Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party {2011}

Hey everybody!  Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Party 2011, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom.  I had so much fun last year (and met so many wonderful mom bloggers) that I couldn’t resist joining again.  If you’re new here, welcome!  I’m so glad you stopped by!  If you’re a regular, well, maybe you’ll find something out about me that you didn’t know before. ;)

This is gonna sound cocky – and I swear it’s not! – but I really can’t come up with a better way to introduce myself than the post I wrote last year!  haha!  It pretty much sums my life up way better than what my brain is currently capable of at this late hour.  So if you’re new here and you want to learn about my past in detail, hop right over there first. :)  If you don’t have time for all of that, I’ll try to give you the fast version. ;) 

december 2010 part one 095
This is us on Christmas Eve. :)

My name is Jessica, my husband’s name is Chris, and we’ve been married for 5 years in August.  We’re in our mid-to-late twenties (when the heck did that happen, by the way?!) and we live in CT with our little boy, Luke, who will be 2 this July.  We both have degrees in music, and I was an elementary music teacher before I quit my job to become a SAHM.  I currently teach private lessons to my friend’s two little girls, and I’m so thankful for that “professional” outlet it gives me. 

Last year when I wrote my party post, we were living in PA near my husband’s family.  His job situation started to fall apart, he got a job here in CT near my family, we moved over the summer, our house sold in 3 months (thank God), and we’ve been living with my parents for the last 7+ months while we search for a house of our own.  We had THE worst time trying to buy a house but we finally (praise God!) signed a contract on a home and will be moving out of my parents’ house in May.  Whew!

Here’s a picture of our soon-to-be house:


{For more info on our house, click here.} 

It has been an incredibly emotionally-trying seven months of life, with tons of highs and lows.  But God has proven himself faithful to us and we praise Him for the fact that we will soon not be smooshed like sardines in my old bedroom. ;)  One of the biggest blessings in our life over the past months has been our new church and young couples’ small group.  We have made such wonderful friends here.  It is such a blessing to be a part of a church that you love and we do not take that for granted!

So, that’s my life in a total nut-shell! I cannot wait to be in my own home again and have my life back together.  Adoption is a big deal to us and when we finally get into our own home and settled, we will be starting the big, scary adoption process to bring our next child home!  (I’ve never mentioned that before here, so there you go, regular readers!  You learned something new about me today! lol)

So what’s this blog all about?

A lot of people keep a blog as a personal journal – mine doesn’t really fit that category.  For me, blogging is a place to share my hobbies, connect with other like-minded women, and learn more about the things I’m passionate about.  My big hobbies are thrifting, home design, and clean/whole eating, so most of the blogs I read reflect those interests.  (I have also started following a lot of adoption blogs recently, to gain insight on other families’ journeys.) I also love to read mom-diary blogs so that I can get a glimpse of how other moms do it and not feel so alone in the craziness! Know what I mean??! ;)

So if you stick around, you’re going to see that I love to post pictures of my thrifting finds, like my $20 Pier 1 chair or my $1.46 (yes, really!) Tommy Hilfiger wedges:

november-december 2010 135    luke's first b-day 237

I have a total passion for clean and whole eating, and for finding recipes to replace our family’s favorite foods, like Sloppy Joes:

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And granola bars:

granola bar 009

I love love LOVE decorating my house and coming up with inexpensive ways to make my home more beautiful.  This aspect of my life has been stalled quite a bit since we’re living with my family, but I can’t wait to get back into the groove again when we move out in May!  I absolutely love being able to take something old or outdated and give it a breath of fresh air!

For example….I took a $1 yard-sale footstool and covered it with more yard-sale fabric to give it a Frenchy upgrade:

yardsale luke invites 012  late june 006

I also took an outdated Goodwill urn and turned it into my Ballard knock-off boxwood tree:

   goodwill finds and luke 018   boxwood tutorial 021

So that pretty much sums up me and my blog!  If you stopped by, would you please let me know?  I LOVE meeting other mom bloggers and if you introduced yourself it would make my day! 

Have a great day and thanks for visiting! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Clean Strawberry Breakfast Bars

Ooooooh am I excited to share this recipe with you guys today!  It is DELISH.  You will basically want to eat it all day long, not just breakfast.  I’m just giving you fair warning. ;)

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Except for the first year of our marriage, when he was in grad school, my husband has worked very labor-intensive jobs.  It’s always been a challenge to find nourishing, inexpensive, but also stamina-giving (is that a real phrase or did I make that up?) snacks for him. 

