I haven’t updated in a long while (2 months) and with good reason. I’ve been busy with Liam, busy with the holidays, and I swear it feels as though school will never been in session again due to the weather. But all is good. No, better than good. All is fantastic!
A short summary of the last two months to catch us up to date: I gave birth to Liam 7 weeks early. He was 3 lbs. and 9 oz. and 16 inches long. (This whole birthing story will most definitely be blogged on–which a few funny insights–at a later date when I have time.) Anyway, being a preemie, he was moved to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville and was expected to be there for the duration until his original due date. Our time became completely consumed with Christmas holiday preparations and Liam visitations (a lot of traveling) on top of trying to be a normal family. It was hard and sometimes sad, but we made it through and was able to bring Liam home just in time for our family Christmas celebration 3 weeks after his birth. Truly a blessing!!
I really feel a significant shift in this new year for our family. I believe our time of burdens and hard struggles is finally over!
The boys’ winter break was extended longer than expected because of the abundant snowy/icy weather. This trend has continued even after the second semester has started. They love every chance they can get out of school. This winter has been crazy! Even today, the kids are out of school again. Spring break is clearly in jeopardy with all the days school has been canceled. It’s not even February yet! Bailey and Beau, my sister Mandy’s children, are here as well, playing with the boys and doting on Liam as I take time to sit and blog a family adventure update.
**And I just received the text cancelling school for tomorrow too. It’s going to be a loooooong week.**
This living room is a total pig sty!–winter coats that should be hung up are laying on every piece of furniture, tennis shoes that are scattered abroad from the constant in and out (my shoes are no exception. Bad, Mel!). Since Matt and I already share a cramped bedroom with Liam, his “toys” are also in the living room and baby toys such as baby swing, baby bouncy seat, and Boppee Lounger take up a ton of space. With his “distraction inventory” being concentrated in this area, I permanently leave my favorite mauve afghan (knitted by my great Aunt Iris) and a pillow or two in here to make nap time for Liam and, more importantly, me convenient. I have a mobile diaper changing station set up in here as well, which makes the clutter even more overwhelming for me, despite the fact that it’s neatly stacked on top of boxes. And oh the boxes. Like the Mindy Smith song, “Highs and Lows”–got a lot of pictures in boxes. Boxes and boxes of things I love… The things that are not in boxes are stacked along the side of the walls waiting to find their place in a box when we get more boxes. It’s enough to drive anybody nuts, especially neat freaks like my mom and Matt. I’ve lost all hope of sanity for the time being until the “big day”.
Yes, friends. We are finally moving out on our own and starting life on our own family footing! *cue the celebration!*
After the side-swiping news that we were unable to close on the house in Murfreesboro at the end of this past July due to the sudden and heartbreaking decision to let Matt go from his job at Global Fire, we were left with no other choice (aside from being homeless) to move in with my family in Crossville. Each of us were devastated with this turn of transition in our own right. Matt, for the first time since he was 18 was going to have to move in with parents, even if they were only his in-laws. Not to mention the discouragement he felt in being unable to follow through with purchasing a home for his new family. Talk about blow to the ego! I had been living with my parents for three years upon the ending of my first marriage and could never find a financially secure way to move out–just me, the boys, and our dog Virgil. So my disappointment in learning that I was still “trapped” was quite palpable. And the boys… We had built up the event of owning our own home so that they could share in the excitement. Our own rules. Our own furniture (though not much), our own meal plans that just the four of us had to agree upon, and most importantly it had a fenced in back yard–Virgil could be an indoor dog again with the option of going outside in the back to potty without having to be watched. Same went for Matt’s boxer, Sadie. But it all dissolved the minute Matt was informed that he no longer had a job… just days after we returned from our honeymoon.
Still, through all of this, God has revealed his goodness to us and his favor upon us. that His love never fails and that He wanted better for us. Matt’s job, landed only a week later after his last day at Global Fire, is challenging and rewarding. The cost of living here is easy and our new church home has welcomed us with open arms. And though due to dishonest circumstances we didn’t even have a fighting chance to get our earnest money back, we’re still going to be able to get out on our own! Granted, it’s not the house we imagined, but the apartment we will be calling home is going to awesome! And it’s affordable enough for us to stash money away for the next year to make yet another go at being homeowners!
It’s bigger than the house we were set to buy anyway and as any child will tell you, it’s “great because it has an upstairs”. haha! Our back porch overlooks a park and even has a nearby entrance to it so that when weather warms up we can ride bikes and take walks on the trail. Even more exciting, there’s an onsite pool. The minions are water dogs and if I spend enough time with them there this summer, maybe we can condition Liam to be a water dog too. Personally, I’m looking forward to making use of the fitness center, to help shed the pounds from this last pregnancy–same goes for Matt. Let’s be honest, we both packed it on for this baby. 🙂
Sadly, though, we had to get rid of two members of our family to make this move work. Sadie and Virgil. Matt has had Sadie for almost two years, and this last weekend she joined another family who will need her during a difficult time in their lives. And Virgil, who had been with us for 6 years, giving the boys comfort and a stable relationship during two sad moves and my divorce is going to be just as much of a blessing to his new family as well. Our dogs have blessed us and will continue blessing others and for that I am thankful. We’re also thankful that their new homes are friends of ours, so a visit will not be completely unheard of. The boys–especially Aidan, my oldest minion–are understandably heartbroken, so remember them in your prayers, that the pain of loss will be dulled in time, and that they will see what their sacrifice means to others.
