Thursday, April 28, 2016

It's Been A While

***You will probably need to grab a beverage, maybe a snack and definitely a comfy spot while reading this, because it is LONG!***

My goodness, it's been forever since I last blogged. SO much on my mind. Lots happening in my life and so many things I want to write about. Anything exciting happening out there? 

We are building a home! It all started in September of 2016. We knew we wanted to put our house on the market in October. We had been ready for a very long time to make a change. Our family of 6 people and 3 pets had outgrown our cute little 1636 sq ft cape and we needed an upgrade.

After living in our home for 13 years, the time had finally come where we were able to make the change we had been wanting to make for many years. We found an agent, who also happened to be a family friend. She was willing to take on the challenge of helping us find a new home for our crew.

We found a neighborhood, in an area that we love. The neighborhood was new. The houses were adorable. We set out with our new realtor and drove out to the neighborhood. We looked at the model home and then looked at plans that the builders he represented were building in the neighborhood. We liked a few of the homes, but nothing seemed to really WOW us. We had walked through a home by another builder on our own a few days earlier. That home was still being built. We loved it. We asked this builder about that home and he explained that it would be well out of our price range and was much larger than any of the plans they offered. We left a little disappointed, but not defeated. A few days passed and we were going to go meet with the builder to see what he might be able to tweak  in his plans to make one of them workable for a family of our size. The day we were supposed to meet, he called and had to cancel. At this point, I asked my realtor if she would call the other builders and ask about the plans of the home that we walked through and liked. We noticed those builders were offering $5,000 in closing costs and a "local heroes" special where you could get a refrigerator or washer and dryer if you were a teacher, a fireman or a police officer. Since I'm a homeschooling mother, I asked her if they'd honor that special for homeschool teachers. Our realtor called back a short time later and gave us some great news. The house that we loved was at the top of our budget (but IN our budget) and they WOULD in fact extend that offer to homeschool teachers! We immediately went to meet the builder's realtor. We signed a contract that day. And days later, our home went on the market.

As often happens, life got a little messy in the following months. Our house wasn't due to be finished until April 2016. On November 15, our offer on that house expired, because our house had not sold. We asked for an extension and they granted it. At that point, we took off to spend the holidays in Idaho. We spent Thanksgiving in North Dakota with family and quickly scooted off to Idaho before snow closed the mountain passes. My husband had to head back to the east coast to work, while the kids and I stayed in Idaho with my in-laws. Grandpa had set the house up to be uber homeschool friendly. I've never been so grateful! I've also never missed my husband SO much.

One thing I am not is a lover of snow and all things cold. I become a hermit during cold weather. I get cold so easily. It's just not my cup of tea. My kids on the other hand LOVE the cold. Much to their delight, not long after daddy left, the skies opened up and Idaho became WHITE! Fortunately, we were able to get around in the snow fairly easily at first. We attended homeschool roller skating day and homeschool movie day. I was able to go shopping and Grandpa even babysat the kids for me to do Christmas shopping SOLO! It was during those times I'd turn on Christmas music and PRAY for Bruce Springsteen's Santa Claus is Coming to Town, not because I enjoy that song -- I hate it -- but because it was my husband's favorite and I longed for a little bit of him with me. I would cry, but not sad tears, a mix of happy tears and missing you tears. Soon the snow began piling up, as in 28 inches of snow, then over 30 inches! My kids were building forts and spending so much time TOGETHER! They were sledding, making snow cakes and just enjoying life in Idaho! One day, while out there playing, 2 moose happened by! Grandpa snapped a photo of one of the moose. The kids got the thrill of a lifetime.
Grandma made gingerbread houses with the kids, we made sugar cookies and we celebrated my middle daughter's 8th birthday. It was such a wonderful time. We don't get to spend a lot of time with my in-laws. Until this trip, only the oldest of my four had ever been to Grandma & Grandpa's house. The kids were soaking up every moment with their grandparents. We had so many giggles. They took us to The Snake Pit for the birthday girl's lunch. We set out to see the pretty Christmas lights. Alas, December 15 rolled around. This time, I talked with my husband and we decided to let our dream house go, since we hadn't even gotten a bite on our house. We were so sad to let it go, but we didn't want to hold the builder in limbo when they had people interested in the lot. And not long after that, the lot went under contract to another family.