Before we started trying to eat clean, this was much easier.  I stocked up on tons of snacks on sale at the grocery store and popped a few in his lunch everyday.  Unfortunately, now I know that those snacks are mostly disgusting for your body and I can’t in good conscience give many of them to my man anymore!  One of the main snacks I used to give him was Nutri-Grain cereal bars (I always called them breakfast bars – same difference). 

Kellogg's® Nutri-Grain® Cereal Bars Strawberry

Ever wondered what was in these puppies?  Here is the list of ingredients in those bars (taken STRAIGHT FROM THEIR WEBSITE):


I bold-faced everything that I know for a fact to be bad for you, and I was being kind.  Some of these bad ingredients masquerade as being pretty innocent.  Enriched flour? Soybean oil?  Enriched flour is bad when you realize that it needs enrichment only because it was first bleached and stripped of all the good nutrients normally found in whole wheat flour, just to have them mechanically added back in.  Soybean oil is bad because nearly all of the soybeans and oil in this country are genetically modified, and we still don’t know the full effects of that on the human body.  It it’s not GMO (genetically modified organism), you’ll most likely know, because it will be proudly telling you on the label!

Then you have the stuff that most people would agree now isn’t so great for you: high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, food colorings, and artificial flavors. 

And then last but not least, you have propylene glycol listed under “crust” ingredients. Ummmm, you guys?  Propylene glycol is defined on the web as “used as an antifreeze and in brake fluid.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

If that doesn’t make you wanna eat clean, I just don’t know what will!  lol

Needless to say, I was SO happy to find this recipe.  I have literally not bought breakfast bars in over a year now, and I don’t ever plan to again.  Unless they’re organic and non-GMO.  Even then you still need to consider that each one is usually individually wrapped in plastic, which is so terrible for the environment.  I’m trying to be more conscious of that, as well. 

I originally found this recipe on the blog Oh She Glows, and she herself adapted it from  I have adapted even further here and put my own twist on it.  I encourage you to check out Oh She Glows because she has some killer recipes on her site if you’re trying to eat clean!


Healthy Strawberry Oat Squares

- 1 1/2  C regular oats
- 1 C whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar*
- 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax seed; 3 T water; mix together)**
- 1/2 cup (I stick) butter, melted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
-  2 T milk
-  1 C (approx) strawberry jam or jelly (I used Polaner’s all-fruit)
-  1 T sesame seeds or unsweetened coconut (for topping only)


Preheat oven to 350F. Line a square pan (I used a 8x8 because it’s what I had) with parchment paper and oil (or spray) the sides of the pan and base.

Melt butter now if not already done so that it can cool slightly and won’t curdle the milk.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.

In a small bowl, combine the flax egg, melted butter, maple syrup, and milk.  Stir well.

Combine wet and dry mixtures, reserving 1/2 C of mixture for the topping later.  Mix well, using hands if necessary.

Pour the oat mixture (less 1/2 C) onto the square pan and press down with fingers. Use a pastry roller to smooth out if desired.

Pour on strawberry jam and smooth out. Now sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 C oat mixture and sprinkle on (you’re basically dotting the surface with chunks of the mixture).

march 2011 029                 march 2011 032 

Sprinkle on the sesame seeds or coconut, if using.  (Chris hates coconut, which is why only half has it on.)march 2011 035

Bake at 350F for approximately 30 minutes. Allow to fully cool for at least 30-40 minutes before gently removing from pan. Slice and then store in a container in the fridge to keep firm.

Enjoy! I have made this twice now, and love it more each time. :)

For more about clean eating and clean recipe ideas, click here.



* I never see a reason to pack brown sugar anymore, especially when I’m adding other sugary ingredients to the mix.  Loose is fine!
** Using one regular egg is totally fine – I just like to bake with flax eggs when I can, because it’s an easy way to add fiber and omega-3s, plus I don’t have to worry about icky salmonella. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


That’s right, it’s finally happening – we finally heard a “yes!”  After seven long months, hundreds of house searches online, dozens of drive-bys, fourteen showings, and four contracts that never came to an agreement, we are getting a house! 

The best thing about all of this is that we are both 100% absolutely positive, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the house that God wants for us.  We tried so hard, over and over again, to find somewhere to live, only to have it fall through time after time.  I can’t tell you how many times we would compile a list of houses that we’d driven by and liked, only to find out from our realtor that they were all under deposit already.  We’ve been through basically every house-buying situation possible now: estate sale, short sale, foreclosure, 3 bidding wars, you name it.  We keep joking with our realtor that we don’t need him anymore to sign the papers because we have them all memorized. 

