my scrap space // a little tour

hello again!

the beginning of the year brought so many things that are making me happy right now:
>>> new supplies
>>> a desire to purge some old/unused items
>>> a continued love for project life

organizing and making do with what i have has always been a priority in my life.
if i need something, my first thought is “can i make it myself?” or “do i have something that i could make work instead of buying it?”
most of the time, the answer is yes. and in the case of my scrap desk, it’s a hodge podge of well loved items that have had many other functions.

for part one of a series of videos i’m making, i take you through a general tour around my desk. i’m mainly focusing on supplies and how i have made storage solutions from items i already own. scrapbooking and documenting life does not have to be an expensive hobby. you don’t really need the latest or greatest storage solution or gadget or dispenser. for example, one item i don’t mention in the video is my washi tape. (honestly, i ran out of time and didn’t want the video over 10 minutes so i’ll touch on it next time) i store them on a small ikea shelf that i have had for years. i could have bought trays and baskets and such, but i used what i had and it works for me. they are on display so i can see them and they are up and out of the way.
in a small space, storage is key. but as a visual person, if i don’t see it, i don’t use it.

the video below is my first walk through video and it was kinda fun to make! i talk through what’s on my desk and hopefully it doesn’t bore you into hitting the pause button. and please be kind as i also had to edit it using imovie for the first time ever and it’s not as clean as i had hoped for. with a husband as a video editor, my standard are high, so next time i’ll be doing things a bit differently.

but until then, welcome to my scrap space!

thanks for watching, i sure hope you found something that has inspired you! 🙂

smiles,
andrea_sig

2013 project life update // weeks 9+10+11+12

hey friends!

today i’m sharing some more project life spreads that i’ve finished lately. 2013 is really coming along nicely. using a variety of products, including becky higgins stuff, kits from scrapbook.com, clearance finds at target and collections from simple stories, i can make each page feel and look different without getting bored. and that’s the coolest!

are you ready to journey back to february and march? cool, let’s go!

week 9 // full spread
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week 9 // left side

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week 9 // right sideOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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week 10 // full spread

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week 10 // left side

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week 10 // right side

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week 11 // full spread

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week 11 // left side

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week 11 // right side

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weekend of 11 // full spread

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weekend of 11 // left side

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weekend of 11 // right side

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week 12 // full spread

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week 12 // left side

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week 12 // right side

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and there it is! so happy to be moving right along with fun supplies!

so whatcha been workin’ on?

enjoy your weekend!

andrea

gray central station // an organizational project

the launching pad area of my home has been a constant struggle for me.
as much thought and time i put into making it functional and easy, it just never works right.
at times, our areas were too cramped, and we just had to live with what we had.
but moving into our new house has provided many areas that can be super functional.
and this is something a girl can get excited about.

the ebbs and flows of life call for different functions for our house to run smoothly and right now the struggles are:
1) piles of school work/mail that come into the house and
2) no set place to communicate items that need to leave the house.
added to the equation is a daily homework assignment for marshall that requires him to mark off calendar days and record the stories we read. for this he needs to have the calendar at his height and access to the colored pencils he needs for the required pattern.
we also have a 2.5 month perpetual calendar that needs to be in plain sight as well as hot items that we need to be reminded of.

hence, the start of a new project. setting up a functional, living and inexpensive command center.

here’s where it will be: the side of the fridge which is located next to the garage door, which we use for the main door in/out of the house. all traffic in and out passes through this area and it has the most real estate.
bam.
perfect.

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first, i determined that i needed:
1) in/out boxes for each person,
2) a new calendar,
3) a small bucket to hold writing supplies,
4) magnetic clips to hold items and
5) clips to hold notes

so i set off to target. i found these plastic pocket folders in the school supply section for $1.20 each. they are perfect because they’re flat and durable. Untitled

i peeled off the velcro from both sides and also cut off the flap as well as the section where the binder holes were. Untitled

i used a thick kind of double sided sticky tape by 3M and layered the folders 3 inches from the top of the one above it. then i used labels i already owned that are 1″x3.75″ (there are 4 labels per sheet) and used word to print our names on each label.

after hanging the file folders and the calendars with awesome command strips, i began to add the fun parts of the FUNctionality. haha, get it? Untitled

aaaaanyhoo…the file folders were up a bit too high to i moved them down to fit the title card i wanted there. i used a project life 4×6 title card and printed the words GRAB + GO on it, using word. cute huh? and free! Untitled

then i placed a few silver binder clips to each person’s file that could hold a little note or reminder for that person.

