Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cleanin' House

I wish I could say I haven't blogged lately because we've been on some fabulous vacation. Or even some mediocre vacation.

Or even some crappy vacation.

Truth is, living life has been kicking my butt lately.

I've hit 32 weeks pregnant and I look about 132 weeks.


I appreciate the well wishers who say I don't look "big." They mean well.

But truly, I should have my own zip code.

There has been so much transition here lately.

School is wrapping up for the year. I meet that with mixed emotions. Excited that the kids get a break but acknowledge that they will be home 24/7 now. Things always get tense here when everyone is cooped up on top of each other all day, every day.

And Joe and I have made the monumental decision to put our house on the market.

After 6 years of living here, and this being the only home our kids have ever known, we made the decision to pull the trigger.

Yes, we LOVE our house. We have put a lot of love, time, sweat and tears into it.

We had plans and dreams to do more, but then we got a swift kick in the pants that clinched it for us.

Our neighborhood is changing. It's losing some of its suburban, neighborhood-y, family feeling and taking on more of a feeling we don't love.

Now instead of worrying about the millions of things I always worry about, I have some new fears added and it's just not worth it.

So...this weekend we are having a ginormous garage sale in preparation for staging the house to list.

It's been freeing to see piles of crap that I know is leaving.

I've read about how getting rid of clutter and junk can free you emotionally and mentally. It's true!

I shook my head as I cleaned out my closet and looked at shoes that were missing their insoles or literally had layers of dust from not being worn in years. I came across a high school track t-shirt that I couldn't part with for some reason.

Broken purses that I told myself I'd have repaired, "onesie" socks that will never find their mates, pants that haven't fit me since 4th grade, sports bras I think I wore in junior high...

And-awesome of awesome-I FINALLY found my FAVE maternity shirt. It's purple and says, "Touch the belly, Lose a hand." Love. It.

This weekend is a major decrapification of the entire house. I'm not sure how we're going to do it with all the kids under foot, but we're determined.

This should be a bang up garage sale. Our trash could be someone else's treasure. :)

Looking for a house? Give me a call. We may have just the thing for you! ;)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who Are You...REALLY?

I struggle with this every day, I swear. That battle between who I want to be and who I really am. In Romans 7:19, Paul said "For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing." (NIV)

 Amen brother, amen. This is the mantra of my life. From eating to exercising to cursing to being hateful to being's the same.

 I know what I SHOULD be doing and what I WANT to be doing...and then I march off and do the EXACT opposite.

 One of my biggest fears is being a hypocrite. Naturally I am because it's almost impossible NOT to be at some time or another...but I mean the day in and day out variety.

 I see so many people who check off the box that says "Christian" and then proceed to live their lives in such a way there is no mistaking they 1) have no idea what the Bible says, 2) don't care what the Bible says, or 3) Make the Bible into what they want it to say.

Now, do I have a corner on the Bible? Not really. There are parts I question and parts I don't understand, but I'm talking about issues that God is absolutely, crystal clear about.

I see Facebook posts all day long in support of things that clearly fly in the face of the Bible, yet if you click the "About" section of that person's profile, you'll see they proclaim to be Christian or Catholic or some other variation of a Bible believer.

That's upsetting.

At least be honest about who you really are. Why hide behind a title or denomination if you don't really believe in its tenets?

Why is it okay to take God's Word and twist it into what feels good to you? What's easier to swallow?

I don't know...I'm taking a guess here since I'd have to ask every single person who does this WHY they do this, but maybe there is something comforting in professing a faith we don't really hold to. It's easy to claim God as our own in times of need and struggle, but conveniently forget his Word on certain subjects when it doesn't 'benefit' us in any way.

Or when it's not something we want to believe/follow/hold to.

 I think <---and you all know with a preamble like that something profound is about to follow since I am full of sage wisdom [insert sarcasm font here], I think that God wants us to choose Him.

I've heard it said that He is a Gentleman and will not force His way in anywhere.

 I keep telling Joe I hate where our world is headed. Now, is it really that much worse than it was 10, 20 or more years ago or do I just notice it more now that I am a "grown up"? That's a whole other debate...

But, today I realized (not for the first time) that God will allow whoever is going to be president to be president. Whoever it is, I believe, God will allow it to be. So, He's in control. And even if that makes things harder for Christians, maybe it's because it's time we start taking a stand for things and make a public CHOICE for Him.

