Roller Coaster

SO. I haven’t written in a week because the past seven days have been a roller coaster of emotions. I am not sure that I’ve had a more difficult season in my life, and I know I’m supposed to “Count it all Joy” (James 1:2-4) but that has been THE HARDEST choice to make.

Last Monday night or maybe Tuesday–my days run together–we got a call from our realtor saying our buyers wanted us to sign paperwork to release them from the contract. My initial reaction was shock and LOTS of tears accompanied by that lovely I-wish-I-could-go-throw-up-because-then-I’d-feel-better feeling. Thankfully, my husband and father had a much less emotional reaction and were able to calm me down. Twenty-four hours later, we negotiated some things in order to keep our buyers happy. Basically, we are giving them a little more money for closing costs and  had to do some more in the way of repairs/improvements. It’s funny how literally for 48 hours it was all I could think of–and yet now, it seems like it was weeks ago and things are moving along fine. HOWEVER, I will not be excited, celebrate, or spend a dime on a non-necessity until we actually hand the keys to someone else!


 

This last week has also been an epic disaster in parenting. One evening, the husband was gone and I attempted bedtime with the boys solo. Sometimes, I wonder why I even try? What would be so bad about letting the boys stay up all hours of the night? It seems that if I try the bedtime routines alone I end up hating strongly disliking the boys for not going to sleep easily and hating  strongly disliking my spouse for not being there and then hating myself for thinking such terrible things. I mean, people are suffering all around the world, but if it’s 8:30, and my guys aren’t asleep, I turn into a crazy person.

That same disastrous evening ended in a drive attempting to get the boys asleep, some crazy text messages to my man, and me apologizing to my boys for losing my temper. After my apology, rather out of the blue, my older one says, “When I get bigger we can get married, and you can wear a princess dress and have flowers, and I can have flowers in my big black pocket.” I’m always amazed at how easily children can forgive, forget, and move on to something else. They definitely point out my flaws, but they remind me of how blessed I am as well.

Hopefully the rest of this week and the weeks to come won’t be as much of a roller coaster…

 

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Thankful.

I think sometimes it’s too hard to get out the “fancy” camera–my Nikon D7000–but if I don’t get it out, I miss capturing moments like this one:

red house

This was taken on “Moving Day,” October 11, 2014. It was a hectic day, and I almost didn’t pause and force us to take one last photo in front of our “red house,” as Cannon has so deemed it. I almost didn’t make Rusty grab Izzy, and now I’m SO thankful I did. I’m glad I forced my boys to stop and take a few seconds to “pose” for our picture. I am also glad for small things like the basket of “choo-choos” on the chippy-painted chair. I debated about getting them out of the frame (at the time or in post-processing), but I left them there as a reminder. It brings back the memory of how my older son carried that basket around for almost two weeks straight–probably out of fear that they would get packed away or he wouldn’t be able to find them at his “new house.” I’m thankful my husband is wearing his OU shirt–reminds me how we watched the OU/Texas game BEFORE moving (priorities), and how just a few hours after, he would be giving up football (on TV) for over a month.

I LOVE my family. I LOVE this photo. I do wonder though if I had known what the next couple weeks had in store, if I still would’ve had “Moving Day” on October 11th. I doubt I would.

Perspective…with a dash of Hope!

I rarely talk about my job–I’m a school librarian, and I LOVE it. I will openly admit that I don’t work NEARLY as hard as I did as a classroom teacher, but I still get the joy of being around great students, teachers, and teaching the things I love–literature, research, technology, and general information skills. One of the things I’m thankful for about my work is the perspective it gives me. There are some days I come to school stressed, exhausted, and overwhelmed with all the things that come from being a wife, mom, and still working full-time. Then, I’ll talk to some of my students or hear stories from a teacher, and my life suddenly becomes a cake-walk. I don’t have it HALF as hard as some of “my kids.” I have a great support system, and I have HOPE. HOPE that anchors my soul. HOPE in Jesus Christ.

Speaking of HOPE, we have had some encouragement on the home front! We got a call from our realtor recently that our buyers have a new contract on their home! It’s with a local bank and known lender this time–thankful! If their inspection and appraisal go smoothly, they’ll close at the end of November, which means we will close shortly after! My prayer is that we can also close before December–it’ll make the holidays less of a stress.

It’s amazing to me how one phone call from a realtor or one story from a student can change my perspective and remind me about the HOPE that I have.

Day 31: To be continued…{#write31days}

This is NOT AT ALL how I planned this month to end. I assumed, I’d have grand pictures of a splendidly decorated home, along with tutorials and tips about how our move was a smooth success. Instead, I have a home STILL on the market, walls that are bare, and no handy-dandy tutorials.

What I DO have though is faith that my God is still on His throne, and He knows when our house will sell. I also know that our new house is slowly but surely coming together and feeling like HOME. I know I have a husband who is willing to sacrifice (no TV during Football Season is HUGE!), and I have two precious boys who will forever be my “home.” We have parents who are willing to bring us their leftovers and help in little ways without saying they’re “helping.”

