Friday, June 25, 2010

another lesson learned

Stevie is a great teacher, at least an eye opener. I've learned so much already being a mom. Mostly, I learn more and more about God's love for us through Stevie, how God loves us as His children, and what an absolute blessing that is.

This is a long one...

Stevie is hitting that age... He is hitting that age where he'd like to be more independent and do things when he wants to and how he wants to. I could never be like that. Ahem. When his desires are interrupted or squelched altogether, he is now throwing fits. This most often occurs at the changing table (he must be a boy not to care about having a messy diaper), but it also occurs at other times. The other day, I was stopped in my tracks right in the middle of one of his fits. Stevie had been heading in some direction, on some mission, and I swooped him up before he got where he wanted to go. I don't remember what his mission appeared to be, but I honestly don't think (remember) it was something he wasn't allowed to do or a place he wasn't allowed to go. I just had other plans. So, I scooped him up, and the fit ensued. Right in that moment, as I held him tight so he would not slam himself on our hardwood floors, I realized...

I realized how Stevie is like me (and yes, probably you too). There are times that I have strong desires, but I'm halted. It's as if I'm being picked up away from them, and I don't always like it. I suppose there are even times I may throw an adult version of the "fit."

Back to Stevie. He doesn't know what I have planned for him. He doesn't know what is about to happen soon or why I picked him up. There are a variety of reasons I swoop in, sometimes because of danger and other times to meet a need (food, diaper change, etc.), and even other times, I just have something better up my sleeve for him. I know Stevie. He had a desire, but I knew that did not compare to what I had planned for him.

While he threw his fit (a short one), I began to prepare him to go outside. He still didn't know why I was preparing him, but he calmed down and surrendered to me. I put his hat and sweatshirt on. When we were ready, we went outside for a walk and some swinging time. These are some of Stevie's favorite things in the whole world. I knew that. I knew they were better than getting into one of the unpacked boxes or whatever he was planning to do.

So, what exactly was the part that hit me the most? I know my boy. I love my boy. I want what is best for him, and I know what that is...even if he doesn't know it himself. I really do care about him. I care so much that I'll even give him something better than he can think of or see right now. First, he needs to stop and be prepared. Sometimes, when I'm going through life or rough patches, I can have human blinders. I can lose sight that maybe there is something to come of this, maybe there is better. God really is watching me, caring for me, preparing me. He really does know me and what is best.

A beautiful example of this is the home we are living in. We looked at several houses. We put a couple of offers in that were declined. One house, I really, really liked. Others, just didn't seem to fit our needs. We came to one, the one right before this one (well, 2 houses before it) that we were considering. This house needed a lot of work, honestly, more work than I wanted to have to deal with. It was tiny, really tiny, and it had a couple of other issues. We looked at it a 2nd time with both sets of parents. My parents were less than thrilled about it. I was a bit discouraged. I knew they just wanted to see us in the home of our dreams, but I wanted to be realistic...and them to be realistic for us too. Afterwords, I ended up sending an email to my dad, explaining a whole myriad of considerations surrounding purchasing a house or not and the timing...and a brief overview of our capabilities. Matt and I decided to wait on moving forward with that house. In the meantime, we found 2 more houses to look at. The first one, was a definite "not for us house." It was certainly liveable, but the kitchen had a hmm, 16 inch entry way? Seriously. I said to Matt, if I'm ever pregnant again, I will not be able to get in the kitchen, and then off of the kitchen was the laundry room. It was a really odd house. Anyway, I was a bit discouraged...not overly so, just sort of, "man, is there anything we can afford that will suit our needs and be pleasant?" We had one more to see that day. I remember clearly our realtor saying, "Maybe the next one's the one."

