Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16th

Today is National Hot Dog Day, celebrated the third Wednesday of July. What are your favorite hot dog fixin's? Post in the comments below!


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Home Is Wherever You Are

Ricky Skaggs and his wife Sharon White-Skaggs sang a duet in the 1980's called "Home Is Wherever You Are." I won't post the lyrics here, but the song is really beautiful.

My husband and I are talking a lot about where our road will lead us next. Mississippi? Panama City? Tampa? We have options, and that's something we really couldn't say a year ago. Having options is a good thing. The uncertainty is nervewracking for me, however.

We have looked at house after house after house. We would like a house large enough for us to have a bedroom for our little one, a guest room, and a school room. My husband wants me to have a craft room as well, although I'm not insistent upon that. I want a big kitchen because we spend more awake time in our kitchen than in any other room. We also want at least 1.5 acres so that we can have a garden and a play area for the little one.

We also want to avoid a lot of debt. And what that means is that we are going to have to renovate something. I don't mind that idea at all, provided I don't have to redo plumbing or electrical because I cannot do those myself. Painting, putting down flooring, redoing counters, framing mirrors, replacing light fixtures, replacing appliances--those don't scare me. Ripping out walls scares me. I want something with good bones.

During my husband's previous career in the Navy, he was gone approximately 50% of the days each year. I grew accustomed to the schedule, but was determined that I hated it, so much so that post-Navy I put down my foot when my husband had an opportunity for a great job being away for weeks at a time. We slept in the same bed nearly every night for a year (he's a weekend warrior, so he was gone a weekend a month). And then he left for tech school in April, and since then, we've seen each other 2-3 days a week. Each week, the separation gets more difficult on both us and our child.

So while I don't know where we will be going next, I do know that we will build a home together because home really is where the three of us are together. Just as a church isn't about the building, a home isn't about the wall colors, the stainless steel appliances, or the hardwood floors.

Just as an update, the garage sale has been postponed. We want to ensure that we put everything up for sale that needs to go rather than having one sale now and one later in the year. Still, I'm making progress on the garage, don't you think?


Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12th

Today is Henry David Thoreau's birthday--and Simplicity Day. I am working on cleaning out our house so that I can have a yard sale in preparation for my upcoming move. How have you simplified your life? Post in the comments below.


Monday, July 7, 2014


My husband and I took a trip this July 4th weekend, one to Mississippi where we may be relocating. We viewed a number of houses in our budget, but what our budget is and what we want it to be differ greatly. We could afford the house we would really like to have in the area, but we would be uncomfortable with the mortgage without my income, and what we want at this point is for me to be home with our baby. Also, we would need to update the property immediately because our own safety concerns and later for aesthetic purposes, and where that money would come from is questionable at this point.

Faced with this reality, we looked at some fixer upper houses. The problem is that great fixer upper houses exist in suburbia or in the boondocks away from my husband's offered job. In the areas we want to live in, the houses have some major issues. One house we looked at had both water damage and foundation issues; another house we looked at had foundation issues and no septic tank or sewer as well as some potential easement problems.

In a sense, we lack the clarity we thought we would have today. But as we arrived last night at the rental house that we currently call home, we recalled our July 4th vacation last year. We went to Tampa last year for my cousin's wedding, and we stayed at my aunt's very nice house on Bradenton Beach. Frankly, we did not want to return home. My husband did not want to return to work, I certainly did not want to return to work, and neither one of us wanted to return to this rental house. I am proud to say that I was glad to walk in our humble door last night, and although I do not look forward to returning to work this morning, I haven't dreaded it as I did last year. Life has changed for us since last year's getaway, and for that I am thankful.

What we do know is this:

  • We are leaving the town in which we currently live. As much as I have loved my hometown, it barely resembles the place I was raised. It is too big, and the traffic is too crazy for a town that offers so few amenities.
  • I want to raise and educate my daughter myself, away from day care and even away from my parents, though they love her very much. I have cut my work hours greatly in the last month or two so that I am working true 9-5 work hours, and in the last month, I have begun closing my office on Fridays. Beginning today, my goal is to be out of my office by 4:30.
  • When we purchase a property, whether it's two acres near suburbia or five acres in a rural area, we want to LOVE it--or at least love our vision for it! What does Sandra Bullock's character say in The Blind Side? If you don't love it in the store, you won't wear it when you get it home. If we don't love the house now, we may not love it later.
  • We are going to praise the Lord in the hallway until the door opens. Maybe we will end up in Mississippi. Maybe we will take another job in the military and move toward Panama City. We realistically won't know which option is more likely for at least another six weeks. But in the meantime, we will be thankful that we are progressing toward happiness, and we will continue to work on doing what we feel is right, simplifying and organizing our lives so that when the opportunity to move does present itself, we are ready.

So yes, the water seems muddier than it did when we left on Friday. But it really isn't. We just have work to do. I said last year that I felt as though the Lord had lessons to teach us. Perhaps we have a few lessons left to learn here. Perhaps we have some tasks to handle.

Like cleaning up this mess, maybe? This is our garage. Garage sale is next Friday and Saturday, by the way. :)


Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6th

Today is National Fried Chicken Day. For years, I couldn't fry chicken without being left with a bloody mess inside the chicken. In fact, the only way I can successfully fry chicken now is with a Fry Daddy!

What's your best fried chicken recipe? Post in the comments below!


Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4th

Happy July 4th! How are you celebrating? Post it the comments below!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1st

President Ronald Reagan designated July National Ice Cream Month in 1984. Let's celebrate! Do you prefer homemade ice cream or store-bought? Post in the comments below.