house tour: the befores

Now that I’ve filled you in on a bit of the story behind our new home, here is a peek at what we’re working with:

Living Room:

Dining Room/ Kitchen:

Kitchen/ husband’s torso:

Guest Bedroom:

Hudson’s Room:

Bathroom:

Hallway:

Laundry Room:

Master Bedroom/ Husband:

Basement:

Basement Kitchen:

Courtyard:

Front:

Back:

Ummm yes. We have a LOT of work to do. We joke that every other sentence we utter these days begins with, “We really need to…”.

That being said, we are having SO much fun, and the longer we’re here, the more pumped we get about this place!

sold

As I mentioned in the last post, God’s provision through our new house was nothing short of amazing. He made it so clear that this is right where He wants us!

Obviously, one part of that clarity came with the abundance of closed doors we encountered…we definitely found out where He didn’t want us! At times it was discouraging, mainly because waiting is definitely not my forte (all the more reason for me to be forced into a season where there was nothing I could do but wait), but our prayer all along was that He would lead us and that our selfishness wouldn’t get in the way.

We had seen the listing for our current house a while before we actually went to see it, mainly because it was out of our price range. However, after realizing that we were big fans of this general area of town, we decided to check it out.

When we did, we were thrilled with the potential that we saw behind what is admittedly a pretty rough first impression. We were also excited about the possibility of converting the basement into an apartment, which would give us extra income potential. (If anyone’s looking for a newly renovated one-bedroom apartment with a sweet location starting in the fall, let me know :))

Now, here’s where things get crazy: We submitted an offer for roughly $30,000 less than the asking price. If you’ve ever been yard sale shopping with us, you know we’re negotiators, but seriously. 30k is a bit much. We also found out that the house had previously been under contract when the asking price was $60,000 above our offer, but had fallen through due to problems with the buyer’s financing.

When we went to submit the offer to the listing agent (who is incredibly sweet), we chatted for a while about our crazy life situation, how we met, and how we love Jesus. I later told Zach that we had probably said too much…if she knew how desperate we were, we were giving away our negotiating power. Yes, I’m paranoid like that. As we left, Zach asked her what she thought about the offer and she very sweetly told us that she didn’t think they’d take it. (I mean, hello, I’m glad she didn’t laugh in our faces and call us insulting.)

The house, while built as a family home, had been used as an after-school center by a local church for the past several years, so we had to wait a few days for the board to meet to review our offer. Thankfully, the night they met, we were able to enjoy dinner at some friends’ house (thanks, Robin and Hunter!), which was a welcome distraction from the inevitable clock watching that would’ve been going on.

On our way home that night, we got a call from the listing agent telling us that our offer had been…wait for it…ACCEPTED!

We were clearly blown away by the Lord’s provision. The realtor told us that when the committee met, she told them a little bit of our story, and they were touched by it. While they initially planned on coming up with a counter offer, one of the committee members ended up asking, “Why are we debating about this?” and they agreed to just accept it with no strings attached.

Unlike the topsy-turviness of other times we had been under contract, the sellers from the church were so sweet! When they found out we were living in a hotel, one of the committee members offered a house for us to live in temporarily, and they asked the listing agent to put up a “Sale Pending” sign, just so we wouldn’t worry about anything when driving by.

Needless to say, we have felt so well provided for through this home buying process! Next up, a little tour of our latest adventure. :)

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3: 20-21

 

and also we bought a house

For the past seven weeks we’ve been so preoccupied with this sweet face:

that I keep forgetting to fill you in on house #3!

Yep, it’s finally official: we are homeowners once again.

Before I give you the grand tour, let me just mention that the last several months have been nothing short of a whirlwind, but I also can’t think of a time in my life when the Lord has taught me more about what it means to trust Him.

We moved out of our house on January 26th, and moved into this house around May 5th, giving us a grand total of approximately 101 days of hotel living.

Let’s all take a minute and let that sink in….that’s a lot of mini shampoo bottles.

During our brief period of homelessness, we made offers on approximately eight different homes in six different cities, all of which fell through for various reasons including being outbid, atrocious inspections, questionable business practices, and preposterous negotiations with people halfway across the globe who clearly had no understanding of the market in the Raleigh area.

If you have ever bought a home, you know what an emotional process it can be…add pregnancy to the mix and…well you get the idea. As ready as we were to get settled and as many times when I admitted to having no earthly clue where the Lord wanted us, our season of waiting, combined with some other life events that are currently going on, made for a time of a closer reliance on Christ than I’ve ever experienced. A friend pointed out to me how timely it was that I was learning so much about having absolutely nothing under my control right before diving into parenthood, and I couldn’t agree more. I still have much to learn in the area of wholly leaning on my Savior, but I am so thankful for how He chose to remind me time and time again from January up until now how truly worthy of our trust He is!

On top of learning about relying on Christ, I have also been humbled by the servant’s hearts of the people we are honored to call friends. We have had people invite us over for dinner, let us use their washer/dryers, let us use their homes, bring us meals, and even pay for a cleaning service to make the bathrooms in the new house sparkle. We have received more than we could ever repay, and while I initially really struggled with that idea, it has taught me so much about the love of Christ. We are so thankful for how He uses the body to demonstrate His love to us!

When we finally landed on what is now our home sweet home, it was so sweet to receive such affirmation from the Lord that it is just where He wants us. I can’t wait to share it with you!

I’m hoping to do the blogging process a little bit differently with this house than I’ve done in the past. Whereas other weird situations prevented me from getting to post much other than the finished product with our last house, I’m hoping to document more of the process this time (as much for our sake as for yours). Zach and I were looking through some pictures of our first home renovation the other night, talking about things we had pictures of that we would’ve otherwise forgotten. We’re hoping to preserve some of the memories we’re making in this home by taking more time to post about them. We’re hoping that Hudson will enjoy looking back at the process that made his first house a home!