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now it’s getting close….. i added marshall’s calendar, which is now held by a heavy duty magnet clip you see down there. i was using the magnet clips to hold the bucket and the number flashcards, but it was a bit too wobbly. so i used hooks with adhesive instead. Untitled

in the bucket that i found in the dollar spot at target, i have project life 3×4 grid journalling cards because, well, i have a ton. marshall’s colored pencils and a sharpie for notes along with a few extra binder clips. Untitled

the fun part is updating the calendar.
you guys, i really do love updating my calendar.
some things to note:
1) i do not rely only on this calendar method. everything that goes on here, comes from my digital calendars. i subscribe to both of my kids’ school calendars. (if you’re not savvy or your school doesn’t really get down with the online thing, sorry, but it’s the best way for me to keep track of stuff going on a school that i may not know about otherwise.)
and 2) i use a perpetual method that may confuse you off the get go, but i don’t like to waste calendar space so i just start the next month where the previous month ends.
3) i use the command strips so i can remove the calendars from here and put them on the kitchen table to work on them. Untitled

the other thing i’ve started doing recently is using washi tape for each event. i have always used white boards but the pens are never fine enough to write small and if i have to erase something and put it somewhere else, it just gets messy.
washi tape can be written on with sharpie, then moved anywhere you like.
each family member still gets their own color, which helps everyone know their stuff. birthdays get another color and family events or holidays get another.
the dates are all written in white board marker so when it’s time to start fresh, just remove all the tape and use a baby wipe to clean it off and a paper towel to dry.
and presto! a brand new calendar!Untitled

here it is, the main part of gray central station. my hope is that it will be used with ease and that it doesn’t become the forgotten wall of shame. Untitled

anyways, i spent just under $30 on the 2 calendars ($7 each) and the clips and folders and bucket. not bad for a brand new space of organizational bliss.

and now, i need to figure out how to best use my little side kitchen counter to tackle the incoming papers and action items.
i am envisioning some sort of tray situation…not sure. but no doubt that i will be back to tell you all about it.

so now tell me, what areas of your home do you struggle with and what have you done to make it better?

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weekend pinterest projects

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this weekend held so much potential, on monday.
on tuesday, it was a distant dream.
wednesday began my excitement for a friends’ kiddo’s birthday party at the pool and a sunday full of football.
then thursday showed up and brought swollen glands, a scratchy throat and severe sinus pressure. curse you, thursday.
friday didn’t make it go away. no amount of doughnut consumption could take away the sniffles or the sneezes or the aches. getting through work was rough but when i made it home, the couch and my fleece packers blanket beckoned me into their clutches. with a box of tissue, vapo-rub and pre-season football on tv, i hardly moved. dreading a wasted saturday on the couch, i popped a couple tylenol in hopes of a morning of recovery.


and here we are at saturday. i woke up refreshed, but with sinus pain and pressure that makes my face feel like it could explode and a back ache. since my brain says “it’s the weekend, let’s make something!”, i power up the iPad and head straight for pinterest. (specifically my projects to do board).

since i won’t be gracing any craft store with my presence, or my money, i’m looking for projects that use stuff i already have (see repurposing) and that takes minimal effort (see sick and lazy).

and of course, i found a few perfect projects:

// felt chevron hair clips by nattybratty on etsy. looks like they’re sold out, but i’m gonna make them for myself anyways.

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// star-stamped tee shirt found on diyandcrafttutorials.com

i don’t have a large star stamp but i do have some cute arrows and letters i could use to make a cute pattern. looking forward to making something fun.

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// back to school interviews with the boys by petitelemon.com

this will be a great addition to project life and i just might have the boys write them in themselves.

