Plans for my first new home project

                I am so excited about my new place! We close soon. First thing to happen in the new place is to get the flooring pulled up. We have a couple of guys from church coming over to take care of that.

                The walls are in bad shape and it needs to be repainted. We have a painter coming in next week. He’s even going to get rid of the atrocious wallpaper in the bathrooms.

 Before the painter comes in, I’m going to write Bible verses on the walls this weekend. They’ll be covered up by the paint and I will like knowing they are there, hidden under the paint.

                If you have any ideas on Bible verses to write on my walls, leave them in the comments. And if you have some free time this weekend and want to help, let me know.

 

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The Water Park Injury

                I was expecting a fun, relaxing three day weekend. Going to Urgent Care Sunday evening was not in my plans! 

                Sunday morning, I picked up my niece, K, to take her to church followed by an outing to the local water park. It is a brand new water park, not very busy and perfect for aunt/niece outings.  We have enjoyed several visits there this summer.

                After enjoying our favorite attraction, the lazy river, we headed to the wave pool. Every time we go, I am so impressed with how much K’s swimming is improving. And she enjoys showing me what a great swimmer she is becoming!

                We enjoyed one set of waves and then we were both ready for lunch. As we were getting out, I was running in shallow water along with K and I felt a pop and severe pain in my calf. Thinking it was simply a muscle cramp, I sat down, massaged it a little and stood up. I could not stand on my left leg. K quickly saw I was in pain and started trying to figure out how to get me some help. When I tried standing up again and still could not put weight on my leg, I sent her to the lifeguard who was 20 feet away.

                The lifeguard came over to check it out and then called to the other lifeguard who was handling injuries. He got me an ice pack and filled out information since I got hurt in the park. K got our bag to bring to me but forgot my shoes. The nice lifeguard went and got my shoes, and I was able to stand up and hobble towards the exit. I forgot my flip flops and only had my church shoes: really cute low heeled sandals. I don’t think I’ll ever forget appropriate footwear for the water park again!

                Being September 1st in Texas, it was HOT. Poor K was miserable. Somehow, we managed to make it to my car. In retrospect, I should have accepted the offer of a wheelchair, even though I would have felt conspicuous being wheeled out of the water park. 

                After stopping by McDonalds, so I could get something for both of us to eat, I realized I was going to need help. My parents are out of town this week, so I called our wonderful neighbors. Fortunately, they were home and when I explained the situation, they said they would meet me at my house.

                I pull into the driveway and as I’m trying to figure out how to get myself into the house, the neighbors show up. With crutches! They help me get settled, including getting stuff out of my room on the second floor. They took K and kept her entertained for several hours so I could rest. They even took Sam out! And offered to take him home with them, but Sam is my buddy and I need him, especially when I’m not feeling well.

                When my neighbors came to check on me several hours later and found I was not much better, they insisted I go to urgent care. We managed to arrive just before closing and the receptionist barely fit me into the schedule. After nearly an hour of waiting, the doctor finally came in and determined I had a muscle tear. He told me to rest, ice my leg, use crutches, and see him in a few days if I was not much better.

                I had to go to work today on crutches and I am so exhausted. Fortunately, my leg is significantly better! Unfortunately, I have to explain that I tore a muscle getting out of a pool. If only I had a better story on how I injured my leg. 

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Housing Saga Continued: My New Home?

                I am so sorry to leave you hanging after my last post! It has been a busy week. I started a new job as a Special Education Teacher Assistant. It is amazing to me how I felt attached to my new students the first day. Education definitely is where God wants me! 

                I am sure you are anxious to hear more about the home I mentioned in my last post. The same day I saw the garden home; I went home and told my parents about it. They were intrigued and called the realtor, C. I had plans to meet up with my friend. While I was gone, my parents went and looked at the garden home. My mom texted me and said it had potential. I wasn’t sure if that meant she liked it or not. I really wanted her to be as excited as I was about this home.

                Once I was back at home, I sat down with my parents to talk about buying the place. This is not going to happen without their help. My parents decided to buy it as an investment. They got an offer over to the seller’s agent on Monday.

