Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What's Happening

Well, I have officially failed to blog at least once a week as part of my 27 Before 27 goals. Sorry. In my defense, one week was Thanksgiving and I was traveling the whole week, and last week I had a family emergency that kept me occupied the whole time. I'm not going into details about it on here just because it's not the kind of thing you talk about to everyone and this is a very public blog (even if I only have like 20 followers!). But I will say--please be praying for me and my family.

So, what's been happening since I've been gone, other than that? Well--as I said, we traveled for Thanksgiving. We went to south Florida and visited all of Scott's grandparents and then spent Thanksgiving and the following weekend at my mom's in Tampa. I got to see my brother for the first time in nearly 2 years, which was awesome. We had so much fun. I hope he keeps making good choices and being the brother I know and love. We also got a new camera! That's right! I can start to somewhat join the other cool kids in blogland. I won't be sitting at the same lunch table, but I've moved a couple tables closer! ;) We got the Nikkon Coolpix P510. It does not have exchangeable lenses, but it's has 42x digital zoom and so many settings I'm still not even close to knowing how to use it to its full potential. But I'm having a great time learning! Here are some pictures from Thanksgiving...when I was just starting to play with the camera. And these are coming from FB since I'm not at my home computer right now, so the quality is not quite as good as it really would be.

Oohh, Aahh, See the craters!


We were going for old horror movie, but I've been told more than once it looks like an old sitcom. :)

Just before the feast!

Pre-feast goodies

yummy spiced apple cider

Me and my brother...being silly :)
We also recently decorated for Christmas. I will share those pictures in a later post, along with some pretty pictures of the plants and flowers that are blooming in our yard currently. I'm definitely getting better with the camera each time I use it. You'll see! :)

I've applied for three jobs, one of which is basically the job I've been doing for the past three years. But since I will no longer be a graduate student, they had to change my title. I actually had to apply and interview for it! Needless to say, I've been offered the position. It's not a full-time benefited job, but it will pay a little more than I was making before, and I'll have more hours. It's definitely a blessing to have something like that while I'm still looking for something in my field.

My birthday is in TWO days! I will be 27 and will have to face the music with my challenge. I took a peek a minute ago and I think I've met most of my goals, which is good!

I graduate next Friday! All that is standing between me and my master's degree is a few more days at my internship, an evaluation meeting with my supervisor, a presentation tonight, and two papers (only 5 pages each). It hardly seems real!

Hope you all have been well and are getting in the Christmas spirit!

Love,
Christy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Things I'm only just now thinking about...

I know there has been a lot of talk around here about possibly getting pregnant soon. Sorry. But it's about to continue.

These are the things I've thought about this week:
  • I need new work clothes since I'm applying for big girl jobs. Should I spend money on a lot of new clothes if those same clothes may not fit me in a few months?
  • Wine! Holiday dinners without wine?!?! Graduation celebrations without wine?? I know it's very sad that this is even a potential problem. It's not like I'm addicted; I just really like wine!
  • Am I the weight I want to be right now? I know I won't be able to vigorously work out once I get pregnant. Will I get really fat? I'm not worried about a giant baby bump...just a giant everything else. I'm scared I'll use my pregnancy as an excuse to not workout and to eat as much as I want. And I was really hoping I would be a tiny bit thinner before I got pregnant. And my core! I need to workout my core first!! I'm just a tad concerned about all this!
  • I tend to have digestive issues and I have a bladder condition that causes painful spasms. I'm terrified that pregnancy will make these conditions much worse. 
  • and the age old concern of will I keep working after I have the baby. You know all about my concerns. But I just won't know until I know. I'm going to continue on until then with pursuing a career and finding something that I love to do. I'll plan to come back to work. And if I have to change my plans later, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess. 
  • And what if none of this even matters because what if I have a hard time getting pregnant? Or what if I have a miscarriage? These are scary thoughts that I try not to dwell on. I just have to trust that God is in control and His plan is perfect.
Pretty nursery...I'm obsessed with the gray stripes. Yes, there I go with the gray walls again! :)
What I'm NOT worried about:
  • Being financially ready. Don't get me wrong. We are NOT financially ready. Who is? I'm just over waiting for that to happen! I know God will provide and we are obedient with our money. We'll make it work!
  • Being good parents
  • How this will change my relationship with Scott
And I think those are three very important concerns. I can deal with all the worries and stress of all the other details as they come up. But as long as we are emotionally ready and we know we will stick together and love each other no matter what happens in the process, that is all I really care about. 

Hope you all are having a wonderful week and are as ready for Thanksgiving as I am! (And for now, wine is still on the table! ha!)

~Christy~

Friday, November 9, 2012

Goals...

I admit that I'm only writing today b/c it's been a week since I last posted, and one of my 27 before 27 goals was to blog at least once a week. Bad reason to blog, yes. But I'm doing it anyway!

Speaking of my goals, I think I'm doing pretty well with most of them. I need to break out the fall decor now that all the Halloweeny stuff is safely boxed away until next year. Losing weight has not been easy. I know I said only three measly little pounds to help buffer the holidays, but it turns out the holidays are a mightier opponent than I accounted for. Even with working out several times a week, it's not enough to battle the Halloween candy, the pumpkin spice desserts, and all the other unhealthy goodies and meals that come with the holidays. And it's not even Thanksgiving yet! Fortunately my gain has been minimal. Some weeks I have lost weight, but I usually gain it back the following week. I guess as long as I don't gain 10 pounds this year I'll be okay. I want to keep wearing these size 6 jeans!! And even though most of my dress pants, even after having them altered a few months ago, look like clown pants...I'm not looking to growing back into them!

