Friday, August 29, 2014

Flashback Friday: Happy House-a-versary!

Seventeen years ago on this day, August 29, we became the proud owners of our little house! It was kind of a scary feeling to sign all of those papers, but there was also a lot of excitement! We were homeowners!

Here are some fun facts (and one not-so-fun):
  • We paid $92,000 for our 3-bedroom, 1.5-bath house.
  • One of the main selling points of the house was the den, which in the past had been converted from the garage, adding another 300 or so square feet of living space.
  • Daniel was two-years-old and got his first "big-boy" bed in his new room.
  • The 1997 calendar is the same as 2014, so we closed on a Friday (the 29th) and moved in on Saturday.
  • Sadly, that weekend was also when we got the news that Princess Diana had been killed in a car accident (not that we knew her or anything, but it was notable and very tragic).

2005 or 2006
 Through the years we made some improvements. The house had been "completely remodeled" with fresh paint throughout, new carpet, and new appliances (I found the sales sheet last night in some paperwork and those were the words used). We were grateful that the house was "move-in ready," but we changed paint colors and added landscaping along the way.


I have become an HGTV junkie lately and have lots of ideas of more updates I'd like to make to this little house. The carpets need to be replaced and some rooms are overdue for fresh paint. There are also "dream" projects that I have in mind, but those are probably bigger than my budget will allow. I struggle with walking the fine line of making improvements that I can enjoy and finding contentment in what I've been given to steward.

I remember that when we moved in as a little family of three, we thought we might live there for a few years and then move to a bigger house as our family grew. However, the Lord knew the "rest of the story." I have been continually thankful that He provided this house and has allowed me to stay in it for all of these years, through many transitions. He is faithful!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flashback Friday: Waiting for Erica

Today, this girl is turning SIX! And doesn't she look the part, with her missing front tooth and growing taller and longer legs and arms. She is so fun and so excited to be six! To hear her talk about it, she has been waiting for a long time to be this age.

Waiting for Erica was a big theme in our family in 2008 (and before)! I remember her parents coming to my house just before they were heading to Texas for Christmas and we sat on my "ledge" in the den and they told me that they had gotten a positive pregnancy test. It was ve-r-r-r-y early and there would be a lot of waiting to see if things would be OK. After several pregnancy losses, our family was cautiously optimistic and we waited on baited breath, across several state lines, to hear news that the pregnancy was viable.

We waited some more throughout the nine months to hear of good reports at the doctors' offices and to see ultrasound pictures. We waited with prayerful hearts as the weeks turned into months and Jeanette's tummy got bigger.

Then the "due date" was set for August 22 and Jeanette would deliver by c-section on that day. I remember that I went to work for the morning on that day, since the c-section wasn't to be until early afternoon. I'm sure I wasn't getting much work done, though, and my co-workers waited with me until it was time for me to leave for Baptist Hospital to sit in the waiting room for news of the baby's safe arrival.

We had a fun time in the waiting room, thanks to our friend Sandra, who was video-taping the event and had lots of fun questions to ask the grandparents and aunts who were waiting together. Finally, the time came and we heard the call for the Massey family to come in the hallway to get the first look at the newest Massey baby. We assembled in the hall with our cameras and smiles on our faces as Russell, the daddy, got to bring his new baby daughter to see the family and announce her name:  Erica Jean Massey!

She was a beautiful, pink, healthy baby girl and she was so waited for and loved! We had to wait some more as she got taken to the nursery to get her vitals and her first bath. Her mommy had to wait to get her back after all that required routine medical attention, and then we all got to take turns holding Erica Jean.

I remember that we waited until Jeanette and Erica had been taken to their regular hospital room and then we each sat in the rocking chair and got to hold the sweet baby girl. I was one of the last ones, letting the grandparents go first, and also being the family photographer.

They placed the sweet little bundle in my arms and I just marveled at the miracle that I was holding. I was holding answered prayers from a faithful God. Oh, how she was worth the wait!

Erica has already had to learn about waiting. It's one of the lessons we learn all throughout our lives and sometimes the wait is longer than at other times. I pray that as Erica grows, she will learn to wait with the hope and the truth of Romans 8:19-25:
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Downtown Nashville

One of my favorite things to do in downtown Nashville is to walk on the pedestrian bridge. Long-time Nashvillians will remember it as the Shelby Street Bridge, one of the bridges that brought cars back and forth into downtown Nashville. It was shut down several years ago and reopened as a pedestrian bridge and was later named for John Seigenthaler. You can read the history of it here.

Since we have had a guest from France here for a few weeks (well, actually, she is the guest of my sister and family, but I've joined in on the fun and have enjoyed getting to know Paloma, too), we wanted to show her the downtown Nashville area and the views from the bridge. It was a beautiful evening for it last night and we got some great pictures with the Nashville skyline as the backdrop.

We also walked around a little bit in the downtown area, mainly to go to a souvenir shop. I wanted to find a painted wall that I'd seen in some local photo shoots and we got some impromptu shots of our own. Definitely a fun backdrop if you're downtown with friends or family (3rd Ave., South, just across the street from the Johnny Cash Museum).