Things I wish could be caught on camera.

Cody playing his guitar and making up a song about THOR, and THOR and I dancing along to it.

"Oh, THORbear. You are my dog. You're not Mama's dog."

(HEY! ...OK so it's totally true. Just wait until Hanalei comes along. I will dress her up in cute outfits and bling and squeeze her and hug her and call her George and she will love me forever.)

All the while I'm sure THOR was wondering how he ever got stuck with us two weirdos. I wouldn't change it for the world.

I love my precious little bear.


Any chance Triumph the Insult Dog will come do our weather report this summer? I'd like to see what he has to say about the "dry heat"... that is, if it doesn't kill him first.


No job, no house.

For the past week, I have been trying very hard to not be bitter at my former boss for letting me go last Monday. VERY hard. And I've found it to be nearly impossible. I have to take responsibility for my terrible judgment call the preceding Friday for calling in to take a personal day (GOD FORBID), but it was certainly an offense I didn't anticipate would result in being accused by my boss of blowing him off on a Friday immediately followed by, "That was your last day. Here's your paycheck." I could go on and on about all the reasons I think this situation was handled with outrageous (mis)judgment, but I'm sure it's best to leave that for my anonymous blog and/or venting sessions with my closest friends and family.

It isn't so much that he fired me for inconveniencing him that hurts the most; it's that as a result of my loss of income, Cody and I lost the house we had been mentally occupying and building our future around for the past several weeks. While I had heard that buying a home is an emotional process, I had no idea that losing one would ever be this hard.

My heart is breaking for another reason: the couple who owns the house has been trying to move to Arkansas for who knows how long (when we first started looking, the home had been on the market for 437 days). Before we came along, they had another buyer who started the process and didn't qualify either. I don't know the details of their situation or why they are moving or when they need to move, but I can only imagine how hard it is to be disappointed repeatedly on such a major life change as moving across the country. I actually kind of want to go knock on their door and tell them how sorry I am for messing up their plans. Fortunately, I think that they would have to admit, just as Cody and I have, that God obviously had something else in mind for all of us.

This past week has been devastatingly hard, and yet a perfect illustration of how sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. Cody and I are so ready to have a permanent home for us and our pups, but as we faced this astronomical change in our circumstances, we came to the realization that 1. We must have been in denial about the numbers, and 2. God is clearly saying, "Not right now." When I say we were in denial about the numbers, I don't mean that we wouldn't have been able to pay our bills; I mean that we ONLY would have been able to pay our bills with little to no wiggle room for a life. We would be house-poor. We became very thankful at the timing of this, because if the process was already finished when it happened, we wouldn't have been able to pay our mortgage. We would much rather lose the home under these circumstances than foreclosure.

We are ready to bounce back though. My dear mother-in-law has opened her home to us in order to pay off our loan and build up more savings for a down payment, and over the next year or so, we should have that finished. We are both so thankful for her support and generosity. We will have more freedom to travel and fulfill commitments we have already made without any stress, like going to see our grandparents in Oklahoma and Illinois, and be in my friend's wedding in Minnesota next summer, and perhaps even a couple more (wink wink). While having no income for now is not ideal, that will change, and my time has been freed up to pursue the things I want to do. I have developed a plan for this next phase of our lives: find a part-time job, build my Web site, do some freelance writing, network, build my pet business, and be able to stay home more with the fur-kids.

For now, I am still being stubborn and bitter about the circumstances that caused us to lose the house. Every time I picture what I thought our lives would have been like in that house I get very, very sad; but those feelings are gradually being replaced by lessons in patience, responsibility, gratefulness, and humility. Clearly, Cody and I aren't the best at listening to God for guidance, because look at the drastic measures He had to take to get our attention. All we can do now is thank Him for being so blatantly clear this time, and work at being better at seeking His wisdom from now on.


Dreams vs. Reality

I don't know what in the world this was about, but I had this bizarre dream last night that there were these people trying to kill Cody and I, and we were getting chased all around, and the front door to our apartment wouldn't latch shut no matter what we did. I woke up in the middle of the night because in my dream, I had been hit in the back with a shower of half-inch-thick, red, plastic arrows, and the dream was so vivid I actually felt it when it happened, which is probably why I was jolted awake. You know what they say- if you die in a dream, you die in real life. Guess it wasn't my time to go yet.

I had some serious issues falling asleep after that, and the muscles in the back of my neck were all tense and knotted up. In the past, this tension has been a sign of some pretty crazy spiritual stuff going on. This dream can be analyzed and interpreted a million different ways, so I'm not going to get into what I think it all means, but given recent events I'm not that surprised by it. Not to mention, I never, ever remember my dreams, but this one was as real as they come.