Other than that, I think I'm well on my way to meeting most of my goals. I don't think we'll be painting the fireplace after all...but I think that's because we're going to paint the walls instead. I'm loving gray walls these days and want to paint my whole house in shades of gray (50 is probably too many!) (no, I haven't read those books!) (okay, enough side notes!). But a whole house of gray walls sounds depressing. I know if I decorate appropriately it won't be, but I'm not always the best at decorating. Especially now when time and money is tight. Anyway. That all is to say...I'm not painting the fireplace! Now look at some pretty, pretty gray walls... :)

Source: bhg.com via Christy on Pinterest

Source: houzz.com via Christy on Pinterest


Source: westelm.com via Christy on Pinterest


I applied for my first full-time job yesterday! I have no idea if I'll even get an interview, but I'm excited that I'm officially trying. Speaking of trying...I'm out of pills! Still not actually "trying" yet. But soon. Probably soon. Probably. (I may need more convincing now that the time is finally upon me!)
Scott's family is coming to visit this weekend. I'm super excited! We always have a great time. And his dad is playing bass in our band at church. This will be the first time that he'll be playing when I'll also be singing. We'll be like the von Trapps! haha!

I guess that's it for these Friday ramblings! I have met my quota! ha!

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! :)

~Christy~

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy First Friday!

Hello, All!

In Statesboro we celebrate the first Friday of every month with something called First Friday, which is a celebration downtown. Vendors come out, shops and restaurants stay open a little later than usual, and there is usually some main event planned which is based around a monthly theme.

I've actually never gone to a First Friday before, but have wanted to for a while. This is the first time we've been home with no plans on a "First Friday" since we moved into our house in town. Perfect time to go, yes? :)

So, tonight is a date night. For dinner we're going to Sugar Magnolia, a bakery downtown, for homemade pizzas and seasonal beer. We may stay for a brownie or cupcake for dessert, or we may walk up East Main St. and get a cupcake from Sweet Cheeks, which is another bakery, but this one specializes only in desserts--mainly cupcakes. I'm so excited for our quaint little date night, walking around downtown Statesboro, getting dinner at local venues. What can I say? I'm a small town girl at heart!

The theme for this month is sustainability, and they're showing a free documentary on the courthouse lawn about computer and electronic waste. There will be free popcorn and hot chocolate, and the film makers will be available after the show for Q&A. I admit, it doesn't sound like the most exciting movie to watch on date night, but I think it'll still be fun to get all bundled up and huddle together on a blanket on the courthouse lawn and watch a movie with a bunch of other Statesboro locals. :) And if we decide we aren't in the mood for that, we'll call it an early night, buy a bottle of wine, and head home for a movie on the couch.
Via
I love having fun little things like this planned that we can look forward to all week. We've been counting down the days (and now the hours).

Unfortunately Scott has to work tomorrow because we have a home game (Goooo Georgia Southern!!). But the good news is, this will give me lots of time to work on some neglected school work. I have a massive presentation the week after Thanksgiving, and I do NOT want to put that off and have to spend my much needed vacation time working on that awful thing! As boring as a full day of homework sounds, it will be such sweet relief to make a dent in that project.

Sunday I'm serving in the nursery at church, and then...no plans! Hopefully it'll involve nothing more than laundry and watching movies. Yes, we watch a lot of movies!

What are you up to this weekend? Hope you enjoy it!!

~Christy~

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012! :)

So I know I said we were planning to dress as Men in Black since I had to wear a suit the latter part of the day on Halloween (working at a Career Fair), but my wonderfully creative hubby decided on Friday that we should go as Peter Pan and Wendy. I laughed at him at first b/c I didn't think we would be able to pull it off. Was he going to wear tights?!?! But he insisted that it should be easy enough. We went to Goodwill Saturday morning, and...it was!



We bought my night gown, Scott's green slacks and green polo from Goodwill. Then we went to Hobby Lobby and bought some ribbon to tie around my gown and put a bow in my hair, and some felt and a feather to make Scott's hat. Then we went to Wal-Mart where I bought the long johns and slippers. :) Boom! Done!

We went to Scare in the Square in downtown Statesboro (where above pictures were taken) and we had a few people ask if they could take our picture. We even had one family ask if we would take one with their daughter who was dressed as Tinker Bell!


Some friends of ours wanted to dress up, but didn't know what to do. We had some pirate costumes at church from a series we did with the kids, so they borrowed those and were Captain and Mrs Hook (who is also pregnant by the way!)


the court house at Scare in the Square
After the party on the square, we went back to our house and had hot chocolate and popcorn and watched a few episodes of "Scared Shrekless" (a couple of our friends had their daughter with them so it had to be family friendly).

Yesterday, for actual Halloween, we had a party in my office and Scott's office had a costume contest for the whole campus. We have actually won before, but this year we sadly did not. However I still feel I can cross "come up with an awesome Halloween costume that could win the contest" off my 27 before 27 list.



In the afternoon I had to change into my suit and work a Career Fair on campus. I was so exhausted after all that, we decided not to go out last night. We stayed home, cooked homemade veggie pizzas, had a glass of wine and a few pieces of candy, and watched Psycho while we waited for trick or treaters to come around. Unfortunately we only had 3 small groups of kids show up, and most of them weren't even wearing costumes! But I was still pretty excited to hand out candy for the first time in my own home! :) We even had some kids tell us they like our house, which was sweet. And they were super excited that we have the good candy! I figured we might have some left over, so might as well buy stuff we like!

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween, too! Now...on to Thanksgiving my birthday, and Christmas, please! :)

~Christy~

Friday, October 26, 2012

Random...

* Is it just me or are the letter/number codes to leave comments on blogger getting really hard to read? I feel like they don't even want us to leave comments anymore it's getting so ridiculous. I've had to actually re-type them a few times because I didn't read it right. Just me?

