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My husband and I moved from Mississippi to South Carolina in July of 2012. We are excited to share our adventures from our new home!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Falling in Love with Fall


It's that time of year again. I absolutely love all of the colors splashed over the mountains. We decided to go for a hike, yesterday, and see how Tucker would hold up. Some pictures in this post crop funny compared to the original pictures, but you get the gist.

I think the sun roof was his biggest adventure of the day.











 Hiking buddies :)



Bright sun!


 King Tuck!

It's safe to say that we all had a great time. And yes, we still love our other pups...





Monday, August 26, 2013

Savannah Weekend Trip

We got to take a quick weekend trip down to Savannah! J's parents were down there for the week so we got to spend a little time with them too. It was so fun to revisit some of our favorite stops and try new restaurants. 

We decided that we could easily spend an afternoon watching and waiting for the "big boats" on the river front. We weren't sure if this big guy was going to make it under the bridge. (It did)


Being from "The Delta" in Mississippi brings about a certain appreciation for cotton. It is a little hard to see in this picture , but the building says Savannah Cotton Exchange.

There is often the discussion of which is better: Charleston or Savannah. Savannah gets my vote for several reasons, but a  big one is getting "to go" drinks from the bar and walking around with them! I enjoyed my Blue Moon in the park :)

J took a picture of me enjoying some peach sangria at The Public Kitchen restaurant and bar. We ended up spending a few hours here. J tried an awesome Kentucky Bourbon Ale- basically a beer with a big bourbon after taste. It was awesome!

This tends to be how we look in picture because he is always tickling me when the camera snaps.

And... a little late night "selfie" :) 

Just a few recommendations for a quick Savannah trip:
1. The Public Kitchen
2. Cha-bella
3. Noble Fare
Such great places for meals and/or drinks. Everything is fresh and simply delicious!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Not Perfect, But Progress

J and I decided to take advantage of a weekend with fall weather and attack our mess of a front yard. Actually, J asked what I wanted to do and was sweet enough to take part ;) We had a great time all the same.  

I am learning that I am a little addicted to Before and Afters be it houses, people, yards, etc. So in that spirit, I will share some of our handy work!

BEFORE




Underneath all that over grown mess of grass are a lot of railroad ties that were a pain to get rid of. We also have mysterious roots from an unknown source that invade both beds and the yard. Those were fun to dig through. After lots of sweat and work in the rain we reached our goal!

AFTER!!




We planted Limelight Hydrangeas, Coneflowers, StoneCrop Limelight, and Gold Flame Spirea. Hopefully we won't kill them and we will see them again next year along with more flowers!!
Also- Many thanks to the Bickels for lending us their tiller :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Childfree and Happy



I am always hesitant to come out and talk about this honestly. I know how confident I (we) are about not having children right now, but I worry about what people would say if one day we ended up having a child. "Look who is having a baby after all that 'childfree' talk." "I thought they hated kids." "What happened to all that no baby talk?" 


I mentioned in a previous post about how frustrating it was to constantly be asked/told "When are you having a child?" "Why are you not pregnant?" or the best "It's just a phase..." Being constantly misunderstood and feeling unheard by people is incredibly disheartening. If you have seen any of the articles for the Time magazine  then you know the big topic is about being childfree. What bothers me is that people that are choosing not to have children are getting clustered into stereotypes that don’t reflect my (our) position. The childless by choice are cast as selfish, narcissistic, unfulfilled, incapable of knowing real love, etc. 


Just like not all parents are the same and not all children are the same, neither are the people who are choosing not to have children. I have read a lot of articles written by people that are choosing to be childfree and this article titled Parenthood Optional seems to explain how J and I feel. Her reasons have nothing to do with being too irresponsible to care for a child, or about needing fancy cars/trips/etc. She simply does not want them.


One difference is that she never wanted children, where up until a short while ago, I craved children. I thought that in order to have a complete life I would have to get married and have 2.5 children with a picket fence and a dog. When I realized that this was not a requirement for fulfillment or happiness, the stress melted. I grew up being told what a wonderful mother I would be. Giving, helpful, self sacrificing- all that jazz, so I thought surely I am put here to be a mother. But I have realized that is not the case and that I don’t want children. 


