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We met over 8 years ago at church as Shaun was walking in and I was walking out. The few words exchanged sparked an interst that kept Shaun coming back. When we FINALLY began dating 4 years later we soon knew there was something special here. Our first year quickly flew by and we both decided we never wanted to spend another year with anyone else or without each other. We married in the place where it all began on January 1, 2011 (1/1/11) and gave birth to our beautiful daughter Ava Marie on September 22, 2011 our next little one, Clara Rose came 16 months later on February 11, 2013. This blog began with our preparation with our wedding and has entered into recording the days and events of our newlywed life and new motherhood.

The Happy Couple...

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers

Ava Marie

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Clara Rose

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Second Birthday tickers

Gabriel's ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Twins ticker

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Pregnancy tickers

Saturday, January 26, 2013

7 Quick Takes-The Thankful Edition

1.  This morning I woke up and got ready for my midwife appt.  Right as I was headed out the door I recieved a phone call that they'd need to reschedule because Louise was at the hospital with a Mom (actually 2) in labor.  I made a new appt for Monday morning and quickly mentioned that she (the baby) hadn't been moving much (or moving at all) the last day and a half and the sooner I could reschedule, the better I'd feel.  I recieved a phone call back about 5 min later sending me to the hospital for a non-stress test.

2.  The 30 min drive there was filled with me battling off my overactive imagination and all the thoughts of  "what if something really IS wrong?" and the plethora of recent images flooding through my head.  Like the one of Ava coming into my room every morning lately and peeking into the empty bassinett while awaiting a baby to arrive in there and how I would explain if anything happended... and we lost her... How would I explain to this little child... How I would explain to Shaun... How I would find the ability to embrace this ...if somehow we lost her... all these things rushing through my mind ...and me rubbing my belly and hoping she would just go ahead and kick like she usually did whenever I was worried.  I drove silently, but made a handful of phone calls to answering machines, nonchalantly ask for prayers that all be well.  I tried to trust and brush my fears aside... and breathe.

3.  I arrived and was hooked up to the monitor and tried not to feel foolish or "over-reactive".  The nurse, Shelley who tended to me had been one of the ones to take care of me during my long hospital stay with Ava. 

She reassured me that it was right that I'd come in.  She asked where they usually found her heartbeat and I pointed to the spot.  She placed the monitor there and....

...first a dim, then increasing bumpa bumpa bumpa... and then I could really breathe. 

I knew the sound of her heartbeat. 

Knew before they told me that she was ok.

I was SO relieved.

And then a few minutes later she finally started to move and kick me.

I'd missed that.

4.  I rested my head back for the rest of the test and prayed.  I almost cried in gratitude.  I don't know why I felt the need to "hold my tears in" and "be strong"... some foolish reason I suppose, but inside I was SO thankful she was ok.  She was ok.

5.  Louise came in and I joked that I was determined to keep my appointment today no matter what and she smiled that saintly smile and told me how happy she was that everything was good and my blood pressure was excellent and that we'd be able to finally have this baby all natural. 

I stopped her and looked at her and said again... "Louise, you know I wouldn't be able to have this baby naturally had it not been for everything you did for me during Ava's delivery.  Please know how grateful I am for you..." and then I stopped before the tears started flowing.

6.  I drove home so grateful for the health of my baby, but concious of how many go for these tests and do not have the same happy news.  I lifted up the other mothers who felt the same fears and called my husband to reassure him all was fine. 

I thought of the little girl he had already given to me that was playing happily at home with Nana... and again was thankful.  It's amazing how quickly we can turn from worry to gratitude isn't it?

7.  Tonight Shaun's older and beautiful, Cheyanne finally was able to come visit.  Ava was beside herself with joy!  She loves her sister so much, it's a beautiful thing to watch.  I mean... just LOOK at her snuggling as close as she can to her!

We ate banana splits and watched THIS movie

All of us let the tears flow freely and I was so grateful for the gift of life ...AND for the gift to be ABLE to be grateful for the gift of life. 

I couldn't help but think of THIS POST I had written last year after an unexpected evening brought with it tremendous gratitude. 

Extra 8. Today as we remember all those who braved the bitter cold to March in defense of Life in Washington, DC, let us continue to be grateful for all that we have and to keep praying for a country that loves and cherishes life.  Someday it will end... someday.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ok, if you think I panicked THEN!?

Imagine NOW... look over at that little number to the right of the screen.  LOOK at it! 

No.  Don't blink. 
Don't rub your eyes.
That's what it says...

