One of the things that made me fall head over heels in love with my husband was this lacksadaisical happiness he has to him. He always has a smile on his face, he is very slow to anger, he is a total goofball, usually is oblivious to when I or anyone else is upset with him- he just loves life and looks at the glass as half full. When first getting to know his family, they told me he was their "sunshine". They told me that from the time he was a baby, he has always brought joy to people through his gentle spirit. He is truly my sweet heart.
Every day I look at my son and I see my husband in him. He is just as happy as a clam the majority of the time. All you have to do is bat your eyelashes at him and he busts out the sweetest little grin especially for you. It is as though he knows it will make you smile if he smiles at you. He has a gentle and loving spirit.
Tommy and Preson connect effortlessly. It is a beautiful thing to have a man who's favorite thing in the world is to interact and play with his baby. He is constantly grabbing him away from me to squeeze on him.
I now have my very own- not one, but TWO sunshines in my life. Preson is my little Tommy.


Keep Calm and Carry On

Things are coming along very quickly with our new house. In the last 2 weeks we have cleaned every inch of it, knocked down walls, pulled down ceilings, pulled up floors, had a new roof put on, new a/c installed, electric is in the works and we have discovered some very cool features. We have had moments of giddiness of what we hope it will be, and moments of overwhelming discouragement when we run into more work than we anticipated being needed- which we actually anticipated happening.
This last Saturday, we had a team of people from our church community donate their day to us and this house. I mean to tell you they got down and dirty! It was such a blessing that it actually brings tears to my eyes to have such wonderful people in our lives to come alongside us to see this thing get done! We got about a week's worth of work done in a day! I dont take a single one of em for granted.

My mother in law came down about every day last week to help me with cleaning and it has been so awesome to just have her motivating me to keep on keeping on! She has been on board with this crazy idea of ours since we first told her about it and she has backed it with some elbow grease to prove it. My hubby and I decided that encouragement is definitely one of her gifts.
I am in the process of designing the kitchen. I am doing the entire kitchen from Ikea and let me tell ya, they provide you with all the tools for a DIY kitchen including trained people to assist in making sure you get it right. One thing I have run into is that the kitchen is much smaller when you put cabinets in than meets the eye- which I also anticipated. I am loving the design we came up with and am so excited to bring it into existence. In the meantime, I was able to get a couple of things for the bathroom. A rain-can shower head and this is the new vanity we got for our bathroom!
We have had a few setbacks. A couple of the ceilings we started to open up just enough to repair the visible damage from the leaky roof (shown below), has turned into a beast of a project (you have no idea). We had to completely remove the ceilings in both the kitchen and the bedroom. Upon opening the ceilings up we discovered that there are termites and mold in some parts. I was pouring my heart out to one of our elders at church the other day about the mold issue and he explained that he specializes in mold and is helping us now with getting it out of there! Wow! God is good! Its amazing to watch him take care of us.

Another shocker was that the electricians have pretty much demo-ed all the walls to get the wiring in the walls and to remove the old knob and tube wiring. We did not realize how messy it would end up looking when they were finished. Surprise!
In spite of all the stress, I am realizing that God has a funny way of giving us time-outs. I am officially at a stand still with hard labor on the house until the drywall work is done- which should be after Christmas. In the meantime, I have welcomed the break to do some design work, catch up on some christmas baking and christmas cards, and *HELLO!*- start packing up this house(!)
I love this poster and I have posted it up in my house as a constant reminder. Though not necessarily its intention, I am reminded through it that God is on the throne. He is sovereign and he knew every detail of my existence before there was time. It will all be ok. It will all pan out. I will not worry and fret, because I know my God will take care of me- even if I cant see how and it isn't how I envision him to.
God, thank you for this amazing opportunity and I give it to you every morning.
Each day his blessings are new.


Homeward Bound

Well, here she is. Our new home sweet home.
We are so excited to purchase our first fixer upper! We just recently closed on this house in Seminole Heights. When making the decision about this house, we walked away saying "no way is that house something we are ready to commit to"-It is not so bad on the outside, but the inside is a whole 'nother ball game.
We revisited the idea of it after a whole lot of prayer and lost sleep dreaming of the pottery barn, magazine-worthy home this house had the potential of becoming. It is 2400 sq ft and I am excited to see how God will allow us to use it to further his name. We know we want to have a big family- so perhaps this is confirmation? :) Not only that, but I cant tell you how many times I have wished to extend more than a sofa to a friend in need. I look forward to many bonfires, potluck dinners, parties and house churches.
From the moment we closed I have been over there cleaning it and trying to get it prepped for painting in the day and Tommy goes over at night when he finishes his work for the day. The "artsy" folks that lived there before had a very colorful palette and chose to paint every room a different primary color...The brightest shade of each primary color. In high gloss. The walls. The ceilings. The trim. The moulding. The doors- Everything.
The house has been vacant for about a year and a few of the neighbors told us that the last folks to live there were slumlords- basically about 15 people were renting from her and she just totally let it go- not keeping it up or making repairs when needed.
I never knew filth of this magnitude existed. I have been tempted to pressure wash the walls with trisodium phosphate.
We have about a month to get it in living condition and there are many things that need to happen before we can even think about moving in. New roof, new plumbing, new wiring, central heating and air, wall and ceiling repair, paint, floors, kitchen- everything needs to be done. We will basically be rebuilding the house without it being torn down- all in a month or two!

So hold your breath- here are the "before's" and of course I will be blogging as we renovate the house. Prayers are appreciated- we are going to need it.

This is the living room and dining room

The front porch was windowed in and divided into two rooms- The mud room outfitted with utility hookups and all- and a tiny room at the far end. We hope to open up the porch and restore the historic charm with large columns
This is one of the bedrooms. This is the room I hope to make into Preson's nursery/little boy room.
A bathroom right off of Preson's room. The tub is historic and cast iron (takes about 8 dudes to remove it) We will have to gut this room, replace the subfloor, knock down the wall (right) to extend this bathroom to make it bigger. The room we will be extending it into, used to be a second kitchen. This bathroom will eventually be the primary bathroom.
This is the 2nd kitchen- massive hole in the ceiling. This will be the other half of the bathroom reno I mentioned above. We will probably not even be able to start on this part of the house until after we move in.

This is the main kitchen...functional in no way whatsoever. There is about an 8 foot radius hole in the ceiling. The cabinets (rotted) are already gone and we hope to eventually open this wall up to the dining room (first pic- green) Can I say IKEA? Yes, please.

One of the bedrooms upstairs. We found some pretty decent wood under the nasty carpet. We hope to restore the floors and put a glaze over the top of it. Nice mini fan- and yes, this room is black.
The other upstairs bedroom. We crawled in the crawl space to find about 6 more feet of bedroom past the walls. So we hope to open the walls and expand the room. This is another part of the house we will not be getting to right away.
The stair way leading to the two rooms above. The ceiling of this landing was very low with several holes in it. Tommy pulled open one of the holes to reveal beautiful wood rafters and beams. So the ceiling is no more. We just pulled the whole thing out to expose the beams.
Tomorrow we get a new roof :)