Closing & Home Happenings

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We did it! We closed on our home yesterday! It was such a surreal experience.

I hardly slept the night before, we woke up at 7 to get our day started. First, we went to the bank to get the “big check” needed for closing. Then we went to the insurance company to get the home owner’s insurance squared away. Finally, we ended up sitting around a large conference table at a law office with the following people: our realtor, our mortgage lady, a representative of the city, a paralegal, and an attorney.  The stack of papers to sign was about           [        this wide              ]. The paralegal explained everything we were signing and answered any questions we had. Jason and I feel super lucky and blessed to have worked with such a great team, and three of them are our family friends…they all were so happy for us. It was a great morning 🙂

After all the papers were signed, they handed us copies of everything, including the deed to our new home! *Happy face!!*

Then, on top of all this happiness, our mortgage lady and realtor surprised us with gift cards to Lowe’s and Bed, Bath & Beyond. I love those ladies, they are so thoughtful. Jason and I went out for a celebratory lunch and then promptly went to Lowe’s to put that gift card to use! The first thing we wanted to do was to change all of the locks for the house. We shopped around for the best deal and it turns out Lowe’s was the best. We also tried Craigslist, but the options weren’t what we were looking for. Mainly, and I’ll be honest- Those bright golden door knobs had to go

I’ve never really decorated a home. When I was a teenager, I decorated my room with Korn, Rob Zombie, and SouthPark stuff. With a mix of beenie babies. Remember those? Nice mixture, huh? When I moved out of my moms house I rented an apartment that I felt like I couldn’t really do anything to, so I kept the walls plain and the “decor” minimal. Then I rented a house and decorated more, but still within boundaries. It feels so freeing to be able to do anything I want to our new house. I can do anything! If I want to paint the living room puke green…I can do it! But I don’t, so I won’t.

Jason and I are excited about making this home ours. So, as we search for the things we need, we are willing to let the process take a while in order to have pieces and items we really love instead of “substitution items”. The items that you buy after you say the following sentence “Well, it’s not really what I’m looking for, but it’ll do until…”. We aren’t doing that. When it came to the doorknobs, I knew it was time for the brass to go. We switched them out for oil-rubbed bronze and I loved the outcome. We hope to replace all of the cabinet/room doorknobs with this same style as well.

I should also mention that while in Lowe’s, I pretty much wanted to run down the aisles shouting “We’re homeowners! We’re homeowners!” But I just skipped happily and kept my mouth shut. I did however sing to Loretta once we got back to her (house). Some hugging may have taken place too.

So, today at the house, we changed out all of the locks. I went through all three of the bathrooms sweeping first, then mopping. Then scrubbing on my hands and knees, then mopping again. We steam-cleaned most of the carpet and started bringing some stuff in!

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Trixie's temporary spot on the mantle

Trixie’s temporary spot on the mantle

Funny story:

The next door neighbor has this 9 year old that likes to come talk to us whenever we are at the house. Today he came over and sat talking to me while I scrubbed the pink scum out of our big, loungy jet tub in the master (OMG, I can’t believe I just typed that sentence! I’ve never had a “master” or a jet tub!! God is so great!!!!). All of a sudden he says “Yeah, you better scrub that tub GOOD. My aunt used to live here in this room with her boyfriend, and he was naa-aaa-stttt-yyyyyy. [emphasis on the “nasty”]. I immediately pictured this big, hairy old guy wearing a gold chain soaking in the very tub I was cleaning. Then I pictured said guy soaking his corns after a long day at work. Ewwwwwwwww.

I scrubbed harder. That tub was sparkling clean when I got through with it, but I may give it another go around just to be safe.

I can’t tell you how blessed I feel.

One of my favorite spots in the house is one of the window seats by the fireplace (the one with the books piled on it). Sometimes I take a break from cleaning or playing with Marley and I just sit and bird watch. I tell Jesus “Thank You” over and over again. It’s funny- when I was telling my friend, Whitney, about how we got the house and how much Jason and I prayed for it and how it felt like home from the first time we stepped on the property…she said “Well, God knows your heart. He knows your desires and he wants to bless you.”

Psalm 37:4 says: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

This is so true.

We looked at many homes that were just OK, we even put in a bid on a couple that we would live in for a good starter home. Something that we didn’t want for too long of a time, but a good home “for right now”. Our dream was to ultimately live in a home surrounded by nature with a little bit of land. Something with a big kitchen and great natural light. Something tucked away, in our own little world. A peaceful and quiet home. No traffic zooming by on the highway, no cars in and out of the driveway, no visible neighbors…And God knew this. He showed off in a big way and gave us what our hearts truly desire.

Every time I look out onto the yard, I’m reminded of how great our God is.  His glory shines through the beautiful birds singing and the sunlight shining through the trees, and this makes my heart melt. Melt with a love for Him and all his creation. We can say “Thank you” to Him a million times over and it would never truly express how grateful Jason and I feel.


