Sunday, February 26, 2012

More RV Talk:

So, Friday night I was talking to a few girlfriends about the New Big Endeavor we are about to embark on. Then this huge affirmation hit me, and it was sitting in front of me the entire time! After my love is done with course work he will be ABD, meaning he can teach but it will not be anything long term, like semester by semester work. This could mean there may be lots of relocating involved until a permanent job presents itself, (and also until he actually writes and defends his dissertation.) In realizing that sooner or later we might be jumping from job to job, I also realized that this whole, crazy RV dream probably would have popped up then, too. Because who wants to pack and unpack once a year, (or twice!) Why not bring our home with us and just drive to where the next job takes us. This is truly a unique opportunity for us and I'm just so excited, scared, nervous, anxious, crazy in LOVE for it all.
^This^ pretty much sums up my feelings right about now :)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trying Out Tuttle Creek

Yesterday, the girls and I checked out what could be our new home, (both in location and actual RV.) We played and explored and played more. I was really impressed with how big the RV park was! We really had a fun time there and I couldn't believe how fast the time flew by while we were there. I hope that's a sign of what's ahead of us!

After looking through about 30 RVs, I think we really like this one!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

House show:

Last night was wonderful! There was so much love in this house I thought it would burst! See, I hosted my first ever house show, where we had two different artist come over and play some songs for my friends and me. I'm just so in love with that idea and want to do it every weekend :) (I might be kidding.) But really, food, friends, and music just go together and should get together more often. Check out Aaron and Chris!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Husband Update!

Wednesday, Aaron went to the neurologist. The doctor was pretty baffled like the rest of us from Aaron's symptoms. See, when A had his "episodes," he was aware during them, even though his entire body was convulsing. Apparently, that is just not very common when it comes to seizures. The fact that A could remember them happening, but kept falling back asleep just did not make sense.

Then the doctor asked how long Aaron was in his car.

And that's when it clicked.

Aaron was in his car reading for about 3 hours before it happened. And his car would smell like gasoline, even for driving it a short distance, let alone after running it for hours on end. We think he actually had carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms include headache, nausea, confusion, and seizures. This could explain why he kept "falling asleep," or passing out. Scary much?

Now, there is no way to test whether or not that was exactly what happened. A still cannot drive for 3 months, and is going to have a MRI and EEG done to rule out anything else. Imagine our shock, (and some kind of piece of mind,) after putting this all together!

We still have decided that he needs to be closer to school. During the last week, he has gotten caught up on schoolwork and the girls and I have gotten to see him more than we usually do. It's been great! We are still having the house sale, (starting tomorrow!) and are still wanting to move into an RV, just not as fast as we initially thought. Aaron is also not going to be in any car for a long period of time either. That guy...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Help! SOS!!!

My last post was on Monday. Tuesday morning, something happened to our family that marks a pivotal moment in our lives. My husband, Aaron, had three back to back (what we think were) seizures.

First, we were shocked, as he's never had one of these before, let alone three!

Then we were thankful that he was/is okay. He wasn't driving, walking, or standing. He was in his car reading, safely laying back already before they started. We are also so thankful that my mom had decided just a few days before that she was going to come visit us that day. She was with me when Aaron told me what happened. She was also able to watch the girls so we could go to the ER together. I'm so glad she was here so that I could process what was happening with her. If they were in fact seizures, Aaron will not be able to drive for 6 months. He sees a neurologist on Wednesday. After more tests will we know more about what exactly happened after that.

Now we are concerned. What does this mean for us? Where do we go from here? We've determined that they were triggered from his over-exhaustion and stress. He has been working full time and going to school full time. And when I say school, it's not just gen-eds that he is taking. He is in his fourth semester of a PhD program and is assigned to read 400-600 pages per week, plus write around 5 10-30 page papers throughout the semester. Aaron is also a graduate teacher's assistant this year, which adds about 80 or so papers to grade a week and asks that he is in class with his teacher too. Roughly, he is on campus about 40 hours a week and while working his full time job, he is away another 33. With this schedule and the location of both his job and school, he is also driving at least 12 hours a week.

This is crazy. And this is going into the last half of the second year of doing this. It's too much. Thank Jesus that I've gotten to meet and have such an amazing support system in the compassionate families who have all turned into friends I've meet here in Topeka over the last 18 months.

Now, here is the exciting, scary, moving way to fast, hard part. We've got to get closer to his school. We thought about slowing down in the program and drawing it out longer, but Aaron only has two classes after this semester to be ABD. He is so close! We are so close! And we moved 8 hours away from everything we've ever known for this opportunity of school. So, we are going to move to Manhattan. Moving again! Didn't we just do this 18 months ago? Didn't I just finish painting the entire house?

Sigh. I just can't stand still can I?

It's going to work though. It's not worth Aaron's health, stretching him out so thin. It's not worth stretching me out so thin with taking care of the girls, the house, and him. I miss my husband! I would love to see him more than an hour a day. (And having him be coherent enough to connect to.)