ELEVEN days and counting!  Doesn't it feel like I  just wrote 18?  Yet, that's how fast she's approaching.  Like a train at warp speed!

And are we excited?  Why... yes we are.  Are we ready... uh... I guess... ready as we'll ever be.

Carseats-installed (check).  Thank you to my friend Carolyn who came over and installed them personally at my house into both my and Nana's car.  Ava loves her new one.

Diapers bought? (check)  Picked em' up grocery shopping and they're all neatly put away under the new changing table (as opposed to strewn everywhere as they soon will be)

"Little" baby clothes up from the basement (check).  Up, clean, folded and put away in new containers for our bundle to arrive.  Cannot believe Ava wore those teeny things like... uh, yesterday.

Look before I take my vitamins?  (double-check) No more mishaps lately.

Miss Ava's taken to crawling up and sitting beside me for much of the day lately and tapping my belly.  When someone asks, "Where's your baby sister?" She quickly (no matter how publicly) pulls up my shirt, exposes my stretch marks (Shaun happily calls them my "beauty marks" *sigh* I got me a good man) and plants a big kisseroo right on my bulge and then tap tap taps her "sister".  She's only interested in looking at everything "baby" lately too.  Kissing her babies.  Reading books about babies.  Playing with boxes that have babies on them.  EVERYthing baby.  We've done our best to get her excited. 

Here's what else is going on.  (Just in case giving birth wasn't enough)

The new house is getting worked on.  So far we've had:

Any exterior rotted wood repaired. 
Had the new roof put on. 
The old back porch has been pulled off and the stairs have been moved to create a new entrance.
New gutters were put on Tuesday. 
About 30 new construction windows are due to arrive any day now and be installed. 
The front porch is due to be repaired and new stairs/entry way will be built most likely this week if the permit comes through.
Also working on making sure the basement is waterproof.

I've also been meeting with plumbers and HV/AC guys to recieve quotes about the new heating system and think heavily about how much money will be going into that massive expense (but how toasty we will be later).

And here at our current house?

I broke the faucet and I've been without a kitchen sink since the week before Christmas... and I was starting to go a little crazy.  Sort of like I'm perpetually "camping" with no running water downstairs.  Running up and down the stairs with an ankle that's finally close to almost all better and a very pregnant body is not "convenient" to say the least.  The blessed plumber came yesterday... thank.the.LORD!  How grateful I am for small favors like a kitchen sink that works.  Happy day!

And it's funny how things work out... I went for a "massage" lately.  (I always feel all spoiled when I say that, but it's honestly a maintenance thing to keep the sciatica away during pregnancy... and actually costs less than a co-pay these days)  My massage therapist and I have become good friends.  She even came to our wedding!  While talking about what's been going on we got on the subject of realtors and she recommended we speak to hers. 

Our house went off the market about 2 months ago after surprisingly NO interest in the six month period it was listed.  In discussing it with Shaun I had said, "Well... we prayed that everything would happen the way it was supposed to and if we're not selling right now, maybe we're not supposed to.  I mean, God could send someone when we least expect it!  He could sell it without it even being on the market."

We have left it off the market and considered our option to refinance again and hang onto it for a little bit, while we slowly work on the other house. 

After I met with my friend/massouse as I was driving to see our architect for new drawings, I recieved a call from her realtor to set up a visit to discuss our options on our current home.  I realized we'd actually met this realtor in the past when we were looking at homes to fix up (they had been selling one we checked out).  Upon speaking with her she mentioned that she actually had a client and they had recently sold his 3 family home (different family members lived on different floors) and he would soon be in need of a home, but had been looking for something "move in ready" in our neighborhood. 

Long story short, he's looking in our price range, in our area for a move in ready home.  Doesn't get much more "move in ready" than a beautiful completely re-done home right HERE.  We'll see what happens, but he's coming this upcoming Monday (in 4 days) to take a peek and see what he thinks. 

That means I have till Monday to get this place from "baby zone" back into "show-ready" condition... (that includes basement and closets.  Here we go with the basement again!)  All with a baby coming any day now... and construction being done at the other house... and Shaun's working all weekend.

That ALSO means, if he IS interested, he's in a time crunch to move and has to be out of his place by the end of February, soooooo we would have a little over a MONTH to pack everything we own, move somewhere and say goodbye to our sweet home. 

ONE month...


With a newborn.  (and you KNOW all I'll want to do is stare at her... and sleep)

And breastfeeding.

