Saturday, December 10, 2011

Things are chugging right along with the house. We went to underwriting Thursday afternoon and were told we should get official word from the bank on Monday that the house will be ours! We may close next week, but on our loan paperwork we were given a tentative closing date of the 20th. It looks like either way, we will probably be moving Christmas week. It'd be great if we could close next week and go ahead and start moving some stuff in the house. I can't wait to put my Christmas tree up! I am so thankful that we are getting a house for Christmas. Yay!

Monday, November 21, 2011

House business

We found a house!

We actually found one a few weeks ago. We made an offer, accepted the counteroffer, signed a contract, and had our home inspection and termite inspection last Friday. We have to sign off on that some time tomorrow, and we're working on filling out all our paperwork for the bank. We have a tentative closing date of December 20th. That would be great, because that's a Tuesday (I already asked off for that day) and hopefully, we could move on Wednesday. I always have Wednesdays off, Brandon might be able to work a short shift, etc. So the timing is pretty great. We are so very thankful for this house. It is a big time answered prayer. I have no doubt in my mind that if we had not been praying about this house hunt, and praying over these decisions, we would either still be looking or we'd be getting a house that has issues.

Can I tell you about my house?

My house is only 13 years old (everything else that has been in our price range has been at least 30 years old, and we all know older houses come with more issues.) My house is in a nice neighborhood that I'm a little bit familiar with. It's still less than 10 minutes from my work. It's one interstate exit closer to Brandon's work and to our church.

My house has three bedrooms and two full bathrooms (which I really wanted.) It has dormer windows, which I really like, and a breakfast bar. My kitchen has plenty of cabinet space, and a window! My house has a one-car garage. It looks really small, but neither Brandon nor I have ever lived in a house with a garage, so it's a new, exciting thing to us. My house has hardwood floors in the living room and big, bright windows. My house has nice carpet, no weird holes in the wall, and is in such better condition than anything else we have looked at. Have I mentioned how thankful I am for this house?

Please continue praying with us that the rest of the home-buying process will go smoothly-and preferably as quickly as possible. Part of me is a little sad that there is really no point in putting up the Christmas decorations in the apartment, since hopefully we will be moving before Christmas, but it's worth it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alone again, naturally

Brandon is at a meeting at work, and I am having some fear issues at the moment.

I guess a good starting point would be an update on the whole house hunting thing. We have seen about a dozen houses in person, I'm guessing. We have looked at about a thousand of them online. I check online once a day. I receive updates in my email. A lot of days I end up checking online again. One house was promising, but then there were some structural problems and we decided to pass on it. Another one I liked, but Brandon was worried about the converted garage and potential problems heating the house because of this. One was great, but the kitchen was too small- the only place to put a table was right in front of the sliding glass door to the back yard. So either you had no table, or you had no backyard.

This weekend we went to see a few more. I felt really good about one of them before we went to see it. I felt really good about it as we were walking around the house, checking it out. I like the neighborhood. I like the kitchen (except it was missing a dishwasher, and there wasn't much room for it. So I guess it would be more accurate to say "I like the dining room", because it was separate from the kitchen, thus giving me more space.) I liked the square footage, the extra long driveway, and a lot of other things. But Brandon didn't want to make an offer until he had his dad do a walk-through. If he found any major problems, that would save us money in the long run- we wouldn't have to pay for an inspector and all that. That's what happened with the first house we thought we might buy. Anyway, we wouldn't be able to go look at the house with him until Wednesday. Our lovely realtor called today and said that another couple looked at that house *twice* this weekend, and had told the selling agent to expect an offer Monday after they spoke with the loan officer. I have a feeling that their offer will be accepted, because this is an estate thingy going on here. The owner is dead, so they don't really care if they get all their money for the house, right? That's my logic, anyway.

So that's one thing I'm worried about. People keep telling me that God is not going to give "my" house to someone else. Well, I'm having a lot of trouble finding "my" house. And honestly, now I have decided I might not be looking in the right place.

I have lived in the same seven-mile area my whole life. That's about the distance from my grandparents' house to where my parents live now. I spent the first year or two of my life living in what is essentially a tack house (with two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a wood-burning stove) on my grandparents' property. Then we moved to a townhome within spitting distance of where I lived from right before my brother's birth to when I got married and moved out. And I don't like change. Oh, how I hate change. I'm coping with the concept of moving because I really hate where we live now, but I would really like to stay in the same neighborhood. Or the neighborhood where I spent 17 or 18 years of my life. Or somewhere in between (they are pretty close to each other.) But maybe that's not where I'm supposed to be. We have also been looking at a few houses (online) around where Brandon's parents live. Now, I am ok driving to their house. I can get myself to the mall. But other than that, I simply do not drive in the Okolona neighborhood. I have never driven on the freeway, which is the easiest way to get to that area of town from where we live now. I've never driven to church, which is also in Okolona. I don't like driving in unfamiliar areas, and I don't like familiarizing myself with anything new.

Anyway, I have been doing a Bible study on the book of Jonah lately. Jonah did not go where God wanted him go. He was afraid- I mean, Ninevah was an enemy of Israel. So he tried to run away, and things didn't turn out so great (though God did save him and eventually Jonah got around to doing what he was supposed to do.) My point is, recently I've been wondering if I am trying to avoid going where God wants me to go because I'm afraid. I'm not afraid of people in Okolona, but I'm afraid of the change in general. I'm afraid of being ten minutes away from where I work, *just in case* I get antsy or feel sick on the way to or from my job. I'm afraid of being further away from my family. I'm afraid of going to a different grocery store, for pete's sake. Sorry, pete, for not capitalizing your name- but I don't know you.