Well, as soon as we walked in the door, we knew. We knew it was the house God had planned for us all along. And you know what I just love? There are things about this house that were "dream home" qualities for me. I knew we didn't have tons to work with financially, and I knew I would need to be content wherever we joyfully make our home wherever/whatever our house was. God dreamed bigger for me, and gave me even more than what I desired or hoped for. He gave me an old house with beautiful hardwood floors (I love hardwood floors), white trim, woodwork, and crown molding throughout (which is gorgeous), super tall ceilings that my men need and would comfortably move about with, and a remodeled kitchen. Let me pause with that...a remodeled kitchen. The other houses we looked at, I just decided that one day, we would try to fix up the kitchens. I didn't like many of them, but even though they were old and tiny, I could deal with several of them. When we walked into this house to the kitchen, it was like God was saying, "How about this?" with a twinkle in His eye. Our jaws dropped. This was the 2nd or 3rd room in the house that we saw...hadn't even gone upstairs yet or around the corner of the first floor, and we knew, we just knew this home had been set aside for us. More things beyond our hopes came to our attention. The town is working on creating a trail right next to our house. One of my frustrations was having no place to run and walk with Stevie. We would drive to a canal path...and when we did, Stevie would inevitably fall asleep, ruining his naptimes. This house is also near a park and has streets with we have our pick! What a blessing this would be! Another fun piece of info: I found the house posted for the first time online just that day. We were the first ones to see it. We were the only ones to see it. Interior pictures hadn't even been posted until after our offer was accepted.

My dad had written an email back to me in response to mine to him before we were led to our house. He told me to continue to keep our eyes open and to pray. His last words to me before, "Love, Dad" were, "If you find a hidden treasure in the field of a place, bury it quickly and buy the field!" Well, here was our hidden treasure, for our eyes only. After walking through it, we went back to the office to put our offer in. After we moved in, one of our neighbors jokingly said, "We don't have any town gossip to tell you, just that we heard this house sold in like 3 hours!" And remember all those "road blocks" I wrote about vaguely in our process? So far, they seemed to have melted away.

This may be my longest post ever. I'm frustrated my writing is not flowing well lately, but I wanted to get these thoughts down anyway. So, here's my conclusion: I have heard similar analogies before about children's actions and adult actions, but experiencing it through my child hit home more personally. I really hope the next time I feel like I'm scooped up from where I think I should go, I can rest in God's arms and surrender myself and trust to Him...instead of throwing a ridiculous fit. He really does love me. He really does know me. There are times He even has bigger dreams and plans for me and our family than I may even have myself. We have so many examples to prove how He has shown us that...and our house is a wonderful gift from Him.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

How 'bout Some Birthday Pictures?

Some little boy had a birthday!

We took a few pictures at our apartment before some moving later that evening. Stevie had tired eyes for the pictures (he was probably up all night excited about his birthday), but he's still as cute as can be!

The next day was his party at the new house. It was a little nuts. There wasn't any furniture but the folding table and some folding chairs! It worked out nicely though. Here's the cake. The picture is a little tilted because I had to hold the camera above my head...we didn't have the chairs there yet for me to climb on to take the picture.

I actually had a lot of fun making the cake. However, once I made the crum coat and it looked hideous, I was nervous. I was even more nervous as I had to transport that ugly, florescent pink, crumb coated cake from the apartment to the new house with a load of stuff to be moved. Ha. It made it though! In the end, I was pleased with the way it turned out, being my first cake. I had grander plans of making more cupcake animals (duplicates of what I already had), but I had to call it quits somewhere for time and sanity sake. So, we had cupcakes with plain white frosting too. I figured that was better anyway since most people probably didn't want marshmallows and coconut all over their cupcakes. I know I didn't.

Stevie enjoyed his first cupcake too!

All in all, it was a great day, and we really enjoyed being able to celebrate in our new house. Without furniture, we fit, haha, and the kids and uncles were able to run around and play outside.

I know what I said

I have said it before: that I'm more of a country girl. I am.


I cannot stand snakes! I also don't like coyotes (my dog was killed by a coyote when I was I haven't been a fan since).

