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3.14.2014

Three Girls

First off, I can't even believe that I'm already halfway through this pregnancy. The time has gone by so fast since we found out we were expecting back in December. 

That being said, halfway means the big ultrasound to check development and find out gender. We had our ultrasound yesterday. The baby was a healthy girl! She was squirmy as ever. We didn't get a good profile photo because her hands were near her face the whole time. But it looked as if she waved! 

I've done this all of this twice before but it still gets me. Seeing that sweet girl on the screen just made my heart swell. The love you can feel for a person you haven't even met is unreal.

We're excited and a bit overwhelmed at the thought of three girls, ages three and under. Amelia was actually slightly disappointed over the news of another sister. She really wanted a brother apparently! But Danny gently explained how big of a blessing our new baby girl is to our family. And that God makes no mistakes. Amelia is definitely warming up to the idea now. I'm glad for that because I really believe that these girls are a gift to each other. I know they'll have their ups and downs because that's what relationships are like. But I've always heard that a sister is a friend for life. I don't have any biological sisters. Honestly, part of me is jealous of my daughters!! Danny and I pray hard that these girls will be so in love with each other. 

Next up on the pregnancy/baby schedule is ordering cloth diapers for the two girls who will be in them {we have to save money somewhere!}, organizing clothes for consignment, and taking my glucose test. Since I had gestational diabetes with Elsie, my midwife wants to test early this time. Understandable but totally sucky. 

Overall, I'm feeling great! I can't wait to see what kind of fun this baby girl adds to our family. 

Isla Abrielle Grace // due August 2014

3.02.2014

Basement Burnout

The fact that we live in a basement is pretty well known. After all, we have been here almost a year and a half

We moved here back in August of 2012. Amelia was 18 months. I was eight weeks pregnant with Elsie. Our goals consisted of saving like crazy so we could buy a house the following summer. And then life happened. Wouldn't you know it, we're approaching spring and we are still here. 

Amelia is three, Elsie is 10 months, and I'm almost halfway through a third pregnancy. 

This isn't at all what we had planned. 

Because this is my blog, my place to record this crazy life of ours, my corner of the internet to just let it out, I'm going to do just that. 

I'm burned out with living in this basement. 

Hear me loud and clear: this living arrangement has gone as well as we could have all hoped. Our friends and the owners of this home, David and Lindsey, have been great to live with. I'm not even kidding when I say we haven't had one argument or disagreement. We have always kept an open line to talk about stuff but there just hasn't been anything come up. Honestly, I believe The Lord orchestrated this living arrangement from day one. And so His hand of protection is covering it all. That doesn't make it easy though. 

Our main refrigerator is upstairs in the garage. And I forget that I need stuff in it all the time. So up and down I go. 

The dishwasher is upstairs. But hauling dishes up and down is awful. So they pile up because I can't wash dishes and see the kids at the same time. 

The kitchen is upstairs. And Danny works late hours. He's often not home for dinner which means I have to cook dinner and watch the kids. Because we don't live upstairs, I feel it necessary to make sure the girls aren't touching everything of David and Lindsey's. Also, their only child is three months younger than Elsie. So they have only recently started thinking about baby-proofing {which is totally fine because I don't expect them to baby-proof for our kiddos}. Usually I would wear Elsie and let Amelia play a game on my phone. But since becoming pregnant, baby-wearing is tough. The ergo is not comfy and I haven't figured out my woven wrap yet. So tonight, we're having frozen waffles and scrambled eggs. Because it's easy. 

This basement space wasn't meant to have a family of four live in it for for over a year. Therefore, storage is weird. I'm starting to nest and it is overwhelming.

Two weeks ago, we put an offer on a house. And things are moving along. But it's still a question if we're going to get this house or not. Danny is content to walk away if God is closing this door. And I'm begging God to leave the door open, with my foot in the door because I want out of the basement and I'm emotionally attached. I've envisioned our family playing in the backyard. I've decorated the rooms and felt at home even in just the few visits so far. 

I'm writing this in my kids room, as they beg to be fed dinner. I'm writing this from a place of frustration and total burn out. 

This basement has done us well. But now it's time. The big question though... is it God's time? 

2.24.2014

Perfect Provision

A couple weeks ago, I shared the story of how Danny came to be an employee of Verizon Wireless back in 2011 and what a blessing it was for us at the time. In that post, I also shared how Danny recently started a new position in the company. This new job was the biggest relief after the difficult months we had had prior. 

