Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Savings

This morning, I did something I've never done before. I woke up, nursed Solomon, grabbed my list and Solomon and I went shopping alone.

The three older kids stayed home with Daddy.

I went to the bank and made a deposit through the ATM. Have you ever done that? It's amazing! I typically don't use "self scan" anything because I don't want to put people out of work. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I did today. It's a huge deal to make a deposit into our checking account because I don't have any deposit slips. Since we started our account in Georgia, I need an out of state deposit slip. Of course, the teller never believes that I know what I need and insists they handed me the right one. I fill it out and hand it to them and then they say it won't work. I need an out of state slip. I look over both shoulders expecting Candid Cameras and there is nothing. I usually sigh heavily and fill out the next form.

So today I skipped all of those steps and deposited a check at the ATM. The receipt has an image of the check I put in on it. Brandon has done this before (to prevent the above mentioned scenario) and we've never had any issues before. I also withdrew cash for our envelopes.

Then, I drove to the consignment store. I noticed when I walked in that there were signs everywhere that they were having a sale. 60% off of all clothing sized 24 months and under. I quickly thought through the closet inventory I took and realized that the only thing I really needed was a coat for Solomon. As they were looking over the clothes and preparing the offer, I checked out my usual area. I found a coat for Solomon for $2.60. They offered me $34.77 and so my total net was $32.17. (This check will be deposited via the ATM too!)

I drove through the drive thru at the newly opened ChicFilA and used a coupon I had for a free 4 piece kids meal. Total cost $0.00

I drove to Martin's. I chose Martin's today because they sent me a fabulous coupon flyer this week. There were three coupons on it: A free $25 giftcard for having a new or transferred prescription filled and two $10 off a purchase of $50 or more coupons. Each of the $10/$50 coupons dated differently.

I walked straight back to the pharmacy and asked if they had the supplies for the prescription that was new to us. They checked and said they didn't. So I had them call another Martin's for me. They had what we needed at the other pharmacy. While I was waiting I spotted a clearance rack. I got two large bags of Kingsford charcoal for $5.24 each, a container of lighter fluid $1.85 and a bag of cat food for $.99. Total cost: $13.99

I drove to Martin's #2. Picked up the prescription and paid with our Flexible Spending Card and picked up my giftcard from the pharmacy and took my list to pick up the 14 things I planned to buy. My Subtotal was $54.31. Then the $10 off, then the giftcard. Final Cost: $19.55

At this point, I drove home and unloaded groceries. Then I nursed Solomon and laid him down for his nap.

Then I went shopping completely alone. *giggle*

I went to CVS and that was a bust.

Then I went to Walmart and made a small return and bought lunchmeat for Monday and Baby Vicks for our congested Xander. But they didn't have any nasal aspirators. Out of pocket: $0.00

On the way home I passed a Babies R Us/ Toys R Us. I ran in, got two nasal aspirators and a travel package of baby wipes. Used my $5 reward card. Out of pocket: 18 CENTS!

Not bad for about 5 hours total! And I walked in the door just in time for Solomon's next feeding!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Gap

When I look in the picture in the header of my blog, I see something that most people don't. Of course I see four children, the youngest crying and the oldest trying to console him. I see two girls and two boys. I see that Xander is not the least bit interested in posing for pictures at all.

But I also see a gap in between Julianne and Xander, a baby that was in our lives that isn't in our day to day life anymore.

In December 2006, our Julianne was only 6 months old when I began to feel oddly. I took a pregnancy test and a line came up very quickly!

Brandon was in the livingroom playing video games with our friend, Chris. I called him into our master suite and showed him the test. He smiled and kissed me, I saw him puff out his chest a bit and he walked back into the livingroom where our guest was waiting for him.

And then my mind started racing. THREE? THREE children? Woah.. we said that we were "done" after Julianne! Julianne and the new baby would be 15 months apart. Much closer than the 39 month spacing between DeLainey and Julianne. How will I manage? What would people think? What would our families say? What if I had hyperemesis again? What if I am put on bedrest again?

Brandon didn't seem worried at all. He was thrilled. He was amazed that I was pregnant (while on the Birth Control Pill no less) after trying so hard and eventually using the fertility medication, Clomid, to conceive Julianne.

Slowly, I adjusted my thinking and embraced my pregnancy. Don't think for a second I didn't love my baby instantly- I did. I was just concerned about the logistics. I later lost that pregnancy immediately following my first doctor's appointment and ultrasound.

We were both devastated. Brandon says that the sound of me crying when they told me our baby was gone haunts him to this day and that he has never felt so helpless in his life. September 2007 came and went, without another baby joining our family.

Now, I am super thankful that Xander joined our family and then Solomon. But the pain of my miscarriage is still there and I still see The Gap.

Every September 19, I think of how we would be celebrating a birthday. This year, that baby would be three. No one really talks about our baby that died and that is probably the most difficult thing to deal with now. No one seems to remember or see The Gap but me.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Flee and Never Look Back...

So Thursday after recieving word that the promotion was not meant to be, I had to go back "home" to take care of some things. Brandon was able to go with me since he wasn't starting a new position. (How is that for timing? LOL!)

It wasn't fine and dandy. Most of the trip was okay but we quickly remembered why we were eager to move. We both have a low tolerance for drama... family drama included.

I'm not going to get into exactly what happened, but let's just say it wasn't pretty. And Wednesday, although I was so sad to have to say goodbye to my aunt, (who is more like a mother to me than the family friend she truly is) I couldn't wait to get back to Richmond. Seriously, the speed limit was not fast enough and I wish I could have teleported myself back.

Last Wednesday night when we arrived home, I checked some blogs I follow and I read this:

And it touched me in such a way that I'm not sure I can clearly explain myself. Since November 2008, I've lived my life looking back. Looking at what we had, what was familiar, looking at the past. And it took the family drama for me to truly see that Augusta is not where our family should be.

