Saturday, August 20, 2016

Olympic Fever

Who else is wrapped up in the Olympic craze? I can't get enough and I am already starting to panic about what will play on our TV 24/7 come Monday.

I'm not kidding. Basketball, rowing, archery, weightlifting. I'll watch it all. But my personal favorite? Track. I know every athlete has dedicated countless hours and sacrificed so much, but something about the faces of the athletes running until exhaustion connects to me. My heart races, my throat seizes up, and tears come to my eyes as each one crosses the finish line. Of course I'm rooting for USA, but I love seeing any athlete win. I just can't explain it.

I'm not a competitive person. I've never had the desire to push my physical limits. And I surely don't consider myself an athlete. But goodness gracious I connect with these runners when I see them reach goals that some deem unobtainable. When I see them give everything they have. Cue the water works.

I dread on Monday when life goes back to status quo and everyone starts arguing about the presidential elections. I want to stay in the Olympic-haze just a little bit longer. Where we all agree and root for the same cause. Let's hold on to celebrating hard work and achievement a little bit longer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A House Tour

Since a lot of this blog will be about the renovation of our house, I thought I would give you a tour before things start changing too much. We've already changed a few things in the couple of weekends we have lived here, but don't worry. We haven't put a dent into everything that needs to be done.

To get your bearings, here is a rough blue print of the house. It is a split level home, with the living room and kitchen on the main level, three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, and the downstairs containing one bathroom, bonus room, and laundry room. Not depicted is the multilevel deck off the living room.

Main level



Okay, now that you have a general idea of the layout, lets look at some pictures.

Exterior: Some paint, windows, and garage/entry doors will give it a much needed face lift.

Living room: We love the windows and natural light this room has. But lordy, that fire place wall. And see that brick square to the right of the stairs? That's a built-in planter. For like, ferns and stuff. Sigh.

We plan to knock down the wall separating the living room and the kitchen. Open floor plan for all.

Yep, that's a fake french door leading onto our massive deck.

Kitchen: Complete with original 1960s appliances. Except the fridge, because I have standards (read: I don't want to put food into a stinky, gross, old refrigerator). That beautiful fridge is the one new thing in this house. Oh, and the hot water tank. (But that is a whole other story...)

Next, let's venture upstairs. Our first project is to rip up that nasty nasty carpet.

Master bedroom: There is a sliding door just to the left of this photo that leads out to a small patio. To the right is open closets.

Master bathroom: Before we ever used that shower, I tore out the gross shower door that was covered in mold. And bleached this room from top to bottom. Twice.

Hall bathroom: Oh, the pink tile. And yes, you climb into that hole to bathe.

Nursery: At the time of this post, Link is actually set up in the other room; but we will eventually move him into this room.

Guest bedroom: Imagine new walls and pretty floors. But any suggestions for that cubby-hole?

Okay, that's enough of the upstairs. Now let's head down to the bottom level.

Bonus room: This huge room has a bar, fire place, and a built-in charcoal grill. We have brainstormed a lot of ideas for this space, but right now it just holds boxes and bicycles. 

Laundry room: Are laundry room pictures ever interesting?

Half bath: Meh.

Patio/backyard: The deck is huge. This view is looking back onto the house. The structure on the left is what the college boys dubbed "The Boom Boom Room." There is an alley way on the right hand of this picture (also pictured below) that runs along the side of the house/garage.

We have already made some serious headway on the yard. About 4 days of cutting, chopping, and burning and you can finally see that white shed. 

This is a picture of the lower half of the deck, from the view outside the laundry room door. So much deck. Above us is the patio off the master bedroom.

And there you have it. It is easy to get overwhelmed by what needs to be done. (Ahem. I'm looking at you Josh.) But, piece by piece, I think we have a real gem on our hands. Slowly, but surely, we will turn this thing into a looker.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dusting off

*big swallow. deep breath.*

Hello? Anyone out there? *taps microphone* Does this thing work? 

It's been almost a year and a half since I last wrote on this little part of the Internet. And a lot has happened since I announced we were expecting our rainbow baby

We actually had that rainbow baby. 

He's joy, hope, giggles, and craziness all wrapped up into a ball of blue eyed goodness. We just celebrated his first year around the sun and I just can't believe it. I'm tired, exhausted, and happy. Really happy.

