Friday, November 24, 2006

I've Moved!

Not to the new house.

Not yet.

But the blog is now here.

Come on over!

Your Eyes Are Not Deceiving You

I know everything looks really different - but I'm getting ready for a few changes in this little corner of the blawg-o-sphere. Except it won't be THIS corner, exactly - it'll be a different corner - and I hope y'all will come hang out in the new corner with me.


More details soon!

Because I Love Me A Post-Thanksgiving Bargain

I don't know if any of y'all are interested, but Home Depot has six and a half foot pre-lit Christmas trees for $29.99 - and then you can mail in a rebate and get a $30.00 Home Depot gift card.

Which means that you get a tree AND make a penny.

What could be better?

David got up this morning and bought one for us - I decided that it would be a great thing to put in the den off of our new kitchen, and I'm going to hang all of our Christmas cards on it.

Which is about as close to crafty as I'll ever get. But I'm tickled that I actually thought of a holiday-themed decorating idea.

If you don't have a Home Depot in your area, click here and you can order one online.

Merry Christmas!

(I love being able to say that so much that I think I'll say it again.)

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, hands-down, but this year I'm feeling a bit of bloggy pressure to write some Deeply Touching Treatise on thankfulness, something in which I repeatedly use the word "autumnal" while describing the vast range of colors one can find in a single maple leaf as it basks in the rays of a golden harvest sun.

(I don't know if y'all have caught on to this or not, but Descriptive Word Pictures aren't really my thing, seeing as how I have the vocabulary of your average eighth grader, not to mention the fact that I'm far too literal to compare that ever-changing maple leaf to, say, a cocoon, because for one thing there's only one way I know how to describe a maple leaf (ORANGE!), cocoons really gross me out, and I believe my usage of the phrase "gross me out" brings us right back to what I was saying about my eighth grade vocabulary.)

So I will not be discussing nature in this post, is all I'm saying.

Limited descriptive powers aside, I have so much to be thankful for - an embarrassment of riches, in fact. And those riches have absolutely nothing to do with money or houses or cars or even my beloved DirecTV / TiVo combination. Instead, those riches have everything to do with faith and family and friends...and when I start to think about the people I love and the people who love me, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm blessed beyond measure.

Not to mention: the blawg.

Almost a year ago, I sat in the rocking chair in our guest bedroom while keeping one eye on Alex in the bathtub, and I wrote my first blog post. It wasn't anything special - just about the events of the day - and I wrote it with no audience in mind, fully believing that no one would ever read it besides David and me.

(Perhaps now you'll understand why my sideline business in fortune telling isn't really all that successful. I'm not very strong with the predictions.)

I guess what I'm saying is this: I had no idea that this blog would turn out to be such an incredible blessing in my life. I had no idea that people would, you know, read it. But I am forever humbled and forever grateful that you do...and your encouragement, your emails, your comments, and your friendships have been life-changing for me. I can't tell you how thankful I am for that.

All week long a song that we sometimes sing at our church has been running through my head, and while I wanted so badly to be able to share a recording of it with y'all, I can't find one on this here interweb (and they say it's useful - HMMMPH!).

But I did find the lyrics - I think they're beautiful on their own.

For all that You've done, I will thank You
For all that You're going to do
For all that You've promised and all that You are
Is all that has carried me through
Jesus, I thank You

and I thank You
thank You,
and I thank You
thank You

Thank You for loving and setting me free
Thank You for giving Your life just for me
How I thank You
Jesus, I thank You
I gratefully thank You
And I thank You

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In Addition To Buying Ice Cream, We Will Also Be Purchasing Real Tomato Ketchup*

Those of you who mentioned The Ice Cream Dilemma in the comments of my previous post will be glad to know that there are two places to buy ice cream right around the corner from our new place. And we won't be relegated to just sniffing the ice cream, either.

So I'd say that's a victory, wouldn't you?

It also occurred to me when I was reading the last round of comments that OH MY SWEET GOODNESS I am doing the Christmas Tour of Homes thing and DID I FORGET TO TELL MYSELF THAT I'M MOVING? Because the thought of having the house, you know, unpacked by the 15th seems a little daunting, but having my house decorated for Christmas, too?

Clearly I've been bitten by a touch of the crazy.

But I'll just consider the Christmas Tour as, um, incentive and tell myself that it never hurt anyone to have a few extra unpacked boxes laying around at Christmastime.


And now to answer the questions about why we're moving.


It's pretty simple.

When we moved here six and a half years ago, we had a pretty good idea of what area we wanted to live in, and the thought of new construction was really appealing to us because we'd lived in two older houses in Baton Rouge. But in order to be able to afford new construction in this area, we had to move a little further out than we had planned (Robin, Theresa, Lori and Addie can testify to what I like to call The Boondocks Factor). We're about ten miles outside of the city limits, and when we moved out here, there weren't many subdivisions, traffic wasn't bad at all, and we could get back into "town" in about 20 minutes.

