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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Thoughts

It is Sunday and there is a fall crispness to the air here.  This morning we took the dogs for a stroll and it was necessary to throw on the old standby black yoga pants.  We spent time at the new location for our home laying the house off.  I believe we are finished there for this day.  Tomorrow will bring new tasks for both the old site and new.

Until then I am starting a week of thankfulness on the blog.  Why is it we only seem to reserve thanks for the weeks leading up to a turkey dinner complete with pumpkin pie?  I know why.  Though we say we are grateful every day it takes times in the valley to really realize how incredibly blessed we are three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

We woke up for another day...that's a blessing.
We are able to get our Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts or McDonald's fix....that's a blessing
Our children are hard to get going for school...that's a blessing
We were able to put gas in the car...that's a blessing.
We have a place of work...another blessing.
There is a calendar full of events....blessed.
Friends that answer our calls....blessing.
Family that never fails us.....blessings overflowing.

The tiniest of details are a true blessing and we fail to regard them as so.  We are humans and ignorant to our errors so many times but grace covers that.  That is a true, non breaking blessing.

I'm living out of banana boxes and wondering where I put a blue million things I packed but the fact I have my material possessions and a roof over my head is a huge blessing in itself.  I could be in a cramped hotel room, shelling out hundreds of dollars for a bed, going further in the proverbial hole.  But the Lord has blessed me with a mom who offered up my childhood bedroom to call home for a while.  I have a dad who is working on the other end to make sure we will have normalcy as soon as possible.  Guys, I could be so more worse off than I ever dreamed.  However, my blessings are way more incredible than anything I could be bulldozed by.  

If I didn't take time to realize each morsel of grace that falls upon my head I would be in rough shape.  I want to challenge you all, starting this second, believer and unbeliever the same to recognize and call out all your blessings.  Yes, all of them from the smallest smidgen to the largest most ambiguous gifts you have.

Don't go through life denying yourself the privilege of saying thank you to where it is due and owed.  Just do not do that.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

An Etsy Release!

Let's just go to la la land and see what Etsy is offering for fall.  

metal pumpkin mason jar pumpkin ball jar pumpkin jar lid
Via Etsy

I love this for the shear reason its canning supplies!  This would be PERFECT in so many homes I've been in around my part of North Carolina.  Fabulous ya'll.
Vintage Large  Distressed White Wall Mirror
Via Etsy

Just last weekend, my husband and I were falling in love with vintage mirrors and mantels. I really like this gorgeous mirror found on Etsy this morning.  I have a huge spot in my design heart for vintage pieces!

Assymetric Silver Bird Necklace, Sparrow Necklace, Bird Lariat Silver Branch Jewelry Bird Jewelry pendant beadwork bib strand statement eco
Via Etsy
Ok guys....this just makes me happy!  Tiny bird necklace!!!!

Don't Worry Beyoncé Shirt Sweater Beyonce R&B Shirts Women Grey Sweatshirt T-Shirt Unisex Jumper Size S M L
Via Etsy

I just had to share made me laugh!

good morning bib | 2 eggs
Via Etsy

I am done with babies.  However, this is a cute bib!  I would wear this myself I think!!!

3 Natural Linen Eco Friendly Storage Basket, Storage Bin, Linen Sack storage basket, Recycle Storage Basket
Via Etsy

This is awesome.  I like how its earth friendly and trendy all at the same time.

Red Barn Photography - landscape country picture, dark storm clouds, fall farm decor
Via Etsy

Saving the best for last.  I love this shot.  It reminds me of where I come from and the simplicity of life yet reminding me of the hardships. Man I love this more than anything.

Friday, September 12, 2014

End of Week Update

You know, I had planned all this fun stuff to cover in the blog for the fall.  I was excited about decorating and cooking new recipes and sharing all kinds of autumn goodness with my readers.  

Those were my plans.

My plans were easy.

Life is hard.

We are at the end of Week One.  Here's how it goes...

1.  We are safe.  I let you all know that on Monday.  That is all that counts.   A house may be important but it can be rebuilt.  A life cannot be regained.

2.  We are living with my mom.  I know what you are thinking.  Truly, it isn't bad.  I'm sure that you're thinking "what about your husband...poor guy." He's ok with it too.  We don't have monster-in-laws! My kids are super happy!

3.  Insurance is worth nothing.  We had Metlife coverage and guess what....they don't cover what happened because water is a slimy beast that allows insurance companies to ride away, clean a pin, on their big castrated horse.  I'll have a whole post or seventeen coming soon about how insurance works so you can all understand and not get taken down the tube like we have been.

4.  Our home is a true mess but it is a very large expense.  It will be cheaper to repair than to purchase a new one but it will be expensive and time consuming.

5.  You truly find out who your real friends are.  This isn't a slam by any means but if it weren't for Amy, Lee, Will, Audra, Brandon, and Josh I think we'd be smiling less.  They have been amazing in so many ways and I cannot begin to express my gratitude.

So as for the blog...

I will continue to write it.  It truly is a type of therapy and also a great documentation tool!  

No, it will not ALL be about this new experience.  I have some great things I was invited to do, prior to this event, that I cannot wait to showcase in the coming weeks.

I feel like this situation has really opened my eyes even wider to the way the world works and I want to share with you the ugliness so you're protected.

Prayers are great. Thoughts are appreciated.  Have a good weekend and I'll see you back on Monday.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pictures speak louder than our words....

This is what we're dealing with:

I don't have my computer up and running so these pictures are not watermarked.  If you want to steal them then you're one sick puppy.


