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Friday, July 29, 2011


As the house is starting to get put together, the first feelings of loneliness have started to set in.  I went to my first spin class this morning.  Amazing how you can be surrounded by people and still feel so isolated and alone.  The teacher walked around and asked if anyone was new and I threw up my hand SO fast...the only thing I can think is that I wanted everyone to notice me.  I wanted to NOT feel invisible. 

When she started her warm up music it was Oxygen by Avalon.  Have you heard that song?   I just let the words seep over me.  I drank them in. 

You are my oxygen
I breathe You in
I breathe You out
You are my oxygen
You are my love
You are what life's about
I take each breath as if it is my last
You never know what came so slowly
Could leave us, oh, so fast
I take each step as if it is to You
I hear Your voice
I feel Your presence
In everything I do

That song is exactly how I feel right now.  I need the Lord so much.  I am so vulnerable and exposed.  He is my air and without Him I would wither and die.  Actually it's a good place to be.  This dependence is almost like a newborn with it's momma.  I am waiting for Him to supply my every need.  I am waiting for Him to open every door and make every step known.  I hope I don't forget to come back to that place when this hard part is easy someday.

This sign was the first thing we hung in the house.  I got it right before me moved, at Home Goods for like $6.00 or something.  It makes me happy.  It's hanging right by the door to the garage.  It's the last thing we see as we leave the house.  Love that!

It's so fun to put rooms together.  As I opened every cardboard box it was like Christmas.  Oh I love this.  Now where am I going to put it??  How often do you get to completely take down everything and mix it all up? 

I used to have that red clock in our laundry room, but it looks great on the mantel.  I have a spot for my church pew.  It's perfect.  I found that cool yellow ruffled pillow at Target.  I saw it recently on the cover of some magazine and thought it was so pretty.  Looks great on the denim. 

Here's a little side table in my living room.  Kristine got me that owl for my birthday.  There's a baby owl too. 

It's coming new place.  I love every room.  I'm having fun picking out paint colors and trying to decide where to put everything.  It's right about now I could use a designer or at least another pair of eyes to give me advice (other than my kids and honey). 

I have a lot of pretty's putting it all together that's hard.  The curtains still need hung and the anchored stuff needs put up.  I'm to the point where I can't do anything but wait on my Honey, and I don't want to be a nag.  Lord knows his plate is full with work stuff, but I'm SO impatient.  I want it all done.  I want every room to be complete.  I want my house to be in more ways than one:).  Patience is a bugger.

Have a blessed weekend girlies.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

burst my bubble

Not sure what happened overnight, but when I woke up this morning I didn't feel the weight.  I didn't feel the dread.  I felt excitement in it's place and a new acceptance.  Maybe it was all of your prayers and well wishes:)  Honey (who has been out of town on business) texted me about fives with little motivational speeches.  I swear the same epiphany happened to him too.  It was like he turned into Tony Robbins or something. 

I think it just dawned on both of us that it's gonna be alright. This holding onto the past and comparing everything to what we once knew is over. He brought us here. He has a plan for us here. There is a greater we don't see yet.

We've had some meltdowns prior to this great revelation though.  We visited a gym over the weekend and something about that particular gym made us sad to the core.  I can't really explain it.  In the middle of my workout I found Honey and just wept on his shoulder.  He knew.  He was feeling it too.  I love that in the middle of all this change we can cling to each other...that we will grow closer.  That's such a perk to moving where you know no one.  It really makes you rely on one another more.

Then there was the panic attack in Target the other day.  The day when I all I could do was compare how different people looked than what I was used to in Minnesota.  I've posted about all the "perfect" people here before.  Well it's become clear to me that we lived in a was very much white, thin, upperclass...oh and young.  You rarely ever saw an older person.  It bugged me when I lived there, but I was used to it.  So now I have to learn a new normal, and to be honest it's a good normal. 

I want God to burst my bubble.  I want to be free from any judgements or comparisons.   I want to love people and see people like He does.  Not from the outside in, but the other way around.  I've been focusing on MY needs and honestly what I want my focus to be is on HIM.  Only then will I find pure joy...only then will I find my place.  So maybe that's why we're get our bubble burst.  Maybe we needed new faces and places to push us to grow.  Lord knows that you only grow when you are forced, when it's uncomfortable.  I feel another bloom coming:)

Hope you don't get sick of tree pictures.  That's all I got baby;)  See I still got a sliver of a sunset.  It fed my soul just the same.

Have a blessed day.

First photograph is a Mary Engelbreit card.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

another door opens

It's been almost a week since we moved in.  Last week at this very moment we were stressed out of our minds.  We'd been living in a suitcase for far too long.  Dragging our tired behinds from one hotel to another...with kids and dog in tow.  We were so so ready to finally be in our new home.  Unfortunately our plans didn't happen the way we wanted and our closing got moved back a day.  It worked out.  We got in.  Just can't believe that was only a week ago.  Feels like a month has gone by.

