Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Update: Moving

I've been itching to sit down and blog for the past couple of days but I haven't really had the time. I decided to go ahead and get a blog post in today before I call in a night. Be on the lookout for a post or two about our recent vacation and Easter but for now let's talk about...MOVING.

After all the weeks of the stress of not knowing what we were doing and where we were going, I had a good week off. I didn't think about packing or moving, or any of that stuff. But after arriving back in Louisiana on Sunday night, it has taken over my life. Well, at least for the next few days anyway.

My house is in a state of total disaster. I have been packing, organizing, sorting, etc. all of our JUNK! I shouldn't say junk because I am thankful for all that the Lord has blessed us with. But for someone who has moved a total of 5 times over the last 10 years, I still don't know how I have so much stuff. I guess adding a husband and a baby to the mix hasn't helped. :) Packing up your whole house makes the Amish lifestyle look so appealing.

I'm at that point where I feel like I've accomplished a lot but when I take a look around, it sure doesn't look like it. There is stuff everywhere. We had a couple of minor setbacks with moving today that added to my stress but everything worked out. I need to take my husbands advice more often, just breathe. Sometimes I forget something as simple as breathing when I'm under pressure. Deep breaths really do work to calm you down and relieve stress. Try it sometime.

Hopefully, Ryan will be able to move some of our stuff over and put it in place over the next couple of days. Our big moving day in Saturday. I would love to have everything done and be completely moved in and settled by Sunday afternoon. We'll see how it goes. Of course I'll post some pictures of the new place once everything is settled.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Life is Like A Roller Coaster, Baby

The wait is finally over. The official news is that we will be staying in Louisiana for at least another year.

To make a long story short, we were hoping to move back closer to family, either in Fernandina Beach or in Graceville. In the long run, none of our options worked out and we made the decision today to stay in Louisiana for the time being. I for one, even though disappointed, was relieved to finally have a decision. I felt like I'd been on this crazy, emotional, roller coaster, for the last month or so, and I just wanted off. When the ride came to a stop today, I can't say that there wasn't a moment of tears, but I rest in the fact that God is sovereign and in control.

Ryan did some paperwork with the realtor today on the apartment we want to rent in Slidell. We should know something soon. But unless something unexpected comes up, it should be a done deal. We really like the place. It's in a nice neighborhood, has a great backyard, and is in walking distance of a park.

Ryan's vacation starts Sunday afternoon after he gets off work. We'll drive to Graceville and stay with my parent's on Sunday night and then on to Fernandina to spend the week with Ryan's family. I'm really looking forward to spending time with family and friends next week. After that, it will be back home to pack and get ready to move across town. Continue to pray for us.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I wonder how much of our lives are actually spent waiting? We wait in line at the grocery store, bank, or drive-thru? We wait for a table at a restaurant or wait on people to show up for an appointment or an event? We wait on our spouses to get ready, we wait at the Dr's office, we wait for prescriptions to be filled when we're sick. Let's face it...we spend a LOT of time waiting. Some of us are better at waiting than other's. If I'm prepared for a wait, I bring a book or my NOOK, to occupy my time. If I forget, I usually annoy my brother with text messages while I wait. :) But how often do we get aggravated while waiting. Honestly, I'm not a very patient person, so if I have to wait longer than I think necessary, I tend to get agitated or upset. But what does the Bible have to say about waiting? Actually, quite a lot.

Hebrews 6:15 "And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise."

Psalm 40:1 "I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry."

Psalm 10:5-6 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning."

Isaiah 40:31 "but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

Psalm 37:7 "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!"

Psalm 37:34 "Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off."

