Hopeful Thoughts

Archive for the ‘life’s little adventures’ Category

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

He asked for tools for his birthday, so what else could I do??

My amazing husband turned 30 last week.  It’s been a crazy year for us both, what with moving, quitting my job, my mission trip, his new job, getting pregnant, buying a house…

With all of these changes, I felt like he had earned an AWESOME party this year.  Since we just closed on our house June 4th, it seemed appropriate to combine it with our housewarming and plan for a slew of people.  I got busy pruning the weeds out of the yard and making plans to feed 30 plus people.

I also planned for some great entertainment.  I enlisted the “Lightening Crispies” to perform their classic rock tunes.  I can’t say I hired them, because they agreed to do it out of love for Ryan and free food.  We are so blessed by the friends God has provided for us.  I told my friend Taylor, the drummer, that it’s probably not unusual to have a friend’s band play your birthday party for free.  The unusual part is that our friend’s band is actually REALLY GOOD!

The Lightening Crispies set up on our back patio. There is a drummer hiding behind the lead singer! I promise!

The cake was also a splurge.  I actually ordered it from what most consider to be the best bakery in town, Candy Haven.  YUM!!!  It didn’t turn out to be as expensive as I thought for the half sheet cake, but it was worth every penny I paid.  I will use them again in the future.

This was a lesson in planning, that’s for sure.  I originally figured 6 pounds of hamburger to feed the crowd, but I went ahead and bought 9.  We ended up using 11!!  I think there were over 40 people in attendance by the time all was said and done.

A view of the band as they warm up. Only a few people now, but this yard was full by the end!

Our grill. We purchased it Super Bowl weekend, but it really served it's purpose this passed Sunday. Over 40 burgers and 30 hotdogs!

This party was also a huge confirmation of the decision we made to buy this house.  Even with the band set up and the rows of chairs for people to watch, there was still plenty of room for the kids to throw a football.  When it got too hot, there was plenty of room inside the house for people to sit down and visit without feeling crowded.  The kitchen is plenty big to prepare and serve the food, even with separate stations for drinks and cake!

Sunday was AMAZING!  We’re so grateful to all who have loved us over the years and have assisted us in the process of buying this house and planning our awesome party.  Thanks for sharing it with us!

A New Do

I really need to stay on top of this!  SO much has been happening in the last few weeks that I want to share, but it can’t all fit in one post!  So, for today, we just have a shot of my new hair cut.

This will likely be my last visit with my favorite stylist at Salon La Page until after the little one make his grand arrival.  So, when she suggested highlights, I decided it was now or never!  The belly is 3 days shy of 31 weeks!

30weekBellyYes, we DO still have a wreath hanging in June.  I’m not taking it down until I have something else to hang there.  That space looks horrible if it’s left blank.

The highlights are subtle; just enough to look like I've been out in the sun.  Good thing, too, because I do NOT want to be out in the sun this summer!

The highlights are subtle; just enough to look like I've been out in the sun. Good thing, too, because I do NOT want to be out in the sun this summer!

Going Back in Time


Recently I was able to go back to North Carolina for my 10 year College Reunion.  I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I graduated from Meredith!  The weekend was very much a trip back into times long forgotten.  Looking at my girlfriends from 10 years ago, it was easy to think that no time had passed.  We drifted into easy conversation just like old times.  It was only the content that disclosed the fact that we are all years older.  Most of us married, years into careers or even career changes, many with children, some of us with kids on the way.  At the end, we decided that we are too old for the dorm beds and we’ll plan to stay in a hotel at the next reunion!


The girls from my Senior Suite back in 2000.

The girls from my Senior Year Suitenow .  No change, right?

The girls from my Senior Year Suite now . No change, right?

Me and Meredith.  We were room mates Sophomore and Junior years.

Me and Meredith. We were room mates Sophomore and Junior years.

Leigh Anna and are are Preggo Twins.  We got pregnant about the same time.  She's having a girl, and I'm having a boy.  Here we are both about 28 weeks.

Leigh Anna and are are Preggo Twins. We got pregnant about the same time. She's having a girl, and I'm having a boy. Here we are both about 28 weeks.

Is it time to say “hang on” or “good-bye”?

carThis is my car.

Almost exactly 9 years ago, I bought this 1996 Toyota Camry.  It was my first big purchase as a “real” person after I started my first teaching job.  I was so proud of it!  Even at 5 years old, it was still gleaming white and ran like a dream.  I was so proud to have a “new” car.  It was the nicest car I had ever driven, and nicer than anything else my family had at the time.  I was living in North Carolina back then, only about a mile from my parents house.  I would pick them up for choir practice on Wednesday and church on Sunday just to enjoy driving my new car.  I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt a few years later when I mailed the last check to the bank and received the title.