We are so in love with our new place ❤ ❤ 

Thanks for reading, I hope to do a tour soon. Also- blackberry pie and Rick Warren book review coming this week.

Xoxo

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Snippets

This morning I quoted Honey BooBoo. I don’t even watch that show and the only reason I know who she is is because someone else on TV was mimicking her…but it happened. I put on some jean shorts and found a dollar in my pocket. I held it up and yelled “A dolla make me holla, honey booboo chiiiilllld!”

My dog just sat there all judgmental looking. Not my proudest moment, but I digress. Sometimes I just go around the house singing about what I’m doing, or quoting movies out of nowhere. Last night I tried my best to impersonate Johnny Cash while in the shower…”I fell in-to a burnin’ rang of fire”. My voice won’t go that low.

I digress again.

Here are some snippets from my week!

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//mornings on the ranch//

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//Marley playing with Thor at the dog park//

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//God gave us a beautiful day for play//

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// 😀 Marley after the dog park//

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//Homemade blackberry pie (recipe coming soon)//

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//DNA cloning- visualization-school lab//

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//Morning tea and lab report writing- one of these things I actually enjoy//

**All pictures taken with my DumbPhone**

Blackberry pie recipe coming next week! ❤ ❤ xoxo

Our Vision for Our Family and House

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Morning! I’m just going to jump right in and say that we are officially closing on our house this Monday! The realization that we are going to be homeowners very, very soon caused Jason and I to sit down and talk about  what each of us wants for our family and home in this next season of our lives. We’ve been fortunate enough to share the same values and goals thus far, and this wasn’t an exception either 🙂 Seems like my man and I are on the same page again. I love that!

First, let’s start with what we want for our family:

We have slowly been moving towards living more sustainable lives this past year and we hope to carry this out further once we move into the new house. Here are some goals we have for more sustainable/simple lives:

  • Reduce the use of chemicals in the home. The fact that my hair spray sends me into a coughing/gagging fit every time I use it can’t be good. We hope to switch to natural products in degradable containers to reduce what goes in the trash and the atmosphere. I’ve already switched to goat milk soap, which I’m slightly addicted to now…it does wonders for my eczema.
  • Continue to support locally-grown products. We currently get a CSA (community-supported agriculture) box from Bush-n-Vine near our house. We love supporting local businesses and eating their fruits and veggies too!
  • Learn how to grow a garden and give at least 50% of what we grow to a local charity (or those in need).
  • Start a compost somewhere on the property to reduce the amount of trash we have and to cut down on soil costs for our garden.
  • Install a rain barrel. It took me a while to catch on to this idea. I’m like “what can you use the water for?” But there are a ton of things you can use it for! Watering the garden, washing the dog, washing the cars, cleaning the side of the house..ect.
  • Disconnect more. I think we may be the only two people on the planet that don’t have iPhones, but we like it this way. We are at the computer enough for e-mail and for school, there is no way I’d want to carry the internet around with me in my pocket all day. I do love the internet, because of websites like this. And Pinterest, duh. But I’ve really stepped back and replaced some of the mindless time spent at the computer with other things, like reading and talking with my husband in the morning. It’s been nice and I hope to continue to do this. We also wish to get rid of one cell phone, keep one for emergency only and just have a land-line. I can’t remember the last time I had a land-line! I think I was eight. Haha 🙂
  • Stop buying new things. Of course, there are some things that have to be bought new, like shampoo, groceries, sometimes clothing..etc. We mean things like kitchen items, decor, furniture, ect. For example, I had been longing for a bread maker for about 6 months and was almost to the point of buying one ($50-$80) on eBay, but then I found one for $5 at a yard sale! And it works perfectly. You can find almost any item you need in great condition used on Craigslist if you really hunt, and if it isn’t damaged and works perfectly, why not? You know what they say…one man’s trash…
  • Switch to all glass/stainless steel in the home. This goes right along with the reduction of chemicals. The plastics we use really make our food taste funny when reheated. And Teflon, Teflon contains carcinogens. Yuck.

And now for the vision we have for Loretta. (We named our new home Loretta because she’s country but still a bit classy) 😉

  • Build a screened in back porch. There is a door to the back yard in the dining room and the master bedroom. We hope to one day connect the two for a long screened-in back porch that spans the backside of the house. Much like this one…

Our little country screen porch...The grands love the swing, we enjoy coffee in our retro green chairs watching the neighbors go by.

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  • To restore the garage/ workshop that we were told was “at the end of it’s life” because the roof had fallen in. We beg to differ. The space is great and comes with built-in shelves and cabinets in the workshop, it just needs a new roof. We’ve already got a guy in line to do it for us.
  • To surround ourselves with meaningful pieces of art and decor. I have a folder collection of artwork that I want to hang in the new house. Mostly black and white pictures of my mom and her siblings when they were kids. A lot of nature-themed stuff. Like pictures about birds and plants species, etc…
  • Add white tile blackslash to the kitchen one day..kind of like this: We like the way it looks with the dark counters.

