Stairway to Heaven

Although it has been consuming almost all of my time for over a week, I haven’t mentioned much, the fact that we are moving this week.

I am busy losing my mind packing and tripping over my kids and garbage and boxes cleaning, so please bear with me as I struggle to make it through the next several days.

I am so excited about this move. We have been stuffed into living in an apartment for the past 3 years (2 here, 1 in Maryland) after having lived in our own home for many years before that. As spacious as this apartment is, it has several drawbacks:

  • No storage space
  • Though we have a huge closet, it also serves as the laundry room (yes, the washer and dryer hookups are in our bedroom closet. I can’t even begin to count the ways that that has stunk. Ok – I will: lint blowing all over our clothes… moisture in our bedroom… heat from the dryer…)
  • That closet also serves as a pass-through to the master bathroom
  • We are all on one level
  • We are on the second floor

We are now moving into a 2-level home and I think what I am most excited about it this:

We are going to have {squeeeeeee} stairs!!

STAIRS!!

Even the home we owned before living in an apartment was a one story home. Although I grew up in a 2 story home, I have not, in my married and parenting life, had that. And I have fantasized about what it is like to live in a space that is separated.

[Apparently, apartment living can make you a bit loopy]

One of my dear Wisconsin friends lived in a one-story home like ours and she told me how her two oldest kids would eat their breakfast in the basement so that they could pretend they lived in a two-story home like they’d seen in the movies and on tv.

I think I can totally relate.

Living in a home with 4 kids and having everyone right there, all of the time? Rough.

I don’t care how many safety gates we have to stick on those babies.

Yet again – more about me

Continuing to make my way through the outpost of my brain questions y’all asked of me ages ago.

Jenn said … :  Where did you grow up? As a child were you a girlie girl or a Tomboy? What were you into? How many siblings do you have? Who was your celebrity crush in Junior High and High School?

I grew up in Frederick, Maryland, which is a suburb of Washington, DC. It was a great place to grow up – small town feel in a large town. Gorgeous, thriving downtown area. Great schools. I actually lived in the Lewistown/Thurmont area until I was 16 and then we moved into town. So I had the best of both worlds (sing it, Hannah) – I had all of the perks of living in the country as a child, and then the convenience of living in town when my social life was becoming important. As a child, some of my favorite things to do were riding my bike to the country store for gum and running blades of grass over the electric fence that ran along our property. Also, I’d entertain guests by showing them how to throw rocks at cow patties. That is some gut-wrenching fun right there. Did you know that if you throw a rock at a cow patty on a cold day that it releases steam? If you’d been my guest, you would’ve.

As a teen, I was into makeup, clothes and boys. See – I TOLD you I was UNIQUE! How many other girls do you know with those exact same likes?!

With two older brothers, it was hard not to be a bit of a tomboy, but I was the one playing in the dirt in a dress. I loved playing trucks and cars in the dirt by the garden, but insisted that I wear dresses. My mom has always told me she used to beg me to wear pants in the winter, but I was stubborn as all get-out preferred dresses. So our compromise was that I wore pants under my dresses. Not unlike this:

jennifer_love_hewitt

Once again, proof that I am a fashion force to be reckoned with. Or, at least I was in elementary school.

The celebrity crush I remember the most was John Taylor from Duran Duran. Don’t even begin to kid yourselves into believing that I might actually admit to kissing a poster of him once or twice or 40 times.

I bet he would have appreciated my fashion sense.

Elizabeth…mommy…etc said … : if you could choose what era to live in (besides the current era) what era would it be? i’ve been thinking about this lately and, although, i haven’t answered the question myself, i find it fascinating to picture myself in another era. dumb question????

I’m not really sure that I have an answer for that. There are different eras that intrigue me. But frankly, I can’t imagine living in a time when I had to clean out rags worn in my under-drawers once a month… or wear wool dresses in 90 degree heat… or pick fleas from my true loves hair. If I had lived then, I would have obviously not known any different and so I would have enjoyed it. Or at least made do. But from where I stand now: an era that doesn’t have access to deodorant and Sonic Caramel Java Chiller is an era that would have stomped all over me and made me cry uncle.

Aren’t I just simply fascinating?

NOT an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous

Two years ago this week, we moved to Tennessee. We were bursting with excitement! and anticipation! because we were just coming off of what has come to be dubbed “our really!! really!! really!! bad year”.