I don't necessarily think that God has a message he wants me to bring to the Okolona/Hillview area- that was, after all, the reason Jonah was sent to Ninevah. But I am trying really hard to do what God wants me to, and to follow His plan for our family instead of just doing what I want to do. This is an area that is proving very difficult to surrender, though. I would really appreciate your prayers for wisdom and guidance for us. And also patience. We are getting down to the wire here- we are supposed to give our apartment managers notice by December 5 if we are going to move out or change the terms of our lease. We would really rather move out, because even if we go with a 3 month lease (the shortest term available) we would have to keep paying rent until that lease expired. So if we said at the beginning of December "We're going to have to stay in this awful place for at least three more months", and then two weeks later found out that we were getting a house, we'd be paying rent payments AND a mortgage at the same time. Which is literally impossible with our income.

So anyway, that is my biggest fear thing going on right now. I'm also having a lot of trouble with my stomach, and consequently some annoying trouble with my anxiety. So that's really not helping anything right now. But the big thing is the house-hunting, I guess. There's your update. I hope you enjoyed this lengthy tale of stress and anxiety. I'm off to find myself some more Sprite and saltines (basically they are making up at least 40% of my diet right now.)

Monday, October 10, 2011


We were supposed to go see two houses this weekend. But then Brandon said we couldn't go Saturday because he had to watch the UK game. So we rescheduled for Sunday. Saturday night, we get an email saying that someone got a contract for the one house we were going to go see, so we were just going to look at one house. And part of me was ok with that because I had kind of decided that I liked this house- the one we were going to look at- better than that other one, anyway. After all, it did not have scary blue carpet, and it said it had 4 bedrooms instead of 3.

So we go see the house on Sunday, accompanied by my parents. We notice that the air conditioning unit has been stolen. We walk in the door, and things kind of smell weird. I think it's just musty. It kind of smelled like my dresser did when we brought it out of storage. We look around, and things are ok. The bedrooms are really cute. Then the toilets don't flush. Then we open the door to the basement, and are hit with a horrendous, nasty smell. The basement, while huge and spacious, is incredibly moldy. There is mold about a foot up the wall. How incredibly disappointing. As my mom said, everything that was wrong with the place would probably take an extra $15,000-$20,000 to fix, and if we had that money, we wouldn't be looking at that house in the first place. We need a house that doesn't really need any work done, because we don't have the extra money to take care of that.

So that evening, I was a little sad and disappointed and feeling frustrated. I spent a lot of time online last night looking at some other options, and have found one or two that we might go look at Wednesday. I am going to wait and see what else is posted tonight and tomorrow morning.

And there you have my update for now.

Monday, October 3, 2011

A-hunting we will go...

Hello, hello.
Not much is going on around here today. I am feeling sick, but that's because there's about an hour left before I need to leave for work. And I always get sick before work. I think it's because my stomach hurts all the time anyway (just a little hurt floating around in the background there) and then my subconscious gets worried about it. I'm used to it, but it seems a little harder to shake off today than usual. But I digress.
Brandon and I have officially started looking for a house. It all started about a week ago when I was puttering around on the internet, as I am known to do, and I came across a house for sale for what seemed to be a really good price. In our quest to learn more about the business of acquiring a house, we got in touch with a realtor (who is my best friend's aunt, and her office is basically across the street for us, so it's super convenient and we feel really good about talking with her.) She got us in touch with a lady at the bank, and we got the process rolling. So we are preapproved by the bank, and have started looking at listings. I have a feeling that we will be going to see the house we came across last week, because it seems quite nice and very affordable. The one bad thing is that it's a short sale, and Kim (the realtor) said that they can take a very long time, because banks are slow moving. So if we try to get this house, it will definitely be an exercise in patience. We want to do the right thing and follow God's will and not just jump on the first ok-looking house we come across. It's hard to know what He wants us to do sometimes, though.
So anyway, the point of this post I guess is to say that we will probably look at a couple of houses this weekend (I found two others that look pretty good, too) and to ask for your prayers. Prayers for good decisions, for wise financial moves, and most definitely for patience. Also for timing, as well, because our lease on the apartment is up in December. If we move earlier than that, we have to keep paying rent until they find someone else to take the apartment (and we can't really afford that). If we don't move by December, we are automatically set up for another year's lease. Which would be very bad. We think that our landlords offer shorter leases, but we would have to pay extra per month, and we can't really afford that either. So it would be great if we had a house lined up to move into mid-December, could give our notice by the 5th (which is the deadline), etc. That would be great.
Hopefully I will have another (good) reason to post on here soon!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

One more Smith in the world...

Our little cousin Alexander was born this morning around 6, I think. He's teeny weeny, but we went to visit him (and his parents, of course) tonight and he looks really healthy! Just miniature. He's super cute!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

So far.

Sorry I don't post much anymore. I know not that many people read this (Hi, Pappaw!) and those that do follow my blogs tend to gravitate toward the cooking one (speaking of it is.)

