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Off the grid

Before yesterday, my last post was in August of last year. One year ago. You guys, it’s been a busy year.

As much as I love love love to blog, it’s so hard to keep up with it. I keep making resolutions to do better, and then life catches up with me and things get crazy. Blogging is one of the first things to hit the backburner. But I’m back–until life slams me again–attempting to do better at keeping up with this here blog. I’d like to spend a little more time integrating personal posts as well. Essentially, I have a lot of words to share. Not necessarily profound or wise words, just words. (Ask my husband, he’ll agree.)

So what have I been up to in the last year since I last blogged? Well, as I think back on August of last year, I realize this is the time when we made a huge life change. We decided to hang up our hats in the big city of Yukon, and move back to my hometown of Weatherford, OK (about an hour West of OKC). It wasn’t an easy decision for me–I never thought I would move back. I loved many things about Yukon and being near OKC. But alas, Keith was offered a job at the ranch where he had worked for many years prior, and it was an offer that was hard to refuse. His passion is cowboying. He had gotten alternatively certified in teaching when we moved to Yukon, taught HS math, received the rookie teacher of the year award (nailed it), but still missed cowboying. With the job offer, plus the chance to move back to the town where so much of my family to live, it seemed like a pretty good idea. Plus, I remember when I wanted to jump ship from my 8-5 job and start doing my passion full time, Keith was there every step of the way supporting my decision. So with much prayer and direction from God, we felt led to make the move. We finished the remodel on our Yukon house just in time to put it up for sale and buy yet another fixer-upper in Weatherford. And boy was it a big fixer-upper. We are apparently gluttons for punishment.

Oh, and did I forget to mention, I was also 7 months pregnant at that time?

Now, the house we bought is one that I have a bit of history with. The owners when I was in HS and college were like a second family to me. I spent many a day at the house “Andy-sitting,” swimming, and visiting with Barry and Janet. The first time I ever talked to Keith on the phone was while laying on the floor in the computer room of that house. (Altogether now…”aaaaaawwweeeee!”) Unfortunately, between the time they owned it and the time we acquired it, there was quite a bit of damage done to the property. Okay, a lot of damage. We’re talking dogs tore up woodwork, broke out windows, tore out sheetrock, water damage, dog urine so thick it had to be sanded out of the floors, and the list goes on. This was a HUGE project, and my 7 month pregnant self worked right along with everyone else. I painted (calm down–the kind of paint that’s safe for pregnant women), caulked, helped tear out floors and put down new floors, replaced trim, and whatever else I could find to do. In fact, I worked on finishing up the painting the bathroom with my sister just a few days before Brady was due. I didn’t stop working on the house until that kid was born.

We have a house, a pool house, a pool (YEEEEEESSSSS!!!!), a barn, and 5 acres. It’s perfect for us! These are the before pictures, and we’re still working on getting to the point where I can take after pictures…

The picture below is after Keith mowed down the weeds that were taller than me!


Needless to say, it’s been a real work in progress. It’s kept us extremely busy, and will for quite some time. I’m just ready to be to a point where I can take a breather and not feel guilty for not sanding/stripping/painting/fixing/replacing/rebuilding something. That day will come. Maybe.

Now, amongst all of this mess (and while living in the tiny pool house pictured above), our little blessing was born on December 13th, 2012.

Taking a newborn back to a 300 square foot one room apartment is not ideal, but we made it work. Plus, the lighting in there is fabulous so that helped with the above pictures. By the time he was about 3 months old, we finally had enough of the house done to be able to move into the downstairs. We are currently still living in just the downstairs, and trying to get the upstairs done. We have to finish re-finishing the floors and paint, and then we are ready! We will still have a ton of projects, but at least the space will be livable. Lord willing, this can all happen before the end of August. What a joyous celebration we will have when it’s done! (celebration=nap)

During this time, I’ve tried to keep my photo sessions to a minimum. Between trying to remodel a house and adjust to being a mom, I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to fit in photography as well. I realized somewhere along the way that I just have too many irons in the fire, and I have to prioritize and focus my energy in order to be efficient and complete all the tasks I have staring me in the face. With our hope of getting to a resting point (there’s no stopping–we bought into a lifelong project), I also have the hope of going back to an increased workload and adding in a few new projects as well. I’ll do another blog post on all of those goodies once I have things a little more set in stone!

Oh, and this guy: he is by far my greatest accomplishment to date. We are so fortunate that God has entrusted this beautiful, sweet boy to us. He truly is our sunshine. It’s hard to believe he’s almost 8 months old.

(Blanket made by Rebecca Ahlgrim.)




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