That first night we camped out in the empty house.  We brought in food and made our beds and drifted off knowing it was just the calm before the storm.

I felt so bad for our movers.  The heat wave we've all been seeing was on full force.  They were drenched in sweat. Dripping all over the floors and walls...ick!  He's probably thinking're taking a picture of me now! 

I'm amazed at how well the girls are doing.  They are so brave.  I wish I had an ounce of the flexibility and resilience they have.  They seem to be taking everything with such stride. 


As long as they have their Barbies...all is well.  The Barbies were so important we brought them with us in the car for fear they might melt in the truck...ha!

I wish I was doing as well with the changes.  For me some of the hardest things to adjust to is the trees.  I knew this would be the case.  We are about 10-15 minutes from stuff.  All kinds of shopping and restaurants.  But those 10 or so minutes are spent driving through nothing but deep woods.  It's really weird for this farmgirl.

My new normal.


My biggest fear with the trees was a concern about light.  I NEED light!  I was so grateful to see it streaming through my windows on that first morning.  Ahhhh...okay it's gonna be okay:)

This is our new place.  It's beautiful.  There really isn't one thing about it that I don't love.  I'll show you pics as we get things situated. 

We have yet to meet our neighbors.  No one comes outside...not sure if the heat is the culprit there, but it makes me a little sad when I think about the constant barrage of playmates in our front yard.  

I did get a little excited when I took Fergie for a walk the other day.  This gal a few houses down drove up with a praise song blaring in her car.  My heart skipped a beat.  Could it be I have a sister in the hood?  Please Lord let it be:)

The most important thing we did the night before the movers came was to pray over every inch of our new dwelling place.  Maybe it was more of a plea than a prayer.   We prayed for peace and joy to fill our new home.  We prayed for angels to encamp around us.  We prayed for His presence to be felt by us and others.  We prayed against the enemy etc...  It felt good to do that like we were putting a covering and a blessing over our new home.  It made me feel safe.   That's what I want more than anything right now is to feel safe and comfortable and assured.  I know that's coming.  It's a process.  The unfamiliar will become common.  The newness will wear off.  The knot in my stomach will go away.  I know it will.  I've been through this before.  I just hate this part.

Have a blessed day.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

the home stretch

Hello friends.  I feel like I've been away a year.  I've missed you!  Amazing how much can take place in one week.  We are here in good ole Virginia.  We are happy and TIRED...very very tired.  This move has been probably the hardest thing we've ever done.  So excited to share everything with you.  I couldn't possibly jump to the present.  There was a whole lot of in between, so bear with me as I recount this past week.

The final morning the movers were there the girls and I took a long walk.  Saying goodbye to the views, which to be honest was just as hard to leave as my friends.  I loved my farm view and the pasture with the cows.

The first night in the new house I could tell it was going to be a pretty sunset and with the trees all around us there is just no way we can see it.  That was the first time I felt the lump in my throat.  Mourning the loss of light.  I loved that show every night.  We are bound and determined to find a good sunset spot. 

It was beyond surreal to see the moving truck in front of the house and to see it empty.  I tried really hard not to let myself go down the path of reflection too much.  I was almost numb from the drain of the week.  So many tears, so many goodbyes.  It was exhausting.  I did steal away for a little bit and sat in my art room and just prayed and thanked God for our last 7 years in that house.

Right as we were getting ready to load in our cars an impromptu farewell group formed to give us final squeezes and hugs.  I had to keep reminding myself to breathe...just breathe.  Try not to worry.  There will be more little friends to play with.  The girls will be fine.  I know they will!

The movers didn't finish up that night until 3:30 a.m.  We apparently have a LOT of stuff!  They had to go really slow to stack it all in as tight as possible to fit it on the truck.  Thank God it all made it.

We checked into our hotel late and just crashed.  It was beyond weird being back in the same hotel that we slept in on our first night in MN 7 years prior.  Talk about coming full circle.  I was flooded with memories of how everything was so unfamiliar then.  Wondering if we would like it.  Thinking who in the world lives here in Chaska, MN.   I found it oddly comforting to know that those same insecure feelings I felt all those years ago would mimic exactly how I would feel when we got to Virginia. It WILL be okay.  It WILL become familiar and feel like home.  I WILL make friends.  Ahhhhh:)

See my wedding ring on that chain??  When we stayed here before my wedding ring disappeared from the night stand.  We frantically searched high and low all over the room looking for it.  I was freaking out!  Finally we asked Big Chick who was 4 at the time if she had seen it.  She marched right over to the window and lifted up the curtain.  She had hidden my ring!!  By this time I was so messed up from worry that it put me over the edge and I physically got sick.  We are talking the nasty kind of sick.  I ended up sitting in the car with a bucket at our house closing.  The realtor had to bring papers to the car for me to sign.  Good times! 

