Monday, December 26, 2016

one story of God's provision

This story is from last fall.  I don't think I ever shared it, forgive me if I did.  I had written it all out after the fact and found it this morning in my financial papers.  I just really felt like I wanted to share it as it was and is amazing to me.  :)

Last September I got my check from Half Pint and saved it for Christmas gifts as I usually do.  It's normally right around a thousand dollars.

In October we found out Patrick would have one week furlough (UNPAID) and started saving what we could to cover it.  I started praying to trust God and not freak out about this.  Money stuff has always been hard for me.  I want to control everything.  ha!

In November I started Christmas shopping and had the tiny thought (which I feel was the Holy Spirit) to see how much I could pay for without touching that Half Pint check.

We also found out there would be 3 additional furlough days in December.  (His company didn't have the best year last year.  That had been bought out the year before and it was a tough transition.)

In December I kept using ebay money to pay for our Christmas gifts and to cover the unpaid time.  We also found out that Patrick's Dad wanted to come and help us finish the bathroom in the Mythical Lower Level.  How could we turn down that offer even though we didn't have any bathroom money saved??

I ended up paying for all the gifts with money made on ebay and started saving every bit we could for upcoming bills and the bathroom.

Patrick needed new tires.  We took the money out of savings and found out, SURPRISE, there was going to be ONE MORE FURLOUGH WEEK.  (so, that made 13 unpaid days...1/24 of his annual salary...gone)  He could have used vacation days but we didn't find that out in time so it was all unpaid.

I found out I needed $500 dental work.  Meanwhile, I was still praying and shopping like crazy.  Ebay was super busy and I was feeling God's peace...wasn't worrying.

In January we saved more for the bathroom, the money for my tooth, paid extra on our loan.  Found out about one last furlough week.  Prayed hard.  We still had an "extra check" coming up.  (one of those 2x during the year you get 3 checks instead of 2.  you understand if you're paid bi-weekly.  :)  )

We got the extra check and for whatever reason, it was half the size.  (I cannot remember now.)  Pray. No Panic.  Trust God.

Ebay was SO busy.  My dad gave us some money for Christmas that we weren't expecting.  He also gave us a free toilet.  We found beautiful tile and a sink on Craigslist and Patrick drove all over to get them with me and he hates Craigslist.  pray, pray, pray.

His Dad came, bathroom got finished with that Half Pint money we still had. Had enough money to pay bills.

Get next check, it was the full amount when we were expecting half.  WHAT???  It feels extravagant and we put lots of money back into our savings.

sigh.  What a crazy few months that was, all over Christmas.

So, in a nutshell.  While we ended up missing out on a big chunk of salary, having unexpected bills come up and a strange opportunity to remodel a room (that was the first time his dad has ever come to our house in 20 years), God provided us with EVERYTHING we needed and we got a second bathroom??  I still can't even believe how crazy it all felt as it was happening.

I felt so loved and taken care of and I know Patrick did, too.  He was under a lot of stress at work so I feel like I tried to burden him with the least amount that I could.  Instead of freaking out that he wasn't going to be bringing home the usual amount of money I turned to God.  It was such a learning experience in the best way possible and I am so thankful for it.  It's hard to put into words.  Just wanted to share.

xoxo


Friday, December 23, 2016

can I do this one thing?

Good morning, dear ones.

How are you?  I'm good.  I got up super early and am already looking forward to a nap in a few hours.  :)

Today is the first day of break for the kids!  We stayed up late (later than a school night) watching a Home Alone movie we had never seen (the one set in Maine...not bad...) and at one point Nick came over to lay by me on the couch and said, "Now THIS is a special night."  :)  He had pajama day at school yesterday so he had his PJs on all night and looked so darn cute.  (this kid normally wears his clothes to bed.)

I am feeling more like myself.  Thank you for your kind words about Janelle.  I still can't believe she's gone but I feel like I am pushing it away a bit, you know, with Christmas and all.  I know it's just real life but all of it feels so strange.

Thinking about Janelle being gone and her kids going on without her made me think about my recording so much of our life together here.  I've said before how much they all love to read this blog and I really don't want to stop.  (I mean, I feel bad I did pretty much stop. :)  )  I'm not making any promises to myself but I'd really like to take even 10 minutes a few times a week and post some things.  (we all know how this is going to end.  ha!)

We had James' band concert last week and it was a lot of fun.  I mean, watching James' band and then the jazz band was a lot of fun.  The next band was really good as well but by that time Nick was getting restless and I was trying to keep him in line gently while I really just wanted to pinch him really hard.  Have you been there?  Anyways, here is James just to the right of his band director.  He plays the flute and really liked the black dress pants I got him for the performance.  #random


One day this week, it must have been Wednesday, I took a day off.  I watched TONS of Bravo (delightful) and even the Mariah Carey show on E!.  Too fun.  While I was vegging I made some leather keychains.  I have wanted a leather tassel keychain for a long time but am far too cheap to buy one.  I found a pair of perfect leather pants at the dig, a tutorial online, and whipped up a bunch of them.  I love them!!!


What a fun day!

Oh, back to the concert night.  While we were waiting to go, my mom and I were trying to talk in the living room.  Nick was super wound up and wanting all of our attention.  He was standing between us (we were on separate couches) and as we spoke he was throwing his body back and forth like he was being shot, over and over.  I was like WTH are you doing??  and he said that our words were hitting him like bullets.  hahaha!  It is hard to describe but it was hilarious.  I thought it was a perfect way to describe that feeling you get as a kid when your mom won't shut up.  Every word is painful!!