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// wooden pepsi sign found on pinterest

no one FREAK OUT! this is for gibson, the pepsi lover. i have some spare wood left over from this project, and i figured gibson would love to hang this in his room.

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so that’s my plan, man. if i end up getting none of these completed, i’m okay with that. just can’t sit around here doin’ nothing all weekend. although marshall’s room needs to be cleaned and gibson needs to get prepped for school. i plan to take it easy for the next couple days.

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a few more outfits to share from last week. the theme apparently was tucking it in.

one // 

top is old
jeans are from kohl’s
necklace is from veryjane.com
belt is unknown
flats are from dsw.com

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two //

plaid top from old navy
belt is super old
shoes are from payless

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all items are from my own closet, nothing new here. just trying to wear things in different ways. what can you find in your closet that you can wear differently?

wear it and feel good about it. don’t forget to smile when you look in the mirror. 🙂

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diy painted sign // a craft

when i first moved in to our new house, i knew i would need to cover up the old brass fireplace cover.

but the solution wasn’t exactly clear.

i toyed with a few ideas and searched pinterest until i decided that a large painted sign would be the simplest and cheapest way to go. and it turned out to be one of my favorite things to look at.

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i started by measuring the width and height of the fireplace cover. i added 2 inches to each side and 2 inches to the top for my total dimensions. the plan was for it to just lean against the cover.

at lowes, i had them cut this size from a 4×4 piece of mdf. i didn’t need a fancy piece of wood and this one cost $12. once they cut the two sides off, i was left with 2 other pieces to use for another project….score!!!

i measured how tall i wanted the letters and which fonts i wanted. i printed the letters using MS word to make it easy. watched some tv while i cut each letter out by hand.

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after 2 coats of white spray paint, i lightly glued the letters down. measuring and adjusting as i went.

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2 coats of red spray paint and some dry time later….

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…we were able to start peeling the letters off.

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i love that some parts didn’t come off and that other letters don’t have a super clean edge.

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it is easily my new favorite piece. 🙂

happy crafting!

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my craft space // an update

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if you recall the bare bones workstation i created in our new house, you’ll notice a simple design, free of junk and unnecessary clutter.

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being fond of the simple kind of life in this space, i was looking to add a bit more in the way of organization and color.

enter // phase 2

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after spending a significant chunk of time in this space a couple weeks ago (see: reason why), i realized some flaws in my setup.

number one // surface space was lacking

my trays of paper and supplies were taking up so much desk space that after adding the paper cutter, little trash bin and my phone and water, i barely had room for a single page to work on.

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so i found a larger box in my garage (from our local big box store), some empty shoe boxes and reorganized how i stored my 4×6, 3×4 and smaller scraps.

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instead of making sections myself like i did here, i used some smaller boxes and containers that were being used elsewhere. two of these are the base and lid from one of my first project life kits.

this lid holds my 4×6 inserts perfectly.

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the bottom of that box holds two rows of 3×4 inserts which makes looking through them so much easier.

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these other boxes i found at target’s dollar spot. they are perfect for the little scraps and small paper embellishments.

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number two // smaller accessories were hidden and not easy to get to or took up too much space

another supply that commandeers my work surface is my growing collection of tapes.

so what better place than up where i can see them all! thankfully i still have a little ikea shelf that ended up being perfect for these little rolls of colorful goodness.

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you’d think this would mean i can’t buy anymore tapes since they go from end to end, but wait!…..there’s room for a second row behind there! boom!

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my acrylic stamp collection is also growing. they needed their own home and were in a few different places before. in one tray and on top of a bigger ikea shelf was perfect.

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oh look! what’s that under the shelf?

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i spray painted mason jar rings and nailed the lids to the underside of the shelf and now, those little half pints store chip boards, buttons and flowers that would be otherwise shoved in a box and never seen or used. hello functionality!

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all pens and tools used to commune in the same desktop tray. but i covered a narrow shoebox lid and can keep all the journaling pens horizontal like a good little scrapper but all the other tools get an upright position in a mason jar.

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we can’t forget about ribbon, twine and rick-rack. they get to mingle in a larger mason jar and stored in the big box of papers and scraps. now it’s super easy to see what i have and can use them frequently!

