My New Digs

June 20, 2013

My blog has a new home, come join me over HERE! I’m still working out some of the kinks, but I figured now is as good a time as any to make the switch. I do hope you’ll stay with me and change the address in your reader!

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Short On Words

May 29, 2013

So I haven’t been posting nearly as much lately. I am realizing this is because I’m busy for the first time in over two years. The blog used to be my outlet, the place where I felt like I was visiting with people and being myself. I used to write blog posts in my head all the time and found time to put my thoughts on here. Lately I have to remind myself that I have a blog and I should probably write something. This is not one of those ” and so I’m not going to blog anymore” posts. More like a “hey I’m still here and I’m going to hopefully post a little more consistently” kind of posts. So stay with me friends, I’m not going anywhere. And since you’re here you might as well check out these sweet pictures of Ellery playing with her little play set I took yesterday.

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Feeling Loved

May 8, 2013

If I didn’t know how to make someone feel loved I know how to now! This weekend we were showered with service and I could not have asked for better help. Thursday we got the keys to our new house. My mom came up to help us with our great paint extravaganza and watched Ellery during our closing. By the time we pulled into our house our neighbor from one street down (my dad’s best friend is our neighbor!) brought a basket of coffee, cups, milk, etc and had it sitting on our porch. That evening 3 friends came to help us paint, clean and move a couple non-essentials in. By the time we went to bed we had Ellery’s room, the living room, the family room, and our bedroom painted.

Friday we woke up feeling pretty rough after we all got about 3 hours of sleep. Not sure what was going on, but Ellery woke up no less than 15 times which was odd because she was sleeping in her crib. That mixed with Andrew and I sharing an air mattress and it was the perfect cocktail for no sleep, but we must press on, the move in was scheduled for 5:00. Stephanie arrived early afternoon and helped me purchase drinks, snacks, etc while others stayed at the house and painted. Our friend and her 3 girls watched Ellery at their house for a little over 3 hours which was way more helpful than I could have imagined. Our friends arrived a little after 5 and by 7 the entire truck was unloaded. We were so worried about a few pieces of our furniture, but it all was moved in and placed in 2 hours and our house was becoming our home. Friday night was a blur, but by the time we retired the laundry room was finished including our new appliances that were delivered in the afternoon, the dining room was first coated, our entry way was first coated, the carpets had been cleaned and the unpacking was well underway. The best part was we had beds!!! Thank you to whoever set our bed up for us!

Saturday we got a slow start, but eventually kicked it into gear and got a ton done. Stephanie and our friend Angie lined and unpacked our entire kitchen. At one point I heard a lawn mower, looked outside and our neighbor (dad’s friend) was mowing our lawn, so incredibly helpful and unexpected. Later that afternoon friends stopped by and dropped off delicious treats from great harvest and hung out for a bit. More painting happened, unpacking happened, friends came over and helped do all these things and my parents worked on painting and cleaning as well. By the time we hit the hay our kitchen was unpacked, our dining was painted, our bedroom was finished including our headboard being hung, our upstairs hall was first coated, we had things on our walls, all our furniture was moved in and our car even fit in the garage. All thanks to the help of friends and family. At dinner time our friend neighbors had us over for an amazing steak dinner and derby pie. It was the perfect break, we got showered, dressed in real non paint clothes and sat and enjoyed a meal that wasn’t in a box.

Ok I think you get the picture. We had so much help, we got so much done and we are so incredibly grateful. I keep saying to myself all day everyday that we are so undeserving, but so thankful. This move Illinois side could not have been easier, and surprisingly despite all the work it was a lot of fun as well. I’m giving myself until the end of this week to finish unpacking and then I will take pictures, I promise.

10 Minutes

April 22, 2013

I decided in the craziness of this packing marathon I would give myself 10 minutes to blog. A post typically takes me an hour to write and edit and edit and edit so this might be less than perfect. Here are some thoughts I’ve had today.

– I can’t decide what is important. I want to do it all, I want to have the most perfect organized move. I’m realizing this isn’t possible. I’m going to have to do another purge when we unpack and I’m coming to terms with it.

