Monday, June 30, 2014

Harder than I Thought

This weekend was a whirlwind of busyness, hard work, success, and goodbyes. We accomplished our goal of a HUGE yard sale before moving, we cleaned out and got rid of lots of stuff, we cleaned and straightened our whole house so it will be picture perfect and ready to list, and we said goodbye to lots of friends at church. It was definitely a whirlwind. And this morning arrived and I realized that moving away, and all the changes and challenges that go along with it, is going to be harder than I thought. Gulp.

We have wanted this and prayed for this for years. We have longed for "home". We have struggled with living away from our families. We have struggled with having to travel and spend the night for any and everything you can think of. We have struggled with not having help and baby-sitters nearby. We have complained. We have argued. We have stressed.

And now it's here. We've had our huge yard sale. We've cleaned the house to make it picture perfect and ready to list. We've found a rental house. And we're starting the process of packing up. We are finally doing this. This major life changing thing we've been waiting on for so long.

And we are excited. We can't wait to be there.... with family, with friends, with our church, with the school our babies will attend.

And we are grateful. God continues to amaze us with His faithfulness, timing, and provisions. Terrell's new job is going great and has totally exceeded our expectations. Garrison will be able to start Kindergarten in Barnesville. YAAAY!! We're able to rent a home there before we even sell our house here. We're going to spend birthdays, Buggy Days, holidays, and family gatherings at home! We're going to raise our boys surrounded by family and our village. I could cry I'm so thankful.

But there's also a big part of this move that's going to be hard. Way harder than I thought.

I knew the packing up part would be a challenge (but even that's going to be harder than I thought). I knew it'd be bittersweet saying goodbye to friends here (and I almost cried yesterday as our Sunday School teacher here in Covington prayed a sweet, special prayer for us as we move... that we'd be a light for Jesus and a blessing to friends, family, neighbors, and strangers in Barnesville.) I even suspected that as much as we wanted this, it'd be kind of sad to leave this house. This house we've called home for 7 years.

What I never considered was how HARD it'd be moving into a house that won't be home. At first I was thrilled with renting because I knew it meant we would be able to go ahead and move and the sacrifice would be TOTALLY worth it. We've waited for this move, we aren't attached to anything here, we were ready. Oh, we're just going to have to downsize and adjust a little but it's temporary. We'll be fine. We can do this! I can't wait! My positive attitude overfloweth!

But now it's becoming real. For REAL. We'll be living in a smaller, older home. I will be spending my days, all day, in a much different home. A home that won't hold all our furniture and things and toys and dishes and decorations. A home that is temporary and small and not ours. A home that I'm afraid won't feel like home at all. And that's uncomfortable. And hard. I almost started crying when I realized there's no where to hang up stockings in the rental house. The house we'll more than likely be living in when we wake up in our own house on Christmas morning for the first time ever. I also started panicking when it occurred to me how much isn't going to fit in the house. Pieces of furniture. Special things that belong to the boys. Not even all my pots and pans. Boohoo!! I've just got this knot in my stomach because all of a sudden it's hit me that this move to this particular rental house will be a significant change for all of us.

Don't get me wrong, I know these things are small in the grand scheme of things. I am thankful we'll have a home to live in and that our family of 5 will experience this change and transition together. Because I know in my heart that where my family is, is home. It doesn't matter if the house is small or old or different, if we're there together, we're home. I know this. And I am especially thankful we are able to move in a few short weeks and rent before selling our house. My biggest will start Kindergarten there. We'll experience some upcoming "biggies" there right away like Austin's 3rd birthday and Buggy Days. I am thankful for ALL these things. But the reality of day to day life (and special holidays) are still tough in a place that's different. Cabinet space, closet space, bathroom space, house SPACE is all different from what we're accustomed to. And that's hard. And causing me just a little anxiety because I wasn't expecting it to be hard. I'm not sure where my overflowing positive attitude went. But I must find it. I must. For my kids who will be experiencing something big like this for the first time ever, and for my husband who has to live with me and listen to me and deal with me. I must make the best of the rental house and all the changes that will come with it. It is temporary and it is a good thing. We will adjust and make the best of it and start the search for our "forever home" as soon as possible... and our house sells. =)

But first things first. First, we have to list our house and start packing right away. Which is happening, like tomorrow. Then we have to sign a lease and officially register my big boy for Kindergarten. We have to move a few things little by little and start making progress. We have to keep packing. We have to go on our summer vacation. We have to leave our house spotless for our week away. We have to return home to more packing. Hard core packing up and only leaving the bare esstentials unpacked. And then, we move. We start a new journey in one of our most favorite places with our most favorite people. So excited, so blessed.