Now my baby is 14 years old and showing signs of it’s age. The paint is chipping, the front end is dinged, the dash lights don’t work, the brakes are bad, the CV joints creak, the timing belt is wearing down, there’s a crack in the wind shield … I could go on and on.

We’re at the point now where it’s going to cost us money to keep it.  I finally broke down and took it in to the repair shop today because the brakes are so bad that it’s no longer safe for me to drive.  (Not cool since I’m pregnant).  It’s going to set us back almost $300 to fix them.  That’s a car payment!  While they had it in the shop, they ran into several other issues, all of which I was already aware.  They told me that we could get them all fixed for around $1500!!  Ouch!  (Boy do I miss living 1 mile from my daddy!!)

At this point, the brakes are the safety issue, so that’s what we had fixed.   The rest we are just going to have to live with for awhile longer until we decide what to do next.  It’s just a struggle to know when it’s best to “fish or cut bait”.  If we spent the money, the car would probably last us a few more years.  If we have to spend $300 a month on a car anyway, we might as well have a new one.  Neither choice is a bad one, but it’s a choice that we have to make for our family.

Have you ever been in this situation?  I’d love to hear what influenced your decision.

While Ridding my House of Dirt…

My house was in desperate need of clean floors.  Sweeping is not my favorite thing to do, but the dust bunnies were beginning to take over, so it had to be done.

So, I pulled out my “duster broom thingy” and the little duster pads and set to work.  After pushing the dirt around with THREE of the pads, I still had to go back with my regular broom and dustpan to finish the job.  As I clipped the third pad in place, I thought, “what a waste of time and money!”

I don’t have to stop in the middle of what I’m doing to replace part of my broom.  I don’t have to go back over what I’ve already done with another tool after I’ve used my broom.  I don’t have to buy refill pads for my broom.  I’m not creating  MORE trash in the cleaning process by throwing away those silly pads when I use my broom.

broomSwiffer SO WHY DON’T I JUST USE MY BROOM!!!!!!

Baby Update

If you haven’t heard the news, Ryan and I are expecting out first baby in August.

If you already knew that, then you’ve probably also heard about my “antibodies”.  Back when they did the blood work at my first pre-natal visit, my midwife discovered an antibody in my blood.  After poking me a second time, it was identified as “Anti m”.  This was about a month ago.  I was told to make an appointment with a specialist in Ft. Worth, but couldn’t get in to see him for another month.

In the meantime, my mother, my PA friend from high school, and I were all online looking for information about this thing that might threaten our unborn baby.  There wasn’t really a great deal of information to be found.  The best that we could tell was that, as long as the levels were low, it would most likely be no problem.  However, there were cases noted where the baby had to have a blood transfusion at delivery.

Today I finally had my appointment with the specialist.  After a lengthy sonogram, I know a bit more about what is going on.  The levels of antibody were so low that it’s not even active at normal body temperature.  In addition, it’s a large antibody that rarely is able to cross the placenta anyway.  Not to mention, our little baby has above average blood circulation, which is another great sign!

So, for all of you who were praying, thanks so much!  I will have to get blood drawn twice more to check the levels to make sure they are staying down, so we can keep praying for that, but Dr. T doesn’t expect to ever have to see me again!  WOOHOO!

Now, if only I can resist the temptation to open the stapled envelope in my purse that holds the answer to yet another question?????


Today I went to a business networking meeting.

I was invited by a friend of mine, who I trust totally.  However, I was still quite a bit wary of showing up to a meeting at 8:00 in the morning with a bunch of strangers.  Quite honestly, I might have never agreed if we weren’t meeting at one of my favorite breakfast spots!

Now, I’m sold.

It was a bunch of people just like me who are simply trying to get their name out to make a business work.  There were people there who need what I can do, and there are people there who can do what I need done.  Not to mention, all those people know other people who might need me, too!  Those 25 strangers open doors to hundreds of people I would never meet on my own.  It’s such a simple concept, but how many of us are willing to sit down with a group of strangers and find out what they do?

I also have new motivation.  They collected business cards from everyone at the meeting.  Well, I didn’t have any business cards. I had to write my information down on the back of my friend’s old cards!  How embarrassing!  So, I sat down this afternoon and ordered some.  When I go back in two weeks, Hope 4 Math will have a more professional look.  I don’t know why it’s taken me 9 months to get that easy task done!

So, if you’re trying to get more business contacts and haven’t tried a networking group before, jump in!  I’m so glad I did!

Catching Up

Well, I can’t really say that I’ve been “busy”.  I can’t even really say that I have been lazy.  It’s probably best to say that I’ve been too preoccupied to blog in recent weeks.

