Monday, July 26, 2010

Progress, part 2

If you didn't read this post, I should start by saying that we are amidst a lot of changes around here.
Aside from doubling our family size in the last four years, we've gone from owning a home in Western New York, to living with my mom for six months with two kids, to living in an 1100 sq. ft. apartment here in Richmond, to owning and changing our new home.

It's been quite a ride.

At this point, we're done with the major cleanup that required two years of our time. Seriously, two years. This property was a mess.
This year has been all about planting and painting and slowly seeing progress.

I'm still not ready to show the "after" picture, but here's a peek at one little minor detail:

It's amazing what a silly little thing like a light fixture can do to change things up.
Here is the ugly, dated, before:

and the after:

I'm not sure why the paint color looks so different; it's not...
Maybe it's the aura of our new, fun light!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nadia Claire

One year ago today, we welcomed our fifth and final baby into the world.

She is proof that God knows best.

Learning that I was pregnant with her was not the joyful experience that I've had with my other kids. Seeing those two little lines on the stick was still tear-jerking, but more like how-are-we-going-to-do-this-please-help-me-survive-God than the romantic tears we've cried seeing them before.

We were done.
Beyond done.

It's a good thing that it's God's design for us to be pregnant for nine months, because over the course of that amount of time, I surrendered and fell hopelessly in love with my surprise baby. What a gift to experience life inside of me once more.
By the time she was born and I saw her face for the first time, I had forgotten about how scared I was at the thought of another baby.

She was mine. And I loved her just as much as I did my others.

I heard a quote once, a long time ago. It was in an email about things that you shouldn't assume or something of that nature. It went something like this: "If you think you can't love your fifth child as much as your first, talk to a mother of five kids."
No lie. It said five kids. And it stuck with me (now I know why).

"Nadia" is slavic for "hope".

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" --Jeremiah 29:11

When you think you know what you want, remember that God knows what lies ahead. Trust that He will bring it to past and that you will be delighted with what He has for you.

I know I am.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


It's happening...
Slowly but surely, it's happening.

When we moved into our house, three years ago, we were a happy little fam of five. With a seven year old, five year old, and an infant, I could somewhat envision how our messy property and dated house could become potentially-perfect for us.

Then I got pregnant.

Then I got pregnant again.

Now, our house seems smaller, and projects take much more effort and determination to complete. Potential was much harder to see, much less carry out.

But it's happening.

A few months back, I posted this picture of our house, the way it looked when we bought it:

The work has been endless. And isn't easy with three kids three and under running around! We've been busy rebuilding the wall of the pond so that the house doesn't one day fall into it. (There are now posts where a picket fence will one day be.)
Ripping out shrubs. Replacing shrubs. Building brick walls. Ripping out fences. Knocking down sheds. Grading the land and planting grass.

Up until this year, it was hard to see the improvement. Greg's a big "behind the scenes" kind of guy. (Straightens closets when the house needs to be cleaned, that sort of thing.) It's good, though. He clears and straightens the canvas so that the final painting will look its best. That's hard for me when I want to just change everything and see results.

Since we're nowhere near done, I have been hesitant to post an update. But I have gotten yelled at for posting "before" pictures without any "afters". So how about some "during"s? This is what the house looks like today:

*forgive the sun & shadows; I'm still taking Photo Booth pics on my laptop, without my camera :(

As you can see by the ladder out front, we're amidst continual painting. The door color will change (the color may shock you!) And we're putting in the one piece that I have been dreaming about since we moved to Virginia...a Richmond storm door. Keep checking to see the final reveal on my little FULL house!