Even though the journey starts in a small rental house that may not feel like home and that may make this move harder than I'd thought it'd be, it's beginning, there. Our new life in the hometown. And that makes it special... and helps my positive attitude return.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Favorites: New Beginnings Edition

This week marked the beginning of a brand new transition for us. The beginning of Terrell's new job and our move to B'ville. The beginning of packing up our home here and finding a new home there. We are so excited, so thrilled, SO grateful, and so exhausted. Ha! Terrell leaving before the boys wake up and getting home late every night... or not coming home at all if he spends the night in B'ville, has been a BIG adjustment for all of us. Especially for me and the boys. One or both boys have cried almost daily because they miss daddy and I've felt like my days have become like twice as long as they used to be. Haha. I'm thinking we were just a little spoiled.

But other than being exhausted and working on our massive yard sale round the clock, I also had some sweet, funny, and I'msothankfulthey'reoccupied favorite moments...

*My parents let the boys pick out something from the gift shop at the Wild Animal Safari, and the little Melissa and Doug "sticker scenes and faces" have provided TONS of table time this week for my big boys. Yay! THANKS Granna and Papa!
*Since we sent our outdoor play set home with my parents last weekend and since we can't get to any of our outside toys under the garage due to MASSIVE YARD SALE STUFF, going outside at our house this week hasn't been an option. So we went to the park instead. I loved my park time with my 3 little men.

*We were able to go visit AnAn this week and go swimming! (Layton was present but not pictured. I was actually holding him when I snapped this one.) The boys had a ball and loved having some time at AnAn's! Then we met Terrell after work to go look at more rental houses... and it looks like we found the one! Praise the Lord! It's a little older and dated and we're definitely downsizing, but it's affordable, has a great basement for storage, and just seems like the best fit for our family. We are amazed at how God is working everything out. AMAZED.
*The big boys pulled out some toys they haven't played with in a while. And these toys have occupied them lots this week! It seems like they went through a stretch of not really playing with toys, but then all of a sudden this week they started back.

*My baby boy is rolling over all the time now. He learned how to roll from his back to his stomach and that has interrupted our sleeping through the night a little... and means he doesn't stay put when I put him down on his play mat. Then, he learned this new trick. He decided to try to roll over in his swing! I was standing right beside him watching and laughing. Needless to say, baby boy has to be strapped in now.

We are looking forward to getting our yard sale over and done with this weekend. Then it's time to focus on listing the house, cleaning the house, and packing up the house! Happy Weekend!!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekend of Play & Work

What a weekend we had! It was filled full of playing hard and working hard. We crammed a lot in and are WORN OUT. But it was fun and productive and totally worth it.

On Terrell's day off before starting his brand new job, we spent the afternoon at the pool. And my biggest swam and swam. YAY!!
Austin still hangs out a lot on the steps but he's venturing out more and more.
And Layton has been totally chill in the pool lately. He just hangs out.
After a fun afternoon at the pool we decided to go out to the boys' favorite restaurant for supper. Stevi B's will be missed BIG TIME by my boys when we move. We wrapped up the night by watching the Braves. Another fun summer night!
Saturday morning we were up bright and early in the hometown searching for a house to rent. HUGE thanks to my father-in-law/real estate agent for working sooo hard to help us find a place fast. So far we haven't really found what we want and have decided to hold out for something better. We know we'll have to make some sacrifices but we also want to feel like we're home in the rental house... because it may be home to us for a whole year. While it's tempting to feel a little stressed and rushed we are trusting God and know he has it all worked out.
After rental house hunting we dropped Layton off with my in-laws and went with my parents and the big boys to the Wild Animal Safari. My parents discovered it and we all took Garrison when he was 2, so this was Austin's turn to experience it. His reaction to the animals was so similar to Garrison's. He had us cracking up.
Ready for our safari!

This is what Austin thought of an animal sticking his head in our window for the first time! He climbed behind Terrell and was going up his back and planning his escape. Ha! He liked the animals from a distance... or from someone else's window. =)

This was one of the funniest moments we had because we were surrounded and there was an animal IN THE CAR window on both sides at the same time. And their breath was pretty severe. Yuck. Haha!