* I actually have things to do this weekend. Which is okay by me. I had enough "nothing" last weekend to last me a while! Tomorrow morning I have to work at the Open House recruitment event on campus. Sunday I'm leading worship for the kiddos, which means getting to church at 6:30 AM. Yipe! Other than that, I have a running to-do list that includes but is not limited to organizing personal files, working on homework, cleaning the house, and washing the cars. Fun times are here to stay! 

* Why, oh why, is Walking Dead not available online?!? Everyone keeps posting how awesome it is this season and we no longer have cable! Figures.

* I still haven't decorated for Halloween. I think I'm adding that to my to-do list for the weekend. It's kind of late to do it now, but I want to enjoy my fake spiders and other silly crafts for at least a few days. I also need to finalize my costume plans. Unfortunately I have to work at a career fair on campus the afternoon of Halloween, and I have to wear a suit. :/ But we always dress up and have a Halloween party in the morning at my other job. So, I had to be creative. Scott and I decided we're going to be "Men" in Black. We'll wear suits, sunglasses, and carry water guns...and maybe badges. Do they have badges? I need to do some research. A coworker of mine also bought me a clown tie and clown nose that I could wear with  my suit. So I'll probably do a little of both until I have to get serious again for the career fair. 
I just stumbled across this picture from 2006! Yes, I'm the TERRIFYING one! I was Samara, the creepy kid from The Ring.
In this post I documented past Halloween costumes, but couldn't find a picture of this one. So...here it is! ha!
I have definitely not been that scary since! Everyone was really afraid of me!

* We're burning through episodes of Raising Hope too quickly! We'll be out of them by the end of the weekend, I'm sure. Then what? Then what?!?!? 

I think that's about all I have to say. :)

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your weekends!

~Christy~

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Untitled

I could not think of an appropriate title for this sad post.

This week my heart is breaking for a Georgia Southern freshman student and her family. She was found dead in her dorm room. She was 18 years old. The police reports have confirmed that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound that killed her. So awful. So sad.

It is particularly striking to me that she died in this way. Typically women commit suicide through "less messy" ways such as overdose. Plus, there is very little chance of surviving a direct gunshot wound like that. Meaning, this was not just a desperate cry for help. She made a decision to end her life (or so it would seem. We don't know all the details. It could have been an accident, I suppose.).

I have no idea what she was going through. It could have been something truly, incomprehensibly terrible. It could have been a series of simple things that seemed like the end of the world to her. Who knows? Does it even matter? The fact is she felt that there was no other way out. And I hate that. I hate that there are people in the world who feel like this. I wish I could help solve their problems, or at least help them deal with them. I guess that's what makes counseling so appealing to me as a career path.

And freshman year is tough. I mean, it can really suck. My own first semester was mostly awful. I ended up at the doctor suffering from dehydration because I wasn't eating, was physically ill and not keeping down what little I did eat, and I was crying all the time. All because I was homesick and had broken up with my boyfriend. The transition is darn hard. My situation seems trivial, but it wasn't to me. Not at the time. And that's pretty common for students to feel these things and deal with these situations.

Something as small as a bad grade or a breakup can feel like the end of the world when you're also dealing with the stress of a new environment and lifestyle and perhaps a lack of support from your usual friends and family back home. I can only imagine how it would feel to have something even worse happen, like sexual assault.

Gosh, I just wish I could scoop up all those freshman and pour into them and tell them that even when it seems like your world is coming to an end, you have so much life ahead of you. And things can get better.

And I wish I could help parents and students realize that a 4-year University (or maybe even just this 4-year University) isn't always the best fit for everyone. Some students may need to stop wasting their time and money and pursue something that would be more fulfilling, whether that be a technical certification or going straight into the work field. Or maybe they just need to go somewhere closer to home while they get ready to balance all the emotional, intellectual, financial, and even logistical challenges of college. Don't get me wrong, I think Georgia Southern is a wonderful school. But it's not for everyone, nor is college in general. Kids feel a lot of pressure these days to get a Bachelor's. I see it all the time in the Career Center. Students are not doing well and hate school, they may even have a passion that they could achieve through a technical degree, but they won't change courses because they think this is what they're supposed to be doing.

Again, I have no idea what was going on with this particular student, but I see these different issues all the time. And it hurts my heart. All I can do is pray that God would provide a way for them to see there is more to life than the circumstances they are finding themselves in now. Please join me in praying for this particular student, and college students around the world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm a Georgia Voter!

I'm a Georgia voter, y'all! 
I was able to vote early
on the Georgia Southern campus.
Thanks, GSU! :)

This is only my second time voting
(even though it's the third possible time)
and only my first time voting in person.
Before I "officially" lived in Statesboro, 
I was still registered at my dad's address.
So I mailed in an absentee ballot.

But this time I got to go and do it in person
and get my fun little sticker telling everyone that I did. 
If that's not motivation to vote
I don't know what is!

All I will say is I voted opposite of what I voted last time.
And that's all I'm going to say
because I hate arguing about politics. 

There are things I like about both candidates
and things I really dislike about both.
Honestly,
I could do without either of them.

But, alas, I searched my heart of hearts
and did what I felt I should do.
Now we just wait and see what happens.

Have you voted yet? 
Do it!
:)

~Christy~

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Life Monster is Waiting for Me

I know school and college and graduate school is real life.
If not, then what have I been doing these past 27 years??
(okay for the first five or so I wasn't in school yet)
 But I can't help but feel that "real life" is about to start.

I'm graduating with my Masters in December.
DECEMBER!
And right before that? In November?
That's when the maybe we'll get pregnant time starts!
So this basically means that in 2 months I will be searching for my first
full-time job. Not just full-time hours,
but like for real, full-time, benefited staff.
And I could be pregnant.

