Thursday, April 29, 2010

the good. the bad. and the random. (Selling the Morganford House, April 2010)

The Good. Yesterday we received an offer on our house.
The Bad. It was for $150,000 {in cash} and they wanted to close in two weeks.
The Random. After discussing with our realtor and pulling comparables, we countered with $173,000 and they said they would keep looking. No negotiations. Nothing. We are OK with them walking away because their offer was not a reasonable one and closing in two weeks would be stressful. We would rather wait for the right offer.

The Good. This week, we have had five showings in three days - 25 viewings total over the course of four weeks on the market.
The Bad. The hardest part about selling your house is that you are not in control. You can't control buyers. You can't force anything to happen.
The Random. Sleep has been eluding me this week :(

The Good. Thanks to the spring storms, roofing companies are fixing roofs like crazy. We are getting an estimate tomorrow on having our roof and possibly siding and gutters fixed {under our home owner's insurance}.
The Bad. We are having a structural engineer out tomorrow morning to take a look at a crack in the foundation of our porch. The crack has been there since we moved in. We are hoping the enginee will write a letter that will clear up concerns potential buyers have had about the crack.
The Random. I received some great advice from a friend today. "You have to make the best decision with the information that you have at the time. Stick with what you believe to be the right choice. You can't second guess yourself. You can't have regrets about the decisions you make."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I think I may be suffering from anxiety. Or stress. Or exhaustion. Or frustration. Or a combination of all of the above.

Selling your house will do that to you. It's a roller coaster ride. And to top it all off, there is this deadline looming. April 30th. Due to the tax incentive, this is the date to end all dates. If we don't sell by then, it feels like the world will come crashing down and we will never sell. Or at least that we might be separated for longer than we would like.

This creates an incredible amount of pressure. Do we accept a low-ball offer? Do we counter and hope for the best? Do we hope that another buyer makes an offer? This week has been a marathon of showings and it is only Wednesday.

I am tired. Cranky. Stressed. I have ate fast food more times than I care to count. I'm having a hard time sleeping. I want to sell the house so that I can be with Daniel, but I don't want to be taken advantage of. There has to be balance somewhere, right? 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Project 52: Date Nights - Laughter

Sometimes you just have to laugh. At life. At love. At the way things don't work out. At the ways they do. At normal, everyday things...

Our dog, Sophie, is a beagle mix. She hates to take a bath, but she will grudgingly stand in place while we {normally Daniel} bathes her. This is what happens very single time after we dry her off: she will jump out of the tub, and run through the entire house, rubbing up on all of the furniture and walls. She will stop periodically to shake her entire body from head to tail. It is a very comical routine. Daniel has dubbed it the Wet Beagle Dance.

Saturday night, on our date, we went to Block Buster to pick up a movie {incidentally our normal BB location was closed - RedBox and Netflix must have tipped the scale}. While out, we were in the parking lot of Walmart and out of the blue Daniel says, "Do the Wet Beagle" and he starts shaking his whole body. This is totally out of character for him and I lost it. I was laughing. so. hard.

Our weekends continue to be marathon date weekends. I am looking forward to living in the same state so we can laugh together every day and not just on the weekends.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Today I had a noon showing followed by a response from the realtor indicating that the buyer loved the house and is considering making an offer. I called our realtor to find out more. Evidently the buyer's realtor called our realtor to say they loved the house BUT that she {the buyer's realtor} believed our house was overpriced by $50K. I feel insulted. Actually, whatever is worse than an insult, that is how I feel.

We did our research beforehand and based on what has sold recently and what is currently on the market (not including firesales or dumps) we are currently priced BELOW market value. On top of that we are fully renovated. If their buyer wants to spend $129K in South Charlotte - GOOD LUCK finding a comparable {updated} 30-year-old home in a SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD. If they come with a real offer, we will gladly consider it, but seriously. A fully renovated home? And you want to pay us close to what we paid for it 4.5 years ago BEFORE we renovated? I don't think so.

