Thursday, April 28, 2016

I almost hugged my septic guy

We have to have our septic tank inspected and it has to pass county acceptance before we can sell.

This is a major source of stress in my life - long before we decided to sell. This has been on my mind for the last 5 years. We bought bank owned, as is. The laws have since changed... and this house is OLD. I was so nervous. Like FREAKING out.

So the septic guy, Scott, came out. The county has NO paperwork on this place. No records of our septic system. And I don't know where it is either. So, Scott used a special tool to dig around the three sides of our house.... for awhile...and .....couldn't find it.

"Does this ever happen?" I ask.
"Um, not really." says Scott. He looks ...not good. But also... his looks throw me in general. He's an older guy. I expected younger. He is also dressed pretty dapper for a guy who, um.... deals with poop.
"A tank HAS to exist?? Right?" I ask. He nods.

So we flush an electronic locator down my toilet to find it. And a $125 bucks later, the septic system has been found!! (And I looked down into the largest pile of poo I've ever seen.) Surprisingly... it doesn't smell that bad. I mean, I wasn't taking my deepest inhales ever... but you get the drift. I didn't pass out from standing next to it.

We have to complete a flow test. (and then pump the tank - and Scott is now dressed in what I refer to as his poop suit. It is a coverall thing that has um... brown smears in random places.) The flow test means I turn all the cold faucets of my house on at the same time full blast for 30 minutes. I feel so guilty using all that water!! And I'm texting my mom - pray!! 19ish minutes later....I get a knock on my front door. It's Scott. "Wanna come see what we've got here?" "Um, no thank you," I say, "This doesn't sound good." He says, it's not bad really. I ask him if he's a man of faith, and tell him, I've been in the house praying. He smiles.

We've never, ever, had any problems. No back ups. No smells, no extra standing water in the yard. And we've never had it pumped. (yikes) He was impressed we haven't had problems. There are six of us here on a small tank. (I never mentioned there was 8 of us for a season!!)

He was so impressed with the builder of it, the design, the installation, the fact we've never had problems... and I was like, sticking my chest out all proud like I had some hand, some part, in this tank that was built before I was born. But I kinda feel like I can take credit for the tank. Which is dumb.... but it feels like my baby somehow. I'm so happy - I almost HUG him. I literally reach for him and my hand stops about an inch from his shoulder where I see another large brown smear on his 'poop suit'.

I refrain from hugging him. It was a semi-awkward moment.

He's only seen 2 in his career like ours. 'Super rare', he said. 'Very impressed', he said. :) I started to not want to move to Florida (WE'RE MOVING TO FLORIDA!!!) because I have an exceptional septic system.  I am instantly reconsidering an entire life change for my family because our poop is stored so well on our property.

I'm not kidding. Then, at that moment, Scott said, why are you moving?? Where are you going?? And I said Florida. And Scott, beautiful guy that he was (he was praising my septic after all) said, "Florida? You won't like it there."

And I started tearing up. I know! I thought... Why would I move from this gorgeous land and beautiful home with an amazing septic??? 

I'm a lot like a pregnant woman these days. A lot of simple things make me tear up. It's not cool.

But God did a LOT of amazing things yesterday. And a great septic was not only a financial blessing to us, (not having to repair, or buy a new one) but it will be a great blessing to the people moving in. Sometimes the great things God does in our lives - really is only partly about us. Most of it is meant to be passed along, poured out - meant to be shared. I'm excited for the people who get our place. What a great start and good news!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Fast forward to 2014 and 2015

So, we moved churches in 2013. Fast forward to 2014.

Let me sum up. There are two states in the nation that I heard bad things about as a child from grown-ups around me - Texas and Florida. I wanted nothing to do with anything that had to do with those states.

I married a man from Texas - so the moral of the story is several fold:
Your preconceptions can be misplaced.
God can and will surprise you because He has a sense of humor that way.
Never say never.

In our marriage, Patrick has has crazy whims now and then. Let's move to Texas. No. Let's move to Alaska! No. (though I admit I was slightly on board with this for a few months) Let's move to Hawaii. Um, no. Let's move to an island in the Bahamas. No. Let's move to Israel! No!

