Wait, I'm a homeowner?!


It's still surreal.

I own MY on place.

As of yesterday, I have officially been a homeowner for 4 weeks. FOUR WEEKS!

I can believe it's already been 4 weeks... and it's only 4 weeks? Isn't that funny? How timing works.

Anyway, leading up to, the day of and the days after May 27 were a whirlwind. My mom came into town. I bought/closed on my condo. I moved in. I went to the beach to celebrate Gramps' 9th birthday. Oh, and I was working.

HA. It was a lot. Overwhelming. Scary. Nerve-racking. But, so so so SO exciting!

My mom was a godsend. She was ever-patient and worked her tail off. It was pretty much nonstop while she was here, but she just... handled it. She was so excited for me, and helped organize and move things and put things together. I seriously wasn't super stressed because my momma was here. It was the best.

The days and weeks following the move have been a little... weird.

It was weird to be sleeping in this place by myself.
All the new.
Sounds.
Smells.
No idea where anything is.
No furniture.

Even though this place was my condo, my home... it was definitely not home.

And that has been really hard. Harder than I was expecting it to be. Actually, I don't even think I gave it one thought.

I was so excited to be having my own space. My own place to put all of my belongings. Organize things the way that I want them to be... that I just didn't think about the transition. The fact that everything is going to be empty. And bare. And cold.

And, so not homey.

And then, I was driving home one day and I realized something.
I realized that I was embarrassed.
Guh! I know.

I was embarrassed that my first place is a condo instead of a cute little house. I was embarrassed that I was doing this by myself instead of with a husband. I was embarrassed that I may be paying more than I should be. I was embarrassed. Plain and simple.

And then I read something on the ol' IG the other day, "Focusing on what your life is NOT rather than accepting what it IS, is one of the greatest forms of self sabotage."

That line right there... hit me like a ton of bricks. And I'm still feeling the effects.

That is exactly what I had been doing without even noticing. I was totally focusing on everything other than NOW. What is going on in my life right now. And it was completely sucking the joy away.

I have often said that I'm pretty good at living in the now and being in the moment, but it's kind of disconcerting how quickly that can change. How quickly the devil sweeps in and takes hold of the part of you that doubts and worries and trusts that life is good, and makes everything seem just completely not good enough.

Oh my gosh... I BOUGHT A CONDO! I am 31 years old, living outside of one of the most influential cities in the world, working at one of the top pediatric facilities in the country basically doing my dream job... and I was able to BUY a home. Not only THAT. I have some beautiful people in my life. I have some amazing friends. An awesome family. And am loved by an incredible God.

This life that I am living... it is not exactly how I pictured it would be. But, this IS the life that the Lord has given me, and darn it, isn' that good enough?! Isn't the Lord good enough?

So, I am getting there. I am letting that embarrassment go, and letting excitement and gratefulness take over. Will you pray for me?!

Annnnnnnnnd because I know y'all are dying for SOME pics! :) Just remember, this is transition. And I don't have much furniture. Keep that in mind. :) One day when I have things more organized and have actual furniture, I will try to do a real tour. My comp is making things difficult with pics these days... maybe it's on the frtiz?!

Master bedroom on inspection day 

Pretty much what it looks like right now! That carpet is the BEST!
Home Depot

Master bath, renovated.

With some of my things.

Living area, on inspection day.

And pretty much now. The tv is out of the box because CABLE.
And, I have ordered a couch!

A little shout-out to the awesome windows in my place! All the heart-eyes.

Kitchen on inspection day. Yep, with some crazy under cabinet lighting.

Ha! Right after I moved in. It's pretty nice looking now.. but not a whole lot has changed.

My condo is 3 bedrooms, two baths and has a little balcony. I know some of you are curious. It was completely renovated, so it was move-in ready! So, I just have the fun of organizing, buying fun furniture and adorning the walls! I am sure I will need allll the help I can get. :)

Thanks for stopping by!
Blessings,

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THREE YEARS {NAS-iversary!}


AHHH!!!

THREE YEARS!!

I can't believe Not Alone Series has been around for three years! :) Oh, that first post... !!!

Morgan and I had an idea... and we have watched it grow and bloom into something beautiful. We couldn't have done it without so many people. Definitely Rachel and Lindsay who have handled the hosting like champs since the Fall, and JUST recently we have added Laura from A Single Drop in the Ocean to our repertoire. :) WELCOME! We know the burden that is hosting, so it's not a surprise when life happens and others need to step in. It's one of the most beautiful things about this community... you ladies continuing to recognize the need and desiring to help keep it going.

