Thursday, December 30, 2010


I hope you had a wonderful, Merry Christmas! We had a nice relaxing one and much of that was due to our decision to drastically simplify the holiday season this year.

When we found out we were expecting, we did the math and realized that I would be 37 weeks at Christmas. The fact that I would be full term at Christmas, in combination with Scott being a music minister, Christmas falling on a Saturday, and my family being over 3 hours away meant that we wouldn't be traveling in December this year. This was our 4th Christmas together and every Christmas morning we would get up early, exchange gifts, go to Scott's parents house and open gifts, then head to Birmingham to be with my family by Christmas night. Whew. Don't get me wrong, we love spending time with our families, but when you can't travel it makes things easier. Our schedule was lighter this season. We had nights at home in the weeks leading up to Christmas where we would keep asking each other, "Are you sure that we don't have anything on the schedule tonight?" We had the usual church  obligations that come with being in the ministry but other than that, Scott and I had lots of time to rest and relax...something I'm so thankful for since this was our last Christmas "alone." 

We (I) simplified even further by making the decision not to decorate the house this year. I know. It sounds so horribly Scrooge-ish, doesn't it? The truth is, I was way too tired to decorate floor-to-ceiling like I usually do. I was still working both jobs as of 2 weeks ago and between that and getting ready for baby, I decided that it wasn't necessary. 

So 90% of our decorations stayed in storage. I asked to skip the tree this year but Scott wanted one, so our compromise was a 3 foot pre-lit tree from Wal-Mart. It cost $18, much cheaper than the fresh tree we usually get. We dug out one box of small ornaments from the shed, found the nativity, and got out the box of wrapping paper and gift bags. That's it. And y'all, it was really, really nice. No pressure to keep the tree watered. No china to unwrap and wash and put away. Nothing but a nativity set and a little tree. The only part of it that I missed was my Christmas china, given to me by my sweet grandmother. (She adds to my set every year and each birthday and Christmas I unwrap a new piece or two of Spode Christmas Tree--so fun)

The third way we simplified was in our spending. We, like most people, are on a tight budget, so we did things a little differently this year. Scott and I decided to only do stockings for each other...which neither one of us exactly followed--we both had two small things to open for each other. We also cut down on our spending for others. We reduced the "amount per person" on the list and it was so rewarding. I do the Christmas shopping and having such a tight budget caused me to be very intentional in my buying--which put such a refreshing spin on my holiday spending. Each gift was thought out and carefully planned...I hope I always buy gifts with that perspective every year. 

So we had Christmas. Not many decorations, not a lot of spending, and no traveling. But Christmas still comes no matter how much money you spend or how many people you visit in December or how tall your tree is. This Christmas was such a nice reminder of the true meaning of Christmas--a tiny baby, the dawn of redeeming grace. Thank you Jesus for simplifying our Christmas for us. 

My parents came to see us Christmas day. This is what my house looked like about 12 hours before they arrived....

The entry into the kitchen. Notice the crispy leaves drug in through the doggie door. Lovely. 

My kitchen counter and sink. A combination of baby gifts, dirty dishes, and groceries. 

This is the worst--the dining room. I wrapped all the gifts here and when you mix Christmas wrapping with baby gifts and thank you notes, apparently you get this insanity. 

Don't worry--I cleaned before the family arrived. And we had such a fun time with them. It was so, so good to see them and they even stayed an extra night because of snow and ice back home. How fun! They brought goodies from my grandma, they cooked, they cleaned, they washed my dishes and loaded the dishwasher. I almost didn't let them go home. I only let them leave because they'll be back as soon as baby girl decides it's time for her arrival. 

And finally, this little gem captured on Scott's cell phone in front of his parents Christmas tree.

Happy New Year! I hope this year is full of joy and blessings for you and your family.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Pregnancy Confessions: Practice

Last Friday night I left job number two and headed to the church for the staff and deacon Christmas banquet. I had a horrible attitude about going--I was exhausted, work had been crazy, and I didn't feel well. Scott and I were seated with two couples that we didn't know very well and one couple from our Sunday School table so we were sitting, eating, and talking when all of a sudden I felt the weirdest pain I have ever felt. I sat completely upright in my chair and whispered to Scott, "I think I'm going to slip out in a few minutes and go home. I really don't feel well."  He didn't seem too concerned--I don't blame him--I haven't felt great in about, oh, 9 months. 