If that isn't "real life" waiting just around the bend
then I don't know what is.

And we know how I feel about the pregnancy thing,
so I'll just stick to the job issue.
I have this crazy mix of emotions.

I'm excited.
I've been working toward this for so long.
And it'll be great to have a definite answer when someone asks 
"What do you do?"
And I'll be working towards retirement.
And have real sick leave and vacation time.
Whoop!

But I'm also nervous.
For the past 8 years any job that I've held 
has either been "temporary" 
or had the word "student" attached to it somehow.
Now I'll likely be held to higher standards
and have more responsibilities.

Not that I can't handle that.
I know I can.
But still. It'll be an adjustment.

And what if I can't find a job right away?
Thankfully my current employer has agreed to keep me 
as a temporary employee until I find something
or they have a full-time position available.
But how is it going to feel if I don't get an interview?
Or if I get an interview but not the job?
I feel like it's easier to get graduate positions and internships.
What if I'm not hot stuff after all? 
(partly kidding about that...)

All this to say,
I'm feeling a little anxious about what is to come.
I'm looking forward to the exciting new changes,
but I'm also a little apprehensive.
I'm not sure I even know how to not be a student! 

Well, 
if that's really a problem
I'll just get my doctorate! 


Source: flickr.com via Christy on Pinterest
~Christy~

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Weekend that I did Absolutely Nothing

These types of weekends are so rare and hard to come by. But to be honest, I would kind of hate it if they weren't. I would be so bored. And fat.

But when I'm usually running around, traveling to see family, working in the yard, cleaning the house, running errands, doing chores, visiting friends, or working on homework, it's pure bliss to have a full weekend with absolutely no definite plans. It was one of those weekends where Scott and I could have easily stayed in our PJs for most of it. We did get dressed both days, though.

We ate our weight in sugar, and I felt sick to my stomach most of the time. As soon as I felt somewhat normal again, I resumed eating candy, ice cream, pie, or sugary pumpkin spice coffee. We laid on the couch and watched movies and TV shows and basically only got up to get more food. It was kind of like an extended Thanksgiving but with less hustle and bustle. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but was happy to get up this morning and go to work again, eat a healthy breakfast, and pack a gym bag. Lord knows I need it after all that junk food!

This weekend we watched a mixture of creepy movies to celebrate upcoming Halloween and other movies to keep us from having nightmares:

Red Riding Hood (we saw it in the theater the first time and felt it was a good movie to re-watch in the spirit of Halloween)
Take Me Home Tonight (blah, don't bother)
Fatal Attraction (neither of us had seen it before, believe it or not! Definitely a good thriller for October!)
Case 39 (creepy, but not too scary)
Little Bit of Heaven (kind of depressing, but good)
Cider House Rules (really good, though it was a little slow and I may have dozed off for about 10 minutes at one point)

Yes, that is a lot of movies. We also watched a lot of Raising Hope. :) I love that show. It's hilarious, but I would watch it regardless just to see that adorable baby. If I didn't have baby fever before, I would have it just from watching this show. As Scott said last night, "If our baby is half that cute we're not going to do anything with our lives but sit around and look at it!" ha! So true.

And while I don't have any pictures of us just laying around shoving food into our faces (you're welcome), I do have some pictures to share from last weekend. Enjoy! :)

Me and my niece Keirra...I basically posted this picture to show off my size 6 jeans! ;)

Kyli...she loves that big kitty! :)

How cute is she??

Look at the camera!

Me and the girls!

My niece Keirra and my second cousin Levi

Me and Kyli

Keirra chasing Kyli for a hug! Oh, sisters! :)

Look at that half smile! She kills me!

ha!

My second cousin Maggie

Maggie and Kyli

Me, Kyli, my step-mom Cathie, and my Grandma

Cute little Maggie! 

Daddy and Kyli

Keirra
Hope you all had an awesome weekend, too! :)

~Christy

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baby Fever

Source: etsy.com via Severina on Pinterest

I had such a wonderful weekend spending time with my dear ol' Dad and celebrating his birthday. On the way up I may have stopped at Tanger Outlets and bought a pair of jeans. What? I wanted some new jeans and there aren't good places to buy pants in Statesboro. Don't judge me! :) I am very pleased to report that I bought a SIZE 6! I haven't been in a size 6 in years! I was thrilled. They are a little tight in the legs, but they actually fit my waist which is more than I can say for any other pair of pants I own right now. And I wanted them to be tight enough to wear with boots. They are technically boot cut, even though I was looking for straight leg or skinny, but I think they're tight enough to pull off as such. Okay, so this has nothing to do with the title of this post. Moving on...

Once I got to my dad's, I had a great time just hanging out. We had amazing Mexican food for dinner and then watched an obscene amount of Two and a Half Men. The next day we went to my Grandparents' house for my dad's birthday lunch. Now here is where the title becomes relevant... There were 4 little kids there, running around, being adorable. My nieces Kyli and Keirra were among the cuteness. I made sure to snuggle up with them as much as possible. Kyli cracked me up when I asked who is her uncle who is usually with me. She responded, "Uncle SCAR!" (Lion King reference) I started laughing and she said, "NO! Uncle Scar is NOT NICE! Uncle SCOTT is nice!" haha! I love her! :) I have some pictures to share, though none of them are that terrific because none of the kids would sit still long enough to let me get a good shot. My pictures are on my home computer so I'll have to share those later. Sorry!

Anyway! I kept thinking that hopefully soon there will be five little ones running around when we get together at my Grandparents' house. I can't wait to add our own little one to the mix! I was thinking about how exciting it'll be to visit family members when I know they are all dying to see our baby. I think for the first time I really feel ready. Sunday night I took my first birth control pill in my LAST PACK of pills. Then...whatever happens will happen! It was pretty exciting.

