Monday, January 31, 2011

Proof Positive

You can't take two steps in my house without finding some type of evidence that a little boy lives here. Case in point? I found this when I got in the shower the other morning:

Looks to me like Batman has the upper hand :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My brain is on overdrive these days. Relocating has a TON of perks (as in I will not have to pack so much as a SINGLE box), but it seems like there are a million hoops to jump through. I'm here, our realtor is in NW Iowa, our relocation specialist is in Arizona, our lender is in Wisconsin, and Nate, well, he's a nomad, currently bouncing around between budget hotels. Needless to say, getting papers signed can be a little challenging, and there are a LOT of papers. I cannot wait for all the t's to be crossed and the i's to be dotted. I've e-mailed more forms to more people in the last week than ever before in my life!

Macieo's hair was getting loooong. Like, he-wakes-up-with-matted-bedhead-and-refuses-to-let-me-touch-it-and-goes-to-school-looking-like-a-dirtball long. So I finally forced him into letting me cut it tonight (yes, I cut his hair). Before I buzzed it, I brushed out all the curls, and I burst out laughing because it reminded me of Diana Ross. He asked why I was laughing, and I told him it was because he had a cute afro. He wanted to know what an afro was. That made me laugh even harder.

Today, I threw the adult version of a tantrum after Macieo and the neighbor boys accidentally broke the door off my laundry room. A few weeks ago, they were wrestling, and snapped the legs off my coffee table. I have HAD IT with rowdy boys in my house, and cannot wait for warm weather so I can kick them out to play outside. I attempted to fix the door after they left, and that's when the tantrum happened. There was yelling. And tears. Macieo heard me yelling, came upstairs, and said, "Mom, do you need a hug." Sheesh. Talk about feeling like a major loser. I think I've had about enough of being the only adult in the house. Nate, if you read this, I need you to come home and fix the door :)

We are offically closing on our new house in our new town on February 4. That's only two and a half weeks away, which is crazy. The movers can't come here to pack us until February 14, so we'll have some time to kill in between. I'm hoping we can get some projects done on the new house during those ten days (like removing the mauve carpet and putting down a new floor). February should be an interesting month.

I made myself a promise that I was going to cook every night, even though it's just Macieo and me. So far, I've pretty much stuck to it. We've only gone out to eat twice since Nate started the new job. I guess there was that one night I called my mom and informed her we were coming over for dinner, but I don't think that counts. I'm realizing just how much Nate must eat, because I am ending up with more leftovers than I know what to do with.

Our house still hasn't sold. Seriously, we're practically giving the thing away! Please, someone, buy our house!!! If you know ANYONE who is in the market for a townhome in Ankeny, please tell them I want to be their friend :)

I am seriously addicted to my iPad. I'm not sure how I ever lived without it. I never knew how much I needed it in my life, but I do. I now waste 50% more time than ever before :)

I've been watching a lot more TV lately than usual, and have recently discovered I like the new CBS show "Blue Bloods." It's about a family of cops in New York, but it doesn't have any of the gory, graphic stuff that a lot of cop shows seem to have. I don't do well with blood, even if it's fake blood on TV. The icing on the cake is that Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg are in the show. Anytime Magnum P.I. and someone from New Kids on the Block team up, you know it's gotta be good :)

Welcome to a few moments inside the disjointed world that is my brain. Good night!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The End Begins

For the past six years, I have had the privilege and honor of singing and leading worship at our church. Nate and I joined our church family straight out of college, and I feel like we've done a lot of growing up there. It really has been like a second family for us, and the fact that we're leaving our church home is one of the parts of this move that's been really hard for me.

Sunday was my last time singing with the team, and it was more than a little bittersweet.

Our worship pastor (who is also my boss) graciously let me choose a song to sing for my last Sunday. He shared some really kind words with the congregation and publicly wished Nate and I well on the next chapter of our lives. It was really touching, and something I don't think I'll ever forget. Then, when he had me near tears, he made me sing. Needless to say, the fact that I made it through that without bawling my head off felt like a pretty big accomplishment!

The song I chose to sing was one that I have recently come to love. One of my favorite song writers is Brooke Fraser (Hillsong). A friend of mine recently shared the song "Like Incense" with me, and I immediately loved it.

Fraser took the chorus of Rich Mullins "Step by Step," and changed it a little, added some new verses. She writes the most honest, beautiful lyrics. I have always loved the simple, well known lyrics to Rich Mullins' song, and I thought the way she added to it was just perfect.

It was really special for me to be able to sing this, as the lyrics are kind of what I'm praying right now. God, keep my pride upon it's knees. Let my life be a sacrifice. May Your word be my joy, and may I follow You all of my days.

Standing up and singing this song in front of my church family, the family that has stood by Nate and I and lived in community with us for six great years, was really the first moment that it hit me. We're actually leaving. And I'm sad about that.

If you haven't heard this song before, take a moment to listen. It's absolutely beautiful.

Like Incense (Sometimes by Step)

May my prayer like incense rise before You
The lifting of my hands a sacrifice
Oh, Lord Jesus, turn Your eyes upon me
For I know there is mercy in Your sight

Your statutes are my heritage forever
My heart is set on keeping Your decrees
Please still my anxious urge toward rebellion
Let love keep my will upon its knees

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

To all creation I can see a limit
But Your commands are boundless and have none
So Your word is my joy and meditation
From the rising to the setting of the sun

All Your ways are loving and are faithful
The road is narrow but Your burden light
Because You gladly lean to lead the humble
I will gladly kneel to leave my pride

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You'll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Thursday, January 6, 2011

One Man's Trash...