So all the credit goes to GOD for making this happen for us.  I am so thankful. 

I keep joking with people (and I said this already on FB, sorry) that this is our “saltine cracker” house.  What I mean by that is, my personal dream house would be a craftsman-style or bungalow home.  Lots of gorgeous built-ins, a big fireplace, tons of hardwood everywhere  – lots of character.  This house is about as complete opposite as you can get from that!  Just a plain ol’ ranch, no hardwoods, no built-ins, no fireplace.  (The listing said wood floors but it’s a mistake – they’re laminate.  Nice laminate, but still.) 

But you know what?  Instead of being bummed about the details I wanted but can’t have, I am choosing to rejoice in the fact that God provided this house for us, in His time and His way.  In fact, it’s not even really a choice – I’m thrilled!  Maybe God knew it would take seven months and four failed contracts to get me to give the up the hardwoods and fireplace that the other houses had!  ha! I’m choosing to see my saltine cracker as a blank canvas that can only improve with creativity and design.  And as Lindsay pointed out, saltines can kinda go with anything. ;)

Anyway, it feels SO good to feel that we’re right where God wants us.  And really, this house’s “pros” list really does outweigh the “cons” by a long shot. 

So without further ado, here’s the pictures of our soon-to-be house!  (All photos are from the ctmls website.  I do not own any of the pictures.) Captions are basically taken right from my FB page, with just a little tweaking  – so if we’re friends in real life this is gonna be boring but I don’t feel like thinking up new ones!  lol

Here is the front of our little house:


The backyard is one of our favorite features of the house! Looks out onto what was previously a farm. Very relaxing and peaceful view.  There's a rock wall on the back, which Chris loves. Really hoping the owners leave the swing-set for Luke!!12

I even have a white picket fence! I mean really. haha


This was previously a garage; now it’s a family room. If it wasn't for this extra space, I don't think we would have wanted to buy the house (it would have felt too crowded). But I love how big and open it is – a perfect playroom. It is just off the kitchen/living room.   We also hope to teach lots of music lessons in this room!


Living room. Thankful for a coat closet - I've never had a coat closet before! lol



Middle bedroom (will be guest room/office):


3rd bedroom, which will be Luke’s room.  (If you think this is bad, you should see the right-hand wall! It is totally wallpapered with the moon and the stars and the earth.)  But anyone who saw my house in PA and what we had to do to it before we moved in knows this is nothing to me and my husband! ha!


Master (another window and closet you can't see):

We have big plans for this kitchen! So thankful God gave me white cabinets - my favorite!   02

Sliding doors lead out to the backyard. Kitchen table will be moved out to the dining room (which is currently an office, but was 03previously a dining room so we're converting it back. Make sense? lol) You can just barely see the soon-to-be dining room door in the left corner of the picture.



The room below is the room that will be converted back to a dining room space.  I’m not a big fan of eat-in kitchens, unless they’re huge, which ours isn’t:


That’s pretty much the grand tour, folks!  All that’s missing is the bathroom and laundry room.  When we have inspections on Saturday I’m going to try to take a video so you can get a feel for the layout.  And really, who doesn’t like peering into other people’s houses?  Why do you think HGTV is so popular?!  lol

See you then!  I’M GETTING A HOUSE!! PINCH ME!  :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Consider this a P.S. To My Last Post

I wrote my last post on Sunday, which pretty much detailed exactly how I’m feeling about the waiting stage of my life.  On Monday night I couldn’t sleep (common occurrence lately), and when that happens I really try to redeem the time by praying.  (And yes, it always puts me to sleep.  haha!)

{I want to preface this by saying that in our couple’s Bible study we’ve been reading – and just completed last week – Forgotten God by Francis Chan.  It is all about the Holy Spirit and how He works in, through, and for us.  It’s incredible and I can’t recommend it enough.}

Anyway, so I’m laying there stressing out, in the dark, and I’m trying to pray.  All of a sudden I heard a Voice in my head – which I previously wouldn’t have thought was the Holy Spirit, but now I totally do – say, crystal clear, “You’ve been making houses your delight and not Me.  Find your joy in Me.” 