Pulling away from the hotel the next morning the tears came.  The weather was stormy.  It completely matched my mood.  I sobbed all the way down the highway...watching our familiar little town get smaller and smaller in my side mirror. 

We drove in complete downpours for several hours.  I kept thinking come on Minnesota...why can't we have some good weather at least on the way out!??  

It finally cleared and we took in all the things I love about the Midwest...farms, fields and wide open spaces as far as the eye can see.

And then we made the best pit stop ever!  HOME...back in Illinois to get a little comfort food, squeezes from our special people and prayers washed all over us.  It was short.  We got 2 hours with my mom and dad and two hours with Honey's mom and step dad.  It was just what we needed.

Honey's dad was a big part of the town he grew up in.  He served on the village board for years and when he passed away they decided to dedicate part of the new city park in his memory.  This is the plaque that they had made.  Isn't that the coolest thing?  God's word right there in a public park.  Love the verse.

I was slightly demented and completely unsafe as we traveled.  All these pictures are taken from the car as we drove.  I followed Honey and at one point I about drove off the road, but I got some great shots.  Is there anything more beautiful than a barn??  I personally don't think so;)

The next night we stopped in a really small town in Ohio.  It was late.  We had Fergie and couldn't really be choosy about where we stayed, so we ended up in a NASTY place.  This isn't a picture of that particular hotel.  Trust me, it was gross.  I made the mistake of walking on the carpet barefoot.  My feet were black.  Not kidding. 

I read something once about bedbugs, since then I've been a little obsessed.  I check the mattress seams and look over the bedding.  Can't even imagine the horror of trying to get rid of them.  So you can guess what kind of night sleep I had.  We even changed rooms in the middle of the night because they put us right by an outside door and it kept slamming shut.  That was fun and did I mention there was no elevator:( 

The next morning Big Chick passed out in the shower.  She got overheated and I just happened to be in the bathroom at the same time to catch her and lay her down before she fell.  CRAZY!  Not the kind of memories you want to be making.

Finally after 3 days we made it to the promise land:)  It was so beautiful. 

The new adventure begins.  We had some more hiccups along the way.  Primarily our house didn't close on the day we were planning on.  It was stressful and unexpected, but that's life.  It doesn't always go according to your wishes.  Flexibility is not our strong point, but we're working on it. 

I can't wait to show you more, but I have about a million boxes to unpack, so this will have to hold you until next time;)  Love you girls.  Thank you again for praying for us and checking in.  I am so so grateful to call you my friends.

Have a blessed day.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

when one door closes...

Well it's here!  We pull out of our Minnesota driveway today!!!  I can't believe the day has finally come:)  I wish I could tell you that the last few weeks have been pain free and easy peasy, but that wouldn't be true.  I expected hiccups and we've had a few.  There was a 24 hour freak out period where we questioned everything...where fear snuck in and took root. 

It was torture.  Worry is evil.  It really is and it makes you physically sick.  You know that punched in the gut feeling?  Honey and I both struggled with it, but we pulled through.  We prayed hard, sought the Lord and He has melted them away, and today as the movers load up the last of our belongings we are more sure than ever that this is right where God has us.  He has ushered us along this path.  He is moving us into a new territory and it's got every hair on my arms standing on end.  I'm still fighting down the emotional lump in my throat, but it's good.  We're good and ready:)

Not sure if I've ever told you this before, but this is our 9th move in almost 19 years of marriage.  When we decided to move to Minnesota the decision was so easy.  We were ready for change.  The Twin Cities offered so much opportunity and promise.  Someone actually knocked on our door and offered to buy our house.  We never even had to list it.  Faith wasn't really an issue.  This time it's complicated.  We are leaving without a buyer.  That's hard.  We've loved this house.  It's been our dream home for 7 years and to leave it empty is painful.  I want to see it lived in and loved, but it is what it is and we are praying for that perfect family to come along.

I'd love it if you could pray for us as we make this final trek to Virginia.  We are going to take our sweet time.  With every mile that distances us I pray for closure and peace to reign.  With every new bend in the road I pray for new memories to be made.  We close on the new house Monday the 18th and move in on the 19th.  I'll try to post after our computers are hooked up. ** FYI...I closed my Etsy store until July 25th and custom home paintings until September when the girls are back in school.  If you are interested in a painting still let me know.  I've got a wait list ready:)**  Love you girls!!! 

*Oh and two things I learned this week. #1 In a pinch paper towels work great as a coffee filter;) And #2 goodbyes are a necessary thing. It's almost like a death. When a person dies the funeral is your final goodbye. Seeing the casket, hearing the sermon, the hugs in line...they are part of the process of moving painful as it is. If you don't have that private moment, closure eludes you. So with that said I made the rounds. I squeezed those near and dear to me and felt emotion so raw that I thought it would literally kill me, but you know what it didn't. I'm still here and so are they and our friendships, although different...will always remain:) 

Have a blessed day.


Pictures taken by Alicia Hutchinson.
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