4.17.2012

It's True. I'm Going to Be a Mommy.

The secret's out!





In December, Kyle and I found out that we are expecting our first child! We are so excited and feel so blessed that we are part of one of God's miracles. 

Here is a photo story of sorts showing off my growing baby belly. 


{showing off my new maternity jeans}
{Valentine Party}

{My 26th Birthday}

{At the Nature Reserve}

{Spring Fling Carnival}
{Taking a break from organizing our stuff that is taking over what will be the baby's room. Notice the suitcase in the background.}



Look at how cute that belly is! Tonight as I am typing this, I am sure that I am carrying an acrobat. This baby sure does know how to do a flip!

Uncertain of the challenges that I am sure are on the road ahead of us to parenthood, we are certain of one thing...
We are already IN LOVE with this Little One.

4.09.2012

This Week's Menu Plan

Kyle and I are trying a new food diet. At first glance inside our refrigerator, you would think that we are becoming vegetarians. Good guess, but we still are eating meat- just at dinner, and only 2-3 times a week. Since starting this diet a month ago we have been able to enjoy many different fruits and vegetables, cut the amount of our grocery bill, save time planning our weekly menus, and just feel better in general.


Here's what is on our menu for this week-

Breakfast


Lunch

  • Tomato Rice with Red Beans
  • Black Bean & Rice Burritos

Dinner

Snacks/Dessert


After we have tried this new way of eating for a few more weeks, I will write a post to update you on how we like it. So far, we are big fans! 

See you tomorrow! 

4.08.2012

He is Risen

In celebration of Easter and the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, I want to share this video with you.


Here is another great video that testifies of the Savior's love of each of us, and that He still lives even today. 


May we remember Him on this sacred day. 


Happy Easter


4.07.2012

Let's Catch Up: We Went Camping & Discovered Mountain View Bluegrass Nights

During the first weekend of Spring Break, Kyle and I and a few of our new closest friends went camping in Heber Springs. The weather was perfect, cool in the mornings and warm in the evenings, a gentle breeze constantly passing through. We went fishing, did some reading, spent lots of time around our campfire, and most of all enjoyed each other's company. The company was the best part. We have really been blessed with such sweet relationships with our new friends that were made after our move. They have truly been a blessing in our life here.






On Saturday night, we took a drive to the nearby, well-kept secret small town of Mountain View. Every weekend in the spring and summer they have bluegrass jam sessions all around the town square. People just bring their chairs and sit around and chat while a group of country men, born and raised, pick and grin on their banjos and guitars. Some play the fiddle. 



We decided that this would not be our last trip to Mountain View- this little town has so much charm. Being a small town southern girl myself, I really felt at home. There's something about how the night sky looks in a small town, with the stars blazing in the black sky. Without the glow of city lights, you can get lost in the diamonds that dot the sky. The nighttime air in a small town is crisp and cool, and when it touches your skin you feel alive. You know that you are in a small town when the power lines run above the ground on stilted poles, everyone that you meet smiles at you, and military men get silent salutes from complete strangers.





Now after our trip, we are still trying to figure out a place to put all of our camping gear in our tiny apartment. We decided that we are going to want to use it too much in the spring and summer months for it to be stored at my parent's house. That is one my goals for today, to try to find a place to put all of this stuff: the tent, our red folding chairs, the dutch oven, and multiple other things. Wish me luck.

Thanks for catching up with me this week! Next week I have one more surprise to share with you!

4.05.2012

Let's Catch Up: Our House Sold

After being on the market for almost 4 months, I was shocked when our real estate agent called to tell us that not only did she have an offer on our house to deliver to us, but that she had TWO. Two offers on the table. The best one for our picking. I couldn't believe it.

It all happened so quickly that it is still somewhat all a blur. Within 24 hours we had accepted an offer for our full asking price, a mere $3,000 in closing costs paid, plus the costs of any repairs needing to be made to the house not to exceed $500. I seriously thought I was dreaming. It was the perfect scenario. A true blessing from our Heavenly Father. We couldn't have asked for more.

On March 15, this little beauty became home to another young happy couple, ready to build memories within its walls.



I thought when we sold the house that I was going to be an emotional train wreck. It was the first house we lived in together. We spent birthdays, anniversaries, two Christmastimes, and countless other special days here. I have to say, I didn't shed a tear. On the day that we signed the closing paperwork, I couldn't help being happy and smiling knowing that I can have faith in our Heavenly Father, faith in His timing, and faith enough to know that He will continually take care of us.

A few months ago we made the decision to start a new chapter in our life. Often times in life when things don't seem to go exactly as planned we immediately begin doubt our choices, question our plans, and even have thoughts of failure. At first with all of the problems we were having with our apartment situation, I was unsure if we had made the right decision to say the least. With the selling of our house, and the blessings that continue to come each day, I am now sure that we are on the right path.

I'm not sure how life could get much more sweeter.

4.04.2012

Let's Catch Up: We moved... AGAIN.

Last time I mentioned moving I think that it was in THIS post. If you are new you can read THIS one to see how we got there. The next part of the story is where things get interesting. Seriously. Grab your popcorn. It's about to get good.