I have been thinking about posting for a while, to say something along the lines of "there is literally nothing happening in our lives, so I have nothing to say." But I guess that's not entirely true. There's just nothing interesting going on. My friends who blog all write about their kids, or decorating their new homes, or wedding planning. Well, I'm past the wedding planning, and the other two are so far off on the horizon it doesn't often feel worth mentioning. But maybe I'll have a little to say today.

Brandon is still working the same job, but I am working to encourage him to actively look for other work- you know, he hast that actuarial science degree he's not using, and he says he really doesn't feel up to studying for the exams working where he does now. He is convinced that if he had a 9-5 desk job, he'd suddenly have all this energy and drive and I don't know what else. So that's what we're working on. It's hard to encourage without nagging, though. I don't want to sound annoying or ungrateful to him for all the hard work he does already. I asked him what I could do to make life easier for him, I guess, so that he would be more inclined to actually look for that 9-5 desk job he thinks he needs. His answer was basically that I "do my chores." I interpret that as trying to keep our home looking better and running more smoothly. It's not a wreck now- the fact that our pets are in cages reduces a lot of whatever housecleaning we needed to do on a daily basis at my parents'. But still, when I get home from work, I leave my shoes in the living room. There's usually clutter on the dining room table (since we never use it for dining.) And there are always dishes in the sink. Since I only work part time, I really should try harder, and that is my plan. Maybe if Brandon comes home to a sparkling apartment at the end of the day, he will think "wow, suddenly I feel like getting on the computer and looking for a job, instead of playing chess." We will have to wait and see.

As for the house business, our plan (made at the beginning of the summer) was to start looking for houses in September. That is probably not going to happen, though. We wanted to try to finish paying off last year's medical bills (isn't that a sad statement?) get together a small downpayment and take advantage of the insanely low prices of housing right now. Since there's still several hundred to go on the final bill, it doesn't look like that's going to happen. But we'll get there. It's hard being patient. A few days ago I went on ReMax's website and poked around on there. I found a really nice house off of Beulah Church, with all my requirements- yard, finished basement, more than one bathroom. It really looks great. And if we even had a small downpayment to put on it, according to the little calculator on the site, our mortgage payments would be almost $200 less than what we're paying in rent right now. Seeing info like that is really encouraging, but we're not quite ready yet. With Brandon's promotion and raise, we are able to pay our bills each month without panic and fear, but we really don't have much extra money at the end of each week, so we'd be in a lot of trouble if we found ourselves with a new bill to pay or a repair that costs more than $40, for instance. Maybe around Christmastime we will be ready to look. Or the first of the year. If we aren't in a house by next summer, though, I might just go bananas. Obviously "patience" needs to be at the top of my prayer request list.

And finally, speaking of prayer requests, I have one for anyone who might be reading this. Today we were supposed to have a baby shower for my "cousin-in-law" (that would be Brandon's cousin's wife.) Her baby boy is due October 5. I got a text message about an hour ago saying that the shower had been canceled and that Siena was in the hospital. She is apparently having some complications and will probably have the baby early- but they are giving her steroids so that his lungs will hopefully be stronger when he does make his grand entrance. If you could pray for the baby and his parents, everyone would really appreciate it. We want him to be as healthy as possible when he is born (and hopefully the doctors will be able to hold that off as long as possible, without him getting an infection.)

So I guess that's it for now. It will probably be a long time before I post again. I'll try to come back and write if I have anything to say, though.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Oh happy day...

Brandon's dad came home today! We went to the airport to welcome him home and it was really nice. Then he went home and took a nap. I don't blame him. We are so thankful that he made it back safely and pretty much on time (remember, it took him almost three weeks to get over there when it should have taken a couple of days!) I think we are all thrilled that things can go back to normal now- as normal as our lives ever are, anyway.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Bible Study time!

Bible Study has begun!

We had our first Bible study meeting tonight at BD's Mongolian Grill. This year we will be working through Tammie Head's Duty or Delight. I'm looking forward to it. I saw her speak briefly at Deeper Still back in May and I liked what she had to say. We have almost twice the number of participants that we usually do this year, and that's pretty cool. It's nice to get to spend time with people other than crazy patrons and Brandon. : ) And I'm so glad we asked my mother in law Denise to join us!

Anyway, dinner was delicious (I had rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, edamame, and tofu in peanut sauce-SO GOOD!) and we had a good time. Before it has literally taken us more than six months to get through an eight week study. This time we're doing a six week study and doing two weeks at a time. So we will only meet three times. Hopefully that will help us keep on track. And if we do a good job with this one, maybe we will feel confident enough to do another in the fall. Or winter. Or both. We'll have to wait and see.

Lately God has really been laying some things on my heart, and some of them I'm not so sure about yet- like, I get the feeling he wants me to be doing something, but I don't know what. I hope that I will get a lot out of this study and might find some more clarity regarding what he wants me to be doing.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Waiting and waiting.

I debated whether or not to share this information. If I did share, maybe some people could pray about it with me and that would be great. But if it didn't work out, I'd feel dumb and possibly embarrassed. If I didn't share, then I wouldn't have to explain myself if nothing came of it, but on the other hand, I wouldn't have the extra prayers about it and I think I really do need them. So I've decided to share.

I applied for a different job yesterday.