And of course... to you. YOU YOU YOU! You who read, pray, comment, join in on FB, etc. All of you. I have said it before, and I will say it again... this community would cease to exist if you weren't here. There would be no community.

Thank you. Thank you for your love, support, prayers, encouragement. Thank you for being you.

In honor of Not Alone Series' recent THIRD birthday, we thought it would be fun to talk about online community. What role has it played in your life? Have you made lasting relationships from your online world? What do you love most?


Let's chat about online community, shall we!!

I have chatted about this quite about on here. Obviously. Because this is a blog. And a blog is online. :) I wrote some things here and here, where I feel pretty similarly today.

Through the Not Alone Series and Blessed Is She, I have met some amazing women and built some beautiful friendships. I am so very thankful for the role that my online world has played (and continues to play) through all of life's transitions. Through the loneliness. Through the crazy. Through the joys. Through the awesomeness that life has to offer.

The encouragement. The prayers. The love. The advice. The humor. And the gazillion virtual hugs. Hugs that even have made it to REAL LIFE.

There isn't a moment when my online world doesn't touch me. Through social media. Through the friends I get to see that i met on here somewhere. It's truly a beautiful thing.

I'm just so thankful for you.

What about you!?!? I can't wait to hear! Link-up below!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BUT WAIT!
We need YOUR help!!!

Please, please, PLEASE take a few moments to fill out this survey.
We are in the process of figuring out the future of NAS, and we want to hear from all of you. Whether you have participated once, or since the beginning! If you are single or married! If you are currently discerning or not! If you have in some way (little or big) been affected by the Not Alone Series, WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!!!
Thank youuuu!
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We will be doing monthly link-ups for the Summer!
(I will update with prompts soon!)

July
Wedding Fun!

August
Spirituality Types!

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Hey, there.


Oh, yea.

Yup... I am still here.

I can give you all sorts of reasons why it has taken me MONTHS to get back here. But... life. Life is life sometimes, ya know?

Blogging (along with 50 thousand other things that I would like to do) is on my list of things that I would really like to incorporate back into my life.

I miss the writing.
I miss the processing I do when I am writing.
I miss the community that I created here way back when.
Basically... I miss you. Anyone who still happens to read this little ditty.

Let me catch you up on life a bit.

I am still loving my job! I am working a lot. Still figuring out some good work/life balance because, let's be honest, I don't want to burn out. And there are days where I feel really stretched.

Being in the nurse educator position has been amazing, challenging and difficult. I am learning so much all the time, and trying to get all the things done. It's different in many ways than what I had imagined it would be. It's better and crazier, but also harder than I thought. I mean, I knew it would be hard, but being in an organization that relies HEAVY on their educators, you are constantly adding things to an already looooooong list of "priorities." It's been a constant back and forth to try and balance and learn how to manage my time. I still feel very much like a new nurse in that respect. So, I like to think it helps me relate even more to my newbie nurses. :)

But, I love my unit. I love my coworkers. I love the organization. I have no regrets making the big move last summer!

The other most recent and exciting news...

I BOUGHT MY OWN HOME!!!!!!!!!

(I would show some pics, but my computer is being really slow and dumb.)

Oh my gosh. I am still partly in shock. But! It was so nice to walk inside today from time at the beach celebrating my Gramps' 90th (90!!) Birthday. It's not very organized. I don't have much furniture. Currently a card table serves as my dining table. No pots or pans.

But, it's mine. ha! MINE. Isn't that the craziest?! I have been an official homeowner for a little over a week, and the shock is wearing off (until that first mortgage payment!). I am getting over all of these feelings of was this wrong? Should I have done this? Shouldn't my first home have been a little house with a yard? Who PAYS for something that basically feels like an apartment? 

But... it's a starter. That's what your first home is anyway, right? It's mine! If I want to paint, I will! If I want to do something different in the kitchen, I can! (Not that I will need to at the moment, b/c it's been beautifully updated). If I want to buy that really awesome sofa, I can! This is my place. Not anyone else's. I am going to learn to love it and enjoy it... and I cannot wait until it feels like home.