I told our friends goodnight and practically ran out the door. I got home and started pacing the house trying to decide what kind of pain I was feeling and what I should do about it. I called the after hours nurse from my Dr.'s office and described my symptoms. She suggested that I run to the hospital and get "checked out" to make sure everything was okay. Immediately my phone rang and my friend from our dinner table told me she was on the way to my house, that she was going to take me to the hospital, and that there was basically no arguing with her about it.

(If you're wondering where Scott was during all this, he's the Music Minister, so he was still at the church leading the music for the banquet. He was trying to leave as quickly as possible, but sometimes in the ministry there's no such thing as a "quick exit.")

Anyway, I went to the hospital. I checked in, they took me to a room, I changed and was hooked up to the monitors. My sweet friend was there the whole time and stayed until Scott got there just as the nurse was walking in (Thanks M!).  The nurse looked at the monitors, looked at the printed strip that the monitor was spitting out, and told me I was having contractions and they were two minutes apart. TWO. MINUTES. APART.  Scott's eyes got big and I almost came out of the bed....I mean, doesn't that mean you are about to have the baby? I could think was, "It's too early...I need to wait 3 more weeks...The carseat isn't even installed." 

I wasn't dialating, thank goodness, so two shots and two hours later the contractions had stopped and I was about to be sent home when the nurse walked in and told me to lay on my left side. I did, but she didn't say much and walked out of the room. That's when I got worried. What if something was wrong? Why didn't she tell me anything? Where did she go? A few minutes later she called me in the room and told me that I had to eat something. She brought peanut butter, graham crackers, and grape juice and I dutifully ate as much as I could. She came back in, stared at the monitors, walked out and came back with an IV and a bag of fluid and told me that I would be staying the night.

Bascially, when you have contractions baby's heart rate naturally drops a little.  My contractions had stopped but baby girl's heart rate hadn't come back up enough to assure my doctor and nurse that I was "back to normal." The nurse told me that it was likely because she was moving too much to get a good reading (she was, I could feel her) or laying on her cord and that the fluid should help get a consistent reading on the monitor.

In short, within 30 minutes of getting the IV everything was fine. I was so thankful. After an extremely long and restless night, I was discharged the next morning. My doctor had been on call the whole night and had monitored my progress, my nurses were wonderful, and I was sent home feeling MUCH better about baby girl's health. We have so much to be thankful for--a healthy pregnancy, a wonderful hospital, and a doctor who cares enough to err on the side of caution. What blessings! 

So, we had our "practice run". We experienced what it would be like to be admitted and spend the night in the hospital...and we learned that we need to get ready for baby maybe a little sooner than expected. 

Tonight I'm putting baby clothes in drawers and packing a bag for baby. This weekend we will vacuum out the car and install the car seat. I'm delaying packing a bag for myself because most of the stuff that I need to pack I will need before we go to the hospital. I mean, I'm 9 months pregnant...I'm down to like, 3 pair of pants that fit! So maybe I'll just write a list of things I need to pack? I don't know. 

Either way, baby girl will be here before we know it! SO exciting! 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Turkey-less Thanksgiving

Early last Monday morning, Scott and I headed south to Florida to spend Thanksgiving with his Disney World! The in-laws graciously took us and Scott's sister, husband, and toddler to the happiest place on earth for the week and we had so much fun.

We visited every park and rode practically everything that you can at 8 months pregnant and Scott, with no word of complaint, pushed me around in a wheelchair so that I wouldn't have to walk too much. He's so good to me.

On Wednesday night our little 2 year old nephew was sick with a stomach bug. Then Scott's sister and her husband got it Thursday night. Then Friday afternoon, Scott's mom left Epcot because she wasn't feeling great. I suggested that since we were staying in the same room as Scott's parents, maybe we should head out earlier than planned if Scott's mom ended up sick. An hour later, we got a text message from his mom--she had it too. We decided to avoid the hotel room at all costs and we headed to Disney's ESPN Club to watch the Iron Bowl. About half-way through the 3rd quarter Scott and I realized that the sick feeling we were both feeling was completely unrelated to Bama's decision to give the game away. So we made the judgement call to drive back that night. We were back at the hotel about 7:15 and were on the road by 7:45. Scott was almost sick several times on the drive back but we made it home about 1:00 am.  Neither one of us was feeling well when we got home so we went to bed with a double-lined trashcan, two glasses of water, and a can of Sprite on stand-by. I even had Lysol and Lysol wipes ready in the bathroom in case we needed a middle of the night clean-up. 