Around Thanksgiving last year, we moved into our new little apartment on the edge of campus of the university where my husband Kyle goes to school. I'm going to be honest. It was no palace. Here are some pictures of the place before we moved in. I wish I could tell you how many hours we spent steam cleaning and bleaching, and then mopping and scrubbing to get this place to seem like we could turn it into home. After doing the math, I'm guessing that we put in at least 40 hours.

Here is a quick photo tour.





Only a few weeks after moving in, Kyle started getting sick- like really sick. He has tons of allergies and has a back up inhaler to use when he is outside breathing in lots of pollen or other plant dust and particles. His body just doesn't like putting up with nature. After a few weeks of coughing and wheezing and Claratin D not doing the job, he decided he would try out his inhaler. Sure enough, he was able to breathe again.

But this could only mean one thing... whatever was causing his respitory system so much grief was coming from INSIDE OUR APARTMENT. We did an experiment and went to my parents a few days early to celebrate Christmas to see if things would clear out of his head and chest. We practically walked in the door to my parent's house and he was feeling better. Yep. What we thought was the problem, was actually our problem.

Something was inside our apartment. And it was toxic. We had to find out what it was and get rid of it fast.

Here is where this story turns into a novel, or I decide to give it to you straight. Drum roll please......

WE WERE LIVING WITH MOLD.

There. I said it. Mold. Mold everywhere. Moldy HVAC unit closet, moldy air return exchange unit, moldy walls, moldly closet floor, mold under the bathroom sink, mold under the kitchen sink, mold in the windowsills, moldy mold and mildew EVERYWHERE. I'll share a picture of "The Toxic Closet", but will spare you the others of the actual mold. Eew. Gross. I just looked at them and almost lost my Chick-fil-A dinner.


We did the only thing that we could do. We contacted the housing department. They were of little help showing us other apartments available to married students that made our then current apartment look like a mansion, agreeing to let us live in Honors housing only to charge us double the rent (and there was a hole in the ceiling in that place), and when we thought we couldn't be offered anything worse we were given the opportunity to live in a house that was designated for "faculty" but should have been condemned with its wet carpet, closet shelving held up and teetering on paint cans, black moldy bathroom floor, and sagging kitchen cabinets.

Eventually we worked out a deal with the Honor's College, the one supplying Kyle with the scholarship anyway, to pay out the housing portion of the scholarship as a stipend.

We couldn't be happier.

Now we live in a new place, equally affordable, but twice as nice. It's not a palace either, but much more like a home. I am planning to host an Apartment Tour here on Grassroot Elegance to give you the full impression of everything, so I don't want to give it all away now! I have enjoyed decorating a new space and trying to overcome the challenges a new place brings with organization and storage. More about all of that later though.

In the end, moving from and selling our brand new house has been totally worth it. The blessings that we continue to receive from our Heavenly Father seem too sweet to be ours. It is our faith in Him and His timing that has brought us though this experience with the blissful happiness we have found in our daily life. Knowing that He loves each one of us individually, hears our prayers, and desires our happiness was so comforting during this big trial, now seemingly small, since we are were we are and are blessed with all we have.

More catching up to do tomorrow! Thanks for being here.

4.03.2012

Catching Up

I feel like with my long absence here in the blog world, I need to spend a few days or maybe even a week catching up with my few readers and family members that enjoy hearing and seeing what is going on in my life.

Today, I spent some time making a list of highlights of the BEST and the BRIGHTEST moments and memories that we have made over the past few months.

We have also began a new phase of our live since my last postings in January. I feel like I need to share with you  what has led up to this, and a little bit about the journey on the road that has led us to where we are now.

I am also giving the blog a face lift for the thousandth time. I know. I know. It seems like things are constantly changing here, but I feel the need to simplify life in order to be able to fully enjoy the blessings it gives me everyday. Grassroot Elegance is seeking a new direction. Please understand that this is going to be a process and I love you for seeing it through to the end. You will not be disappointed.


Thanks for being here! 

Superwoman

Kyle told me last night that he thought I was Superwoman. I couldn't at all understand where he was drawing that comparison, but today I get it. Today, I’m feeling like Superwoman. Maybe it is because of all I have accomplished today. Here is an outline. 

Wake-up, iron Kyle’s clothes for work. Today he is wearing brown shorts and a casual button down J. Crew shirt. Ironing for him is easy this morning.

Help Kyle change the bandages on his toe. Since his toenail surgery on Friday, we have been following a strict routine morning and night of cleansing and redressing the bandages on his still newly operated on nail bed. This process takes almost 20 minutes, but we are getting better at it and joke that we are becoming pros. 

Take Kyle to class because his pain medication for his toe restricts his driving.

Come home, get distracted reading Mockingjay by Susanne Collins. Yes. I am a Hunger Games addict. You should be too.

Eat breakfast. I love that we have left over scrambled eggs that I can make into a burrito. This seems to really satisfy my pregnancy craving for extra sour cream, extra sharp cheddar cheese, and homemade Chili’sCopy Cat Salsa.

Shower. I let all of the hot water run out today. I don’t usually do this anymore, but today I indulge.