And you know what?  He is right (duh).  I have been basing every ounce of my happiness and joy and contentment on if I get a house.  When I think we’re close to getting one, I’m soaring on the clouds.  When we inevitably don’t get it, I come crashing down….hard.  That is SO not the life God wants for me.  HE is my joy, HE is my delight, HE is the Constant in my life that never ever ever changes.  Everything else can fade away and HE will remain. 

I can’t tell you how much that has revolutionized the way I think…about our housing and about everything. I am still a human, and still a very emotional one at that, and do I still want to stop living with my parents rightthisverysecond? YES. 

As I’m typing this, we have an offer waiting on a new house – a fifth house.  This house has been on the market since September 10th.  It had a price reduction in October but hasn’t changed since then.  It has been sitting all winter.  It’s not our ideal house but it would totally work for us and we felt like we should consider it.  We saw it on Wednesday and put an offer in on Thursday.  We were supposed to hear by Saturday.  Okay, no worries, deep breath, I can do this…..Jesus is my joy, Jesus is my joy……

And then I get an e-mail from our realtor today, forwarding the sellers’ realtor’s e-mail: “Another offer is coming in this morning.  Have your buyers prepared with their highest and best offer.” 

Fifth house.  Third bidding war.  This isn’t supposed to happen – this is supposed to be a family that’s had a house sitting all winter and now has us and only us to negotiate with.  Not two buyers who are going to blindly put in their best offers and hope to get a house from them.  I just want to scream that it’s not fair and how many times can we do this God and please oh please let them pick US this time, for once!!!  If it’s anything like the last two bidding wars, we will wait all weekend and still might not know anything until next week.  Days and days of apprehension that still might lead to a sad answer.

So clearly, my life is SO not perfect.  I may feel nauseated this afternoon and that’s a human emotion/feeling that I really have no control over.  

But I keep telling myself that God is my delight, not a house.  And it really is helping.  Because it’s TRUE.

“Delight yourself in the LORD….” {Psalm 37:4}


P.P.S. I promise next week I really will be a fun blogger again.  Like with recipes and thrifting finds.  It’s coming, it really is.  Be excited. ;)

P.P.P.S. Thanks for all the e-mails and FB messages this week, filled with encouragement.  You guys are awesome!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What I Really Want to Say….

Over the past seven months, I have had dozens and dozens of friends, family members, and acquaintances ask how the house search is going.  98% of them are genuinely asking out of love for me and Chris (the other 2% are just plain nosy, I think!).  Depending on how well I know them, I thank them for asking (because I really do appreciate people who care about my life), and tell them something short and not-scary sounding, like, “It’s pretty rough and we’ve had a lot of rejection, but we’re trying to stay optimistic!” 

Well, consider this post my true answer to that question, I guess…the answer I’d never give someone in real life because I don’t want to burden them with hearing all of this. 

Since I wrote that last post in early March on waiting for our house, we have since looked at, put an offer in, waited a week for, and ultimately got out-bid on yet. another. house.  This makes four houses total that we have “lost.”  We found out last Thursday morning.

So, here we go again.

On Monday and Tuesday, we drove around a nearby city looking at potential houses.  Some of these houses were downright frightening and not ever a place I would feel comfortable at home alone at night.  We found one that was really cute, only to find out that it was a short sale (no way are we ever doing that again.)  On Friday night, we made a list of some more potential houses in our price range in two (more suburban) towns, and spent about an hour and a half yesterday driving around to check out their locations and neighborhoods.  We saw five that weren’t really creepy (sad how that’s our new criteria!) and were so excited.   We came home and e-mailed our realtor late last night to ask him if he could show us the homes, only to find out this morning that all but one are already under deposit or are short sales. I can’t tell you how much I’m starting to hate the word “no.”

We were on such a “high” yesterday and so optimistic, only to come crashing down fast and hard.  (The one house that’s still available is our least favorite of the five, although we’re still going to look at it, obviously.)  We spent several hours this afternoon on the computer looking at houses in a town much further away than we wanted (about 30 minutes from Chris’s job and about 40 minutes from our church).  We’d been holding out on this town because of how much gas is getting to be and how inconvenient it would be to live there, but I don’t think we have that luxury anymore.  We compiled a list of all that were remotely affordable for us (at this point, it’s not even about whether we like the house very much). 