I woke up about 6 am to use the bathroom. Neither one of us had gotten sick so far. Then I woke up again at 9:30, drifted back to sleep and slept til.......11:15. I am 8 months pregnant and I managed to sleep in til 11:15! I was shocked when I looked at my alarm clock this morning. It seems that both of us not only escaped the bug but I got more sleep than I have in a very long time--what a blessing! 

We're still being cautious. I sprayed the suitcase down with Lysol before touching it. All of our clothes from the trip are being washed in hot water. Toothbrushes have been sanitized. And after a quick trip to the grocery store, I'm back in pajamas and lying on the couch. 

So after a wonderful, fun trip with some wonderful family members, we're home and we're well. And I am thankful for that, even if I didn't get any turkey this year. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

31 Weeks

It's been a long time since the last blog update, but I have an excuse...

I'm tired.

My work schedule is exactly the same as it was last school year, but seems exponentially more difficult. I go to a preschool in the mornings, work from 8-12, come home for lunch, then head to my afternoon job where I work from 2:45 to 5:45 running an after-school program.  Pre-pregnancy I was running 4 miles on my lunch break, showering, and eating and was on my way out the door by 2:20. It was no problem to run errands after work or to have the energy to cook dinner when I got home....but pre-pregnancy and 8 months pregnant are two very different things. 

Now, if I want to run errands, grocery shop, or clean the house, it has to happen between jobs. I'm too tired and my feet are so swollen that additional standing is out of the question. Most days I try to get dinner ready mid-day and almost every week requires planning so that I can get everything done. For instance, yesterday after eating lunch I exchanged things at Target and went to Hobby Lobby before the afternoon job. Today, I stayed home and cleaned, put up baby gifts, and caught up on thank you notes because I knew that this evening we were going straight to childbirth class. 

So that's my excuse for the lack of the time I reach the end of the day, I am so worn out that I just haven't made it a priority to sit and blog. But since my grandma asked when in the world I was finally going to blog, I thought I would make sure it got done tonight. (Sorry Grandma!)

Lots of pregnancy fun has been had around here...we had a wonderful shower at the church a few weeks ago. The church blew Scott and I away with the love and generosity that they showed us--we are so blessed to serve at our church! The nursery is in a state of limbo...the crib is assembled but the mattress is propped against it still in the wrapping. Clothes have been organized in piles but the dresser still needs to be painted and moved upstairs (hopefully this will happen this week!) We traveled home to Birmingham this past weekend where my sister and mother hosted a lovely little shower with family and friends. It was so nice to see my grandparents and spend the weekend with friends that I rarely get to see. We came home loaded down with goodies and an antique dresser (my grandmothers from when she was little) for the nursery.

And here I am at 30 weeks. I haven't taken many photos of myself pregnant because, to be completely honest, I don't really love the way I look. I hope that doesn't sound terrible--I am very aware of the fact that pregnancy is a gift and a blessing--but I'm 5 feet tall. I don't carry as gracefully as some of my taller friends, but that's okay. I know this too shall pass and soon we'll be holding our little girl instead of watching her roll around in my belly every night. 

I still haven't written about our Thanksgiving plans and my ideas for some unconventional Christmas decorating, but that can wait. I'm going to prop up my swollen feet and try to sleep!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pregnancy Confessions, Part 1

Today officially marks the beginning of the sixth month....with four (give or take) more to go. I didn't know that technically pregnancy lasted 10 months until I was in my twenties. I mean, 9 months doesn't sound that bad. But 10 months? THATS ALMOST AN ENTIRE YEAR. That changes everything. I realize I'm being dramatic, but I never truly understood how long pregnancy is until I began experiencing it. (duh).  

19 marks 22 weeks. 

