Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Our New Home

It all started on June 26th, 2014.

We were vacationing in Florida.
The kids were napping.
Kevin was down at the beach snorkeling.
And I was relaxing on our balcony - going back and forth between people watching, reading my book (gone girl), and resting my eyes.

At one point, during my quiet time, I logged onto realtor.com because that's what I do did all.of.the.time.

Scrolling through houses, I came upon this one -

4 bedrooms, 3 baths, and a lot of space.
I wanted it...and from that point on, on June 26th, we did everything we could to make sure this house would be ours.

...and on October 17th, 113 days later, we moved into our new home.
And I'm telling you - those 113 days were rough.  I think I actually got my first stress headache... :)
Yet, as stressful as it was, I know in my heart, it was meant to be.
Buyers for our old house came along at just the right time and everything, step by step, fell into place just as it should.
it was just tough because i wanted to know every single detail of every single step along the way.  it's important for me to know exactly what is going on at all times...especially when it involves my money. i'm sure our realtor and lender celebrated huge when they were done working with us (especially done working with ME)!

But it's funny, how something we wanted so badly and something we worked so hard for, that the day we moved into our new home, at the end of the day as the sun was setting, all I wanted to do, was go home.
I wanted to go back to our old house - the house that I called home for 10 years.  The house that I put my babies to bed in every night.  The house that I knew from ceiling to floor and wall to wall.  The house that I wanted so desperately to move out of for so long.  That's the house that I wanted to go back to. 

Funny how things are.

You don't think about how much things really change when you move.  Your whole life changes.  Everything you had known and all the ways in which you did things comes to a stop and you have to find a new way.  That may sound a little exaggerated, but it's the truth.  

Something that made me laugh - our old house had one bathroom.  One tiny bathroom.  Our new home has 3 bathrooms.  Well, for the first couple of weeks in our new home, we all convened in one bathroom together.  We all got ready in the morning in that one bathroom, we all showered in that one bathroom, we all brushed our teeth in that one bathroom...because that's what we were conditioned to do - share one bathroom.  Finally, though, as time has gone on, we've spread our wings and began occupying the other bathrooms.

Despite the homesick feeling I had for a couple of days, I love our new home and each day it's becoming more and more ours.  Our new home is a project we'll be able to work on in years to come - it's a beautiful home and has everything that we want in a home for our family...it just needs updating and we're looking forward to updating it throughout the years.

Some of the little things I love about our home are:
(pardon the mess in the pictures, as we're a work in progress right now)

our fireplace

this pretty cool lamp that was left.  i refuse to get rid of it.

these little windows.  
this is the view from the family room in the basement.  the dining room is on the other side of the windows, upstairs.
i love the character it adds.

our view.
an open field.

the climbing tree for our kids.

And there's other things that I like such as our sparkling ceilings, a sliding glass door that leads out to our patio, our own bathroom in our bedroom, a toy room for the kids, the dimming lights in the bathroom and dining room...

I love our new home and it still feels like a dream that it actually happened....that we actually did it.

We've been able to get a few things done over the last month while being here.
We've been able to replace a couple of the kitchen appliances and get a majority of the family room in the basement completed.

This was before: 

and this is after:
we've painted and laid hardwood flooring.
It's still a work in progress, but it's almost done. 

Right now, we're also working on the toy room.
We've pulled up the carpet and we're getting ready to paint the walls and lay new carpet.  
The kids picked out the paint they wanted so pretty soon, we'll be putting them to work to get the job done!


I'm thankful.
I'm thankful for where we are and what we have.
I'm thankful for the MANY lessons I have learned over the past 4.5 months.
I'm thankful for our family and friends who helped us though the move with packing, moving, and unpacking.
We could not have done it without you.
I'm especially thankful for my parents and Kevin's parents.  They have gone above and beyond in all ways to make this transition as easy as possible for us.
And I can't leave out my sister and Scott.  I will be forever grateful that the Cardinals lost a game, which placed Kristina and Scott in Lincoln on our move in day.  


I read somewhere once that moving demands a brave heart and a bold spirit.
The idea of turning away from the old (in our case, especially when it's so good) and embracing the unknown is something that brings out a lot of emotions, but, you know what they say...

if you do not go after what you want, you'll never have it.

or 

take into account that great love and great achievements
 involve great risk.  dalai lama

or

the what ifs and should haves will eat your brain. john o'callaghan

or 

sometimes following your heart means losing your mind.

