Sunday, May 19, 2013

Life is happening

I haven't posted in a while and I thought, just to keep everyone from leaving me, I would throw out an update on my life.  Because I know you just can't go on one more day without knowing what is happening in Melanie's life.

The big update is that Jake is home!  Done with his first year of college and hanging with us for a few months.

I had originally planned to drive down on Saturday, stay overnight so we could attend Church of the Resurrection with him, and head home.  Rez, as it is called, is the church where Jake has been attending and the church which planted our church.  They just moved into a new building and I wanted to see it.  But then I get a call that he has to be out of his dorm by Friday at 5pm.  Finals end on Thursday!  I guess they don't want any loitering once they are done with school.  So we were on the road by 7am on Friday and arrived with the boxes to pack up his stuff about an hour before he was scheduled to check out.  He was running the vacuum through his room 5 after his check out time which I felt was pretty good.  We laughed at how well the school set up his roommate situation because they were both still spread all over the room when we arrived.  Dual procrastinators.  We lit a fire under them and made it happen.  John managed to use every inch of space in the back of the truck to pack everything.  So tight nothing could possibly move.

Jake is not returning to Wheaton next year.  In fact he is not going back to school at all next year.  While I am sad to see him leave Wheaton I realize at this point in his life it is the right thing to do.  We are calling it a gap year although it has the potential to be less or more.  We are hoping to better define this gap year with him this summer but right now its purpose is a little vague.

I am not going to lie to you, I am having to swallow some pride here.  It is so much more fun to tell people your son is going to Wheaton than it is going to be to tell them he is not in school at all.  But this decision isn't about me, it is about Jake and the choices he is making.  His need to find his purpose and figure out what he wants and where he needs to be.

Isabelle setting up her space for the drive to Chicago.

Mid morning nap, we got her up pretty early.

The last picture of Jake with the sign.

Yep he was wearing that kilt when we arrived and all the way home.

We are enjoying having Jake around.  He starts the first of what will hopefully become 2 jobs on Monday so we called this week a vacation week for him and I tried not to be too bothered by the number of hours he spent watching YouTube videos.  So far he has been fun to have around.  Last summer was a bit stressful so we are all calling this summer a do over.

The house still isn't on the market but hopefully will be by the end of the week.  We were on our way to a spotless house a couple weeks ago but realized the carpet downstairs and the paint outside were both to a level beyond salvaging or overlooking.  So we threw it all on hold to re carpet and paint the exterior.  The new carpet comes on Monday morning.  The exterior is still up in the air.  We couldn't get it done last week when the weather was great and now it is supposed to rain half the week this week.  One way or another we will make it happen by next weekend and be on the market.  As I am watching the houses in our neighborhood I am confident it will be sold within 2 weeks, maybe less.

I have started mourning leaving our house in some ways but over and over I get confirmation that this is the right move for us.  The closer we get to selling and possibly moving into my parents house the more nervous I get about where our next house will be.  I love my parents and would like to still feel that way about them by the end of the summer.  A month or two sounds doable, 6 months would be a problem.  The houses in our price range are sort of all over the place and sell very quickly.  So likely our future home isn't on the market yet and won't be until potentially after we close on this house.  God is teaching me patience.

And just like it is more fun to tell people my son goes to Wheaton, it is more fun to tell people we live in a big house in an upper bracket community than I imagine it will be to tell them we live in a fixer upper in a bad neighborhood.  God is definitely working on my pride and humility this summer.

Several years ago, shortly after Isabelle was born, John took a desk job.  At the time his truck was on its last leg and so we started shopping for cars.  Since he was giving up his truck for a more practical car he wanted something fun to drive as a replacement.  He started looking at BMWs.  I humored him but was rolling my eyes wondering why I would buy a car 5-10 years older than anything else I could get in my price range with more miles.  Then he dragged me along for a test drive.  And I got it.  I still thought it was crazy and wouldn't buy one but at least I understood why he wanted one.  They are nice to drive.

As you may know, it is adventures in cheap cars at our house all the time.  Last fall went from 5 vehicles down to a reasonable 2.  Sold the broken plow truck, the plow truck that worked great, the work van and my mini van.  We bought an Envoy for John to drive around and I went into the 300M Jake had been driving.  With the extra money from the sales we did some maintenance on the 2 vehicles we had and kept about $600 to buy something for Jake to drive when he came home for the summer.  Being seasoned pros at buying cheap cars we figured we could buy something for $500 in the spring and sell it for $500 in the fall.  Just the cost of gas and insurance for the summer.

Of course ideas and implementation are two very different things.  So finding something for $500 that "runs and drives" was proving to be a little more challenging than we had anticipated.  We started looking up to $800.  John found a few worth looking at but nobody seemed in a rush to get back to him or have him out to look at the cars they had for sale. We were getting discouraged.  Finally Friday comes and Jake is planning to spend the weekend with a friend and then go to work Monday morning.  This would be impossible without a car because we each had separate plans as well.  So now we are on panic buy day.  But there, new listing on Friday, is a 5 speed, 96 BMW for $500.  John quickly calls, discovers 3 others are coming later in the day to look at it and goes running out the door with Jake in tow in an attempt to be the first one there.  They arrive, drive it, can't believe what a great deal the guy is selling it for and buy it.  Dream come true!  Jake  had wanted to learn to drive a manual, seems like a rite of passage when you are young, and John always tries to buy manuals when he buys new cars, he loves them.  So now, while Jake does get it for the summer, I suspect my car will be on the block in the fall and John will have the BMW he has been dreaming of for years.  Frankly, I have been trying to figure out how to get into the Envoy since we bought it so that works for me!

Super fun to drive
I am calling this car a love note from God.  As I look at houses in our price range I am essentially looking for a $500 car, they are out there but they aren't pretty, don't all run and drive and in general can be more discouraging than encouraging.  This little red BMW looks just like a beautiful valentine from God reassuring us that He is on the detail.  He will provide exceedingly, abundantly for us as we walk in obedience with Him.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  2 Cor 9:8
My word of the year is "Watch" and this past week I really saw God work.

She continues to be cute.  We are a month from finishing 2nd grade.  Life is good.

She always cracks me up.  Here are some pictures from mid April.  We were all desperate for a warm up.  So on this mid 30 degree day she was out barefoot.  It is good to be a kid.

I'm not cold.

These were here for several days after.  We thought it would never warm up and stop snowing in MN this year!
 Since the warm up finally arrived she has been outside quite a bit.  She learned to ride her bike in about 1 minute on Mother's day and has been riding up and down the alley ever since.  Life is good when you are a kid and nature is calling.

Me and John:
We continue to work hard figuring things out.  John completed his 4th semester with a 4.0 and will officially have a 2 year degree.  We are working on finalizing getting him into the University of Minnesota for the fall.  In the mean time we are both working hard trying to figure out how to make some money.  I have been doing a lot of training for my new real estate career and am itching to get out there and start making money.  John has a couple small projects lined up for the summer and is working on getting a job with an ER for the fall.  It is stressful some days but we are in it together and still excited to get up each morning and discover what God has for us.  "see I am doing a new thing!" 

It is a full life here but a good life. I am learning to appreciate the little moments and simply experience the life God has put before me.

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