And a 16 month old.  (who likes to decorate the house like 16 months do.  Use your imagination)

And a baptism to plan (falling right around OH lemme see ...a MONTH after this sweet one is born). 

And Lent... and then Easter right around the corner. 

NOooo problem.... Piece of cake!

*uh... as much as I like cake... say a little prayer for us, ok?*

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

It's been 40 years... 40 years!

Today marks the 40th Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  To be expecting my own little one in less than 2 weeks, I think of how many of her classmates, friends or peers will not be here because those who were also pregnant at  this time chose not to allow their children to be born. 

Honestly?  Though I'll write a post today, there are no "adequate" words to describe what I feel when I think of this.  No adequate words.  I am heartbroken.  I've had a busy day today, but honestly, as always when I stop in my busy-ness and consider... really consider what today actually commemorates... I am, as I am now, reduced to tears. 

Take another glance at the photo above and LOOK at that baby!  LOOK at him/her!  What are we so afraid of?  When did the child become the enemy?  When did we decide that it's worth more to fight for the "right" to kill the child... harder than to fight for the right to save it? 

I feel like the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT reminded this whole country in a unexpected, unwanted and startling way how we SHOULD feel at the loss of a child.  We should feel devastated... simply devastated.  We should feel like something precious and beautiful has been lost.  Everything in us should want to do all we can to "make it right" or change the outcome of this loss.  We should be willing to do anything to save the life of a child.  We should never see them as ...disposable.  And yet the reality of it all is that this same country that grieved in mutual devastation over the loss of 20 children (and justly so) ...this same country has found 55 million reasons to "choose" for one reason or another to dispose our our children before they were ever given a chance to take their first breath.  What is it that makes us so complacent to that fact, so numb, in comparison to the other?

In the midst of so many grieving over this horrific anniversary, this VIDEO came out to commemorate/celebrate today's anniversary.  Stop for a second and reflect on this.  Can you imagine if a German officer came out sitting in a chair and gloating over what had occured during the holocaust in the same fashion?  Imagine the outrage!  ...and yet, sadly 10 TIMES as many children have been legally executed (just in the U.S) in the last 40 years.  This is reason to grieve.  TO GRIEVE!  This is NOT a reason to celebrate. 

Yet somehow somehow... so many are deluded into thinking we have somehow done something "great" for women.  We have "freed" them.  They think we "pro-lifers" are only about "the baby" and not about the woman.  This is (or should be) so wrong... women need our support, our truth, our help, our guidance to help them come to a place where they no longer see the choice to kill their own child something to be "grateful" for, but something to be saddened and horrified by.

Let us together join in prayer and solidarity to beg that the consciences of all (especially in our country and especially in our administration) be deeply moved to never be silent until things have been "made right" and children of all stages of life are once again considered a blessing to our nation ...and not a threat ...not a reason to be fearful or lose hope. 

When we feel helpless and hopeless in the face of such a battle, do not be afraid to acknowledge your grief and shed tears, but let us also pray hard for all women who feel they need to consider this option due to fear, or lack of support.  Let us pray for those who are misled into this decision.  Who have become hard of heart and forgotten that every child, not just the "perfect" child or the "perfectly planned" child... every child is intended to be a blessing and every child should be given life and every mother should be given reason to hope and to rejoice! 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Let's help this girl reach her goal!

My amazing cousin, Laura Lokitis will be running in the upcoming Boston Marathon and is asking for the support of anyone who would be willing to help support her in whatever way you can. NO amount is to small ...or to big :)

She sent me this recently (I encourage you to read her link and hear about what "inspires" her to run in her own words):

"I am running for the Boston Children's Hospital and am committed to raising $5000. I am also a member of the patient partner program that pairs runners and patients to give them a magical experience."

You can check out my link at
Please, let's help her reach her goal! If you've followed Baby Dominic's story, you know the good work that is happening at Boston Children's Hospital. Thank you for your prayers and support for her!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dancing Shoes

She loves her new "dancing shoes".  Even when she's still sick with nose a running... her feet are still a tapping with her new dancing sneaks!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Home Video-Ava & Daddy

After a long day at work for him and a recooperative day at home for her, a sick and tired baby always loves some fun with the Daddy!

Friday, January 18, 2013

8 Quick Takes Friday- The Baby Ready Edition

1.  Now that I'm in the "teen" days I'm definitely freaking just a little. 

Then it passes and I start checking off my boxes of what I need to do to get ready.  (All this in the midst of meeting with plumbers and contractors and hv/ac people and carpenters... etc for the new house) 

I even told one guy who was a little slow getting back to me on a quote "Uh, take a look (point to belly), I don't have a lot of time and she's not going to wait for you, so if you can try to get it to me a little sooner, I'd really appreciate it!"  Got the quote the next day!