Besides we have had 20 showings – several of which are have expressed serious interest and not one single buyer has indicated that we are asking too much. Maybe we are {asking too much} and thus have not had any offers yet, but COME ON. Please don't insult my {or my husband's or my realtor's} intelligence.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How I Met My House

We met our house almost 5 years ago. We had been in Charlotte for about 6 months and decided that we were ready to start looking for our first home. We knew that we wanted to renovate, so we were looking for something with good bones. I thought we would flip it and Daniel wanted something we could stay in for a while.
We started out searching the internet and agreed to go to an open house. We were the only viewers and didn't particularly care for the house. But we did sit down with the realtor, Mike, and honestly discussed what we were looking for. Mike was a veteran realtor and lifetime Charlotte native {a rare find}. He didn't pressure us and offered to take us to look at some houses.
We viewed one fixer upper and then Mike called us about Morganford. We drove through the neighborhood and loved it. It was in South Charlotte, not too expensive and had no Home Owner's Association {a plus for us}. We were able to look at it the next day. It seriously needed work, but we were sold. We immediately began dreaming of all the things we could do to it.
The day after our first viewing, we found out that other offers had been made, so we decided to throw our offer in as well. There were a total of three offers on the table and we were allowed the opportunity to rebid. This was a tough decision and we were sad to find out that our offer came in second.
So we went back to the drawing board. We scoured the internet for our perfect fixer upper. And Mike kindly took us to look at potential homes. But we couldn't finding anything that felt right. Not like Morganford did.
A month later, we got a call from Mike asking if we were still interested in the Morganford house. Are you kidding!?!?! YES. We. Still. Wanted. It. The buyer's financing had fallen through AND the seller was willing to sell us the home at our ORIGINAL offer price. We were ecstatic.
We immediately started dreaming again. We have spent the last 4.5 years perfecting those dreams. Through blood {several trips to the ER, including one for a chainsaw accident}, sweat {tons and tons of sweat}, and tears {arguing over paint colors or tile patterns or wanting to be DONE with this never-ending project}, we have finally achieved a home that we adore.

And now we are moving. 


It is bittersweet. Daniel was unemployed for one year, before landing a job based out of Chattanooga, TN. He moved March 1 and I am in Charlotte trying to sell our beloved house. We are sad to go. But also looking forward to meeting our next house and all that it has to offer.
The next house has a lot to live up to... 
But God is good and we are trusting that everything will work out.

Join the How I Met My House Party at SuburbanCottage.

Friday, April 23, 2010

He's being your family...

The other night I was catching up with my sister, giving her the details about a recent house showing. Basically, we had a girl come by and view the house for 2 HOURS. Pretty awesome for us, but not so fun for Benjy, our friend who has graciously offered to come walk Sophie whenever I can't make it home because of work. He drives 45 minutes EACH WAY to come help me. And he won't let us make it up to him {we are planning something though}.

Anyways, as I told my sister this story, she said,  
"Awww... he's being your family right now." 

She is so right. I hadn't even thought about that. He is jumping in and helping me, knowing he won't get anything in return. He is there, a phone call away, just like my sister or brother or parents would be. Since they aren't here, he is filling that void for us right now.

We need more friends like this in our lives. The ones that offer to help you, even at an inconvenience to themselves. We need to be more like that ourselves. Benjy has stepped into that role for me while I am in Charlotte and Courtney and Chris are fulfilling that role for Daniel while he is in Chattanooga. They are his family when I {or our extended family} can't be.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 15

This week I read Eat, Memory, a collection of essays from the New York Times, edited by Amanda Hesser. A book about cooking and food, I am in heaven. Each essay was very well written. All were from widely different perspectives. I enjoyed that. This would be a great coffee table book - each story can be read in under 10 minutes. Most of the essays end with a special recipe that relates to the story. I can't wait to try some of them out.

Excerpts from the book:
My German-American grandmother had more talent than money (just what you need to be a really good cook).
Let me say that once you have been exposed to French cooking and French life, and they take, there is a long and happy aftermath. It's like knowing how to carve a turkey or sail a boat; it puts you up a notch.
It was the feeding of his friends [that] he believed in; in his mind, chopping onions for strangers was an entirely different, somehow smaller-hearted enterprise.
One ought never give up. Never. Even when you've lost it all.  
My patriotism was actually a brand of nostalgia which was, at its core, culinary and sensual as much as it was idealistic.
I decide[d] to move to Japan to teach the only thing I can confidently claim to know after four years of college: English.
*Page 165 has a recipe for Katsu Don (Japanese pork cutlets served on rice). This is a family favorite of the Voyles - my dad has also recreated the Tonkatsu sauce to go with it. It is delish.
We celebrate, Jews and Germans together, because Berlin is a city with a terrible past but a promising future.
Gravy is the simplest, tastiest, most memory-laden dishes I know how to make: a little flour, salt and pepper, crispy bits of whatever meat anchored the meal, a couple of cups of water or milk and slow stirring to break up the lumps. That's it.
Mama made magic with cheap meat, flour and determination – hiding from us how desperate things might be.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the good. the bad. and the random. (Selling the Morganford house, April 2010)