A few times every year, I get tired of my job (doesn't everyone?) But my dissatisfaction can usually be traced back to a specific person or event, and I am able to work my way through it. Plus I've never really been interested in working anywhere other than the library. Now, though, discouragement seems here to stay. I feel frustrated and stuck. I feel like my coworkers and I don't mesh as well as we used to (we've had several new employees start working with us and several people have left- it's not really anything personal against one person, things just don't click like they used to.) This time, I can't pick one thing to focus on improving about my situation- I am already working my tail off trying to keep from going absolutely crazy in the first place.

Anyway, about a month ago I was puttering around the interwebs, looking for a job for Brandon, and I stumbled upon a full time secretarial position in the international outreach office of my former church. If you know me at all, you know I care about people in other countries (especially kids) and I'm frequently looking for ways to help. I have three child sponsorships through Compassion International, I put together as many shoeboxes as I possibly can every holiday season, and I like to support fair trade organizations like Global Girlfriend, which work to pay women in other countries what they deserve to be paid for the goods they produce. At one point in my life I wanted to travel on one of the Mercy Ships and take other journeys overseas to help people. Because of lack of funds and this pesky anxiety disorder of mine, I have all but ruled out that future for myself. But I digress. I can do secretarial work- I already do it at my current job. And a job that I can do in a field that I love? Sounds exciting!

But I was too chicken to apply. I decided to stay in my comfort zone and languish at the library (sounds sad, doesn't it?) Almost every day since I saw that job, I thought back on it, wishing things could be different and I had the guts to send in an application.

I was up late Tuesday night not feeling well, and on a whim, I went to the church's website again. And there was the job. It was still open. I was shocked! I guess I'm used to the city government's employment page (library jobs are never posted for long.) The next morning, I got up, wrote a resume (the one I had when I applied for my current job is long gone- I only made it for an assignment in high school, and I don't think my employer even looked at it when I was hired), pored over the application, got in touch with some potential references, and submitted my application at about 6 pm yesterday.

Hence the name of this post.

I have no idea if I'll get this job. I don't think I would have felt so compelled to revisit the site if God didn't at least want me to take a shot at it. I'm hopeful and I'm desperately trying to be patient. From the moment I hit the "submit" button, I've worried that I made a mistake in my resume or had a typo in the application. I've worried I said something dumb on one of the questions they asked. Worrying is what I do. But I would really appreciate some prayers on this, that I am doing what God wants me to do instead of what I want to do, and that I will be calm and patient as I wait to hear back about this opportunity (if I hear about it at all- and I really hope I do!)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Cheesy-Onion Cornbread

I am sitting here eating this amazing cornbread I made yesterday, and I thought I'd share the recipe.

2 6oz packages buttermilk cornbread mix (I used Martha White)

1 cup shredded colby-monterey jack cheese blend

Chopped tops of 2 green onions (about 1/4 cup)

1 tbsp butter or margarine

1 1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450. Combine cornbread mix, onions, and cheese in a bowl. Set aside. Put butter in 8x8 inch pan and place in oven for 4-5 minutes, until butter has melted and begins to brown. Add milk to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Pour batter into hot pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until cornbread begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.

And that's it! And it's delicious. I normally don't like cornbread because I kind of choke on it (I have problems with my esophagus and some foods are hard for me to heat) but this cornbread is quite tasty. It's like savory cake. Yum!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tae's bookmark

I got my information packet on my newest correspondence sponsorship today (that's where you write letters and pray for a kid but you don't actually pay the money, like in a "real" sponsorship.) The new information packets that Compassion sends out are pretty neat- instead of a folder, you get a little booklet, and included in there are a few perforated pictures of your sponsor child. One of those pictures is on a bookmark, and on the back of the bookmark is a list of suggestions for how to pray for your sponsor child every day of the month. The list was pretty neat, so I thought I'd post it here.

1. To accept Jesus as Savior and to grow in Christ
2. To trust God for everything
3. To do well in school
4. For the Compassion center leaders
5. For his (or her) family
6. To resist negative peer pressure
7. To learn good hygiene practices
8. For good nutrition
9. For strong friendships
10. To develop a tender heart
11. To learn God's word
12. For protection from natural disasters
13. To use good social skills
14. For a bright future
15. To develop his (or her) skills and talents
16. To learn from the center programs
17. To make wise decisions
18. For safety in daily activities
19. For freedom from fear
20. For patience and perseverance
21. To resist temptation
22. To always tell the truth
23. For the desire to follow God's will
24. For good sibling relationships
25. For physical health and strength
26. To honor his (or her) parents
27. For a spirit of hope and joy
28. To grow closer to God in prayer
29. For comfort in sadness
30. For stability for his (or her) family
31. For solid self-esteem

I think that those are good things to pray for for any child. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to impact the life of someone who lives so far away. I love my sponsor kids!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My Notebook

I haven't slept through the night in a while.

Sometimes it's been by choice. Like a few nights ago, I wasn't that tired so I stayed up til 2:30 chatting online with friends. Sometimes I stay up late listening to TV shows online. Sometimes I stay up reading a book. My nights have been peaceful, and I haven't been very tired during the day.