December 22, my mom's birthday, I got a BIG surprise. My husband flew back to Idaho and surprised the kids and I. I was having a particularly bad day, when suddenly, he showed up! We had no idea if he would be able to make it back for Christmas or not, as we were trying not to spend any more money than we needed to spend. Friends from home had used their frequent flyer miles and flew him back out to us for Christmas. He then informed me that we would be heading home together, since we no longer we were waiting for our house to be built. So, we had a precious Christmas with his parents and then we drove out to North Dakota to spend time with aunts, uncles, cousins and great grandparents. The coolest thing happened on New Year's Eve, just before midnight, we were told to head out side and look for the Northern Lights... THEY WERE DANCING!!! We threw the kids in the car and drove up to the golf course (it was -14 degrees outside). We turned off all the lights on the car and watched the lights dance in the sky. The kids were mesmerized! It was one thing they had all hoped to see on this adventure. We were leaving on January 2, so the timing couldn't have been better. On January 1, we celebrated the 65th wedding anniversary of my husband's maternal grandparents. The next morning, we headed for home. We left 9 am on Saturday morning, stopped for a short visit with cousins in Minnesota and then straight back to my parent's house by 9 pm on Sunday night -- Yes, that's right folks... we made it back to Virginia in less than 2 full days from the western most part of North Dakota! We were motivated to get home.

Fast forward a week and a half. We'd had one bite on our home, not worth negotiating. We'd toured several homes and found nothing. On January 12 we received a text from my father in law that my mother in law was in the ER. The next morning we received an update that Grandma was being moved to ICU and possibly going on a ventilator. She was very ill.  I was talking on the phone with my sister updating her on my mother in law when a text message buzzed in with the words, "My entire department has been eliminated." -- it was from my husband. I crumbled, there on the phone with my sister. We'd lost our dream home, we might be losing his mother and now his job was eliminated. That's A WHOLE lot to handle. While I was so sad, I knew that God was in full control. I held on to the hope that He had a plan and we just needed to hang on for the ride.

Two days later, my husband was offered a position at a local company, doing what he loves and what he'd just gone to classes to learn more about. A position that paid more money and offered benefits we could have only dreamed of in the past. Grandma took a turn and was soon out of ICU and getting stronger! And we made a decision to continue looking for a home and keeping our home on the market. 2 weeks later, I asked my realtor to contact the realtor for the builder we'd been under contract with and ask if there were any spec homes ready to be sold. There were, and they were in neighborhoods we were interested in living. My realtor called me back a short time later and delivered some unexpected news... the lot we'd originally wanted to build on was available again, the couple who'd bought it, decided on a different house plan that didn't suit that lot, so they moved to a different lot. We immediately went to sign a contract! The builder honored our original contract from September. My husband soon began his new job, our home went under contract and we began planning our new home. God certainly had a plan... I'm so grateful that we held on and waited on HIM!!!

Here are some photos of the fun we have been having planning our new home!

Monday, April 15, 2013

For Your Safety

The past few months, I've been noticing a lot of walkers, runners and bikers on the road. I think everyone needs to really review rules of the road before getting out there!

Bikers -- you need to follow the traffic! Yes, even those of you out for a nice leisurely ride around the neighborhood. Middle of the street, facing on coming traffic is NOT a safe place to be! Go with the traffic, not facing it! Also, please ride single file, especially on unmarked curvy roads with blind spots.

Walkers and runners -- I cannot even count how many of you I have seen, this week alone, walking with your back to traffic, and some of you with headphones on! TURN AROUND or cross the street and walk facing on coming traffic. This is for your safety! Also, wear light colored and reflective clothing. It helps drivers to see you. Cross at intersections whenever possible.  Do not assume that a car will move or stop for you. I've learned that not all drivers care to move or stop for pedestrians.

Parents, please be sure to remind your children of the correct side of the street to walk on. Now that the weather is warm, I know the kids want to walk to their friends homes, but they need to do it safely. It's very important that we model the correct behaviors and teach them to our children. They aren't only listening, they are also watching.

Drivers -- SLOW DOWN when you see bikers or walker or runners! Share the road. If you have an empty lane beside you, kindly move over and give others the courtesy of an open lane and plenty of space. Remember, if that were you out there running, walking or biking, you'd want someone to do the same for you! Don't be so quick to be angry at runners and bikers on the road. Be patient.

Let's all get out and enjoy this beautiful weather, but let's review the rules of the road and common courtesy. Have fun and be safe!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Hello Blog World

Happy CINCO DE MAYO!!!!!!! Eat something MEXICAN today! Juevos Rancheros for breakfast for me! Yummeh! Enjoy the day!!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Breathing Again

Well, it looks like I am FINALLY on the mend. The flu, bronchitis and a double ear infection had a great hold on me. The bronchitis is still holding on and causing some chest and back discomfort, but over all, I feel quite a bit better! Still very tired and run down, trying to keep things low key.