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i’m using a magazine holder for tall sheets of alpha stickers and another little box for a couple circle punches, extra glue sticks and tools i don’t use too often.

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magic can happen in small spaces, all you need is a few jars and empty boxes.

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happy scrapping!

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weekend pinterest projects

with this kind of weather upon us, there’s not going to be much reason for us to leave the house this weekend.

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and since i am all out of pictures to scrap, the plan is to keep busy while the outside world sweats.

// alter a t-shirt by dollars sense and more

// make some shorts by made by roo

// apple art by modern parents messy kids

// be active, inside of course (sorry about the language, but it gets the point across)

// let my kid fly by doodle craft

// get wet by icandy handmade

// paint my nails a bright color like this by supppshell

do you have any weekend projects planned?

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weekly wrap up 2013 // week 14+15

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hey there,do you have your coffee? good, because it’s a catch up post which means a double shot of pictures.

WEEK 14

monday | april 1:

marshall finally hopped on his scooter and was brave enough to work it out.

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tuesday | april 2:

moving and paint planning have begun.

and so it begins.....

 

 

marshall became good friends with the chick-fil-a cow. he had a lot of questions for mr. cow, like what he eats and why he stands on only two feet. the cow gave marshall a lot of high-fives!

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thursday | april 4:

if i don’t plan this move around all of the other things we have going on this month, i will never keep it straight. my goal is to do something moving related each day that. this month will be over soon, so i have to make this time work for me.

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#throwbackthursday on instagram. this was marshall’s first day home and gibson was so careful with him.

#throwbackthursday // Marshall was just a day new and Gibson was so careful with him.

 

 

this came in the mail….i finally own one of my faves!

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friday | april 5:

don’t judge. these cheez-its sit in the vending machine outside of my office and holler at me. they say eat me with apples so you feel less guilty. 😉

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today’s arm candy.

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saturday | april 6:

stuff is really happening. i’ve packed several boxes, started a jar for pins/nails/screws that come off the walls, and our property management co has acknowledged our request to vacate. YEA!!

because I'm not a wait-until-the-last-minute kind of girl... #thegraymoveof2013 #wipesboxesarethebestboxes

 

 

working on the garage with my mama today and i ran into a treasure box with these things in it. i adored these shoes on gibson and i even saved a newborn sized diaper to remember how small he was. but i was in purging so i used the technology that was placed at my fingertips and snapped this pic and tossed these in the trash.

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this little note was also in there, and for good reason. right after gibson was born, we received this note with a $150 money order in it from an anonymous sender. we had been short on money that month and this was an enormous blessing. to this day, i do not know who sent it, but that’s how they wanted it. i have thanked them quietly ever since.

uncovered // received this a couple days after we brought gibson home. it wasn't signed, had no return address and included a check for $150. at that moment, it was like gold and was a huge blessing. to this day, I have no idea who it was from. ☝

 

 

we also had a chance to run over to our new house while our friends were moving out so we measured and snapped a million pics.

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this is why my mom rocks. this is just the beginning of the packing.

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sunday | april 7:

with measurements in hand, i went to sketching out each room’s layout. oh how graph paper makes me happy.

yesterday I got pictures and measurements of the new house! which means that today's tools are graph paper, a pencil, a ruler and a measuring tape. #thegraymoveof2013 #planningmakesmehappy

 

 

this afternoon is the very first read thru of SHIFT. all the kids will be here, and so will pizza.

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as the on-staff photographer, i was tasked with taking pics of the kids for props. they played their characters very well!

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and marshall needed a break.

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i snapped a pic of this car and texted it to gibson. he knew exactly what it was and told me a bunch of little factoids.

