Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Shopping Bug

Posted by Mandy at 11:42 AM 0 comments Links to this post
It is that time of year.. summer is quickly approaching, the humidity has set in, and a heat wave is sure to hit us any moment. This sudden change in weather creates a huge urge to go shopping! Thankfully, I have two major excuses to go soon - Madison and Carter have outgrown much of their warm weather clothes from last year and both need a new summer wardrobe. But, what about me?! Well, a lot of my stuff from last summer is a bit too large and I, too, am in need of a couple of new things. Don't get me wrong, if it comes down to it, I can wear my over sized clothes for a while longer. If I can avoid it, I definitely will!

To help with this huge shopping bug that's been nibbling at me, I'm trying my best to save a bit of each paycheck I get. I got three this week... so I'm saving a portion of that, and I'll have three or four next week, so I'll be hopeful that I can save a chunk of that, as well. Couple that with some great JC Penny's coupons I just got in the mail and I'm just giddy!

Back in the day, when the kids needed clothes like they do now, I'd have to just go put them on the credit card and take the next several months to pay it back down. That is NOT fun times... so I am so thankful that God is giving me so much opportunity to work right when I need to. Saving money for something like this is an art I'm learning. I am really excited each time I slip another bill or two into my stash... grow clothes money, grow!!

HAVING to go shopping.. now that's a great need!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Life Changing Back

Posted by Mandy at 5:27 PM 4 comments Links to this post
To avoid turning his into a serious vent post, I will simply say that a mere 24hrs after the guy made us an offer on our house, he called to say that he decided to buy a different house, and they're moving tomorrow. I am beyond frustrated, confused, and emotionally DRAINED after the past two days. We're probably about to put the house up for sale and just see what happens... I don't know if I can handle ups and downs like that again, though. So, we're staying put for now... but God is definitely trying to move us in some way. Just not sure exactly what he's up to but I wish he'd reveal it more easily than this!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Life is About to Change

Posted by Mandy at 7:37 PM 2 comments Links to this post
I can't recall if I spoke on my blog about the house selling craziness we had a month ago. A neighbor sold his house, approached us about buying ours, we scrambled to figure out what our house was worth, and he wanted to give us MUCH less and wouldn't budge. So, we said that was fine.. he said he'd look at other houses, we were happy to stay here b/c we LOVE our house. :)

Fast forward to this evening. Same man pulls unexpectedly into our driveway with his wife and granddaughter. I open the front door, thinking they were stopping by to say a "goodbye neighbor! See you around!" but was shocked when they asked if it would be okay for them to look at our house again. I stumbled over my dropped jaw and said, "OH... sure!"

Thankfully Clayton hadn't left for work yet and he was able to talk to the man. To my complete, total, and utter shock... he offered us the EXACT number we had told him we wanted originally. He wants to buy our house... he said he'd get the paperwork going MONDAY and they're sure this is what they want. Apparently their search for homes revealed that our house is pretty much the best thing out here - much ado to my husband's God-given carpentry talent and this gorgeous property that we are SO blessed to be sitting on.

So, I'm finding myself stuck somewhere between doing a happy dance and feeling totally sick to my stomach. Selling our home for that price means amazing things for us financially and it means we can move forward on finding a larger home with more land. On the flip side, it means leaving this place. This has been our home for the past 4 years. We actually closed on our house on my birthday! Best birthday present ever! That very afternoon Clayton came to this house, tore out all of the carpet and old flooring, started knocking down walls, and our dreams started taking form. New countertops, new walls, new flooring throughout, new bathtub, new EVERYTHING. Just the way we wanted it... it was so stressful and so fun! Now, I look around at what our labor produced and cannot help but feel sad at the thought of handing it over to someone else. Though I want to move... part of me just loves it here.

I am praying to God to just show us exactly what he wants us to do, and if he wants us to sell, EXACTLY where he wants us to go. Right now, we have no idea. There isn't a single house I've seen for sale that I want. Either it's enough land but not enough house, or enough house but not enough land. I know the perfect option is out there... and I know God will reveal it! Be praying for us! This is a huge change if we go through with it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Summer's Start

Posted by Mandy at 11:06 AM 2 comments Links to this post
Tonight we will be traveling to the place we've spent each spring and early part of summer over the past 3 years - the ball field! Madison's first softball game is this evening and I am so excited! This is her first year playing pitching machine, bumping up from T-Ball. It is so different and so much more enjoyable! It's a real game, with real outs, real scores, and it will be her first time experiencing true victories (we hope!) and defeats. I think it is really going to be a character building time for my little lass! I'm curious to see if she gets really into her team and feels bonded to the girls as an entire unit. I'm also wondering how she'll handle it when her team loses - and wins! I'm more worried about how I'll handle the few psycho parents that always make games miserable for both teams... you know the ones. You may even be one!

