Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The House Game

So we're having another baby. And we're super pumped about this and as mentioned in my previous post, we totally planned and prayed for this baby. But that doesn't change the fact that with said baby's arrival, we will have out grown out house. By like 2 people and a dog.

True story.

We have a great home-- it's older and we've fixed and changed and moved things until it's just as we like-- we have an amazing back yard for little boys-- it's fenced and big and flat, and they can play and play while I stand at the sink washing dishes, putting dishes away, and/ or folding laundry all while keeping them in my eye sight. For a mom, that's like seriously heaven-- to be fully aware of your children and their safety while not being able to hear them at all-- can I get an "ahhhhh" sigh of bliss?? We also have a long flat driveway, with a perfect parking pad for Chad and his truck and work stuff, with a garage for me and all the babes I load and unload in the rain, sleet, and snow. Ok, mostly rain, because we live in Georgia, but it's a perk nonetheless.

And did I mention that our mortgage is really small?? We bought it when the economy tanked right before Max was born and so let's just say that it's one of those monthly bills that isn't exactly fun because can "bill" and "fun" be in the same sentence? But it doesn't hurt like it could, and when Chad's business gets slow after the holidays as it always does, we can still make all our ends meet, thanks to our Heavenly Father... lovely!!

So after speaking with my favorite handy man/ contractor/ builder... aka my father in law... we decided to get an estimate to build onto the back of our house-- we wanted a little sitting room that would temporarily be a baby room and once baby was sleeping and got move up with the other kids it would turn into a playroom/ sunroom of sorts, and a master bedroom/ bathroom, because apparently back in the 70's when our house was built, it was a great idea to make the master bed/ closet/ bath the SMALLEST in the whole house and face it, my wardrobe consisting of before children that I'll never wear again but refuse to throw away, maternity that I like to wear for 9 months every year, skinny post children which takes me at least 6 months post-baby to fit into, and fat post children which I spend way too much time in, just doesn't fit on my 2 feet of hanging shelf. Basically Chad's Dad helped us think through it all, then we conveyed it to a contractor who was great and took measurements and pictures and came up with this beautiful drawing that made my heart flutter... all to the tune of $65,000..... um, hello, if we had $65,000 cash in our pockets to throw on a house, we'd just go buy a new one.

So.... we proceeded to option #2-- renting for a year or so until we were ready to buy again, all while keeping our house and renting it out as well. (Chad wants to keep our house long term, even once we really do buy another because he loves it and because it's a great rental property.) So we've been looking and looking for months and months and seriously, nothing fits what we want. It's been so frustrating. A lot of the houses we really liked wouldn't fit my car in the garage. I drive a minivan people- nothing fancy- and not a tank. Just a regular ole swagger wagon. OR lots of houses have drive under garages... um I won't get into details but picture a post-pregnant woman lugging a 3 year old, 2 year old and baby up and down a full set of stairs, not to mention bags, groceries, and all the other luxurious items that come with motherhood... it wouldn't be pretty. Our garage to house now has like 7 stairs and some days it's a mountain-- I can't imagine a whole staircase. Seriously, we would have to order in each night unless Publix began delivering in Woodstock. We also saw houses that were dirty or didn't have storage or worse yet-- no back yard. And when you look at renting, you have to be willing to live there AS IS for a full year otherwise you're throwing money away, because it's not your house so any updates/ additions wouldn't be to your advantage and you'd get nothing out of it.

Finally on Friday, we found a house that was doable-- there were some things that weren't awesome and but we had resigned ourselves to just settle... and after we left the house and headed to dinner, Chad ran into a concrete post in the parking lot with his truck tire and his truck tire alone-- no other part of his truck-- and it still managed to total the thing. Not even kidding. He was going like 5 miles an hour, if that, swinging wide to park, and bam. It left him with burns and bruises on his arm, and the tire hit just right so that is broke the frame of his truck in half. My instant reaction was relieve that he was fine and no one else was involved. He instant reaction was total annoyance, calling himself names and questioning what God was teaching him or trying to show him. By the time the weekend was over, I realized the lesson was for me-- simplify Lauren-- wait for Me Lauren-- don't settle to fit your timeline, listen to what I'm saying.

God had been whispering in my ear that we just needed to sit tight in our house for a bit and it would literally make my eyes water... with tears.  Tears of a baby not getting her way... tears of a mommy wanting the new baby to have a place to sleep that wouldn't disrupt the rest of her brood... tears of wanting more and bigger and better. But it took this little truck incident for me to get it-- and when I got it, it was instant. Who the heck cares if Gabe and Max share a room with bunk beds?? Certainly not them! They think it's going to be a party. And so what if the we need to re-arrage our room to fit a bassinet long term, and so what if Jack and baby both have cribs in the same room?  Seriously, we were about to pay a lot more money to settle elsewhere, when we can just "settle" on the number of bedrooms for a bit, and save money, continue making improvements, AND wait for the Lord to show us what's next--- maybe it will be adding onto our house after we win a mini-lottery, or maybe this time next year, the perfect house will open up and we'll be ready to put another down payment on a house-- but in the meantime, let's just stay and settle in to our home a little more... not to mention, settle into God's plan for us, instead of mine.