If you haven't worked in commission based sales before, let me tell you... it's hard! I mean, I've never done it. But I know enough from walking alongside Danny in all of this. There's crazy quotas to meet and consequences if you don't.

This last November, we were faced with those consequences. Danny was in his third month of poor sales. If he didn't pull his numbers up, he was going to be fired in December. This all happened right before Christmas. We were still looking for a house to buy and we had a pregnancy "scare". The fear and anxiety I felt through this was time was very difficult. I struggled deeply as I knew I needed to relinquish control to God but my hands were so tightly grasped on how I wanted our life to look.

In the middle of all the craziness, there was word around Danny's company that a new position was being created for a new model of stores, set to open in early 2014. The new job would still be considered sales. However, it was no longer commission based and focused more on customer experience. Basically a hospitality person for the sales floor. Basically the perfect the job for my outgoing, chatty, technology loving, nerdy husband. There was no clear indication on what the pay would be. But we figured A job was better than NO job. So Danny applied and interviewed for the new position! 

In that same week, Danny heard from his boss that the interview panel was raving about him. They couldn't get over how perfect he was for the job. Days went by and Danny was offered the job. Of course he accepted. At that point, his sales numbers didn't matter. He couldn't be fired for sales performance! All we were waiting for was the new store to open. It was like the job was created for Danny. Hmmm. 

Well, the store opened a couple weeks ago and I have never seen my husband so excited about his work. It's the best thing in the world. He still works weird, long hours. It is also still retail, which Danny wants to be out of someday. But the job is fun for him. He greets customers and discovers their needs as they enter the store. Danny gets to educate customers about their different devices (phones, tablets, etc) in a class like setting. He also assists the sales reps in transactions. And probably the best part for him is that he gets to demonstrate some of the product. For example, flying a drone around the store using the controls on his phone. Honestly, it is a nerd's dream job. And a nerd's wife's dream because seeing my husband this content is a true delight. Not only is the job fun for Danny, but since he isn't getting paid based on sales performance his income is more stable and fair. This has taken so much pressure off of him. 

We are overwhelmed by the blessing of this job and the absolute perfect timing of it all. Just two weeks after Danny was hired for the new job, we found out that I was pregnant with our third child!! If it had been a month earlier (during that "scare" I mentioned at the beginning of this post), we would've been thinking that Danny was losing his job while finding out about a major surprise pregnancy. I'm glad God saved me from that anxiety. Now with 2014 under way and Danny loving his new job, we're looking forward to the adventure of home buying this spring and welcoming another baby into our family in August. 

I know that if Danny had lost his job back in December, we would've been okay. We've been through rough times as a family before and we've always been better because of them. However, because I'm human, there are still days that I worry unnecessarily. Ultimately, I know God provides. Our family story speaks to that truth over and over again. For this I am so grateful.

2.12.2014

Amelia Bedelia Turns Three

To the precious one who made me a mama three years ago:


February 12, 2011 // Amelia Ada Laine

You have taught me more about Jesus than I could ever imagine. You are enthusiastic, empathetic, and such a sweet servant. You love to love people. You give your sister hugs and kisses all the time. In the mornings, you love to jump in our bed for snuggles. And all your friends can be sure to get a hug when we meet up for play dates. You're always concerned when someone else is sad. All this and more are reminders that you love well and that I have a thing or two to learn. 

You truly are a delight to parent. I can't wait to continuing watching as The Lord grows you into who He made you to be. I can't believe I get to be a part of it all! 

Happy birthday, Bug!

2.09.2014

47 Cents & a New Beginning

This time three years ago, I was just three days from my due date with our first child, Amelia. We were crazy excited to meet our little girl. But there was some anxiety. We were facing parenthood knowing I would have to return to work part time just two months postpartum. I would work mornings as a caregiver; Danny would work evenings as an assistant manager for a local Blockbuster. With us working opposite shifts, we wouldn't need to seek out child care. That was our plan. It wasn't perfect but it would pay the bills. 

Danny always wanted to be able to earn enough income so I could stay home with our children. And for a good year before getting pregnant with Amelia, he applied for countless jobs that we thought would get him there. He even made it to the last phase of becoming a police officer for a nearby town. That didn't pan out, obviously and thankfully. I was not made to be an officer's wife. 

But the week before my due date, Danny got called in for an interview with Verizon Wireless. We had done a mock budget of what it would like to have me stay home and knew he needed to make $X/hour with any new job. The morning of his interview, I prayed over him. We were bold and prayed very specifically, "Lord, thank you for this opportunity. We ask that you provide Danny with this job. And we pray they offer him $X/hour." 