                I have been so excited about this place. Tuesday morning was my new hire orientation for the new job. I had to get up really early but it was good practice for getting back into the routine of getting up early for work! By that afternoon, we had not heard anything from the seller’s agent and I was feeling anxious. I really wanted this home to work out. I laid down to listen to a relaxing CD and rest. While praying, I truly let go of the home. It’s in God’s hands now and if He wants me to live there, He will work it out.

                After I got up from my rest time, I saw a text from my mom that said “Looks like we will get garden home for X”. Isn’t it amazing how I finally let it go and God answered?

                So the necessary papers got signed and the next step was the inspection. My mom called her inspector and he had a cancellation on Friday. When she told me, I said, “Friday, as in three days from now?!?” She said yes. Given the state of the garden home, I was concerned there might be some deep damage, so I still was not allowing myself to get my hopes up too high.

                On Friday, I was at work while my parents met with the inspector to go over the home. That afternoon, my mom sent me a text that read, “Inspection went well. No surprises”.  I thought, “Actually, that there were no surprises is a surprise.”

                As you can tell, I am very excited about this home! While I feel confident this is the place God has for me, and I would be disappointed if it fell through, I realize this is a possibility.

And although I am very excited about this move, I keep looking at my budget and can’t figure out how this is going to work. But, I know God is in control and has a plan. I’m just anxiously waiting to find out more about His plan! Thanks for joining me in this journey.

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And Sometimes God Opens a Gate

I originally wrote this on Monday, August 26th. I’ll work on an update this weekend.

                On Saturday, I spent the morning looking at rental houses with my realtor. She’s very knowledgeable about the rental market, what to look for, and what you can ask the landlord. We even talked about negotiating rent. In case you don’t already know, I love negotiating! I even spent several years negotiating for a living.

                We looked at about half a dozen places. The last ones were condos about 10 minutes from my new school. Across the street from the condos are single level townhomes with attached 2 car garages. Probably built in the seventies, but they looked well taken care of. The realtor said, “It would be nice if one of those townhomes was for rent”.

                I agreed and asked what she thought the price would be. While she was mulling it over, I pulled up real estate on my phone and saw that my guess was right. Except there was one listed for nearly half the amount of the other townhomes in the community! I asked if we could look at this low priced townhome since we were right there. She was as interested as I, so she readily agreed, assuming she could get a hold of the listing agent.

                Ten minutes later, my realtor had the code and we were headed to the front door.  There’s a courtyard for each home. You have to open a gate to get to the front door and pass the small yard on your way in. The gate was rickety and the yard was seriously overgrown.

                The code worked and we were inside the townhome! The entry way has dark red tiles that were very trendy in the seventies (according to my mom) and a natural wood (oak?) wall. To the right is a good sized living room with skylights, a brick fireplace, and a closet. My first impression was the home needs to be painted and the carpets need to be cleaned. All easily taken care of, right? There is a backdoor in the living room. Outside the backdoor, you can see the community swimming pool. No one was enjoying the pool, but it sure looked inviting!

                Next, we moved into the large master bedroom, which also has skylights. There’s another small yard off the master bedroom. Of course, that yard is also overgrown and the fence has broken boards. There is a dressing area, complete with a not so lovely peach countertop. This leads to the full bathroom, which needs a good deep cleaning and wall paper removed. There is also a large walk-in closet off the dressing area.

                We continue through the home and find another living or dining area with a wet bar. Good thing the wet bar is hidden behind folding doors because the dark brown cabinets and golden yellow countertops are ugly! There’s another closet in this room. It is not very deep and all shelves. Perfect for organizing! And a sliding door connects to an atrium.

                The second bedroom also has a sliding glass door leading out to the atrium. One entire wall is a deep closet. I love closet space! There is a bathroom right next to the second bedroom. It was in good condition and even had a shower, making it perfect for a roommate. The shiny, metallic wallpaper really needs to be removed. I think I’d get a migraine if I spent too long in that room!

The kitchen also connects to the atrium, but just with a large window overlooking it in the breakfast nook area. Plenty of room for my kitchen table in there. The kitchen is connected to the second living/dining area – no need to actually go through the window to get to the kitchen! The stove and cook top appeared to be original; the rest of the appliances have probably been replaced in the last ten to fifteen years.  The linoleum in the kitchen is stained and torn. I do not think it would be possible to salvage that floor! The cabinets are not too bad and I could live with the countertop for a while, but the floor would have to be replaced.