There was a snake under our recycling bin this morning. It took me by surprise. I gasped and sort of hopped back...then quickly ran inside the door a few steps away. I'm hoping it doesn't slither inside that back porch door to seek it's recycling bin home I removed. Oh man, maybe I should've left it outside! Our back porch door is an old, old door without a seal around the bottom. Yes, I'm ridiculous. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned that before too. (I'm just a little bit frazzled anyway lately.) Yes, it was only a little brown snake. However, "only" never belongs in a sentence with a snake. I was reading online to get close enough to take a picture of it. First of all, I don't always have my camera on me, and second of all, I'm not going to hang around and be close enough to kiss the thing to take a picture of it...just so I can know it's a snake! So, this is another post in which no pictures are contained.

My brother also said be on the watch for snapping turtles. My poor boy is not going to see his backyard until Daddy gets home. Well, ok, so that's a bit of an exaggeration. We'll go outside, but I need to bring a shovel! (Haven't I mentioned this before?...I'm losing it.) And Matt, well, he needs to take care of the recycling and garbage from now on!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm still here! I may be swallowed by boxes and newspaper and have to do lists up the wazoo, but I'm here. No, I don't know what the wazoo is, and no, I don't know how to spell it, but I do know I'm not usually a fan of the wazoo.

Anyway, I had intended on doing a Not Me! Monday post, and well, our internet, phone, and tv went out last night. We got it connected yesterday, and well, they decided to wait and disconnect the previous owners' last night...which was actually ours at this our service went out...leading to many a frustration. So, has been our story lately. I also forgot all the fun stuff I was going to share! I'm a bit overloaded...

I'm flailing around trying to get things accomplished...yet enjoy this lovely process at the same time, and it works sometimes and other times, not so much. Matt's at class a million nights a week (yup, a million), making this a longer process. However, he surprised me by taking the day off work yesterday! It was such a great surprise, and he actually pulled it off! He even got up at his usual 4...whatever...I'm not usually coherent to know what time it is, ate breakfast, came back to bed...I watched the clock...waiting for his alarm to go off to leave. Yes, he often gets a little nap before he leaves for work. It's what he likes to do rather than waking up later. I don't know why he does it, but I kind of like it. When I finally said, "you should probably get going" and he told me he wasn't going to work. I didn't believe him. I had to see if he was still wearing his pajamas to see if he was telling me the truth, haha. I was so excited...this being 5:30am, I said I wanted to watch a fun tv show or something with him. Umm, we just ended up falling asleep at some point instead. Anyway, later I found out the real reason he stayed home. It was because the phone/internet guy was coming...and you know, Matt's my mighty protector. I like that. I told him I had some pretty good Jack Bauer moves to use if needed, and he was aware of that. He just wanted to be sure I had back up. So, what did we do with our half day together (he still had class)? We were able to get our yard work done and go to the post office. We went to the post office 3 times yesterday. We can't have a mail box out here...or, I guess we could, but no mail would be delivered to it, so we need a good old PO box. Apparently, we live too close to the post office (I noticed we are at the very end of that limit...because there are mailboxes just down the street, nice.) Man, I wish I knew this before we got the house because it's a pain, haha. We take walks to it (I'm certainly getting in some degree of shape), but come winter, we may be getting our mail once a week. Anyway, we didn't have enough forms of ID for the 1st time we swung by. Then we filled out the paperwork at home and went back in...and forgot the paperwork. So, we indeed went to the post office 3 times to get that in order. Like I said, so goes our days.

