Thursday, November 30, 2017

What I Learned This Fall: September-November 2017

Oh Alexander, I can relate!

As I write this, my Mom is celebrating her 91st Birthday!! I am thankful that she was born, thankful she met and married my amazing Daddy Vaughn, thankful that she had my two older sisters and me and thankful to have her as my Mama! She is very young-at-heart and it's hard to believe she's been on Earth for 91 years! I choose to believe that my kind qualities come from her! She was a teacher her whole life; to students and her children. She graduated from Depauw University, earned her Masters degree from Ball State and she taught at  College Wood Elementary in Carmel, Indiana from the day the school opened until she retired. She was the BEST 5th-grade teacher ever and she passed on the teaching gene to her three daughters and three of her grandchildren.

(The Story "girls" on my visit this Fall.)

Besides all the lessons I've learned from my Mom, here are some other things that I learned this fall:
1. Some people can sleep with their cats, but not me!
My one-year-old, always hungry, growing daily, red kitty wants to sleep on my pillow on top of my head or on my neck! He makes it difficult for me to breathe, let alone sleep! I can really only snuggle with him when I'm sitting on the couch.  Oh, Thor!

2. I finally figured out how to clean and shine my teapot.
For some reason, when you leave your teapot on a burner while you fry or cook, it gets coated in residue that just won't come off with dish detergent. After years of frustration, I hunted online and found that a paste of baking soda with white vinegar makes a gentle scrub that takes off the gunk and leaves the finish. Thanks, Martha

3. Being a "Great-Aunt" is super fun and gives me a glimpse of how amazing it will be to become a Grandma someday.
Thanks to my nieces and nephews in Indiana, I have nine Greats! I didn't get to see them all on my trip back to the Midwest this Fall, but I did get to see five of them including the two new twin baby girls. 

4. Sometimes life gets hard and things change quickly.

I thought my part-time job was always going to be "my spot."  Finding out my hours were being cut was HARD. Throughout my adult years, I have spent time as a waitress, teacher, full-time Mama, and sales clerk at the baby boutique. What's next? It's time to start hitting the pavement and find my next $pot. 

We knew my husband's job was probably going to end. (I'm proud that he hung in there as long as he did! ) When it really happened a few weeks ago, it was HARD. 

When our five-year-old front-loader washing machine stopped working and even with the new part wouldn't work, that was ANNOYING. My sweet friend let me use her home like a laundromat until our new top-loader was delivered. Thanks again Dawn!!

Deciding to sell our dream home was HARD! Not knowing if it's the right solution has us awake at night. I'll let you know what we decide... Which leads me to #5.

5. TMJ is a THING and I have it!

Headaches. Every day. All day and night. I have been trying to rule out the causes. My doctor sent me to an ENT, Ophthalmologist, MRI and guess what I found out at the Dentist this week?... I have TMJ and my pain is exactly like the picture below. I wish I had found this article months ago! I suffer from all of it. I could be the girl in this photo!

So...I'm now going to be wearing my night guard, taking Advil every four hours, and applying moist heat. (Not sure about the don't speak too much and don't bite your nails mentioned in this article.) Perhaps my stress level is through the roof?...

6. Do you want to become a minimalist? Put your house on the market!

We actually got our home "on the market" one week after we made the decision. I sped through each room, pulling items to get rid of. Some things were boxed up and are stored in our garage. Daily trips to Goodwill happened. My bible study friends got used to me schlepping in bags of "stuff" for them to look at. Two of my best friends did a walk-through and advised me what else I needed to remove to make our home look VERY uncluttered and tidy. Then, the deep cleaning began...

I really miss my family photos and "GOD is Good" artwork, but other than that, everything left "sparks joy" as in Marie Kondõ's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. 

If you're serious about decluttering and purging, you might want to check out a book coming out next month called The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson that I discovered while looking around on Amazon. Basically, the premise is "Let's not leave our cr__ for our family members to deal with." I can't believe some of the stuff I've been saving!

Perhaps I need to write a book on how this transplanted Midwest-turned-PNW-recovering-sentimental-hoarder is learning how to say goodbye to stuff?!

For those of you who have read my posts this month, I don't really have an update on my current situation. Are we selling? Moving? Finding jobs? 

I've always loved Fall, this year's Fall just hasn't been my favorite. Alexander in the book at the top had a terrible, horrible, very bad day, and I've been feeling like we've sort of had a very bad month. I DO know God knows and sees and has a plan, and so we will just continue praying for wise decisions that are God-honoring. 

I am linking up to Emily P. Freeman from Chatting at the Sky. Enjoy! 
Only 25 more days until Christmas!! Let the joyful merriment celebrating Jesus begin!

In His Grip,
xo Jane

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