So, there you have it.
Our new home.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mia Turns TWO



It's been TWO years of kissing this sweet, sweet face! -

...TWO years of cuddling her,
holding her,
rocking her,
playing with her,
talking with her,
staring at her...

I stare at her all the time.
I stare at her in awe and amazement. 
All.of.the.time.
How did we get so lucky to have her as ours?

It's been TWO wonderful, beautiful, and blessed years.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Mia Grace!!

..and how did we celebrate Mia's 2nd birthday?

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Come One, Come All -
We celebrated the Big Top way!


We had a day at the circus!

The kids had an amazing time!
In fact, that's all Makayla could say all day long -
"mom! that's amazing!"
"dad, that's AMAZING!"

The kids got their faces painted, rode on animals, ate lots of circus treats, and sat in the stands with their eyes wide, watching the show in amazement!


Mia -

whose favorite food is popcorn,
whose favorite color is pink OR purple,
whose favorite book is "5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed",
whose favorite thing to play with is her baby dolls,
whose favorite thing to do when she's bored is to sit on the potty,
whose favorite hobby is mimicking her brother and sister,
whose favorite animal is a kitty cat,
 and who loves sleeping in, kissing and being kissed, and chewing gum -

Happy Birthday!

We had the best time ever celebrating YOU and making memories at the circus!!

I love you, baby girl!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween 2014

Happy Halloween!!
2014
 
 
Mia - Pumpkin
Mason - Pirate (Jake and the Neverland Pirates)
Makayla - Something pretty (Barbie Mariposa)

9th Anniversary

Today is our 9th wedding anniversary and THIS is how far we've come.
  We go through life together with jobs to do, bills to pay, deadlines to meet, games to play, places to be, and people to see....but at the end of the day, THIS is all that matters

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Miss Mia Grace, I Love

Oh, Miss Mia Grace

I love you.

There's so much I want to write about you, 
but all I keep going back to is - I Love You.


Every Wednesday morning, I get to be all alone with you.  
Your brother and sister are off at school and it's just you and me.
Every Wednesday night, daddy and I get to be all alone with you.  
Your brother and sister are off at church and it's just you, me, and daddy.
I cherish our time together and soak in every single second of us being alone (because it doesn't come often), but I can't help but giggle when you constantly spend our alone time asking where Sissy and Bubby are.  You throw your hands up, shrug your shoulder, furrow your brows and ask "Sissy?".  I tell you she's at school or at church and you go through the same motions for Mason - you ask "Bubby?".  I tell you he's at school or at church and then you say "Pick up".  We have this conversation over and over again throughout our Wednesdays together.  
I love it. 
I love our conversation.



I love that you growing bigger and bigger.
You're getting smarter and funnier and ornerier and
...and you're just growing up.
My baby is growing up.


You are at an age where you are very influential.
You are picking up on words and actions so very quickly.
You are smart.  So smart.

Last week, Mason taught you to say "shush up".  While you don't know what that means, you know it's not something nice to say and you like to say it a lot to get a rise out of mommy and to spread laughter to your brother and sister.
...and that laughter - that laughter between you , Mason, and Makayla.
I love it.
I love it so much.
I thank God countless times a day for what the three of you have with each other.


I love you, Mia.
I love your laughter.
I love how your eyes sparkle with JOY...and I love how you smile with your eyes!
I love how you touch my hair when it's wet and ask "shower?" and then gently roughly comb through it with your comb.
I love how you always want me to check for boogas (boogers) in your nose.
I love how you think all of your shoes are so pretty and that you want me to put pretty (blush) on your cheeks so you can look pretty.  You love to be pretty.
I love how you are such a good mommy.  You love to bounce your baby.  You love to feed your baby.  You love to put your baby night-night.  You love to be a mother to your baby, to your pretty baby.
I love how you hug me and cuddle into me.  I love your tiny arms around my neck and I love how you are always leaning in for a kiss.
I love that you've learned that "purple" is a color, so everything is always purple. 
I love how you are so quick to bring Mason his blankie when he's hurt or upset.
I love that you always ask for jelly on your toast.
I love that you still want me (or let me...i'm not sure) to rock you to sleep at night.
I love how you are so genuinely concerned when you hear a baby or child crying.  Your eyes get sad and you repeat over and over again "cry".
I love to watch you dance.  You are the star of our dance parties.
I love that you're talking more and making sentences.  