Some of the emotions I’m currently feeling are: disappointment, anger with God, frustration, sadness, discontentment, feeling forgotten, feeling like God is leading us on, and disillusionment.  Sometimes I can’t believe we left our big (to us) house and yard, our family, and friends in PA to move here….to what feels like a total dead end at times.  We LOVE our new church and friends there, and we are so happy to live in New England and have family around.  But if we don’t have a house, what’s the point?  We didn’t come all this way and basically change every aspect of our lives only to be stuck with my parents, you know?  I keep asking myself, “Why in the world would God have us come here, and make the signs so clear, only to have us stay trapped in my old bedroom for seven months and counting, with no plausible options out??”

It is a constant battle in my mind to choose to be happy and friendly and cheerful, when all I want to do is scream, cry, and throw things out windows.  Sometimes I just seriously don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning.  I never realized how much being a homemaker is really my identity.  I mean, it’s my job AND my home-life, so to have that part of me taken away has really left a big whole with nothing to fill it. 

This is putting a big stress on my marriage – each week that passes an we're still here, it gets harder and harder for both of us not to snap at each other because we’re so stressed out with worry and apprehension.  We’re the only ones that truly get what the other is going through, and the only ones who can be completely honest with each other, so we end up taking stuff out on each other.  Crazy, but I think that happens a lot in marriages.  Chris and I are truly best friends – long before we ever started dating – and we’ve had to say “I’m sorry” more in the last few months than we ever have in all the years that we’ve known each other.  We’re not in any danger of separation or anything like that at all – I want that to be extremely clear.  We’re still totally in love and we’re not fighting every day or anything.  I wouldn’t even really say we fight – more that we are just getting crabbier than we’ve ever been to each other.  Usually we get along really, really well, so this has been out of character for us.  It’s just so hard to have your marriage be an open book, living in front of 3 other adults all the time, with very little privacy afforded.  Add to that aspect that we feel like we’re parenting Luke under a microscope, and you get some idea of the fishbowl it feels like we’re living in. 

There are also days where I where I just feel like I can’t breathe because I feel so claustrophobic in my own space.  Our bedroom is decently sized for a teenage girl (it was my bedroom growing up), but it now has to hold both Chris’s and my belongings, plus Luke’s, plus all of my sister’s stuff that she didn’t bring to college.  I try so hard to keep everything neat and orderly but there’s just not enough space for everything to stay put all the time. 

To top it all off, I’ve been eating sweets like it’s my day job because I get so stressed out and then realize what I have done after I’ve eaten too much.  I’ve probably gained at least 3 or 4 pounds in the last month…I’m not sure exactly because I’m too afraid to get on the scale. 

I think the scariest part of all is that there’s no visible end in sight.  Every single time we go through the house-search process, and then put an offer in, I fall in love with the place and move myself in and get so excited to have a home again.  I try so hard not to do that, but I can’t help myself – it’s like a coping mechanism, I think.  Then when it inevitably crashes in front of us, it’s that much harder to pick myself back up again.  I just can’t believe this keeps happening to us.  All I know is that if one more person says “It’s a buyer’s market!,” I’m gonna scream. 

We have looked at a number of rentals that look promising, only to find out they’re already taken (Chris heard on the radio that rental availability is at an all-time low due to the high number of foreclosures and the low number of people that can afford down payments right now).  If they’re not rented within a day or two, we end up researching online and realizing that they’re right near sex offenders. 

So yes, I think this pretty much sums up what I really feel like saying to people (and I know a lot of you reading this in real life, and I really DO appreciate you asking – I mean that from the bottom of my heart).  I have no idea how I’d be getting through this hard part of life without people who love me and care about what’s going on.  So if you’ve cared enough to ask how I’m doing, thank you – it means the world to me. 

I’m not allowing comments on this post, and I’m sure I’ll lose a few followers because I sound like a crazy lunatic atheist.  I think this is the most honest and real I’ve ever been here, and I just re-read this post and even scared myself a little - I’m a also a little scared to hit “publish,” although I’m gonna do it anyway.  It felt so good to write out everything I was truly feeling.  I am all about having an overall upbeat blog, but I also think the blogging world could use a little bit less of people-who-have-it-all-together and a little more honesty at times. 