– I don’t need help with the move, I need Stephanie to come and tell me what to do. My mind is full of too much stuff and I’m paralyzed by the amount of decisions I need to make.

– I was so proud of Andrew for packing up his closet so we could show the house. And then we moved our bed to paint our wall and I was less than proud of him. He didn’t pack it, he hid it under the bed. Who hides things under their bed when they are moving…Andrew, that’s who. Yesterday I was mad, today I find it funny.

– Does anyone else find it odd that they are growing weed in this children’s book?

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*yes I know they aren’t actually growing weed, it just struck me as funny!

Easter Weekend

April 1, 2013

Easter weekend was much more laid back than expected. We go to church on Saturdays right now because Sunday mornings are hard with Ellery’s nap schedule. Saturday we had church at 4:00, then friends over for dinner and a sleepover with oatmeal cookie pancakes for breakfast Sunday morning. Followed by Ellery’s best bed head nap to date. Then we did a late lunch at my brothers with 30+ people and ended the day laying on the couch trying to get over these crazy allergies that have hit us both. This was the first holiday with Ellery that was fun for her. She got into her Easter basket way more than I expected and I must admit I enjoyed dressing her up this weekend. I hope you all had a great weekend with family and friends celebrating the greatest day in history!

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And as a reward for looking through all these pictures of my kid, I will tell you we also found out that Ellery will be getting a new bestie in September when my bestie Steph has a baby GIRL!!!

Actually Happening

March 25, 2013

I know we sold our house, bought a new house and started packing, but when I booked the movers today it finally hit me, this is actually happening. Oh my word. We go back and forth between we are so excited and what are we doing, is this insane? At the end of the day we always feel like we have made the right decision and we are very much looking forward to our new life in central Illinois. It’s days like today when they are buried under a foot of snow and we are enjoying the sunshine that people look at us and question why we would EVER want to live in the Midwest. I think it’s something you can’t really explain unless you’ve lived there, and I won’t even attempt to do so today. When people say you don’t want to live there it’s cold, I say, well it’s hot here. Andrew says I sound like we are moving because of the weather, not the case at all, it’s just that the grass is not always greener and while snow is inconvenient, heat is too, especially with little ones! All this to say, it’s happening, I know when we are loading and unloading and that little piece of information alone has put my mind more at ease. I still feel overwhelmed many days, but know that we will get moved in and settled and it’ll happen quicker than we expect, it feels like forever from now. Whoa ok way faster, I just counted and we load our stuff in 33 days. I better run and get more boxes and get this house packed up!!!

Short Update

March 14, 2013

Yeah, so remember when I said I had time to blog this week, um not so much, what was I thinking? But I realize we have news that I haven’t shared and some of you are probably wondering what is going on. We bought a house. Buying your second house is much less exciting than buying your first house and it is way more stressful. In Texas they have an option period where buyers can back out with very little penalty, like a few hundred bucks. In all other states this does not exist. The first people backed out around day 6 of their 8 day period and the new buyers’ option period was over yesterday. So I can officially say our house is sold and our new house is purchased. We close here April 30th and up North May 2nd. A lot has to happen that week and I’m already feeling a little stressed about coordinating our move, but i’ve learned that worrying is a waste of time so I plan to just roll with it. Our stuff will get there somehow, sometime, Elle can sleep in a pack and play, we can crash somewhere, no big deal really. I want to show you pictures of our new house, but most of you would think “um, what were you thinking” so instead I’ll keep you in suspense until I can get my hands and a paint roller on that house. I will say I am geeking out excited about having a huge basement mostly finished. A place to store our luggage, our baby stuff we have outgrown and a TORNADO SHELTER. I haven’t had a basement since I was 8 years old and I’m really excited, Andrew does not get this at all and I know he thinks I’m a big weirdo, but he is excited about the huge yard, which I don’t care much about. Alright, I have so much to say, but someone must feed the baby and that person is me for the next 4 months or so.

Cause for Silence

March 5, 2013

I haven’t been quite sure what to write, how much to share or how to tell about the whirlwind we’ve experienced over the last few days, but I decided while Ellery watches her shape DVD I would attempt to tell you about the roller coaster ride that has been our life over the last few days.