I'm so grateful for a patient God who continues to work on my heart-- and a patient husband who continued to walk out this housing road with me, although he was content with what he have the whole time. I'm a lucky lady-- the only thing I need is more Jesus!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Let's Mote!

Hopefully you all exercised your right to vote today!! We sure did and we're grateful for the privilege!!

Max loves to "mote"... as in vote. Our polling place is at a big church just down the road from our house and so every time we drive by, Max says "that's where we mote." And it's not like he has a bunch of experience with this, let's be honest!! Chad and I met there to "mote" in July and the boys got a sticker and then got to play on the playground at the church afterwards, so really I think that's the draw :)


Anyway, for this presidential election, Anna and I decided to vote early at the library just up the road. Of course changing locations really threw Max, but we thought that if we went together, we could tag team as needed. BUT when we got there this past Thursday, we were able to walk up and vote right away.  It was awesome! 4 years ago, none of our babies were here yet... so this was their first time voting for President of the United States... so we had to capture it!

But regardless of how the numbers add up tonight, it's a big change for our country! But just a reminder, you can't put your hope in a man, even President-- he's just as human and sinful as the rest of us-- instead, our eyes need to be on our sovereign Lord and our prayers for all the leaders of our country. God, please bless America!

Halloween and our other October Festivities

This year, I did manage to break out a little bit of fall decor-- both inside and outside. But I didn't really manage to capture it on camera... oops! But Max loved the pumpkins, Jack loved the candy corn, and Gabe always appreciated decor :)

We also had a pumpkin painting party with some of our favorite little men, and again... no pictures... but my friend Danielle did capture and blogged about it-- check it out on her blog here: Pumpkin Party Playdate

And of course, we did our annual pumpkin patch visit with the Spivas. We went to a new one- Cagle's Dairy farm not too farm from our house, and got to enjoy a pumpkin patch, a jumping pillow with a special one just for younger kids (yay!), a corn maze, and then a good hay ride that took you to a big open field filled with bon fires-- they even provided sticks and marshmallows. Honestly, the big fires did make me a little nervous with the 4 boys under 4 between us, but with 4 parents on duty we all survived unscathed :) But again... no pictures!

(This was at dinner afterwards... and Max had to have his clothes changed due to a "can't hold it anymore accident" and we're missing baby Grant, so for that reason, this picture doesn't really count...)
Then the weekend before Halloween, we attended the 5th annual Canup fest put on by our dear friends the Canups-- they to a fire pit, smores, food and fixins, lots of fun games for the kids, and even had the GA/ FL game on a big screen outside. And did I mention that is was a costume party? Well it was! I honestly haven't participated in dressing up in years-- but this year Chad and I were the Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar-- it was awesome!!
Reason #1: Because I found an amazing dress at goodwill
Reason #2: Because I seriously LOVE Michelle Duggar-- have you ever heard her talk-- what a heart, what wisdom, what a lady!
Reason #3: Because if didn't fear my insides falling out and my husband running away with no forwarding address, I would SO have 19 kids :)

But just FYI... I DID capture this event and I'd like to make a mention that although I am truly expecting, that is a bath towel up under my dress and NOT my baby belly!!!

Of course, we also concluded the month with some pumpkin carving but unfortunately we had to do it without Gabe :( The month flew by and before we knew it, we had one night to carve the pumpkin before trick-or-treaters were coming and it wasn't a Gabe night/ weekend for us-- bummer! So I did get some cut pictures of the boys and Chad in action but it isn't the same without our big brother.

And lastly, we wrapped up the month with some trick-or-treating with the Prusa's and this year, Max and Lizzy's costumes coordinated!! You should know the Lizzy wanted to be a princess and wanted Max to be Prince Charming but he could NOT be talked out of being Mickey-- he had his mind set on it, and once we laid eyes on what he deemed as the perfect costume, he would so proud every time he slipped with on, which is so unlike him. Lizzy was flexible, PTL, because they were adorable!

And of course, we had a baby cow with us and lil Evie was Raggedy Ann-- it was a cute, fun time! Not near as cold as we expected, either-- win/ win!!  We made it to about 10 houses before Max was ready to go back and hand out candy- he thought that was the true highlight of the night :) Jack thought the lollipops were the highlight.

And just like that, October flew in and flew right back out! We're so grateful for wonderful friends, wonderful weather, wonderful traditions, and our wonderful family. Now onto November and a thankful, grateful focus that will hopefully carry on throughout the year!