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Thursday, August 22, 2013

What a difference a coat of paint makes!

Here is the before picture of my new living room. This mess was driving me C-R-A-Z-Y! I can close the door to all the other rooms that aren't put together yet and kinda forget about them, but this is part of the great room and no one can possibly enter from the front or back without being confronted with whatever this room looks like. First impressions are important to me, so this had to be painted and decorated ASAP!

Very, uh, un-inviting. To say the least.

So, I headed out to Lowe's to shop for paint. And of course, I forget to take my pillow to color-match the paint with. So I guess. I have had successful guessing episodes in the past when selecting paint, and I have had some not-so-successful ones. Like the one I just had for the spa room. The initial paint I picked out for my spa room was called "aloe", a very soothing, mellow citrus-y green. The name itself evoked soothing, nature-like connotations. I laid that puppy on the wall, and instant "neon, light up glow stick"! It was really awful. BUT, I digress. The color I picked for my living room was DEAD ON PERFECT. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It is called "Royal Palm" and it is everything I wanted. Striking, but not overbearing. Colorful. Modern. Soothing. Peaceful.
Here is the picture. I don't think my little Galaxy 3 photo is the greatest, but my other camera is probably in a box labeled "cook books" or "bathroom knick knacks" and has yet to make an appearance.

Da-da- da!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Moving-Another Love/Hate Relationship

Well, it happened! With only a minor hiccup and one unplanned night in a hotel, we closed on our new home and are now the proud owners of a 5 bedroom, 3 bath mortgage! Woot woot! Only two plates suffered fatalities, which in my book is a pretty darn good moving job. Our movers (Mayflower) did an excellent job of packing our belongings one day and getting them in the new house the next. This is the first time I have ever had the pleasure of having professional movers and it definitely spoiled me. We will have to use them the next time we move, which will hopefully be NEVER!!!!!!!!!!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new home. It is big and beautiful and represents everything I was sure I wasn't going to be able to have for a long time.
I absolutely hate the digging out. The disorientation. The sheets hung on the windows so you don't scar the neighbors by flashing them. The inability to locate things-like the title of a car that you have had for sale for six weeks and the week that you move and the movers pack the title in a box labeled "kitchen utensils" is the week that someone decides to buy it.
My house is a disaster zone at the moment. Surveying the never ending mountains of boxes and living with the chaos and disorganization is hard for me. I want everything done NOW. But of course, we had to have a few exciting bumps in the road just to keep things interesting. I have finals-this week. Makenna starts school-this week. Brad is on his last week of furlough (Thank you, God!) and he wants to use his final day off to take baby girl to the mountains-this week. And I wanted to get my house put together-this week. Alas, I will have to be patient. For now, here are some pics of the wonderful mess that I am so very grateful to be living in.

Friday, July 5, 2013

House Building-A Love/Hate Relationship

After what seems like an eternity (nearly 4 years, same thing!) of living in a rental, it looks like we are going to be moving into a new house in 24 days! Although, looking at today's pics of their progress, I am doubtful that they can really assemble my beautiful home in 24 short days. I am excited, but reservedly so. After 4 years of complete and utter frustration, can it really be that something wonderful is about to happen? Like so many people who lost everything when the housing market crashed, we have spent the last four years trying to rebuild our abysmal credit. My husband and I had to give up our dream home in a short sale, negotiate with creditors to avoid bankruptcy, and try to hang in there and keep our bank account and marriage afloat through a long stretch of unemployment, school and personal stresses. It has been emotionally and physically draining. And it really felt like it was going to last forever. I guess at this point, the underwriter could still look at our loan package and deny us for some odd reason. That would be par for the course we have been on, but I am clinging to the glimmers of hope given us by the loan officer and the builder that, yes, this can be done. In sum, I love this house and am beyond excited that it could actually be mine. On the other hand, I hate the process-the loan application and approval process is excruciatingly slow and uncertain-absolutely nerve wracking. The packing, the timing, the possibility of someone missing a deadline and us being out of a home as of July 31. So many variables. Hard for a "planner" like me. My husband and I never fight, but the emotional strain of all of this has pushed us to the brink. Almost to the point that it would be easier to walk away from the house. But it is the smart thing to do-build equity, plan a future, put down new roots. Start over. Lord knows we need a fresh start. If God chooses to bless us with this unexpected miracle, I will blogging the complete journey of decorating and furnishing this beautiful house and I hope you'll watch. I can smell the fresh paint already!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