I've always known that I want to have children, but the plan has always been to wait until I am done with school. And while there have been times that I wished I could hurry up and have one, I've usually been quite content to wait it out. I love having the alone time with my husband, doing fun things like cruises, and being able to just hop in the car and do whatever we feel like without having to consider feeding time or nap time, and without lugging around 100 pounds of diaper bag and a stroller. But now...I think I'm ready for all that.

I mean, you're never really ready. Right? Even when I'm in the midst of all of it I won't really be ready. But I think I'm up for the challenge. Right now the scariest part is finances. People always tell you never to wait until you're financially ready because you will be waiting forever. But with bills like our mortgage, car payment, and student loan payments, we will be paying more each month than we're previously used to already. And if there is a chance I won't go back to work right away after having the baby, that means even less income. I haven't made up my mind about that yet. And I honestly probably won't until I have the baby. Because I don't think I'll really know how I'm going to feel about going back to work until I'm right there feeling it.

My point is, I guess, I feel really ready to start trying for babies soon (like, mid-November soon!), but I'm nervous about money. And Scott tends to get really stressed about it. I mean, really stressed. I don't want the decision to be a stressful one. I want to be excited. But I guess most people probably feel this way, huh? Here's to trusting that it will all work, in the name of Jesus! :)

~Christy

Monday, October 15, 2012

Our House Story Part 5

{Part 1} {Part 2} {Part 3} {Part 4}

As I was saying, things had fallen apart and our purchase of our friends' house fell through. But we were already living there. We had to make a decision if we wanted to pursue other attempts to continue with the purchase, or just back out and start over. Starting over seemed impossible. It has been such a tiring and tedious process. I didn't think I could go through it again. Plus, it was the beginning of fall semester and I knew I would be working 2 jobs and going to class. I wouldn't have the luxury of free afternoons to take care of things. And I was so upset about the purchase falling through. As I mentioned before, Scott and I were pretty divided on this. But I had decided that if God wanted us there, He would use Scott to work it out. I was not created to have the strength to keep convincing Scott that this was the right thing to do. I had to admit that maybe it just wasn't.

One morning we were talking about it and getting pretty upset. As we were leaving the house for work, we stopped by the shed to get something out. There is a 4-letter lock on the door. Before we started turning it to the right letters to unlock the door, we realized it was currently set to P-R-A-Y. We both got chills and saw it as a reminder to continue to seek God through the process not only for guidance, but also for comfort.

After several days of prayer and consideration, we decided that this was not, in fact, what God wanted for us. To clarify, we do not think that God "changed his mind." I don't think He does that. And we don't think we were wrong in feeling His calling before. We just determined that sometimes God may call us to do some things, only to call us in a different direction once we get there. Who knows the reason? Maybe it was simply for us to learn to rely on Him more, to pray more, or to grow together as a stronger couple in the Lord. I certainly learned how to trust my husband for spiritual guidance. I admit I have not always done that. I think because I got saved before him, I've often felt like I'm "one step ahead" on things of a spiritual matter. But that is not how it should be. And I should trust that he is seeking God and God is working through him. And I think Scott learned to do just that--seek God and really listen to His guidance. So, maybe God just wanted us to be faithful in that. Who knows? But I believe He called us to take that path, and then called us in a different direction. This is not unheard of. Think about Abraham and Isaac. God called him to kill Isaac as a sacrifice to the Lord. Abraham obeyed, but just before he did it, God told him not to. He didn't change His mind; He had it planned that way from the beginning. And maybe that was the case with us, too.

So, we had to tell our friends our decision. Which was very painful. To be honest, I'm still not sure where we stand on that. They are Christians and I believe they have forgiven us. But it put them in a tough position and they have still not sold their house. I hope they are not angry. I hope God is growing them through this, too.

With that being decided, we had no idea what would happen next. We really had to lean on God at this point because we literally did not know where we would be living at the end of the month. Should we move back to our house in Portal? Move into an apartment in town? Get a storage unit and stay with friends? Try to buy a different house?

Well, that is what we decided. Try to buy another house. We started looking again. Within just one day of looking, we noticed that a house we had liked early on in the process had come down significantly in price. It was now in our range! We chose a realtor and we switched to a local bank for this go-round. We went to see the house the next day. We loved it. We made an offer the next day. We heard back within 2 hours that they accept our offer!! We literally went from having no idea where we would live, to having an offer accepted on a home in less than 2 full days. God really blew me away. And I felt silly for even worrying at all.

The process was amazingly smooth and was night and day compared to our last attempts. Our bank rep was awesome and he met with us after hours to accommodate our schedules. The attorney was wonderful. Everything was truly a great experience. Even closing was awesome. The lady who sold us the house is an older lady who is living in an assisted living facility now. She said she had been praying for a Christian couple to come along to buy the house. She said when our realtor told her about us, she knew it was right. She was thrilled to sell to us. It was so moving. I almost started crying as we were signing the papers.

And now we are home owners! We are in our house and I LOVE IT! The very first day, it immediately felt like home. It's a lot like our house in Portal, but with the convenience of living in town. We are surrounded by trees and a BEAUTIFUL yard thanks to the previous owner. And we have all the space we need, including incredible storage space. It is such a blessing. I'm SO thankful that God called us here. And I'm even thankful everything that happened on the way to this. I enjoyed my time in the other house, but it never felt like home like this does. And I feel like I've grown so much since this summer. God really does just blow me away!




~Christy~

Friday, October 12, 2012

Weekend Plans

No, this is not the final part of our house story. Sorry! I still need to write it...hopefully it will be up on Monday. I always make you wait for the finales! But seriously, not many people even read blogs on Fridays...so...might as well put it off. Right? Right!