The Good. We had a two-hour showing this morning. The potential buyer is a young woman that moved here from Seattle and fell in love with our home. This also meant that Sophie got a two-hour walk {by our friend, Benjy... this may fall into the bad category for B, but he was a trooper.}
The Bad. Still no offers.
The Random. I fell on my butt today while mowing the hill at the back of our yard. Nothing hurt but my pride.

The Good. Made these homemade quarter pound cookies last night.
The Bad. Didn't feel like cooking dinner tonight, so I ate two quarter pound cookies for dinner.
The Random. We may get our roof replaced – a roofing company is coming by Friday to access potential storm damage from this spring and to see if we qualify to have our insurance company to replace the roof. 

The Good. We are starting to consider houses to buy.
The Bad. We are having a difficult time deciding 1) what area to live in; 2) whether to buy or rent ; 3) whether should we renovate or get a nice house that is move-in ready.
The Random. My cousin had her first child today. So exciting to have a new baby in the family.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Project 52: Date Nights - Picnic

Friday evening we had two back-to-back showings (after a lunch-time cancellation). This put us in better spirits, but it also meant that Daniel and Sophie had to clear out of the house for two hours. The decision was to go to the Greenway for a walk and wait for me to get off of work.

Once off work, we decided I should run by Dominos and bring pizza to the Greenway. We sat on a blanket and enjoyed the sunshine, pizza and ants. We were able to bribe Sophie to ignore other dogs by making her sit for scraps of pizza crust... we will have to continue this trick to help her get over her social anxieties with other dogs.

After our picnic, we headed home where I crashed on our couch and Daniel changed a CV joint on the Subaru.

One of the Friday night showings was a second viewing. We have heard {via the realtor grapevine} that he is seriously considering our house, but no offers yet. We also had a third showing by another potential buyer on Saturday. Having to keep up with keeping the house clean is taking its toll. I will be so thankful when all of this is over. It has been an emotionally harder-than-usual week.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Normal ?

It has been quite the day. I woke up early, but ended up taking a nap mid morning, which almost caused us to miss a showing...

I let Daniel sleep in because he stayed up until 2 a.m. changing out a CV joint on the Subaru. While I waited for him to get up, I enjoyed some time in the hammock with Sophie. While outside, I found a tic on Sophie {first of the season}. I immediately took her inside to remove the little sucker. In my rush to deal with the tic I left my cell phone on the hammock...

During the tic incident, Daniel got up. Then we had breakfast together and I fell asleep on the couch. I woke up at 10:45 a.m. and checked my email to find one follow-up email from our realtor and another requesting a showing from 11a.m. to 1p.m.

Since it was almost 11, this put me into a bit of a tailspin. To top it off, I could NOT FIND MY PHONE. We ran around getting the house ready and it dawned on me that the phone might be on the hammock. We managed to leave our house by 11:30 a.m., just as the people showed up.

Incidentally, this was a THIRD showing. A young single female {approximately our age} who was bringing her mom by. We later found out that this buyer was taking her mother to look at six {very different} houses today... I don't know if that bodes well for us. 

Yesterday we had a SECOND showing by a single male {approximately our age}. We are praying something pans out soon, as we are anxious to wrap this up.

This afternoon our garage doors were replaced - we ordered doors without windows, but they showed up with windows. We are only paying for ones without, so that worked out to our advantage.

Dinner was a quick run to Chick-fil-a followed by Lowes then the dollar movies. Afterwards we went back to Lowes {and Starbucks for me} then to our friends {Brett & Sally} to visit and pick up some stuff for Daniel to take back to Tennessee. Right now Daniel is fixing a small thing with the garage doors and I am doing his laundry. 

I am wondering when our lives will return to normal and what that kind of normal will look like...

