below average human intelligence and view of this life.

At work on Friday, my friend said, "Leah, looks like God saved you by two inches! That's such a God thing to do, isn't it? Sometimes he speaks loudly & sometimes he speaks boldly & sometimes he speaks by two inches."

It hit me like a ton of bricks. How many times in my life (looking back) have I seen how the Lord saved me by a metaphorical two inches? I can honestly think of several situations where this has happened to me, and I am just so thankful for those two inches!! Has God ever saved you by two inches?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A little of this. A little of that. A whole lot of random.

I tell you that since I have discovered coffee, my life has changed in a drastic way. I enjoy it so very much, and I'm sad to say I've missed out on it all these years. Many mornings, you might just find me curled up with my coffee and my Strawberry Shortcake pajamas.

Ok, this picture was taken on a Saturday since on a Monday, I'm probably rushing out the door with my coffee in one hand dragging a toddler with the other. And sometimes, just might find my coffee in a Central BBQ cup since that is where the coffee should go instead of a mug.

(Even though my best friend Sara bought me coffee mugs for Christmas, and I use them. I do. But somehow, it still will end up in a Central BBQ plastic cup. What's wrong with me?)

So how are you guys out in bloggy land? I'm sure I've lost more of you again with my crazy posting schedule or lack of pictures. However, if your life is like my life....your kitchen probably stays looking like this?

Actually, these pictures were taken to prove to my WONDERFUL husband that he does tend to leave his ingredients all over my countertops. He's the cook in the family which is the most wonderful thing ever because I never have to cook. Yes, ladies. I'm that lucky girl who met that guy who actually likes to cook. So I clean. That's the deal. However, we've had a talk about how depressing it is to have a clean kitchen but come home to this despite how I'll do the dishes.

Dishes does not equal...well, this. 
So we laughed about it, and I told him I'd take a picture to prove it.

We've had a random week around here. I have tons of completely unrelated pictures to document the randomness. You have been warned. As if pictures of coffee cups in plastic reusable barbecue joint cups and pictures of countertops are not enough to get this post going!

I found some more TV on Netflix to watch. I'm always laughing because I refuse to pay for cable. Instead, we pay $8 a month, and I'm forced to find new shows on Netflix to watch. It's a fun game.

Thanks to Netflix, I've watched Sons of Anarchy, Parenthood, How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement,  and Oddities. Now I'm onto Gossip Girl.

I took Micah to the doctor's office for his two-year check up. It's so hard for me to believe that he's already two-years old! Let me just say that trying to get a picture of him was difficult.

First, he wanted to wash his hands.

His other favorite past time was digging through my purse.

He finally looked at me, so at least I can remember what two-year-old Micah looks like!

Then he took my phone to take some pictures. Here's his first masterpiece. I call it Step Stool.
 He's so busy! He loved crawling all over the table while we waited for his doctor.

 I can't even remember why he made this face! 

What a little monkey! He's so full of drama and personality these days. This was his, "No tamera, Mommy!" (No camera, Mommy!) 

At some point along the way, he took this photo. I have no idea what it is, but it is kind of cool!

We spent this weekend vegging out, enjoying our extra day off, spending time with friends, and tackling our ever growing to do list on the house. We are still (yes, still) waiting on news about the house we put an offer on back in November. Many hoops later, we still have no definitive answer. I'm not going to lie, I'm starting to become very frustrated over the "yes" or "no" of this whole house debacle. Since we may (or may not) be renting out our current house or we may (or may not) be listing our current house...we have a lot of freshening up to do.

It's hard to get stuff done around here when somebody (Mr. C) is always asleep and the other somebody (me) is at work during the day. Thankfully, we both had Monday off together, and we were all awake! I'd like to say that we thoughtfully pondered MLK, but honestly...I was in house mode. I forgot all about the Inauguration and the MLK day part. I'm a bad teacher, but we accomplished a lot including installing locks on our doors, caulking the bathtubs, and painting around the house.

Micah decided he wanted to "help" us paint. So as I taped off our front door, he taped off the entertainment center door. 

I only got as far as priming the door with two coats, but I'm hoping to paint it a lovely navy blue at some point this week. 

See? It's actually looking better already even if it is just a primer. I can't wait to see it when it's done.

Also on the list? New kitchen countertops (for buyers not renters depending on the house situation), painting indoor trim around the house, painting the other two doors (garage and back), and working on the gutters in the backyard. Doesn't that sound like something you want to do?

So that's where we're at over the last week or so. Add in some sickness, a broken down car, keys left behind, computers left at home, and you've got our crazy life. I knew this post would be random, but man! I'm all over the place. Hope you are doing well!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Inclement weather day.

It's been quite the week around here including an inclement weather day. I'd call it a snow day, but let's face it...not much happened much to my chagrin.

Now there is a word you don't use that often. Chagrin: a feeling of annoyance caused by disappointment or a disconcerting event.

Anywho. Back to the inclement weather day. The local Memphis weathermen were going on and on about this "weather event" that would cause mass chaos similar to the ice storm from the 90s! Beware! Beeeewaaaarrrre!