So I've never really considered myself particularly crafty or handy. But lately I've been reading lots of house decorating/renovating/updating blogs, and I think I've been bitten by the DIY bug. I've got a whole slew of ideas that I'm ready to try out. Armed with my paintbrush, I've got big plans. Here's why I think it might be time for me to embrace my supressed inner DIY diva:

1. I'm moving to a town where I know a whopping total of 2 people. I'm gonna need a hobby.

2. Once we move, I will no longer be "working." (Aside from that whole homeschooling/parenting gig). Again, I might need a hobby.

3. I'm moving into an ugly house. It's a great house, but it's ugly. This has to be remedied as soon as possible.

4. In order to continue living up to my reputation for being (as my mother-in-law so graciously put it) a tightwad, I'm going to need to learn to do a few things for myself. Why pay someone $300 to do something I can figure out for $30? I've got lots of projects coming. I need to pinch some pennies!

So I decided I should start small, and see if I could successfully repurpose some old junk into new treasure.

I'm a garage sale addict, and am going through a bit of withdrawal during these cold months where I don't have access to garage sales. I decided I should start poking around our local Savlation Army and Goodwill stores. They're constantly getting new "treasures," and I need some more stuff for our next house (yeah right).

A few weeks ago, I noticed a nasty old lamp, and had a good laugh over how unbelievably ugly the shade was. It reminded me of a horrible 80's prom dress, all ruffles and lace and way too much going on. Yikes.

But, the lamp was a measly 5 bucks, and I though the base had potential.

On a side note, I bought this lamp shortly before Christmas. Since I only wanted it for the base, I decided to wrap up the shade and "gift" it to someone at a White Elephant Christmas party. The horrified look on my friend Mike's face when he opened it was worth way more than $5! I even got awarded the best gift award at the party!

So to start my DIY project, I bought myself a can of this:

This lamp was kind of a trial run for me on the paint, because I have plans to use this stuff A LOT in the new house. All the light fixtures in the new house are gold/brass. Eew. But replacing light fixtures is not cheap, so I'm hoping I can get away with spray painting them. But before I ruin a functioning fixture, I thought I should test it out.

I took some before pictures of the lamp, but apparently my camera ate them, because they are nowhere to be found. To give you an idea of what I started with, picture a lamp with a brass and dark wood base, and a shade that looked a little something like this:

Classy, right? Only picture it with a few random stains and smelling faintly of body odor and cigaretts. (The friend who received the shade at the party threw it in the trash immediately!)

But, like I said, the base had potential. Today, I decided to see if I could turn it into a keeper.

So, after about five minutes in my garage with a can of spraypaint, and a quick trip to Target for a shade, it ended up looking like this (please ignore the icky lighting and flash in these pictures):

Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Here's hoping the light fixtures turn out as well as the lamp did!

Monday, January 3, 2011

That 70's House (An Update)

Well, things are moving along with our plans to relocate to the middle of nowhere. Nate is already there and working, and is currently calling the cozy local Super 8 home. He's enjoying his job, and the people there. He comes home on the weekends, and is not enjoying his four hour commute.

On his first "official" day of work, he hit a deer on the drive up there, and smashed in the whole left side of our Toyota. Nothing says welcome to life in the country like a two-lane-highway encounter with a deer! He's currently having to climb into the car through the passenger door, since the drivers side door is smashed shut. I'm sure many a passerby has gotten a good laugh watching him do that!

We found a house in our new town, and have negotiated almost all of the details on the purchase. We're hoping to have our closing date set by the end of the week. As much as Nate loves his luxury accomodations, he's excited for us to join him up north!

As for the house, we are more than a little excited to trade in our townhome for a 3 bedroom ranch with a yard and a finished basement! The house itself has some great features (new roof, new furnace & A/C), but is a little outdated. Or a lot outdated (hence the title of this post). Think country blue, flouncy valances, floral wallpaper, and mauve carpet. Lucky for me, I've recently become a devotee of Young House Love, so I'm convinced I can overcome these tacky obstacles. There's nothing a five-gallon bucket of white paint won't fix, right? (okay....maybe the carpet...) I'm hoping to have lots of "before and after" pictures in the next few months. I'm investing in a good paint brush and a wallpaper steamer.

We're debating what to do about Macieo and school, since plunking him in a new school in the middle of the year will be more than a little challenging for him. Transition is hard for him, so we're exploring our options. We're seriously considering homeschooling him, at least through the end of second grade. That option scares me a little (me, a teacher?), but I think it would be really good for him. I guess we've got lots to pray about in that regard!

I'm trying to adjust my mindset, and get excited about life in a small town. I'm still lamenting the fact that I'll live 45 mintues from the nearest Starbucks. And it seems downright unfair that our exodus from the metro comes right on the heels of the opening of my long-awaited Trader Joes. But, some conveniences aside, I'm starting to get used to the idea of small town life. Nate has already starting making friends with some guys he's met, and I'm hoping that they have nice wives/girlfriends/sisters that I can get to know when I arrive.

While Nate is away, I'm keeping myself busy with the new iPad Nate surprised me with (make that SHOCKED me with) for Christmas. If I get bored while he's gone, I can always pass an hour or two beating my record on Fruit Ninja. Who knew 99 cent apps could be so entertaining!

Not much else to say right now. Hopefully we'll be headed north within the next month. I'm sure I'll have lots to share once we arrive!

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