As you can see, the Bible has a lot to say about waiting. I have to remind myself of this everyday. The current situation that we are in has tested my patience and my ability to wait to the limit. I feel like all I've done for the past month is wait. I constantly have to remind myself that God's timing is always the right timing. But it's hard to remember that when you're up against a deadline. So at least for a couple more days, I'll be WAITING! No matter the outcome, I will rejoice in the Lord because He is good and His love endures forever!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lessons I've Learned From The Cosby Show

The Cosby Show debuted on September 20, 1984. I was just a few months over a year old. The series concluded on my 9th birthday, April 30, 1992. So, for as far back as I can remember, "the Cosby's" have been a part of  my life. I remember watching episodes of the TV show at my grandparent's house when I was little. Of course, then, I didn't always understand the humor or get the innuendo's. I don't think there has been a year since the show began when you couldn't find an episode of The Cosby's on some network. If I'm flipping through channels and I find that the show is on, I'll stop and watch it. In my almost 28 years, I'm sure that I've seen every episode more than once. Recently Netflix made the entire series available instantly. While I have seen every episode, I don't believe that I've ever seen them consecutively in the order they aired on TV. So, I've started watching the series episode by episode starting at season one. I'm currently on season four. The show never gets old. Even the episodes that I've seen over and over again are still funny and still relevant. I've always said that my dad reminded me of Bill Cosby. Their sense of humor and their dispensing of "wisdom" are very similar. There are many episodes in which the antics of Dr. Huxtable in relating to his children remind me of my own childhood and things my dad would say or do. So in honor of my childhood, here are the lessons I've learned from watching The Cosby Show:

1. Laughter is good for us.

Of course there are times for tears and pain, sadness and reproof but sometimes you've just gotta laugh. The Cosby's often remind me not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh and go on about your business. Even the Bible tells us that laughter is good for us, "A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22. I can't tell you how many times in my life that my real life version of Cliff Huxtable, my dad, made me laugh in spite of whatever I was going through. I may not have appreciated it at the time (I'm usually the type of person who wants to stay mad when I'm mad so I didn't always appreciate him making me laugh when I was upset or angry) but I was thankful for it later. The Cosby's also taught me that it's OK for parent's to laugh at their children. We live in a culture where we are so worried about self-esteem. The problem is most of us think more highly of ourselves than we ought to. Now, I don't mean that parents should humiliate their children or degrade them. But the truth is sometimes as kids we just did (and still do) stupid things! My parent's laughed at me more times than I can count and I turned out OK!

2. Tough love is true love.

As a parent now, I can really relate to this statement. Sometimes the best thing for a kid is for the parent to say no. I get so tired of seeing parents who don't discipline their children but allow them to run wild and say whatever they wish. They have no respect for authority. Somewhere along the way, we've gotten our roles reversed. Instead of parent's leading the household we have children making decisions and controlling the parents. Today's media doesn't help either. I can't even count how many TV shows that I've seen where children and teenagers are allowed to do as they please with no real consequences. Where is the tough love? Where is pointing your child in the right direction even though they might get upset or angry? I am thankful that The Cosby Show is still in reruns, while I don't always agree with their politics and beliefs, they had it right when it came to parenting. They taught their children the hard lessons and loved them unconditionally even when they messed up. My parent's did the same for me. I remember thinking at times that my parent's were so unfair. I couldn't understand why all the other parent's allowed their children to do things that I wasn't allowed to do. But looking back, I am so thankful. And as a parent, I can now understand and relate. As I've said in a previous post, there is a time to show mercy and a time for discipline.

3. Education is important.

One of my most favorite episodes is one of the earliest one's (if not the first, I can't remember). Theo has decided that he doesn't want to go to college when he is older. He wants to be a regular person. He can't understand why his parents expect so much out of him. Cliff sits him down and asks him how much he plans on making as a regular person then proceeds to give him monopoly money to represent what he would make in a month, less taxes (Theo didn't know about that). He then proceeds to take away money for food, rent, transportation, and even a girlfriend. Theo is left with practically nothing at the end of the segment. I don't think The Cosby Show was trying to say that there is anything wrong with being a "regular" person as Theo called it but the chances for a more successful life went up if you had higher education. Now, I realize that this is not always true in our world today. There are just as many college graduates who can't get a job and many of them will be in debt for the rest of their lives due to student loans (I may be one of those) but education at any level is important. Cosby himself is a prolific supporter of education in real life. As a parent of a three year old, I am always encouraging her learning. I know I'm biased but I think she's really smart for her age! And my parents always pushed me in my education. They didn't allow for laziness. I was a pretty smart kid so I didn't have to always try so hard but the weren't happy with what I could do without trying, instead, they were interested in what I could do when I did try. I wasn't always thankful for this but in the long run, it paid off.