2.  Realistically almost everything is here all ready as the baby mainly needs clothes (downstairs packed away)

diapers (which I'm off to pick up when I do grocery shopping)

and well... me and my "milk supply" (no photo available) in the beginnning!  Right?

She'll co-sleep in my room for the 1st 3 months minimum, so I need to clean the bedroom and get every "unnecessary" out.  Time to "purge"

3.  I've been in serious "organization mode" feeling the need to find a home for every paper in the house that has been strewn in decorative disorder.  Lately everything has been in reach of Ava and has thus been "scooped up" out of her way and placed on a high surface only to get lost when it's most needed.  This was driving me NUTS, so I finally broke down bought one of these

started using these....

and now our home filing looks like THIS...

instead of this...

4.  Now I just need to make sure a similar system is set up for:

EVERYTHING (especially construction and finances) on the NEW HOUSE

5. In order for this system to work and things to actually GET filed away (eventually) I have a very simple system near our computer. 

  • Immediately everything gets opened when mail enters the house and anything "recyclable" or "trash" gets put in it's place. 
  • Then bills get folded and placed in the "Need to be Paid/Looked at" part of our desk. 
  • When paid, they are written on (paid/date/check# or online if they were paid online), unfolded (easier for filing) and placed in a pretty little magazine rack where everything that needs to be "long term filed" goes. 
  • When that fills up a bit it gets "emptied" periodically by placing all "paid bills" in their appropriate files HERE.

*sigh* Now I can breathe (and sleep). THIS is how I "nest".  THIS makes me feel better. Everything finally has a home and I have a better handle on things. Still.... I'm VERY open to any advice you want to give that makes your home organization any easier!  VERY OPEN!

6.  Now I just need to have Ava's new carseat installed in the car. 

We're so blessed to have had two given to us recently (that are still up to code) and since Ava's into making everything her "throne" lately and loves anything chair-like, I set her new carseats up inside the house for the past couple of weeks and she's been watching her videos in them and reading books in them and all around loving them.  I figure this will make the transition much easier and when it comes time to give her seat to her baby sister, she won't mind so much because she'll already be loving her new car seat by then... hopefully.

7.  This morning I woke up and was helping Shaun get ready and his lunch made around our usual 4-4:30am time together.  I am NOT a morning person, but I do love my husband and if he can work a double today (from 5am-midnight-including commute) after a long work week and work all weekend long to provide for our family... I can drag my pregnant butt out of bed at 4am to make the poor man lunch and spend a little time together.

Interestingly enough, I came downstairs to find that he'd already poured my juice/water and put out my prenatal vitamin/"other" vitamin mix on the kitchen counter!  How thoughtful.  I quickly scooped them up, downed them and proceeded to make his sandwiches.

A few minutes later he came downstairs and upon standing at the kitchen counter said, "Uh, sooooo what'dya take my vitamins or something"?  I looked over and whispered, "What?  YOUR vitamins?"  I knew that he takes a pretty powerful pain medicine for his back every morning and was like, "Are you serious? Oh NO!  I have to call Louise and make sure it's safe for the baby!" 

So there I was on the phone with my midwife at nearly 5am (who thought I was in labor) hearing her tired voice on the other end and feeling incredibly guilty about waking her up, but worse that I might've taken something that could harm the baby! 

She had to tell me to slow down because I was talking so fast she couldn't understand me and to make it worse couldn't pronounce the silly medication anyway.  Ugh! 

Turns out that it was ok and one pill (of that kind) wasn't going to hurt her, but boy did I feel foolish... and suddenly ...also very sick because I'd downed all those vitamins at 4:30 in the morning on an empty stomach... few minutes later I threw up. 

I guess I can put that down as the ONE time I had morning sickness this entire pregnancy.

8.  Turns out, Louise has had this phone call before, but in the other incident, the woman had taken her DOG's medicine!!!  See... it can always be worse!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life in the slow lane.

This weekend was full of nothing but taking care of a sick little munchkin (and trying to sort/organize paperwork between it all).  Don't you HATE it when your children are sick?  She's SO not herself.  She has turned from docile angel baby that sleeps wonderfully (I don't even like to tell people how great her sleep schedule is... I'll only tell if you ask) to the "terrible-twos" overnight!  Not eating much.  Not sleeping much.  Not happy much (well, she tries but has some pretty severe mood swings as of late). 

