Thursday, December 20, 2012

Disconnected

2013 starts in twelve days....wow.  This year has flown by, not to be cliche.  Since January 1, 2012, I have found out the gender of my second baby, given birth to her, turned 25, celebrated my two-year-old's birthday, dug deeper into my spiritual life, read a few books, watched a few movies, quit my job that I liked and started a new one that I love, become more frugal (still working on it), been there for friends and family going through times of need and times of happiness, witness the engagement of my sister to a great guy, gained and lost weight, put my house on the market (still there...), and done so many other things.  It has been a great year and a challenging year.  I have witnessed and experienced a lot of love and also a lot of challenges.

I am feeling disconnected.  Although it has been a great year, I don't feel like me.  Does that make sense to all two of you readers out there?  Hormones have gotten the best of me.  I am not one of these women who enjoyed pregnancy, I had a difficult one with Savannah.  And although I love and am very much an advocate for breastfeeding, it has gotten the best of me this time.  It is more of a challenge with Savannah than it was with Piper (as is everything else...sleep, mealtime, etc.), and it literally sucks the life out of me.  I have not felt 100% like myself since I got married.  That is because in the three years and two months that I have been married, I have only been not pregnant/breastfeeding for four of those months.  Those four months (broken apart) I felt like the old me.  I laughed at things that were funny, I felt beautiful, I acted interested in things, where as now I do not....and I hate this feeling of disconnect from myself. 

As I watched the X Factor last night, I was in awe.  I really love all three finalists.  Tate Stevens is such a good country artist and he has the sweetest smile and seems like the quintessential all-American family man.  Carly Rose Sonenclar is such a cute 13-year-old with a powerhouse voice of an angel.  And Fifth Harmony is a great group of teenage girls who met on the show that blend perfectly together.  I watched their performance of "Anything Can Happen" last night and was amazed.  I never heard the song before the show and I loved their rendition of it.  Watching them I thought, "Wow...those girls are so beautiful and so pleasant and so talented."  All the things I feel like I am not anymore.  I don't feel pretty most of the time because I don't really go many places to fix up like a diva anymore.  I love staying home, but I would love a girl's night every now and then.  I don't feel pleasant, I just feel like Debbie Downer or a pain in the rear to be around all the time.

So bring it on, 2013.  I am ready to take you on.  I am ready to get back to normal.  I am ready to strive to be beautiful (inside and out), strive to be happier, to laugh more, to play more, to connect with friends and family more, to love my husband and children even more, and to get back to Erica. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Holiday Time

I love this time of year.  Last week I indulged in feast after feast of Thanksgiving meals, leftovers, and Mexican food for Blake's birthday.  It was fabulous.  I hopped on the scales this morning to see how much I had gained, but I had lost half a pound.  Everyone tells me to stop losing weight, but I'm really not trying.  Between breastfeeding and my very demanding six-month old (already?!), eating is not always in the time frame.  When I do eat, it is often rushed.  I love my baby girl but I would kill for a normal night's sleep again.  After two weeks of sleeping all night with just a paci fix here or there, the past two nights have been awful.  I have resorted to Cry-it-out, which I hate, but I don't really have a choice.  Nothing seems to soothe Savannah; not the paci, not rocking, not eating, not Tylenol, NOTHING!  I feel like a zombie half the time and I feel so guilty for saying I just want a break because I have chosen this life of a stay-at-home mommy but sometimes...I need a break.  I feel guilty about feeling this way, guilty for wanting to quit breastfeeding at times when she fights it, guilty for feeling like I don't give Piper adequate attention, and guilty for wishing it away.  I love my babies so much, but this stage is not my favorite.  Once they reach a year old and develop personalities and a little independence and playfulness is the most fun time!  Many moms complain of the "terrible twos" but frankly I love this age for Piper.  Yes, she has her moments, but she is so sweet and so fun. 