Sometimes, I mean, we like each other, but we can't even agree on where to eat or what movie to watch. So if we agree on something big at the same time, it can be a huge marriage moment. :)

Then in the summer of 2014 we both somehow came to the agreement that moving to Florida would be a good idea. Helllo! What??? I was going to live and die in Colorado people. Calls to heaven from Colorado Springs are local calls, ya know what I'm saying???

We both felt Florida. We tempted to open doors for Arkansas - but neither of us were 'feeling' that. It was between Tallahassee and Tampa.

Our family talked us out of it in a hot Florida minute. (okay, not really, it took months, but our family talked us out of it.)

We tried to talk my mom, his parents, my brother, his sister into moving there with us. I didn't even try to talk my sister into it though. Her husband and her were rooted here. His job, the kids school, their amazing house, their church.... they wouldn't move I knew, but they knew of our 'crazy plans'.

We let it go - Florida is HOT, our parents are getting older, Florida has bugs, they would miss the grandkids, Florida has crocodiles,we were breaking their hearts, Florida has snakes,.....etc, etc, etc. Fine, fine, fine. It's great here... we'll stay. And they all rejoiced our temporary insanity was over. We all lived happily ever after. The end. (but it wasn't)

I was driving with the kids when my sister called asking for prayer about her husbands job. (Florida had crept back on the table for Patrick and I, but we weren't being super pushy about it this time... just planning a trip there to explore). So, she is asking for prayer, and in typical personal fashion, I crack a joke about, "What if you have to move to a warmer climate....???" Then I promise to be serious and pray for reals.... and we hang up.

Not 5 minutes later, she calls back and says, "You'll never guess what he (her hubs) just said to me on the phone!! Tampa!"

The rest of the conversation was a blur. They weren't moving there -it was just a possibility. Whoa. So many thoughts flying through my head. Out of the ENTIRE country, Tampa is on the docket??? No where else in the country. Just ...Tampa. You gotta be kidding me.

They moved there.

The ONE person in the family I never tried to persuade, or had hopes of moving there - moved there.
Enter: a vast range of emotions.
I thought WE were supposed to move there.
Maybe my heart was just getting prepared to 'lose' her. (we lived 15 mins from each other)
I was happy for her.
I was sad for me.
I was confused.
I was hopeful. (that we'd end up there together)
I was .... all these at the SAME TIME. For months.
I tried to be supportive....and happy. Not sure I pulled that off. Sorry sis.

I had this word of Florida for this other family long before I'd even considered moving anywhere. Then, we consider going to Florida and instead my sister goes there. Talk about a mix of emotions. I wasn't jealous - it looked hard and painful. I felt left out, except, I didn't. It looked hard and painful. ;)

Life is interesting - I'll give it that. And I just know that when it seems like other people around you are leaving, or getting a promotion, or that audition, or that thing you wanted...
or maybe you didn't actually want anything, but you just feel like your life isn't going anywhere particular.... just hang in there and know that God has a plan.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

And so it begins

I grew up at New Life Church. I was there in children's church, Jr. High, Highschool, college, engaged months, young married, and had four kids while attending that church. Talk about family. I knew nothing else (well... I went to another church when I was 20 and was dating this guy there and singing in the choir... but I loved New Life so much I actually went to 2 churches every week. And then there was this short stint when I lived in Guatemala.... ), and I didn't care to know anything else. It was home. It was good.

And there is a really cool story here where in Spring 2012 I felt like we were supposed to leave our church. Our church where I imagined bringing grandkids some day - I had a feeling our time there was coming to an end. But my husband did not feel the same thing. At that same time, some friends were going through a transition, and I "heard a word" (literally a single word) regarding them.... and shared it with them. (this whole story segment is about 3 months long, but I'm summing up.)

So I share the word with them. It's amazing. They are blown away by God and His timing... yada yada..... It took me 2 weeks to share it because the word was just so dumb. It was "Florida". What about Florida??? I wanted to elaborate, but God just kept telling me to say that ONE word. Well, it turns out they were talking about moving to Florida. Incredible. But - I sat on that word for 2 weeks. Kept my mouth shut because I was worried about sounding dumb. (They've lived in Florida now for almost 3 years)

It was the SAME night I shared with them, and they shared the confirmation of that in their lives with me, that we were driving and my husband said, "I think we are supposed to leave New Life". OH. My. Gosh.

Timing. Coincidence? I think not.