:Insert ridiculous laughter:

All those silly weathermen do is get my hopes up that I will be off of work while simultaneously winding up every child in the city convincing them there will be snow and no school. Only, it is almost always a big fat hoax. Bless their hearts.

We did get out a half day on Tuesday, but that was it. I was thankful for my half day, and I had a doctor's appointment for Micah today anyway. So off to work I went for a half day today followed by 
an afternoon with Dr. O. I could get used to working part-time. Is there anyway to be a part-time teacher?? Heh.Heh.

I'm not really sure what to think of this week in general. I'm still getting used to my student teacher being in my room every day. She was there only two days last semester. I'm so thankful for her help because this year has been rough on the teachers. Changes are coming swift and crazy in the education world. I love having an "assistant" to help me with all my stuff. What I'm worried about is the transitioning from her "assistant" role to being the "teacher" full time in a few weeks while I assist her. Eek! I have a way, way hard time giving up complete control of my classroom. I'm working through it.

I'm also working on my content word. It's a very hard word, isn't it? On the accountability front, I have limited my eating out staying content to eat what was in our fridge. Even if that meant hotdogs for dinner tonight. I've resisted the urge to buy any of the new cute clothes on my favorite internet boutique--Hazel & Olive. I'm also trying to retrain my thoughts from some negative ridiculousness to happyland. This is so hard for me! Why do I think about the negative all the time? It is not Christlike at all! This week I've been struggling with working again. Ok, I go back and forth on this topic, as you have seen on the blog, but there are days I think being a SAHM would be easier. I know it isn't easier. No grass is ever greener. That's just common sense and the truth. So I'm continuing to pray myself into contentment, but that is why I chose the word.

Have a great rest of your week!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The post where I feel like I should blog.

I haven't updated too much since the massive overload of Christmas pictures last week, but I kind of feel like I should blog.

Life has been one hectic to do list this week, and I hate weeks that feel like that. It started out with a Lysa TerKeurst event at a local church on Monday evening. I went with some girlfriends from my Sunday school class, and I highly enjoyed her topic from the book she wrote called Unglued. I feel I live a bit too much of my life in that emotional state, so I bought the book. Now I'm reading it. It's been really great so far.

The majority of the week has been awesome, but today just was not the most fantastic day. I cut open my finger in the cafeteria (sounds worse than it is). One of the students in my class cried pretty much the whole entire day. (Don't worry, I got in touch with her mom. I didn't just let a seven year old sit there and cry all day. Mom wanted her to stay. Tough love.) We had a faculty meeting where we discussed emergency procedures should someone try to shoot up the place. Then a school shooting happened again. Seriously?!? What is wrong with this world! (I mean, I know it is the lack of Jesus and all...but my goodness!) I got the results of a student survey back. That's a whole other topic for another day. I've been adjusting (and mostly loving) to life with my student teacher who is there full time this semester. (Can you say--I finally can go to the bathroom for 3 minutes without worrying if Johnny is hitting Susie? It's heaven to have help & another adult in my room!)

Tonight I took M over to my sister's house to play with Ebin while I went out to dinner with some gal pals. It seems as if I've had a lot of gal time this week doesn't it? Yeah, it isn't usually this way...but it all fell on the same week. I'm kind of tired. Glad tomorrow is Friday.

We also still know nothing on the house. The longer this draws out, the more I'm praying for a definite "NO" from the Lord or "YES" from the Lord. Give us a clear sign. Hopefully, this door will either be opened or shut by next Friday. How was your week?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

2013 New Year's Word. Contentment.

 In trying to decide upon a New Year's resolution, I thought I'd lean more towards the use of one word. I don't want to make a list of things I will accomplish. That can be very overwhelming to me. I mean, I want to accomplish most of those things that everyone does each year:

1. More time with Jesus.
2. More time reading.
3. Get healthy.
4. Continue to run more.

In fact, last year I made some resolutions to take care of my health. I started running. I'd say I did a pretty good job of resolution-ing.

However, this quote above struck me. "Make it simple, but significant." 

Lots of my friends are writing about a word they would like to focus on, and I really love that idea. What would be the one word that could make a significant impact on my life if I focused on it instead of a list??  So while trying to think of a word that could also tie into my spirituality and relationship with Jesus as well as my health goals, I thought of "contentment" or just "content."

Why contentment? Well, honestly? I struggle with contentment. I mean, I look over at what others have a whole lot. It may be their "stay at home" mom status that I sometimes envy. It may be that new car they just added when we're driving cars from the 90s.  How about a hundred vacations a year they take? Or maybe I'm unhappy with the circumstances of our marriage arrangement. (That would be scheduling issues with our jobs not our actual marriage. I get so jealous of people who can have all this fun on the weekend while my husband sleeps it away out of his lack of sleep from most of the week.) All of this envy is ridiculous. I need to learn some contentment pronto!

Here's a Bible verse to back up my choice of word for this year.

Philippians 4:11-12

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
11 Not that I speak [a]from want, for I have learned to be [b]content in whatever circumstances I am. 12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

What I like most about this translation is the, "I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity."

