March 16, 2015

Old House

We moved out of our house just a little over two weeks ago and in some ways it already feels like a lifetime ago. We've been going non-stop since we said goodbye to our house and we really haven't had the chance to think about everything that's happening. We're currently navigating apartment life while we wait for our new home to be built. Apartment living with children is not for the faint of heart. It's been a bit of an adjustment, but we're making the best of it. Once the pool opens this summer, we'll be smooth sailing I'm sure.

Because we've been so busy, I haven't really stopped to think about our "old house" as Crosbi calls it. We packed and got out so quickly that it sort of felt more like a dream than reality. The other day in the car Crosbi said she wanted to go to her "old house" and I was reminded that it really was a special place for us. Todd and I bought that house when we were 24 and 25 years old. We didn't have a clue what we were doing. We spent over seven years there. We both started our careers, brought home a baby, and practically grew up in that home. We have so many memories with friends and family. There were marks on the carpet from the Super Bowl parties we hosted every year. There's a small stain from when one of my best friends jumped up and down (while holding a cup of coffee!) after hearing I was pregnant. I smiled every time I saw it. There was a mark in the bathroom from when my sisters were experimenting with hair color. It's the little things that make a home.

But I'm also at such peace about our future. When our buyers had their final walk-through, their realtor told ours that the husband and wife both had tears in their eyes as they walked through what is now their home. Hearing that, I knew our season in that house was officially over. It belonged to them, the new owners, to make their own memories. I pray the memories they make are as sweet as ours.

I didn't post many photos of our home. I did a post on Crosbi's bedroom and our bonus room makeover, but I'm not one to do a "house tour." However, I do want to remember our old house. The photos our realtor had taken make me smile. I'm sure I'll come back here many times to relive old memories. These photos were taken when our home was at its best, but I can still picture the dirty laundry and dishes in the sink. The puzzle pieces in the floor and crayons on the kitchen table. We were really blessed by our first home.

I'm more than excited to start creating a home in the country, but I know now more than ever that it's not the size or style. It's not the furniture or the accessories. It's the love and memories that fill a house that make it a home.

Goodbye old house. You sure were good to us.


February 21, 2015

Life Lately :: January & February

I'm not sure I'll do a "thankful" post each month. It was such good accountability to blog more and looking back on those posts sure does cure the blues on a rough day, but the next few months are going to be pretty crazy, so I think I'll stick to doing recaps here and there.

I just had all of our (mine and Todd's) Instagram photos from 2014 printed in a photo album. Can't wait to get my hands on it. I love posting my photos here, but I really like having a book to flip through. When I was little, I practically had my grandmother's photo albums memorized. I knew which photos would be coming up next. I spent so many hours flipping through them and I want Crosbi to be able to do the same.

But, I'm still proud of this little blog. The other night I had a hard time falling asleep, so I pulled up Crosbi's birth story. Todd's version too. Yes, we could have written those things in private journals, but it's not as easy to pull out a journal at 3am in the dark when you're in need of reading material.

I'm rambling. Basically I'm trying to say I'm still going to blog as often as I can because even if I write for an audience of one, I love having this little time capsule.

And while I'm not off to the best start for 2015, here's what we've been up to lately:

Crosbi is quite the performer. She loves to sing. I will barely have the car started before she's asking for her favorite songs, and listening to Spotify or Pandora is a constant in our home. Her current favorites are Taylor Swift, Francesca Battestelli, Jamie Grace, For King and Country, and "the girl and the boy" also known as Love & The Outcome. I envisioned her having a love for music when I was pregnant, but to see her fully embrace music has been such a gift. And I'm telling you, if you want to start conversations about faith, God and Jesus, play Christian music in your home. She is already asking us things like, "Why did Jesus die? What does she mean He's holding us? Is God singing with her?"

Because Todd and I both work in the music industry, she does have a bit of an advantage. Todd jokes that she's not going to know what to do when we take her to a show where she can't watch from backstage!