We had no grievances with that church. We did not leave under bad blood. We both honestly felt God calling us elsewhere. And we didn't even have to church hunt - it was meant to be Alethia.  We have been there almost 3 years, and we love it.

I was never planning to leave New Life. It was good. It was great. I would be crazy to leave. But... if God told me to 'go', would I? Was I willing to give up comfort and home, and family and friends? (obviously I could see them outside of Sundays, but you understand what I'm saying here...)

Would I go?
I guess the answer is yes. Ha. (If you've been paying attention to the story so far)
Would you go? If everything around you is right and good? Comfortable and amazing? Would you, could you leave?

The answer is yes, you can leave when God works on your heart.
Alethia folks (my church) are family. In fact, one of them I, (would swear if I was a swearing girl) promise, is my brother from another mother. I have found life long forever friends at that church that I never would have known if it wasn't for obedience.

I'm so grateful I (we) listened.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Anti-Aging is not about vanity.

Anti-Aging. It's been on my mind lately. What does it mean? What does it look like? Is it a selfish act?

It's assumed that some people interested (maybe consumed) in it, must fear getting old. Right? or maybe they must be one of those really shallow people that put a high value on looks.......
And if others scoff at the anti-aging products, they must be one of those, "I'm not afraid of wrinkles I'll just age gracefully, thank you very much" kind of people.

That's not how we should look at it. It's not one extreme or the other.
It's about being the best you can be as long as you can be.

Exercise for instance - some do it to improve their looks, and gain a very shapely figure. And that's okay. But a lot of us do it so we can simply keep moving and using our bodies. This is what I'm talking about. A functioning body can accomplish a whole lot more than a non-functioning body.

Anti-aging products can keep us functioning longer than normal in this toxic, overloaded world. We have radiation coming from our phones/computers/tablets; GMOs, chemicals and pesticides in our foods; poor air quality; chemicals in our deodorants, shampoos, lotions, and make up. It's an uphill battle folks. :)

Several years ago I learned that these things DO hurt us and CAN be eliminated or reduced.

But here's something you may not know: Mental decline happens 30-40 years BEFORE symptoms show themselves. That means that an elderly person showing signs of dementia had something happen to their brain in their 30s or 40s. A time of life when we are not thinking about our brain health necessarily. We just assume we are at the top of our game and our battle is simply with belly fat, gravity, and ever sagging eyelids. (ahem. I digress)
(I was in a conference listening to Dr. Amen - a leading brain health doctor and this is where I'm getting this information from. Feel free to research him and his studies further.)

God has called you to mighty works!! And your greatest work may not happen in your teens and 20's. (gasp!!) :) We need to take care of ourselves to  fully live out our purpose!
I'm completely inspired by 80yr olds finishing college, 95 year olds competing in swim meets and 72 year olds finishing triathlons. (these are all real examples) Which also means that if you are in  your 50's or beyond.... it's not too late! Take charge of your brain health now! Some have REVERSED signs of aging with brain supplements!
God DOES want you to do your part. He DOES want you to take charge over your health and NOT eat a bunch of junk and be lazy. Use all the tools in your hands. Can you imagine someone that exercised just their legs and never their arms? That would be silly. Well, it's just as crazy to not take care of your brain.

I eat pretty healthy. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I attempt healthy organic foods and avoid a LOT of junk.
I take care of my face.
And my teeth - I brush them not because I'm vain, but because I am taking care of what God gave me.  (And I like having the ability to chew food.) haha
I'm learning to exercise regularly.
And I am taking care of my brain. Because I can. Nerium has been developing a supplement for over 20 YEARS - and has discovered how to keep brain function optimal, and keep the PP2A connectors firing (this will help keep dementia at bay people). It also increases energy, immunity, and mental recall and clarity. Who doesn't need that?!? People giving it to kids with attention or learning problems are seeing HUGE changes. It has ZERO interactions with prescriptions and no negative side effects. It's natural and not a drug. (if you would like to check it out or contact me, please do - ) I'm excited about this! I get excited about stuff like non-floridated toothpaste, and lotions without parabens! This is good stuff!

This is my personal blog space not a sales pitch - I talk about things that things I'm passionate about. And health is one of those things I'm passionate about. You don't have to buy Nerium's EHT brain health pill. I'm just letting you know what's available to you that ACTUALLY works, and I am hoping you look at anti-aging as something we can do in multiple ways, not because we want to hang on to our youth or looks as long as possible, but because we have a calling on our lives and we need to be as strong and healthy as we can be for as long as possible!