Tonight is different.
I have a little notebook that I carry with me everywhere. Most everyone knows about it, but it's such a fun and exciting story that I will rehash it here for those of you who don't. In the summer of 2009, I started taking some medicine to correct some internal imbalance I was dealing with. For whatever reason, no one thought to tell me that this common medication could wreak havoc on a person with a history of general anxiety disorder- a person like me. I took that medication for almost a month, not realizing until more than three weeks in that this sudden resurgence of debilitating panic attacks had started up when this new medication entered my life. It took MONTHS to get that stuff out of my system, and during that time, my life was horrible. Seriously. I had food to eat and a roof over my head, but I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go anywhere or spend time with my friends. I couldn't do my job properly because every night at work I'd have at least one severe panic attack, which apparently caused at least one of my coworkers some irritation since they told my boss I wasn't pulling my weight, as it were. I couldn't eat. Fear had me paralyzed- and my brain is flawed in ways that make it difficult for me to cope with fear.

The only thing that got me through that time and kept me out of the local psychiatric hospital (don't for a second think I'm exaggerating for dramatic effect) was making my little notebook. My mom loaned me her Bible, heavily underlined and annotated, and I worked my way through the Psalms (and eventually a few other books) picking out verses that expressed what I was feeling and wrote them down in my little notebook. I started taking that notebook with me everywhere, to read when things got scary, and it worked. It took some time, but reading those verses calmed me down.

Eventually I got to a point where I was "in the clear" after reading between a dozen and two dozen verses. I knew things were bad when I got to the verses toward the back of the book, the ones I hadn't completely memorized from reading them over and over again. Thankfully since that one awful summer, I haven't had too many times like that. I still have panic attacks sometimes, but they usually aren't very bad and quite often I don't even have to dig my little notebook out of my purse (though if I didn't have it with me I'm pretty sure it would make me nervous.)

I am sad to report that tonight, though, I got to the last page in my little book and still hadn't calmed down. It's taken me a long time to type this (you try writing coherently sometime when your thoughts are zooming at a hundred miles per hour and your adrenaline is higher than Gary Busey- zing) but in order to get myself through whatever it is I have going on tonight, I thought I'd type out some of these verses here. I guess it's kind
of like writing lines when you're in trouble- typing out these words forces me to think about them a little harder than I would if I were just saying them out loud.

Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry for help come to you. Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:1-2

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 116:7-9

O Lord, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for mercy; in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Psalm 143:1

For He will deliver the needy who cry out
, the afflicted who have no one to help. He will take pity on the weak and the needy and save them from death. Psalm 74:12-13

When I said "my foot is slipping", your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul. Psalm 94:18-19

Rescue me and deliver me in your righteousness; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. Psalm 7

Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of Your wings. My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:7-8

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:1-2

When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:3-4

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, fo
r in You my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed. Psalm 57:1

Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4

Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Psalm 28:7a

These are just a few verses that have gotten me through some really rough times (and yes, they helped even tonight.) I hope that they may hel
p you some day when you are feeling down, or scared, or forgotten by God. Even though He doesn't always answer right away- and not always in the ways we expect- He cares for us. He hears our cries for mercy and He comes to our relief. He won't ever leave us or forsake us. Remember that, and let your heart rejoice.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Current events

Can I just say that I am super pumped about this week? Because I have a feeling it's going to be awesome.
Normally talking about my upcoming week is something that I save for my personal journal (which happens to be a composition notebook with a penguin chick on the front- if you ever find it, NO TOUCHING.) But I am so excited about this week I want to share.
Wednesday is my birthday, and since I don't normally work Wednesdays, having the day off wouldn't be anything really special. So I took the rest of the week off! I work a few hours Monday night and Tuesday morning, and then I'm done! I actually have some fun errands to run those days so that makes it more tolerable.
Wednesday my dear husband is working like, 11 hours (I asked off for his birthday...even though he didn't :P )so I will be spending the day with my mom. Because how lame would it be to spend your birthday at home by yourself? We are going to the zoo, and we will get food and go back to my parents' and watch stuff (probably the Office on dvd.) And it will be good.
Thursday is Brandon's day off, so we will spend time together that day. We are going to lunch at PF Chang's and possibly going shopping at the mall. The nice mall, not the one we normally go to. Haha. And it will be good.
Friday is my birthday party! A couple of my friends are coming over to watch movies and eat yummy food. I am so excited because I miss my friends so much- though I get to see my bestie Kelli every couple of weeks (still less often than I'd like), one friend I haven't seen since last October, and the other two since my wedding last January! And even then it's not like we could exactly hang out. We'll eat and laugh, and it will be good.
Saturday I'm going to see A., the girl I mentor. Though we won't be celebrating anything, we will be painting suncatchers and having a nice time. And that'll be good, too.
And lastly, on Sunday my parents are allegedly taking us out to a fancy-ish dinner for my birthday, since Brandon couldn't come eat with us Wednesday and the rest of the time people are working (people that aren't me.)

So as you can see, I have a very exciting week ahead of me, and I am greatly looking forward to it. Yay!

Mommy's Day

Happy Mother's Day!
Brandon and I are so blessed to have the best moms on the entire planet. For serious.

My mom is wonderful. She is kind and funny and a wonderful friend. She is a good listener and a good talker, too. She has more patience than she probably realizes- she has put up with me and my anxiety problems for years and years and has always been there for me when I need her. If I'm worried, she will text me. She talked to me on the phone practically every day from fifth through seventh grade, helping me through my panic attacks and many times preventing them from happening. She also loves Jesus and shows it every day at work (she works at a Christian bookstore) and at home (through her Bible study, verse memorization, and willingness to pray for anyone who needs it). She is awesome, and I love her, and I hope that she had a good day today, because she deserves it.