4. Who says you can't go home again.

Dr. Huxtable was always making cracks about his children leaving home and coming back and leaving home and coming back. He longed for the day where his children would leave the nest for good! But he and Claire were always there for their children. No matter where life had taken them, or what decisions they had made, they were there and often with lesson number two, tough love. I am thankful to have parents just like that. No matter how old I get or where life takes me, they are there. I love being able to pick up the phone and ask for advice and on occasion, help, when things haven't turned out the way I expected. I love being able to go home and spend time with them and eat their food and have mom wash my clothes! Family was always a priority on The Cosby Show.

The truth is, I didn't really learn all this from The Cosby Show. I learned these lessons from the two best parents in the world! They emulated each of these lessons in ways I'll never forget. They shaped me into the person I am today. It just so happens that my real life often parallelled the beloved Cosby Show. OBKB!

In Case You Wanted to Know...

We are still in limbo when it comes to moving. I have to admit that I'm not a very patient person. This waiting has been hard for me. I'm just ready to know what it is we are doing. What is my purpose in packing or lack thereof? I feel bad for Ryan. I know he is stressed with the whole situation because majority of the responsibility falls on him. I am so thankful for a husband that takes care of and provides for me and Abigail. We are hoping and praying that we know something by sometime next week. On the other hand, we are going to look at two more houses in Slidell tomorrow. We looked at two on Wednesday but the nice one was out of our price range and the other, well, let's just say that if that's my only option then I guess I'll just have to learn to live with it! Continue to pray for us.

On another note, I ended up at Doctor's Urgent Care of Slidell on Thursday around noon. It was a pretty stressful day for me. I went by myself since Ryan was at home and could watch Abigail and the baby that I keep. I figured they would just recheck me and write me a different prescription (I had already been once a couple of weeks ago for a bladder infection). Well due to my symptoms and previous medical history, they drew two vials of blood and sent me next door to Doctor's Hospital of Slidell for a cat scan of my kidneys. If you know me, you won't be surprised that I was freaking out. I'm sort of a worry-wort and a hypochondriac. And of course, I had a hard time getting a hold of anyone in my family to inform them of what was going on so that added to my distress and dismay. After some paperwork and financial shenanigans, I finally had my cat scan done and was sent back over to DUC to wait for my results. Thankfully, my cat scan came back clean and my only problem was a kidney infection due to my bladder infection never clearing up. After receiving a shot in the buttocks and three different prescriptions, I made my way to Walgreen's where the pharmacy staff once again reminded me of why I don't like living here. I finally returned home 5 hours later! Whew! What a day!

The pain in my back around my kidneys was worse yesterday, so I laid around most of the day, taking it easy. The pain seems to have slacked up some so I am about to attempt to try and clean up the disaster I call my house. It's amazing to see how much I really do during the day when it doesn't get done on a daily basis. So much to catch up on.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm Packing Up, Getting Ready to Go...But Where?

Packing...what can I say about packing? I wish I could say I was packing for a trip to some exotic location for a vacation but sadly, the only packing being done around here is in boxes. I must confess, I haven't actually packed a box yet but I must get started soon.

We've been living in Pearl River, Louisiana for just over a year now. We packed up our home in Fernandina Beach, Florida and relocated to St. Tammany Parish. The year passed by quickly. For the most part, we have loved our time in Louisiana, although, I can't say I'm a huge fan of the state. It is a different world here...a very different culture.

When we moved over a year ago, we believed that we were moving for Ryan to attend seminary at NOBTS. However, he did not. Several things transpired that kept him from being able to pursue his education further. But I believe with all my heart that God led us here anyway. I have grown so much in our time here. God has taught me valuable lessons that I'm not sure I would have heard very well anywhere else.  God brought Ryan, Abigail, and I closer together as a family. We experienced financial difficulties and learned to be better stewards of our money and "things" the Lord has blessed us with. I learned more about and grew in my role as wife and mother. The time spent thus far in the state of Louisiana has shaped me more into the person I want to be. I have a LONG way to go but I know I'm headed in the right least with my life.

Which brings me to the point of my post.