This is where the frustration and the feeling of being misunderstood set in. When it comes down to it, folks that have children and/or desire children don’t understand what its like to not desire children. In the same sense that we don’t understand what it is like to be a parent. Maybe, it would be best to acknowledge there is a disconnect and leave it at that. However, that is not what usually happens as shown by the many responses to Time’s article

I have already mentioned some of the responses, previously. Some responses/reasons for having children are as silly as the reasons for not having children. Having a child so that you have someone to take care of you when you get older is as selfish as not having one so you can travel. (But I would point out that only one of those ensnares an innocent party into your selfishness.)

There is the “fear” response, that I will regret this when I get older and then it will be too late. Maybe. That is impossible to know and impossible to refute. We all have regrets. We can only make decisions on the information we have at hand and I can’t justify bringing another being into this world on the basis of assuaging a potential regret 20 years down the road.

But the upsetting responses come from the Christian community.

“Parenthood (more often Motherhood) is our highest calling” (Another version – “Children are the greatest gift God can give” Anytime I’ve heard or read this it has come from a parent. I appreciate their enthusiasm but I don’t think they understand the implications of that statement. (At least I hope they don’t) What is implied is that my call to be childless and in the mental health field is of lesser value – it is a “lesser” call. This is also a backhanded way of calling someone selfish. Unless there is a way to reject God’s “highest calling” without putting yourself before God.

Then there are articles such as The Problem with the Childfree Life, from The Gospel Coalition. It states “the most basic problem is that the childfree life does not take God into account.” As I mentioned at the beginning, we realize that God might change our hearts and give us a desire for children. But if he doesn’t and we don’t then we have ignored God? This is a thought process, I fear, that much of the church holds. (The Gospel Coalition was founded by Tim Keller, a prominent pastor in the Presbyterian Church of America which is our denomination.) Whether intended or not, that thought process effectively marginalizes those of us that choose not to have children.

I do want to help, make a difference, encourage, and nurture, but I have realized that I don't have to have children to do those things. I am a mental health therapist at a residential facility that works with children from ages 5 to 21 every day.  Every day is a call and a chance to help, encourage and nurture. I get to go to work and fight for these kids who, often times, don't have families to fight for them. And those that do have families are often so damaged from other traumas that they need extra help.  I would argue that not having children allows me to fully give myself to this calling and to “my kids”. 

Working in this field has taught me a few things 1. Having children does not mean you are a good parent and 2. There are a lot of children out there with parents and families that still need non-family in their lives to give them encouragement and strength.  

In the LA Times article, she makes a point to say that people who chose a childfree life are not bound to put in community service to better everyone else's children. I completely agree. This is simply where I am coming from. The decision to not have children is a personal one and that decision can be as selfish or unselfish or as holy or unholy as the decision to have children.


*Justin and I shard the experience of writing this post together*

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sunday Fun Day

This was mine and J's first weekend together to actually veg-out and enjoy the house. I'd say our favorite place is the front porch swing and watching the puppies play.









This is my favorite :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Less than 800 and Loving It: Before & After


I can't believe that we are already coming up on a month in the new house. We are loving our little cottage. After a year in the townhouse, we realized that we did not need much space, or very many things to keep us entertained. So, simplification became the goal and our house definitely helps keep us in check! 

I wrote a brief post earlier about buying the house and now I think we have gotten enough done on the inside to where I feel comfortable showing some before and afters. (<--Longest sentence ever?) So, without further ado:

LIVING ROOM


Before view into the kitchen:

After view into the kitchen:


Before with HUGE built ins: 


With out built ins but with dogs:


View from couch:


View from window, dogs only allowed couch with special blanket!

KITCHEN

Before with cabinets, wall paper, big wall and CARPET!


After without cabinets, wall paper, wall or carpet! (still have the lovely sailboat light...any takers??)
Painting those floors green was definitely a pinterest inspired dream of mine. We used Annie Sloan chalk paint and they turned out perfectly!

Before- view into living room


After- obviously, no wall!


BATHROOM

Before- lovely curtains, and unfinished wood walls 


After :)


And one more toilet view ;)


BEDROOM

Before

After!

One more


There is still the spare bedroom and laundry room to complete but they are both holding rooms for now.  This was a fun and exhausting process, and I think we both learned that we were a bit more handy than we thought. I was very impressed with J's work, especially in the kitchen. Those open shelves are some of my favorite pieces in the house :) However, I will be happy to not see another paint brush for a very long time! 