I was talking to Shelley at our last practice and, due to the screaming coming from behind us - a group of parents to one child on the field - I noticed that our team lacks those parents most of the time. I, for sure, am not that parent. You won't hear me screaming at Madison if she strikes out, if she doesn't catch a ball, or even if she makes a royal screw-up while out in the field. Isn't that why we have coaches? I just sit back quietly and let the coaches correct her mistakes. Thankfully, we have an AMAZING group of coaches. Never too hard on the girls, yet they know how to encourage them and push them to be better. To run faster, to hit better, to not fear catching those screamers. Those are things I don't feel it is my job to do while she's in their care. I can't help but notice how incredibly distracting it is for kids to have both coaches and parents telling them what to do and how to do it. So, I will just be there as a cheerleader! Madison will have her very own cheering section - as will all of the girls on our team! GO COLTS! I will also likely be that mom that cheers for the girls on the other team... I know that we're playing one of Madison's best friends tonight. I gotta scream for Gracen, too!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Navigating Delicious

Posted by Mandy at 6:19 AM 2 comments Links to this post
I just joined Delicious and am totally lost. All of my writing buddies keep telling me I HAVE to get involved in these social networking sites to see what's hot right now online and also to promote my own stuff... so I'm trying it out!

I've made it as far as installing the stuff onto my computer and now I'm at the "You have no one in your network - Yet!" part. Umm... okay.. so now what? I'm used to Facebook, folks... all ya do is type in the name of your best friend and up pops their page. How do I get people into my network? It's amazing how much more I know about this kind of stuff today, as compared to last year, yet how far behind I can still feel! I'm trying to step up my game and get back into writing. The hardest part of writing is promoting your work and getting it out there for people to see. I'm making money daily off of the articles I've already written on a "page view revenue" setup.. but obviously the more page views the better! Also, I can promote some of my favorite writers' work as well!

So, if you're into social networking sites like Delicious, help me out! Give me the idiot-proof version, please!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Truth About Motherhood?

Posted by Mandy at 7:29 AM 3 comments Links to this post
I have several shows that I set to record on DVR in case I have time after the kids go to bed to run through them. One that I set is Oprah. Mainly, I just want to make sure to catch Dr. Oz episodes so I'll find out one more way to not clog my arteries and make myself wrinkled at 27. Other shows can catch my attention, too. One I found, that I watched last night, was all about the truths of motherhood.

The show basically featured moms all around the nation talking about the cold hard truths of what being a mother is really about. All of the frustrating moments, the overwhelment of having a newborn, the exhaustion of simply keeping kids alive each day, the brattiness of their children. Each story that was shared was one I could certainly relate to. Who hasn't experienced times like those, right? Though I could see some of myself in each woman that spoke, I couldn't help but have a knot in my stomach watching the show. Is motherhood REALLY that bad?

After the episode was over, I found myself nearly in tears from frustration. One hour of TV completely dedicated to the torture that children put we moms through. (and, of course, they had to include a bit of husband bashing in the mix. We all know that men of today are simply lazy, stupid, unhelpful dopes and we don't need them around anyway. *drip drip - sarcasm*) Am I the only mom that really, REALLY mostly enjoys her children? They are such a gift.. such an undeserved gift. Do I always like running around crazy taking care of 'this' and 'that' or being puked on, sleep deprived, or just emotionally drained taking care of three other humans? Well, of course not! That would be insane! Do I, on a daily basis, think great things about my kids and enjoy them? Absolutely!

I think one of the greatest, and most tragic gifts life ever gave me was my Aunt Linda. She was my second mother... and was very sick for almost all of her life. She had Juvenile Diabetes from the age of about 9 years old and suffered tremendously from it until she died at the age of just 39 years old, on June 18, 2001. One day after my Madison's first birthday. Though my aunt had many hard times in life, the hardest by far was the day she gave birth to a two month premature baby girl, named Amber Leigh, and had to watch her little angel die just a few days later. She would have made an amazing mother, but never got the chance to raise her daughter. I suppose God knew that Amber would have to watch her mother be very sick, and die at a young age, and spared her. Perhaps, even having just a few days with her own baby was a gift God gave my aunt.

Growing up with a someone in your life that has experienced such true loss really molds your attitudes on certain life experiences. My main "molded" experience: experiencing children.

My aunt mothered every one's children. She was a second mom to every child she came into contact with. Once, a similar show came on to the Oprah episode I spoke of, and she and I watched it together. I could tell it was upsetting to her and she simply said, "If they had any idea what a precious and priceless gift they're children were, they would just get over it and enjoy them.." I suppose that moment has been sealed in my head. When I feel completely overwhelmed with my kids, I think of how many women would give ANYTHING for just one more moment like that with their lost children. With the children they'll never have, or the children they'll never get back while they are here on earth. It doesn't mean times are never hard... as I type this I have a wiggling 20 month old on my lap and I'm running a fairly high fever. (those two certainly equal a good time, right? ugh...) Will I be so happy when his nap time comes so I can get a break? Oh yeah! Am I going to blame my hard day on him? No. He's a sweet, innocent, little man... even with his screaming fits and tantrums... that my pounding head is not in the mood for.

The point of this post is not to say that moms should NEVER be free to complain openly about how hard motherhood really is. It IS hard! It's the hardest job anyone could ever do! The point of this post is just to ask all moms out there to take a moment and look around. Is it really 'that' bad? Isn't it worth celebrating that God allowed us to not only be pregnant, give birth, and have our babies.. but he allowed us to KEEP them? He chooses EACH day who shall stay on this earth and who shall go to be with him, and each day he chooses to keep my babies here with me, I am so thankful. I am humbled. I am so undeserving of these trials of motherhood that God has so graciously given to me.

Maybe as we spend our typical moments venting to our good friends, that understand what we're going through, how hard our day with the kids was today... we couple that with at least one precious moment that we also shared with them. There are so many and they are worthy of praise!

Peace and Craziness Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Online Shop Vector by Artshare