Tuesday, July 28, 2015

If a couple buys a house...

The children's book "If you give a Mouse a Cookie" is probably one of my favorite stories to read. Because it's just so darn true. You rarely can just do one small thing without it snowballing. Not that it's a bad thing- but it just shows you that one small action can lead to more and more. 

For me, this was never more evident than when we decided to buy a house. I mean seriously. The whole storyline works VERY well with this adult context added:

If a couple buys a house, 
then they are going to want some furniture.  

And if they want some furniture,
They will probably want a lamp. 

And if you give a family a lamp, 
then are going to want a place to sit. 

And if the wife sits down, 
she may notice the walls need to be painted. 

She will start to question all of the lighting options. 

And she will want some pictures on the wall to look at. 

And if you paint the walls, 
the wife will realize she needs an area rug. 

And when you get to Home Depot to buy a rug, 
the husband will need a grill cover for the new grill that he bought.

And if buy a grill and cover, 
then the couple will have to invite friends over... who are also buying a house. 

Thanks to my good friends Merry, Jenny and Shayna for contributing to this blogpost. And be sure to check out Shayna's blog, Faith, Trust, & Disney Dust! She's a CASTMEMBER at the Walt Disney World Resort, working at Disney's Hollywood Studios Park. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

I never want to move again.

Okay, so that's not necessary true. But I never want to pack and load my own crap again. We were suppose to have a moving company come and take care of everything for us... but simply put, it fell through. We had been told it would be covered and then less than a week before the move, we suddenly had to pack ourselves. 

I wasn't prepared for that, because while I had been purging some distinctly unorganized areas of the house, I wasn't really PACKING those areas. Suddenly, my focus had to be shifted and there was just not time to get the house fully ready. One of my best friends was awesome. She came over to help pack and she likely trashed a good bit of stuff when my head was turned. LOL She spent several evenings at my house and was SUCH a godsend. 

So, with limited time to deal with it and pretty tight schedule, we packed and loaded our stuff onto a truck from Old Dominion. Using Old Dominion Household Services was really nice. They dropped off the trailer and we were able to load it ourselves and then we just called when we were done. OD sent a driver to pick it up. And the price for the truck was very reasonable when you consider they would be hauling AND storing it for us until our closing date. No need to deal with the logistics of getting two cars to our new location. 

The hard part was that we had to pack and LOAD it by ourselves. Please. If someone you know is moving. OFFER to help. Hands in the house would have made a big difference. We had one former student and a good friend church show up to help for a few hours, but it could have been so much easier had we had just a few more hands more consistently.  Another one of my girlfriends came to help pack and clean as my husband and I loaded boxes on the second day. 

Luckily, I have the College Hunks Moving Company to help us UNLOAD the truck when we arrive in Nashville. I am looking forward to having them come and help! 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thanks EIU, you will be missed!

Our time at EIU is coming to a close. When we moved here in 2012, I was so scared of living in a tiny town. Where there was no good places to eat and the closest Target was an hour away. I couldn't imagine raising my children in such a small community. But now... I'm looking back and I can't imagine the future without this small town. 

It's hard to imagine not wearing blue on gamedays and helping my guard girls get ready in a classroom of Doudna. Fighting over hair bumps and straight or curly hair. Glitter or no glitter. Exploding hair spray bottles. 
Me and my Guard (and Twirler!) girls! 
It's going to be hard to not listen to the fight song echo through the campus as the Marching Band makes its way towards OBrien Stadium from Booth Library. 

It's going to be tough to not have the university president excited to see the band and eagerly try his hand at conducting. It will be equally hard not seeing the smiles on the students faces knowing that the leader of their university cares so much about the school that he would wear a big blue wig and sit in the middle of the student section. 

I'm not sure how to handle the idea of my children losing some of the freedoms that come with a close-knit community. Playing with all of the band kids and enjoying running over to bounce during the long second quarter.  How the EIU Cheerleaders and Pink Panthers always took my girls in as one of their own. 

I'm not going to have explain - for the hundredth time - that the words the band is singing is "You don't want to go to war, with the Panthers- don't start no stuff, there'll be no stuff" to people. 