This morning (after unwisely going to bed at 1:30am and then getting up at 3:30am with Shaun) I went back to sleep for a very brief time and woke with her at 4:10am (which was actually later than "lately") instead of 8:30am when she's her "normal self" I waited for a little bit hoping she would fall back asleep, but no.  Not a chance.  When I walked into her room ...she was in full blown "hissy fit" mode.  I mean, mad MAD MAD got on the floor on her stomach screaming, kicking, lurching, madness.  I've learned over the years not to feed into temper tantrums, but this was so unusual that I felt real pity for her. 

It was as if to say, "I feel like SUCH CRAP MOMMY!  And what the HELL were you doing that it took you so long to get me out of my stinking CRIB!!!!!!!!!" 

I hate to say that it's moments like this when I'm faced with her bold stubborness that I realize, "Ohhhhh boy.  She's totally MY daughter"  Anyone who knows Ava knows this is not her "typical" personality at all.  (When she's perfect and wonderful, it's then that I realize thankfully, that she's SOooo Shaun's daughter) 

So for now my life has been:  Broken sleep.  Crying baby.  Could this be preparing me for something to come in the near future? (still in denial about that as well). 

She's really not a happy camper.  Could you say a little prayer that she feels better soon?  She's napping now (for a little while) and I think I'm going to forgo everything else for as long as she'll let me and follow her lead while I can.

Friday, January 11, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday - Updated

Ok, I'll really try to keep them "quick" today.

1.  Ava's finally napping for a "little" bit.  Yesterday morning she seemed to be coming down with a cold and by the night it was full blown... and she was miserable.   After a day of mini-naps broken by a crying, sick, whiny baby... I knew there'd be no sleep at all through the night if I didn't sleep with her, so I took advantage of the bed in her room and she actually slept through the night with me.  She's the cutest sleeper and though she's super fidgety, since the whole Newtown, CT tragedy,  I haven't complained once if she's needed me to hold her or be with her just a little longer.  How did I wake up this morning?  To a sweet, happy 15mo old (still sick) who was leaning over me and kissing my face.  Love that kid.

2.  I've missed blogging about SO much!  ...but DO want to note that on January 1st, Shaun & I celebrated our 2nd Anniversary!  The past two years have absolutely flown by and I've loved every bit of them, but just pray that our life doesn't go by "too fast" while we're having fun.  Yesterday he walked in from work and looked me straight in the eye and said, "I love you.  I love you SO much.  I love our family.  You are the best thing in my life."  Even though he tells me all the time, this just made my day.  I totally feel the same way, honey. 

Someday I'll get around to finishing writing our wedding story and posting pictures.

3.  Have you checked out Becky (Dominic's Aunt's) Rosary site?  Her rosaries are simply stunning!  What a great idea for a birthday gift or anything else.  If you go to her Etsy site (on the right side of her blog) and click on the rosaries that have sold (I think it says like 256 Sales or something like that) you can see all the ones she's made in the past.  Simply beautiful!

4.  After about 15 min of a normally 2hr nap, Ava just woke up crying... looks like it's 3 quick takes today ...until later. 

*Update* Ok, today was just one of those days that I was "glued to the sick baby".  No time till much later to do any sort of "quick" takes, but now she's sleeping (hopefully through the night) and I'm trying to get a quick post in before heading to bed myself.

5.  Ava's on a "vegetable strike" lately.  Actually, she's been testing us on a bunch of different kinds of food.  I'm trying not to fight with her, but not to give in either.While this is all going on, I'm SO thankful for these!

6.  *sigh* I'm so tired, but honestly I'm feeling a need to "get organized" lately... BIG time!  I'm ADD and when I feel like paperwork has gotten the better of me, it nags and nags at me mockingly till I get sick of it's arrogant stares and jests and just beat it back into shape. 

I'm finding myself suddenly now at the edge of "tax season" and want to make sure everything is all set for an early filing, also have paperwork and finances to keep track of for a "home under renovation" along with our "usual paperwork and finances" and a baby looming due ANY time now just to keep the clock ticking.  Last time I felt the need to get organized before the baby, I decided it was most pressing for me to clean and organize my entire basement the day I went into the hospital... let's not repeat that shall we?

Unfortunately, we've gotten in the habit of swiftly scooping things out of the way of a a very "curious" and "handsy" 15mo old and just placing them upon the highest surface we can.  This leads to things being piled on top of each other and now has led to me feeling a little "crazed" about the whole thing.