I may start a new blog for my journey. Not linked to this site. Stay tuned for that, however! My schedule is ramping up again. This week I have DEFINITELY over booked and don't know quite how I am going to fit it all in! On Thursday alone, I have three commitments and they each overlap in time frame! GAH!!! Being MOM comes first, so Little Man's Art Show takes precedence over EVERYTHING on Thursday.

OK, the chest pain is too uncomfortable to sit up any longer, so I think I am going to go lay down.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sickness ... GO A W A Y!

So, now we have three confirmed cases of the flu here in our house and 2 cases of strep! Lemme tell ya, we are doing great! My cough is really working out my core ab muscles. I'm hardly able to eat or drink, though both hungry and thirsty.

Thankful that my precious mommy is making my family a scrumptious pot of CHICKEN SOUP! Oh we so need it! I cannot wait to get the first spoonful into my mouth tonight! Chicken soup cures everything, you know! ;)

Now that everyone is on tamiflu and amoxacillan maybe we can get some wellness back in this joint!

I've been instructed, by my new instructor... that I must rest all weekend and not do anything to over exert myself and cause relapse. I am following her lead! Come 5 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1 -- I will be headed to my very first "Body Back" class. You see, I won a contest! I get eight weeks of this class for FREE! I'm REALLY nervous, but REALLY excited. Thus why I HAVE to get better so I can give the class my all next week.

I talked to the instructor this morning and she said that we will go easy on Tuesday and just do an assessment of where everyone is... but then Thursday we kick it into high gear.

I have goals for myself in this endeavor. My goals are: put an end to emotional/stress eating, address the issues that keep holding me back from achieving my goals and learn to let GO of them, to become stronger, to become more physically fit!

SO, in the first class, we will get weighed (OH this is SO scary for me, people will know how much I weigh, and that is FRIGHTENING for me!) and then measured! I hope it won't be too traumatic for me! I always feel so judged. I've been assured that this group of ladies is extremely supportive and they come in all shapes and sizes.

NOW, I've just got to get better so I can make it to class on Tuesday morning!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WOW... I've been blindsided!

So, you probably noticed that I did not blog yesterday, and this blog is coming almost into the next day... well, I got blindsided with some kind of sickness and it is horrible! Fever, chills, coughing until I almost puke, complete lack of energy and just feeling like a pile of dung! I wish it on no one. Daughter numero uno and little man have both been hit with it, my nephew has had it... we are suffering! I don't know if it is the flu or what, but it is not fun. My ears are now killing me. The pediatrician said Wils' was just a virus that needed to run it's course. He seemed a little better today, but still really worn out.

So, I am keeping this post short and sweet, and adding something to my bucket list (I've never made one, so I guess I am starting one now!)

Wall/Rock Climbing -- I want to do it! It is now a goal!

OK, that's all for now. Going back to sleep, maybe, the baby keeps crying out! *sigh* mommy needs rest!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

On the blog again...

Yep, that's right! I'm on the blog again! A big change is coming to my life. An exciting opportunity has dropped into my lap! A challenge has been issued and I am taking it head on. Full Speed Ahead!

I am making a commitment, right here, right now! I will blog everyday of my journey. Why will I blog, because, I want to SEE where I started and how I do along the way. Some days will be hard, some days I will be exhausted and may want to give up. My blog will be my outlet.

My friends and family are needed for support. I have my own ability to sabotage my efforts, I do not need help from outside forces, so hear me right now... if you don't want to see me succeed at this, then stop reading my blog RIGHT NOW -- I have my own evils that keep me from achieving my dreams and I definitely do not want any naysayers on my journey with me. So move along, there is nothing to see here!

This blog is for me to work out what I am going through each day. Words of encouragement along my journey are much appreciated. Stories that could be motivational, MORE than appreciated! PRAYERS are coveted!

My absolutely gorgeous, beyond amazing, hunky, delicious, fantastic, precious, inspiring Mr. Perfect made a statement that I need to be reminded of throughout this journey. I was telling him how nervous I am, and how I fail so miserably so easily all the time... and he said, "Give it to God, let GOD succeed -- it isn't all about you, but about what God can do in and through you." WOW!!! Who is that man I married?!?! To think, when we met, he wasn't even a Christian, didn't really know much about the church or the body of Christ -- and now HE is reminding me that GOD has the power to perform miracles and the power to help me achieve my goals. His words were and are extremely encouraging. I know he will be praying for me everyday on my journey. I am eternally grateful for a husband who is filled with the Holy Spirit and isn't afraid to use the power that God has bestowed in all of us! Thank you, GOD, for Mr. Perfect in my life. I am so glad you hand picked him for me!

