Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our Summer So Far ...

So, here's what our summer has looked like so far.  We have had lots of projects going, getting ready for a new baby, garage sale, job change, my Thirty-One business, changing an office/guest room into Jaycee's new bedroom, working on the house, church activities, holidays, summer list, anniversary, date nights, and just plain living life.

Let's start with our anniversary, since it comes at the very beginning of June, we sometimes miss celebrating it until later in the summer.  This year however, we have had some amazing new friends in our small group volunteer to swap date nights with us a couple of times this month.  This year we celebrated 12 years of being married.  I can't hardly believe it.  Those two young kids didn't know what they were in for with the challenges that lay ahead.  I honestly can say that some of the challenges we have faced, I would not have made it without Tom helping me to see God in everything that happens and doing my best to accept the things I can't change and to look ahead to what God wants from me through it all.  I have almost been with him for half of my life.  To say that doesn't even seem possible, but life with him has been nothing what I expected, and everything that I expected all at the same time.

Garage Sale
Our neighborhood has their 2nd Annual garage sales.  This was one thing that I really had to get organized for.  With being pregnant, it takes me a little longer to get things done, and I wanted to sort through our stuff and be a little better about pricing things than what we did last year.  Tom helped me move everything into one side of our garage, and I worked on getting things put onto tables so that all we had to do when it started was to put the tables out in the driveway and then sit and wait.  I will say that getting things ready ahead of time saved me a whole lot of hassle the days of the garage sale.  We decided to have our sale on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Thursday was by far the best day for us.  No bargainers, or people trying to talk us down on prices.  Friday, we had to close up a little early b/c Tom was by himself and had to run to meet someone about a job opportunity.  Saturday was fun, b/c a friend came and brought her stuff and we got to chat for a bit.  But Saturday was not the best garage sale day.  Too many people wanted to bargain, and I think that we were a little too generous in allowing people to bargain with us.  I think next year, I won't do a Saturday sale.  Not sure yet, but I did get rid of a lot of Jaycee's old clothes, and was able to get some things for the new baby that we didn't have yet.

Job Change
This came completely out of the blue.  I don't know if you remembered, but Tom has been wanting a new job for a couple of years now.  He loves teaching, but has wanted something new and different.  There are several other reasons that he wanted to make a change, but I won't get into those details.  He has just been really sensing a lack of enthusiasm for the school that he was at.  He even contemplated doing something completely different from teaching all together.  He briefly pursued that option and realized that was not where God was directing him.  Change is hard!!!!  So for the past couple of years, we've been praying for a new opportunity to come across Tom's path.  I've even enlisted some of my Bible study friends to pray too.  Tom has had many opportunities and interview over the last 3 years that seemed promising and he was really excited about those opportunities only to have them tell him they were going in another direction.  Every time was so disappointing for the both of us.  It really took a toll on him and took away some of his confidence.  Most of the job possibilities would have required a move of some sort, and maybe that is not what God wanted for our family at the time, but we had no way of knowing that.

So a couple of weeks before our garage sale, Tom got a call from a guy he knows who services technology labs in various school districts in Kansas that he knew of a position that was open near us.  Tom went ahead and applied and never heard anything back.  We decided that we weren't going to let this effect our lives and went ahead with whatever plans we had at the time.  The day before our garage sale was to start, Tom got a call from the HR person that they wanted to interview him.  We were both grateful, but not too terribly excited.  We have been down this road before and Tom decided that he was going to just go and interview without giving it too much more thought.  He came home from the interview and told me that he didn't know how well it went, and I thought that was that.  Later on that night, we took Jaycee to my parents house for an overnighter.  Tom got a call from the principal that he wanted to visit with him more about the job.  So Tom went back in for a less formal second interview and they offered him the job right then and there.  We were completely blind-sided by this.  No where in our plans was a new job in the future for us.  With this job came some really great perks that Tom felt like he just couldn't pass up and decided to resign from his current position and move forward with this new path.  The timing is a little strange, as it means that Tom will go back to work a little earlier than expected, which may leave me home by myself with 2 kiddos.  I'm sure it will be fine, but I am a wimp at recovering from having a baby.  I don't do it well, or it isn't easy for me.  But, this is how God has planned it out for us, and it may just give me the chance to lean on friends and family that have offered to help.  I may need to just take them up on their offers and allow them to help me.  It is so hard for me to do, but I will just have to swallow my pride.  So excited for Tom's new job!!!!

Back in January, I started a new venture of selling Thirty-One Gifts products.  If you don't know about Thirty-One, I'd be glad to share it with you.  I started as a way to pay off some extra debt and meet new people.  What I've really gotten out of it is that I'm having so much fun meeting new people, which is hard for a quiet girl like me.  I love how the company celebrates, encourages, and rewards women just for doing the things they do daily.  The mission of Thirty-One is based from the Proverbs 31 Woman.  She takes care of her family, friends, and community, and puts the needs of others ahead of herself.  Most of us women would say that we do that from time to time. 

So I have a friend that also sells Thirty-One.  She asked me if I'd be interested in participating in a vendor event at a hotel by the airport.  This event was a conference for paralegals and secretaries, and also there was a Southern Baptist conference as well.  I thought it would be a fun thing to do and a nice time to visit with my new friend.  We both got a lot of orders and I was able to get some items for our baby with his name on them.  That will be fun to see.