Get dressed. I love the way my growing pregnant belly feels in the clearance Liz Lange v-neck maternity t-shirts that I got an extra discount on because of the miracle of stacking coupons. I could live in these $1.97 shirts. Today, I choose the black one so I can wear my gold sandals that I have had for 3 summers, and my blue and gold earrings.  This makes me happy.  

I decide to try a new hairstyle I found on Pinterest yesterday.  It seemed easy enough and I liked the end result. I combined it with a low pony tail, essential for a hot day of running errands during Spring.

Start a load of laundry. I have resolved myself to doing no more than 2 loads of laundry a day. This is especially liberating as I used to wait and do all of our laundry at once when there was either nothing else left in the closet that Kyle or I wanted to wear, or our hamper looked like it was about to explode. This simple resolve has made my life substantially easier.

Make bed. Making the bed makes me feel like I have spent hours cleaning the entire apartment, when I really just spent five minutes straightening the sheets.

Unload dishwasher, hand wash dishes in the sink, load dishwasher again. I hate doing this, but just like making the bed, it gives me the sense that the whole apartment is spotless.

Take out trash to the dumpster. It seems like we somehow accomplish filling up an entire kitchen sized trash can every day. It probably doesn’t help that I have been throwing out anything that can’t be donated or none of my friends want. I am already feeling like nesting, and we still have 4 months ‘til baby comes.

I realize that I need to check the mail. I still get excited about doing this, I think I can thank my sweet Grandma for this. She sent me 3 or sometimes 4 cards a week in the mail just to tell me that she loved me. I go through mail and sort the junk from the real stuff. We got our state tax refund check today, so this was the highlight that stole the show.

I call and check on our home owner insurance since the house sold and the closing has already happened. We are still trying to get all of the paperwork sorted out.

Pack Kyle’s lunch for him to take to work. Load the car with Goodwill donation items. Seems like we keep giving away things as we figure out that we have been given more than enough.

Pick Kyle up from class, take him to work. I never get to do this, so it was sort of a treat.

Take donation items to Goodwill. Wait in line. Deliver donation items. Giving our things to Goodwill makes me happy. I think of the people who are going to benefit from them. It makes my heart smile.

Drive to Wal-Mart to get the oil changed. Discover that it is going to be a 2 hour wait. Decide not to get the oil changed today, because my stomach is growling. Stomach won.

Eat lunch at Sonic. Time the Happy Hour ½ price drinks just right. Yes. Cherry-limeade. In. My. Belly.

Get the Trailblazer assessed in a new county. Moved from one desk to a counter, and back to a desk and then on to the Revenue Office… on the other side of town.

Arrive at the old location for the Revenue Office only to find out that it is the OLD location. No biggie. The new location is much nicer and just around the corner. Go inside and take a number. Realize that there are 16 people ahead of me.

Wait.

As I am browsing Pinterest on my iPhone, I feel the baby kick so strongly that it makes my eyes pop. (How many times have I typed “baby” now in this post? Maybe I am dropping hints. J)

My number is called. I pay to have the tags renewed on the Trailblazer. A whopping $5.75 later, we have new tags. Woohoo! Yay for no tickets!

Kroger is the next stop. It is the quickest trip of the day. In and out in 30 minutes give or take a few. A new item takes its place in the cart today… flax seed.

Bring groceries home to unload. Only 3 bags and 2 jugs of juice to carry up the stairs. I am thankful because it is already hot, and it's only April. 

I pick Kyle up from work and we come home. On the way I tell him about the acrobat that is living in by stomach. He laughs and says he can’t wait until he can feel the baby move too.

I decide to make Low Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies for Family Home Evening, a new recipe. I try my hand at making Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa and Black Beans. Both new recipes are a hit. Kyle says they both can be added to our “EAT” binder.

Fold and hang up the 3 loads of laundry that I managed to get washed and dried today while dinner finishes in the oven. This alone makes me feel accomplished. 

We enjoy a delicious dinner, but fast. We are late for Family Home Evening.  

Quickly we gather things to go to Family Home Evening at a friend’s house. Upon arriving we realize that Family Home Evening has been rescheduled to watch the game. I do not pretend to be interested in basketball. We decide to stay and eat chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with friends who are doing homework.

Now I am sitting writing this post on their couch while we all do our separate things and enjoy each others company. It is the best.  We really have been blessed with great new friends that don’t at all feel new.

I still plan on reading “Daughters in My Kingdom” tonight before I go to sleep as I sit and enjoy feeling our baby move.

This has been my Superwoman day. Seems like a pretty normal, ordinary day after I typed it all out, but something about today made me feel like I could accomplish anything.  Maybe it was the perfect mix of business, personal time, and home making. Maybe it was feeling our sweet baby move so strongly. Maybe it was the good weather, even though hot, and the feeling of summer-time. Maybe it was the thought that my husband relies on me, not in a using me kind of way, but in a depending on me kind of way. I like that.

The more I learn about what makes me happiest, the happier I become. This seems like such a simple thing to understand, but I feel like so many people miss the mark.

Thanks to my husband, today I felt like Superwoman.