Anyways, back to the holidays.  I have so much stuff going on!  This week is my best friend Beth's catalog show for Thirty-One, and I know she will do well!  If I bring in at least $500 in volume in the next two weeks, I earn some new Spring Catalog products, I hope I get there!!  Our church Christmas party and Blake's work Christmas party are in the same weekend, along with the Thirty-One spring product premiere.  The very next weekend I am having a bridal party meet-n-greet at my house, I'm really excited for that!  Blake has to work Christmas Day, so I made special arrangements with Santa to stop at our house a day late so we could all celebrate together.  One thing I love most about Christmas is the time with family and friends, the great church services and the baking.  Today I am making a pumpkin chocolate chip cake with pecan cream cheese frosting...just because it sounds yummy.  I will probably eat the whole thing by myself. 

In house news...there is none.  We still have the for sale sign in the yard.  We are going tomorrow to look at six houses.  I hope we find one we fall in love with.  I hope ours sells this spring.  It would be so wonderful to have that burden lifted off of my shoulders, then I would finally feel a little more settled in my surroundings.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Second Go-Round

Anyone who is a mom knows...being a mom is the most rewarding thing in the world, all the while being the hardest.  You want the best for your kids at all times.  You love them to pieces at the same time that you want to go under a rock and hide from their craziness.  Mothering is sure hard the second go-round.

Don't get me wrong, my girls are great.  But Piper is definitely two...she's so smart it's unreal and she knows it.  She can throw the biggest tantrum in the world then two minutes later be a little angel.  Savannah is a good baby...most of the time.  But those times when she constantly screams, won't nurse (a lot here lately), won't sleep, or just wants to be held all the time makes for a very tired mommy.  I feel like I've been a zombie lately.  Between the sleepless nights and crazy days, I can't get it together.  And to top it all off, there's a lot of other stress too.  The house is still for sale...still.  Who knows when it will sell...but it is tiring feeling like I can't even properly live in my own house because hopefully soon it won't be mine anymore.  I've got the holidays coming up.  The money issue is always on my brain.  I love staying at home and will NEVER regret doing so, but sometimes it's hard being on my toes all the time when it comes to money.  I just want to relax...hopefully the ladies day at my church Saturday will bring a little peace to my mind and happiness on the horizon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In a Rut

It seems as if everyone around me is in a rut lately.  I have a dear friend who is going through a divorce.  Another person close to me has also found her marriage to be in shambles.  I have a friend who is in my boat...praying to sell her house so she and her growing family can feel settled.  My sister is so close yet so far from getting her house loan and teaching license...it's a very stressful time along with wedding planning.  I know people that are unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant.  A dear friend is questioning her long-term relationship...is it really going anywhere?  The house that we had hoped to buy when ours eventually sells is now under contract...bummer.  Yet, my first thought was not total devastation when I found this out...I thought "rats" then I thought...I had prayed for the person living in this house.  They seemed to be desperate; the price had significantly dropped and it was a potential short sale, possibly a potential foreclosure.  I had prayed that they would sell (hoping it would be to me) to get them out of the rut.  My prayer for them has been answered, just not the way I wanted.

But it's okay.  Bad things happen and there are stormy seasons in all of our lives.  We can only go up from here.  My teacher will get her license and build the home of her dreams...my house will sell when God opens the door...my friend will come through this storm of a divorce, she has already found peace in the Lord!  My other friend will come through the trial in her marriage...I pray for her daily and text her Bible verses for encouragement.  My good friend will move along in her relationship for the better, whether that be for marriage or parting of ways.  My friend will sell her house, too.  I will praise you in this storm, God!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pumpkins

Today we visited the local pumpkin patch.  I love fall and I love going here.  It's a really nice place with tons of pumpkins, corn, apples, apple cider, squash, sweet potatoes, apple butter, sweet potato butter, honey...you get the drift.  The place just spells FALL!  It has become a family tradition to come and get a pumpkin.  Today we only got a small one for the girls (we will get a bigger one for cheaper at the grocery store).  Here is just a glimpse of taking my little pumpkins to get pumpkins!
 
 
Here are Piper and I on our first trip.  She was just two days shy of being two months old here.  She wasn't a big fan of pumpkins at the time.

 
Here she is last year.  She cried because she couldn't eat the pumpkins and wanted to take them all home, but she still enjoyed it.  I love the candy corn shirt!

 
Wow, how my girl has grown in the span of two years.  Her hair is so long and she is so much more lively and chatty.  She had a great time today!