So this is basically a filler post that I can write in my 10 spare minutes. Fun for all! ha!

This weekend we are getting our new dishwasher and fridge delivered! Woohoo! Unfortunately I will not be there when they arrive, nor will I be there to help poor Scott with installing them and moving everything into the new fridge. :( Sorry, babe!

I will not be there because tomorrow morning I am heading to my dad's house in Atlanta to celebrate his birthday. We are having a lunch at my grandparents' house on Sunday, but I'm coming up Saturday to spend some extra time. Plus, who takes day trips to Atlanta?? (3.5 hours away)

At my HS graduation

At my college graduation

Scott can't come with me because he is leading worship at church on Sunday. Yeah, I was able to get out of that since it's my dad's birthday and all. But they kinda need Scott. He is the lead singer and guitar player. So...otherwise it's just drums, bass, and a keyboard...with no words. I don't think the kids would get it. ha!

And that's basically what I'm up to this weekend. Thrilling, I know. But I'm looking forward to spending some time with my dad. As much as I'll miss Scott and feel bad about leaving him home to deal with the whole appliance issue, and as much as driving alone is no fun, I am kind of looking forward to the alone time with my dad. It'll be like old times before I was married! I guess that's exciting. haha!

Well...that's it! What are YOUR plans this weekend?

~Christy~

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our House Story: Part 4


{Part 1} {Part 2} {Part 3}

To pick up where I left off, we had just moved into our friends' house which we were planning to buy and were supposed to close on in a matter of days. Things immediately started going wrong. First it was just little things, like having trouble finding homes for all our stuff and the outlet for the dryer not matching our own. We also found out that there was a problem with the title. Somehow the boundaries listed in the title had changed during the 1998 sale. For some reason that was not a problem then, nor was it a problem three years ago when our friends bought the house. But for us it meant our closing was pushed back indefinitely until it could be resolved. But we already lived in the house! So, we talked with our friends and thankfully they were incredibly awesome through the whole ordeal. They offered to rent the house to us in the meantime. We were hoping this would only mean a few extra days or a week at most before it was resolved.

The second day that we lived there, Scott and his dad were shopping at Lowe's while his mom and I were unpacking. She was in the kitchen and I was in the hallway. Let me pause and remind you that there is an upstairs attic apartment in that house which can be rented out. There was currently a renter living there. Okay, back to the story. I heard strange noises coming from the living room, but I didn't see anything. I turned back to the box I was unpacking and then heard a VERY loud crash in the living room! I turned quickly and all I saw was a falling light and tons of ceiling and drywall crumbling down. My immediate thought was that the ceiling fan must have fallen. Then I saw a leg! And realized it was the upstairs renter! Hanging from my living room ceiling! He crawled back up into his apartment as Scott's mom and I shouted up at him to make sure he was okay. The whole living room was covered in dust and drywall. My heart was racing. I didn't know what happened, but assumed he must have just been walking along in his apartment and the entire floor fell through. I kept thinking... I do not own this house!!! What do you do??

We ran upstairs to check on him. Thankfully he was fine. Also thankfully, it turns out the house was not falling apart. He was actually crawling around in the crawl space between the levels looking for his girlfriend's cat who had gotten in there and had accidentally stepped off the beams onto the sheet rock. Whew! That's one worry to set aside. But it still remained that my living room was trashed, the ceiling had a massive hole in it, and I was living in a house that I did not yet own.

My friends are amazing, Godly people and they somehow managed to not freak out at all. They had someone come out and fix the hole and all was well. But the guy couldn't come out until Tuesday and it was Saturday. So meanwhile we had a gaping hole in our ceiling and all I could think about was all the AC blowing straight up there and running up our power bill. But, aside from that, the crisis was over.

We found out on Monday that the problem with the title was being resolved and we should be able to close within a week or so. Then on Wednesday we got a call from the bank. I should have also mentioned before that we were originally planning to do an FHA loan (which was not a problem when our friends bought the house...see a pattern here?), but were told after the appraisal that because of the attic apartment we would have to do a conventional loan. This would mean putting 5% down instead of 3.5%. It was a little more than we anticipated, but we figured it out. But the call on Wednesday from the bank told us another story. Our rep explained that because of the attic apartment, it is considered investment property. Due to regulations set by Freddie Mac, we would have to put down 20% to buy the house. TWENTY PERCENT! Who has that?? Not us, that was for sure!

Well, this pretty much brought us to a halt. We went into problem solving mode and thought about switching to another bank. We contacted the bank our friends had used when they bought the house. The lady there explained that if the appraiser listed it as a Mother-in-Law Suite it would not be a problem. But because of the separate utilities and the renter who was currently living there, it is likely that an appraiser would have no choice but to call it what it really was...an apartment. She offered to go through the entire process with us again from scratch, and hope that their appraiser listed it differently.

I was so tired. Gosh, I was tired. I cried and cried. How could we get this far and everything just fall apart? I admit I was angry with God. I felt so certain that He called us to make this move. Why were things not working out? Scott and I were a complete mess. We prayed and prayed and prayed some more. And it certainly seemed like God was steering us away from that house. But why? Why call us to move there and then call us away? Did we just read the signals wrong before? Were we reading them wrong this time?

We had dinner with our pastor and talked about it. He obviously couldn't tell us what to do, but he gave us some great advice for seeking God and listening to our hearts. And there was one thing that was a blinding, flashing light that I had been trying to ignore all summer long. Scott is the spiritual head of our household. And he had bad feelings about this for weeks. I had been exhausting myself trying to encourage, inspire, and convince Scott that this was what we should be doing. One night, as we were laying together and praying I said one of the most difficult things to say. I told him, "I will do whatever you think we should do. I'm not going to fight it anymore." He was against that attitude at first. He didn't want me to feel like I had to back down and not have a say in such a big decision. But it wasn't that. The bottom line is Scott is the head. We were both seeking God with willing hearts. If God wanted us in that house, He would keep us there through Scott. If He wanted us to move, He would do that through Scott, too. So we prayed again, and I promised to trust the spiritual guidance of my husband.