But the future and the past, at least for right now are very different. There are so many changes going on at EIU. The years we have been at Eastern can never be duplicated. It wouldn't be fair to hold the next director of EIU up to what we have done- because it's not fair for us to hold the students of Vanderbilt to the the students here at EIU. All we can take forward is the beauty of our memories and remember the good times. 

While I know that there were some that didn't like the way things were handled at times, I feel like Corey, the girls and I always handled everything as well as we could. You can never make all of the people happy. I'm sure there are a select few that will believe that our departure will make things better- and perhaps they are right. Perhaps they misunderstood out goals and dreams for this band and these students that we have so loved. We will never change their minds. But that's okay. I'm not taking that baggage with me. 

The moments we have had at EIU will always be so precious to me and that will ALWAYS hold near to my heart. While I still may not know every student by name, they called me Mama Francis, and that fills my heart with such joy and love. I wish each of you nothing but the best. There will never be another group of students that I love like the students I have met here in the last few years. Thank you. Thank you for becoming our family. Thank you for embracing our dreams. Thank you. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

#5 is fine!

Welcome back to another StitchFix review! 

First things first, lets review that we will be moving and that means a NEW school to be cheering for on game days! Anchor Down, Vanderbilt University, here we come! So, I asked my stylist for clothing that would work for an SEC Football game. She definitely gave me some great options, so let's check them out! 

Time Out! If you don't love the SEC, then you might be a little lost in some of my post today- I apologize now! I am a HUGE Georgia Bulldogs fan, but now that we work for Vandy, I will proudly wear my black and gold! 

I LOVE this dress! I am keeping it, even though Houndstooth is a big Alabama print (Thank you Bear Bryant!) I still think it's a great option for game days and I can see myself wearing this with tights and boots later in the fall as well as with sandals or flip flops in the summer. It's lightweight and comfortable! LOVE!

 Collective Concepts Ash Houndstooth Dress  
I was SO excited about the shirt, but bummed about the jeans. In a previous Fix I had received a pair of Henry & Belle jeans and I had returned them. Yeah, they are nice, but they are PRICY. So, I was a little concerned about getting another pair. And once again, I was not blown away by these jeans. And you know what else? The pockets on the front are FAKE. Which means there is NO way I was going to like these jeans. They just aren't mom friendly. 

41Hawthorn Moni Abstract Chevron Stud Detail Blouse/ Henry & Belle Abana Ankle Length Skinny Jeans 
This top. Ya'll. I really want to love this top. I love the pattern. I love the gold studs. But I'm thinking the problem must be that I need a large and this was a medium. Sigh. I'm just not thrilled with the way the top pulls across the front and then it pulls on my arms funny. Worst part was it was hard for me to get off myself. :(  But it really is beautiful. Maybe I will request an exchange? 
Print of the 41Hawthorn Moni Abstract Chevron Stud Detail Blouse
But I FINALLY GOT MY EMER PANTS!!! I have seriously been upset at myself ever since my first Fix for sending back the Emer pants that I got in that box. They were plain black, so it wasn't what I was looking for long term... so it was the right decision. BUT. I wanted these pants. I'm SO incredibly excited to have them! They fit perfectly and they will be PERFECT for game days! I just need to find a cute gold top. Any suggestions? 
41Hawthorn Moni Abstract Chevron Stud Detail Blouse/ Margaret M Emer Printed Cropped Straight Leg Pants
Print of the Margaret M Emer Printed Cropped Straight Leg Pants
My stylist also sent me a beautiful necklace- which is hard for me to get past, because I really am more of a silver girl. But the Vandy colors are Black and Gold, so momma needs some gold jewelry! I dunno. I'm trying to decide on this... 
Bancroft Leighton Metal Bauble Necklace 

So, here it is! Fix #5! I really wish the jeans had been a more affordable pair, but even after my current credits and the "buy 5 discount" the total for this fix is $249.50. WAY more money than I'm ready to spend. So, I think I'll just be keeping the dress and the Emer pants!