It feels odd to post photos of us outdoors. The past two months have been so strange with sickness and bad weather. My mom visited in January and she just happened to time it to arrive between two weeks of sickness. First the flu, then the stomach bug. And with the weather we've had this month, I think I can count three solid weeks in the past two months where we didn't leave the house. Spring, we're ready for you! But we're thankful for those rare moments that we were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but I'm doing contract work for my friends at Sony / Provident Label Group. It's so fun to be back with them for a little while. But what's the first thing they do? Send me to Seattle on a trip for an album release. I'm definitely rusty at traveling solo these days. It's hard to believe how much I was on the road just a few short years ago. While it was a bit lonelier than I remember, it was good to catch up with old friends. Plus, it was Seattle. No complaints there! I'm a fan of that city.

The rest of our time has been filled with fun preschool parties, snow days, and lots of time playing inside. We've been in the South too long. This cold weather stuff just isn't in our blood anymore! It's been fun to see snow, but I'm ready for typical Tennessee weather.

So that's January and February in a nutshell! We close on our current house in a little over a week. Lots of adventures to come. So glad I have this little piece of the internet to remember it all.


February 4, 2015

We're Moving!

The big news, the exciting adventure that I hinted about last year? This is it. We put our house on the market. It sold in less than 24 hours, and we're moving to the country!

I've had lots of thoughts swirling in my head about this post. Mainly because this is our family's scrapbook so I want to record everything, and also because friends and family who live out of state read this and I want to fill in all the details (because sometimes my parents don't relay all of the correct info). Ha!

About a year ago, Todd and I both started to feel like a busy suburban neighborhood wasn't working for our family. Between trips back to Missouri and long talks about our childhood, we knew we wanted Crosbi to have a childhood very similar to the ones we had. We were also starting to feel the walls closing in a bit. We would be in Missouri, and I would sneak out on my parents' back deck and it was like the weight of the world fell from my shoulders. I breathed deeply. I listened to the wind blowing and birds chirping. And the silence. Ahhh, the silence. Those feelings and sounds are part of my DNA. Which means they are also part of Crosbi's.

The struggle was that to afford the land we wanted, we would have to move out of our county. We live in a very affluent county with access to the best schools in not only the state, but the country. But the decision was actually quite simple. Crosbi's future isn't determined by the school she goes to. Just like it wasn't for me or Todd.

Anyone who knows me knows that I grew up in rural Missouri. I'm the daughter of a small jewelry repair shop owner and a truck driver. Money was never going to be my ticket to a bright future. When I was ten years old, I remember holding an Alan Jackson cassette in my hand and thinking, "I want to work for his record label one day." I turned the cassette over and saw that he was with Sony Nashville and I decided then and there that I would be an employee of Sony Music.

The laughs followed. The sarcastic "good luck with that" was a phrase I heard often. I didn't know anyone from Ozark who ended up working for a record label. People from Ozark tend to stay in Ozark.

But God, who planted the dream in my heart, would see it to fruition. I not only have been (and still am!) an employee of Sony, I even got to work on an Alan Jackson (hymns) record. God is good. I didn't go to a fancy high school. But I had a dream and I had the drive. No school district can give that to my daughter.

The other thing that became really important to us was that Crosbi have ample opportunity during her school years. One of my favorite bloggers, Laura Tremaine of Hollywood Housewife took the words out my mouth with this post about growing up in rural Oklahoma (she has worked in film/TV and is now married to a famous Hollywood producer):

"I was really into choir when I was in high school. One of the benefits of being in a small town is that even with my mediocre talent, I was able to participate in all kinds of activities that would have been impossible in a larger, more competitive school. With zero training, I was on my school's pom squad and part of a very active show choir, and these are my favorite memories of the teenage years."

I mean, she's practically describing my life. I was on the pom squad, the marching band, and student council. Any group or activity I wanted to join had space for me and I never once took lessons or had special training outside of school. Same for Todd. He was captain of our football team, homecoming king, played baseball, basketball, and was named "Mr. P.E." I don't say all of this to brag. We are nothing but two average kids from the Ozarks, but attending a small school opened so many doors for us and we both look back at high school as some of the best memories of our lives. We wouldn't trade our experiences for anything. We only hope Crosbi's memories will be the same.