OK, so today is Day 1... even though the actual hard part of the journey doesn't start until Feb. 28. Day 1 = getting mentally prepared for the journey ahead. Getting my head in the game. Getting my heart in the game. Talking myself OUT of self sabotage. Moving myself forward into a new phase.

A quick review of the past 10.5 years:
  • July 1, 2000 Married Mr. Perfect
  • May 1, 2001 Last BCP ever
  • July 1, 2001 Discovered we were preggo!
  • August, 2001 DNC to remove fetal tissue from miscarriage
  • October 2002 Round 1 of Clomid
  • November 2002 Round 2 of Clomid
  • December 8, 2002 Discovered we were preggo!
  • August 15, 2003 Induction
  • August 16, 2003 Induction continued
  • August 17, 2003 Induction day 3, 10:42 p.m. Baby Girl #1 born by c/section
  • January 31, 2004 Discovered we were preggo!
  • February 14, 2004 Miscarriage on Valentine's Day
  • January 2005 Discovered we were preggo!
  • March 2005, Discovered baby had no heartbeat
  • June 2005, Discovered we were preggo!
  • June 2005, lost the baby just as soon as we discovered
  • July 2005, began water aerobics
  • September 2005, began working out in earnest and doing Weight Watchers
  • October 2005, 30th birthday! Told Mr. Perfect I was happy with my life and meant it.
  • November 2005 had lost 29 lbs.
  • November 2005, Thanksgiving Day, discovered at the gym that I was PREGGO!
  • July 14, 2006 Baby Boy born by c/section
  • April 2007 Discovered I was preggo!
  • December 13, 2007 Baby Girl #2 was born!
  • February 2009 Car was rearended, discovered I was preggo!
  • March 2009 Walked in the 10K, started spotting
  • April 10, 2009 discovered baby had no heartbeat, decided to allow my body to naturally cleanse
  • May 2009 experienced the worst miscarriage of all of my losses, 3 hour pain intensive labor
  • May 2009 begged Mr. Perfect to NEVER get me pregnant again
  • July 6, 2009 discovered I was preggo!
  • September 2009 could not find the baby's heartbeat, emergency ultrasound, baby was FINE!
  • November 2009 high level ultrasound to view baby's heart -- everything was fine
  • March 9, 2010 Baby Girl #3 born a week earlier than scheduled, healthy and amazing!
  • May 10, 2010 Baby girl #3 to ER for croup in the middle of the night
  • May 12, 2010 Baby girl #3 referred to a cardiologist for possible VSD (congenital heart defect)
  • May 19, 2010 Baby girl #3 cardiologist confirmed 2 heart defects (VSD/PDA)
  • May 19, 2010 Decided to start a chapter in Virginia of The Children's Heart Foundation
  • June 17, 2010 CHFVA held its first meeting
  • September 2010 second meeting w/ cardiologist, seems defects are trying to self correct
  • October 18, 2010 CHFVA held its first Golf Tournament in memory of Allison Jacobs
  • February 18, 2010 Offered a life changing experience and accepted it
  • February 20, 2010 Started blogging again...

As you can see, a lot of my past 10 years has revolved around pregnancy and losses and some scary moments with child #4. Being a mom is the most rewarding and wonderful job in the world, and the job I wanted most in the world. I wouldn't have gone through 5 losses if I didn't seriously want to be a mother. However, in becoming a mother, I've lost sight of ME... and that is not good for any of us in my family. I have forgotten to take care of myself. And in not taking care of me, others in my family have suffered. It is time to get ME back. It is time to take care of ME so I can better take care of these little people I helped bring into this world. It is time to take care of ME so I can be the wife Mr. Perfect deserves! It is time to take care of ME so I feel better about myself, so I like myself again and so I can relieve some self inflicted pressure off my life.

Since having child #2 I've neglected several areas in my life. It is easy to make excuses for why I have ignored these areas, but truth be told, I long to focus on these areas again. Yes, the excuses will still be there, and I'm sure I will try and pull them out ... but I have to remember that first and foremost I am doing this journey for MYSELF so that I can be a better wife, mother, friend and leader. With Mr. Perfect and Four children -- there are NO excuses that are acceptable for ignoring what I need to do in my life... do I want to continue to be here and be mother to my children and wife to my husband? If so, then I need to start this journey and stick with it! We are never guaranteed tomorrow, but with the way I have been living, I've been pushing the limits of tomorrow for a long time, giving up a chance at tomorrow for stupid excuses. No more excuses will hold me back. It's time for me to get my . . .

Stay tuned!