I like the white tile for backslash

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  • Paint. Paint. Paint. The beige rooms make me want to vomit. It reminds me of renters beige. You know, when they paint all the walls that plain, boring wheat color?
  • Add gutters. Top priority.

If you’re interested in seeing what I have in mind as far as how I want the rooms to flow, or the type of style I have in mind for Loretta, I encourage you to follow my “Love Shack” board on Pinterest 😉

We also hope to add another dog to the family once we get settled in. Marley needs a playmate and if we have the room, why not give a dog in need a home?

Happy weekend to you! xoxo

 

Resting in His Love & Learning to Accept It

I’ve always been the go-go-go type person. Have to do this, have to do that. I can’t even stand still- I usually sway if I’m standing or shake my foot if I’m sitting down.

I once ended up in the hospital for what I thought was a heart attack only to learn that it was a severe panic attack. I don’t know when to stop sometimes. When to rest and let things just be...

 

Sometimes God gives me such strong conviction about what I’m supposed to do and when that I act immediately, but I haven’t gotten this from Him lately. I miss it. I have such a strong desire to help those in need and nowhere to channel it. Nowhere to focus this feeling. I’ve submitted applications to various places in my county about volunteering and helping in the community, but I haven’t heard anything back.

In my own time, I go about every day looking for someone to help or to give a kind word to. Someone looks like they’re having a bad day? I try to brighten it. Sometimes I drive past homeless people and feel completely hopeless that I can’t jump out of the car with a be-all end-all cure for everything that’s wrong in their lives.

I’ve been praying for a few months now for God to help me channel this feeling. Help me place it somewhere. But in the back of my mind I know it isn’t happening for a reason. I know that He is trying to teach me something…and I didn’t have the revelation of what it was until today.

 

I was at SweetFrog with my lovely mother, telling her about how I see those less fortunate in places like Uganda and Africa and how I so badly wish I could be there physically helping them. Giving them hugs, shining a light in their darkness…She told me she felt the same way, and then we sat there feeling down on how much we don’t do…

Driving in my car on the way home, I began to pray again. To ask God to please give me something. Tell me where I’m supposed to go with this heart to help others. Help direct me and give me an outlet for it so I can feel like I’m doing something for His kingdom.

And clear as day, in the silence of my car, He said to me:

“I love you even if you don’t do anything.”

Let me tell you…that was not what I was expecting. I’ve felt a notion for “slowing down” for weeks, but I’ve ignored it. I broke down crying right then and there in my car. Because I can’t even fathom a love that loves me so wonderfully that I never have to do anything for Him and He’ll still love me as greatly as he does.

In this world we have relationships that rely on give and take. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Have you ever given to someone completely and not expected anything in return? Be honest. I know I never have. Deep down I’m like “Gosh, I hope so-and-so remembers how good I’m being to him right now.”

My childhood with my father was built up on how much I could impress him with big words that are hard to spell. How awesomely I can build a doghouse just like the next kid. What a good helper I could be when it came time to do the dishes. How fast I could read without using my finger to guide me. I tried to earn, earn, earn up those love points, hoping one day all of that would make him want to love me more. And it was never enough. I could never do enough to please him.

And that’s how I’ve been acting with my Heavenly Father. Trying to earn points…looking up when I do a good thing and saying “See? Am I the apple of your eye now?”

But I was already the apple of His eye. Even before I got saved.  And I can’t comprehend a love like that. And I don’t know if I can fully accept it.

I’ve invited people from my neighborhood to church only for them to not come. And I feel like a failure to my God. I feel like cowering away and saying “Sorry” to Him. Like not showing Him my face because I wasn’t good enough, I didn’t do good enough. Like when you make a bad grade on a test and don’t want to show your parents.

 

And maybe I’m not ready to share this light fully with others until I learn what it means to rest in His love. Until I learn that I can just sit and be with Him and have Him love me without trying to earn His praise. Not to say that I don’t want to help others or that I shouldn’t, we are here to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but how can I express this love to others if I don’t fully believe I’m loved just as I am?

It’s something I have to work on for sure. Something I have to constantly talk with Him about. But, God, I am so glad that another wall has been torn down…thank goodness. I love it when He exposes these parts of me that I didn’t even know I had. I love that He’s molding  and shaping me into the person He wants me to be. Thank God.

Snippets

Today my husband finishes school. He has a final project presentation then we are dressing up and going out to celebrate. Life is good!  I thought I’d give you a few snippets of my week…sort of a photo diary, if you will 🙂  Have a great Saturday!

 

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1-Moses the goat. Such a character. 2-Our first CSA box did not disappoint. 3-The goats and Petunia the pig. Feeding time. 4-Sophie the Horrible is so sweet when she’s sleeping. 5- A walk in the woods. 6-worshiping with my church.