We were informed sometime after Christmas that our landlord was putting the house we are renting up for sale. We were told that we could live here until our lease was up on April 1, 2011 and on a month to month basis after that time, if the house hadn't sold. So for the last few months we've been praying, talking, speculating on what we should do when the time came. April 1st was quickly approaching and so far no perspective buyers on the house so we figured we would have plenty of time to make a decision.

On March 31, I noticed a lady walking in our driveway while I was exercising. I sent Ryan, who was about to leave for work, outside to find out what she wanted. She was with our landlord's wife and they were looking at the property. They wanted to come inside but since I was busy and the baby I keep was asleep, we said no, and asked that they make an appointment with the realtor. Their appointment was for the next morning at 9:00 AM on April 1st, the day our lease was up. The husband and realtor showed up but the wife was stuck in traffic. We literally stood outside for an hour between the husband looking at the house and waiting on the wife to get there and then both of them looking. From the amount of time the spent looking at the house and later talking outside with their realtor, I had a feeling they would at least make an offer. That was on Friday.

On Sunday April 03, the landlord knocked on our door and handed me a letter. He told me that on Saturday they had signed a contract to sell the house. On Wednesday, an inspector is coming and unless something comes up, we have to be moved out of the house by April 30 (my 28th birthday) or May 1. They have to turn over the keys to the new owners by May 3.

So, what are we going to do? Where are we going to go? I still don't have a clue. Remember earlier when I said we'd been praying, talking, and speculating? Well, now we're just waiting on God and waiting to see what happens. When we know, you'll know. Until then, keep us in your prayers.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April, Parenting, & Choices

April snuck up on me pretty fast this year. The first three months of 2011 are already gone and in the past. I am positive that time did not go by this fast when I was a kid. Once Christmas was over, April couldn't get here fast enough. Why you ask? Well, my birthday is in April. It's the very last day in April, it might as well have been in May. But in my childhood, birthdays were just as important as Christmas. My parent's didn't always have a lot of money but my mom made sure our birthday's were special! We always got to invite all of our friends and play games and have cake and ice cream and of course, presents. My mom made memories for us. I can't thank her enough for that.

This year I'll be 28. It seems so surreal sometimes that now I am the mom and trying to be sure to create memories for my daughter. As a parent you have to be pretty selfless. And if we're being honest, it's not something that comes naturally to us. There are plenty of days where I don't want to go outside and play or I don't want to watch The Spy Next Door for the 101st time but I do it because I love my daughter. Every day that I am a parent, I am pushed out of my comfort zone. I am reminded that life isn't all about me and that it's hard. I am made more aware of my choices and the consequences of those choices every time those big brown eyes look up at me or I catch my daughter mimicking me in some way...good or bad.

One of the choices that we have made recently is to be more healthy. If you've read my blog in any capacity you will know that my weight and being healthy is something that I have struggled with for a long time. A couple of months ago, I was the biggest I have ever been in my whole life. I don't know how much I weighed because I was too scared to get on a scale and see the number. I had to take a look at my life and my eating habits and not only how it was negatively affecting me but my daughter as well. Chicken nuggets and french fries is not the road I wanted her to travel. So we made a decision. We started buying more fruits and vegetables and less junk and processed food. We cut out fast food and when we needed a quick meal we ordered grilled chicken instead of greasy hamburgers. We haven't been perfect in it but we've been better. We still have the occasional sweet treat but it's in moderation. Now when we go to the grocery store, she doesn't ask for candy or junk, she wants fruit and vegetables. Just today she practically wanted to buy every fresh fruit in the store. We eventually decided on fresh pineapple, grapes, and a mango. We've been trying to incorporate as much organic into our diet as well. It's definitely more expensive eating healthier but it's worth it. Eating this way has me really wanting to grow a garden. It's just not practical right now since the lease is up on the house we are renting and the landlord is trying to sell it. We aren't really sure where we'll be going from here but it's all in God's hands.

A great "consequence" to eating healthier is weight loss! I'm not sure how much I've lost total because as I said earlier, I didn't weigh myself before we made the choice to eat healthier. I just know that my clothes are fitting better and I feel better. I've recently incorporated exercise into my daily routine and since I've started exercising I've lost about 5 pounds. Go me!