It was hot and we were sweaty and stinky but we had such a good time and loved seeing the big boys experience the safari. Thanks to Granna and Papa for a yummy picnic lunch and making sure our boys experience the fun... and stinky, smelly, bad breath animals. =)

Saturday night we were exhausted from our looong day and all the driving we did, so we slept late (aka, let the boys wake us up) Sunday morning, and then we prepared for the whole fam to come over and help us get ready for our massive yard sale. I didn't get any pictures because we were pretty much working non-stop, but I am convinced we held on to too much for too long. 9 years worth of STUFF we don't need, want, or use anymore piles up fast. I am also convinced we have THE most supportive family ever. My parents, Terrell's parents, and my sister and her husband all came over to help us sort, organize, price, keep up with kids, etc. We got a LOT accomplished and are just about ready for the big sale. My garage is totally full, wall to wall, with yard sale items. It. Is. Crazy. Gracious. We can't thank everybody enough for all of their help and hard work. I'd hate to see the mess we'd have on our hands without everyone's team effort yesterday in the sweltering heat. "Operation: Move The Selph's to Barnesville" is underway... and exhausting for all involved.

*This week starts a brand new normal for us as Terrell commutes far away everyday and isn't just 5 minutes away and available when we need him and making breakfast in the mornings and dropping by for lunch a few times a week. We're on our own from 6:30 to 6:30 until we move. Let the transition and adjustment begin!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Favorites: VBS Week Edition

We have had a really great week and are kicking off our weekend early with an extra day with daddy before he starts his new job on Monday. Yay! AND, my big boys have been in Bible School all week and having so much fun! We finally found a VBS that Austin could go to with Garrison and that takes place during the day... my only 2 requirements. Check! The boys were REAL hesitant at first, but it has turned out to be a great experience for them and they haved loved it. They've learned a lot and made some fun crafts and have been singing their VBS songs. Precious.

Honestly this week of Bible School couldn't have come at a better time. I think my big boys needed this time away from home and away from mama, and I think Layton and I have enjoyed the break too. It's been a blessing for all of us.

Okay, now for my favorites from the week...

*Granna bought the movie Frozen for the boys and they discovered it this week and wanted to watch it... with a bowl of snacks of course. They ended up really liking it. =)

*Garrison requests to hold Layton LOTS and I just love how much he loves his baby brother.

*I was able to take Layton to his well-check all by myself! It was sooo nice being there just me and him and not worrying about what his big brothers were getting into and keeping them entertained and out of trouble. Clearly it was naptime for baby boy.

*My sweet big boys waking Layton up after his nap. So blessed that they are still smitten!
*I enjoyed some extra one-on-one time with this little man all week.
*After putting Layton to bed the other night, I walked out of his room to see these 3 totally immersed in the Braves game. Love.

*We enjoyed some backyard pool time and Layton even sat in the pool while we filled it up. His little lip came out a few times like he was going to cry but he decided it wasn't so bad after all.
*The big boys had a ball and played til supper was ready!

*Ready for VBS on "Disguise Day". We have been so blessed by this week of Bible School. And I'm so thankful we found one that both boys could attend during the day. What a great week for my bigs.

*Yesterday after Terrell got home from work we loaded up to head to the pool and we had the best time! Garrison did lots of swimming on his own, Austin wore his "frog" so he could actually get off the steps, and Layton stayed in the pool the whole time. Success all around! We stayed at late as we could, came home for baths, put Layton to bed, grilled supper, and ate around the boys' normal bedtime while we watched the Braves. It was such a fun summer night!

We have another super busy weekend planned but are excited about all the fun, new things we have going on. Happy Friday!!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Big News, Big Move

***Before you read any further, just so you'll know the background and where we're coming from, read this post. It explains a LOT. Mainly why this is such a big deal.

(Of course if you know me or have read here for just about any period of time you know how important the whole moving back to the hometown is to us. VERY.)

Okay, if you read the post mentioned above, that's where we were almost 2 years ago. Starting the process of getting serious about moving. Starting the process of getting serious about a new job for Terrell. Starting the process of trying to make our way back to our hometown where we were both born and raised and where the majority of our family lives and calls home. And we were obsessing and stressing and analyzing and talking and thinking constantly. Until my revelation of course. That was a huge turning point. From that point forward I had a peace about Terrell finding a new job eventually and about us moving in time for Kindergarten. I told Terrell multiple times that as soon as we made a final decision about where Garrison would go to Kindergarten that things would fall into place and we'd be ready to move.