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WEEK 15

monday | april 8:

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tuesday | april 9:

as seen on facebook:
scored 10 apple boxes from a local grocery store last night. fruit boxes are THE best boxes for moving….and they’re FREE! 3 more boxes are locked and loaded and the walls are looking bare. =)

wednesday | april 10:

as seen on facebook:
Nothing good ever comes from sticking up for an insect. I just got finished telling Matt how the mosquito eaters are the good guys even tho we both HATE them and he flips on the light to look for something and a giant unguided gangly mosquito eater is bouncing around the opposite wall. Hiding out in my dimly lit room, waiting to strike while i slept no doubt. Well I showed him who was boss. Sorry babe, couldn’t wait for you to grab the swatter…kinda freaked out and used a magazine. Now I can’t turn the light off.

thursday | april 11:

soon sweatheart. soon you will have a home inside our new home. you only have 16 more days in the garage and i promise never to let you out of my sight again.

soon sweatheart. soon you will have a home inside our new home. you only have 16  more days in the garage and I promise never to let you out of my sight again.

friday | april 12:

after my uncle passed away, my mom dropped these beauties off at my house. i am literally without speech. i even have a record player to listen to them on. SCORE!

I am literally without speech. My mom found some of my uncle's old records. The Let It Be album was tucked in the pile along with The Doors, Stevie Wonder, The Monkees and some Jan and Dean. Holy vintage score Batman! Now i hope the record player works.

 

 

tonight we tested props for the movie and took some test footage. want a fun movie secret? this “meteorite” is a large hamster ball, filled with clear packing bags and green glow sticks, covered in tin foil, spray painted black. we will cut slits in the foil so the green glows out of the holes. pretty cool huh?

dry ice + glow sticks + a battery operated fan = movie magic #shifthappens #behindthescenes

saturday | april 13:

as seen on facebook: 
it is so like this house to be a complete jerk. for the seven years we’ve been here, we’ve never had to replace the huge fluorescent lights in the garage. but today, 2 weeks before we move out of this dump, one goes out. soooooo not replacing it. this house is so annoying! 🙂 13 more days!

sunday | april 14:

i’m ready for another day of filming.

this morning. before I was burnt to a crisp. those were happy times. #latergram #sunburnssuck

 

 

just feeding lines to the actors.

fed lines to the kids all day. sore and burnt. but hey, #shifthappens #makingmoviesisalotofwork

 

 

we shot the friday night meteor scene and matt’s checking out the footage already!

lights. camera. action. #shifthappens #moviemagic @minifantic

 

 

that’s about it folks. looking back on these weeks doesn’t really show how crazy and busy we were but man alive i can feel it. thankfully we are at the halfway point.

matt and i both knew that a lot of pressure would be put upon us for the month of april but we made sure to slow down and remain loving and helpful to each other. times of stress can cause us to get short and snippy and i asked God early on to help my heart remain a helpful and positive one. so far, we all succeeded!

what makes your life crazy? how do you and your family handle the stress or avoid it?

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movin’ up like george and weezy

you know that moment when you surrender to god’s will and allow him to take the frustrations and irritations from you to deal with himself?

yeah, well we’ve had a lot of those moments with the house we have resided in for the past 7 years.

a stepping stone of sorts, and just fine and dandy as a family of 3 when we moved in.

over the years, many things became apparent and getting out was the goal.

we would find another rental that seemed perfect for us, but god was closing those rental doors. we even found one in january that we didn’t even look at for fear that we would love it for the aesthetics and later regret the location and the price. it was not meant for us.

so we stayed. again. vowing that this would be the absolute last year in this crap hole.
we promised to weed out unnecessary junk and things in our lives and our house so that when we were ready to move in 2014, we would be clean and ready and not move any of the junk from the past into our future.

and so the purge began and the garage sale pile grew. and it felt amazing to let go of so much we’d both been hanging on to.

date: early march

me: hey, the johnson’s just bought a house! isn’t that exciting?!?!
matt: oh that’s cool, good for them!
me: we should move into their old house, it’s probably quieter and it’s got 4 bedrooms! it is just down the street.
matt: yeah, but it’s probably a lot more than we want to pay.
me: yeah, probably. insert sad face.
matt: one more year babe, we’ve got to stick to the goal!

until one morning, sunday march 24th to be exact, when matt was trying to edit and the neighbors were being loud and obnoxious as usual, he said: maybe you need to ask jennifer if the house will be up for rent and what they pay.

that was the moment when i could see it happening. so i texted her.