(The next part is the BEST part! Coming soon!)

{Part 5} 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our House Story: Part 3

{Part 1} {Part 2}

As I left off, doubt had set in about our decision to buy our friends' house, but we decided to push forward with it because we felt it was God's will.

Now, let's go back to the home-buying tips, for a bit. I learned a LOT through this process. So, here goes!

TIP: If you are a first-time home-buyer, for Pete's sake, use an agent! We decided to do it on our own since we were buying from friends. But it was not an easy task figuring everything out on our own.

TIP: Make sure you are pleased with your choice of bank and bank representative. This can be something you don't realize until it's too late, unfortunately. Our bank rep was awful. He was from a big bank, was not local, and was clearly very busy because he did not give us the time of day. In fact, he would often neglect to inform us of things or answer our questions, no matter how clear we made them. He would call and forget why he called. He would tell us we could not move forward without the contract, when we had already given him the contract. He told us to set up a closing date that was impossible to do, and asked us to call him every day the week before our closing date to make sure everything was still okay. No. That is not how it's supposed to be. My advice is to use a local bank and rep who you know will work with you in a dedicated manner.

TIP: Save EVERYTHING and go ahead and start recovering old tax records, pay stubs, and bank statements as soon as you start looking at houses. They will ask you for all kinds of things. Some of which you will have a hard time tracking down. Some of it will seem ridiculous. Don't be surprised. Just breathe and get through it. That's all you can do.

Okay, enough of that for now. So, as you can see...we didn't have the best experience through the process. Throughout all the normal stress of buying a house, which was worse given our lack of help from the bank, we had to deal with stress and doubt. Well, Scott was feeling stress and doubt. Pretty much through the whole ordeal. Not me. I was excited. I was eager to make a difference. I had wild aspirations of radical things happening in the neighborhood because of God using us to meet needs and build relationships. I was not scared of being robbed. Stuff is just stuff anyway. And I felt that God would protect us. And, to be perfectly honest, I wanted to push through racial stereotypes. I truly hate racism and hate the thought that I harbor any prejudice whatsoever (which of course we all do on some level). I hoped that living in that neighborhood would break me of some of that and help me grow and be more loving. And above all, I believed we should be obedient to what I thought God wanted for us.

And you should know, that was the hardest thing Scott and I have ever gone through together. We do not fight. We just don't. Sometimes we get annoyed or upset and we talk it out. But we hate division in our marriage, and this was the first time that we were truly divided. And it was something HUGE! And then you throw God into the mix and trying to figure out how in the world we both feel so strongly that God wants something different. It was really, really hard. Impossibly hard. I hated that I felt like I was pushing Scott in a direction he didn't want to take. I felt like I was robbing him of his role in our marriage. But on the other hand, I just thought maybe I was more spiritually in-tuned that he was, and he was letting fear run his life.

So, what to do?

We continued to move forward with the purchase. It was an extremely rocky path. There were emotional flips and turns and ups and down. We cried a lot. We prayed a lot. More than we've ever, ever prayed together before.

Then lo and behold, it was the weekend before we were set to close. Since we were closing on a Tuesday, and wanted to be out of our current house before the end of the month, we talked to our friends and decided to go ahead and move in that Friday. What was a few days? We would be closing soon anyway. And this way we could move on a weekend and Scott's parents could come down and help us. So, we did.

Bad call.

TIP: Never, ever move into a house or do anything at all to a house until you actually own the thing. Seems like common sense, but obviously these situations can happen.

(Part 4 coming soon!)

{Part 4}

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Our House Story: Part 2

Source: t.isaac.io via Aleks on Pinterest


Wow, do I take forever to get through a story or what??

So, as I mentioned in this post, we had decided to take a break from house hunting and went on our 3-year anniversary cruise. The week after we got back, our plans radically changed.

Our good friends (who were actually my former roommates from college. You may remember them from my Love Story with Jesus series) were trying to sell their house. They were moving to Atlanta at the end of the summer to start training for church-planting. We were in the same church small group and each week their prayer request was that God would call someone to buy their house. The house was built in 1950 and is located in downtown Statesboro. The location is super convenient, but not in the best area of town. Everyone who came to look at the house was mostly turned off by the neighborhood. In fact, we had said many times that we would not have bought that house if we were them because of the area. We literally had no desire to live there.

But as I mentioned in my God Choices series, sometimes God calls us to do things we never would think to do on our own. One night, driving home from small group, Scott said, "I have a crazy thought." And I immediately said, "You think we should buy their house?" He wasn't 100% sure, but he said he felt like God was prompting him to take action as we were closing the group in prayer that night. I had a similar feeling, and admitted that I had the same crazy thought. We talked about how it would answer so many prayers. We would have a house, they would sell theirs, and there would continue to be a strong, Christian couple living in that neighborhood, which we all felt was important in serving those in that community. But we have been known to be a little hasty in our decisions and then backing out, and we had even previously done that with this particular couple in the past when we thought we might want to rent out their attic apartment (another cool feature to that house!) and then decided it was too small and impractical for us. So, we promised we would not mention it to them for at least a week. In fact, we decided not to talk to anyone about it for a whole week while we prayed it over. We didn't want others' opinions about the neighborhood or the age of the house to impact our decision. We wanted to make it fully based on what God wanted.