Admittedly, the lack of Internet and other crazy scenarios has meant that we’ve made some major progress already without getting to document it as it occurred, but I’ll try to backtrack as best I can.

For now, the best place to start is obviously the beginning, so “before” pictures are soon to come! We’re excited to share this new adventure with you!

he’s pretty famous

Aside from the absolute bundle of joy that is our son, one of the most fun things about having a new baby has been all of the amazing love and support we have received from family and friends. What an incredibly fun time! We just got our phone bill from the time around when Hudson was born, and it definitely reflected the love we were feeling. :) Money well spent, in our books! We didn’t get pictures of all of our visitors, but here are a few shots of some people we are confident that Hudson will come to know and love.

Grandaddy (Gramma, I was going to use some of your pictures, but wanted to check with you first :)):

Papap:

Abby and Ben (side note: can we just reflect on the fact that this girl had a baby a mere 10 weeks before this picture was taken? She is beautiful!):

Robin (who stayed into the wee hours of the night to meet Hudson before boarding a plane to New York. So thankful she could be there!)

Anna:

Meagan and Tyler (who are now NEWLYWEDS! Woohoo!!):

Ashley and Chuck:

Sonja, Karen, and Meredith:

Tom and Marie:

Connie:

…and many more friends! We have loved getting to see everyone, and are thrilled that Hudson will be surrounded by such wonderful people. We are truly blessed!

Hudson’s birth story

Yes, I realize that it has been an eternity since I last posted anything. I would like to blame three little things: 1) the birth of my favorite child on the planet 2) closing on a house exactly 10 days after the birth of said child 3) the lack of Internet in said house.

You know, just your standard spring.

In an effort to fill you in on some of what’s been going on around here, I thought I’d start with my favorite part.

Warning: somewhat yucky hospital pictures to follow. Nothing R-rated, but those of you who cringe at medical shows or can’t handle the word placenta might want to turn back now. ;)

On Monday, April 23rd, Zach accompanied me to my 40-week doctor’s appointment. I had had a non-stress test the week before during which the tech told me she expected the baby to be here by the 22nd (apparently I was having contractions without realizing it), buuut she was wrong. In fact, I went into my appointment fairly confident that no progress was being made and that we would need to go through with the induction that was scheduled for Thursday the 26th.In the car we chatted about what we wanted for dinner and basically shot the breeze.

Our appointment began with another non-stress test,  then we were moved to the ultrasound room. After moving the camera around my belly for a few seconds, our doctor (who we love) proceeded to tell us in about eight different ways how huge our child was. Grrreeaat. Of course, I was thrilled to imagine myself pushing a gigantic watermelon out youknowwhere. Nope, not sounding fun at all.

After closer inspection of the ultrasound, our doctor informed us that our little man was getting bigger than he was comfortable with given his mama’s stature and the condition of the placenta, so we had two options 1) induce (though he was fairly confident I would end up having a C-section) or 2) have a C-section.

I was partial to the idea of a vaginal delivery, so we opted to induce first.

Now let me qualify that statement by noting that I was pretty dang terrified by both options, and the pressure of choosing led me to brief tears. Thankfully, God was so gracious to make things extra clear for us very shortly thereafter.

Since we chose the induction route, our doctor wanted to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. He sent us “home” (aka the Best Western) to get our stuff, then we went straight to the hospital, arriving at about 6:30.

Fairly soon after our arrival, they started me on Pitocin. (This is the face of “I’m sort of scared out of my mind, but also super excited)

While we waited, I read my Bible, then chatted with visitors who came to support us.

While I did feel the strength of my contractions increase, I was only on the Pitocin for about an hour before our sweet boy’s heart rate dropped, and I was hooked up to oxygen. The nurse said it wasn’t really possible to tell whether it was the Pitocin or labor that the baby wasn’t handling well, but in either case, we would be having a C-section. I was somewhat disappointing, but also so relieved that God had granted us clear direction in how this baby was supposed to make his entrance into the world, especially without having to go through 20+ hours of labor before finding out.

The next steps were a complete whirlwind. Our doctor arrived about ten minutes after getting the call about the drop in heart rate, the nurses began getting everything in order, and we made our way to the delivery room. While I was prepped for surgery, Zach was sent to the hallway to don some scrubs. While he waited, he passed the time by taking goofy pictures of himself.

The surgery went wonderfully. Although it wasn’t my first choice, I loved that we got to meet our baby boy less than an hour after we were told I would be having a C-section. Zach stayed by my head and, despite comments from the nurses and our doctor that “the big ones always fall”, managed to keep his composure during the process (even after seeing my intestines…it’s crazy to me that my husband has now seen parts of me that I haven’t). In fact, he even managed to get some pretty amazing pictures while he watched. (Now come the somewhat gross ones. Zach and I are both pretty fascinated by medical stuff, but if you’re not, you might want to stop here.)

This, this is my belly with a baby coming out of it:

And this is the arrival of our precious Hudson Taylor:

Our sweet baby boy, with what has to be the most adorable yell/cry on the planet. Seriously- several hospital staff and friends commented on it. Too cute, I tell you.

Zach cutting the cord:

9 pounds, 8 ounces, 20 inches long

First family photo:

We can’t put into words the joy that this little guy has brought us. We are so thankful to the Lord for His incredible gift of life, and we can’t wait to share this new part of our journey with you!

“Every good and perfect gift is from above…” James 1:17