 
Now we get to share the tradition with Savannah!  She could have cared less about pumpkins, but next year should be much more fun for her! Happy fall y'all!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Keep On Keeping On

I keep telling myself not to give up on the house.  It will sell, they say.  Just give it time, they say.  I know that it is God's perfect will.  The thing is, when??  We have saved over $6000 in the event that we sell and buy, to cover moving and closing costs.  But that money could also be used to help out in other areas.  Like a different car.  Or just general savings.  I feel so unsettled, so confused on what to do.  Is it really God's will for me to stay within these city limits, to be taxed to death, have higher bills, less yard, loud neighbors, and more crime??  As much as I know I should be at peace, I feel so out of it and ready to break free from Bridgton Place Drive.  I want to feel SETTLED, peaceful, and at home.  I don't feel like I can do any decorating around here, like I'm walking on eggshells because maybe, just maybe, someone might want a showing.  I have prayed for this for sooooo LONG.  I'm so tired.  I just want an answer...as selfish and impatient as it might sound, God knows I want a clear answer.  Should we stick it out and just wait?  Or should I jerk the for sale sign out of the front yard and continue to be less than happy in my home...what to do, what to do.  Our contract runs out December 18th...oh, what a lovely Christmas present it would be to have some indication of our future by then...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A New Season

Not only is it a new season on the calendar, but it is a new season in life.  At least mine, anyways...

Stress about the house is essentially gone.  Sure, I still wonder when it will sell, what house we will get next, and how the money is going to work, but it's wonder, not worry.  It will sell eventually...while I wait I can enjoy my home and my great friend right across the street.  We've had a showing recently and who knows, they might like it but not be in a position to buy right now. 

I went to a wonderful ladies banquet at April's church a few weeks ago.  The speaker, Dawn Smith Jordan, was excellent...I would recommend her to any church event.  Her story is amazing.  As I listened to her speak, I thought "If this woman who has been through the worst and back, her sister being brutally murdered, her husband leaving her for another woman, and her mother's cancer and death, and can forgive all those who have gone against her, certainly I am capable of the same.  A name has been heavy on my heart and I have taken the necessary steps to forgiveness...not just for him, but to free myself of anger and hurt and just let go....kind of like with the house....letting GO.

In other news, being a stay at home mom is great.  Worries about money are slowly disappearing.  God has certainly shown over the past few months of my unemployment that HE WILL provide!  I love being able to do anything and everything with my girls.  We have enjoyed play dates, library time, trips to Mimi's and Grammy's, trips around town, and just playing around the house.  I can do a lot more cooking now, which I enjoy and a get my housework done before the dark of night.  I love it, and am so happy to be following His directions.  Right now I am reading Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life" and every day it seems that the chapter I am on is formatted just for the type of day I've been having. 

A few nights ago was my kickoff party for my new Thirty-One business (yes, I am now a consultant!)...and it was great.  If it wasn't for my mom and her friends my party might have bombed...thanks mom!!  It was a $900 party which is amazing!  I already have a few parties booked and can't wait to get this train rolling!  I love the fall weather, the new changes in my life, and new and better things are still to come!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Here Comes The Sun

I pray for a "boost" quite a bit.

Just a little glimmer of hope from God, letting me know that yes, I am heard by Him.  Today, I got one.

Most everyone that knows me knows that I have been praying for a VERY long time about the sale of my house.  It's been on the market for over 7 months now with just 3 showings and 2 unsuccessful open houses.  It's been a roller coaster ride of excitement, giving up hope, getting back hope, thinking about it constantly, not thinking about it at all and all in all it has not been very fun.  My good friend and across the street neighbor, April, has had her house on the market for almost three months.  She had a showing within a week of it being listed and since then....nothing.  We've both developed the same "whatever" attitude about it while the thought of it still lingers in the backs of our minds.  We both want to sell so badly for the same reasons....to get out of the city and back to Davidson County, to be in a better school district, to have a little more space (inside and out), and to find a place to just settle.

Today, she finally had another showing!  I told her I would keep a look out my window to see how long the buyer stayed, etc.  Well right on time, the realtor and buyer pull in her driveway and come in the door.  They stayed for about eight minutes and I watched the whole time, texting April.  When they left, the buyer kept looking across the street....at my sign!  I was excited about not only that but about my friend finally having a showing.  Oh, how she would love to move before her baby boy is born in November. 