God has made it clear that we are supposed to be in Richmond in the following ways:

1. Brandon had a very quick interviewing time for his position here. His offer was extended quickly. It blessed us financially.
2. Our move was the smoothest move we've ever experienced.
3. Xander's adoption was speedy and easy.
4. Brandon and I have had some insights that have made us understand what we believe and why we believe it.
5. We've brought Lainey home to homeschool-- something we wanted to do in Georgia but didn't have the guts to. He's blessed my efforts even when I feel like I can't homeschool effectively with four, 7 years old and under.
6. Our church is less than a mile from our first apartment here.. and a little over a mile from our place now. Yes.. all that church searching and it was just down the street!
7. It's been made clear that we haven't been meant to transfer out... at least not yet! (I've learned to never say never!)
8. I had wonderful care from my OB while I was pregnant with Solomon and the hospital I was treated at for preterm labor was less than 3 miles away. The close proximity allowed Brandon to bring the children to come visit me. This was my first pregnancy that I didn't have serious reservations about my care and change OB's mid pregnancy!
9. Julianne's asthma and respiratory issues are virtually non-existent (even though we now live in an apartment with carpet.)

I could go on and on... God's fingerprints are all over the details of our lives.

So I'm going to try VERY hard to not look back. I have a future to live.. here in Richmond.

Interestingly enough, I struggle with not looking back at what my life was like before I accepted Christ as well. Guilt, shame and fear live in my past. Old habits die hard. I'm trying...


PS: I'm still working on that other post. I guess I'm not meant to share the story yet!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not sure what to write about...

I'm working on a post that I can't get worded juuuuuuuuust right. And I have writer's block when I try to start another post about another subject.

So I'm not sure what to write. But I'm still here!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It wasn't meant to be....

Last Thursday was not a great day at the Bee House. Brandon sent me a text message asking for prayers because he thought the announcement for the position he applied for was about to come out.

I prayed and had a very unsettled feeling. I tried to shake it off and keep praying. I knew how much Brandon wanted it. Who am I kidding? I knew how much I wanted it for Brandon.

And then a very long wait happened and my phone rang. I said hello and I knew from the pause and they way Brandon's voice cracked when he said my name that things didn't go the way we had hoped.

The tears started rolling down my hot cheeks and mentally I started down a really dangerous path.

What do you mean he didn't get it? He's worked so hard... He deserves it. Look at all we have sacrificed! We took a huge chance to come here! Brandon helped change the course that the office was going down and improve the stats. We were one of the first internal transfers! Look at all his accomplishments....

I comforted Brandon the best way I knew how. All I could say was, "I guess it wasn't meant to be, God has something else planned." I choked back tears while I was on the phone with him. I excused myself to go take a shower and cry it out. When the water ran cold I got out and dressed. I found myself on the couch, as numb inside as I felt outside.

That night before I drifted off to sleep, I felt very convicted about my thoughts. I started thinking about what we really deserve. As sinners, we deserve hell. But we are offered the gift of forgiveness by God! I'm so thankful for that!

So now we wait...again. We will both keep looking ahead and working, while we wait for God to show us what is next.

[This post has been edited. See the October 5th posting for more information.]

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A New Chapter

All adoption decisions are on hold right now. We continue to pray for guidance and pray for families that are currently on their journey to uniting with their children. Many of you know just how passionate we are about this and how strongly we desire to adopt again. My flesh wishes we could have started yesterday! But the rules say that we can't start another homestudy until January at the soonest. We are trusting Him and waiting. As much as it frustrates me, much of the adopting process is jumping through hoops and waiting.

In other news:

We may have finally found a church home. God is such a patient Father. He had to let us flounder in churches that WE thought we should be in and none of those worked.

There was one certain church that we kept passing... we looked online and they didn't match up with what we thought we needed or even wanted. This church is crazy small. The list of things they don't have that we thought we desired/needed is very long.

But we kept being drawn to this church. We surrendered... and went on Sunday. We were greeted by a very nice lady that helped us find our way (down ONE hallway. HA!) We were introduced to people that we had things in common with (SAHM, homeschooling, adopting, more than 2.5 children!) We were welcomed with open arms. Our three children that attended Sunday School/Nursery were well cared for and comfortable.

We were asked if we had prayer needs... We were included. We were not mocked, ignored or belittled. The sermon was biblically sound and unapologetic.

The peace in my heart is so very sweet right now. And I can't wait to meet more people, build relationships and finally have a regular place to worship and fellowship.

What I didn't expect was the tears that would come with closing the chapter to our old church. Yeah, I know, we've been here almost TWO years (can you believe it?!) But I had very special memories at my old church and very sweet friends. Brandon and I had unbelievable mentors and I had great memories of teaching a Sunday School class. Brandon and I met some incredible prayer warriors... who prayed us through a job loss, me going back to work and then coming back home, Lainey's public school issues, infertility diagnosis and failed treatments, our adoption and my most recent pregnancy!

It hit me like a ton of bricks on Monday morning, when I realized that we may have found a church that we can call "home." So the tears flowed. Everything made my eyes well up with tears on Monday. And it is with much sadness, that I realized that the friendships and memories will remain, but that Richmond is home. I've told myself a lie for almost 2 years. I told myself that this is a temporary assignment and that this will never be home. This was supposed to be short term... a stepping stone if you will. And as things line up, fall into place and become more clear, I realize that for now, this is home. I'm not sure if we will ever leave Richmond. And I'm not sure I would have ever agreed to come if I had known it was permanent. But, I certainly feel like God has more to show us about this place and about where He desires us to be.

And for the first time in a long time, I'm not dreading turning the page to see what is up ahead.