because "sometimes people are just assholes"


Please forgive my profanity. I'm not really interested in putting my best foot forward at this moment.

A few months back, the HVAC unit was stolen out from underneath the house we're buying. It's pretty common when houses are (obviously) empty. Thieves take the unit and sell the copper for a high price. I don't know or care why. But they do it. They did it to us and they do it to empty houses everywhere.

Anyway, after three months of waiting we finally got the approval from our seller's lender to go forward with financing on the house. But, first, we had to get the appraisal done. 

Yesterday, we found out that the appraisal had suddenly been cancelled. Someone had broken into the crawl space of the house (again) and stolen all the copper pipes. And we can't get the house appraised if the plumbing is not in working order (nor move into the house, of course). Which means we can't get our financing nor can we close until everything is fixed.

It's going to cost $2,500.

We aren't going to pay it because, well, we don't own the house (and we don't have an extra $2,500 lying around, either). And the seller most likely can't pay because it's a short sale. She can't even pay her mortgage, poor thing. She had already graciously agreed to cover the cost of the HVAC unit, but this? This is a pretty big dent in the bank. 

It's hurtful and frustrating on multiple levels. So much time has been spent waiting. And just when the wait was finally, blessedly, over we hit another snag. The seller's realtor is seriously doing a pretty shit-tastic job of keeping the house up. The yard is grown over like a wild jungle. The blinds are open. There are no lights on. It's basically an invitation for thieves to come lurking. Oh, and that red door is pretty darn welcoming, too. I sure have a hard time staying away. After the first theft, there should have been someone there that day to do some yard work. Or put some dishes in the sink. Something so that the house didn't look deserted. 

Pierce and I will gladly spend a Saturday mowing the lawn if it will keep this from happening again. 

So now we're waiting to see if, somehow, the seller can cover yet another cost. And if she can't, I guess we'll find another way. I'm not so much afraid we won't get the house as I am sad that people take what isn't theirs. I know things like this happen, and often, but when it happens to you the sting is a bit more potent. It's like, "Wow, okay, this is what it feels like to have the rug pulled out from under you." And I wonder what those people needed so badly that they had to steal...I'm hoping they did it because they needed to feed their families. But if that were the case, we would have gladly bought them groceries. I wish we lived in a world where people could believe that.

Unfortunately, we don't. 

While I was on the phone with my mother, she tried to console me by saying that there would be other ways to fix this, that it would work out in the end. That "things happen for a reason."

"I don't believe that," I told her. "I believe God lets things happen. I believe we can learn lessons from the hurts we endure. But I don't believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes people are just assholes."

So, I suppose, if I can take heart that God does, indeed, work things out for the good of those who love Him, He is working on our behalf now. He is helping us keep watch for the next step. He is putting people in our lives who know the answers, who can guide us in the right direction. And it will be okay. 

That much we know for sure, even if we don't know anything else.


How many books can I read in a year?


So far, the answer is a depressing thirty-five And out of those thirty-five, ten are repeats. 

Oh, yes, I'm a book repeater. 

Every year, I give myself (you know, like a gift) the goal of reading 100 books. And every year I want to punch myself because I never even get close and failing at something I love seems like an EPIC fail, ya know? Or like I've been re-gifting this goal to myself for years and one day I'm just going to go, "Are you serious? Again?"

Here's my list this year, so far, with my favorites in bold:

1)      The Maid of Fairbourne Hall
2)      The Apothecary’s Daughter (Re-read)
3)      A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty
4)      Bossypants
5)      Catching Fire
6)      Mockingjay
7)      Something Blue
8)      Kisses from Katie
9)      The Atonement Child
10)   The Magic Hour
11)   The Bible (still reading...)
12)   Breaking Free
13)   Chasing Harry Winston (Re-read)
14)   Reflections on the Psalms
15)   How to Eat a Cupcake
17)   Erasing Hell
18)   Love the One You’re With (Re-read)
19)   A Vintage Affair (Re-read)
20)   True Colors (Re-read)
21)   The Swan House
22)   Tortured for Christ
23)   The Cowboy Singer
24)   The House at Riverton (Re-read)
25)   When Madeline Was Young
26)   The Girl in the Gatehouse (Re-read)
27)   Melody (Re-read)
28)   Living in Glass Houses
29)   Where We Belong
30)   Something Blue (Re-read)
31)   Love Does
32)   On the Island
33)   Baby Proof (Re-read)
34)   Cold Sassy Tree
35) The Night Circus

Any thoughts on my next book? What are some of your favorites?

putting on a show

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Here I am, in Blackburn Park, at a picnic for myself, by myself. And, truth be told, it's not really a picnic unless, of course, you consider books the fare (which I suppose I do).

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The wind is blowing like the Santa Anas and fall is finally here. It's sunny like spring, but the coolness of the breeze is telling...and I am happy.

It's days like this when I am reminded of why I love to be outdoors. It's days like this when I think to myself, "Why do I ever remain inside when there is so much to see out here?" 

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I hope I'll never lose this joy for nature and all the little details of God's creation, which come to life all around me like they're putting on a show. I am their only audience, and they give me as many encores as I please.

why our small group rocks, and other fun things


I'm still in awe, just a bit, of how God works out the little details of our lives, the things that we think about but might not say. The hopes we carry that sometimes feel like the world on our shoulders.

Sometimes when it hits me, just how much He cares, I think, "Really? REALLY?"

I'm falling in love, you know. With Jesus. In a real way that feels like a real relationship. And, yet, it's not in any way at odds with the love I feel for my husband. In fact, it serves to make me love Pierce more. And others, too. Loving Jesus breaks down walls I have in all my relationships. It gives me more confidence to be the kind of wife my husband deserves, the kind of friend whose absence is grieved, and more. Much more.