                The kitchen pantry is roomy, but the wood shelves definitely need replaced. I think I could do that on my own. Also, there is a closet for the washer and dryer in the kitchen.

                We finally make it to the garage and the first thing I notice is two large storage closets, in addition to plenty of room to park two cars. Another selling point for a potential roommate!

                Now to convince my parents this would be a great investment for them. Or maybe I’ll finally win the lottery?*

* Note to self: buy lottery ticket.

               

                 

 

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More details on my Facebook status

                I hope my “I need prayers, please” post on Facebook this morning didn’t scare anyone. Thanks for all of your prayers today. The past 24 hours have been a real struggle for me.

                As most of you know, in 2011 I made the decision to change careers from finance to education. And while my job satisfaction has gone through the roof, I have struggled with finding a teaching job. I loved substitute teaching and loved being a teacher’s aide even more but it doesn’t pay the bills.

                Fortunately, my family has been extremely supportive of this venture. For the past 2 ½ years, I’ve been living with my parents. This has gone really well. I adore and respect my parents. My mom has become my best friend.  J While I think we’re all a little sad to see this phase end, it’s time. My parents are building a house in Granbury and my new Teacher’s Aide position is in East Fort Worth. Living with them is not going to be an option for much longer. And, as an adult, I am so ready for my own space. A bedroom, office, living room, and sewing room don’t fit well in one tiny 11×11 room!

                I am really struggling with understanding why God is calling me to education but not providing an income I can live on. I have applied for hundreds of jobs. I have talked to numerous educators, including many principals. I have emailed, called and hand delivered resumes to schools. And while I’ve had two interviews for teaching positions, neither offered me the job. I am constantly seeking God on my next move and following his leading. I still feel called to teach.

                People have been telling me for the past 2 ½ years that it’s tough to find a teaching job. But God isn’t limited by this. I know He’s called me to this, and most of my friends and family agree.

                Honestly, if God wants me in a support position for the rest of my career, I would be fine with that if He makes it financially possible. I think the hardest part for me right now is I was so sure God was going to provide me a teaching job this year and it has not happened. Granted, they’ll still be hiring teachers throughout the year but most hiring is done. So a teaching job isn’t outside the realm of possibilities…

                While a permanent second job is not an option for me, I have taken on all kinds of opportunities such as babysitting, house cleaning, and editing professional documents. I am also working on starting two side businesses but have been too busy job searching to devote much time to them.

                I did go visit my new school today and really like the teacher I’ll be working for. Being in her room, felt like the right place for me. I cannot wait to meet our students!           

                If you have thoughts, questions or encouragement, you can leave them here or on my Facebook page. 

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A Little Update

          I didn’t mean to go more than a week without blogging. Unfortunately, last weekend I did not do a good job. I ate lots of junk, didn’t exercise and couldn’t “find” the time to blog.

          This week I caught a nasty cold. I’ve been told the 1st year at a school is the worst. I’m really hoping this is true for me as I’m sick and tired of being sick so often.

          That said, being sick may be a blessing in disguise. I eat way healthier (and less) when I’m sick, focusing on fruits and vegetables while not eating sugar and limiting processed foods.

          I haven’t had a soda in 6 days!! I really want to be free from the soda addiction.

          Now if I only had the time and energy to exercise. I think I need to make exercising more of a priority. My goal is to get to a point where I exercise everyday (walking on “rest” days).

          

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67%

Today was not a great day for me. Today’s goals were:

  • No more than 1 soda. This I did follow through on and had no soda today!
  • Stick to my calorie goal. I had no soda and I even avoided the office today after hearing they had donuts. However, my niece’s mom is sick so I picked KK up after work and took her to get something to eat and to the store so her mom could rest. I wasn’t planning on this and I didn’t make good choices. Instead of soda, I had lemonade. Not sure that saved me any calories. And now I feel all bloated and gross.
  • Get 20 minutes of exercise. Walking around the store with my niece counts, right?

All in all, I did meet 2 out of 3 goals. So I guess it wasn’t such a bad day after all. And I got to spend time with my cute little niece, KK, which always makes for a good day. 

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