Every morning, Cody wakes up about an hour before I do. Before he left for work today, he told me that when he woke up and walked out to the kitchen, our front door was wide open.

Well if that's not the creepiest thing I've ever heard...


I want the world to know...

...that I have THE most amazing husband on the face of the planet. He is the most loving, supportive, kind, self-sacrificing, fun, encouraging, trustworthy, godly, hysterically funny, handsome, sweet, strong, understanding, smart, incredible person I have ever known. He's so much more than just those things but that's what comes to mind most when I think of him. When other people would be mad or disappointed, he is comforting and encouraging. He holds me up when I feel like my world is crashing down around me. He gives his all to make me happy. He is my best friend and I know I could trust him with my life. I count my blessings every day that I get to spend my life with him.

Things could not be any less upside-down in our lives right now, but when I think about my husband, I can't help but smile and send a little prayer of thanks to God for this undeserved but unbelievably appreciated gift.


Yes, please.

Watched this video, responded in accordance with the title of this post, made a list:

Things I am going to accomplish:
1. Work from home. Our brand new, beautiful Gilbert home :)
2. Build my pet business.
3. Be a writer.
4. Make a living doing these things. A darn good living.
5. Help my husband go to seminary or work in ministry. He is the reason so many of my dreams have come true, and I want to do the same for him.

Call me a poser all you want. I really don't care. If these women can do it, so can I, whether it's through this blog or livelaughlovedog. I'm a firm believer in being able to accomplish your goals if you set your mind to it- and with God's blessing, IT WILL HAPPEN.



Over the past few weeks, I have been suffering from serious outbreaks of ADHD- Attention Deficit House Disorder. I thought that the guy who was going to be working for us was blowing us off, when in reality he wasn't, and all the while I was watching all these houses we were interested in checking out go running through fields into the arms of competitive buyers. I was losing my mind with frustration. Contrary to popular belief/ idiotic media hype, house sales in these parts are doing the opposite of everywhere else in the country- they are actually going up. There are more foreclosures here and more people buying to snag a great deal, and let me tell ya- if you're not on the ball about this, you will miss the boat big time. It's crazy.

This weekend, the hubby and I were taken on a house hunt by our good friend and realtor, Scott (not the same guy I misunderstood before- they're working together on this). Scott is good. A fellow Christian, he is highly ethical and sees his function in this process as a helper, not a pressure cooker. Everywhere we went, he told us specific pros and cons, resale issues, things to consider. It was a joy working with him, and he was eager to show us as many houses as we wanted, even if it took all day and into the evening... which it did. Over the whole weekend, we saw around 15 houses or more- I lost count after a while. But I will tell you, these things are FLYING off the market. Every list of MLS numbers we sent his way was diminished by about 50% in a matter of hours. We have been looking in Gilbert mostly. And we heart it forever.

There were two houses that we fell in love with: one in Agritopia and one so close by you could actually see the house in Agritopia. The Agritopia house was HUGE, and it was in AGRITOPIA, and it had the most breathtaking MOUNTAIN VIEWS, but it had no yard and needed some serious work, which is ridiculous because the house is less than 2 years old, if that. The other house, which we refer to as the Banning house, was absolutely perfect in every way, but the only downfall was that it was about 600 sf smaller. We deliberated back and forth all weekend, and my poor husband- I was changing my mind every five minutes or so, and he began to maniacally rip the hair out of his head strand by strand, similar to the way I was doing when the foreclosure guy wasn't emailing me back.

But as we were deciding, we both kind of came to the realization that there is only two of us right now, and we don't need all that much space. And the nagging feeling of it being a huge mistake by not putting an offer on this house wouldn't leave me alone. We felt like God was maybe telling us to simplify our lives, not complicate things with a bigger house that requires more stuff to fill. So we're putting an offer on the beloved Banning house... today.

This house has been on the market for more than a year- perhaps the seller wasn't in a rush, perhaps they just wanted to see what happened, but it's most likely because when they listed it, it was nearly double what it is now. I also couldn't help but think that maybe it was waiting for us all along... kind of like THOR in the pet store. So we're taking the chance, and we're gonna see what happens. As perfect as we feel this house is, if it doesn't work out, then we are not supposed to be there and we know that God has something even more perfect in store for us. But we have a sneaking suspicion that it might just work out beautifully, and if that's the case... Gilbert, here we come!