Monday, April 25, 2016

This is a fun time, right?

First, if you were planning a Disney World trip this year in the fall and were waiting for free dining dates to be announced, stop reading this NOW and run to the website! Haha. Free dining opened up this morning, and in a frenzy and after about ten heart attacks after booking the WRONG dates for some extended family members, I'm pretty sure we are all booked for our new trip dates. Instead of going in September for the fall festivities as usual, we will be planning to go the last week of November and enjoying some of the Christmas activities for the first time. I cannot WAIT!

I really recommend going online vs. calling if you are booking a trip today. The phone lines will be tied up all day long.

Now we pray that Lincoln is a good and easy baby so we have no reservations about taking him along. :)

So hello! I sometimes lose track of time these days, but once I start getting the "Is everything okay??" messages I know it's probably been a while since I updated the blog. Yes, we are okay! We are in a weird period of transition right now where everything we do pretty much centers around the fact that we are planning a big move and we have a TON of junk to sort through! It really makes for boring blog posts...or I mean, it would if I had actually been posting something.

I would say that we are currently in the calm before the storm (we close on May 10), but I think Eric would lose it if I described his life at the moment as "calm." Work has been absolutely nuts for him. He is literally being pulled in ten different directions and traveling everywhere and being given even more responsibilities (as if he didn't have enough!) and in some ways it's all very good and in other's just crazy. We have to remind ourselves to stop and breath and count our blessings. 

Also considering therapy. 

We can see how God is using a lot of our situation to lay out a future for us that we simply cannot see right now. And we keep getting little confirmations that we are heading in the right direction. 

One of the things I have worried about most in our move is the fact that we are transitioning the kids to a new school and that I would be totally on my own to get them to and from every day. It's hard enough with four kids to get everyone where they need to go, but we are going to have a newborn, likely in the first week that the kids start the school year. It's just going to be a hard time, like it or not. So I fretted over whether or not the girls would be able to ride a bus and how all of that would work out....

Just this weekend I was perusing our new school's website and saw a button I hadn't noticed before for "new families." And through that link, I saw a "school boundaries" page which showed where all of the school's bus stops are. I seriously could have done cartwheels in bed when this picture popped up:

Do you see that?? The little house icon is where we will live, and the bus stop that services our entire neighborhood is right in front of our house! I can literally stand on the front porch every morning and watch the girls get on the bus, which is a huge blessing. We had no clue that the home we chose would position us so perfectly for a situation that I had been really worrying about. We could not have planned that better ourselves. I am no longer stressed about dealing with a newborn and getting everyone in the car every morning. Thank goodness! :) It's the little things, but sometimes those little things can seem very big.

Over the past couple of weeks our kids have been keeping very busy doing lots of fun activities with grandparents, and the girls have started up swim lessons again. They are going to be champion swimmers, let me tell ya. Haha. I have had the pleasure of beginning the long and painful process of sorting our lives, and I'm thinking that, like it or not, we're going to have to have a garage sale before we move. If you are local and have a girl that wears size 4 or 5, you're in luck cause we have lots of great stuff that needs to GO. 

Perhaps a little disadvantageously, we have been simultaneously buying new stuff for the new place. Eric says we have stop though, because we have no place to put it all. :D I've never been able to shop for a home that is ALL OURS before, but I do believe it's time to cool my jets. :)

Our current plan is to hire out some help in getting our house ready to move in as soon as possible. The entire house is being painted, ceilings are being scraped, we are ripping up some carpet and tiling a couple of bathrooms...all of that will take us from a house that was clearly built in the late 90's and bring us up to about builder grade 2016. Haha. We need new appliances, we're changing out fixtures and door handles...lots of little things...and we hope to be all moved in around mid-June. 

I have been without a camera for a while because our charger was lost, but we ordered a new one and now I'm back in business! So hopefully we will be able to share a lot coming up...when there is something to share. :) I definitely want to start vlogging again and stop missing so much of my little ones' little hoods. Charlotte just keeps growing up and she won't stop, the little stinker!

It's going to be a crazy, stressful, panic inducing, busy, but sort of awesome couple of months for us, so I hope you'll stick around for the fun. (Fun! Fun? I'm not sure which!) Over and out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fourteen in Sixteen!

Most married people look back on the day they said "I do" and consider that one of their most meaningful anniversaries to celebrate. For whatever reason, it seems that Eric and I get more excited and look more forward to April 6 every year - the day that we started dating fourteen years ago.

While September 13 (our wedding date) will always be a super special date to us, we both agree that it was April 6, 2002 when our lives took a dramatic turn. We wake up every single year on this day and say things to each other like, "What would life look like right now if you hadn't asked me to be your girlfriend?" "Where would I be if you hadn't said yes??" Eric and I agree that neither of us would be any good at dating as adults, and that we found each other at just the right awkward times in both of our lives, haha.