And that is EXACTLY what happened. We don't know exactly when we're moving, but the Selph household is most definitely MOVING!!! Back to B'ville we go!! Happydancehugshighfivestearsofjoy! God has been so faithful to us and has orchestrated every single detail. We are ecstatic over this answered prayer!

Long story short, Terrell started looking for a job around 2 years ago and in the meantime we committed to living here while we were, well, living here. We started going to church here every Sunday. We joined a Sunday School class. We started spending our weekends here. We rarely spent the night away unless it was a holiday or special occasion. Basically we gave up the whole trying to live in 2 places thing. And it was nice. And what was best for our family. Along the way Terrell had a few job leads and interviews but never anything that worked out OR that would allow us to move. Until now.

Terrell came across a job at the end of March (which was totally a God thing by the way) that he was totally qualified for, that was EXACTLY what he was looking for in a career move, and that would allow us to move back to Barnesville. It was pretty close to perfect. Immediately we got our hopes up and prayed for God to open the door for this job if it was His will. It was so exciting but also kind of scary because we both wanted it soo bad but knew that God might have other plans. After a very long-term process of interviews, phone calls, emails, prayers, and holding our breath while we waited, Terrell was officially offered the job! Happydancehugshighfivestearsofjoy! Oh how excited and happy and thrilled and overwhelmed with gratefulness we are! We just continue to praise God for how perfectly He has worked everything out!

And just like that, Terrell starts a brand new job on Monday. A job we are so excited about. And just like that we're preparing to move. After years of waiting and not knowing and having pity parties and complaining and questioning and letting go and finally accepting, WE. ARE. MOVING. Happydancehugshighfivestearsofjoy!

We would really LOVE to move right away, like next month, so Garrison can start Kindergarten in B'ville... but we'd have to find a place to rent until we sold our house. So for now we're on the hunt and praying hard! In the meantime we're purging and decluttering and getting ready for our huge yard sale/moving sale. And life has just been crazy since Terrell was officially offered and accepted the job. CRAZY. Our house is a total mess. We're packing things up, throwing things away, moving things out, and preparing to sell tons of stuff. It's been exhausting already and we aren't even moving yet. But hopefully all this hard work will pay off and our house will be "list ready" around the first of July!


Please pray for us as we make this huge transition. We still don't know where Garrison will start his first day of Kindergarten. We still don't know how long it will take to sell our house. We still don't know where we'll live in Barnesville once we finally can move. There's a lot of unknown for us right now. Which has been kind of hard... especially the part about not knowing where Garrison will start Kindergarten. BUT, God has been totally faithful to us and we know He will continue to work out the details according to His plan. We are just SO excited and SO thankful about this new opportunity that it really is all good

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

4 Months Old

Layton turned 4 months old last Thursday and today we had his 4 month well check. Everything is going great with our baby boy and we are soo thankful (and relieved) after our sort of rough start and concerns during his first few months. I may even be able to slowly add some dairy back into my diet in the next 2 months to see how he responds. We're praying his milk allergy doesn't hang around for much longer!

This month, with the start of summer, we've been able to settle into a consistent routine and it has made all the difference! Life is pretty crazy for me this summer but nice and consistent for my littlest. Yay. It's been a great month for Layton Thomas. =)

4 month monkey pics...

This one is priceless. =)

Garrison at 4 months...
Austin at 4 months...

4 Months Stats and Happenings:
*You weigh 14 lbs 4 oz and you're 26.25 inches long. You're in the 90th percentile for height and the 40th for weight. Your doctor said since you gained vertically this month that you slimmed down and may be ready for some rice cereal soon. We'll probably give it a try in the next couple weeks.

*You are wearing 6 months and 6-9 months clothes with lots of those becoming too little! You are still wearing size 2 diapers for now but we're planning to move on to size 3 as soon as we finish our stock of 2s. You are growing so fast and almost everyday I wonder how it's possible that you're getting so big so fast!

*You are now eating every 4 hours during the day AND you started sleeping through the night this month! You go to bed around 7:30 and most mornings we have to go in and give you your paci sometime between 5:00 and 7:00, but then you sleep until after 7:00! And some mornings you make it 12 hours all by yourself. I am loving sleeping all night again. =)

*You nap twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Both naps are going great and typically last about 2 hours. Occasionally you'll take a short late afternoon nap while I'm cooking but you've almost outgrown that one I think.