My mother-in-law, Denise, is one of the nicest people I have ever met, and I am so glad she is Brandon's mom. There are so many stereotypes about in-laws being horrible, difficult people, but I think I hit the jackpot. Denise is kind and fun to talk to (we talked about makeup tonight, which she couldn't really do with her husband and four sons!) She (and her husband) have done and continue to do a great job raising their boys. I hope she had a good day, too!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Another unbirthday

One good thing about having a birthday so close to Mother's Day (and Derby Day, which is practically a holiday around here) is that I get multiple birthday celebrations and usually early presents. ^_^

Today we went out to eat with my in-laws for my birthday. I chose Tumbleweed, because I am soooo tired of Red Lobster and those were the only two restaurants that popped into my head. We met B's family over at the restaurant. His aunt Ann had lunch with us, too. Even though I was sniffly (I am semi-sick) I had a very good time and a delicious lunch. I also got a very pretty and very sparkly necklace for my birthday. Stephen, my second-youngest brother in law, said that the store had many styles of pendants available, and they looked through the whole display trying to find me a walrus necklace (they had sea turtles and dolphins, so why not?) Of course, no one sells jewelry in the likeness of my favorite animal, so they went with a heart pendant instead. And that's fine, because I love it. And I love the fact that someone likes me enough to dig through boxes of necklaces trying to find me a walrus. ^_^

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reester Bunnies

Sorry I don't blog very often anymore. I guess when I sit down at the computer, I am busy playing games and listening to TV shows, and I forget all about this thing.

Would you like to hear about our Easter? Of course you would.

We woke up pretty early this morning for some unknown reason. I am a slow mover in the mornings and even I was ready half an hour before we left for church. Church was very good, even though there was another glow-in-the-dark skit thing using people's hands in white gloves (it kind of creeps me out, honestly.) We then proceeded to my grandparents' house, where we ate lunch and I got a birthday present. We are having my birthday super early this year since my aunt and cousin will be going out of town on Derby day (when we normally celebrate my birthday). So I got early presents and the dessert of my choice (coke cake!) I got a very cool Hello Kitty makeup brush set, and I went shopping two weeks ago with my Mammaw for a birthday dress and shoes- which I wore today, despite the rain. Rain, rain, rain. It's raining again. It has rained every day this week. It's stupid. But I digress.

From there we zipped over to Brandon's aunt's house, and we got there just as his cousin and his lovely, preggo wife were getting there. Brandon likes to hang out with Bryan (his cousin) and I like to talk to Siena (the wife), so it was kind of perfect timing, I guess. We couldn't enjoy any of the delicious food there (which included deviled eggs and homemade applesauce) because we were so full from lunch. Basically I stood around and listened to people talk, and then I sat down and listened to people talk. We stayed about an hour because Brandon had to work for a little bit this afternoon. Speaking of Brandon, apparently he spilled a Sprite in his aunt's basement (I think they were playing pool or something) and then when he bent down to pick it up, he scraped his back on said pool table. That's what he told me, anyway. He actually ripped a chunk of skin off. It was gross. After he dealt with that mess, he took me back home and he scurried off to work. He should get off work soon, though. So I'm just puttering around the apartment until he returns. Whee.

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter. Ours was pretty good. I am definitely tired from running around, though, and the fact that I haven't slept through the night in about a week because of all the storms we've been having recently.

I promise to try to update before the next major holiday.

Friday, April 8, 2011


So...I am going to be a mentor.

I had a very long interview/training session today with the volunteer coordinator of the institution for which I will be a mentor (technically I'm not supposed to tell you where that is.)

The girls who live at this place are wards of the state, and there are a lot of privacy concerns about them for several reasons. So I can't ever take pictures of the girl I am matched with, I can't give anyone enough detail about her so they'd be able to identify her in a room of people. I can't tell her name, even.

All the girls who live at this place have been subjected to some form of abuse, whether it's physical, mental, sexual, or just plain old neglect. All of them have at least some form of developmental delay (that could be cognitive, a learning disability, trouble socializing, or a combination of these.)

I was told that these girls tend to take things very literally so volunteers have to train themselves to eliminate violent language from their vocabularies (even if it's something like "knock some sense into him" or another common phrase that really doesn't intend any harm.) We also have to be careful not to say anything that could be perceived as an insult or a judgment.

Volunteers for this organization have to be extremely careful about how much personal detail they share with these girls, because sometimes the girls act out (usually to provoke a response, or because they have a self-destructive tendency with relationships) and will use that information against the volunteers. I was also told not to take anything personally.

I was told a lot of sad statistics about children who get shuffled around the foster systems for a variety of reasons and end up suffering for it. I was told some facts and statistics that make me angry, because no one deserves to grow up this way. I was told things that I think would scare a lot of people off, but I think I'm up for it.

Even though I can't tell you who exactly you're praying for, I would appreciate it if you could pray for my mentee, and for the girls that she lives with, because they have had a rough time, to put it mildly. And pray for me, that I would know the right things to say and do and that this relationship will have an impact on her life and we'd both be better people for it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Quest for Cake

B's birthday is tomorrow. My plans for this day are always changing. He didn't ask off for that day, but I did, so I will be hanging out with myself all day. He gets off too late to go out to dinner. I ended up spending more on his presents than I planned on so I guess that's ok. I planned on getting him an ice cream cake for that night, because that's his favorite. He then expressed concern that someone else (namely his mom) might get him an ice cream cake for his birthday because EVERYONE knows what his favorite is. So I offered to get him a bakery cake. He said "whatever's cheapest". Well, cheapest would be a box of Pillsbury cake mix, but I couldn't make a cool cake out of that. Especially since my cake pans aren't super great. So I headed out this morning on a mission to find an awesome not-too-expensive birthday cake.