Speaking of yard work...we had to do the old raking deal because it had been so long since it'd been mowed. We still don't have a mower of our own quite yet (working on it), so, I foresee that as a common chore to add to our list for awhile. Our yard isn't huge, but, umm, for a 1st timer, it's big enough. Wild flower garden here we come! Raking's not so bad, I just feel like I have SO many things I need to get done, and we still have a couple loads of stuff at the apartment. We need to be out of there by Sunday. It's really hard to do this stuff on my own with our little guy. His nap times are my more productive times (or my blogging times...but you didn't hear that from me), but I obviously can't leave to go move more of our stuff then. Stevie has been a "helper" unpacking for us (you know, pulling things out all over the rooms)....and sweeping...and swiffering. The boy loves those things, and I let him. Anyway...all that was a huge side note from our yard work. I hear mowers going outside. The sound of mowers is stressing me out. Our neighbors really, really, really like to mow their lawns. And, there is a wave effect. If one neighbor is out, you better believe the next neighbors follow. It's like a competition....or maybe it's just what they really love doing. We've been here 11 days and neighbors have mowed 3 times, possibly 4? Is this how often you all mow? I'm feeling so far behind, and we are losing the mowing competition. It's certainly not one I aspire to win's silly...right? However, I don't want to be one of "those" neighbors who don't keep up. So, this is stressing me out a bit. I'm not made to live by close neighbors. I'm a country girl...

Pictures are coming. I'm guessing people don't really read these long posts but look for the pictures of a cute little boy. Right now, batteries are drained, so I can't transfer the pictures to my computer yet. I think the laundry just finished. Off to hang it on the line. Yup, I'm hoping the neighbors are ok with that. I'll spare them the underwear! Stiff underwear and socks really aren't that great anyway.

To not end on a negative note: I found a cute storage box/bench/toy box on craiglist. I'm very excited about it! At the moment it's light purple though, haha. I'm still debating what color to make it. It's in our living room beneath our windows to hold toys and to be used as an additional seating area...and to just sit there because it's cute!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Random thoughts

So, we're here (mostly anyway...we still have some more at the apartment) in the new to us house. It was new to somebody in 1885 or whatever. It's old, but I like a lot of old things. Right now, I'm doing laundry in our new to us washer and dryer! It really is a dream come true. I'm not a fan of laundry mats (except it only takes 1 load worth for all laundry to be done) and being dependent on others' schedules while sharing laundry was difficult too. Now, I can just throw a load in whenever I want. Maybe it's time for me to dream bigger, but I'm very happy right now. The only bummer is it's a Thin of those stacked units, and the capacity is small, but it's perfect for the cloth diapers. I sort of get my head stuck in it checking to make sure there aren't loose socks in the washer to transfer to the dryer, but, oh well. Our laundry room is a closet area. The previous owners had fancy shmancy front loaders stacked up in it. We're not quite there yet. For now, I am loving our own machine, and having it on the 1st floor! Dream come true, I tell ya!

I'm debating whether to post pictures on here...after they're taken of course. I've been busy with other things. Oh yes, a birthday party post is to come. For now, I'll share a few things about the house. It has beautiful hardwood floors throughout. I fell in love with them the moment we walked through the home the first time. The ceilings are so high, which is wonderful because we have big boys in our house. Yes, Stevie is 32 1/2 inches, as of his 1 year appointment. The little paper they give us shows us he's >97th percentile. I guess they don't go higher than 97% on the chart? On an incredibly ridiculous note, our toilet is really tall. (I think giants lived in this house in 1885...or...maybe when the toilet was installed.) Umm, great for these big boys I guess. I'm a little worried about the whole potty training experience though with a tall toilet. I'm also worried about the potty training experience with the only potty being up a very narrow windy the very tall toilet. It's a good thing we have a washing machine...and those hardwood floors...err not?! I'm debating whether or not to buy a potty seat or just get one of those little seats that go over the toilet with the handle bars, haha. No, I'm not planning to potty train Stevie yet, but crazy as this may be, I'm thinking of trying to have him use the toilet for his BM's. He will love that I'm putting this on here when he's 16, but sometimes, he won't go until I change in, while I change him. I think it's too hard to push while sitting on the floor...if you know what I mean. I'm sure it will be better once he's walking too. Speaking of these floors and his movement (no, the other movement), it's taking some adjustment of skills for Stevie to crawl around here. It's a bit slippery! Mental note to self: I need to buy more socks with grip on them from Old Navy. Yes, Old Navy has wonderful baby socks. They fit him well (better than any other kind we've tried), and the sizes are right on the bottom...genius! No more digging through mismatched sized socks!