Friday, April 16, 2010

No Show

It takes about 30 minutes to get the house ready to show... and we had our first "canceled" no show today. I'm not going to lie. It kind of sucks.

Today I had a call requesting an appointment to show the house from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. So I planned to run home for an "early" lunch and get the house ready. I was on my way home at 11:20 a.m. when I received a call requesting to change the showing to noon. I said OK and hurried on home.

From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. we ran around in a frenzy trying to get the house ready. At 11:55 a.m. I was waiting on cookies to come out of the oven. I quickly placed them on the cooling rack and ran out the door at 11:59 a.m.

We went to Chipotle to grab lunch so that Daniel and Sophie would be out of the house during the "showing." At 12:30 p.m. {at this point the showing should theoretically be under way}, I receive a call telling me the appointment has been CANCELED because the buyer decided to focus their look in another area of Charlotte.

That is fine and dandy. I don't really care that they don't want to live in our area of town. But answer me this: Why are you scheduling appointments in an area you don't want to live in??? Your lack of planning and consideration caused craziness on my part and it is not appreciated. Also what is the point of "canceling" your appointment when it should be in progress? You could have just let it go and we would have been none-the-wiser.

At least the house was ready for the two showings we had this evening {one of of which was a 2nd showing from a guy that looked on Wednesday and said our house was on his short list}.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

TV or Not TV

I don't know whether to laugh or be disturbed by the Wednesday episode of The Middle.

In what must have been an effort to bring levity to the unemployment crisis, this episode shows the Heck family in a situation where they get behind on their bills and their electricity is turned off.

They talk to a financial coach who advises them to get rid of the non-essentials in life. Sadly, they are confused about what is considered non-essential, a far too common error. They finally agree to give up things like coffee-shop coffee and their precious cable television.

Initially their children are freaked out when faced with an indefinite amount of time with no television, but they prove to be resourceful and find things to occupy their time.

The parents are another story. Their discussions revolve around what TV shows they are missing. And one scene even portrays them sitting in their back yard, in lawn chairs... watching TV through their neighbors open window. After this incident, they decide they are in serious need of developing some hobbies.

The rest of the episode has a fairy tale ending... they win $1000 in a bingo game and Mr. Heck gets his job back. The financial coach had advised them to pay off all debt, but with their new-found money, they immediately go back to their cable television.

I find it extremely sad {and telling} that the parents couldn't enjoy their life together without TV. It is nice to have a show {or two} that you enjoy watching together, maybe snuggled on the couch. But to be so wrapped up in your shows, that you can't function in life without them is terribly sad. It also bothers me that it is normal to stay in debt and enjoy the non-essentials {no matter the cost}.

We have cable TV, but we cut back to basic cable several years ago. We don't miss regular cable and we have saved money over the years that we have been able to put towards other things. We have time to read and hang out and enjoy our various hobbies. We like watching 24 and Criminal Minds together, but if we miss an episode, it is not the end of the world.

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 14

My mom recently recommended You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty by F. Batmanghelidj, M.D., a medical professional from Iran. Dr. B. spent three years as a political prisoner in an Iranian prison where he discovered, that without access to medicine, prisoners responded to water to cure their ailments.

Dr. B's research is interesting. I personally have experienced many of the "symptoms" of dehydration discussed in this book including headaches, allergies, heartburn, lower back pain, joint pain, high cholesterol...

I am not a big proponent of using medication for every little thing that ails me, so the idea of using something as natural {and free} as water, makes a lot of sense.

If one has severe medical problems. I would recommend talking to your doctor, but I know that I don't drink enough water and plan to work on remedying that.

I found the writing of this book to be somewhat remedial - but that may just be me. I also found the book to read like an infomercial or a sales pitch: i.e. If you just follow the water cure, I promise it will solve all of your problems... just listen to what so-and-so has to say about it...

Quotes from the book:
"The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them." – Albert Einstein

A new paradigm removes restrictions and barriers and makes future progress within a discipline of thought possible.

A new paradigm is more easily born when there is a specific need and purpose to find a solution. A solution does not establish significance unless a definite need to the ermerging solution is recognized.

Dr. Batman.: Sir Alexander {discoverer of penicillin} is there a special way to become a discoverer of medicine?

Sir Alexander: Need and purpose.

