Tuesday, September 29, 2009

House Hunting in Houston

What a week it has been! I never thought finding a home in Houston would be so hard and exhausting.

Don and I thought we'd found a home last Sunday - after a 48 hour marathon of looking in Houston. We put an offer in Sunday night late and drove all the way back to Shreveport. Unfortunately, late Monday night we found out it would not work out. So Tuesday morning we headed back to Houston. Thank goodness for great friends! We stayed with Don's sweet fraternity bro and his beautiful wife - and their brand new baby.

My mom - the real estate agent - came along and we began looking again. Another one of Don's fraternity brother's hooked us up with our wonderful realtors. They're a husband and wife team - Tony and Charlsey. Charlsey took us all over Houston Wednesday, but on Wednesday evening we wrote a contract on a new construction with her. But you could tell she, Tony and my mom were not crazy about the house. I was so determined I just did not realize. Plus, Don and I were so completely exhausted - it was 10pm when we wrote the contract. We gave the builder a huge deposit and went back to our friend's house and passed out.

I woke up with my sweet husband sitting on the edge of my bed. He said he knew we'd made a mistake and wanted to get out of the contract. After about an hour of crying and talking I agreed. My husband was awesome! He got us out of our contract and got our money returned. Then, he found us a great lease house.

I was determined not to sign a one year lease - I was kinda a baby about it. But again it worked out. The home we really want agreed to a 6 month lease and we passed the credit check. So now we are waiting on our phone interview with the landlord. If she likes us we finally have a home in Houston.

We just decided to lease and take our time looking, instead of rushing things and buying something we really were not excited about. It took a while for that wisdom to penetrate my hard head, but I'm finally excited and ready to go.

Yesterday was my last day at work so now I can focus on getting the house packed and get going. I am going to miss Shreveport and all our friends but I feel God has a real adventure in store for us - and I. am. ready.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On the Road Again

What a weekend! Don and I traveled to Houston on Friday to find our house. We spent all weekend looking and saw nothing we liked. Then, at the end of the day on Sunday we finally found one. We wrote a contract at 7pm and got back on the road home. We drove into our garage at 11pm and went to work the next day. We were sooooooo tired yesterday, but excited because we were waiting to hear if our contract was accepted. We fully expected it to be. But then we got the call late last night that it was not and the owner was not willing to negotiate.

Yeah, I had a fit. I was, again, left with nowhere to live and I start work on 10/12. So Don, Mom and I decided to hit the road again today, go back to Houston and find the house. We are using a realtor who is Don's fraternity bro and I can tell he's more familiar with the market than our previous realtor. So I am very optimistic.

Pray for us! We are driving in the rain right now. And we will not leave Houston until we find our house!

Friday, September 18, 2009

B-I-G Announcement, Big Changes

Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, my posting has been rather sparse the last two weeks. There is a reason for that...We are MOVING to HOUSTON, TX! Yeah, that's right, out of the blue! Here's the story:

If you've read this blog anytime, you know that 2 weeks before Christmas of 2008 I was told by my boss that my entire department and I were being laid off. Our last day of work was 1/30/09. So during those two months I was posting my resume like crazy. I ended taking a job in town with a physician practice.

I was at my new job about 2 months when I realized that this would not work out. It was not the job I was told I was being hired for and many other reasons. But I did not look for another job, I just tried to stay optimistic. I knew when God was ready for me to move on he would provide the opportunity. And I prayed that constantly. About 2 weeks after I started praying for God to present an opportunity, I was contacted by my (now) new boss, Leanne.

I received an email from her saying she was not a solicitor (ha!) and that she'd found my resume on my professional organization's website. I wasn't sure about responding, so I called my boss from my previous job. He had worked with the company recruiting me and I wanted his insight. He was very encouraging and complimentary of the organization. So I decided, Why not? I responded back and then immediately sent a big Thanks up to God.

Leanne and I emailed and talked on the phone for about 2 weeks, then she set up a web cam interview with her and another individual at the company. It went so well. But I didn't hear from Leanne for like a week after the interview. The waiting was so hard. Then I got an email from her asking if we'd be willing to move to Albuquerque.

WHAT?! ALBUQUERQUE?! That, of course, was my first response (as well as the Hubby). But after we prayed and thought about it, we decided that if that is where God wants us to go, we'll go. For about 3 weeks we were set to head out to New Mexico. Then Leanne and I met in person in Lafayette for another interview. She said she really wanted me in Houston, but that job would not be hiring for about 2-4 months. Yikes! I decided I wanted to wait for the better position in Houston (plus I really did not want to move to Albuquerque). Then I came back home and started the waiting game. Boy was that hard! I was so frustrated with things going on at work, but I knew if I was just patient God would put me in the right place.