So there you have it. We're moving to the country. We close on our house in just a few short weeks and we'll begin building sometime in April with hopes to be moved in by fall. We're already dreaming of tree houses, tire swings, a fire pit, and the big garden we'll plant next spring. The school district might not be the "best" to some, but it's the best for us and the dreams we have for our family. Plus, lower taxes!

Everything has fallen into place so quickly and carefully that we are confident in our decision and we're giddy about the future.

I hope to post a lot about this new journey in the coming months. I hope you'll join me and follow along!

Until then, I'll be singing...I'm from the country and I like it that way...


January 21, 2015

Crosbi Says...

This month. Goodness. We started this month with such big goals and expectations, awaiting new and fun experiences, but life doesn't always go the way we think it will. For nearly the past two weeks, our girl has been sick.

Last week she had a fever for 5 days and little energy. She finally came out of it in time for my mom to visit (God is so good that way). But the day after my mom left, Crosbi was hit by a stomach bug that won't quit. As I write, she's napping. Her third today. And she hasn't eaten since Monday night (it's Wednesday afternoon). Ugh. I'm just so thankful that I can be home with her, even though there isn't a whole lot I can do to help.

Our fun plans are postponed for now, and we're missing out on some amazing warm weather, but I'm so thankful for God's provision and promises. I'm blessed to know she will fight this and be back to herself soon. I know more warm days are ahead and memories will be made. Today, we snuggle. We rest, her with a cold washcloth on her forehead, and we watch lots of TV. His mercies are new each day and I'm so hopeful my girl will be much better in the morning.

Last week when Crosbi wasn't feeling so great, I bought her favorite movie and offered her a big bowl of popcorn. She jumped up on the couch, eager for the movie to start and said to herself, "I love this popcorn life."

I laughed out loud. I called Todd to tell him what she had said, telling him I was so glad we could fulfill her deepest dreams. Ha! But today, when all I want to do is get outside and see my girl run and play, I'll sit beside her and put on another cartoon. Because this is what life is made of. This is it. It's not perfect and definitely not always Instagram worthy, but it's so good. Crosbi, I'm with you. I love this popcorn life.

Now get better, young lady!


January 11, 2015

Thankful :: December 2014

Nothing like posting a recap of December during the second week of January! I almost made one of my goals for this year to blog more. Then I thought...who am I kidding? This year could be a bit crazy. We're preparing for crazy, anyway. So instead of making blogging more a goal, I'll just be pleasantly surprised if I record more of our memories here than last year.

December was a complete blur. I know it's that way for everyone. So many activities, dinners, celebrations. Throw in shopping, wrapping, and lots of travel. It flew by for us.

This past year was really special. It wasn't the easiest year, necessarily, but I think we really found our groove as a family. As a couple, Todd and I were intentional about spending time together, but also spending time doing things we love as individuals. He spent time with friends and time on the water in his new kayak. My girlfriends and I started a monthly girls night, I went away on two girls overnight trips and I felt less and less guilty for sneaking away for a cup of coffee or a walk around Target on my own. I'm hoping for much for of that in the year to come.

Last year we made growing in God's Word a priority. BSF changed and challenged us and really set the tone of the conversations in our home. I've loved the She Reads Truth studies and Todd and I feel much more equipped to share God's truths than we have in years past. 

December wrapped up 2014 nicely with time spent with friends and family. A busy, but beautiful month.

I've so enjoyed this Thankful series. On hard days, it's nice to look back and remember all of the good that happens in my life that could be easy to overlook. I thank God for the many blessings in my life, the memories I cling to when life throws curve balls. I'm really excited about 2015 and all that it could bring. Even if it's predictable and uneventful, but resembles 2014 even a little bit, I'll be more than grateful.

Goodbye, 2014. Thanks for being so good to us.