I need to find a new "organization" system that works for me (and my ADD).  It can't just "look" organized, but has to actually function and BE organized.  I've gleaned a few ideas off of pintrest and online, but could honestly use any advice you have to offer for keeping family paperwork, finances organized.  Thanks!  Hopefully by the end of this weekend, we'll be back in shape.

7.  Ok... this baby girl is coming SOON.  Seriously hit me at my midwife visit this week.  I sat down looked up at her and almost burst into tears just looking at her.  She's such an intense listener and so ... I don't know ..."trustworthy" that sometimes I just find myself feeling incredibly vulnerable around her and my emotions usually carefully kept in check, flood to the surface. 

I held it together and got through my birth plan, but at the end of each day I find myself loading myself into bed feeling SOoooooo pregnant that I cannot believe how soon she will be here! 

I find myself silently fighting anxiety lately, probably due to the fact that it was right around this point in Ava's pregnancy that I got really sick and ended up in the hospital for a 10 day stay.  (See her Birth Story here) People keep saying, "you must be so ready!", but honestly I remember feeling "snuck up on" and "not quite ready" with Ava at this same point, and I suppose it's probably normal.  I constantly have to remind myself that each pregnancy/deliver is different and unique and I know... KNOW that God will give me the grace and the strength when the time comes and I need it, but until then I have to allow myself to experience these feelings, look them in the face and let them pass away and be replaced by the realization that we are soon to be tremendously blessed yet again!    As well as the reality that He will never leave me no matter what and has set me up with a great support system.

Even Still... images like this don't comfort me much... would YOU be comforted by this???

Ava regularly pats me on my belly and loads up her little sister with kisses and more kisses throughout the day.  I look at her and think, "how do you know to do that?  You're only 15mo!"  She's going to be such a good sister.  I just know it! 

Please continue to keep me in your prayers as we near the end of this pregnancy and for a healthy, anxiety-free delivery! 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday - New Roof

Many of you know how we've been trying and trying to get approved for a loan to do the much needed work on our new "old" house for months and months now.  Finally the loan came through on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Thank you mother. We also believe after praying to be led to choose the right person to do the work on the house, that we were saved from making what could have been the wrong decision in who we chose initally to do the work. 

I think you remember the story that right before we were supposed to sign the contract we recieved a phone call from a friend warning us not to go with this contractor.  Long story short... after viewing what he had done for her and hearing even many of his references telling us to watch out for shortcuts ...we chose NOT to go with him.  Thank you God (and for good people speaking up).

At the same time this was happening, we were redirected back to consider someone who we had already met with before, but who had been too busy in Spring/Summer to do the necessary work.  Because we find ourselves now in the middle of a mild winter-time, it's the perfect time to do some of the work that normally we wouldn't have been able to... and the same people who would have been too busy before, find themselves freed up!

After a great carpenter came and repaired some of the rotted wood and facia to get the house ready to be roofed, today a terrific roofer came and brought a dozen guys to complete the work in ONE day!  God blessed them with 50 degree weather and sun.

This roofer had actually shown great integrity months ago when I had called to let him know we were choosing to go with someone else.  Instead of being upset, he gently said, that's ok, I understand, but just be careful of cutting corners.  I only say this because I know exactly what my prices pay for and I'm honestly not certain how he can be charging you less.  If you have any questions, feel free to call.  No matter if it's me or someone else doing the job, THIS is how it should be done in order for it to be done properly (and he went on to patiently spell out exactly how a roof should be put on and repaired).  All this after us telling him he DIDN'T get the job!  I couldn't help but be impressed with his integrity.

Later (right before the time we found out that the person we had chosen may not have been the best choice) I recieved another recommendation from someone who's roof had collapsed and needed structrual work done.  Their inspector had told them after viewing the completed work, "don't lose that guy's number.  He saved you SO much money the way he did it and did a beautiful job" ...who was it?  Same guy I had met with before.  Hmmmm...

So in the end we went with the one who showed integrity, patience and had a string of glowing references. 

He's been terrific at communicating with us and meeting with us.  Prompt with his paperwork and quotes.  He even sent us photos by email throughout the day as the work was being completed as he knew Shaun was at work and I was at the other house with the baby.


(All done)

If you recall, in the summer it looked like this... 
We had to take down the monster tree that was overhanging the house...

 Had stuff actually growing out of the rotted gutters...

All done now (except for the front area which will be finished after some work is completed on the porch)

Thanks be to God!  Next step... Brand new windows!