With past administrations, it's been a little easier to claim Christian...I have never felt my beliefs or my freedoms more challenged than I do today. Maybe this is where God weeds out the men from the boys?

If things continue going the way they are, conservatives will continue to be targeted and hated for being conservative. It will be dangerous to speak out against main stream beliefs for fear of persecution.

Maybe that's where we find our voices, where we speak up for the things that we have been able to coast along about until now. I'm just supposing. Who knows how things will be.

 All I know is more and more I wish I could live like the people in The a small commune with my closest friends and family away from the crime and degeneration of this world. But then, that wouldn't exactly be doing what God has called His people to do for eons, now would it?

Narrow is the path to get into Heaven, God said. I feel it narrowing more and more every day. I want to fit through. I don't want to take the easy way out just to follow the majority, or to avoid confrontation.

Most importantly, I want to be real. Whatever I say I believe I want to own it.

I wish everyone did that, regardless of his or her beliefs. It doesn't mean we all have to agree, real about who you are.

**Stepping down off soap box.**

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chaos & Clutter Is My Middle Name

I had every intention of writing about all my pregnancy woes today.

Like my swollen cankles.

Or my aching back, or my pitiful hip.

Or the lack of sleep.

Lack of waistline.

Etc etc...

But then I thought...naw...maybe another day. Let's talk about something positive. Like the office (aka kids' crap room) that has made quite the transformation.

In our house, what we lack in bedroom and storage space, we make up for in living space. We have a large living room, a finished basement and what we call the "Office"...a sun room that used to be a porch. Thank God the previous owners decided to enclose it and make it part of the rest of the house.

This area has easily saved us from moving, killing each other or going stir crazy with 7 people in one home.

It's this room where we store all of the kids' toys and costumes (I hate toys in bedrooms and the main living room), stash their many, many books, keep their Play Station, let them watch TV, and plan to do most of our schooling if we do decide to go ahead with home/cyber schooling next year.

Here's how it used to look when I desperately called in a professional organizer:

I feel it's important to note that the room did not always look like this.

However...if I didn't kill myself and follow the kids around to clean up their mess or nag them  to do the same, it would inevitably end up looking like this.

And then I would cry.

And maybe yell and throw things and have been known to grab a trash bag and go a little nutso throwing things away.

So, I figured there had to be a better way to handle this. came the Pro to give me some feedback. She actually complimented me on quite a bit that I was doing right and the advice she gave surprised me...she told me to start with my bedroom closets.

Pardon me?

I didn't call you here to look at my closets.


So, I devised my own plan for making this room *work*.

Here is the "After"

We got rid of the desktop computer and the desk to make more room for this armoire. It holds the TV, the printer, the modem for the computer, all of our bills ready to be paid, and some other important papers. The drawers hold the kids' DVDs and Play Station games along with other office-y  things like envelopes, staples, stapler, printer paper, etc. 

That double recliner was bought on clearance at a store closing sale for less than $300. 

The table in the middle was a Craigslist buy. At $20 for the table and the 4 chairs I consider it a steal. 
The bookcase was bought at Target for $69. 

Here's how we personalized the table. The 4 oldest finger painted it. It's where they play games and will eventually do schooling. 

These three bookcases were bought at Target for $20 each. I went a little cheaper with these ones since we were buying 3 at a time. They are not the best quality, but they serve our purposes and are holding up nicely. 

The beige baskets in the middle are also a Target buy. $6.99 each.

The red basket at the top in the middle: Target, $9.99

The artwork up above was free. It's my kids' artwork and the phrase in the middle I printed on my computer. 

The white dresser you see a tiny bit of at the far end of the room was another Craigslist steal. You can see the transformation of it HERE. It was also $20 and I painted it to hold their toys and costumes. 

This room is still a work in progress, but man oh man am I SOOO much happier with it.

It has secretly been a blessing that our dog has a chewing fetish for the kids' toys. Should I feel bad that I privately cheer him on when he gets a hold of one of their 572 little guys?

We've purged, we've organized and we've made some smart purchases. We're growing into this room and making it make sense for us. 

Now if only the rest of the house would magically do that. 

And speaking of those closets...that's a nightmare post for another day. :)

Linking up today to MY FAVE DECOR BLOG EVER

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