I can't decide...

I can't decide, and will never be able to, whether the baseball fields or the salon is more fun....

You see, with my little Dave playing T-ball for the first season, it is probably one of the most adorable things I have ever witnessed. They all run after the ball, run to the wrong base, throw the bat, and make mud-pies in the in-field. And I could not be more proud. Or overflowing with joy.

And then there is little Kenzie. Who had her first pedi-cure. And I'm not really sure again if I have ever seen something so cute!! Her squeals, excitement, and laughter the whole time melted my heart. She also brushed back her hair a few times and held her nose a little high (watch out!) She also took off shoes and socks everywhere we went to show everyone her toes =)

These 2 little opposites are so much fun to go from boyland and mud to the salon with my girly girl. I absolutely love being a mommy to these 2 precious little gifts.

Over the weekend we also celebrated Chefs birthday!! He also hung out with us at the baseball fields and it was so sweet to see him, Tim, and Dave play baseball together. So. much. joy.


Master Redo x 3

It's a running joke in our family that if something isn't nailed down over here, it's on craigslist. I dont know if you remember that big black furniture I bought. I re-painted it and made a profit of $350 on it, sweet! You can also click on the Nellie Mae link to see the original furniture we started with.

We never intended to be like that. But let me tell you something, when you lose almost 1500 square feet, you get rid of almost everything you own. We laugh that the next place we move to- probably everything we own will fit in our mini van. Wherever we go will look EMPTY, ha!

We tried to fit what we had into Nellie Mae. That did not work out so much. So one by one, we sold things and felt like it was bigger here. No clutter. More room. Space was un-occuppied and it was a great feeling. Then we realized the pieces we did have, most were too big and bulky for this house. So, those went too.

I actually havent really bought anything new, just moved stuff around and painted it. The dresser was in mackenzie's nursery. Now that she is bunked with david, it was available! The headboard was from our friends Greg and Jessica. We actually keep giving it back and forth. When David first had a big boy room, I used it (black then). Gave it back to them. Now they gave it to us again (painted white)!

Nellie Mae has a cottage feel, so anything we can do to play into that, helps the house work.
Our dream room? No. Actually this might be Mackenzies furniture when we move. Who really knows!

Our motto is, "it works for now!"


Denial of Self

I am always inspired by people who observe Lent. It used to be viewed as only the "super religious" people took part in a ritualistic period of time before Easter, who abstained from something.
Today, I feel as though it is widely participated in by a christian community in general. People have there own reasons, but I loved how our church is choosing to view and participate in it. Kind of like a..... "why not" mentality.

Simply, Jesus was in the desert for 40 days before his crucifixion on Good Friday. That is the whole premises. Different churches and religions will choose to do lent in different ways. Ours is simply going to choose to deny yourself of something for 40 days.
As Americans we have so much and most of us never have to live without anything. We are so used to having MORE than we need, all the time. To toughen us up and learn to deny yourself of any "luxury" we get so used to, what happens when you take it away? When you tell yourself no? And the big question is, can you tell yourself no?
We use so many things to medicate our mental state..... tv, internet, blogs, books, fashion, our home, car, ect.... It is easy to get wrapped up in things that dont matter. What happens when you miss your favorite show? Or how much time do you spend putting together an outfit?

Who cares? Really. What does it matter? I think denying yourself of something you retreat to is a HUGE open door to let Christ and and WAM! Watch him show up.

I pray you individually or as a family would decide to participate in Lent, not to be a weirdo, but to deny yourself.
Ours our simple. And really shallow. Tim is giving up television for 40 days and I deactivated my Facebook account.

We can spend some evenings with him in front of the tv and me on the computer. Again, its not a huge sacrifice for us, but something we feel like we would like to can for 40 days. And no offense, but its a huge waste of time. Who knows what great benefits will come from it, that's what we'd like to see!