Shout out to Greg Carpenter in Travelers Rest that laid down our flooring in the kitchen, took out the wall, installed the amazing columns/beams and gave us those awesome barn doors that are now our headboard!!!

































































Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Something about May

My writing is directly related to the weather and how busy I am at work. Since my last post, it was cold outside and I was busy with my new job. It is so much easier to post when you are actively doing things and not curled up inside due to winter weather. Now that the wonderful weather is here, I will hopefully get back to sharing "fun" things!

For starters, we now own a house is Travelers Rest! Something about May... that seems to be when we buy houses. Hopefully, we will be in this one much longer than the last one. We cannot resist a fixer upper and have spent the last five weeks working on the house. Still have a little ways to go. I love before and after pictures, and will definitely be posting some soon. I am also a bit of a perfectionist so I will have to fight the desire to wait until everything is JUST RIGHT

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Babies...The expected next step

Before I start, there are two important things. 
1. I am not talking badly about those who have children.
2. I am not saying that I am 100% not having children.

I feel like there are two big clubs in our social world. The Married Club and the Parents Club. So, you're going along, doing things like graduating from college and working a "grown up" job when your friends start getting married. Then you realize these clubs exist and you are in the third club...The Singles Club. For a while you enjoy being an adult member of The Singles Club until you start getting those questions about why you are not dating anyone.

THEN

You start dating someone! Yay! BUT you are not out of the woods yet.
It seemed like when J and I were dating, I was always getting asked (by married couples) if  it was serious, were we getting married, when we were getting married, etc. (These are totally acceptable questions) So, then you get engaged and all the people from The Married Club start saying things like "Just wait until you get married..." or "Enjoy it now because when you get married...". It's awesome how positive they are. It was like I wasn't going to really know relationships worked until I said "I do."  

SO

We said "I do"! Woo hoo!! FINALLY members of The Married Club. We had arrived. (or so we thought) I thought that since we're were members that the comments about not knowing anything because we weren't married would be over. I was wrong. They just got reworded into "Awe, newlyweds, just wait till you've been married for ____ amount of years." Crap, okay so even though we are members it's like being pledges. We still don't have any street cred. 

FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE DOWN! 

Now, we are no longer single and no longer in the first year of marriage!! We are official members of The Married Club and have the ability to make stupid comments to other singles and pledges. This new found pride and power was soon crushed because we then learned about The Parents Club. This one bothers me the most. It's like societies last confirmation of reaching adulthood. This post is full of sarcasm and humor but let me explain where I am coming from.

It seems like everywhere, no exaggeration, everywhere I go...work, church, social gatherings, grocery store, etc. I get asked 
1. Are you married? 
2. Do you have children? 
(and when I say "no" to #2) 
3. Why not?? 

The "why not" question did not always bother me. I would answer politely and say things like "Oh, we are still newlyweds" or "Not yet, but someday soon!" Even though I was smiling and being as nice as possible, I was still getting responses like "Well, How old are you?.... Ya'll better get on it!"  What's with all the pressure? Then I started getting things like, "When you have children you will fully understand what it is like to love." So, okay. 

 Now when people ask the question I am very honest with my answers. "We are happy with it just being the two of us right now...maybe someday down the road." (and one that really scares people) "You know, we are not positive that we want to have kids." Oh, the facial expressions I get when I say this.  They pick up their children and take a step backwards like I just said that I hated all children. Okay, so maybe that is an exaggeration, but I have not met anyone that was not shocked, confused or just plain befuddled when I told them this. The thought of a married couple without plans of joining The Parent Club is just absurd. This bothers me. 

What bothers me is that, for the most part, people cannot seem to grasp the thought of a couple choosing not to have children. Not only do they not understand it, but they start trying to convince you otherwise and say things like "Oh, it's just a phase." Okay, so what, like puberty? As a society, we seem to pity those who cannot have children but think oddly of those who simply choose not to have them. Why is it easier for us to think "it's just a phase" rather than accepting that some people just don't want to join The Parent Club?

AGAIN
 1. I have nothing against people with children. 
2. I am not saying that we are 100% not having children.  

This is simply a post pointing out how we, me included, are determined to push people into the next club.