A quick Ruby update.  She wants to video chat with a male friend in her class and Patrick is saying a definitive NO.  I told Ruby we might have a long road ahead of us.  :)

One last thing.  I found this down Outdoor Research hat the other day and was so excited!  I imagined myself wearing it all winter, feeling all toasty, looking all outdoorsy.  And then I got home and tried it on.

AWFUL.  I looked like a Conehead!  A warm Conehead, but still.  A total fail.  I hope someone else has better luck with it...I've got it listed on eBay, of course.

xoxo

Thursday, December 15, 2016

janelle + more

One of my oldest and dearest friends passed away last week.  It still doesn't seem real and I'm finding my feelings all over the place about it all.

Janelle has battled colon cancer for the last 7.5 years.  She has a husband and 2 kids that are 15 (or 16?) and 11.  She was a straight forward, hilarious, smart woman and I feel SO thankful for her.  I always have.  Her and Jolee and Cherie were my first friends I made as an adult and I loved (love) them so much.  I always felt so lucky that they would choose me to be friends with.

After some drama in junior high, I lost my best girl friends.  It was really awful.  In high school I made new friends, first at church then at school, and felt really good about that time but I still didn't have that close bond that I had lost.  Enter these 3...



They were everything to me.  Janelle is the one in front.  We all lived, worked and played together for years (my memory is foggy...haha).  We had so much fun and spent so many hours just talking.

When I think about those time, I loved all of our long talks the best.

When else in your life do you have time to just talk for hours?  Then go to the beach and talk some more?  :)  Only before kids, that is for sure.

Anyways.  Heartbreaking.  I can't believe she's gone.

Cherie, Jolee and I have been sharing all the random sad, funny, guilty, angry feelings we've been having and that has helped a lot.  It's all pretty normal and it all sucks.

Oh yeah, Christmas is next week!  :)

Last night Patrick had his work Christmas dinner so I took the kids to IHOP (random) and to see the lights at Olin Park.  Dinner wasn't the tastiest but I had a really nice time and I think they did, too.  I just love them.

James ordered an iced tea at dinner and then Ruby decided to as well.  It arrived a few minutes later...unsweetened.  haha!  We joked about that stupid iced tea all night.



Ruby is up now and is opening her Advent calendar.  I have wanted to get them Lego Advent calendars for years and I finally did it and they all love them.

xxoo


Tuesday, December 06, 2016

updates

The other morning I was leaving for the gym and Nick asked me to put on a "food show or something" for him first.

After many years of wanting to, I have finally started lifting some weights.  I got my gym membership back in October and started then.  I am following a beginner program now that I found online but started by just doing each of the nautilus machines.  It is fun and I like it much more than cardio.  I'm not trying to get big muscles, just use the ones I have so i don't lose them.

I have purchased myself lots of gifts for Christmas this year.  The thrifty part of me admits that they were all pretty affordable, but it was still a lot.  I had a little help from these Boston Store coupons that I have received twice now.  I think they are straight from heaven.  :)  They have come in a little flyer in the mail that I opened up just by chance the first time...normally those go right in the recycling as I don't normally shop there.  Anyways, they include $15 off of a $15+ cosmetic purchase, $35 off of a $35+ accessories or footwear purchase and $50 off of a $50+ clothing purchase.  They work on everything except clearance.  !!  I will never know who decided to put me on this list but I am so thankful!  I did use the clothing one on Patrick but purchased some Philosophy body wash (MARGARITA!) (totally going to start drinking more, I bet) and a new purse for myself.  It was fun.  Patrick keeps asking me what I want for Christmas and I'm like NO REALLY, nothing.  Trust me.  hehe.

James is almost 13.  I can't even discuss that today.  It feels like there is another adult-like person in the house now.  He is thoughtful about things and talks to me about some of his feelings.  He is super responsible about school and really is enjoying this year so far.  He also really likes hugs.  Not to build him up too much, he still lives to torment Nick and still doesn't know when to stop sometimes.  He is still obviously a kid but you see the adult underneath glimmering sometimes...it is hard to explain but amazing and I'm sure you know what I mean if you have big kids.

Ruby is hilarious.  She is just so funny and her humor is often spot on.  I feel the same about her as James in some ways, at 10.  She is still a little girl in lots of ways but her "young lady" is showing.  :)  She is really enjoying this year at school as well.  She loves reading and writing and her math is coming along.  Her teacher commented on her perseverance at conferences and a lightbulb popped in my head.  She has struggled with math for so long but HAS NOT given up.  I love her teacher for turning my mind in that direction.  Ruby, your determination is amazing.  Love that.

Nick is difficult after school some days but is doing so well at school.  His teacher says he is a leader and he often comes home with these "Hoot Hoot Hooray" certificates that mean he had a great day.  :)  Mrs. Kman said this particular class goes nuts for those things.  heehee, At home he can be whiny and spoiled and I wonder whose fault that is??  He also still loves to cuddle and loves James and Ruby like crazy.  (although he tries to hide it, especially with James.)  We are trying to get this kid on the right track.  He does finally wipe his own butt now.  ahem.

Patrick is good.  I could write volumes about him and us but will restrain myself because he is so private.  He is good, though.  I am so thankful for him.

Right now I should be listing but this was fun!  I should get to work now.  I normally wake up around 5 and was fine with that because it was my choice.  Now Milo, our damn cat, wakes me up every day, normally between 4:30 and 5:00.  BITTER.

xoxo

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