It's so fun to watch you grow into a little girl.

I'm so thankful for you.
I'm thankful for the love you give me and for all that you've taught me.
I'm thankful for the love, laughter, and joy you bring to our family.
I'm thankful to live this life with you, Mia.

I love you.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

19 More Days

We have a chain.

...A chain to count down the days until October 17th. 

The kids (mainly Makayla) and I colored and dated the strips of paper - 

and each day, we take one off ...getting closer and closer to the big day.

19 more days. 

19 more days until we move from this house to that house.

For weeks we have been talking about the "blue house".
For weeks we have been driving by the "blue house".
For weeks we have been visiting the "blue house".  

We've been picking out our rooms,
deciding where would be a good place to put our piano and the Christmas tree, 
trying to figure out what wall in the basement we would put our 125 gallon fish tank,

deciding what color we would paint that green in the kitchen, 

and rolling around being free in all of the extra space. 

For weeks we have been surrounded in boxes and packing up our things.
For weeks we have been dreaming about the future and what it's going to be like to make the "blue house" our house.
For weeks I have been locking up the memories of our time on North Monroe and forever storing them away in my heart and mind - our first house together, where we started our family, the smell of our home, Makayla's tree, all of the little things I'm going to miss about the North Monroe house and all of the things that make me love it.  It's been good to us and we're definitely going to miss it.

But it's time.
Finally.

For years, we have gone back and forth about selling our home.  There have been more than several homes that we've "loved" and that we've wanted, but it's never really felt "right" and I've always found a way to get out of it - to not move - to move on to a different house or deciding altogether that we're not moving at all.
I would convince myself to be content on North Monroe.
I would convince myself that we could be comfortable in our 3 bedroom 1 bath home.
I would convince myself that we don't need to move...that we have everything we need right here on North Monroe.
And that's true. 

But...

This "blue house" is different.
I feel in my heart that this is right.
This is what we want and this is what we need.
This is what we've been waiting for.
This is a good thing and I didn't want to lose it.

So moving from something good


To something better...

all I can say is, 
we are blessed.

We've worked very hard to get where we are so far and I can't wait until October 17th gets here when we can open the front door to the "blue house" and say Welcome Home! 

P.S.  I know that next year, our new home won't be blue, but it will forever be known as the "blue house" to our family!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BOXES and BIRTHDAYS


It has been over 20 days since I've blogged.
Ugh.
That's not like me!...and there's a little part of me that feels like I'm drowning because of it.
Drowning in a sea of everything that means the most to me - life is going on all around me and I'm scared of forgetting it, scared of losing it.  
Sound strange?
I'm sure it does.
But without me making it a priority to set aside time to sit down and blog, I feel like I lose my perspective on what matters most in life. This blog helps me to not take for granted the little things and to be thankful in all things.  And it helps me to never forget...to never forget the things that I want to hold onto for...ever.  I want to remember how we felt on Mason's first day of preschool, I want to remember how we felt when Makayla lost her first tooth, I want to remember how we felt when Mia joined our family...
I want to remember all those conversations with my babies - the conversations that make me laugh so hard my lips turn numb, or the conversations that tug at my heart so much so that it brings tears to my eyes.
When I can't (or when I don't) document these moments in time - the milestones, the pictures, the conversations - our every day life, I feel like I'm drowning.  I feel lost.
Could I work on that?  Could I work on not feeling that way if I didn't blog?
Of course.
Do I want to?
I don't think so.
The reward of this blog is too great to give up.
What I, and my family, will be able to hold in our hands years down the road is not something I am willing to bring to an end quite yet.

So, with that being said, what's been going on for the past 20 days?

BOXES 
and
BIRTHDAYS!

In the midst of selling our home and buying a new one...

we've been surrounding ourselves with boxes...

and empty shelves...

We've spent the last couple of weeks packing -
Packing up our lives and packing up what's been our home for the last 10 years.
(more on this topic to come in the following weeks)

And in between the days of packing, we've celebrated a few birthdays!