But it's okay...I'm thankful. I haven't forgotten the days and weeks and months of not being pregnant and wondering if I was ever going to be able to sustain a healthy pregnancy. I guess I'm just going through what I'm hoping is a normal realization that every first-time mother experiences: things are a changin'.  Big time. 

Simple things are more shaving my legs. Sleeping comfortably. Bending. Looking at my toes. Finding clothes each morning that fit AND match. But really, I'm learning that in every small thing that is more difficult and different there is still so much room to be thankful. 

So because I don't feel like cooking tonight, I'm going to go eat a bowl of cereal for dinner. And then sweep and mop my kitchen. Or iron some clothes. But definitely not both. :) 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Walking Together Ministries

Our former pastor, Wyman, is a wonderful pastor, preacher, and writer. I linked to his blog today  because: 1. His blog is fantastic and 2. I think that his words best reflect my personal response regarding the Koran burning controversy. I believe that his is an incredibly well-written, Biblical, and intelligent response to this sad event. Check it out! 

Well said Wyman! 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's A.....


We are so excited. (please forgive these photos...they are pictures of pictures. We don't own a scanner) During our ultrasound, little one was being quite squirmy and after a few minutes we finally got the right angle. The ultrasound tech froze the image and asked us if we had any guesses...neither Scott nor I did since neither one of us knew what we were looking at. She said, "It's a girl!" and I immediately got teary....seeing that little baby and knowing that was our tiny little girl made me so thankful. God is so good. And we CANNOT WAIT to meet her! 

Look at that little face! I love the nose. 

And her feet...she's breech right now, feet down, so we got lots of good shots of her feet and toes. I hope she plans on turning her little self around but the ultrasound tech said she has plenty of time and should turn on her own. 

Face forward shot, legs and arms tucked in. 

I might be a little biased but I think she's beautiful! :) 

One of the many projects on my list of things to do before baby girl arrives was to paint the living room. We had been putting it off since the built-ins on two walls were not going to be fun to paint around...but we buckled down and got it done Saturday with no problems. (And don't worry, I wore a painters mask. I couldn't breathe through the thing, yet alone smell any fumes.)

Above shot is the final product, minus the shelves in the built-ins. 

We used a left-over can of primer left in the garage by the previous owners.

And we used left-over paint from when we moved into the house.

We were able to paint the living room for the cost of some drop-cloths and a painters mask. We had the exact amount of paint and primer needed to complete the project. I was so excited we didn't have to spend more than $20...God is so good to care about even the most trivial things!

What do you think? We went from bright red to neutral on the walls and a slightly darker "milk chocolate" inside the built-in walls. We wanted to "open up" the living room and I think it worked! Even Scott has said several times that he likes the new colors. (And he typically doesn't get too involved with the decorating and color decisions.)

And for the sake of keeping it real....

I thought I would share this. 

I washed a load of old towels and rags last week. I noticed they smelled HORRIBLE even after washing. So I washed  them again. They still smelled bad. I began unloading them into the dryer (hoping a dryer sheet would help the smell) when I noticed a little visitor under the towel. I had washed the poor thing TWICE! He was quite dead but Scott was still gracious to fish him out of the washing machine. I was mortified. I WASHED A LIZARD IN MY WASHING MACHINE. And I didn't even know it...I don't know which is worse. I have no clue how he got there but he did. At least he was clean when he died! A cycle of hot water with some bleach and the washer was good as new, no lingering lizard stank.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Battle of the Stank

"Stanky" was not always a word that was in our vocabulary but thanks to one of my funny little pre-schoolers, it's a word we now throw around quite frequently. Last school year he went through a phase where everything was stanky instead of stinky: "You stanky," "I'm stanky," "It stanks in here," etc. 

A few weeks ago Scott walked into the living room, wrinkled his nose, and said, "It's stanky in here!"  He was right. I had been smelling something for a few days but I hadn't said anything. I though maybe it was my pregnancy hormones causing me to smell a non-existent smell, but I was wrong.  After some searching we discovered the source of the stank: the rug. I was horrified because it didn't take us long to realize that our dogs had been relieving themselves on our rug. I was even more horrified to realize that since we keep the dogs outside when we aren't at home, it had to be happening while we were there!