My first stop was Walmart. Oh, if only I was shopping for a cake for myself. I found several I liked. My favorite was a Little Mermaid themed cake, but there were also Finding Nemo cakes and pretty pink princess cakes. There was a single Star Wars cake in the bunch. It was cool looking- lots of blue and red. It had action figures on it (I like cakes with action figures because you get to keep the toy.) The action figures didn't look so awesome, though. I went ahead and placed my order, not feeling so great about it. A few minutes after I walked away I was paged back to the bakery. They said that they only had one of those kits left and it was missing pieces- the stands that the action figures were on (the logo of the empire and the logo of the rebel alliance) were missing. They offered to draw the symbols on there, though. I was That is a cake wreck waiting to happen.

So then I headed over to Kroger to take a peek at their cakes. They had fewer options but they had a much better looking Star Wars cake. How exciting! It doesn't have toys, just a screen-printed picture thingie. But it looks nice. I'm excited about getting it for him. I wish he was off work tomorrow so we could spend time together- he's working 11 hours tomorrow which can't be very fun to do on your birthday. But hopefully he will like his presents and his cake will be yummy and he'll be happy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Level up!

My husband can be so silly sometimes.

A few weeks ago we were having some conversation about the city's budget, and how the new mayor had emailed all the city employees (me included) about ideas for reducing spending. One idea I had was to close the libraries an hour earlier, like we used to, because we get like an extra $0.50 an hour for every hour we work after 5 p.m. I was telling Brandon this and he asked how much I earned per hour. When I told him, he said "so I might end up making more than you" (let it be said that Brandon works more than twice as many hours per week than I do- my hourly wage means nothing compared to the amount of work he puts in.) I said "well, yeah, if and when you get an actuarial job you will be making about four times what I make". He said "no, if I get the promotion."

Excuse me?

Apparently he had applied for a promotion to a management position at work. It's still not a job in his chosen field but we are so thankful he has a job where he's trusted and can get so many hours. Anyway, the promotion would make him officially full time, which would mean better benefits as well as two technical raises (one for being full time, one for the promotion). And then he said nothing about it.

Tonight I was doing something in the kitchen and saw that he had brought home his work schedule for next week. His boss had written something on it in big black marker, which is no rare thing these days as he's been helping out at other stores doing inventory. I looked closer, though, and saw that the note was a reminder to wear his new uniform next week because "the promotion finally went through- congratulations".

I wonder if he would have ever told me? He's so funny.

So I am in a pretty good mood right now because I had been praying for this. The extra money will help us knock down our piles of bills a little bit quicker, and hopefully soon we can start putting back some money to buy or rent a house. Thoughts like these make me very happy, indeed.

Friday, March 18, 2011


We are connected to the world again!
Our internet started working on Wednesday night. The new phones came on Thursday. It's nice to have both again. I wasted a bit too much time on the internet yesterday but now that it's out of my system it's time to get back to chores and boring things like that.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This is one of those days where I cannot handle one more molecule of stress.

The day started out fine, I suppose. Just the normal "I hate my neighbors"/"There's no gas in my car"/"Things are dumb" stuff, I guess.

Then my phone died.

My phone is a refurbished Blackberry. A few months ago the screen went white while I was texting and I had some weirdo error message. I have no land line. I have no internet. This makes life so much more complicated. I went to the AT&T store, had a long phone conversation with the tech support guy, and after a while he said they'd replace the phone and send me the "new" refurbished one priority shipping for free. I got the new one, and two weeks later, the same thing happened again. This time we were able to reload the software from my brother's laptop. Well, it happened again today. While no one was at my parents' house. While Brandon was out of town working in Radcliff. So I called my mom from the work phone and told her I'd call her again when Brandon got home, and that she needed to text him to tell him my phone wasn't working. Shortly after I got home, Brandon got home. His phone hasn't been working well either, lately. The difference is, his is more than seven years old (so it's to be expected). So when I was trying to make the call, his phone kept dying. I plugged it in, and it still died.

At this point I was basically losing it. I blame all this on the fact that I'm poor. We live in an apartment because we are poor(ish) and if we didn't live in the apartment I wouldn't hate the people who live near me. And also my oven probably wouldn't sit at a tilt so I could cook things on the stove properly. If we weren't poor we'd have good cell phones. Maybe really fancy ones. If we weren't poor we'd have paid my medical bills from last March off by now. If we weren't poor we'd probably have the internet, and also an OK computer. I could check the weather forecast without having to text my mom to find out if it's going to be "skirt weather". If we weren't poor we'd have a landline and cable, and our phone problems wouldn't be such a big deal. If we weren't poor I'd have a dog and I wouldn't be so lonely during the day. If we weren't poor, maybe I'd have a car whose air conditioning works and B would have a car that didn't have a busted door handle and a messed up trunk. If we weren't poor I could get the dumb nightstands I have been trying to buy for a year, and I wouldn't have to keep putting my stuff on an old end table (not that it isn't a nice, dependable end table. It's still not a nightstand. And it's even sadder that Brandon is using my beat up old night stand that has water marks on it and is missing the handle.)