The buyer's agent was on the phone.  All of a sudden, my phone goes off...my agent is texting me...they want to look at my house too!  I could hardly believe it!  I grabbed the girls, cleaned up toys super fast and got in the car and zoomed out of there.  I visited Paw for about fifteen minutes, then headed back home.  On the way, I was just praying to God for something wonderful to come of this.  The next thing I knew a song came on the radio..."Here Comes the Sun."  I don't know most of the words but I am familiar with the song.  I started to cry as I drove home.  It was like a big wake up call from God saying "I am listening, I do hear your prayers....the sun is coming for you."

I don't know what the feedback is yet on either showing, but I am praying for good news for me and my friend!  Even if our homes are not bought quite yet...the sun is coming!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Potties and Pennies

My friends and family have always known me to be a penny-pincher.  Although I love to shop, I don't love spending money on myself.  I'd rather buy a gift for someone else or a nice meal.  I packed my lunch almost every day at work and didn't go to extremes when it came to pampering myself.  But now, being a stay-at-home-mom, it's been taken to the next level.  I don't go many places in order to save gas.  I don't dine out (save for one date night this month), I pack my husband's lunch every day, and I cook a heck of a lot more (something I've really missed doing).  I'm pinning a lot more recipes to try instead of quick meals from a box because I actually have time.  Sure, my days are crazy busy at times...I keep up with a 2 year old and 3 month old, I do a lot of housework, cleaning, organizing, it seems I am constantly packing and unpacking clothes for little Savannah (who grows like a weed!)...but I have time to do the things I should be doing.  Like play makeup with Piper, make silly faces at Savannah, cook a homemade meal for my family, and spending more time with friends, family, and in the word of God.  When I was working, I got maybe an hour with Piper after getting home and having dinner before she went to bed.  I missed out on so much.  Yes, I may be pinching pennies even more now, but I wouldn't trade a single second.

Yesterday we took an adventure in potty-training.  Piper went around naked for most of the day and only had 3 tiny little accidents in the floor.  I know she can hold it because she peed so much during her nap that she flooded her diaper and I had to change the sheets!  She just hasn't made the connection yet to tell me until after the fact.  I decided last night to revisit potty training another time.  Although she is incredibly smart and is conscious of her bladder, she's not quite ready yet.  That's another thing I think would be so hard if I was still working...potty training.  I can't imagine not being there all day to help her through it! 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Give Up?

I know I shouldn't give up on my house selling.  But knowing and doing are two different things.  It's been on the market since January and until July, there was nothing.  Then, BAM!...three showings in a row, one successful....then letdown.  I never heard back from the interested buyer.  So I decided to do an open house.  I got my house spotless and looking great.  Advertising was great this time, with signs up and emails going out.  I got a lot of online hits on my house and even three people added it to their buyer's favorite list on listingbook.  One nosey neighbor and one interested buyer showed...but yet again, I have heard nothing.  It is very discouraging to say the least.

I keep asking myself...am I praying right?  This (and becoming a stay at home mom...success) has been the only thing I can distinctly remember PRAYING WITHOUT CEASING for as instructed by the Bible...and still, after almost a year of house-hunting, planning, and marketing...NOTHING seems to be happening.  I know I can't control it, but it just stinks to feel so unsettled...as if everything else in my life has fallen into place except this one. last. thing!  I know it is childish to say, but it seems almost unfair...I know people who have everything given to them and some who pray for things and they magically happen.  On the other hand though, I know there are people out there going through the worst...foreclosure, disease, divorce, death, you name it.  I am thankful for a roof over my head, yes, but financially a move would be great for my family, especially now, when we have found our dream home!  I know it's in God's precious timing...but the anticipation is so HARD! 

I prayed in the shower last night (as I often do) for peace about this.  I need it so much.  It's hard not to think about it every day when I get a daily email about the house.  But when I got my email this morning I saw I had a total of 9 hits on my property...and I felt fine.  The number isn't high, but at least it's there.  Hopefully it will sell soon....