Every 24 hours the body recycles the equivalent of 40,000 glasses of water to maintain its normal physiological functions.

The four most vital steps to better health are balancing water and salt content in the body, exercising the muscle mass of the body to enhance efficiency of the brain, avoiding beverages that dehydrate and make the body more toxic; and eating a balanced diet of proteins and vegetables...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

the good. the bad. and the random.

The Good. We had another showing tonight and I was able to leave work early. Also found out that our house is on the buyer's short list... hopefully that will come to fruition.
The Bad. This week, we have been crazy busy at work on a roll out of a new package design for Peak shoe care products that will be sold in K-Mart and Sears. It is actually nice to be so busy, but it is taking its toll. Plus I haven't had time to devote to my other projects.
The Random. I actually found some gold heels that I like. I wasn't sure what  I would find when Kristalynne asked us bridesmaids to wear gold shoes... I never wear gold anything!!!

The Good. Daniel will be home tomorrow night {late}.
The Bad. I hope that I don't have to work this weekend :(
The Random. I skipped a week of running. When I started back up yesterday, I was pleasantly surprised to find out I had missed running.

The Good. I was driving home yesterday and I saw an oversized, non-descript white truck driving down Randolph by the hospital. I thought that it looked like it might hold an elephant and wondered if a circus was coming to town. Later that day I saw a tent going up on Moorehead. My friend Alexa, did some research and found out that Cavalia is coming to town. It looks like fun.
The Bad. Tickets to Cavalia are crazy expensive.
The Random. I really want to see Date Night.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Project 52: Date Nights - Friends

Since our time in Charlotte is {hopefully} dwindling, we are trying to make the effort to hang out with friends and visit some of our favorite local haunts.

Daniel drove into town on Friday and picked me up at work so that we could meet friends, Benjy & Kristin, for dinner at Texas Roadhouse in Concord, NC. Unfortunately for us, something was going on at Lowes Motor Speedway, so we had to deal with traffic. But other than that, it was nice to catch up with B&K.

Saturday night we invited our neighbors over for homemade New York Cheesecake and coffee. I tried this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I have to be honest, I generally LOVE recipes from Smitten Kitchen, but this one was not my favorite. The taste of eggs was too strong. Without the cherry topping, I don't think I would have liked it at all.{Everyone else seemed to like it, maybe I am just too picky or they are just too polite}.

Sunday I had to work and Daniel drove back to Chattanooga. Still no offer on the house :(

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I think I could write an entire book dedicated to instances of lost or missing keys. And they would all be completely different circumstances. This is one of those stories...

Our house went on the market 2.5 weeks ago. The first weekend it would be on the market, I was going to be in Atlanta hanging out with Daniel at a wedding. As I was scrambling to tie up loose ends on the house {and anxiously get on the road}, I noticed that all of our spare keys were hanging in plain sight on hooks behind our front door.

This is great for when Daniel and I {and our friends and family} are the only ones entering the house. However, knowing there might be strangers viewing our home while I was away, I decided to throw the keys in my purse for safe keeping.

When I arrived in Atlanta I informed Daniel about the keys. He thought it was a good idea to hide the keys but thought I should hide them somewhere INSIDE the house.

Fast forward to this weekend. Last night I was helping move both of our vehicles around so that Daniel could do oil changes. For some reason I placed the Subaru keys in my purse instead of on the hook behind the door. I didn't think anything of this at the time.

The Altima keys were on the hook and we used them to go drive the Altima to church and out for breakfast at the Original Pancake House. After breakfast, we went home and said our goodbyes and then I had to run to work to help on a big project that is deadlining this week.

I had been at work for less than 15 minutes when Daniel called. He wanted to know where the Subaru keys were. For the life of me, I could no think of where they could be. He asked me to check in my purse and I had a sinking feeling... sure enough. The keys were in my purse. Then he asked where the spare keys were... unfortunately there were STILL in my purse.

Daniel: Let me get this straight, every key we own to EVERY thing we own is in your purse? What happens if your purse got stolen?

Thankfully my purse did not get stolen. But I did have to spend an extra 40 minutes driving home to give Daniel his keys {so that he could drive back to Chattanooga} and then back to work to finish my project.

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 13

I am late writing this post. It has been hard to find time to write with everything I have going on in my life. I am also one book behind, so I will have to find time to read 2 books in the coming weeks.