During his interview they shared how they were impressed with Danny's qualifications and personality. They asked him for a desired starting wage and when he could start. He explained how I was due to have our baby any day but that we could be flexible. A week went by with no word back from Verizon. Meanwhile, we were at the hospital in a daze over the miracle we had just experienced with Amelia's birth. The last thing on our mind was the interview results. 

We spent the first day in the nursery, loving on our baby
and praying that she would be well.

Amelia // First Valentine's Day ♥

On February 14, 2011, two days after Amelia was born, Danny got the call. If you don't think God has a sense of humor...Verizon was offering him the job at $X.47/hour. Our best friends were sitting there with us in the hospital room, listening in and giddy. Danny got off the phone, shared the news with us, and we all laughed. It's so like God to do that kind of stuff. We were nervous about me going back to work and Danny asking for the specific wage that he did during his interview. And here we were, at what seemed like the very last minute, and everything was worked out. Danny's asking wage had been on the high end and we had no reason to believe that they would grant it. Except that we trusted in a mighty God who we knew could provide it. And guess what? Even if he hadn't provided in that way, he would have been just as good. We felt blessed to have options, even if it meant I might have needed to return to work. 

So with the phone call, we learned that Danny would have a week home with Amelia and I before he needed to start the four weeks of training, which happened to be in Bellevue, WA. That's about three to four hours north of us, in case you're not from around here. We weren't expecting that part of the job offer but we figured the sacrifice for a much better job was worth it. So he accepted! We left the hospital the next day with our new baby, a new job, and a crazy adventure ahead of us. The weeks to follow weren't the easiest. Danny was gone for a week at a time for training. But thankfully and just like always, God provided. I had plenty of help from dear friends and family. Before we knew it, four weeks came and went. 

Amelia // 2 months old

Two months after Amelia was born, I cried tears of joy. Let's be honest, I probably cried each day leading up to that point. Those hormones get to a new mama! Instead of returning to work that morning, I was enjoying my sweet baby girl. Throughout that day, I remember praying and thanking the Lord for providing just what we needed so I could stay home full time. Plus $0.47/hour. 

And here we are three years later.

Maia Family // Christmas 2013

Danny is still with Verizon. So much life has happened since that February in 2011. I'm still home with our kiddos and we've always had enough. That's not to say there have been some challenges. God has been faithful. As Danny embarks on a new journey with Verizon, I feel it necessary to share that story, too. But I'll save that as part two. 

2.04.2014

Life Since Fall

Well, I didn't mean to take such a long break in my writing. However, I am known to do that so I guess it's not too surprising.

I'm pretty tired these days. Actually, I would say downright exhausted, nearing zombie mom. From October until now, life has been one crazy roller coaster.

I wrote about Making Motherhood Easier for The Nester's #31Days challenge. It was really great as I rediscovered my love for writing. Even if I can't do it as often as I would like, writing is such an outlet for me. The Lord has brought our family on quite the journey and through writing, I feel like I can better process all the experiences. I'd be lying if I said I haven't gone back and read some of my own blog posts as one way to gather encouragement and truth for this new season. Is that weird? Not only did I enjoy the writing part of it. But I really enjoyed focusing on my role as a mom and what that experience has taught me in the last three years. Now don't get me wrong, I have a lot more to learn and I know I haven't even scratched the surface.


Then there was all the sickness. For about two months, our family passed around nasty colds and even pink eye. It meant that we needed to slow way down. This wasn't a terrible outcome because in the midst of it all we got the surprise of our life in the form of a positive pregnancy test. I would like to touch more in future posts about the work God has done in my heart concerning a third pregnancy so soon after having a baby. It will be messy and fun.


As if that weren't all crazy enough, in the span of a month we went from thinking that Danny was going to lose his job to finding out that he was hired for a new position within in the same company! His new job will be non-commission based sales {read: a lot more stable for a growing family}. He is starting that new job this week in fact! It was very stressful and then exciting and then irritating as we waited for more news and now back to exciting. God is providing in awesome ways.

And holidays. Everyone knows about those. Ours were actually pretty low key. It just felt like a lot because I was nauseous with two sick kiddos.


That brings us to now. The first month of the new year is done already and here we are in February. I'm into my second trimester! Amelia is turning three in twelve days. Elsie is almost ten months!! A lot of life is happening. I'm hoping to slow down soon and write more about it all in this space. See ya then?