"You can make anything by writing."

-- C. S. Lewis

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Life Looks Like…

I feel like life is going to keep getting busier in the coming weeks, and I will feel infinitely better if I can bring my blog up to speed. :-) Here’s what life has looked like for us over the past few months:

Back in March, I took on a copywriting job that I can do from home in the evenings and on weekends. I love it, as it gives me valuable technical writing experience, keeps my bank of adjectives at the ready, and brings in extra, needed income.  Plus, it’s very interesting…I write product descriptions for home items, like lamps, curtains, vases, wind chimes, and candles. What I don’t like is the time it eats up from my daily life. I put in about 15 hours a week, and Ryan and I joke that it’s my fourth job. Any time I don’t want to cook or do laundry, I complain that I do enough around here already, and you know, I work four jobs, and with batted eyelashes, I can usually get out of almost anything. Until Monday morning rolls around, and there really isn’t any laundry done, and Ryley’s freaking out about what she’s going to wear. Ryan’s job is extremely stressful right now, so between the two of us, and also by giving more and more responsibility to Ryley, we just do the best we can.

Here’s my usual Saturday morning writing spot:



In April, as the snow melted and the ground thawed, we became very unhappy with the state of our home. Many things had sat rotting on our property over the long winter, and now it was time to deal with them.



There was carpet from the flooding, a broken playhouse, a broken grill, a dead fallen tree, an old couch, random trampoline parts, rusted patio chairs, massive closet doors that I hated, etc. Our home seemed to be the place where unwanted items came to die. And once they did die, they were things that the garbage service wouldn’t take and that we couldn’t donate either. As a result, the side of our garage had become its own eco-system. So I called my friend Victoria, and she gave us a good deal on a roll-off dumpster:


A couple of days and sweat and manpower and three snakes and a Black Widow spider later, this was the side of our garage:


It felt so good to get everything out of there. We also made a lot of headway on the inside of our garage (which we treat as a storage unit), but there are no pictures of that because we’re not done. 

The dumpster looked like this:


Halfway through the week, some scary-looking metal scrappers came by and sifted through the dumpster and took everything they wanted, creating extra room.  So I decided to start going through the boxes in our guest room, which had been packed by the asbestos abatement team.

“I’ve found that asbestos abatement is a great time to sort and purge and decide what you really need to keep,” the abatement contractor said, as we stood in our messy guestroom in December, in the aftermath of flood damage. I know he looked down on me. All he saw was a disorganized mess. He couldn’t picture what a clean and cheerful place our home had been before water had ravaged everything. I just nodded and agreed with him, having lost all my pride.

But now, months later, it seemed like a good idea. So box by mildewy box, I tackled the guestroom, a project that took weeks, long after the dumpster had been hauled away. And once you get into it, purging is addictive. My goal was two boxes a day.

Eventually, we could walk in there again, and over Memorial Day weekend, we finally finished.

“Two boxes a day brings the guests to stay,” Ryley chimed.




I’m so happy with the way it turned out. When the weather gets a little cooler, I plan to keep working on the garage, one box at a time. It’s a strategy that seems to work for me.


School ended in May, and it was a refreshing change, as it always is. Ryley’s school is expanding into a second campus closer to our house, just as she starts middle school. We are really excited about it. We love her classical school curriculum, and I personally believe that classical education best accomplishes its goals when a child has been immersed in it through the high school grades too. So we are happy that her new school will be K-12.

Here she is at her school orchestra concert:





Cheering for the last day of 5th grade…


Dancing (in costume) to “Let It Go”…


Spring cleaning….




In June, Ryley and I took a mommy/daughter field trip to the Denver Mint.











We watched a family of robins grow up on our patio. Very sweet. :-)



The big thing that happened in June was that, due to a car accident, my dad had some complications with his leg. He ended up having surgery and then had to spend the next six weeks in a hospital in Dallas with a staph infection. It was a very stressful time for him and for my mom, who was in the middle of selling their house in Oklahoma and preparing to move to Dallas.


In July, we traveled to Nebraska for a big family reunion. It was a delightful weekend with so much family, though we really missed my dad.





My beautiful mommy!







A couple weeks later, despite some car issues, Ryley and I drove to Tulsa to help my mom pack and hold a garage sale:



A highly unsuccessful lemonade stand:


After the garage sale, my mom drove us down to Dallas to see my dad in the hospital.




We all cried when we left. Through her tears, Ryley said, “I wish Pappaw could escape that place!” :-(

We headed back to Tulsa, and then the next morning, drove home to Denver.

A few days later was Ryley’s birthday (see my previous post)!

Mammaw and Pappaw bought her a beautiful bike, so we rode it to the park on her birthday night. We think it looks like her! :-)


My dad was released from the hospital the last week of July and headed home to Tulsa. We praise God for his continued healing!



Another trip to the library…


The first Broncos game of the year…


And some puppy love this morning on the patio…


Matching freckles…


And that’s been our spring and summer thus far.

My parents moved to Texas today, leaving behind their beautiful home of 15 years. Everything they own is in two U-Hauls and their two vehicles. My heart has been with them all day, and I am excited for their adventure and for the good things in store for them in the months and years to come! They are such amazing, brave people, trusting that they are in God’s will, taking everything one step at a time. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds! ;-)