The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman is a fascinating account of how one family contributed to the Polish Underground during World War 2. Jan and Antonina Zabinski smuggled hundreds of Jews to safety by hiding them in the empty cages of their zoo. I had no clue so many Polish people put their lives on the line, as part of the Underground resistance.

This book had a lot of great passages. It is written like a novel, but direct quotes are pulled from the diaries of Antonina and others that were in Poland at this time.

People brave enough to stand by their windows or unlucky enough to be outside, watched a biblical hallucination unfolding as the zoo emptied into Warsaw's streets.
With courage and ingenuity, the Polish Resistance would sabotage German equipment, derail trains, blow up bridges, print over 1,100 periodicals, make radio broadcasts, teach covert high schools and colleges (attended by 100,000 students), aid Jews in hiding, supply arms, make bombs, assassinate Gestapo agents, rescue prisoners, stage secret plays, publish books, lead feats of civil resistance, hold its own law courts, and run couriers to and from the London-based government-in-exile.
Hibernation time wasn't only for sleep, it was also when bears typically gave birth to cubs they suckled and nuzzled until spring, a time of ripeness. Antonina wondered if humans might use the same metaphor and picture the war days as a "sort of hibernation of the spirit, when ideas, knowledge, science, enthusiasm for work, understanding, and love - all accumulate inside, [where] nobody can take them from us."
"No where in the world are people so generally reckless of danger as in Warsaw. There is incredible vitality in Warsaw and an infectious spirit of daring. The pulse of life beats in an unbelievably rapid tempo... There is rhythm and romanticism in everything... the entire city works, tearing down ruins and building new houses and creating, clearing away and filling in. Warsaw started to dig out from its ruins the very moment the last Nazi trooper left its suburbs. It has been at it ever since, building, remodeling and restoring without waiting for plans, money or materials."
In all, around 300 people passed through the way station at the Warsaw Zoo, en route to the rest of their nomadic lives. Jan always felt... that the real heroine of this saga was his wife, Antonina. "She was afraid fo the possible consequences... she was terrified the Nazis would seek revenge against us and our young son, terrified of death, and yet she kept it to herself, and helped me [with my Underground activities] and never ever asked me to stop."

"Antonina was a housewife... she wasn't involved in politics or war, and was timid, and yet despite that, she played a major role in saving others and never once complained about the danger."

Saturday, April 10, 2010

the good. the bad. and the random. (Selling the Morganford House, April 2010)

The Good. Last Saturday, we saw some great possibilities for houses in Chattanooga.
The Bad. We saw one that had some nice features, but it was a reno with shoddy work that was visible, which makes you wonder about the invisible stuff.
The Random. I would be in a world of trouble without the help of our friend Benjy. He has been amazing about coming to walk Sophie whenever there is a weekday showing of the house.

The Good. We have had 11 showings in the past 2.5 weeks.
The Bad. There have been no offers and we are anxious to sell. After much thought, discussion and prayer, we decided to go ahead and drop the price.
The Random. We also decided to go ahead and install new garage doors {the current ones are rotting} and we have spent the day cleaning the garage up so it will show better... will we ever be done with house projects???

The Good. Daniel was able to drive home through the mountains instead of Atlanta.
The Bad. The main highways through the mountains are closed in places due to rock slides... Daniel took a forest service road for part of the way to get around the rock slide. He wouldn't have been able to make it without the all-wheel drive Subaru.
The Random. Daniel is driving so much, he currently has to change the oil in the Subaru EVERY couple of weeks. Yikes!

Friday, April 09, 2010


Still no offers on the house. God must want me to learn a little bit more about patience...

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

Jeremiah 29:11

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Project 52: Date Nights - Mountain Opry

Our date {weekend} turned out to be very busy for us, but I will just hit the highlights. I drove down to Chattanooga {Friday morning} to spend time with Daniel and our friends, Chris & Courtney & kids.

For lunch, Daniel and I had a picnic of barbecue from a local Signal Mountain haunt, then I napped. After a {homecooked} meal of Poppyseed chicken {a recipe from Daniel's mom that I had passed along Courtney}, we all headed to the Mountain Opry.

Homemade breakfast followed by a long day of house hunting {we saw some good stuff, we just need an offer on our house first}. Then a short hike {we had to make it up to Sophie since we dragged her around in the car with us all day}. Dinner was another home cooked meal followed by a game of Go Fish with the kids. Followed by some exciting news from C&C. Visiting then bed.

