Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Halloween cute?


Not sure.
A penguin. Two ninja's and a hazard materials suit?!

High Schoolers trick or treating for ONE LAST TIME?!


Superman! With dyed jet black hair and all.

Wes rocked the carving.


Cute princess Hannah wore my old prom dress! 
Josh went as a construction worker and I went as a cat. 
Far from cute coordinating! 
Cuties and chili tradition.

The cute Marvel family.
They are always the best!

I didn't get any pictures of carving and we put them out a bit too soon...and too warm outside.
This is what they turned into in a day.
NOT cute.


Here's the thing. We all have stuff. Too much stuff.

I have realized that we only need about 1/4 of what a majority of us American's have in our homes. I don't feel like I hold onto things. We purge often, but probably not enough. In the 5 years that we were in our home, boy oh boy, kids grow and change and our needs do too. It's hard to say goodbye.

I feel like I said HELLO to so many things that I tucked away when we moved from Texas to here. There are some things I can't say goodbye to....


"To Stacey my butterfly, I'll think of you every time I see a butterfly. Think of me and send me butterfly kisses!! Love, Dad"

I had a butterfly book tucked away and was going to put it in ONE of our MANY piles to donate. 

Then I opened the front cover. 

And lost it.

This book is now one of my most treasured possessions.

A bit of burning to do with my birthday candle. Ha!

This (and many other frames) is not going anywhere. Ever.

Josh's first class.

College days.

Another book I found.
For real?

Our first home. The good ole' days.

Remember the days? The TV's?!

I couldn't resist putting Lauren's SELF PORTRAITS through the years in here!
She has come along way.

Bye. bye.

This happened.
After a lot of patience.

A hell of a lot of sorting.
Some tears saying goodbye and grieving the passing of American Girls, elementary books, princess stuff, Barbies....

The drawers.

The memories.

OMG the memories and pictures.

Clearly I hold onto WAY TOO MUCH.

The basement.
OMG the basement. 

It took me a FULL week to go through it. 
Like, 8 hours a day.

Then we got the news.
 The inspection report for our house.

It was nothing sort of shocking and disturbing that we had been living in a home that was not safe. 

Total God protection.

1.We had to get air conditioning. It was so freaking hot in our house. $$$
2. Toxic radon levels were high. A radon mitigation put in downstairs. $$
3. The house would have been burnt down when we would have put our heat on. Severely burnt wires in the main panel. The electrician said that he has NEVER seen anything so bad in all his years.
4. There was a crack in our water heater. Fire and toxic gas hazard. Replaced. $$$.

And that's just the big stuff.

And here we are in our new place about a mile down the road. 
SO much exhaustion. SO much work and sweat. SO much work still to do.


We know it was all supposed to be.
God protected us. 
He wanted to challenge our integrity and character.

He wanted to test our FAITH.

"A home should be life-giving and soul refreshing. A soft spot to land on a hard day and a beautiful place to recharge and rejuvenate."


In life, not everyone will always understand. Not everyone will get you. Not everyone will agree. It's just a universal life thing.

But here's the thing: you have to step out on your own and know that with God's grace that it's going to work for you. It's all in His hands. Every step. Every person involved. Whether it's for you to grow, learn, be blessed...or for another soul involved.

Maybe not all the decisions and dots connect for the other people...but they do for you. So it's okay to rest in that.

Where am I going with this? Josh and I have done some "crazy" things as some say.

We have been through more together than the average couple, so maybe we "get it" a bit more.

Like, crazy that we packed up a small car with our things to move out to Washington state when we first got married for almost 8 months. We lived an hour from a gas station in a small trailer in the middle of no where. Beautiful no where I must say! No television, one Canadian radio station...not knowing a soul. To this day if you ask us what our favorite time in our over 20 years of marriage was...we will say living in Washington.

Everyone thought we were crazy.

Then we move back to Ohio. I finish school. Josh goes back to school. We look at each other and I say "Whatcha say we move to Texas?" Josh says... "let's go!" I missed my folks and we wanted to get out of the town we grew up in. We packed our little apartment up in a U-Haul and went for it. We didn't have a place to live or jobs. Just pure faith. Yep, everyone thought we were crazy.

15 years in Texas starting a family, making dear forever friends, an incredible church and two homes. Priceless. Josh started teaching, we bought our first home, had our first baby. Then, we were "crazy" and built our dream home. Those 15 years with my Dad will never be taken away. Ever.

So, my mom got on the "just go fer it" band wagon after Dad died...and says "I am gonna build a little house in Colorado and hang with Steve and his new baby!" Go for it, Mom. It was nothing short of a miracle that almost 6 weeks after she gets settled in Colorado, Josh gets a job transfer.

Off we go.

Crazy: leaving our dream home. Our bestest friends. Perfect town, church, schools...our perfect everything that we knew in such a special time there.

We packed up way too much stuff and came here with NO home or NO idea of where the girls were going to school.

It was pure courage. Pure raw faith and hope. THAT is what sustains you. That alone. In the end that is what matters.

So hello Colorado. Hello Robindale Way. Right down the street from my Mom's house. Too many things to say about how we got to this point. It has been a home that we have made lifelong friends in. Lifelong memories. Such a growing point for the girls in the past 5 years in the home. It has blessed us and we have made it our own (and Josh's craftsman/building skills!).

Here we are today with a freshman and junior (eek!) in High School and wondering where time flew by. We are looking down the road with a bittersweet feeling. And with so many changes to come.

We feel like we have gotten to a point to where we have grown out of this home a bit. The built-in lofts in the girls rooms? To small for them now. The road traffic? Busy and loud. The small entertaining area and kitchen, the nasty carpet, lack of air conditioning, the foundation cracking, the whole house needing paint, the big hill for sledding and the quiet culdesac for playing....just not being used anymore.

What to do? Well, let's move on!

We found a home down the street. Open, very well built, full awesome basement, great condition, open space and full mountain views. Just peaceful. Somewhere we could breathe a bit easier. We felt it the moment we walked in. We also felt like we wanted to put our "stamp" on it with my decorating and Josh's craftsmen ways.

So we go on faith. Again. And pray for our Robindale home to bless another young family.

We sold the house (full price!) to a sweet couple that is starting their family with a 3-month old little girl and they want to grow in this home.
Hello God.
Hello new memories.

All this is to say that we all have a chance to have fun, be excited, run on God's timing and grace...and have an attitude of just go for it in this small, short life we all live. Why not? Why be stuck and stale without new and adventure? Why not be smart with your money/investment and plan for the future a tad (hello college soon!). Bring on the new people we will meet, the new experiences and new memories in our new home just a mile down the street.

So off we go. Our passionate, crazy, one-day-at-a-time, life is short, live an exciting adventurous life selves. With our teens in tow, and them knowing and trusting how we roll. Maybe they will learn to be brave and want to know the world and life richly with it's changes and growth.

To be cont'd....

(Ah and by the way...the recent passion Josh has to get a motorcycle. Yep, might cross that off as over and above crazy.)


Aren't they all goooorgeous?

Poor guy! Ha.

Lauren's besties.

Girl power!

Don't you love the uniqueness? You can tell they are sisters!

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