This year is extra special, because Eric officially reached the "half of his life" mark with me. :) He is 28 years old, and we've now been together for half of his entire life. If this is sounding like a totally dorky thing to keep track of, that's because it is, but these are the things we think and laugh about. We haven't been together for years and years like so many wonderful couples we know and admire, but I can honestly say that this guy still gives me butterflies for real, even more than he did fourteen years ago.

These pictures still make me chuckle. :)

It's hard to know if we get along so well because we agree on so many things, or if we agree on so many things because we were forming our opinions together during some pretty formative years. :) We eerily agree on just about everything. I have started noticing that we have begun finishing each others thoughts and sentences regularly. We read something and get excited to share it, only to discover the other one just read that same thing, too. Even when we're apart we are operating on the same wavelength. It's like twins who were separated at birth, but not. He is truly my best friend, and I am so thankful for him.

Eric knows exactly how I feel about him. I definitely don't feel a need to proclaim my love for him publicly all of the time, but there are just some days that I want to SHOUT about how much I love this man. Today is one of the those special days for us, so I'm proclaiming it.

I love you, Eric Robert! Thank you for making life so great!

 We got married and had a baby!

And I was pregnant with Gracie here. :)

We've done a lot of cool stuff together!

There are no "secrets" to a successful relationship, if you ask me. People are just too different, and everyone has different priorities. No one has asked so I'm not going to dole out unsolicited marriage advice today, but I can say that WE work because we communicate constantly, stay faithful to each other, we invest in each other, we have goals together...we're a team! I couldn't do what I do without him, and he couldn't do what he does without me. We keep God first, but I don't feel like I come second to anything else in this world. I hope he feels the same! :)

Thank you for making my dreams come true, Eric Robert! God knew what he was doing when he put us together. Love you!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Sometimes We Just Can't Win!

I'm pretty sure we bought a house. Like inspections and haggling and literally waiting until the absolute last minute last night to send over our signatures on the final deal (because our sellers are little bit of a pain in the butt, not gonna lie. Haha.) Closing is May 10! Then the real work begins for us....

So about our last weekend.

On Friday evening we had a great time attending the annual Life Network donor banquet. I look forward to it every year. We have a rotation with this event...I'm either pregnant or with a small baby at the dinner, without fail, every single year. This year we were able to leave Charlotte at home, but I was sporting a little baby bump once again. That's fine, I got to make it through an entire dinner without holding an infant or spoon feeding another human being, and that's a big win for me!

On Saturday we enjoyed a lovely date night, got home with our arms full of groceries, and then we discovered that our refrigerator had gone out.


Eric took the food we had just purchased to his parent's house. We got to spend the entire next morning cleaning out a refrigerator and waiting on the repairman to come. (Thank goodness our landlord found someone to come out on a Sunday! And...uh...thank goodness we didn't have to pay for it. Sigh...there are some things about renting we will miss terribly.)

So on Sunday afternoon we had to go shopping for all of the refrigerated things we had to throw out.  We get to Walmart, and what do we see?

I don't think I really set up the scene properly prior to this, but you have to know that we had just come off of an absolutely crazy week and were mentally preparing for an even crazier this week. The fact that our refrigerator went out was just the icing on the cake...a real, "Of course it did" sort of moment. So when we got to the store and saw these signs posted everywhere, it was borderline TV sitcom comical for us.

We drove home and paid a premium for milk in town. :)

We didn't have time to keep running around, because we had a birthday to celebrate! My dad turned 50 last week, and we enjoyed a BBQ, birthday cake, and kite flying on the glorious afternoon.

Even Charlotte tried her hand at flying kites. :)

You know, the older I get the more the parent-to-child age ratio starts freaking me out a little bit. I mean...I'm 30 and my parents are only 50. When I was ten and they were thirty it still seemed totally legit...I was 1/3 their age. But now...I'm 3/5 their age. 60%. I'm 60% my parent's age. And that gap just keeps getting less and less as the years go by.

That's just not right. :)

I had to take this picture of Charlotte singing happy birthday to her Papa. I'm pretty sure she was more excited for his birthday than her own, haha.

We did get a bit of good news yesterday, which alleviates some of the craziness we had been anticipating this week. Eric doesn't have to go to New York! It honestly feels like he's on a surprise vacation now even though he'll still whistle off to work every morning. At least he'll be sleeping in the same state as us all week long...that's something.

And in other news, don't bother trying to get a hold of me via the phone, because you can't. Mine went to phone heaven and we're working on getting a replacement. We're not exactly on a winning streak at the moment so you may want to stay far away from us. Or bring some bad luck repellent if you come over.

But we did buy a house. Even if the sellers were a pain in the butt. So we'll take the good with the bad. :)

I hope you have a very great week!!


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