At first we thought that maybe one of our two dogs might be sick. They both have been house-broken for years and it was very unusual for them to do something like this. So we took them to the vet for their check-ups and made sure we talked to her about our little problem that we had been having. She mentioned several reasons why a house-broken dog will suddenly begin using the bathroom inside...and the basic conclusion was that we need a doggie door.

The vet told us that often, when dogs change environments (which they have in the last year) or are too afraid to use the bathroom outside, they simply go where and when they can. After talking to the vet, it suddenly made a lot of sense. We've moved to a new house with a smaller yard in the last year. We live 10 minutes from an air force base and the sonic booms and planes terrify them. And our neighbors have some not-so-nice dogs next door. So added together, there were many times that they were too afraid to use the bathroom outside. The vet also mentioned that when dogs start using the bathroom in one place, they continue to do so as long as they can still smell their "mark," particularly on "grass like areas" like carpet and rugs. 

So Scott and I discussed what to do. I wanted to get rid of the dogs (or the one that was making the mess...and we think we know which one it is). Scott reminded me that dogs are a commitment and it's not so easy to just "send them to the farm." I didn't want a doggie door for many reasons: I thought they would drag in lots of dirt, I was afraid it wouldn't look good, I was afraid we were going to cut a hole in the door and it still not solve our problem. So I said no to the doggie door. We started blocking the dogs in the kitchen and I went to work on the rug.

I steam cleaned the rug a total of 9 times. I used enzyme cleaner and everything else I could think of, but nothing worked. And I will be honest, I was furious at the dogs. It's amazing how I allowed two animals to bring out my sin nature. And it came flying out...I begged to get rid of the dogs. I cried. I got on my hands and knees and hand scrubbed the rug with carpet cleaner. (which was while I was still having the 1st trimester nausea....ugh.) The stank wasn't going to leave. I was losing the battle, so in a last-ditch effort we rolled the rug up and placed it bottom-side up on the driveway, hoping the sun would get rid of the smell. Two days later, it still smelled so we rolled the rug up, and put it in the shed. And that's where it's been ever since. 

After a few days I finally admitted that maybe a doggie door would be best. The dogs had already ruined a rug...I didn't want them to have the rest of the house too.  Scott graciously didn't mention how he had been right all along and his granddad helped us install a doggie door last weekend. And it's been wonderful. The dogs go out when they need to (and when they aren't scared) and they don't track in much dirt. It's not tacky like I was afraid it would be and it seems that we won't be having any more problems with the stank...and the added bonus is I realized that I don't have to have a rug. I kind of like the open look of the living room now.  

On another note, we had a FREE 3-D ultrasound on Monday because of a promotion at my doctor's office. It was wonderful. It's amazing to see that tiny little life rolling and moving around. It made me so, so thankful. And it's nice to know that there's something in there and I'm not outgrowing my clothes for no reason. We weren't able to see the gender...the little thing was either rolling, showing us it's back, putting it's hand in between it's legs, or crossing it's little legs. While we do want to know if we're having a boy or girl, we were still so excited to see our little baby! We go back the 23rd for my 20 week ultrasound so we should find out then...if he or she isn't being stubborn! 

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Last week, Scott and I got to hear something special. It was a tiny heart beat, beating at a strong 166 beats per minute....

....and it's our baby's heartbeat. 

We've spent much of the last year praying for that moment. Last September I went for my ten week appointment with my first pregnancy. I assumed it would be a routine visit, so Scott didn't go with me. The midwife couldn't find a heartbeat and I was whisked down the hall to the ultrasound room. I will never forget looking at that screen, knowing in my heart that there was no heartbeat. The silence in the room was overwhelming, the nurse staring at her screen for what seemed like an eternity before she said, "Mrs. K, we have a problem...." Before I had time to process what was happening, a nice nurse was holding my hand and leading me out the nurses secret exit so that I wouldn't have to march back through the waiting room sobbing. The next morning I had a D&C and my doctor reassured me that we would "be sending him baby pictures before I knew it." 

We moved two weeks after the surgery. I felt so lost. I stopped praying. I was so angry with God for allowing this to happen, especially letting it happen while we were moving. I felt empty and lonely and confused...and God took me straight to Miss E. 