sidenote: jennifer and i have a cool friendship. it’s one where we can go months without talking or hanging out (because we’re both busy family gals) and then we can pick up where we left off like we’ve never had a break in the conversation. we also tend to reach out to each other at the same time. it’s just cool like that.

anyways, she was just thinking about me when i texted her to congratulate her on the house and to ask about their current place.

she quickly gave me the landlord’s number and told me she would let him know i was going to call him. she also mentioned that another couple was interested but that she didn’t know if they got in touch with him or not.

i was hesitant to call because it was a sunday morning. who wants to be bothered with business stuff on a sunday morning?

so i himmed.
and hawed.

but 15 minutes later, i just decided to do it. i called him.

the conversation went excellent!
we came highly recommended by the johnsons.
rent would stay the same price (which was our perfect number).
no property manager.
he pays water, garbage, and sewer.
there’s a gardner.
no one else had inquired and now that i called, he didn’t plan to list it.

the application for rent was on it’s way to us and we decided it would be best to meet in person once we received it and filled it out.

here is where the nerves kicked in to high gear.

date: tuesday march 26
we got the app in the mail today. it’s freaking me out.

i call the landlord to tell him we got it and that we can meet anytime this week. we decided on friday morning, at our house. this will be perfect. he can see the hell we’ve been facing here, he can meet our sweet and mostly well-behaved boys and we can express to him how deeply we’d love to rent his house. perfect. now we wait.

date: wednesday march 27
jennifer mentions that the other couple was still interested and that they called the landlord the day after we did. oh shoot…now we have competition? i am seriously freaking out! did he think i was the other family when i called? he had to since there wouldn’t have been enough time for jennifer to call him and “highly recommend us”. (but she certainly did after he and i chatted so that totally rocked!) but i don’t like situations like this. where it’s not up to me. oh wait, it’s never up to me.

friday march 29:
good friday. my mama’s birthday. i already know today will be a great day. we have prayer warriors hitting it from every time zone.

the meeting was perfection! he used certain terms like “when you move in” and not “if i decide to rent to you”. but of course, did not give an official yes yet. what he did tell us was that there was another couple who inquired after we talked on sunday and that he did think we were them. but once he realized it, he already felt like he knew us and still wanted to go through the process with us. holy freaking awesome timing.

thank god i called when i did. and i don’t want to revel in this too much but my mom told me these things for a very important reason.

he finished by saying that if he decided to do a credit or background check that it could take up to a week but he understood the need for us to give notice to our current property manager. and remember, it’s already the 29th and we’ve decided on a may 1st move-in date.

monday, april 1:
it’s a day off for me. a day of purging and prepping. just in case. also a day of intense anticipation. today is not the day we are going to hear from our new landlord, that would be crazy. there’s no way he will call us, he said it could be a week.

but at 11am that morning there was an email. an email asking for authorization to inquire about about our credit and background history. i immediately signed up and authorized the reports and gave him a call. he told me that as soon as he got the reports and reviewed them he’d be making a very quick decision.
ohmigosh omigosh omigosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3:30 brought one of the best calls we’ve received in years! he wanted to rent to us and wanted to come over to sign the agreements……THAT NIGHT! he gave me his verbal commitment so that i could notify our current landlord. that email was sent with a giddiness i am still enjoying!

and then the real excitement started. the planning and measuring and paint picking. the furniture shopping and desk deciding and color scheming. the “guess what? we’re moving!!!” being said by all of us several times a day at oddly random times.

so i say to you, GUESS WHAT?! WE’RE MOVING!!!!!!!!!!!!

this will be our last week here and i am far from sad. this was gibson’s fourth residence and marshall’s first and it certainly has been a blessing for the time we needed it. but we’re not confused about this move. we’re not looking back. we’re completely confident in this being one of the best moves of our family’s young history.

it’s been a crazy month in which we already had planned to make a movie with gibson for his science project so adding the move to that has been quite difficult and stressful. but we wrap the movie tonight and that means i can continue to pack the rest of the house. that means our lives will start to return to normal. that means matt will be editing an awesome short film that will be treasured forever. (if you want to see it when it’s ready, visit our website for updates! a trailer will be posted in a day or two.)

5 more days! holla!

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