We prayed for a week. We checked in with each other throughout. We were both still feeling good about it. In fact, I was getting more and more excited about the prospect of living in a hurting community so we could maybe make an impact by building relationships, meeting needs, and hopefully sharing the Gospel with others. So, we decided to tell the couple that we were considering it, and we asked for a formal walk-through of the house. We had been there many times, but never looked at it from the perspective of potential buyers. We took the walk-through. There were some flaws, mostly to do with the age of the house. But it had been modernized and updated in many ways, they had it decorated so cute, and there was nothing so wrong that it would be a deal-breaker.

The next day at church, the message was about courage. Our pastor talked about having the courage to follow God's plan and take action, even when it's hard or scary. We felt it spoke to us on many levels...actually taking action on buying a home, buying from friends, buying a house that was considered a risk. We met with the prayer team at the end of the service and had them pray with us. Afterwards we decided to go for it! We called our friends and told them we were ready to move forward with the purchase. It was an exciting moment and we all rejoiced.

Unfortunately the joy was short-lived. By that afternoon, after we started telling people, Scott was hit with massive doubt and regret. People who we love and respect were cautioning us about the danger of the neighborhood and the risk of buying an old house. Some were going as far as practically begging us to reconsider. But my perspective was that God had called us to make this decision, we prayed about it and felt affirmed in our decision. So we had to stick to it, even when doubt and fear set in. I wasn't sure if it was just natural fear in following God's plan when it's hard, or if some of it was actually doubt from the enemy. But I was determined to push forward.

(more to come tomorrow!)

{Part 3}

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Updates

Hello, Friends! Well, it's another Monday. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle this week! I could have possibly used more rest, but I feel great about what all we accomplished this weekend, while still having some fun down-time too.

Friday:

+ Had another great workout at the gym--cardio and ab work
+ Started watching reruns of Raising Hope. How did we not know how funny this show is??
+ Sang and played guitar along with my Grooveshark playlists...yes, this is the kind of thing we do for fun. :)

Saturday:

+ Woke up to a tasty breakfast and coffee with pumpkin spice creamer
+ Spent about 3 hours in the back yard pulling weeds and tidying up. Our yard no longer looks like a jungle!
+ Bought a brand new dishwasher and refrigerator from Lowe's. Got it at 20% off, tax-free, and free delivery and haul away! Suh-weet!!
+ Bought a new bed set for our bedroom and transferred our old stuff to the guestroom which did not have a real set on it. But now I think we need new drapes and probably to paint our walls. And no, we are not done hanging things and decorating the new house. I realize how boring these rooms look!

New set

Old set now in guest room. And say hi to Gus! :)
+ Had delicious Ruby Tuesday for dinner. Why do I always fill up on the Garden Bar before my meal even comes? Lucky this just means I have tasty leftovers for dinner tonight! Hello, blackened Tilapia and asparagus!
+ Watched this movie:

Sunday:

+ Played with the sweet babies in the nursery at church
+ Grilled hot dogs for lunch because it was GORGEOUS outside
+ Spent the rest of the day cleaning the house while Scott worked on a project for school (BOO!!)
+ Had a nice Sunday dinner of turkey meatloaf, broccoli, and baked sweet potato
+ Had coffee with pumpkin spice creamer and pumpkin cool whip pie for dessert--delicious!
+ Watched this movie and tried not to cry my eyes out. So good! 


And that's it, folks! Pretty eventful and awesome! :) Hope you had a good one, too!

~Christy

Friday, October 5, 2012

Back to the gym!




Well, I did it! I went to the gym yesterday. This may not seem like a big accomplishment, but I have not legitimately worked out (other than the effort it takes to move heavy boxes and furniture and work in the yard all day long) in THREE months! Yes, three! And I haven't been to the gym in longer than that. Over the summer I did not have a gym membership, but I was still consistently working out with good ol' Jillian Michaels. Even on our two vacations over the summer, I worked out several times.

But once the house drama set in, and then we moved, and then moved again, I basically just stopped doing normal things. Like working out.

And now, my friends, I am happy to say that I had an awesome workout yesterday and I've got my gym bag packed for another one after work today! :) It's all about making the time, even when it feels like there isn't enough. And then not allowing that feeling of no time to zap my motivation. I'm hoping that I keep up the practice until it becomes a habit again. Scott is on board too, which helps. Of course he has been doing at least one workout a week this whole time, but he is ready to get back to 3-4 a week at least.

I'm a little sore today, but I feel ready to conquer another workout, and I feel closer to losing those three pounds before my birthday (which, by the way, is technically five pounds because I gained another one this week! Drat! Well, we'll see how it goes!!)

Happy Friday, and enjoy your weekends!

~Christy

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Poor Meredith Grey



I stayed home sick yesterday with a very sore throat and an ear ache. Despite my goals to read more often, I decided that even turning the pages was too much work, so I watched about five episodes of Grey's Anatomy online! I stopped watching about halfway through last season, but now I am all caught up (though I think I still missed a couple episodes in the middle).

And I got to thinking...if half of the awful things that happen to these fictional characters in these TV dramas actually happened to someone in real life...wow! Life would hardly seem worth living! This is true of all TV dramas. Poor Kelly Taylor in the original 90210 was sexually assaulted, had a drug addict mother, an absent father, she survived a fire, she overcame being a drug addict herself, and she somehow ended up with amnesia later on (I haven't actually seen all those episodes yet) (yes, I love original 90210!).

And poor, poor Meredith Grey! She has survived a bomb, a shooting, and a plan crash! Her marriage has almost fallen apart countless times. Her friend was hit by a bus, her sister died in the plan crash, her mother had Alzheimer's and was really mean when she was lucid, her father was absent from her life  (but not her sister's), she almost lost her baby in the adoption process, and the list goes on and on! I guess that's what makes it entertaining and why we keep watching. Well, at least she gets to look fabulous while saving lives. :)

~Christy
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