That's what I hope for the most. It to be home. It's going to take some time and patience on my part. I can't get ALL THE THINGS that I want right now. I just can't. And that's ok. I need to accept that. Be proud of the fact that I was even in a position that I can buy my own little place.

Eep! I hope to share more of all the ups and downs of homeownership here in this space. I have no idea what I was share, honestly. Maybe I can talk about my crazy experience actually buying it? Of course how I choose to design it? I dunno... whatever floats my boat.

I hope to be around here more. Please know that I am praying for you! Will you pray for me, too??

Blessings and hugs,
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Negative Self Talk

I had made a mistake a couple weeks ago. A mistake at work. It caused some confusion. I had to work quickly to rectify things and get the information back out. And really, it all worked out. No major damage was done. At all! PTL.

But, you guys. I made a mistake. I couldn't believe it! Ya know, a mistake that I didn't catch before. People had to see. I was embarrassed. I was annoyed at myself. I was just really bummed about it.

And then I was feeling a little down. For a couple of days.

All the thoughts started running through my head. See, you can't actually do this job. You aren't that good at it. Why do people trust you to do this? Just proves that you aren't good at much of anything. Then everything starts flooding into my head. You are so stupid. You can't do your job. You are still single! No one will love you. You're impatient. And rude. And on and on and on.

Oh, but, this time. Before I really spiraled, like I usually do. I stopped. I pulled out my journal.

And I wrote.
I acknowledged my frustrations.
My sin.
And reminded myself that those things don't define me.
I wrote down a little bit of how God sees me, and that is who I want to be.
I chose to be around people the following days.

And it was a beautiful Grace. I didn't spiral. I mean, it was seriously amazing! And that grace, I am SURE of it, sailed me right into a beautiful and blessed Holy Week.

Negative self-talk. I am a PRO. It's not something I am proud of, but it is definitely something I am always, always dealing with. And only just recently (even with the years of therapy!), have I begun to figure out how I handle it best.

It's a choice I have to make, almost, every day. I have to choose to ignore those thoughts. I have to remind myself that when I become that person, it is NOT who God has created me to be. It is most definitely not my authentic self. Especially when I have the days when I am down about being single. Sometimes it seems too easy to see why I am single. But, those reasons? They are not from God. They are just a deep seated hold that the freakin' devil has, that I am working SO HARD to get rid of.

For me? Writing down and rewriting and rewriting (and rewriting) the things that I like about myself, the things that I am good at, the ways that God sees me has finally proven to be fruitful. Choosing to ignore those thoughts. Surrounding myself with people. Because when you are thinking way less of yourself, why would you want to be around people? No, I have to choose to be with people. Most especially people that build me up, inspire me and encourage me to be the best that I can be.

It's a work in progress, but for now? I am SO enjoying where I am. To finally be breaking free of this chain that has tied me up for FAR too long.

Do you struggle with this? No you aren't alone. And let me remind you... you are so so SO loved! Even when you feel down. Even when you sin. Even when you don't love yourself. You are absolutely, 100% loved... :) Praying for you!



So, SURPRISE! I am hosting Not Alone Series this week!!! WHAT?! Thanks for having me back this week! And for Lindsay and Rachel for reaching out!

Being single can leave us feeling unworthy and unloveable sometimes, but we know that it's not true! How do you avoid negative self-talk? How do you lift yourself up instead of allowing yourself to be down? How can we continue to acknowledge our low-points, but encourage each other to something more?

Please, please join us!!!


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Alleluia!

By Catholic All Year via her FB Page.


Happy, happy Easter, Friends!!!

Gosh, in some ways, I can't believe it's Easter already! In other ways, man! I am SO GLAD it's Easter already! :)

I basically bombed Lent. It wasn't my best one.

Holy Week, though. That was my jam this year, guys.

It started out with a beautiful (and quick!) Lenten retreat with the Franciscan Sisters up in Steubenville, OH.

Such a wonderful day reflecting in God's mercy and love.

I was able to go to a beautiful Palm Sunday Mass at my alma mater.... by one of my favorite priests! It was perfect. Jump started the week perfectly.

I just really felt present throughout this whole week, and it was wonderful. I was able to enter into each day, so that by today I could REALLY celebrate! Ah! Such an amazing thing!

I hope you all, too, have had a blessed Holy Week and beautiful Easter day!!
May God continue to pour His blessings upon you!

Love,
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