My business has been slow at times, but June has been a great month for me.  I am really getting passionate about it again, and want to really help women with their needs, whether it is organizing (my favorite), purses, wallets, bags, or gift ideas.  I'm just glad to help out and make a little extra income to help my family on the side.  I do have several goals for my business, but I don't want to push anyone into anything either.  I have a few loyal customers that I want to really thank b/c they have helped me get started.  As I continue to grow in my business, I hope to share more about my visions and goals and to help meet any organizing needs.

Room Switcheroo
Since we already had a neutral bedding set and room décor for the nursery, we decided that the new baby would fit quite nicely into Jaycee's current room.  But that means that our spare bedroom/ computer room office would have to go.  Finding a place for the computer was a challenge, but I think we have it finally figured out.  We decided that we would transform this room into Jaycee's new room and make it to fit her personality.  I want it completely done before she sleeps in it, but I also know that it probably won't be completely done before we get her in there.  So I have to let that go and tell myself that it's a work in progress. 

So what have we done so far?  Well, her grandma got her some new bedding.  It is lime green, hot pink, and black with owls on it.  It is super cute and one that she can have for quite a while at least for several years.  I also decided that I would find some cheap wooden letters, spray paint them, and put them on the wall above her bed.  We inherited a dresser from Tom's dad and I would really like to paint it, but that will have to wait for another time.  Right now it is in her closet and she has a black cubicle shelf for some books, toys, stuffed animals, etc.  I also plan to make some curtains to match her bedding, and stencil some pink and lime green owls on the walls to add some color.  I also want to put all 3 kids black and white baby pictures on her other wall along with some other special accessories like maybe a clock.  You can check out what is done so far, but I will make another post about it when we are completely finished with it.

Jaycee spent her first nap and night in her bed today.  This is all I have so far with pictures.  I will post more pictures when her room is a little more finished.

It seems like every summer there is some big project to do on the house.  Last year, we Tom worked diligently on finishing our basement.  That has been awesome for us.  I feel like things were starting to get overcrowded with toys, and I had no more places to put them.  The basement has been a great place for Jaycee to store her toys and also has helped her with cleaning up too.  We are still working on having a better attitude about cleaning up, but that will come in time I hope. 

This year, we had a really bad hail storm with golf ball size hail for at least a half hour.  It was pretty bad and took a toll on one side of our house.  It also damaged our roof.  We had our insurance guy come out and check things out and basically totaled our roof to get a new one.  We recently had it replaced when Jaycee was born, so it wasn't that old, but will need a full replacement.  We have had a lot of people come by giving estimates and we are pretty sure who to go with, but don't want to commit to anything until our insurance money comes.  That has been kind of a hassle, but as I've heard from other friends, that is just how it goes sometimes.  We know how much insurance will cover, it's just a matter of getting the check with the appropriate names on it.  Will update you on that as it happens.

Summer List
A couple of summers ago, we started creating a summer list to be more intentional with our time at home for the summer.  We also used it as a way to keep track of the things we put off until the summer but didn't want to forget.  So here is what we have so far.  I think that since I took this picture, I've added and crossed off a few things, but it has been a great way to not let the summer go by feeling like we did nothing.  It also has been fun to do some things with just Jaycee before the new baby comes.  I don't really think any of us know how life is going to change with a new little one here, but we will adjust and pray often for a smooth transition.

In January, Tom and I joined a Life Group/ Small Group at church.  When I started working in the nursery at church, I worked with a girl named Kristen.  We became really close, and found out that our daughters are a lot alike.  They are actually best friends and if I show up without Jaycee, she asks me tons of questions about her.  I have really been blessed to meet her.  Well, her and her husband are leaders of a small group and she invited us to come and check it out.  We had wanted to clear back in November, but when Tom's dad was having so many health problems, it just wasn't a good time.  So when the new year started, we decided to go. 

This group of people have become almost like family for us.  They do a lot of Guy's Night out things, and Ladies Night out activities every couple of months.  We have really been able to relate to most people in the group and I feel like I can be myself.  They even threw me a surprise baby shower on one of our Ladies Night Out times.  I had no idea what was going on, but had some suspicions b/c my friend kept texting me if I was coming or not.  This group has really blessed us and have even offered to be on call for us when we need to go have this baby to take Jaycee for us.  God has really amazed me with this group and with how he led us to Central Christian in the first place.

Date Nights
The same couple that leads our small group, we've also been able to swap kids with for date nights.  We watched their kids for a night while they went out to do whatever they wanted, and then they did the same for us.  I must say it has been a while since we've gone on a real date without Jaycee in tow.  We went to the downtown Warren Theatres where we could order from our seats and saw the new Star Trek movie and ate some really yummy food!!!  Right now, all food is yummy to me.  I'm hungry all the time.  Then they took Jaycee another time and we got the see Man of Steel.  That was an awesome movie and I would really recommend it.

Mostly, we've just been trying to prepare as much as possible for this new little one to arrive.  I have forgotten what I need and am getting reacquainted with the baby stuff again.  Hopefully in the next month you will get to meet him.

the Ehrlich's

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