The weekend after Thanksgiving, we discovered this:positiveAs you can imagine, this has taken up a great deal of my thoughts and attention.  We weren’t exactly surprised.  We’ve been married over 6 years and were anticipating the possibility.  We just figured it would take a little longer to happen.  As I am posting this, I am in my 14th week, and Baby is due to arrive in early August.

Speaking of babies, right after Christmas, I boarded a plane for Michigan to go meet this little guy.

JeremiahThis is my new little nephew who was born December 17th.  My intentions were to get there before he popped out on his December 28th due date, but obviously he had other plans!

I spent three weeks with little Jeremiah, his two big sisters, and his momma and daddy.  I also was able to see my Mom, Dad, and the dog.  It was a relaxing visit, which was nice since I was several weeks pregnant and smack in the middle of the sleepy phase.    We celebrated Christmas together.  All the boys got hats and the girls got hats with scarves.


Sweet Abigail!

Sweet Abigail!

Imaginative Jocelyn

Imaginative Jocelyn

Abby models the hat I made for Mom.

Abby models the hat I made for Mom.

I’ve been home since January 16th.  I can’t really say that I’ve done much since.  I’m trying to work towards being more productive as opposed to sitting on the couch feeling tired and pregnant.  I keep thinking my energy is supposed to come back.  I thought that was a benefit of second trimester, but mine has been slow to return.  Perhaps one day soon.  Until then, I will try to be better about catching up.

Breaking the Silence

I know, I know!  I haven’t posted in WEEKS!  Sorry for those of you that were worried I had completely forgotten about blog land.  I’ve been busy!  I’m subbing 2-3 days per week, working hard on Christmas presents, spending lots of time in the kitchen, and continuing to finish up details on the decor in the house.

Here’s a sneak peek of all the craft projects that I have been doing.  Better pictures will have to wait until after Christmas when the gifts have been given!


I’ve also been working on a pair of socks for myself.  I have one down and one to go!


Lost Routine. If Found, Please Contact ASAP.

Well, I’ve been back from Argentina for almost three weeks now.  I really thought life was going to slow down and settle into a routine once I returned home, but that hasn’t been the case.

I arrived home on a Sunday.  Tuesday I was scheduled to fill out my paperwork to into the Substitute teacher system in my district.  I planned to spend the rest of the week working on the house and getting re-acclimated to the US.  I figured I’d start subbing the following week about 2-3 days per week and work on building up my tutoring business.

However, the plane landed, and I hit the ground RUNNING.

The day I returned home, there was a big party in our back yard.  An older couple that attended our church is serving as missionaries in Tennessee.  They are in a very poor area and have lost a great deal of financial support since the economy crashed, so our housemates organized a fund raiser to help them out.  We all had a great time and it was a lot of fun.

This little corner of the patio was the perfect space to function as a stage.  Our back yard is AWESOME!

This little corner of the patio was the perfect space to function as a stage. Our back yard is AWESOME!


Monday morning I got up around 9:00 and noticed a missed phone call with the prefix of the school I just resigned from.  There was no message, but I just knew they wanted me to sub.  I didn’t call back.  My house was still a wreck since I didn’t have much time to unpack before I left the country.

I spent the whole day unpacking and organizing the house.  I worked so hard that I haven’t had to do very much with any of the main living areas since then.  The living room is pretty much how we want it (especially since our new couch arrived TODAY!)  Not to mention, my HUGE kitchen is in working order with all my stuff put away and EASILY accessible.


Tuesday, I received another call from the school.  This time I returned it, and, sure enough, they wanted me to come in as soon as possible because it was a math teacher who was out.  I explained that I had to fill out my paperwork that afternoon and Wednesday would be the soonest I could start if the sub office would even let me begin that quickly.

Tuesday should have been an easy day, but when I got into my car, it wouldn’t start.  My neighbor and I hypothesized that it was the battery.  She took me to buy a new one.  I also managed to get rides to the district’s Central Office and the BTCL that night.  Late that evening, Ryan learned how to install a car battery. Luckily, that was the fix!  Yeah for my awesome husband!!!

Wednesday at 8:00 AM, I headed up to the school to sub all day, and then I had tutoring immediately after until 6:30.

It turns out that the teacher is VERY sick.  After 3 weeks, he is still in the hospital and not expected to be released for at least two more weeks.  Thankfully, there is another Math certified sub in the district, and she and I will be able to split the days, but it still winds up being a much more demanding sub job than I expected when I decided to sub.  Because I worked in that department, I am expected to teach as much as possible.  The teachers there are working hard to provide copies and plans, so all I have to do is show up, but I am working the entire time I am there, including grading papers.  The difference is, I don’t take them home.

I am praying that he will get well and take his classes back soon.  I’ve spent a total of 9 days there so far. Coming up, I will be teaching 4 days next week and at least 2 the following.  There’s even been the murmurings of “what ifs” and would I be willing to come back.

Where’s the routine in that???