We decided kind of last minute to make a trip up to Champaign/Peoria area on Friday. If you were not informed you are not alone we only told like 3 people. We just weren’t sure what our house hunt would look like and we definitely didn’t want to over commit ourselves, so I apologize for any hurt feelings, they were completely unintentional. We left after we got word from the realtor that the couple would be making reasonable requests and we figured it was safe to drive up before their option period because we really needed to pick out a house and put in an offer if this whole thing was going to go as fast as it appeared.

Saturday when we were about 3 hours from my parent’s our realtor called and informed us the buyer had backed out because they were freaked out about a couple things in our inspection report. We were shocked. We literally have done almost every single line item from our inspection 2 years ago and the others we had appointments to fix over the coming week or two. We were appalled that they were unwilling to let us fix the couple issues, but they would not work with us and decided on Sunday that they definitely wanted to back out. We signed our termination papers over lunch and our house was officially listed. In 24 hours we had 9 showings. One of which revealed that it appeared we had carpenter ants in our attic, which obviously was not there when we left on Friday! I’m so thankful this realtor contacted our realtor to let her know the issue. We had the pest people out and they think when we had our roof replaced on Monday it disturbed a nest and that is why we suddenly had an issue. Luckily it’s a quick cheap fix, but before we had the resolution it was very stressful.

The reason cited for the couple backing out of the contract was a minor water leak in our showers, $150 and an hour later a plumber fixed those two issues. This couple lost out on our house over a one hour repair that we were absolutely willing to fix! Now we can see that it was such a blessing they backed out. We signed off on an even better offer last night and feel confident about this next inspection now that we’ve had a plumber fix the issues. Also because we didn’t have an offer on Sunday when we looked at houses we couldn’t put in our offer on the house we really want and yesterday they lowered the price for a second time. In 10 minutes we’ll be signing our offer with the realtor and hopefully we’ll be buying the house that I’ve already started decorating in my head. We are on quite the ride right now, but I’m so glad that Andrew is in the car with me and we are holding on together! We close April 30th now instead of the 9th and I’m great with having a few more weeks to pack and spend time with friends and family in the Austin area. I hope to have great news in the next few days!!

Could This Actually Happen?

February 26, 2013

That’s what I asked our realtor Saturday when she stopped by to help us complete our paperwork. We decided we would put our house on the Market March 1st. We wanted to get our roof done and finish painting the back of the house. Saturday at 1:00 we had a showing, their realtor wanted to show them before it went on the market. She had stopped by earlier in the week with another client who decided to pass, but she thought this couple would love the house. We left the house and said a quick prayer, “Lord, if this is the couple meant for our house please let them love it and buy it today.” We went about our day and honestly had no expectations. At one point I’m sure we joked about how cool it would be if we were done selling our house before it even began, but had no serious hopes, we knew in order to sell it before it went on the market we would have to get a full price offer. Around 4:00 on Saturday we got a text from our realtor saying they wanted to put in an offer. Still with low expectations we were cautiously optimistic and we went through the process of getting all our ducks in a row with paperwork and utility reports. Our realtor came over, picked up the paperwork and got all the official stuff going. Sunday evening Andrew and I were sitting around hanging out and I happened to check my e-mail, we got the offer, it was good and with a couple minor tweaks our house went under contract yesterday. Our closing date is 42 days from today!! For those of you math challenged, like myself, that’s April 9th. Yes, you read that right, we sold our house before it even went on the market. We still obviously have some things that need to happen before it all totally goes through, but we are excited and moving forward. The inspection is later this week, a few of our windows are being replaced and the appraisal has to be completed, but we can’t wait for all of that to choose our next house so we are in official house hunting mode. We appreciate all your prayers, friends, we know this whole process is not because of what we have done, but because of what God is doing. We could use a few more from you so here is what we need specific prayer for over the coming weeks.