That strikes me because we have had BOTH in our short marriage of eight years. Honestly, we've had some feast and famine financially, so I understand that language. It touches me. The verses continue with "in any and every circumstance." WOW. Can I really say that I am content in any AND every circumstance?

Not only is a resolution around the word contentment a resolution, but it should be a lifestyle. Christ died for me. He knows exactly what He is given me. It is extremely sinful to doubt this in any form or fashion. Life doesn't revolve around me, my circumstances, or how I feel about the little things in life.

I don't think I can say that. This year I've become obsessed with these blogs about less, getting rid of stuff, purging, and cleaning out. I also know that I don't want Micah raised thinking the world revolves around him. However, do I demonstrate this? Sometimes I act like the world revolves around me!  (See the definitely NOT Biblical quote, but still a hilarious statement above. It also has a massive typo on the "I'm", but I'll get over it.)

Contentment is not in my life. It just isn't. Not the way I want it to be.  I'm worried about my weight, my looks, my house, my clothes, my job, etc. I have to force myself to say something I'm thankful for every day. I'm just being brutally honest here. My blessings are bountiful, but I don't take time to look at that big picture. I get too obsessed over something like how I look in a certain dress to being CONTENT that I'm even alive to wear the dress. Is that crazy? Yes, it is. However, I know myself, and I lean on the pessimist side of life. So instead of making a long list of 5 million things I want to change about myself this year.

I decided to start with one word. Content. I want to be content about everything. My clothes. My job. My family. My circumstances. My house. My health. My family's health. I want to intentionally focus on contentment and stop WHINING about things that don't go my way. That's just my natural personality and tendency. I often veil it in sarcasm, but let's be honest. Sarcasm is just an excuse to say what you really feel deep in your heart, but call it a joke. My heart check up is not exactly where I know it should be so I'm confessing my sin. Then I'm making it a new goal to be obedient to Christ's command to be content in ANY AND EVERY circumstance.

Happy New Year! Here's to a year of CONTENTMENT in 2013!

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year's Eve & New Year's Day.

New Year's Eve came, and we always go out somewhere. I don't care where we go, but it is our engage-a-versary so we must do something to mark the day. Yes, Mr. C proposed on New Year's Eve nine years ago stating, "I don't want to start another year without you as my wife." How sweet!  I can't believe it has been nine years since that magical night. =)

I got a new dress (like I do every year), and we headed out for a date night without Micah. We rarely get to do this (again--our crazy schedules), so it was much needed. The past several years our date night is just hanging out with friends at a party thrown by George & Stephanie in east Memphis. We did the same low key thing this year, but it was still fun to have a night without worrying about Little Man.

The weather was horrible, and we saw LOTS of wrecks on our way home around 1 AM.

New Year's morning, my sweetie got up and cooked some breakfast for me! My favorite--cinnamon French toast! =)

We then decided to head to the gym together for a morning date. We're strange, but we work out at a cheap gym. There is no childcare, so we never get to workout together anymore due to our schedules. This was a fun little splurge for us.

I got in almost three miles on the elliptical, and it felt so great to be back at the gym again. Afterwards, we went to go get Micah so I could enjoy the rest of my final day off hanging out with him.

Here's our PicStitch NYE/NYD nutshell.
Happy New Year's Day! Ready or not, we go!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

An almost white Christmas.

 So we had a snow day immediately following Christmas, and somebody had a FIT about wearing all this clothing to go outside.
 The day after Christmas and the after Christmas tornado had hit our home. I was in deep cleaning mode before returning to work, and it had snowed! I knew I would forever regret not taking Micah out for a "white Christmas" (even if it was the day after) shot. I gave in, bundled him up, and we headed outside to see his reaction to the white stuff while his Daddy was at work. Here are the pictures from the "good camera" I took of him in the snow.

Moving onto the cell phone pictures of him in the snow...

 I'm not really sure what I expected, but he kind of just stood there looking at me saying, "What's that? What's that?"

 Finally, he decided to venture up and down the hill in the snow, but I didn't have gloves for him. So our stay outside was very, very brief!

You have to love a cell phone pick of myself to show that I was, indeed, there with him outside.

Love PicStitch. Do you have that app? So fun to upload and make a collage of photos right on my phone. 

I spent the rest of the day turning Micah's nursery into his "big boy room" instead. We're not quite ready to let him sleep sans crib, but I did bring all his toys from the living room into his bedroom. As you can see, I got rid of a lot of baby stuff that was still hanging around.

I brought in his toy organizer from the living room and filled it with all his new goodies.

We added his new kitchen underneath his woodland creatures quilt. I moved his rocking chair back to make some much needed floor space.

I finally (sniff sniff) emptied all his baby baskets to fill up his bookcase (my bookcase from childhood) with all his favorite books.

I moved his dresser/changing table from one side of the room to the other. I ended up covering up his tree, but I had to have a new arrangement so his toy storage could fit.

I always feel so much better when I finally get an area cleaned up!

My favorite idea? Toy storage in his dresser drawers!

I arranged his clothing so it mostly fits in his closet so I could use the dresser like a toy chest. This keeps unsightly trucks up out of the floor and our sight when they aren't being used.