Just about the time (about 2 weeks) I resigned myself to the fact that I would not be hearing back from Leanne for a few months she emailed me and asked me to come to Houston for a last interview. WooHoo! I was so excited. They flew me down to Houston and had a Town Car and driver waiting to pick me up. It was so cool.

The interview was awesome! Everyone was so nice and it is the exact environment I've dreamed of working in. Better yet - Leanne brought me to her neighborhood and house to check out the area and then to lunch. I felt so wanted. I've never had an organization recruit me so hard. She offered me the job that day. And not only did God provide a new opportunity, he provided a better paying one. And they are giving us a huge allowance that will cover our moving expenses. It is almost unbelievable.

But that's not the best part - here is how God really showed us he would take care of everything.

So of course, I was excited about moving, but I only had 4 1/2 weeks to sell our home, find a home in Houston, buy it, and move (plus Hubby has to find a job). I was just a little freaked out. I started having nightmares with me living in a run down apartment in Houston and Hubby staying in Shreveport until he found a job. But God is sooooo good. One week after we put our house up for sale it sold to a sweet couple in our Sunday School class. And it sold for the exact amount of money we need to get into a house in Houston.

So, Hubby and I are heading down to Houston to find our house. There is still so much left to happen before we move. And, as I have learned this week, the new home loan regulations make it very difficult to close in our time frame. Our loan officer told us it's possible, but we'd better have a Plan B. Right now we are looking at closing on both houses on the Friday before I start work. Moving the next day. Putting the house together the next. And then I start work. It will be a whirlwind. But I don't care, I am sooo excited! Hubby is diligently looking for a job, so please pray for that. But I know God will provide because he has all along the way.

So, it's scary, fun, and exciting - but so worth it.

And that's why I have not written lately. Hubby gave his notice today, so we couldn't take the chance someone from work would find out. It was killing me! There was so much I wanted to tell you guys. But there it is and the saga continues Monday, I'll tell you all about the House Hunting Trip.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Fav DIY Projects

As you may know from one of my earlier blogs, I am trying to win the grand prize in the DIY Showoff Scavenger Hunt at DIY Showoff

Well, one of the requirements for entry is to blog about your favorite DIY project. Um, since I have a big life change going on right now (I will reveal all next week, I just cannot right now, you will understand when I tell you) I have not had time to do my own project. So, I decided to feature my 2 most recent favs from one very talented blogger.

#1 is Pink and Polka Dot's The Laziest Slip Cover Tutorial Ever! I cannot wait to get started on this! I have the most ugly duo of chairs in my living room which desperately need slip covers. But like I'm gonna spend $200 on a slip cover. I could buy a new chair for that! But they really need help. For one thing, they do not match. One is faded maroon and the other is a brown crisscross pattern. Second, Daisy made the maroon one her chew toy for a while and it's covered in her bite marks. So this is definitely going to be a DIY project for me.

#2 is also a Pink and Polka Dot creation: Monogrammed Crow! I know, you're thinking What?! But, I love this idea! I plan on using a Fleur de lis pattern and other's that will fit each person I give this to. Because this is going to be one of my Christmas gifts to my family members. (Shhh! Don't tell) How sweet! I love it because you can personalize it to each person and their front door. Here is the pic of PPD's finished product:

Photo courtesy of PinkandPolkaDot: http://pinkandpolkadot.blogspot.com/

One more requirement, in order to get another entry, is to link this post from DIY Show Off. I like this Sparkly Fall Garland. I can really see it in my home going well with my pumpkins and other fall decor. Check it out!

More news to come soon...I promise! Until then I really hope I win the grand prize (I'm gonna need it with the big life change):

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The DIY Scavenger Hunt

I am soooooo excited about the DIY Show Off Scavenger Hunt! You can find this great blog by clicking on DIY Show Off or going to my Blog Roll page.Those 5 of you who are loyal readers will remember Grandma's Chair as my first DIY project on this blog. Well, I have about a million more at home I'd like to do, but I do not have the necessary tools. DIY Scavenger Hunt is the answer to my DIY prayer - well maybe. This is the prize for the winner of this fun game:

Black & Decker 7.2V Project Kit with Bag (Saweeet!)
If you are interested in playing too, just click on the DIY Scavenger Hunt button above and you can get all the rules. FUN!

And remember (and I'll try to as well - pray for me people, it's so easy to give in)

Wisdom is having something to say and NOT saying it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Do You Remember?

Today is the 8th anniversary of 9/11/01. All the news programs are asking people to remember where they were on that tragic day. Where were you?

I was 22 years old and sitting in my very early 8 am Speech Disorders class at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. I was a Speech Pathology major. I'm one of those dorks who never. ever. used her degree. I just went straight into grad school.