I know that's hard to understand, especially for people who aren't Christians. But we all tend to box God up into a particular denomination, or we only think of Him in terms of Old Testament vs. New Testament (I prefer New, if you must know), or we balk at the idea that He has a personality with fully-formed desires and emotions. But if we're created in His image, it only makes sense that we would be like Him, right? We want relationships that thrive. We long to love. We tell stories and heartbreaks. We look for empathy and acceptance. And He gives it to us in the form of a circle, a community, a group that looks into the heart of the individuals who make it whole and strives to meet those needs. God has given us everything we need by giving us each other.

I'm leading a small group of women right now. We just started meeting a few weeks ago and, at first, I know some of the women were hesitant to participate. It's always a little intimidating to jump in with a bunch of people you don't know and share things you aren't sure you want to share. I wondered, too, how all these personalities would fit into one place and still give others room to breathe. But we have. We're still breathing over here. In fact, we're laughing. We're crying. We're filling up the space with tales of uncertainty and fear and hope and joy and generosity and compassion. Hand gestures dominate while eyes watch and mouths form words of encouragement. And hearts fill.

I love these women. Some of them for a very long time, and some of them for just a few days. But I love them. And what's even better is that I know they love me. Already. Because He first loved us.

A Weekend Story

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Once upon a time, it was the weekend.

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And, during that weekend, Wifey and the Hubs decided to take a little trip.

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(Wifey also decided she would play paparazzi.)

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They wanted to visit their future home together, but Hubby (for once) wasn't sure which route to take. So he used his trusty GPS and got them caught in the middle of FestivalPonce. "Way to go, Hubs," said Wifey, even though she was secretly happy to be back at their old stomping grounds.

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Finally, they made it! And their little red door welcomed them happily.

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And so did the white picket fence and the forest growing where their lawn should have been.

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The backyard was still as dreamy as Wifey remembered it. And the Hubs sighed, happy as a kid in a candy store.

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Then Wifey took some more pictures, because that's what she does. This one was her favorite because it combined three of her favorite things: Hubby, their new house, and fallen leaves.

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And, before they left, Wifey said goodbye to the house. Or, rather, see ya later.

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And she picked up a little guest on the way out.

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Hubs and Wifey were pretty hungry, so they got some Shane's (as usual) and then Hubs left Wifey in the bookstore to go visit with friends. And there she sat, joyfully, with a brand new book and a pumpkin spice latte.

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The end.

hoping

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Hi friends!

Wow, it's been a long time since I felt like myself. I'm still coughing quite a bit, but it's mostly residual and I'm hoping I'll get another good night's sleep tonight (they've been few and far between for the last two weeks) so my Monday will start off well. There's nothing worse than a terrible Monday, right? It's makes the fact that it's Monday so much worse.

Before I go, I thought I'd share some photos from last week at the "Nothing Is Impossible" shoot with Pastors Ashley and Jane Evans, our newest clients who just moved here from Australia to expand their church. 

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I think I look pretty good in that chair. My mom says it's "my future". I'm assuming she means I won't end up as a talk show host; rather, I'll be everyone's favorite author and chat it up with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Here's hoping!

bree's last day

today was my friend and co-worker bree's last day at legacy. it was tough, especially since chelsea left to start a new job just a few weeks ago. it's always hard whenever you get close to co-workers and then you move in different directions. i miss them both so much! hopefully, i'll get to see chelsea for dinner soon, but this afternoon bree, rosalie, and i went to lunch at this quaint little bistro down the street, aqua terra, and then spent the last half of our break enjoying the sunshine. 

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In case anyone is interested:
Top: H&M by way of Plato's Closet
Skirt: NY&Co.
Tights: Forever 21
Shoes: Plato's Closet
Watch: Fossil
Sunglasses: Dollar Tree baby!

here it comes...

I walked out of the house on Sunday morning to go to church and smiled so big my cheeks hurt. The breeze was cool, but the sun was shining. Perfect for long sleeves and scarves and hot tea.

Fall is here!

This past weekend was wonderful, but, unfortunately, it was also completely clouded by the fact that I was (am) still sick. And since I have been so busy and not sleeping very well the last week I'm pretty sure I've developed an upper respiratory infection. I'm coughing and it hurts. I'm snotting and it's gross. And I'm aching all over. Hopefully, now that our house is really clean (dog hair...gone...air filter...cleaned...furniture...dusted...) I'll be able to get some rest tonight and get well. I might hurt somebody if I feel this way for another 24 hours.

But other than that...our weekend was really lovely.

Saturday was the Hubby's 27th birthday and we got to spend the first part of our weekend at a family friend's cabin in the north Georgia mountains. We were lazy and it was amazing. We went for an afternoon walk down a gravel road and found some horses I wanted to pet, but Hubby told me if I took one step closer on what was most assuredly private property I was going to get into big trouble. So I just took some pictures instead :).

{And can I just tell you how blissfully happy I am that I finally got Photoshop and now know how to make all my pictures the same width? Blissfully, I tell you!}


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It was also good to see my mom, and my little sister, and her boyfriend, Colt, but I wish we could have stayed with them longer. We went out for a birthday dinner, shared too many embarrassing stories, and then the Hubs and I had to drive home because we both had church in the morning.

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Then, after service was over, we met up with my in-laws for lunch at the 57th Fighter Group, a fantastic old restaurant on the property of the small, Chamblee airport that does most of its business with private owners and flight tours around the city. We had plate after plate of fruit, eggs benedict, antipasta, grits, omeletes, and croissants. Then there was the tea, the bananas foster, the chocolate mousse. Happy birthday to all the Nunnerys who celebrated this month! 

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Here's hoping for a good night to you all and at least nine hours of sleep for moi.