Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On Moving (Again)

I hate moving. I hate packing and unpacking. I hate hauling furniture, and the stress involved, and living in chaos. Because whether you move 1 mile or 100 miles, it will be chaotic. In my lifetime, including all the moving I did in college, I figure I've lived 15 different places. So when we moved into this house, I said we'd be here for a while, and I meant it. I really did. I love this house (except don't put your kids' bedrooms right off the living room ... you can't watch t.v. at night if you do that ... that's free advice right there).

And yet, I find myself looking at the very real possibility of moving once again. As much as I hate moving, I'm 100% on board with this move. When we bought our first house in this neighborhood (just around the block from where we are now) it was pretty undeveloped. We had neighbors join us on both sides, but for the most part, our little subdivision stayed quiet and relatively undeveloped. When we built the house where we currently live, on the backside of the subdivision, there was no one around us. However, within a year, a new construction company came in and started buying lots, and more houses were built. Still, it was all pretty okay. Things have stayed relatively quiet.

But our little town is growing quickly, and before long, it looks like there will be multiple subdivisions being built around us. While I don't mind living in town, I've always appreciated the "rural-ness" of where we live. I love that when I go running, I run past pastures full of cows and farmland planted with corn, cotton, and maize. Soon all of that will be gone. There will be more traffic, more people, just more. And that's all great for our little town. Progress and growth are important and necessary, but I want and need just a little space to breathe. So when we were given the opportunity to buy a few acres of land a little ways out of town (and slightly closer to Andrew's school), it was hard to pass that up.

But of course that means moving and building ... again. If you've moved, you know that's stressful. If you've built and moved, you know that's even more stressful. Right now we are in the house planning phase. We are trying to figure out how to build what we want without going overboard. Without going into numbers, because tmi, we want to put a good chunk down on the new house, and we don't want to finance more than a certain amount. Which leaves us with some choices to make. We either have to cut some things (which we're definitely looking at), or we wait longer and save more which is also fine except right now we live in a seller's market. If you're going to sell your house, now is the time. Will our house lose value if we wait? Not a ton, but it might lose enough that it cancels out the benefits of waiting.

But enough of all that boring stuff . . . that's where we are right now. Moving, building, buying, selling . . . I guess I should be grateful I'm married to a realtor. At least that relieves about .000001% of the stress factor.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

First Day of School ... Two(ish) Weeks Later

So I'm a little behind. It is what it is. Blogging isn't exactly on the top of my priority list at the moment. I think it falls somewhere between having a root canal (woohoo!) and brushing the dogs' teeth. So yeah, do with that what you will.

The first day of school was over 2 weeks ago, and Andrew is in the 3rd grade. How do
I have a 3rd grader?!? It's now a rapid and slippery descent into Junior High followed by High School followed by driving and dating and college. I'm going to look up one day, and he's going to be married with kids. And I'll be a grandmother. Third grade is just the beginning of the end of childhood.

On that pleasant note ...

Hope everyone's school is off to a fantastic start.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Anna 8 Month Update

I'm not sure how, but I've gone too long without an Anna update. Tomorrow marks 8 months home.

So how is Miss Anna?

She's growing and growing ... emotionally, physically, mentally ... she's making huge strides in every area. She's so big and tall, and I have no doubt that I'll one day be looking up to my little girl. After taking a break from in home therapies, which just weren't that great for us, we are going to be switching to doing therapy in a center. But, exciting news, Anna will only be doing speech and OT (mostly speech). She no longer needs PT and is turning out to be a very athletic little girl. As far as speech goes, Anna has a number of words and even more word approximations. She's trying to put words together, but still needs a little more help to get her over the hump. OT will focus some on sensory things and some on fine motor and practical, daily skills as we work to help her make up some of the ground she lost in the first 33 months of her life.

As for fitting into a family, we've seen Anna's and Andrew’s relationship really grow over the summer. She loves him, and he loves her. Like siblings everywhere they are fighting one minute and hugging the next. They have this fake crying game the play where they pretend to cry and then hug each other. It can get rather loud at times and make this mama a little crazy, but I also see that Anna is learning empathy. And in so many things, Andrew is the best teacher and therapist we could ask for. As far as Mama and Daddy go, we are really seeing Anna beginning to show a preference for us. Hugs and kisses are a daily occurrence around here now, and while, she's a Daddy's girl a lot of the time, she definitely knows who her Mama is.