This is me and my sweet, sweet man.  Not the greatest shot as far as photography skills go (it was, after all, taken by a six year old) but I love it anyway. This was taken on December 31st, 2012. The last day of a very crazy year, and we are still together and still smiling. That is an accomplishment that I grow more amazed at and proud of with every single turn of the calendar. Over the past 5 years, we have gone through so much. At one point, we nearly broke as a couple. But God, in His goodness and wisdom used what was intended to destroy us to make us even stronger. Our relationship is better than it ever was. Now, as far as major life events this year, we had a ton-but I think that is true for everyone. At certain points this year, I was on my knees begging God to just give me a week off-a week with no stress, no worries, no curve balls. His answer was always, "There is no such thing. This is LIFE. Hold on to my hand-no matter what happens." I didn't hold on to His hand. I clung to His neck like a drowning woman with a life preserver. Here is our year in a nut shell, in chronological order. Compared to some, it may be crazy; compared to others, you may wish you had had my year instead of the fiery furnace you had to walk through. Some of these events are very happy ones-but any woman knows, if it is an event that you personally are in charge of (like the two weddings!), they may be happy but they are dang stressful!

January-My mother gets married. This is her fourth marriage. The third marriage was in 2010. Ugh.
             My 43 birthday. Any birthday that starts with a "4" now causes a tiny bit of anxiety.  :)
             My sweet father-in-law quits breathing and is admitted to a hospital in Arkansas. He will be                there for 121 days and will never go home. Hubby goes to Arkansas for 2 weeks.
             I make the decision to go back to school full-time and carry a maximum size class load.
February-Hubby and baby girl's birthdays.
               Get notified that hubby's job may going away.
               Confirmation 2 weeks later. He has thirty days left, and his position is being cut across the                  nation. No possibility of a transfer.
March-Jobless, for the first time in 24 years.
April-Father-in-law passes away on Good Friday. Hubby and I fly to Arkansas for two weeks.
         Hubby hunting for a job.
May-I decide to a full class load over the summer. (What was I thinking?)
        My son graduates from college on May 18th. So proud of the young man, missing my little boy.
        My oldest daughter gets married on May 19th. So proud of the young woman, missing my little           girl.
        At this point, all savings are gone.
        Hubby searching diligently for a job.
June-my Volkswagen Beetle, now out of warranty, blows up. $3000 to repair.
        Fixed it with borrowed money, sold it, broke even. Bought a junker car, which I still drive.
        The first time in 13 years I have not had a "nice" car to drive but thankful for a car.
        Still hunting for a job.
July-hottest on record, no AC, and the largest wildfire in Colorado history breaks out 5 miles from             my house and burns for six weeks. We house an unknown family of five evacuees in our house           for a week.
        Still hunting for a job.
 August-Baby girl starts first grade. We change schools. She is excited, I bawl like a baby.
           We have to sell my husband's motorcycle-we can no longer make the payments. This was his
            retirement gift when he left the Air Force after 22 years. I grieve.
            Hubby is still looking for a job. For each job he applies for, at least 24 other veterans are                     applying as well, all equally qualified. He starts looking for work out of state. This causes me             much anxiety because all of my family and kids are here. I do not want to move.
           Still praying.
 September-Fall classes start. I decide to take a double load. Getting straight A's, but looking back, I              don't think that is necessarily a mark of intelligence. Why did  I keep doing this to myself?
October-Hubby has six weeks left of unemployment benefits. We find out Colorado is one of only                  five states that are terminating extended benefits. Their reasoning-they are getting too many                unemployment claims.
           The poor man is getting so frustrated and discouraged.
           Still praying.
November-Hubby starts a part-time job (thank heaven he is at least out of the house! We are driving              each other stir-crazy!) That job goes away after two weeks.
           The day his part-time job ends, and at the very beginning of the last unemployment pay period,            he gets a full-time job offer. Half the pay of what he used to make, but it will keep us afloat.
           Two weeks later, he gets a job offer from an application he submitted in June. Full pay at                      previous salary, benefits, and job security. I, again, bawl like a baby-this time out of sheer                    relief.
December-Hubby starts his new job.
                 Wonderful Christmas season. :)
                 Mom announces she is getting a divorce and wants all of her husbands things out of her                        house put into a storage locker. THE NEXT DAY.

But, in spite of job losses, deaths, weddings, divorces, and car problems-I can honestly say it was a very good year. It brought us closer together as a couple, it taught us what we really NEEDED to get by, we got our priorities straightened out, and we had to draw closer to God and totally depend on Him. And through all of it, He never, ever failed us. We were never late on one bill. We never went hungry. If my husband had not been unemployed, he would not have been able to take the time to be with his mom and comfort her following the death of his father. The weddings and graduation celebration were beautiful. I made the Dean's list every semester. I don't have the burden of a car payment or motorcycle payment, and we are now in better financial shape than ever. God is good, all the time.