Go grab life by the horns!
And by all means, share what you do to keep yourself vibrant and healthy in the comments below. This is not a competition, but a shared race among us ~

Friday, December 6, 2013

Celebrity crush

Why, oh, WHY am I sharing this? I dunno.

It's been -12 degrees F for a week and I haven't been out in public because crutches, a broken ankle and ice aren't a good mix. Maybe that is why.

I have never been a 'trendy' gal. When all my childhood friends were in love with the 'older and oh so popular and funny' Kirk Cameron from Growing Pains, I was not. When everyone loved Brad Pitt thanks to a Vampire? movie and Legends of the Fall... I did not. And so on and so forth.

The trendiest my celebrity crush has ever been is finding Bradley Cooper (a few years ago) pretty handsome, and so un-ugly. ;)

My new(est) celebrity crush: Chris Pine. I even love his name. Something about it. Maybe it makes me think of Christmas in a forest (Pine trees). I mean, who doesn't love Christmas. ;) Whatever. Good name.

Dear Lord, You did so good when you created Chris. Job well done! Bravo! Nice work! :)
(Hey, everybody likes to be publicly congratulated on good work. haha)


Monday, December 2, 2013

The Best Christmas Gift Next to, well, Jesus

It's going to be a lovely holiday indeed.
We have a tree up.
The kids are excited and have gift wish lists a million miles long just like I did as a kid...
Christmas music lists on Spotify and Pandora stations are up and running.

But for me this year has a small little secret highlight. Well, maybe it's not so secret anymore.

There are a few people I'm thinking about as the holidays approach and we all evaluate the *important* things in life. This year, those 'things' are people that have inspired me to be a better person.

The thing is, they will probably never know it. Either I am not going to contact them - cause that just feels stupid. "Hi. Um, it's me. Yeah, I just wanted to tell you that, uh, you made a difference in my life in ways you will never know..."  (because I can never communicate verbally the way I can when I'm writing my thoughts down.)

And even that last statement is questionable. But I *get* me, and that's what counts.

Some of the people who make me want to be a better person I barely know. Others I know really well, and that is just as awkward as the barely known people. Nothing like putting an uncomfortable strain on a relationship just before Christmas and gift-giving. haha. No really. I've already had the imaginary conversation in my head and it doesn't go well. No matter how many times I re-write it.

So this letter~ to my mystery life-changing anonymous friends out there~ who have bettered me as a person,

to you I say THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

You have given me a gift of boldness, the gift of being ME, the gift of music, love, happiness, a closer relationship to God, a better prayer life, a new way of seeing LIFE. I owe so much to you, I can only pray God repays you - because there is no way I can!

Merry Christmas my friends, Merry Christmas! And thank you!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pa and Ma Ingalls didn't have trash service

Here is my completely random and non-useful observation for the day:

We used to live in a regular-cookie-cutter-housed suburban neighborhood. During that time we had a 96 gallon trashcan. It was always full to overflowing each week. Always. We went through at least one kitchen trash bag per day in that room of the house alone. Not counting bathrooms, garage, etc.

We now live on some land with animals and a garden. We have a family of six, but sometimes, we only have one (1!!) kitchen bag sized of trash for the week. Sometimes we have a whole 32 gallon trash can full. (That's only a 1/3 of what we used to have for you math challenged folks)

Why is this?? I was thinking about it as I took the trash out today. (We actually have three cans full this week - rare. A whole 96gls.)

Well, one reason is, we have a fireplace. And we can burn most of the paper trash we have around here. Except for the dumb shiny junk mail and ads on color paper I get. Those are still trashed. Stupid junk mail. Well... and my In Style mag. heehee...

We have animals that eat our kitchen scraps. And let me tell you, as much as I don't want to waste food, even with a "empty your plate" style of eating and using left-overs, it's amazing how much food is thrown out. The third world would be ashamed of us.

Other food: carrot peels, squash rinds, banana peels and the like... they go to the compost bin.

There you have it. Those three reasons are the main reasons we don't have a lot of trash. That and I don't buy a lot of processed food (that come with all the boxes and pouches to throw out).

I'll probably never be able to NOT have to pay for trash service, but seeing how close I am some weeks to not using them, I wish I could eliminate that bill!