Just like any kiddo, Anna has her moments. Sometimes she'll go days without getting in trouble, then, bam, we have days, like today, where it's one meltdown after another. It's hard being three and learning that you don't always get your way. 😉

So prayer requests: that Anna's speech will continue to progress. That she will continue to grow emotionally and as she matures the tantrums (which are mostly mild and developmentally appropriate) will continue to reduce. For continued good attachment to us, and that she'll continue to trust us more with each passing day. And with that, I'll leave you with a picture of our sweet girl.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

On Organization

A few weeks ago I wrote a post on balancing everything. In order to keep things in balance and running smoothly, organization is key. Over the years, I've tried a number of different things to stay organized. With the advent of the iPhone/iPad, I thought I'd love using apps, but I didn't, and I don't. I do like coupon apps because I'm really bad at clipping and keeping up with coupons, but beyond that, I've found that I'm a paper and pencil type of girl. And there's no changing that. So here are the tools that keep me and my household running smoothly (most of the time).

Item 1: The binder. In this binder you'll find a medical folder (mostly for receipts), a school folder with various contact info and calendars, an adoption folder (self explanatory), a vacation folder for both ideas and upcoming intineraries, estimated tax payment coupons (blah), and a folder for house plans and ideas for our next house (more on that in the months to come). I don't open this binder every day or even every week, but I keep it in my desk where I have easy access. 

Item 2: My planner. This is probably my most important item because it's where I write down everything . . .  birthdays, dinner dates, appointments, bills due, meals (subject to change depending on the mood of the chef ... i.e. me), etc. Finding the right planner has been a bit of a trick. Many years ago I used Erin Condren's life planner. It was super cute, and I loved it. Who doesn't love a cute planner? But it was a bit pricey for my taste, and it was also kind of bulky. So then I tried out cheap Walmart/Target planners for a couple years, and I was underwhelmed to say the least. About a month ago, I decided I needed something in between price wise but still good quality wise. After a little google searching, I happened across the planners by Rifle Paper Company. This planner came last week, and I love it. Aside from the cuteness, it has full month calendar pages as well, as spots for each individual day. There's also a contacts section and a notes section, and the size, quality, and price were all more than right. 


Item 3: My "handy dandy notebook" (Blues Clues reference from my college babysitting days). This notebook was a free gift from Shutterfly. While I could certainly live without it, I like the convencience it adds. Right now I only use it for two things: (1) Meal lists - these aren't recipes. These are all meals that I can make off the top of my head with little variation. If I find or invent a new recipe I like, I'll add it to the list. The lists are organized by chicken, beef, other/fish, and without using this I tend to get in a major rut. I'll cook the same things every week. (2) Scriptures and Notes - this is where I write down scripture references for specific scriptures God gives me as well as notes about my readings and of course, inspirational quotes.

Item 4: My notepad which just happens to be another free gift from Shutterfly. I'm a list maker extraordinaire. I mostly use this for my household and grocery lists. I keep it on the counter where I can jot down stuff we need as it comes to my attention. I've also been known to make lists for trips, school events, Christmas gifts . . . If can be put into a list, I've likely done it.

So there you have it. Four simple items that help keep me and my OCD self organized (or as organized as possible).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Andrew’s Baptism

For most of his short life, Andrew has had a deep love for God. Two years ago he made the decision that, honestly, seemed like a very natural progression and asked Jesus into his heart. At first, he was nervous about being baptized. He didn't like the idea of going backwards into the water so we decided to wait until he was comfortable. As often happens, time kind of got away from us, and although he's been ready for a while, things kept popping up. Finally, two years after he made the most important decision he'll ever make, he was baptized in the river at my parents' this past Monday evening. Patrick had the privilege of baptizing him, and it was incredibly sweet and special. Andrew has an amazingly tender heart toward God, and I cannot wait to see how he serves Him. (Photos are out of order, but I can't get them to move.)