Makayla turned SIX!

Grandma Curry turned SIXTY!


and Mason turned FOUR!

We Mommy and daddy opted out of throwing big birthday parties for the kids this year!

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I don't feel like having or not having birthday parties makes the day any more or less special.
The day is what you make it!


Makayla's birthday was a day for her!  We celebrated her turning SIX years old!
She started her day out with us singing "Happy Birthday" to her over cinnamon rolls,
and ended her day with us singing "Happy Birthday" to her over ice cream cake at Grandma and Grandpa Allen's.
In between, she celebrated with her friends at school with cookies and kool-aid.
We let her pick where she wanted to have her birthday dinner and she chose Olive Garden with Grandma and Grandpa Curry (good choice, baby girl!).  She ate all of her ravioli and the waiter delivered her a special dessert.
Between cinnamon rolls, ice cream cake, dessert at Olive Garden, goodies at school, and opening presents, she had a pretty great day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Grandma Curry turned 60 years old and we celebrated her birthday with a wiener roast with family and friends.
I put together a very special gift for grandma that included all of her grand kids (minus gage and reagyn) - "60 Reasons Why We Love Grandma".  It's a gift that came from the heart that she will cherish forever.


60 little tickets with messages of love and appreciation, tucked away in a jar with the hymn "Count Your Blessings" wrapped around the treasure.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Mason's birthday was a day for HIM! We celebrated him turning FOUR years old!
His day started out with breakfast at Hardees (his choice) and ended with us singing "Happy Birthday" to him over cake with the grandparents.
In between, he celebrated with his friends at school with Spider Man fruit snacks and kool-aid.  
We let him pick where he wanted to have his birthday dinner and he chose McDonalds (big deal to him because surprisingly it's not a place we go to too often)
Between breakfast at Hardees, treats with his friends at school, dinner at McDonalds, cake, and presents, he had a pretty great day!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

life is good 




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Opening Doors

Since Makayla was 2 (almost 3), she has been going to school.

Her first two years, she attended Mrs. Wright's preschool class at our church.


Last year, she attended Mrs. Sharp's PreK class at Carroll Catholic.

...and this year, she is in Mrs. Gandenberger's kindergarten class!

I am so very thankful for the previous years of school for Makayla.  I'm thankful for the teachers, I'm thankful for the education, I'm thankful for the experience, and I'm thankful for the preparation.  
She and I were both well prepared for the big first day of kindergarten.

I've discovered through the years, that Makayla is not one to tell me what she learned at school.  Every time I ask her, her answer is always "nothing".  So, it came to me as no big surprise when I picked her up from her first day of school today and she told me that she learned nothing...but I couldn't help but smile when on our way home, she was talking to Mason and Mia about a chrysalis (so i'm thinking she did learn something today because i've never used the word chrysalis in my entire life)!

I'm so excited to watch Makayla grow and bloom (even more, if that's possible) over this next year as she spends her time in the kindergarten classroom!!

**********************************

While Makayla is busy in kindergarten, Mason is busy in preschool!

Mason started his first school experience at age 3 in Miss Martin's preschool classroom at Carroll Catholic!  He loves it!!!  He loves going to school.  He loves writing his name, he loves playing at the train table, he loves recess, he loves learning!  He loves to tell me about his morning at school and wishes he could go to school every day.  I love to see the excitement on his face as we walk into the school and I love to see the excitement on his face when we pick him up.  

*******************************

And because Mason and Makayla are both in school, this means that one morning a week, there's
Mia and Mommy time.
Mia and I get a few hours one day a week where it's just us.
Me and her.
Nobody else.  
No other voices, no other demands.  

Nothing.

This morning, we washed bikes, played in the back yard, read books, played airplane, fed each other snacks, sat on the big girl potty....

She had my undivided attention.

We loved it!
We're looking forward to next time and are excited to have this as part of our routine...for now.


***************



The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.  
~Ralph W. Sockman




Me:  Mason, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Mason: A dad.
Me:  That's cool!
Mason:  And a fireman guy.
Me:  Cool!  Makayla, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Makayla:  A babysitter.
Mason:  Well, actually, I want to be a baby when I grow up.