If you’ve made it to the end of this post and you would pray for us, my husband and I would so appreciate that.  You have no idea how I wish I was writing posts about my new house instead of posts like this!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

CVS & Target Deals to Try This Week {3-6-11}

Before I start, I wanted to say thanks for all of the encouragement that was offered in my last post.  We are still playing the waiting game, but that definitely doesn’t mean I haven’t been thrifting and hitting up the drugstores!  I mean, shopping the drugstores for deals is one of my life’s greatest joys.  haha!  {You think I’m kidding…}

Anyway, yesterday was fun for me because I took my sister along to see the deals I did.  I promised her that I would teach her everything I know about coupons this summer after she graduates from college since she’s getting married in September and will need to know all about this stuff.  She was very impressed – I have to admit, part of me felt like a total dork and part of me was having a blast showing her how to shop frugally.  :)

Anyway, blah blah blah….on to the deals! :)

Here’s what I purchased yesterday at CVS:

late feb 2011 047

- 2 bottles of Wisk (2 for $10 – my target price for laundry detergent is $2 or less, which is what this worked out to after coupons)
- Head and Shoulders for Chris ($1.47 on clearance)
- gummy worms for Chris ($1.50)
- travel baby wipes ($1.99 – these are not at all a good deal but I’ve been buying my wipes from Amazon lately and they only come in refill packages – it’s nice to have a travel pack for the diaper bag)

Here’s the coupons I used:

- 2 $2/1 Wisk coupons from the Sunday paper (3-6-11)
- $1/1 Head and Shoulders coupon (from the P&G coupon insert, I believe?)
- $1/1 CVS-brand baby wipes (printed from the red coupon scanner at CVS)
- $2/1 candy or beverage item (simply “Like” CVS on Facebook and you will see on the sidebar a link for the free item.  They send it to your e-mail to print out.  The great thing about this coupon is that it automatically takes $2 off your order, so I got 50 cents free! And since I had a $1 off coupon for my shampoo, I basically was able to get a free bag of gummy worms and a free bottle of shampoo!)

I also used $6.98 in ECB from last week’s purchase of Crest toothpaste. 

I paid 40 cents out of pocket and was given $2 ECB back from buying the Wisk!  Whoo hoo!


I also shopped at Target yesterday and found some good deals, but my favorite was this:

late feb 2011 055 

Target-brand ibuprofen (might also be acetaminophen as well but I didn’t check) is on sale this week for $1.07.  If you go the coupon tab on the bottom of Target’s website, there is a coupon for $1 off any Target-brand pain relief.  It let me print out a limit of 2.  So 2 bottles for 14 cents!  Loving it! 

I also got some things at Rite Aid,  but I forgot to take a picture and I’m feeling way too lazy to get my camera out and download more pictures.  But hopefully these tips will help some of you!

Happy shopping! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011


i always think it’s silly when people apologize for not writing on a blog, because it’s their personal space and they should feel free to write or not write as much as they want.  so consider this more of an explanation than an apology, i guess? 

since august, we have been inside 13 houses (i’m not superstitious, thankfully), put in offers on 3, driven past countless others, toured one way-too-small rental, and…….nothing. 

nothinggggggggggggggggggg has happened.  not one of those options has panned out for us. 

we have lived here for 6 months and 3 weeks.  the 15th will make it 7 months.  i am so, so sick of living in my parents house.  i can’t tell you how desperately i want to be in my own place again.  i feel like i am bursting at the seams sometimes, wishing we could go back to a family of 3  - not 6 (7 when my sister is home on college breaks). 

please don’t misunderstand me, i’m not being ungrateful.  i am so thankful to have a place to stay that is safe and warm, with people that love me.   i keep reminding myself that people in many other countries would be thrilled with the situation i have.  i keep thinking about the israelites in the wilderness for 40 years…..or abraham being 100 before he had isaac, or joseph being unjustly kept in prison for years. 

next to those, my wish sounds so petty.  i get that.

but it flies up in my face with a million little things each day. 

i miss my mattress.
i miss my fluffy white down comforter.
i miss my furniture, my art, and my baskets.
i miss using my white plates.
i miss draining pasta in my pink colander.
i miss my coffee mugs.
i miss having a baby-proofed house.
i miss my deep-freezer being filled with food i’ve stocked up on or cooked ahead.
i miss my books.
i miss seeing photos of the three of us all around the house.
i miss not being able to decorate and re-arrange furniture.
i miss my candles.
i miss being in charge of my kitchen and being able to leave a mess there if i feel like it. 
i miss having the freedom to yell, kiss, or talk to my husband about whatever i want, wherever i want,
i miss listening to our favorite cds while i’m cooking dinner and he’s playing with luke. 

it’s so many small moments every day that all add up and sometimes overwhelm me.  lately i’ve just felt like i had nothing meaningful to say here because in so many ways i can’t help feeling like my life is on hold.

waiting is so, so, so hard.