*You still have a fussy stretch between 5:00 and 6:00 and usually ending up sitting in my lap during supper.

*You keep rolling over from your stomach to your back lots and you've almost made it from your back to your stomach. You've come really close while you're sleeping because your new favorite position is way up on your side. I have a feeling you'll reach that milestone soon.

*This month you discovered your hands and it's the most precious thing ever watching you study them and watch them. You also LOVE putting your hands in your mouth and chomping away on them. The drool is at an all time high too. A tooth may be coming soon!

*Your personality continues to shine more and more. You're talking, smiling, cooing, squealing, and even babbling a little. Oh, AND, you gave me your first little chuckle this month! SO adorable!!

*You've started watching your big brothers more and more... sometimes in amazement, sometimes in adoration, and sometimes in fear. Ha! They love you SO much and can't seem to get enough of you!

*This month has been such a blessing with you. We are loving our slower pace and our new little routine. You are such a gift to our family and we are so thankful we get to watch you grow because it's one of the best things ever! Happy Birthday to our sweet baby Layton! We love you!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

We had a busy but blessed Father's Day weekend and were so thankful to spend it celebrating our dads, my PawPaw, and my hubby who is the best dad ever. My boys are BLESSED to have so many great role models in these men!

Garrison's "swim performance" was rescheduled for Saturday morning because of a thunderstorm that blew through on Friday afternoon... so we ate pancakes for breakfast and gave daddy his presents before leaving to watch Garrison swim. (He did GREAT by the way!!)

Immediately following Garrison's last swim lesson we got him dry and changed, made a quick stop at CFA to eat and so I could feed Layton, and then finally got on the road to Kara's house. We had a super fun time celebrating Father's Day and Kara's birthday with the Selph's and Reding's. And the boys loved hanging out with their cousins... and getting to play with new toys!

We turned in as early as we could Saturday night and then woke up Sunday morning ready to celebrate again. We made cinnamon rolls for daddy and got everybody ready for church and a day at Granna and Papa's. And of course we had to make some pictures. Of course. =) 

We managed a couple before church at our house...

And then a couple more after church at my parents' house....

Oh family pictures. How interesting and challenging you've become. They're still precious to me. Even if eyes are closed and someone isn't looking in like every single one. =)

Then we got a picture of my daddy/Papa with his 3 grands.
We enjoyed grilling out with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, grandparents, aunt and uncle, and cousins. It's always a good time when we get together! And the boys played hard all afternoon. Playing golf is one of their new favorite things to do at Granna and Papa's. Plus riding bikes. Garrison even got to take a special bike ride with Frankie. Even though Frankie isn't a dad yet, he's a great uncle and role model for my boys and they totally adore him. My boys have some pretty special men in their lives and I know these special men will help shape the men my boys become. *Tear. I'm so grateful for them all.  

We just had a fun weekend with both our families. SO thankful for the special dads in our lives and the way they love and support their families!!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Favorites: "It's been a wild one" Edition

This week has been wild for LOTS of reasons. I've been distracted and exhausted with all the yard sale prep going on... which is probably what led to a not so good week for my big boys. We've had swim lessons for Garrison everyday at 5:00 this week 30 minutes away... so a later supper, bath, and bedtime routine than we're used to. I've had to make multiple trips to various stores this week... with my little men in tow. (PS... Not fun.) There's just been a lot going on in the Selph household this week. And it's only going to get crazier. But that's okay! Because it's all good. =)

Okay, my favorites from the week...

*Garrison's swim lessons have gone great this year! It seems like he's really becoming a swimmer and it's finally clicking with him. We are sooo proud!
*A moment I captured of "toss the bean bag into the dump truck" with my big boys. Yay for being creative and playing together and NOT fighting!
*Post bath time sweetness. PRESH!
*This favorite was also challenging. I had to take all 3 boys to Garrison's swim lessons on Wednesday (on Monday and Tuesday, Terrell and I were able to tag team). Austin, Layton, and I had a whole hour on our hands while we waited. Thankfully we survived and I enjoyed my extra QT with my middle and my littlest. (Layton's face is so funny.)

*A few weeks ago, Garrison requested that we leave him a "score report" of the Braves game in his bathroom every morning so he'd know who won the game right away. He looks forward to finding out the score every single morning. I think it's such a sweet little ritual/tradition.

This weekend is going to be jam-packed for us but we're looking forward to celebrating with all the specials dads in our lives. Happy Weekend!!