Moving day is this Saturday, February 1st and we are extremely thrilled. Life will not only get easier for us, but will slow down and relax for my parents who have kept their home opened up to us for three years. Bless their hearts for having a “boomerang daughter”…they deserve this break. They’ll enjoy the sanctuary from chaos again, and have the option to get a taste of it now and again (anytime they wish, really) as we are only moving 10-15 minutes away.
I can’t wait to be woman of the house! I’ve already started collecting quick recipes for dinners that I will prepare…I can’t promise quality, but I can promise that I will try not to poison anybody. (I’m a horrible cook!) I’ve been pinning like a mad woman on pinterest ideas of organizing, budgeting techniques, and creating my own household cleaning products. I’m even jumping on the extreme couponing bandwagon!
Still, I’m hardly a full-blown cookie-cutter wife. Hardly a “Stepford”. I’m still writing for a small living. I launched Grace and Glass Houses two weeks ago and continue work on my pen named projects–ShadowShifter (I am still promoting), Lycanthrope (I am promoting as it is a new release since October), and I’m finding time in between feedings and poopy diapers to write book #3 in the series (Blood Moon). Matt and I are even working on a music project, our duo Matt + Mel (website will be up in about a month or so). Both of us being musicians, we figured it was the best way to make a little extra living on the side. Besides, a family that plays together stays together. We will be pushing forward on booking dates as we get closer to the summer, when Liam is older and I feel more comfortable with leaving him for a few hours at a time with a babysitter.
Matt is three weeks away from his last class before graduating with his Master’s this May! He’s excited and already planning on recreational reading material for when he’s done as well as taking a few extra classes for certain certifications to help him climb that professional ladder. As he closes in on the finish line, I’m going back to finish my Master’s degree. I should have been finishing up this fall, but hey, life happens. You adapt and overcome.
Aidan is obsessed with Minecraft. I don’t know what else to say about this other than it’s a weird game. Constantly in “creative mode”, he’s always building and inventing things (for lack of better words) and creating story-lines along with them and naming things. Meanwhile, as he builds, transforms, and fights monsters, the music that resembles a creepy music box plays in the background of the game. His created assistant, named “Doctor Triorus”, is constantly disobeying his requests to test their inventions and potions on the local villagers and instead he just kills them. And two cats just “made” a kitten by being given raw fish… dear lord, I’m giving you a play by play as if this was a soap opera. Like I said–weird. But it makes him happy. He even created a dog that he named Virgil to help him cope with losing him. I guess I don’t have to “get it”, just be involved with his excitment in it. And yes, I know that Aidan will probably require therapy. His pretending has given me plenty of insight to the inner workings of his mind. A scary place. 😉
Ethan is playing basketball. He loves it. He needs to work on his ball handling, his aggressiveness, his shooting… well, everything. That’s part of life and learning, but he loves it. When it warms up a bit, I’ll work with him on the other stuff. He’s already planning on playing again next year and that pleases me. Right now, he’s toying with the idea of playing baseball this summer. Ethan has also made A/B honor roll every grade period so far this year. He’s proving true to his choleric temperament as he steps out on his own and out from his big brother’s shadow. Speaking of big brother, he is amazing with Liam. If Liam needs to be comforted, bottle fed, or even requires a diaper change, Ethan can always be counted upon if my hands are tied…or if I’m trying to scrub three days worth of sweat and soured breast-milk off my body while in the shower. He is an awesome big brother! I am so thankful for his help!
Liam poops, sleeps, feeds, and poops some more. Aside from the “excitement” of this abnormally huge booger I pulled from his stuffy nose the other day (that provided immediate comfort to him), nothing super exciting is coming from him yet. He is quite alert and currently working on his smile…and is the pooping-est kid I’ve ever had! A very social boy like his daddy. He’s now 9 weeks old and finally the size of a real newborn! Though still smaller than Aidan and Ethan at their births, I am happy to see him at 7 lbs and 4 oz, 20 1/2 inches long. Such a “chunky monkey”. He’s completely out of preemie clothes now and comfortable fits into Newborn size clothing without resembling Dopey from the 7 Dwarfs. Hopefully, before he gets beyond “newborn size” we can get professional photos of him. Because of the situation of his premature birth, he was robbed of anything beyond snap shots from our phones–not even those crappy generic hospital photos.
So until next month–from our new humble abode (Yay!)–I wish every one of you a belated happy new year!!
~Mel & the Clyde guys!