So instead of a grand, “the end of the make a move series,” I am ending this with a “to be continued”…I don’t know what the rest of our “moving” story holds. I don’t know when the house will sell, and I honestly don’t know how we are going to afford Christmas gifts and goodies for our family and friends, but we will Do The Next Thing, and when it works out. WHEN our home sells, WHEN we are able to give gifts (probably made by hand), WHEN the walls are splendidly decorated, we WILL give all the glory to God.

Day 30: What I’m Learning {#write31days}

It’s amazing what one can do without when it’s necessary. If you had told me a month ago that we would be CHOOSING to live without internet and TV during FOOTBALL season, I would’ve laughed at you and said you were insane.

Once we found out our house was going to have to be put back on the market, we decided to give up some things–fast food, internet, TV, random shopping, and those pesky Target trips where I go in for three things and somehow come out with twenty. I thought it would be hard, and if I’m being honest, the most difficult time for me is my drive to work, when I’d like to grab a sausage biscuit or a burrito, but other than that, it’s been fairly easy. We don’t NEED the junk fast food that is so easily accessible, the boys are PLAYING more without TV, and I’m bringing less unnecessary stuff into our home.

It’s also forced us to get a little more creative–more of our birthday and Christmas gifts will probably be homemade, which requires more thought and effort, but less dollars. The boys “needed” costumes for Halloween and our church’s Trunk or Treat. In the past, I would’ve turned to Amazon Prime, and that was tempting. Instead though, I got creative–borrowed some of their daddy’s hats and whistles, Lolli gave us some iron on letters, and costumes were made!

Meet the three cutest coaches I know!

trunk or treat collage

 

 

I have no doubt that until our house sells, things will be difficult, but perhaps we’ll continue being stretched and learn more about what is most important.

Also, my almost-two-year-old is NOT a fan of sitting still for photos. 😉

Day 29: The Age-Long Minute {#write31days}

Day 29: The Age-Long Minute {#write31days}

Day 28: Just keep swimming {#write31days}

We are down to less than 10 boxes! Considering we brought 77 packed-to-the-brim boxes with us, I’m pretty proud of that accomplishment. Some evenings when I get home after work, the LAST thing I want to do is unpack another box, but I hear my mother’s voice saying “Do the Next Thing,” and if I’m around my children, I think of Dory on Nemo…”just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming” Even if I only open or unpack ONE box, I instantly feel more productive. Last night, I opened TWO, so it was a good day!

swimming

I will opening admit, that in some cases, I’ve just moved boxes to the inner recesses of our closet, where I’m sure they’ll sit for months, but I’m okay with that. Hopefully, once we have a break from school, I’ll do a purge and just get rid of things. I think one of the blessings of downsizing, is that I will get rid of even more STUFF. I’m glad to know that my treasure is in heaven, and not in all the boxes we’ve been going through!

Day 27: When in doubt, cook {#write31days}

Soooooo, obviously if anyone read the intro and first few posts of this series, they are probably asking “where are the tips and tricks for moving?” I’ll be honest. I don’t have many. The few I have:

1. Label, label, label, then label some more. (more on that later)

2. Pinterest (it saves lives or at least some ideas to make things easier)

3. As soon as possible, start cooking!

#3 came as a huge surprise to me, and it’s nothing that anyone mentioned to me when I asked for advice/wisdom/encouragement in our 31 Days FB group. I will admit for the first week and a half after we moved, I avoided cooking like the plague. The LAST thing I wanted to do was fumble through a kitchen trying to find things–I couldn’t remember WHERE we put the Ziplocs for crying out loud! How could I possibly find a measuring spoon?!?! However, since we found out that our house had to go BACK on the market, we are obviously not eating out, so cooking became a bit of a necessity. Also, one can only eat so many packages of shells-n-cheese….

Oddly enough, I think that having meals the last few days together has made our new house feel more like home. There’s something about cooking in a kitchen and then offering the results to family that makes things homey. Certainly, they haven’t been fancy meals–one was a “picnic” in our backyard, and some were on plastic plates, nonetheless, I’m starting to feel at home in my kitchen and the entire house altogether.

 

Day 26: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus {#write31days}

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

~Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922)

 

Day 24: Back in the saddle again {#write31days}

Well, it’s officially BACK on the market. We have had two offers, one fallen through contract, and we are at it again. We know that God is in control, and we trust His timing, but we are earnestly praying that we get an offer (that comes through) quickly!

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.48.55 PM

We are also praying that our previous buyers’ sell their house and still want ours…either is a great option.

In trying to look at the positive, I’ve realized it will be nice to be “showing” a home without having to stress over keeping it clean or frantically getting kids and a dog out of the house before viewings. Here’s hoping the third times a charm!