We lived with Miss E, a wonderful godly lady, for the first two weeks in our new town while we were waiting to close on our new house. One morning over breakfast she and I were talking and I mentioned how I was feeling, how I felt like I didn't know how to handle the hurt I was carrying in my heart. Her response was so simple and so wise, "Get up in the morning and pray. Then go to work." 

She went on to explain that the way she has learned to grieve is to pray for the strength to get through one hour at a time and to take it one day at a time. I had no idea how to grieve...I didn't understand that God already understood my grief. I learned to pray again, and for many days and weeks my prayers were nothing more than, "Help me." And I learned that was okay. 

Months passed and we were pregnant again. And we miscarried again. And again, God took us straight to the exact person we needed. This time it was Dr. H. I woke up one morning and immediately understood what was happening. By early afternoon I was in the doctor's office, crying, in pain, and completely confused. Dr. H walks into the room because she was the one doctor that so happened to have a cancellation at that exact time. She asked if I had a doctor and I told her we were new in town and had only seen one doctor. She immediately "adopted" me as her patient. Did you know that some doctors will not do testing until after a third miscarriage? Not her. Before I left the office that day she had ordered blood testing and put me on a regimen of vitamins and baby aspirin. 

Our hearts were so heavy the next few weeks and months. Nothing abnormal was found in my blood work so we were given a brand-new list of scary words which included, "habitual aborter, genetic testing, in-vitro, secondary infertility..." 

But even through this God was so good. He gave us joy. We found laughter often lies just behind our tears and that hope can grow in our darkest times. And one of the many blessings that we have been given through all of this is that God has taken our time of grief and transformed it into the sweetest time in our marriage. 

And so when we got that positive pregnancy test in May, the first emotion I felt was hope, not fear. I thought I would be fearful and cautious or even sad. I had pictured myself tip-toeing into the bedroom and tapping Scott on the arm and quietly sharing the news with him. But God had already restored to me what the locusts had eaten...He had given me back my hope. I busted out of the bathroom and yelled Scott's name (while he was still dead asleep) at the top of my lungs and said, "I'm pregnant!" over and over. I might have even jumped on the bed once or twice. I laughed with tears streaming down my face while Scott sat there and looked confused and sleepy. 

Hope. How beautiful. 

I have hope because I have a Savior that promises difficulty in this world but freely offers peace and joy. I have hope because I have been blessed with an amazing husband, and even if we never get to hold a child in our arms and call it ours, my life with him is enough. It is full, happy, and joyful. I have hope because I know next time the Lord leads me down the hard road I have learned He goes before me and beside me. I have hope because I can say thank you for the pain, grief, and struggles we have been through.

I have hope because of that tiny, precious heartbeat and I know what a wonderful, wonderful blessing that is. I am so thankful. 

(J, I'm sure you'll read this is...I've been trying to email you for over a week to share our news but my email isn't working and won't let me send any outgoing messages. Thank you for all of  your prayers and encouragement over the last few months.) 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary!

Yesterday I celebrated 3 years of marriage with the most wonderful man.... 

He is a godly man, always leading by example with a servant's heart.

He is joyful and full of laughter.

He is the most compassionate, genuine person that I have ever met.

He teaches me how to slow down, stop worrying, and "chill out." 

He is funny and has filled my life with laughter.

He cares deeply for people and genuinely hurts when others hurt.

He is kind, strong, and a true gentleman. 

He loves the Lord and gently leads me to do the same. 

He makes wise decisions for our home and our finances.  

He always lets me decide where to go to dinner. 

He is patient. 

And I love him more every day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dinner Anyone?

It's 11:00 pm and you're hurrying to get to bed....then you realize you're COMPLETELY out of dog food. You check the container again just to make sure. Then you check the shelf to see if there is any canned food left. Then in an act of desperation, you open the fridge.

You see a  container of leftover plain pasta.

You see some roasted chicken you bought because it was on sale.

You dump it in a dirty dog bowl.

Then you use real silverware to mix it all together. (only if you're a man)

Then you gag and add "buy dog food" to your list of must-dos for the next day. 

Friday, May 7, 2010


We've been doing some re-arranging around here. Over the last week we've given away a sofa, sold an entertainment center, gotten a piano, bought new couches, and moved a bookcase. 

