Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Blog Q&A

About 82 6 months ago, my friend Raylene posted in response to a blog award she got, and tagged me to post next. The idea is to post a list of questions that the next blog answers, and you nominate additional blogs to answer questions. Ray picked me, and I'm just now getting around to it. Here are her questions and my answers.

1. If you had a mission statement for your blog... what would it be?
This is the real reason I haven't answered these questions. I don't feel like I have a great answer for this question, and if you can't start strong, then why start at all? This blog started to chronicle my home renovation, but since then it's become more of a blog just about my life. I hope that when people come here they find genuine-ness, grace, and fun. And even though many of my posts don't directly talk about my faith or Christ, I pray that He is glorified through my writing. In my "About Me" section I said, "All I know is that when people look at me, I want them to see Christ. When the talk to me, I want them to hear the Holy Spirit, and when they hang out with me, I pray they find God. Because really, that's what life is all about." And that pretty much sums it up.

2. What is your favorite feature about yourself?
If we're talking physical, it's my red hair. Personality wise, I love how easily I laugh.

3. If you could live in any decade... which would you live in and why?
I think I would make a great pioneer woman -- not like the blogger, although I have a lot in common with her. I'm talking Little House on the Prairie style. Bonnets, long skirts, saloons. It would be good.

4. What are your top 5 favorite things about your spouse?  If you're single... what are the top 5 qualities you are looking for in a future spouse?
If you've been around here for long, you know I'm single. I wrote a whole post about what I'm looking for in a spouse. You can read it here. Ultimately I want whatever the Lord deems is good for me. However, just for fun, here are 5 silly things that I think would be good to have:
1. Not afraid of mice -- I have a huge fear of mice, so it's important that he doesn't.
2. Good taste buds -- I like to cook, so he needs to be able to taste. Important stuff here.
3. The ability to understand taughing -- that's talking + laughing. It's a gift of mine. Ask me to tell you a funny story, and you'll understand what I mean in about 4 seconds -- actually chances are you won't understand me at all.
4. Hair Appreciation - I have a lot of hair. Sometimes it ends up on bathroom floors or in drains, so a nice appreciation of my hair might alleviate any aggravation that could come from finding it everywhere. I mean everywhere.
5. Not Camera Shy - I take a lot of photos. 

5. If you could spend the day with a celebrity... who would it be and why?
Hmmm, I'm not good at staying up with celebrities. I'd choose Miley Cyrus. She's gotten a lot of bad press lately. She could probably use a friend.

6. Favorite disney movie?
Little Mermaid: Red hair, singing, swimming, overly trusting. She's me in Disney form.

7. What is your favorite hobby?
My favorite hobby is baking, but I hate cleaning the kitchen afterward.

8. If you were given the chance... what 1 piece of advice would you give yourself at age 16?
Ooh, this is a difficult one. I think I would tell myself to be as kind as possible to everyone, and take every chance to show Jesus to the people around you.

9. What is your favorite thing about your christian community?
That we actually live life together by eating together, talking about day to day things, and just hanging out with each other.

10. What is your favorite quote?
"Let the things that break the heart of God, break my heart." Thomas A. Kempis

11. What is your biggest weakness and how do you embrace/deal with it?
My biggest weakness is wanting to hit cars in front of me that aren't moving when the light turns green. I deal with it by remembering that my insurance would not pay for me to run over other cars. I also avoid driving a monster truck in an attempt to lessen the temptation.


Monday, September 02, 2013

Happy Housivarsary!

Four years ago today, I closed on my house. It's changed a lot since that day when I put the key in the lock for the first time and walked in to my home. The first thing Momma said was, "you have no idea what you've gotten yourself into." And she was very right. Owning a home means mortgage payments, lawn mowing, bills, cleaning, and all kinds of grown-up things, but I love my house and I am so thankful for it.
When I first bought the house
Since then we've painted it, removed bushes, and added porch furniture.
I started looking at houses in February of 2009. Between February and August I looked at over 60 houses, put an offer on 7, and ended up with the best one. The first time I saw my house online, I called my realtor immediately and told her I wanted to see it mainly because I loved the street it was on. We went to see it the next day.
The kitchen with original stove and scallops
My kitchen remodel might be my favorite -- all for $1200!!
When I first walked in, I was overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in it. The house was well loved, but was in desperate need of updating. Everything in the house was still original from 1951 from the stove to the wallpaper. The family that built the house had lived there for nearly 60 years without changing much. I mentally began painting the walls, relaying the floors, and changing the kitchen. I knew it could be adorable.
My bedroom before - carpet and old drapes
Now -- although I need to get a better photo of it during the day. It's not as dark as it seems.
The next night I took my mom and grandma to see the house with me. We walked through talking about how big the rooms were, what walls could be removed in the kitchen, and how to update the bathrooms. As we were leaving, my realtor called the selling agent to ask a question. It turned out to be an owner/agent meaning that the selling agent was also the owner of the home. In this case, she was the daughter-in-law of the woman who had lived there. My grandmother recognized the name as a family who had adopted a baby from the ministry my grandpa had been part of for years. Grandma told my realtor to ask the agent if she remembered them, and the agent did.
The mudroom before
This is probably the most drastic change. I love the stripes!
I decided that evening to put an offer on the house for $12,000 below the asking price. The next day, my realtor called and said she talked with the family selling the home, and they had received an offer from a contractor for $10,000 over the asking price. This had happened to me multiple times during the house-hunting process, so I was prepared to let go of this house and keep searching.
My living room before - I loved the built in bookshelf, but it didn't get to stay.
New floors, lots of paint, and all new insulation.
This time ended up different though. The family selling the house wanted me to have it after learning that the man who placed their daughter into their family was my grandpa. They said if I could go $4,000 under the asking price, it would be mine. I immediately agreed and started dreaming up ways to decorate and remodel my new home. The sellers gave up $14,000 so that I could have this home.
The office before - that green chair came with the house
That desk is one of my favorite garage sale finds ever!
A month later I was signing papers, getting keys, and becoming the second owner of my house. It's crazy to think that in 62 years, only 2 people have owned 1 home. God's hand is so evident in all of it. I've fed dozens of people within these walls, hosted multiple Bible studies, housed a few youth students, missionaries, and friends who just needed a place to stay. My brother and sister-in-law lived here for 3 weeks, and my other brother lived here for nearly a year. Just about every Wednesday my entire family gathers here for family dinner while my nephews ring the bell on top of the house and build forts in the living room. It is still well loved and I am so thankful for it.
P.S. Today is also my parent's wedding anniversary. 35 years. They are an incredible inspiration of love and faithfulness. God has blessed me beyond measure with the 2 of them.
This is their engagement photo from 1978.
And this is what they look like now. :)