I've been hoping to find employment since mid August and I guess the silver lining is that I didn't have to worry about punching into work so I could start handling the business side of the damage.

Our adjuster is coming in from Atlanta today and we'll be busy with learning what our next steps are.  He did give the go ahead to support the house to help prevent further damage.

Yesterday was spent cleaning out the fridge and freezer and gathering up the rest of the clothes.  Wouldn't you know the morning the Diva goes back to school it would be cool?  Glad I packed those jackets!

I also spent time organizing our stuff in my mom's house.  That's no easy task since her house is relatively small!  I talked with many people and took loads of pictures for insurance (and the blog too...inquiring minds want to know).  Speaking of inquiring minds...can you guess how many people just pulled in our driveway on Sunday or nearly drove through our yards because of rubbernecking?  Holy cow!

I am so grateful to all who have given us loads of support.  You really find out who is there for you in times of  hardship.  We are beyond blessed!

Please continue to lift us up in prayer.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

We Are Safe.

I try to pre-plan all blog posts.  I will sit down, generally on a Sunday, and write out what all I will be typing about for the week and up to three weeks ahead.  I do this so that I don't face the unfortunate writer's block.

Today I had two posts written down and one officially written.  The first one was entitled:  Where Do I Go From Here and the second was This Old House One Year Later.

Do you remember that song by Alanis Morrisette called Ironic?  Now is the time for that song to play.

On Saturday evening my husband and I had our babysitter come over so we could have a little date night.  We hadn't had one in nearly a month and it was way over due!  While we were gone a storm came through where we live.  It was your typical thunderstorm but the rain was in large amounts and the wind did a number on many trees.

Since we were in Greensboro we didn't know the extent of what was going on.  As soon as we received a text from the sitter that it was storming pretty bad we eased back home.

On the way to our house, literally just seconds away, a road was closed off by a fire truck.  We met utility repairmen on the road.  Some marquee signs had been blown around.  Ok, it was a pretty bad thunderstorm.

Pulling into our home was nothing out of the ordinary.  It was obvious we had received more rain than usual.  Our driveway was washed out and gravel were in our yard a long with areas that the water had beaten down the grass and plants so much that it was nothing but mud.

Then I noticed, as I was getting ready to walk in my house, a strange shadow in the front.  I asked my husband what it was and he said I should just go inside.

The babysitter left and it wasn't long before we evacuated as well.

Two of our foundation walls were totally gone.  Caved in and washed away.  Support beams to the house broken.  Plumbing severed.  A water line that marked one inch under two feet showed us where the water had came in to do the damage.

The first thing that came to this mama's mind was - How did my kids and sitter not end up in this basement?  How did the electrical not catch fire?  How is this house still standing?

I was overwhelmed with everything and for the first time in 9 years and 2 months I hit the ground, weak, distraught and at the same time overwhelmed that everyone was ok.

In every ugly event there is something so golden, such a gift from God, such a testimony to His presence.  The fact everyone was ok and hadn't really known what had happened underneath them was proof that God was there and taking care of my kids, my sitter, and her sister.

We are now living at my mom's house as we await insurance to assess and deliver our options via our home owner's policy.   We will be here until the house is repaired or other measures are taken.

So back to prepping for blog posts.  Like I said, today had two options:  Where Do I Go From Here and the other This Old House A Year Later.  Neither posted today because my story took a turn a very ironic turn that right now we're not sure where we're going from here and a year later this old house is an uninhabitable disaster zone.

I appreciate your love and prayers and friendship.  I'll be posting updates as I get them.

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday's got 5!

Admissions for Friday with Brownie....

1.  I watched the Duggars.

Ok so my name is Brownie and over the summer break I began watching 19 Kids and Counting religiously (no pun intended).  I got hooked because, though I do associate with Christianity, I do not subscribe to denim skirts and 80's hair and lack of birth control.  I really looked at this show as a sociology case study.  Then I got hooked.  First of all, Michelle is the most patient creature on the face of the earth.  All mamas can take note of her calmness when parenting.  Second of all, those kids seem pretty respectful of all people and that is something I strive for my children to harbor for others.  Third, I know I could never do the whole babies til I'm 50 thing so its nice to watch the circus come to life on the screen.

I do not live in AZ, but I'm in NC so our muggy factor is gross.
2.  I refuse to get another pumpkin spice anything.

This week was the week of heat stroke here in North Carolina.  I have decided since it is NOT autumn yet and OBVIOUSLY still summer I will boycott pumpkin spice coffee and pastries until the temperature drops a good ten degrees.  Then we'll discuss it.  I just saw the sneak peak of weather for next week and the highs are ten degrees cooler then...hmm!?!

3.  My diet sucks.

I realized last week how crappy my diet has become  I'm like a sugar fiend.  Operation take some control and eat more celery has been enacted.  And yes, this does tie into number two.

4.  No Shop September!

I was reading over at Amanda's blog (killer name right?  Amanda!) and she shared she's doing a no shop September.  The shopping she's quitting is you know clothing and shoes and stuff for the month because if you live in FL or NC or well anywhere down here then you don't really need new clothes because its not cold yet.  Plus I'm sure we all have plenty to work with for a month in our closets.  Right?  I know I'm so wrong we all want more cute clothes.  Lets just save some money this month and next month go a little crazy with true fall fashion.

5.  This kid....

Had a terrific birthday....and I had fun too!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

My Diva: Happy Birthday

If I would have known how fast seven years would pass....

There are so many memories we've made that I'd love to relive again.  Smart, sweet, pretty, tough, girly, tomboy, and mine all mine!  I love my Diva to the moon and back!