It all started with a piano. Scott's life-long dream was to own a baby grand. We discussed the possibilities and had decided that an upright piano was best for our house and our situation. So he began searching for a piano that was affordable and good quality....which don't always go hand-in-hand when it comes to pianos. He found a few possibilities but we weren't crazy about any of them. Not wanting him to settle for one piano when he really wanted another, I told him awhile ago that he could get a baby grand. We could make it work. We would have to move stuff around, clear out the office, etc., but we could make it happen. 

Last week Scott calls me. Our conversation begins with, "So, you know how you said I could get a baby grand......"

I panicked a little. Yes, I had said he could get a baby grand. BUT have I mentioned that we still haven't sold our old house? We're paying two mortgages. There is NO WAY we can afford a baby grand right now.

He continues, "........Well, what if we got one for free?" 

Scott found a lady on Craigslist selling a baby grand for a very low price, and to make a long story short, with our administrative pastors approval, this lady donated the piano to the church and received a tax deduction for her donation. The church in turn donated it to Scott and we got a baby grand piano....for NO out-of-pocket cost. What a blessing! (Thank you Pastor G!) 

This was very exciting but left us 2 days to figure out where we were going to put it in the office. An entertainment center that we were using for storage/desk area had to go into our dutch barn until we could sell it. Everything had to be taken out of it and it was (still) all piled in the dining room.

I am not looking forward to cleaning and organizing this mess. BUT the piano was delivered, it fits wonderfully in the office and we still have room for the desk, the bookshelf, and a love seat/sleeper sofa for company. Whew. I'll post pictures once everything has been cleaned and might take me awhile. 

In the meantime, we're working on a collage for a blank wall in the living room. We had gotten several frames for wedding gifts, most of them still unused, so we decided to use what we already had (there you go, Dave Ramsey!). I used coupons to Michaels to get the few frames to complete it and although it's not on the wall yet, I think it will look better than any of the collage sets we looked at buying. And the satisfaction of knowing we spent very little on the project makes it even better. 

He takes his projects very seriously. :)

We laid out paper the exact width of the wall, I placed the frames in the basic order, and Scott painstakingly measured and placed each frame and marked each nail hole. He'll tape the paper on the wall and drill through his pre-marked nail holes. Brillant. He was would have taken me hours but he did a fabulous job in very little time. 

You might notice the Coke Zero in the background and the TV tray out....see my sink? Gross. The mess is because in the midst of our furniture re-arranging extravaganza, my kitchen had an emotional breakdown. 

First, the garbage disposal breaks. Not a big deal. We lived with it til my dad came at Easter and he gave it his best shot but said the motor in it was burned out. Still not a big deal. We kind of forgot it was broken till the sink started doing this last week....

It stopped draining. Both sides.  You could wash your hands for 10 seconds and the water would sit for hours in the sink. When it finally did drain, it would leave goop and gunk the garbage disposal spat up. It was disgusting.

So we carried all the dirty dished to the bathroom. Thank goodness the previous owners were clever enough to install a kitchen sink in the hall bathroom (it's right next to the kitchen). I was so thankful for that in the midst of migrating all the dishes back and forth. 

Then the oven...

...did this. 

I pre-heated the oven and when I went to set the timer, it displayed that lovely message. That's not a good sign. 

Then it would display the timer and beep incessantly. We called Whirlpool and they gave us the bad news. We needed a new circuit board. 

We had to go to the breaker box and turn off the power to the stove or it wouldn't stop beeping and we had to turn it back on when we needed to cook on stovetop.....then carry all the dirty dished to the hall bath. Needless to say I didn't do much cooking last week. 

The night before the repairman was going to come, we turned the oven on to use the stovetop, and it the oven started working! The repairman came, fixed the garbage disposal and our sink issues. He said our home warranty wouldn't allow him to order a new part for the oven if it seemed to be working fine. Then I remembered I'd taken a picture of the error message for the blog. Scott showed him the picture of the stove and the repairman said since he could "see" that the oven wasn't working properly, he could repair it. What a nice guy! 

And the last thing....I came home from church Wednesday and saw that our stop sign had been knocked down.  

Guess who the culprit was?