Josh graduated and found a job in Northwest Arkansas, so we decided to put down some roots and buy a house. 

But not just any house. A 1960s house, in a great location, that needs a lot of work. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. For the past 10ish years it has been filled with college boy renters who, let's be honest, didn't keep a clean house. And before that, whew. Lots of quick fixes and cover-ups. There is not an inch of space that doesn't need a lot of love. A lot.

In good ole' DIY fashion, we plan to do most of the work ourselves. Floors, bathrooms, kitchen, walls, yard, exterior. *gulp* We are definitely in over our heads.

I've missed writing. I've missed chronicling our adventures. And I've missed sharing our lives. I'm sure it'll take a while to dust this thing off and get into the rhythm again, but I want to be back. So, here I am. I can't wait.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Rainbow is Coming

You guys. We have a rainbow coming. It is not here yet; it's still just a glimmer in the distance. But each week it is gradually coming closer, becoming clearer and more vibrant. With its presence comes hope. 

I am pregnant. 

We have known for several months and have been very guarded with sharing the news, although now it is impossible to hide. While we are so thrilled, we do not go into this pregnancy naive. We know things can go wrong, which makes the excitement seem overshadowed by concern. Yes, I am happy to be pregnant, but I can't seem to celebrate until I have a crying, wiggling baby in my arms. 

I have been hesitant how to announce this pregnancy for several reasons. First, my longing for Olivia is in no way affected by this baby. I would be devastated for people to think anything could replace our sweet girl. I would give anything to have her here, being the amazing big sister I know she would be. I suppose I have an irrational fear that once people know I'm pregnant, Olivia will be forgotten. And that is the worst possible thing in the world.
Secondly, since losing Olivia I have been honored to meet some wonderful mommies who share my pain. Who understand the devastating loss of a child. And who also know the bittersweet jealously of pregnancy announcements and "welcome baby" updates. While we would never want anyone to experience our pain, it is hard to scroll through Facebook seeing whole families, wondering why that couldn't be us as well. So, to you mommies, I love you. I think of you every day. And my heart continues to hurt with you. 

Like any pregnancy, you may have some questions. So here are the basics:
- The baby is due June 13th. That makes me 24 weeks tomorrow.
-We've had several ultrasounds which confirm it is a healthy baby boy.
-We aren't announcing a name until Little Man gets here, not that we have decided on anything though. 

We are over the moon in love with him. At every ultrasound he has been a squirmy, goofy dude who has crazy long fingers and toes like his daddy and big sister. My heart aches to meet him and introduce him to you. 

 Thank you for following along and loving our little family.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

One Year

One year.  Typing those words is strange. Because it doesn't feel like a year. It feels like an eternity. It feels like yesterday.

I was scared of today. Scared of what would await me. Scared of what I would feel. Anxiety and worry have been my companion leading up to today, filling my thoughts and words. But when I woke up, I was surprised they were gone. Missing. And replaced with peace and comfort.

Don't get me wrong. I've cried countless tears today, but I do that regularly. I missed Olivia deeply today, but that is nothing new. I hurt so strongly I can't put it into words, but that is my new normal. But instead of feeling what I expected to feel- hopelessness, anxiety, worry, fear- I feel love, peace, and longing.

Time and time again He continues to be present. In my darkest days and in my saddest thoughts He is there bringing hope and comfort. And time and time again I am surprised. I know He says He will be there, but I can never imagine how that will make it any better. But it does. Every time. Every stinking time.

God's peace and comfort are so good, I just wish I didn't know it so well.

His presence doesn't change my situation. We still don't have Olivia in our arms. But I don't grieve without hope. This isn't the end; this world is not our home. Olivia went ahead without me. I just wish she wouldn't have.

And now I want to say thank you, to you. You know who you are; there are so many of you. You continue to take time to remember and you let us know how much you love us and our sweet girl. Texts, calls, messages, cards, gifts, prayers, words- I can't express how much each one means to me. You are encouraging during times of sorrow. You show me God's love when I question everything. You remind me of the goodness and hope that exist. You wrap your arms around my sad little family and tell me you hurt with us. I will never be able to repay what your actions have given us. When we get to heaven, I can't wait to introduce Olivia to all the people who continue to walk with us through this journey. Because you guys, heaven is so very real; I've never been more sure of it. And I can't wait to see you there.