The last few days have been a lot of processing how we are going to make this work. Monday we are having a realtor come over and put our home on the market. Aaron just listed his car on Craigslist. (If he in fact did have seizures, he will not be able to drive for 6 months. Even if he can drive, we are downsizing to save money on insurance, since we already own it outright.) We are going to have a house sale very soon, like within the next week. We have to get rid of a ton of stuff because that brings me to my next point:

We are buying an RV!!

Read that again, we are buying an RV.

Rental prices are completely ridiculous in Manhattan ($750 without utilities!) and buying another house is so out of the question, (we own two already! Ahem.) So, without getting too much into details, we've worked it out to it being financially reasonable to do this. Our living expenses will be right around half of what we pay now. With that, and cutting out all of the driving time, (can we say gas money!), we will still be meeting our financial means if Aaron or I find a part-time, minimum wage job to work in between his school schedule. The girls will not have to go to daycare and I will still be able to homeschool A. (Post coming soon about that! Living on a campground will be amazing for her learning!)

When Aaron is done with his course work, (in less than a year,) there is a great chance of moving again. This was another factor in choosing an RV. If we have to move again, in the next 18 months, we don't want to have to pack up again.

This is where I need help. My little family needs help! We are going to need help from friends in moving our bigger furniture that we plan on keeping in storage. This is just a few dressers, our table/chairs, a twin bed, a few totes, and possibly our fridge and stove. (We may throw that in with our house if it sells, or if we end up renting it out in a few months.) We also are going to need help with advertising by word of mouth about our house sale. We are going to be opening up our house and selling a ton of our things!

In all of this, I am going to be returning to facebook to network. I have to so I can get the word out about all of the stuff we plan on selling. Here's a small list of some of the things we are selling:
* our couch with slip cover
* 2 short bookshelves
* 3 tall bookshelves (2 of which belong to our entertainment center)
* a dark wood entertainment center with storage underneath
* a 32" Vizio flat screen
* all of our movies: dvds and vhs tapes
* 5 or 6 different kinds of lamps
* lots of picture frames
* most of our wall hangings, things I've made, figurines, mirrors
* my blue guitar
* lots of books
* a futon
* a desk
* a table
* hoops I've made (and hoarded :)
* a 3 year old, 9 piece Emeril stainless steel pan set
* a Kitchenaid hand mixer
* push Snapper lawn mower
* yard tools
* house plants
* little girl things: clothes, toys, decorations, baskets, shoes

And a whole ton more of stuff!
I'll be taking pictures of some of our stuff to promote the sale and posting them on here. Most like the house sale will start this Friday and last as long as it needs to. PLEASE, HELP ME SPREAD THE WORD, MY TOPEKA FRIENDS!

I think our lives have just started moving in fast forward, so we would all appreciate any thing we could get: thoughts, prayers, good vibes!

Monday, February 6, 2012


The girls and I went to The Yarn Barn:

It was a good day :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The After: A's Room

A's room is done! After lots of crafting, painting, more painting, cleaning, thrifting, donating, and decorating, it is finally done. Oh, I had so much fun making in this room. From tearing up the carpet to putting all those hoops up on the wall, I'm so glad all the effort was put in to here. So, please, come on in!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Outside: composting

Lately, I've been thinking a LOT about spring and what I want to grow outdoors. I have a lot of hope this year, even though last year was pretty awful, (read watering twice daily and everything still dying on me.) But this year I want to garden smarter and plan ahead. Gardening should start with good soil and that starts with composting. I've been wanting to compost for as long as I could remember but was always too intimidated to do so. A few days ago, I finally said yes and started my little compost pile. And it actually worked out perfectly because I had just raked up the rest of the leaves a few days before. So, I moved the leaves over to a corner between the back door and back of the house.

Then I put some chicken wire ends together to make a tub and started layering leaves and kitchen leftovers in that. It's little but I'm so happy to be composting! Since our diet comes from about 95% plant products, we can compost just about everything from the kitchen. Here is a great list of what you can and can't compost, (from sustainable baby steps.)

Right behind my compost pile, I want to put in a water bin. I actually want to do three or four of these for all of the down spouts around our house.
I've got a smallish list of all the new things to do outside. I'm hoping to do these without spending too much money and that everything will grow in them!
I want to hang some gutters on the fence and plant lots of vines and hanging flowers in them.
I'm also going to be making four raised beds. Two will be in the backyard, with one of them being just for the girls to plant whatever they want then take care of. A is already planning. The other two will be in the front yard and I'm hoping to be able to garden all year long with those babies.
And here's a little story for you: Monday morning I was looking for garden inspiration and remembered this little picture of two tires stacked and a plant in them. Since I did not want to go buy tires just for gardening I made a mental note to ask around to see if anyone had any old tires. About an hour later, the girls and I left to go drop a few bags off to The Rescue Mission, but I took the wrong street. On that wrong street were two tires sitting on the side of the road with a free sign on them. Um, thank you Jesus! Those tires are now in my backyard, waiting to be used.
I'm sure my mind needs to just settle down with all the gardening ideas, and I need to stick to simple, but all this warm weather is planting a seed. Ahem :)