There are some good things about being poor, though. We don't have credit card debt (it will take thirty years to save up for a new computer, I think.) We aren't wasting our money on cable tv when we need to spend it paying off our bills. This will pay off somewhere in the future. In the distant future. I guess.

My phone still doesn't work, though. And Jonathan couldn't fix it this time. Which means I risked my neck on a dark rainy night to come over here for nothing. Poo.

EDIT: I realize things could be so much worse. I could live in a corrugated tin shack with a dirt floor like my sponsor child, Tasya. I could be one of the millions of people who will die this year because I don't have clean water. I'm just having a bad day, and I really can't take it anymore.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Love thy neighbor. Ha!

Can I just say that I am tired of living in an apartment?

When we first moved in, things were great. The apartment below us was empty. The one across from us had a couple with a baby and a cool dog. They smoked but they properly disposed of their cigarettes. The other downstairs apartment had a couple in their late fifties and the guy's mom. They were all very nice. After about a month, though, these two college-aged guys moved in downstairs. We rarely saw them but we had a lot of trouble with them at first. They were extremely loud. One morning they played loud music from two in the morning til about five. They hung things on their walls (using a hammer) in the middle of the night. It was super annoying. But after several complaint letters they finally took the hint and settled down.
Then the older couple moved out. That apartment stayed empty for a while, until "army girl", as I call her, moved in. Army girl is not very old- maybe my age, maybe a little younger. She is married. I know this because she has about seventeen bumper stickers on her mini van saying that she is an army wife. She and her husband have a baby. For some reason, when army girl moved in, she decided to park in our half of the parking lot, rather than in the spaces right in front of her own home. Many times she had as many as four additional cars parked in our small lot (which is so obviously against the rules). She smokes, as do all the other adults who visit her apartment. They would leave cigarette butts on the ground outside their door. Then this escalated to leaving plastic drinking cups full of brown liquid and cigarette butts at the bottom of our stairs. Seriously, the fact that she smokes is gross enough (who smokes anymore?) but leaving brown cups full of crap in the stairwell? Where other people live? It was ridiculous. She still does it sometimes, but not as often as she used to.
We did get a new neighbor directly beneath our apartment, and she's all right. She has a weird name but she's friendly.
Then there's the apartment across from ours, on the second floor. The nice family that lived there moved out about a month ago and the apartment was shown several times before this new mystery family moved in. I have never actually seen anyone who lives there but they are always going up and down the stairs. They have several cars. We think they have more than they are allowed. Last night when Brandon came home, he couldn't even park in our parking lot. I have no idea where he parked. I also think these newest neighbors are perpetually drunk because the female of the group is always giggling and talking loudly as she stumbles up the steps.

In short, I am tired of apartment life. It was all right for the first year, but I am so ready to have a house. I am ready to have a yard and to decorate. I am ready to get a dog. I look forward to the day when I can take my groceries home without having to walk up a flight of stairs. I also look forward to having my own driveway, and not grumbling when someone is parked in my spot. I don't think I liked having neighbors so close to me. Maybe next year we will be living in a house instead of the apartment. And before I jinx myself, I mean living in our own house, rather than losing our jobs and having to move back in with our parents or something.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We are here.

Sorry I haven't updated much lately. Not having constant access to the internet has been awful, in some ways. I have a lot more free time (and I had too much already). Hopefully we will have access to the internet again in a few months.
Not much has happened in our lives since my last post (of course). It's been cold and snowy in Louisville. Brandon's dad left for a six-month deployment to Afghanistan (but I'm not quite sure he's there yet- they keep having delays). basketball season started and so far we're 0 for 3, but I think we're playing pretty well. The rats are fine. The guinea pig is fine. The apartment is fine. Our neighbors are moving out today (the only ones we liked!) so if you're looking for an apartment in our area, let me know. I want someone cool to move in next door. Unfortunately I don't think any of our friends are looking for a new place right now.
I'm at the library and it's almost time for me to start working, so I guess I'd better go. I just wanted my blogger friends to know we hadn't dropped off the face of the planet.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Last weekend

So last weekend was our anniversary. It was pretty nice and relatively low key. We went to church in the morning and then went to the PetSmart near church (we like going to pet stores. I know, it's weird.) They had two rabbits there for adoption that were pretty cool. I want to take all the animals home, though. After that we went to Red Lobster for lunch (Brandon's choice) and ate too much. Well, Brandon did. I stopped before I was full. But Brandon had his share of the cheddar biscuits, his meal, half of my leftovers, half of my salad, and most of a giant piece of cake. Needless to say, he wasn't very hungry the rest of the day. We had planned on having carry out for dinner that night, so we could stay in and watch a movie. But he didn't want dinner, so I just got carry out by myself. And it took almost an hour for me to get an order of chicken. That was a bit frustrating. But dinner was good (the movie wasn't). Oh, I forgot to mention that in the middle there, we visited another pet store. Another PetSmart. This one had baby rats! I want them. I want all the animals. We visited another pet store this week to get food for our dear animals and they had lots of bunny rabbits and two of the cutest puppies I have ever seen. I can't wait until we get a house and we have room for more animals. Who knows when that will be, though.
Anyway, I thought I would post about my anniversary, even though it's a few days late because we still don't have internet at home. Lame. Hopefully our new wireless card will arrive by tomorrow afternoon and we can get it set up. I miss the internet.