– That the inspection would come back fairly clean, there is no way it’ll be spotless, but we are praying for a good report.
– That the house would appraise for the purchase price, I don’t know why, but this part has always stressed me out, I guess because I can’t do anything to fix this.
– That all the financing goes through in a timely manner, for us and for them.
– That we feel at peace with whatever house we get. We have a house picked out that we are both thrilled with, but ultimately we want to be in the right location for God’s plans and I don’t want our love of this house to cloud our judgement.
– And probably my biggest stress right now, that the move will be smooth. I’m not kidding when I say we have 3X the amount of stuff that we did when we moved here. We are packing and loading ourselves and it has stressed me out since day one! We have a gigantic couch that I am not sure how we will fit in a truck with all our boxes.

We met the buyers last night and I am so much more ready to hand over the house. They are a sweet newlywed couple and they seem so excited to live here. Makes it feel more like I’m giving someone a gift of a home instead of feeling like I’m just leaving one behind.

Now you know if I’m a little sporadic in my posting I’m either packing or purging!

Yep you read that right, we are moving!! If you are finding out from our blog and not from my voice I sincerely apologize. Believe me when I say I have a mental list of people I wanted to personally tell, but preparing to move while raising a baby is proving to be a little time consuming. If this is coming out of left field for you welcome to the club, it hit us like a tidal wave, but a really good refreshing one. I am going to attempt to explain what’s going on while keeping it brief enough to give you a shot at actually finishing this post.

As many of you know we were going to go on a church plant to Peoria Illinois in 2011 (if you are new to the blog or want to reread my letter to the plant team in 2010 here it is) At the time there was one thing keeping us from going, a job for Andrew. Now we see it differently and we feel confident that we came to Austin for a purpose. That purpose has been fulfilled, as far as we can tell, and it’s time to reunite our bodies with our hearts in Peoria.

While living here we continued to keep in touch with Ben and Tina and they kept challenging us to consider leaving Austin and move to Peoria. I kept saying we were not even considering moving and they might as well just give up asking. When we moved to Austin we really thought we moved here for life. We bought a house, started a family and really enjoyed spending time with my siblings and watching Big H grow up. But our hearts were never at home here and we lived in a state of unrest. One night after Tina e-mailed me some job postings for Andrew I went to bed and cried sobbed myself to sleep. At that point in time that just wasn’t an option, but we wanted it to be, the timing just wasn’t right.

In October I felt The Lord stirring my heart. And a still small voice told me to start packing. Um what? So I did. I started purging our house, organizing, and every time a box came into our house I packed it up. In November we went home for Thanksgiving and scheduled our trip around going to the Peoria Vineyard on Sunday before we left. That morning I got a text that the worship leader was out with the flu and could I get there in time to practice and co-lead with Jenna? At first I said no and then Andrew said, let’s do it. We rushed there and I’m so glad we did. While leading I will Trust You I had this overwhelming feeling of being exactly where I was supposed to be. I felt at home, truly at home for the first time in over 2 years and we started seeking out a way to get there.

Little did we know our ticket home would come the following Tuesday!! Andrew went back to work and his boss asked if he had any “aha moments” while on vacation. He said well I need to move my family back to Illinois. His boss without hesitation said,” well you know this goes without saying, but you can keep your job and move to Illinois and work from home.” Uh no we didn’t know that! Andrew texted me and I was cautiously optimistic about our future. I wasn’t feeling confident about this because I wasn’t actually in the office for the conversation. On January 6th I met Andrew’s boss and a co worker and we talked about the relocation, I went home feeling excited about the future and sure that it really was going to happen.

We told our families and started getting our house prepped to move. We are meeting with our realtor at the end of this week and hope to have our house on the market by the end of the month. Please pray for a quick sale. We have a house “picked out” in Illinois so a speedy house sale would give us a better shot at getting that house. Obviously if that doesn’t work out there will be another house for us, but we really do want to get this show on the road. In the meantime we are enjoying Austin, loving time with friends and family and soaking up the sun. I was re-reading our blog the other day and stumbled upon this post.

I feel like we finally have some answers. Not that we deserved answers, but I feel like He has been shedding some light on the past two years. Maybe someday soon I’ll share some of that, but for today I’ll leave you with this truth. God is good, all the time, no matter what and His timing is not always ours.