Happy Lent!
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1Tim 6:12


Happy Heart Day

I grew up with my mother making a huge deal out of every holiday. I remember even on St. Pattys Day waking up to green eggs and whatever else she could find green! I feel like that was passed down to me, but have been a slacker due to space over here! When I picked up David last week from preschool, he had a huge frown. "Whats wrong David?" to which he said, "I am just sad that our house isn't decorated for Valentines Day like my classroom." So, off to dollar tree we went for some cheesy banners, balloons, and hearts. Quick fix!
We spent our last couple of days making cookies and cards for his classmates (ok- it was mainly me making them..... hoping my daughter will be more into crafts than little David, ha!)
We pulled out glitter, glue, and stickers and made cards for each other. We had heart-shaped donuts, cupcakes from a friend, drank out of heart cups, had heart napkins, the whole sha-bang! The kids surprised me this morning with a blueberry and raspberry bush that I am SO excited about! Tim got me some new boots and I got him a practically brand new Kindle off craigslist, score!! We actually all went out to dinner tonight and even invited my mom and dad along!!
Valentines was perfect because we loved on our loved ones =)
It's not an important day, but an excuse to give a little extra love!
And I also love any opportunity to talk to my kids about Christs love for us and our ability to love other people. We love and show love to everyone around us because Christ is in us.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13.
Happy Valentines Day!! xoxo


Just. Happy.

I dont know anyone else who has a life like ours. I say that positively and negatively! Negatively because looking around I sometimes expect our life to be a little more normal like our friends around us. And its not. Positively because I love that we are so far outside the rat race and any competitive circles that are in society.... when people look at our life, they probably want nothing to do with it, ha!!

So, just be our friends. No matter what you are going through, you can watch our crazy journey and say, Phew! Better them than me!!! Ha!!

All that to say, here is an update on our family and you can see the new developments that have transpired...

Tim- his current situation is still a dream come true. Cant believe he really wanted to do HVAC/R (yes, the R is new for commerical- refrigeration) and now he is a commercial technician for a huge company downtown. Really? What?!
He graduates in May. He currently is off on Thursdays and completing all remaining coursework at school then.
His chainsaw bear made it into a Tyler Perry movie that is being filmed in West Cobb. My friend has his own lighting company and sent me a pic of it today, haha!
Lastly, on Monday we got a phone call from Emory- when Tim was 18 he signed up to be a Bone Marrow Donor b/c they were giving out free tshirts, i know- my psycho husband. Anyway, 12 years later his name comes up and he is the perfect match for a little girl with leukemia. Its been a whirlwind, but yesterday he went in and took about 6 viles of blood to go and "test" to see if their blood will be compatible. Once the test is complete and they are 100% confident its a good mix, they will set up a surgery date to remove bone marrow. There are no risks, but it is painful. Trying to just chill and be excited God used this and is using Tim to save a life!

Me- Well, other than trying to deal life and focus on raising my babies.... I did plan a little weekend getaway for me and my man. We NEVER go out and splurge, but we did 2 weeks ago. I booked a night at the Westin (i did redeem points and we stayed for free), we went out to dinner at Maggianos (ok, and i did have a gift card), and then I booked us a couples massage- SCORE! We actually had NEVER had a massage before, so it was really fun to go together! Anyway, we were lucky to do that and then this past weekend we went on a retreat with our small group at church to Camp Winshape! It was so awesome and I love how close we are to our small group!
We have put off another baby, either through a last attempt at pregnancy or adoption, until the end of the year... we have a big project we are going to take on before we move forward with family plans. Have you ever just moved on to other dreams and taken a hiatus from a current dream you have? I think we are in that boat right now. It is so hard, but when you release yourself from it- a freedom rings throughout your whole being! Refreshing! We know we want a third child, but we are going to pursue our real estate dream for now and take a break from that. Read more until Nelliemae.