Hot cinnamon rolls for breakfast followed by church. Then to Chris' parents house for a family Easter lunch. Then a long drive home for me.

There was a lot of good stuff this weekend, but I want to tell a little more about the Mountain Opry. First of all, it was FREE. And it is every weekend on Signal Mountain. We truly enjoyed listening to local Bluegrass bands. Sitting there, listening to the talent, I had a vision of the future. I can really see us living there. Going to hear Bluegrass with family and friends on the weekends. Little Sadie (age 3) was dancing in the aisles. Courtney says that sometimes they let her get up on stage and clog with the older women. It was such a sweet sight and it all feels like home. 

I was really sad to come back to Charlotte on Sunday night. I am more than ready to be in Chattanooga with Daniel. I am ready to be closer to our family and friends. I am so ready. On a bright note, we have two showings tomorrow {one is a second showing} – please pray that we get an offer.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

the good. the bad. and the random. (First Month Living Apart, April 2010)

The Good. It's officially been one month since Daniel started at TVA.
The Bad. I am still living in Charlotte until further notice {or our house sells}.
The Random. Sophie freaked me out the other night when she heard something outside. I was concerned about prowlers, so I investigated. Turned out there was a dog wandering around the neighborhood. This made Sophie terribly angry. I guess she wanted to wander around the neighborhood at midnight too.

The Good. Had a lovely weekend in Atlanta with Daniel and Sophie and some of my extended family.
The Bad. A tornado chased me home.
The Random. Del Tacos have ridiculously big burritos AND you get fries with the combo meal.

The Good. We have had 7 showings of our house.
The Bad. No offers yet.
The Random. I think I have cleaned my floors EVERY OTHER DAY for the past 7 days.

The Good. I actually cooked for myself for the first time in a month... take THAT fast food.
The Bad. I had a migraine yesterday and gave in to Chik-Fil-A for dinner :(
The Random. I am a week behind on my reading. I just finished a WW2 book {The Book Thief} and I started a new WW2 book {The Zookeeper's Wife}.

The Good. I get to go to Chattanooga for the weekend to hang out with Daniel {and do some house hunting}.
The Bad. I have to drive to Chattanooga. I am opting to leave EARLY Friday morning instead of Thursday night because driving to Atlanta last Thursday night really wore me out. Plus I have to mow our yard before I head out of town.
The Random. My brother called today asking how to get from Henderson, TN to Memphis... I think I need to buy my brother a road atlas for his car. What is he going to do if I am not near a computer to be his personal GPS or when it becomes ILLEGAL to talk on the phone and drive?

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 12

I am week behind on my reading... I thought I would get caught up during my long weekend trip to Atlanta, but I did more resting {and visiting} than reading.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak takes place in Nazi-dominated Germany during WW2. Death plays the role of narrator in this unforgettable story about a young German girl, Liesel, whose family hides a Jewish man in their basement. During the course of the book, Liesel learns the power of words and the terrible burden of loss.

Some favorite passages:

The Germans loved to burn things. Shops, synagogues, Reichstags, houses, personal items, slain people, and of course, books.

When a Jew shows up at your place of residence in the early hours of morning, in the very birthplace of Nazism, you're likely to experience extreme levels of discomfort. Anxiety, disbelief, paranoia. Each plays its part, and each leads to a sneaking suspicion that a less than heavenly consequence awaits. The fear is shiny. Ruthless in the eyes.

The surprising point is that despite this iridescent fear glowing as it did in the dark, they somehow resisted the urge for hysteria.

Life had altered in the wildest possible way, but it was imperative that they act as if nothing had happened. Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it 24 hours a day. That was the business of hiding a Jew.

They say that war is death's best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing, incessantly. "Get it done. Get it done." So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss, however, does not thank you. He asks for more.

It's probably fair to say that in all the years of Hitler's reign, no person was able to serve the Fuhrer as loyally as me {death}... I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time. The consequence of this is that I'm always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both. Still, they have one thing I envy. Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.

Family Hike at Fiery Gizzard

On Saturday we had originally planned to go on a group hike on the Fiery Gizzard Trail , but it was cancelled at the last minutes. So...