Clean slate.
Fresh start.

We had previously put all of our things into storage, except clothing, some books and toys and an air mattress. Long story short, we had had to move in with my in-laws while we got back on our feet. So, when we moved to Tennessee, that was all we had with us. We moved here with a job for Sean and that was it. Not even a place to live. We like livin’ on the edge.

We stayed with my grandmother, who lives two hours away, and then drove to Nashville each day to look for an apartment. As if a 4 hour round trip wasn’t expensive enough, we were doing it together, but in two separate trucks. In an act that had to have been a final remnant of our really!! really!! really!! bad year, my car had broken down right before we moved and we couldn’t afford to fix it. Because the kids couldn’t stay with my 92 year old grandmother she would have run them ragged, they were lucky enough to be escorted around Middle Tennessee for hours and hours at a time.

We had put a lot of prayer into our apartment search – we weren’t even familiar with the area and didn’t know what was where. In fact, the last time I had been to Nashville was a trip to Opryland way back in the 70s and the only time Sean had been was when he came for his interview, 2 weeks before.

Like I said, we like livin’ on the edge were coming off of a really!! really!! really!! bad year.

Our biggest issue, aside from cost, was, if we could move into it rightthisveryminute because we are living out of our trucks with three kids. We did find a place, and it has suited us fine. Granted, we don’t have a yard, but it really is comfortable. In fact, when I hear people who have fewer kids than us (we now have four) complaining about running out of room in their big homes, I get a bit confused…

Oh, right… I was telling you a story about our move…

We had to move in that weekend so that Sean could start his job the following Tuesday.

This was how things looked for the first month we lived in Tennessee:

<<air mattress over here              tv over here >>

So so so so easy to keep clean. Seriously – want a clean house? Get rid of your stuff.

Sean was finally able to get back to Maryland to move our things the beginning of March. In fact, I wrote about my excitement in my very first blog post. We didn’t waste any time getting our umbilical cord to the world computer set back up.

From that point on, I have fought a losing battle. Dirt and clutter:730 days – Karla: 0.

When I do get it straightened, it takes about 8 minutes for it to look like this:

That’s me on the couch – resigned to a life of clutter

the only clean spot in my house

When I get frustrated about it, I have to stop and remember where we were, and from where we’ve come. The clutter and the mess mean that we have been blessed with our children, a roof over our head and stuff.

Though don’t think I don’t fantasize about this once in awhile:

How to help someone in need *UPDATED – original code was bad

Have you been wondering how to reach out to others? Have you ever wondered if there is someone who needs your help; who the Lord might be leading you towards? opening doors in their direction?

Here is your opportunity to help a fellow blogger.

Spread the word about Kelli.

Many of you are probably familiar with her situation. (If not, you can catch up on it here.)

Kelli needs a kidney. She has been waiting and waiting and waiting… for a kidney. No one in her family is able to be a donor: her husband isn’t a match and her children aren’t old enough.


(*Updated* Original code was bad)

the code is:

<a href=”http://livingingrace.typepad.com/
my_weblog/2008/01/transplant-prog.html”
><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com
/2049/2213965956_5db4d6acb8_o.jpg”></a>


I created this button for this. You can grab it and link it to this page on Kelli’s blog and spread the word. It has all of the information for those who might consider being a living donor for Kelli (or anyone else in need of a donor) and her desperately-needed kidney.

Obviously, this is something that you will want to spend time in prayer about before you jump into it. But perhaps you are the answer to this family’s prayer.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
Esther 4:14

And I’d do it all again tomorrow. For free!

This face is the reason that today:

I wore a hot pink storage container on my head for a hat.

I crawled around on my hands and knees pretending to be a horse, when there is a perfectly good stuffed toy horse he can sit on and ride in his bedroom.

I cleaned the living room no less than four times.

I showered while trying to avoid a variety of bath toys.

It took me an extra 15 minutes to finish folding laundry that I had already folded once or twice…or maybe three times before.

I cleaned milk soaked cereal off of the carpet.

I heard toddler giggles.

I was greeted with a kiss first thing in the morning.

I had to move the chair away from the shelf with the car keys and spare change by the entry way.

I had to wash a blue blanket with a teddy bear face on it before nap time.

I had to hang cute little boy dress pants on cute little hangers.

I got to boogie to The Doodlebops.

I will be in bed by 9:00.