Umm, back to the house. I love natural woodwork...and usually in natural wood color, but this house is full of white woodwork, trim, and crown molding...and I'm in love. I also like the paint colors that are already here, which is great. We did paint our bedroom though...yes, Matt did it the morning of Stevie's party. That was so crazy. Anyway, we both really like the color, but it's a little more periwinkle than I hoped for. It's a soft but bright blue (does that make any sense?). We have never painted our own room before this! In our last apartment, it was pepto bismol pink! Puke! (My apologies if you like that color.) And, the bedroom carpet was also pink. We were allowed to paint and change things...but knowing it was temporary and would cost us money, we decided to just grin and bear it. So, you can imagine this is very exciting! Our living room is a warm yellow, our kitchen a sage green, and our dining room, a cheery? red. The dining room is my least favorite color at the moment. I prefer a more country red...I feel it's a little pinkish, but it will do for now. There are several old windows with stain glass. I'm not exactly in love with them (to put it nicely), but they're also not high on my priority list to change. If only money did grow on these trees... I want my curtains first! I figure, maybe I can just cover them up with curtains for now since they are up high on the windows!

The stairs. Well, this is one reason why we're not entirely moved in yet. As I said, the house was built a long time ago. The stairs are narrow with a 90 degree turn...and the stairs are completely enclosed. Our queen box spring is never going to see our bedroom. Matt and my dad are drawing up plans to build separate ones. For now, we are sleeping on our mattress on the floor, which was bent in half to make it up the stairs. One dresser will also never see the upstairs. It may need a new home.

The backyard is still a favorite. We have the swing set and so much room to play! Well, it was a favorite. My brother came over (they happen to live a mile away) with his boy, and the boys were on the swings. He told me to be checking for snapping turtles after rain days, since we're by some water and we have reedy growth on our side yard. Umm, no thank you. I'm going to have binoculars in the bathroom window to check things out before Stevie and I go out. Matt's going to have to equip me with some defensive gear too. Maybe we'll just go for walks after rainy days and leave the swing set time for after Daddy gets home. Yes, walks! I've been able to take Stevie for walks some mornings and afternoons already! What a blessing! There are sidewalks and soon to be a trail right outside our street! Before, we lived on a street way too busy to go for walks outside our driveway. Last night, we went on a celebratory date. The 3 of us walked down to the gas station in town to get a treat...candy bars, haha. It was too cold for ice cream! We'll do that when it's warmer! Of course, it started to sprinkle on our way home, so we had to walk and eat quickly. I've never really desired to live so close to the main part of a town or village (I like the country), but it's working out nicely.

We're figuring out the quirks of the home. Stevie is doing well adjusting to the loud creaks of the floors and stairs, and we're working on making the doors close...because right now, they don't. We figured this out about the bathroom door during Stevie's party. Oops. I may need to make a little sign for the bathroom like the elementary classroom bathrooms to signify it's availability.

This house is really more than we could've dreamed. There are certainly areas that need work (and a little animal de-smelling that we didn't notice till after the sellers moved out), but like I announced to Matt after our 1st walk through: This house has 3 prong outlets! (a "luxury" not found in many of the houses we looked at)...and certainly a lot of charm! It's really nice to have a place to call our own and a place to raise our family. We're really thankful for the way the Lord has blessed us. And of course, we're happy to be home!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Full Circle

Remember this post and this one? I need to grab my box of tissues again...



On Stevie's 1st Birthday, we moved into our first house! More to share about the celebration, but for now, that picture will do just fine.