But as is oftentimes the case with suburbia, this area exploded before there was much infrastructure to support it. There were around 10 subdivisions when we moved out here...and now there are about 60. Traffic can be a nightmare. Traffic lights are being installed along the main highway, which means BIG FUN FOR ALL on the roadways. And the catch is that we live our lives not in this little community - but in the much bigger city that's over the mountain. With Alex starting K4 next year, and with his school on the other side of that mountain, it's a good time for us to bite the bullet and head into town.

So, to answer the "why" question: location, location, location.

(You know, that's pretty catchy. A real estate agent should really consider using that phrase in some brochures or something. Or on "House Hunters." Because I've never heard that phrase on "House Hunters." Except for, you know, a hundred times.)

Thus concludeth the essay on Why We're Moving.

I will post pictures just as soon as I have some - and that'll probably be this weekend.

I do hope the nervous anticipation of seeing pictures of an empty house won't completely spoil your Thanksgiving dinner.

But in the meantime: LOOK! CHAOS!

*Anybody know the movie I'm referencing?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The House Story, Part One Of Many

One Monday about three weeks ago I picked up the little man from Mother’s Day Out, and since he fell asleep within, oh, four seconds, I decided that I’d ride around and look at houses. We’d heard from our realtor that a couple was probably going to make an offer on our current house, and I figured that it might be a good idea to find a place for us to, you know, live.

There are two neighborhoods that we targeted, primarily because both of those neighborhoods are in a great location for us AND because they have older houses. New homes in this area are all fine and good if you’re a patrillionaire, but if you’re only a hundredaire or thousandaire, those new home options aren’t quite so affordable. We knew going into this house hunt that we would absolutely be looking for a fixer-upper…something where we could get a great deal and then fix it up ourselves. It seemed like the most sensible approach – and probably the only way that we could stay within our budget.

Lest you think I’m kidding, consider this: before we found the house that we're buying, our two frontrunners - until one got a contract and one got yanked off the market - were a house with a kitchen on the third level and a house that reeked of dog tee-tee. These two were the proud runners-up to the first house we thought we were going to get, which was The One With All The Shag Carpet And Low-Ceilinged Staircase On Which My Husband Consistently Bumped His Head.

I’m telling y’all: we like to live fancy ‘round here.

So that Monday afternoon, when I drove around looking at houses in our price range, I started to panic just a little bit. There just wasn’t much at all on the market, and when I drove by a “candidate” and noticed that part of the chimney was falling off, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Because with 3rd Level Kitchen and Tee-Tee House (or, as my realtor and I liked to call it, BIG STANK) out of the running, it seemed like our only options were going to be either 1) Structurally Unsound or 2) Frighteningly Unattractive.

It all seemed so promising.

Being the mature, problem-solving girl that I am, I went home, told David all about it, and cried. I wondered if we shouldn’t take our house off the market. I wondered where in the world we’d live if ours sold. I wondered what in the world people do for a living to afford the houses they live in (my conclusion: why, they must have money trees in their backyards! mightn't I go shake one?).

And then I cried some more.

But the day before David had run across a for sale by owner listing on the internet, and I asked our realtor to see if she could get us an appointment. When she talked to the owners, they said that the house wasn't actually on the market; they had decided to wait until the spring to sell, but the FSBO company hadn't taken the pictures off the website yet. They went on to say that we were welcome to come take a look, but they knew that if they waited a few months to list it, they'd be able to make more money.

Tuesday afternoon we went to see the house. And I knew, the second I walked through the door, that it was for us. I think David took one look at my face and knew that it was for us, too. I kept thinking, "They're not asking enough for this house. They're not asking enough." And David kept thinking, "Look how happy S. is. Look how happy she is! This house would stop All The Crying. IT WOULD STOP ALL THE CRYING!"

We stayed at the new house for over an hour, talking non-stop with the owners and checking out every nook and cranny. We finally left, and within fifteen minutes of being back at our house, we had decided to make an offer. They accepted it. They also told our realtor that, after meeting us, after seeing Alex run up and down the hallway and make himself right at home, that they really saw God's hand in how it all worked out.

Funny - David and I feel exactly the same way.

Several of y'all have commented and emailed to ask about the details. Does the house have shag carpet? How much work does it need? Will David and I be up to our eyeballs in home improvement projects for the next sweet forever? Will Austin Powers and Felicity Shagwell be right at home there?

Believe it or not, there's no shag carpet. The house has been completely renovated. The rooms are big, the view is great, and we won't have to do a single thing other than move in our stuff. I don't even have to paint.

Also: IT DOESN'T SMELL LIKE TEE-TEE! You must trust me when I tell you that I wasn't so sure we'd find a house where that was the case.

Best of all, it feels like home.

We can't wait to get there.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm Too Distracted By Cuteness To Think Of A Title

Alex at his Thankgiving program at his Mother's Day Out today.

He was an Indian.

[grinning at all the cuteness]

He was a cute little Indian.

Who sang!

Did I mention how cute he was?

I think I love him.