David- I cant even begin to describe how proud I am to be his mommy! Dont get me wrong we have had some rough days, but when I get feedback about him, all the rough days are worth it! His teacher told me they had a new student join the class last week. The little boy had gone over by himself and was crying. She said David went up to him and hugged him. Then, he walked over and got a box of blocks and sat down and started playing with him. Oh, makes my heart mellllllttttt! My prayer for David has always been to INWARDLY be like Jesus. His outward actions exemplify those of a 5 year old boy. He is intellectually smart and I dont push him to be the "gifted child". I have just always prayed for a sweet heart and for a kind and outreaching spirit. It is such a blessing to see some fruit from that.
David is playing t-ball for he first season and starts this month! And lastly, we signed up him for private christian Kindergarten at the school he is currently attending. (actually pretty inexpensive as well). We actually signed with them in December right before our awfulness happened- we KNEW he was supposed to go there, but when the company went under Tim was working for, we again wondered what God was doing! Glad we stuck to our guns! It is half day, but amazing. There are only 12 students and 2 full time teachers. They cut out naps/extended lunch and playground time/ and it is heavily academic. All of the children are reading by Christmas. I think it is the perfect environment for him. The biblical aspect of it is amazing and its right where we want him for now! Bottom line- my baby spends most of his day with me, the primary influencer and I love that.

Mackenzie- well she isnt going anywhere, you better believe if David stayed at home with me for 5 years, she is staying put!!! They couldnt be more opposite children!! She is finally in with some friends at church and plays with them on Sunday and Wednesday mornings. I also try and have another playdate 1-2 times a week with her. She starts ballet in March, per her request!! She is so social it's ridiculous! Since she just left the 2's we are obviously still working on behavior- with having a little girl it is not the physical behavior, but the emotional behavior. Having an attitude like Jesus and a happy heart. She loves her baby dolls and for right now- a fake baby does the trick with her! Thankful for that!! She is a such a gift.

Nellie Mae- The time has come. We have busted the seams. We moved in when our babies were 3 and 1. They are now 5 and 3. We have 2 full blown preschoolers under 5, a very hyper dog, 2 adults, in 1000 square feet. There is no way we can have another baby in this house. No one would sleep. Tim cant even make coffee in the morning without waking someone up. And forget he microwave! I realize reading this- we are blessed to have a home we almost own- and so I dont want to sound like a brat. We will never have a huge house. We are simple people, and Nellie Mae has changed us. But, stay with me....
We dont want to sell her. We love her and I love that my great grandfather built it. I love that we renovated her. Neither of us can throw her to the curb. Especially when the market sucks and we'd get bottom dollar for her.
We are going to rent her. We live on a street where most homes are rentals. The one across from us had 4 renters lined at the door within 24 hrs of them posting a sign. We will be very selective.
We are going to pull out the equity in Nellie Mae and buy another house in cash. Its really a win win. We will buy another investment property ( a bigger one ;), renovate it, and then rent it out. Our dream is to have a few rental houses, but own them all outright. There will be no debt and therefore eliminates any risk. We are in the very beginning of this process and YES- i will have another house renovation blog!

This obviously involves a lot of work, more change, yada yada. But, we feel like it will eliminate stress by moving into somewhere with a little more room. I think sometimes it puts stress on all of us living in such close quarters. DONT get me wrong- it has taught all of us a ton about consideration of others and sacrifice, but I can tell sometimes the kids are just a little edgy not being able to go off in their own space.

We struggle with making any kind of change just because our life seems to bring so many changes that we dont plan. But you know what? Part of us stepping out and doing bold things has been who we are. Its what we do. God has given us one life. And one life only. We want to seize opportunities and follow dreams we have. Sometimes following multiple dreams or pursuing different dreams at different times. We both feel 100% confident and on the exact same page with our next step. Your marriage is everything and if you can handle it, DO IT!!

I love that we both hear from God about the same things and I love how we view trials and difficulties now. They dont bother us b/c we know they dont define us. I will bow out with this quote I read during my devotion this morning:
There is no earthly pain we can go through that will diminish the hope of our salvation- Gwen Smith.

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