Anyway, there I was, surrounded by about 5 other young ladies. We were all extremely tired. You know, that I have not had my first cup of coffee look. Hey - it was 8.o.clock.in.the.am. I had to drive about 40 minutes to get to class.

So we're sitting there quietly working on a project and all of a sudden a girl comes running into the classroom yelling Can you believe it? We had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. Finally, we turned on the TV in the room and were shocked, like everyone else. It was the most surreal event I've ever experienced. We felt like we were in a movie or watching a movie. We made that comment several times.

My professor canceled class and I went down to my car to listen to the news. I still had other classes that day so I had to stay. I remember thinking Why are we still going to class, we need to do something! It still irks me to this day that my other classes were not canceled. Anyway, I know I was feeling what everyone else did at that moment. You felt as if you needed to make a beeline for the Pentagon or NY because people needed help. I have never felt more helpless as I did that day.

Of course for me that was not an option because I was half way across the country from those locations. And I think we all remember what air travel was like that day and many weeks after.

As the days passed I remember watching our new President - George W. Bush with swelling pride. He wasted no time rallying the workers in New York and Washington. He was inspiring. The people were inspiring. I was in awe of the display of human bravery and love.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best of America"
President George W. Bush, September 11, 2001

Years later I've met some of the volunteers of those terrible days and seen the effects their work took on their health. It's sad to see them suffer, but they are so full of fulfillment and pride, knowing they were there and they helped.

Sept 11 will always be a day I will remember - a day of tragedy but the days and weeks that followed were some of the greatest displays of humanity ever. I love my country and I love the people who serve to protect it. Make sure you let them know.

Where were you on that day? How do you remember it?

The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him. Nahum 1:7 (NLT)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lots of Change

I know, it's been a good week since I've posted anything, but I've had a lot going on. I cannot reveal the big change now, but will very soon. All I will say is that the Hubs and I have a big adventure ahead of us (no, I'm not pregnant).

Well, I don't know about you, but I do not do change well. at. all. I tend to freak out, fret, worry, go insane (as Sasparilla loves to put it). I always wonder why I do this because every time a big life change has occurred God has carried me through beautifully. He always makes everything fall into the exact right place at the exact right time. But yet, I still fret. I usually end up making myself an exhausted mess and the people who love me are so annoyed. Where is my faith? Does anyone else struggle with this? How do you deal with it?

So as I was beginning my descent into anxiety hell, I opened my email and found this wonderful devotion from Proverbs31 Ministry by Tracie Miles. It's as if she's lived my life. Please check it out, it will bless your day.

I'll leave you with words of comfort from out LORD on this subject:

And my God will meet all of your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (NIV)

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7 (NIV)

Oh and check it out. I have a button thingy. Jenny from Simply Delightful Designs made one as part of my blog redesign. Grab it on the side bar. Tell all your friends!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Grandma's Chairs

I recently inherited my grandmother's dining room table and chairs. And even though I love her, I hate the Golden Girls, 80's, floral print fabric.

Not exactly my style. So I decided to be a big girl and recover the chairs. It took me a while to find the right fabric at the right price. But I finally did, so here's how I transformed my grandmother's chairs.

Obligatory before picture

First things first...Here are all the tools you will need except the staple gun which I forgot to photograph. Batting or a chair seat foam, if you want to be fancy. A level or ruler for straight lines. Scissors, screwdriver or large staple remover, white fabric pencil, black magic marker, measuring tape, and Febreeze.

Once you have everything assembled, remove the seats from the chair. Usually you just have to take out the screws. Then, start the fun job of removing the staples. I used the screwdriver by shoving it under the staple and just wiggling the staple out. I had a ton of staples because I had 3 layers of old fabric to remove. Here are the other two, nice right?

Now that all the fabric is removed your left with the old foam and old batting and wood seat. I reused the foam which is where the Febreeze comes in. My grandparent's were heavy smokers. So I Febreezed the heck out of these and put them on the back porch. It worked great. But I most definately did not reuse the old batting - gross.

Place your wood seat on your batting (or foam) and trace a pattern using the black magic marker. Cut out your batting and use it as your pattern for your other seats.

Unfortunately, I did not take pics of the next steps. But, believe me, if I can do it so can you. It's so simple. If you have a pattern in your fabric like me, make sure there isn't a part of the pattern that needs to be centered on the seat. My fabric has one so I put my batting on the wood seat then centered the pattern. I flipped the seat, pulled the fabric taught on one side and stapled. I just went around and when I came to the corners I folded it (like a present) so there is no puckering, just nice and neat.

Make sure you staple everything down nice and tight and your done. It's that simple. And here is the final result.

I love my new dining room table and chairs! Do you have any fun do it yourself fun?